Taking on the Bao in Victoria, BC’s Chinatown

Bao
626 Fisgard St
Victoria, BC

Hours: Mon to Sat 12–8:30pm
Phone: (250) 590-8688

ES: Ni Bao should be the name instead of Bao for this Chinese/Korean/Japanese fusion restaurant, but how many would get the joke? Unlike a traditional ramen restaurant where they shout, Irasshaimase to every customer, here in Chinatown, not even a traditional Ni Hao (as it should be said) is heard. I can forgive this operation since they offer various kinds of mixed cuisine. I had to finally see what the fuss is about with Bao. I always see them advertising in festival guides and suggested to Don we have to finally check this place out.

DK: “Don’t Cha wish your girlfriend was hot like meee,” yahh, that’s the song in my head. Not sure why. Not really relevant at all to this review. I haven’t even heard the song in like seven years. But you know, sometimes you just have to go where life takes. 

Let your heart lead, that’s what I always say. And my heart is leading me towards telling you maybe it’s time to indulge in some Pussycat Dolls nostalgia tonight. Maybe when you walk in to Bao they should start singing, “Don’t you wish you had some ramen bayyybeee, oooo don’t cha!” Actually if they did that I would likely turn around and walk right out the door. Singing in such close quarters can’t be Covid safe. 

Also I kind of think their ramen is overrated. Also if you’re going to shun tradition; you should really write an original song. 

Anyway, as Ed was saying, we went to Bao. I had Belly and Eggs!

ES: Is that an invitation to rub Don’s Buddha? 

Seriously, the choice wasn’t that hard when looking at the online menu. This operation does offer take out, which is good. Don and I were here before BC Health made news of the second wave official. There are days where I just have to be out, enjoying the wet autumn weather. We ate in and I pondered over whether I should have the hottest meal available. Instead, I had the truffle ramen because what else would two fun loving guys want?

I knew I would not get the coveted food of the gods. If they did have it, the price would be far more than the $16 listing on the meny. I know I can get Pacific Northwest kind, but the borders to the States are closed. Side note: jarred varieties can be found at Pike Place Market (assuming they haven’t closed due to the pandemic). I suppose there’s a method to my madness and try to head there by private boat.

DK: If given the choice, I’d also rather be in Seattle, enjoying Cajun Crawfish or wandering the International District seeing what we could find. But how was Bao’s Belly and Eggs you ask? As a takeaway meal to help feed a family on a Friday night it is fine. Unfortunately the caramelized pork belly, deep fried egg and sauce aren’t tasty enough to make this destination dining.

ES: I have to defend their pork belly. It’s lightly crispy enough to be delicious and I wished for more. The one huge slice was not enough, and when eating for two (or three), I’d have to make a mental note to ask for more slices, or go live in Japan. I’ve been looking at Hachiko District’s video posts and oh my god! The size of those portions are ridiculously huge!

Ultimately, they’re not really worth it as there’s other places which can serve up tastier noodle dishes. I will return to sample their baos, to which they named this operation for. I haven’t given up on this operation yet.

It’s tough to beat Menbow Ramen Bar though. When this place is all about fusion, it’s a 50/50 if they’ll get a particular ethnic dish right.

3 Blokes out of 5

 

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