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Vancouver Visit - 2007


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Went to Vancouver this weekend past and wanted to post some thoughts.

Kirin (Richmond) : Enjoyed the dim sum, however it wasn’t the transcendent experience one would hope for. I don’t know a lot about dim sum, so I asked our server for recommendations. His response was to rapidly flip through the menu and point to the different section headings. These are fried, these are steamed… yada yada… not very helpful. Asked for water, and then had to ask again 15 minutes later.

The BBQ pork buns were tasty and I don’t usually enjoy that kind of thing. Nothing else was really very memorable.

Barbara Jo’s Books for Cooks: Excellent bookshop with some titles you are unlikely to find at an American bookseller e.g. Pierre Herme’s PH10 and Frederick Bau’s Au Coeur des Saveurs. Also, I scored a nice little dimsum guide for $10 which would have been enormously useful at Kirin.

Chocolate Arts: Nice shop and I thought the chocolates were good. Esp. liked the Italian Espresso one. Lemon basil was good too, but had a sharp edge which I suspect was from lemon extract or bottled oils used for flavoring.

Chocoatl: One of us got the hot chocolate (Sao Tome). I had a flan and thought it was almost too delicious for words. Excellent. Also, I tried a chocolate or two. I thought the Tequila decorated with lime zest was outstanding; nicely balanced and deep rich chocolate flavor. Far and away the best of the ones we tried.

Senses Bakery: Well what a disappointment! And embarrassing after I dragged my friends there early in the morning only to discover that the W. Georgia location is closed for remodel. You would think a note to that effect, somewhere on their website would be in order. Preferably on the splash page.

Gourmet Warehouse: Great place to find some specialty cookware and gourmet items. I scored some gold leaf for decorating chocolates and a few other miscellaneous items.

Chambar Belgian Restaurant: I had the venison. Good but I probably wouldn’t order it again. Friends had Moules & Frites. Very good, very rich with LOTS of mussels. Beautiful atmosphere and views of the city.

Banana Leaf Malaysian: I had high hopes for this one but like Kirin, our server seemed rushed and uninterested in helping us choose. We ordered the Roti Canai for appetizer, Rendang Beef, and Gulai Prawns for mains. The Rendang Beef came first. I didn’t have any of that but my dining companion said that it was a little bland. About midway through his main, the appetizer arrived: a crumpled heap of Roti Canai looking a bit like leftover scraps. It was, nonetheless, quite delicious. My prawns still hadn’t arrived when my friend had already finished his beef so I went to the checkout counter to ask since I couldn’t flag down our waiter. It arrived instantly. Like the beef, it was a bit bland. I guess you just have to know what to order here.

Robson Street: Had wanted to do some shopping on Robson but the whole street is being resurfaced. What luck! The clouds of smoking asphalt really weren’t very conducive to any high end shopping, so that ended quickly.

Granville Island Public Market: Fantastic array of produce and specialty foods shops. Beautiful vegetables, meats, cheeses, pastries and breads, etc. What a lovely farmers’ market kind of atmosphere. I’d be a regular here if I lived in Vancouver.

Loved the architecture in Vancouver, too. People are very nice, and I bet it’s a great place to live.

P.S. Would have loved to try Vij, “C”, Rare, etc. but just not enough time…

John DePaula
formerly of DePaula Confections
Hand-crafted artisanal chocolates & gourmet confections - …Because Pleasure Matters…
--------------------
When asked “What are the secrets of good cooking? Escoffier replied, “There are three: butter, butter and butter.”

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Went to Vancouver this weekend past and wanted to post some thoughts.

Good to read your reviews, although half of the places are unknown to me. I lived in Vancouver for one year in the 90's and still miss it terribly - I worked at the architect firm building the "colosseum-esque" library - maybe you saw it, very large and curvaceous.

Best food memories for me are the Granville Island Public Market (taking the silly little ferry over) and dim sum in Chinatown every Sunday. In fact I had never been to an Asian bakery prior to that time, those fluffy white buns with savory and/or sweet centres are outstanding.

Peter Gamble aka "Peter the eater"

I just made a cornish game hen with chestnut stuffing. . .

Would you believe a pigeon stuffed with spam? . . .

Would you believe a rat filled with cough drops?

Moe Sizlack

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Loved the architecture in Vancouver, too.  People are very nice, and I bet it’s a great place to live.

