UPDATE: BaoDown’s SF location has closed, but they’re still around in their original location in Vancouver!
Down for some bao? You’re going to dig this place. Located at 648 Bush St. in San Francisco, BaoDown puts together a mouth watering menu of Asian fusion dishes so you can chow down or snack over drinks at their full size bar. The flavors pop and there’s a lot of thought that goes into the presentation of each item. You ready for a tour?
Above is a flat lay of the three dishes we had the pleasure of tasting during our visit, and below, let’s dive into the first one. The Ube Waffles and Chicken was awesome. We’re huge chicken and waffles fans to begin with, but some of the subtle twists BaoDown takes made this an entirely new, yet familiar, experience. The dish consists of adobo fried chicken, ube waffle, dark rum syrup and a sunny side up egg. The chicken reminded me of chicken karaage and the fact that the waffle was made with ube added a subtle flavor that was really enjoyable. Pour the syrup on top and you’re golden.
Next up was the Bao Flight, which was one each of all four types of baos they serve, all of which were basically in the kinds of buns that you use with peking duck. This was super bomb. We could only fit 3 in our hands, so you’ll have to excuse us in the picture below for not getting all of them in. If you’re curious you can check them out in the top picture.
The first variation was the Bao Chicka Bao Bao, which was made with fried lemongrass chicken, pickled daikon and carrots, cilantro, crispy garlic, fish sauce & aioli. Next was the 2 Worlds Collide! which had crispy pork, braised pork belly, spring onions, chicharron, pickled carrots & daikon, hoisin glaze (our favorite!). The third was the SFO, which used ahi tuna, breaded sesame, seared, pea shoots, applewood smoked bacon, avocado, tamari glazed with wasabi aioli. And last, but not least, was the Big Bang, which had lechon kawali, carrots, daikon, and filipino sweet and sour sauce.
Lastly, we had the Fly Rice, which was served in a cylindrical pile of awesomeness. This one was made up of pork belly, sisig style with water chestnuts, chives, crispy garlic, shallots, and garlic rice, finished with XXXO sauce and sunny side up egg. We were told to just smash everything together and mix it all up to create a fried rice, and despite part of us not wanting to destroy this beautiful plating, our hunger overpowered us (as usual…) and we started mashing. So on point! Mixing the egg in with everything else brought everything together and this is one we highly recommend.
If you’re looking for someplace casual and you like the idea of being experimental and blending all kinds of unique flavors from all over the place together to create some awesomeness, we definitely recommend giving BaoDown a try. They’ve got some cool event and happy hour nights each week, including a night where a DJ is in the house spinning some classic hip hop, so check their schedule to find out what’s happening!
Till next time, Nomsters!