On my first full day in Vancouver I woke up early and decided that I will check out Café Medina! Celeste, had noted to go there hungry! But I was up at 6 AM, needed coffee and I was so hungry. Medina didn’t open till 8 AM. So against my better judgement, I had a small bite to eat and a cup of coffee at the B&B where I was staying. Around 8:30 AM I had started to make my way to Medina which was a 15 minute walk from the B&B, I stopped by a church that was on my way thinking that I was still a bit early. By the time I got there it was already almost full! I asked for a table and was offered a bar seat. And because I had a pre-breakfast snack, I was a little full. But I didn’t know if I will go back there the next day so I just had to suck it up and eat. HAHA I ordered the Le Santé which I thought would be light and a Salted Caramel Latté. I was so full after that I couldn’t try the waffles. The vibe at the restaurant was also really relaxed, with it being full, it was a little bit too loud for me. Allow yourselves ample time to get a table, because by the time I was done with my meal, there was a line for tables.
At the end of my trip I couldn’t help myself, I just had to go back to Medina for the waffles. Which was so worth it. Salted Caramel Latté and Salted Caramel Waffles. Mmmm yum.
On my adventure down Gastown, I walked into a courtyard and found a couple of chefs kneading bread and making some pastries. Their kitchen had glass walls (lucky them), I barely see the light of day where I am working, and I watched them do their thing for a bit. I walked around and saw that it was part of the restaurant called L’Abattoir. One of the places Celeste recommended I checked out. I was still a little early, 4:30 pm. They do not open till 5:30. I was getting hungry but made the decision to eat there. I decided to walk to Steamworks Brewery have beer tasting while I wait.
After 2 flights of beer tasters, I was a liiiitle drunk. I mean, I’m usually done on my second drink so, oops, my bad. I sincerely reconsidered if walking into L’Abattoir half lit is wise. I did anyway. LOL The space was welcoming, there is a bar downstairs where the main kitchen is and the dining room is on the mezzanine above the kitchen. I sat at the bar where I can watch the chefs working. I like it. I ordered the Sweetbreads to start, served on toast. It was delicious, I am relatively new to eating sweetbreads and this one is one of my favorites! For my main course I chose the Oxtail Cavetelli, which was to be honest I ordered because I used to make the cavetelli pasta at my old job. Plus, it will not fill me up as much and will let me enjoy a dessert. I found that the pasta was a little bit hot for my liking, I asked my server and he had explained that it was drizzled with chili oil to finish. I would’ve done a little bit less chili oil. For dessert, I had the buckwheat cake which was delicious! Really light and not too sweet! Overall, I had a great meal and drinks! Please make reservations when you do go visit! I didn’t, but I do not mind eating at the bar! 🙂
I am so glad that I did not pass on a visit to Bao Bei. On my last night in Vancouver, after a snack and 2 flights of beers at Postmark I headed on to Bao Bei. Still a little full from all the beer, I took my time walking through Chinatown. I was lucky enough to get a table by the kitchen. Bao Bei is small and cozy, probably 15-20 tables, plus the bar, which was full when I got there. I read the menu and instantly I knew I wanted the steamed buns, which I had asked for first thing, unfortunately they were sold out. They were making it right at that moment but wont be available for a few hours. HOURS! Aghh! So I had some Prawn and Scallop Wonton (handmade by Helen) to start, served in a steamer. I love dumplings. These were some of the best I’ve had! To Helen, you’re a star! For the next course I had the Pork Belly, it was SOOOO good. The dish was so well-balanced with textures from the crispy potatoes and the radishes cutting into the richness of the pork belly and the light broth accompanied it so well. I was so full at this point. But I could not not have dessert. So I had the Yao Tiao, which are Chinese donuts. It was partly a mistake to have it because I killed myself with so much food. But it was also very good! I took the rest to go and ate it the next day. LOL For your information, Bao Bei does not take reservations, its first come first serve! I am not sure if the menu changes seasonally.
Medina 780 Richards St, Vancouver, BC V6B 3A4 (604) 879-3114
L’Abattoir 217 Carrall St, Vancouver, BC V6B 2J2 (604) 568-1701
Bao Bei 163 Keefer St, Vancouver, BC V6A 1X3 (604) 688-0876