As one of the buzziest new restaurants opened in the past couple of years, Bao Bei has long been calling my name. My parents were in town recently and they are both very into all types of Asian cuisine, so I figured the time was right. Like a gift from the universe, the four of us (E joined us) were seated straightaway in a cozy round booth, arguably the best seats in the (gorgeously designed) house. It helped that we were there on a Tuesday evening, since Bao Bei is a reservation-free zone.
My previous pescetarianism was what held me back from visiting in the past, since even the tofu has ground pork sprinkled on top. There is not a lot on the menu for vegetarians or even picky pescetarians such as myself who don't like shellfish. Their website notes that they can easily adjust many menu items to be vegetarian/vegan, but I always hated to be that person.
For better or worse, the constraints on my eating have increasingly fallen away over the past year. The four of us shared one of practically everything on the menu. I sat out the beef tartare and prawn dumplings, and standouts for me included the steamed vegetable dumplings and Shao Bing. Everything was well-received with extra points for creativity and presentation.
E and I each enjoyed a craft cocktail, which we can only assume was what protected us from the stomach upset my parents both suffered the next day. My mom was unfortunately turned off from eating at Bao Bei again, but my dad, nonplussed as ever, said that he would go back because "it was really good." I'm going to give them a mulligan and side with my dad on this one!