Dumplings and Beer for Asian Heritage Month

Wild Rice pairs traditional Asian dumplings with local, artisan beers.  

Credit: Michael Robertson

Bao and Dumplings from Wild Rice Vancouver

At Wild Rice, Asian cuisine goes much better with beer than with wine


With half of Asian Heritage month already in the rearview mirror, I’ve been very remiss in not mentioning Wild Rice‘s very cool pairing of dumplings and artisan beers. Dubbed Bao & Brew, the menu matches select local beers with a choice of Executive Chef Bright’s tastiest tidbits.


A dumpling by any other name…

Wild Rice proprietor Andrew Wong saw the overlap of Asian Heritage Month and Craftbeer week as an ideal opportunity to showcase how Wild Rice combines traditional Asian ideas with the up-to-date ethos of the West Coast. 


“While we take inspiration from the food of the past, our dishes are modern interpretations of classical dishes that feature our local, sustainable and seasonal ingredients,” says Mr. Wong, a third generation Chinese-Canadian restaurateur.


Exec Chef Todd Bright has created a special menu that elevates the humble dumpling to a starring role. Drawing on inspiration from the dumplings of Andrew Wong’s grandmother, Bright’s dumplings reflect a sophisticated palette of flavour profiles—curried beef, sweet Chinese sausage, smoked tofu, fresh basil, truffle oil and sable fish.


Where’s the beer?

In keeping with Wild Rice’s east meets west philosophy and its commitment to featuring local west coast wines, spirits and beers, Andrew has paired Chef Bright’s dumplings with four thoughtfully chosen artisan beers:  Blue Buck (Phillips), Riptide Pale Ale (Lighthouse), Farmhand Ale (Driftwood) and Whitebark Ale also from Driftwood. The two Driftwood brews come in hefty 650ml bottles (slightly smaller than a bottle of wine).


Order individual dumpling dishes for $7 or enjoy them paired with specific brews (pairing range $11- $16) or completely mix and match beers and dumplings to create your own unique combinations.


Local artisan beer


Personally, I’m not a big beer drinker but these beers felt more like an extension of the meal. I’d recommend you go with a group of friends with small appetites; that way you can order lots of different dumplings without worrying about having to share too much.