Vancouver’s Downtown has a lack of notable Vietnamese noodle shops. Enter BaoQi Eateri at the edge of Yaletown on Davie Street, a contemporary Vietnamese hole-in-the-wall, with all the coziness you’d expect from a bowl of hot noodle soup with a few updates.
(Above: BaoQi’s seafood noodle soup garnished with fried shallots, cilantro and onions.)
BaoQi’s decor feels like a modern rendition of colonial era Vietnam — the walls blanketed with carefully selected vintage photography including black and whites of Asian ladies with beehive hairdos. A long, wooden, communal table occupies most of the petite dining space while some stray seating snuggles underneath a slanted nook. And the tables are adorned with sleek utensils and dishes.
It’s easy to mistaken BaoQi for a Pho restaurant. It isn’t. The short menu is a modest cross section of familiar Vietnamese dishes including a variety of noodle soups (mostly sans beef noodle), banh mi (sandwiches), appetizers and some exotic sounding beverages.
I warmed myself up with BaoQi’s seafood noodle soup: a sweeter-than-usual, clear broth swimming with generously portioned squid, fish cakes and prawns. BaoQi’s noodle soup feels more refined; subtle, yet still comforting.
(Above: Standard triumvirate of Vietnamese garnish: bean sprouts, lime and chili sauce.)
Case ordered the hot and sour soup: a tangy, tomato and tamarind based broth with just a hint of spice and chunks of tomato, whole okra and garlic tips. It’s served with a side of steamed rice which can be soaked in the soup prior to consuming.
(Above: Vietnamese hot and sour soup with tomatoes, okra and garlic tips.)
Our meal including taxes and tip came to around $23, which is pricey for a typical Vietnamese noodle soup meal, but seems like the right price point for a downtown location and for the more refined execution and decor. The flavours at BaoQi aren’t what you’d expect from most Vietnamese hole-in-the-walls, but BaoQi’s contemporary execution feels at home with the local vibe on Davie Street.
Perfect for: Downtown Vietnamese noodle fix.
620 Davie Street, Vancouver