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  1. Yep, you can slice pork loin thin, marinate it for a sec in soy sauce, black pepper, bit of starch. But I like it with fattier pork, too, like pork shoulder.
  2. Simplest thing is cándòu chǎoròu 蚕豆炒肉, fava beans with pork. Kinda like the picture above, but I prefer it with slices of pork. I've also eaten them boiled like you'd boil máodòu 毛豆 (except peeled) in a broth of dark soy sauce, anise, Sichuan peppercorn, black pepper, chile, whatever else. Then served cold or lukewarm.
  3. Yeah, Huaxi is impressive and deserves more burn, on the level that places like Tony's get. This place is still mostly under the radar, isn't it? It's the kind of place that makes it worth grinding out to Burnaby.
  4. Latest to most recent: Shanghai Village on Cambie, KN Pizza Souvlaki on 3 Road, Hue Cafe on 3 Road.
  5. Haha, well... if you can stand food blogs with no pictures and lots of rambling personal anecdotes: http://jiaoqu.blogspot.com/
  6. I'd love to be proven wrong, but good Vancouver-centric Chinese-language food blogs seem to be rare. Fmed linked to one that has some decent reviews on it, and some dope food photography. If you root through Chinese-language web forums, like Westca 北美中文网, for example, you can find some okay stuff, but a lot of it is people posting pictures of meals at Cactus Club--this is revenge for all of the Canadians that go to China and post about hotel Chinese food on their blogs ("Hey, guys, you gotta check out the Xi'an Sofitel for authentic and delicious cumin lamb!")-- and stuff like food court meals get treated pretty rudely (ie. a chorus of people saying, "Steer clear of food courts! I ate some noodles there once and got sick!"-- rich Mainland kids). So, nobody is writing about street-level Vancouver Chinese food in a serious way, in English or Chinese, as far as I can see. In general, when it comes to food blogs, I'm sorta sick of food reviews. I think a lot of food blogs are glorified Yelp reviews, these days. There are some bright spots out there, but it's generally pretty formulaic and boring: This is what I ate; it tasted good/it tasted bad; service was good/bad. Then a big glossy picture of the thing. But, like, no attempt to communicate beyond that. There are two options, I think. 1) Give me some emotion, some personality, some feeeeeling. Tell me about the experience, how it made you feel, what it reminded you of. Shoot, tell me who you are, even. This is why I dig Chowtimes. It has a face. Don't be a food review robot. Or, 2) if you can, give me some information: what's the history of the place? What's the history of the food? Who's cooking it? What does that mean? I read lots of local blogs. There's lots of good stuff. But those are the things that tend to bug me. I'll single out foodosophy, which I think is the most consistently satisfying local food blog, whether it's gastronomydomine talking about Chinatown favorites or doing a scientific banh mi comparison, or shokotsu on Korean and Japanese places.
  7. I love 粉蒸排骨 and I also recommend the 粉蒸肉 at Xi'an Cuisine in the Richmond Public Market, if you've never tried it, for a completely different 粉蒸 experience with a completely different flavor, a big clod of pork steamed with rice meal, and it comes with big puffy bread 馍馍 to stuff it inside. Only available on weekends, unfortunately.
  8. Well, I've had a couple of dead-on meals at Chuan Xiang Ge and one less-than-inspiring meal. I think the less-than-inspiring performance was the result of, as another review put it, "考虑到非川籍食客的口味" "paying attention to the tastes of non-Sichuanese." I'll also note that, as you go thru various pictures of Chuan Xiang Ge's dishes, there's a pretty serious variety in how it comes out of the kitchen, even on basic things like the type of dish it's served in. The first time I went to Chuan Xiang Ge, the 渝州鸡条 Yuzhou chicken strips (see fmed's first picture) were swimming in a reddish sauce (but not oil, like 口水鸡 "mouthwatering" chicken). The dish was wall-to-wall pickled chilis and the flavor was deeply pungent, really spicy. Last time, pretty good but not quite the same. But, damn, I've eaten lots of good food there and seen lots of pretty pictures, and the menu is deep, and I haven't given up on it. If you can read Chinese and/or like beautiful pictures of Sichuan food, I recommend the following blog posts: http://www.wretch.cc/blog/blackrumba/15747184 and http://www.wretch.cc/blog/blackrumba/15884546
  9. Jeez, this is kinda embarrassing to admit but... I had no idea that Tony's Beef Noodle was the same place as the Brother Wang Beef Noodle 王哥牛肉面 that I kept going on about-- I guess I never saw Tony's Beef Noodle on the sign. I've been wondering how everyone was missing the boat on my favorite place, while constantly talking about Tony's Beef Noodle. Okay, they're the same. I still have to try a few of the other places mentioned, but this place is pretty great.