I agree; it's a great place to live.. Have lived in the region for over decades, and have watched the waterfront transformations on MANY sides. Mind you, rent on our 420 sq ft. downtown studio apt. is currently $1025/mo, unfurnished. Ugh.

The experience you had a Kirin seems typical for many dim sum restaurants, especially in Richmond. It's unfortunate that the whole scenario is not more "user friendly".

Hope you come back soon!

Karen Dar Woon

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Loved the architecture in Vancouver, too.  People are very nice, and I bet it’s a great place to live.

I agree; it's a great place to live.. Have lived in the region for over decades, and have watched the waterfront transformations on MANY sides. Mind you, rent on our 420 sq ft. downtown studio apt. is currently $1025/mo, unfurnished. Ugh.

The experience you had a Kirin seems typical for many dim sum restaurants, especially in Richmond. It's unfortunate that the whole scenario is not more "user friendly".

Hope you come back soon!

Thanks, Karen. Yeah, it was pointed out to me that they, at Kirin, are very busy and the waiters don't speak much English. I don't know that much about dimsum so it's my bad. I'm going to make a point of learning more about it.

John DePaula
formerly of DePaula Confections
Hand-crafted artisanal chocolates & gourmet confections - …Because Pleasure Matters…
--------------------
When asked “What are the secrets of good cooking? Escoffier replied, “There are three: butter, butter and butter.”

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  I don't know that much about dimsum so it's my bad.  I'm going to make a point of learning more about it.

This is one of those moments when you need to hook up with a fellow eGulleter, and get them to show you great dim sum in Richmond. I just go with people who know the good stuff. I have not been disappointed yet.

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  • 3 months later...
  I don't know that much about dimsum so it's my bad.  I'm going to make a point of learning more about it.

This is one of those moments when you need to hook up with a fellow eGulleter, and get them to show you great dim sum in Richmond. I just go with people who know the good stuff. I have not been disappointed yet.

IrishGirl, can you kindly recommend any places for great dim sum in the Chinatown in downtown Vancouver?

Whenever I visit Vancouver I usually stay with friends who live close to Chinatown - it would be much easier to eat there than to try and get out to Richmond (especially without a car!). My friends love vegetarian Chinese food, but have been unable to recommend any good places for dim sum - and since I'm an omnivore, dim sum of all sorts (including meat or seafood) is just fine with me.

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  I don't know that much about dimsum so it's my bad.  I'm going to make a point of learning more about it.

This is one of those moments when you need to hook up with a fellow eGulleter, and get them to show you great dim sum in Richmond. I just go with people who know the good stuff. I have not been disappointed yet.

IrishGirl, can you kindly recommend any places for great dim sum in the Chinatown in downtown Vancouver?

Whenever I visit Vancouver I usually stay with friends who live close to Chinatown - it would be much easier to eat there than to try and get out to Richmond (especially without a car!). My friends love vegetarian Chinese food, but have been unable to recommend any good places for dim sum - and since I'm an omnivore, dim sum of all sorts (including meat or seafood) is just fine with me.

Unfortunately, I can't. I have never had dim sum in Chinatown.

The last great dim sum that I had was at Chen's in Richmond. Canucklehead might be able to set you on the right path though. I had some good dim sum with him on Fraser or Kingsway.....but I can't remember the name of the place, nor the street apparently. :(

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Or you can check out what he has to say here in the "Chinese in Vancouver" thread.

Some of the locations are closer to downtown, although I don't recall any actually IN Chinatown. You may have a hard time finding what you are looking for in Chinatown for the reasons discussed at the beginning of the thread.

Good Luck!

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A good spot for dim sum, not far from Chinatown, is Sun Sui Wah on Main Street. Easy to get to, just grab a bus in Chinatown on Main Street going south (Main #3) and get off at Main and 23rd. It is only about a five minute bus ride.

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The Sun Sui Wah on Main Street just switched to the "by the order" method, except for Saturday and Sunday. They are doing a great job, although, when we recently tried Sun Sui Wah in Richmond, all of the dim sum were bland.

Also very good are the Fortune on 41st and Oak and Shiang Garden in Richmond. Not quite so good but much better than Kirin are the Jade in Richmond and the Gingery, also in Richmond.

If you are interested in Shanghai dim sum, the absolute best is Chen's in Richmond.

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