After seeing many positive reviews about Bao Bei, I have been wanting to come here for months! BF and I arrived in the early evening and we were seated right away by a male host. I was expecting to wait for a few minutes since I read sometimes there is a line up (the restaurant is very small), but the restaurant was less than half full.
The menu is limited and I noticed that everyone was drinking? Bao Bei seems to be a place to drink and snack. With the menu already limited, our waitress told us the pork jowl and crispy pork belly were sold out, so our menu then became more limited.
The eggplant has a very light taste and for those of you who like heavier or saucier tastes, it would be nothing special or memorable. The menu describes what the eggplant exactly is - eggplant, soy, garlic and ginger.
The Taiwanese sausage tastes flavourful without tasting oily or salty. The only difference between a housemade and packaged one - housemade does not taste greasy, salty or oily.
I wish I could say that the wontons taste good, but they are horrible. The soup tastes like warm water and the wontons are the worst both of us ever had. The wontons look big in the photo too, but it is the small cup that makes them look larger. If you are in Chinatown and want wontons, you have more luck going to Hon's or the food court. The wontons are basically just skin with a tiny bit of pork and you cannot taste or see any pieces of prawns.
The beef tartare is served warm and does not really taste "fresh", we were hesitant to finish it. However, the taro chips were quite tasty; crunchy and lightly salted.
The shao bing is too thick and not crispy, while exhibiting a really hard, stale, and crunchy texture. On top of that, the first bite is practically all bread and cilantro. By eating just the bottom piece of bread however, I am able to taste the lamb. The meat tastes tough and chewy, but not too salty. At this point we wanted to quickly finish and eat elsewhere.
Service wise.. I have never been more furious than at this restaurant. The male host seated us right away (it was pretty empty inside so we were able to get a seat and not have to wait). Next, the female waitress seemed friendly and she disappeared after, but not a big deal. What upset me the most was as the dishes were coming out, no one even told us what they were. Actually, the people bringing them out did not even say one word to us. No "enjoy your ....." or "this is the ....." , nothing. Our plates were not cleared as well. Service does not exist here unless you are a regular customer. In the end, we asked for the bill and the man seemed to have an attitude problem. BF thought okay, let's give them a 20% tip and see if employees here will at least say thank you for visiting.
...we got nothing. Even with a 20% tip. No "have a good night", "bye", "thanks for coming", nothing. Not only that but it takes somewhere who had a pretty good meal, or a very bad meal to e-mail a restaurant. I e-mailed them and a week later, no response. This really shows that management at Bao Bei do not care. Even on Instagram I tagged Bao Bei, but no response. If they do not even pretend to acknowledge this situation, it really shows what kind of restaurant this is. They must only enjoy their regular customers.
- Tables that drink get service
- Regular customers get service
- Below average food
- Staff are not welcoming