  10. I think shuizhu yu 水煮鱼 is on the menu, since they do a ton of fish dishes. I'll check for that the next time I go. I love shuizhu yu. I haven't tried the mapo doufu there. I'm weird about mapo doufu. Even in China, I rarely get the version of it I want. Even in Sichuan! In Canada, I find the sauce is usually too mild, or even sweet, and it doesn't have any real punch. In China, I find it's usually drowned in oil. The plate of mapo doufu that I measure all others against: I think someone was asking about Sichuan hot pot and I was kinda curious about that, too.
  11. I dig Chuan Xiang Ge 川香阁 in Richmond. First, they're consistent, from dish to dish and visit to visit. I'd drop the name of the chef if I didn't forget it. He's got a deep knowledge of Sichuan food and prepared some really interesting off-the-menu requests that my girl and I have made. The daily specials are good and so are the rustic dishes. The last time I went there I had Northern Sichuan liangfen (北川凉粉), Yuzhou chicken, and an off-menu-request, very authentic kaishui baicai 开水白菜, and a big ol' fish head. A good Sichuan place, you can order four spicy dishes and they're all spicy in different ways: the liangfen was served ice cold, heavy on the huajiao, left the mouth buzzing... the Yuzhou chicken was a perfect rustic dish, full of pickled peppers and dried chili... the fish head was made with chopped chilis 剁辣椒 sauce which worked well with the fattiness of the fish head. Good place. I haven't tried enough Sichuan places in town, because I'm so often disappointed, but I like this one.
  12. Chef Hung makes a good bowl of noodles. But noodle quality to price ratio isn't quite right. Side dishes are bunk, too, as a poster above noted. I ordered fried fish (you know, those tiny little fish, deepfried?) and what came was a bowl of noodles with a few stray fish sprinkled on top, and a sprig of cilantro. Bunk, bunk, bunk. Can't recommend enough: Brother Wang Beef Noodle 王哥牛肉面. Address is 5754 Cambie, directly across from the Oakridge Shopping Centre, easy Skytrain stop. It's a dive--and I mean that in the nicest way--that seats about 20 and is usually packed. Their braised beef noodle 红烧牛肉面 is the best in town, with a rich soup that's not punched up with MSG or overly salted. Spicy beef noodle 麻辣牛肉面 is the other attraction. Very nice. The beef is braised to the perfect texture and there's a great combination of chewy lean meat, sticky-as-toffee tendon, and creamy-as-ice-cream fat. Side dishes are respectable, too-- I love the pork in garlic sauce 蒜泥白肉 and the cold dressed 凉拌 dishes. Price is also a plus, especially when compared to joints like Chef Hung's. Atmosphere is dope, too. Feels like a neighborhood noodle place in a Chinese 小区. Beijing Noodle House 北京面馆 (#190-6451 Buswell St.) also does a decent braised beef noodle 红烧牛肉面. They also have good zhajiang mian 炸酱面, too, if you're into that. My favorite place, though, shut down. I only got a chance to eat there twice. It was a little Sichuan place in the Yaohan food court, where they made the best pickled garlic. Damn. Anyone know the name of the place or if it moved? It closed and was quickly replaced with a Thai joint. R.I.P. And... if you want to stretch the definition of beef noodle, there are some places in town that make a good beef lamian 牛肉拉面, too.
  13. Chili oil douru. I love it on mantou, still warm from underneath the ayi's blanket-covered basket, so it melts just a bit as you spread it with a spoon. Giant Tree brand is the best. Warm spiciness and super pungent, the texture of cream cheese. 玫瑰, rose doufu ru: burnt sugar sweetness and deep red from red rice and rose (in what form?). Big pieces, firm, almost crumbly. Good stirred into plain boiled noodles.
  14. 豆腐乳. The fermented soybean condiment. I always thought it was a Shanghai/Jiangsu/Zhejiang thing but Guilin has a famous variety and Guangzhou people use it to fry with greens. How do you eat it? What's your favorite? Etc.
  15. 川陴牌 is my brand. It comes in a cute little bucket with a handle and it's pungent as heck. Best thing: cook 鸡蛋炒西红柿 (tomato n' egg) with it, add the bean paste right after the eggs get solid, right before you put the tomato in.
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