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Chinese in Vancouver 2007 -


SushiCat
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[Host's note: To minimise the load on our servers, this topic has been split. The discussion continues from here.]

 

 

 

Had lunch at the Place today - here's the summary

Misses:  Tan Tan noodles....I prefer them in a soup..these were gloppy noddles with an odd anticeptic taste....blech.  Chicken in wine..nothing to write home about.  Chive cake...why oh why did I order that?  I thought it might be similar to Szechuan Chonging's green onion pancakes.  I'd pass on that one for sure.

Another table ordered the lamb kebabs and they smelled great...too bad I don't like lamb.  Wish they'd put beef or chicken on the menu.
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Just a note that the Tan Tan noodles are a hit for some of us! I like them this way, and hate it when they are all soupy. Also, if you like lamb, the skewers are really good. AND they make really good wontons in spicy garlic sauce (I think that is what it is called). Edited by lesliec
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Went back to the Place Restaurant tonight to do some further research on their dim sum menu... it is all in the name of science, you see! :wink:

This time, I sampled the wontons in spicy garlic sauce, the xiao long bao (have to have them!) and the black sesame rice flour balls.

I also ordered the lamb skewers to go and I am looking forward to enjoying them tomorrow night for dinner.

Many thanks to Sushicat for the recommendation below - the wontons in garlic sauce were excellent! :smile:

Being born and raised in the South of France, I always enjoy a good garlicky dish and these wontons did not disappoint! The green onions were plentiful, the filling was very juicy and the sauce, which was not very spicy at all, was quite flavourful. Some may find this sauce a little oily but I quite liked it.

Unlike the first time I dined there, my dishes all came in close succession and, alas, in the short while it took me to inhale these tasty wontons, my xiao long bao went cold, causing the skin to change texture and go a little chewy. They were very good nonetheless, but from now on I will know to drop everything as soon as they land on the table and have them while they are hot. Sometimes you just have to learn the hard way!

The sesame rice balls were the only disappointing dish I have had at the Place so far. I was looking forward to it after being served excellent ones at Golden Szechuan recently, but these were very bland. The texture was nice, but the sweet soup they came in had next to no flavour. Next time I fancy something sweet, I will stick to the sweet sesame cakes I had last time, which were delicious.

Another very satisfying meal, which yielded a new favourite dim sum item... I bet I will be dreaming about these garlicky wontons tonight!

Emmanuelle
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I’m finally finding time to report back on my trip to Richmond/Vancouver/Burnaby over the American Thanksgiving weekend. Following our Chinese food frenzy in the summer, we were anxious to revisit old favorites, and discover new ones. This report will be a little less comprehensive than the last, which you can see chinese food frenzy.

Thursday, 11/23

Long’s Noodle House: Business card says Loon’s, but whatever the name, we immediately noticed that everyone had a crock of drunken chicken on their table. And were we ever glad to order it. Amazing. The waitress, who was incredibly amiable, said it’s the house specialty. Everything we ate was good, including the xiao long bao (though the xlb are better at other places.) Inexpensive place, with seven dishes totaling $32 inclusive of tax and tip for four people.

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Drunken chicken that's simply intoxicating

Golden Szechuan: We really love this place. It was hard to pass up the dishes we liked last time, but based on the suggestion of our server, we started with the pork tripe/hot & sour noodles soup, which was phenomenal. We love tripe, we love hot, and we love sour – and this soup was all of this and more. Next came the double salted pork (we also love pork bellies), and then pea vines. Delicious!

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A very hot hot & sour soup

Friday, 11/24

Shiang Garden: Our absolute favorite dim sum place. Everything here is great, including the har gow which I raved about endlessly as being the best we’ve had in the world (see a photo at the above-mentioned link). Well… actually… not everything is great. When we saw xiao long bao on the menu, we figured we should give them a try. How bad could they be at our favorite dim sum place? Answer: incredibly bad. Maybe the worst xiao long bao in the world. Terrible wrappers that leaked broth which wasn’t worth saving.

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The worst xiao long bao...

The Place Restaurant: From one extreme to the other… The Place is THE PLACE for the best xiao long bao in the Vancouver area. Alright, I’ve yet to try Chen’s (next trip), but we were shocked at the quality of the xlb at this little eatery. Not a very delicate wrapper, but how can it be when it’s holding in all that delicious broth? And not one was leaking! We were very happy following our bad xlb experience earlier in the morning. I’ve heard other dishes here are also very good, but we only tried the pumpkin dish and were disappointed, as it was boring with an off taste.

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... and the best xiao long bao!

Crystal Hunan: Sometimes Szechuan food just isn’t spicy enough, so we had to take a trip to Burnaby to find something spicier! Interesting place. Looks like it was once a Greek restaurant; if you look around, you’ll find baskets of fruit with breadsticks, empty wine racks, photos of Greek ruins, grapes hanging in the window, and a disco ball on a chandelier. I called to make a reservation and when I asked what kind of restaurant it was (making sure it was the right place), a woman answered, “Spicy.” And spicy it was. We ate chicken organs with white chili, a pork heart appetizer, an eggplant dish, small hot pot, and some veggies. Good stuff… though in the end, we liked Golden Szechuan a little better, as it seems to offer more variety.

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Mmm... organs

Saturday, 11/25

Gingeri: We didn’t get here the previous trip, so we decided to give it a try this time around. Not bad. The har gow couldn’t touch the quality of the ones at Shiang Garden, but the steamed duck tongues with satay sauce were good, and we especially liked the steamed veal bones with red wine sauce.

gallery_24301_4093_311910.jpg

Succulent veal bones

The Place Restaurant: We made a quick stop here to get more of that great xiao long bao before driving downtown to get chocolate sparkle cookies at Senses (YUM!) and then walking to the Rolling Stones concert (WOW!).

Sunday, 11/26

Empire Chinese Cuisine: Not to be confused with Empire Seafood Restaurant at Westminster and No. 3 Road, this is a new place at 8251A Alexandra Road. We trudged through the snow to sample the har gow, crab pincers with tarot, rice with pork and salted fish, shrimp and scallop dumplings, and chicken feet in satay sauce. Unfortunately, the food looked better than it tasted. The har gow was bland, we couldn’t find scallops in the dumplings, and like most of the dishes, the chicken feet looked better than they tasted. Oh, we should have gone back to Shiang Garden!

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Scallopless dumplings

And with the snow falling, we cut our trip short. Grabbed some food at Yaohan Centre, and were grateful to have it as it took more than 3 hours to get through the border crossing, and then more than four hours from there to Seattle. But we’ll return!

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DimSumFan:

You are a good eater! The veal bones at Gingeri are actually kalbi bones - bad english translation (what a suprise eh?).

BTW - where the hell Crystal Hunan? Is it IN the Crystal Mall - cause I cannot fucking find it for the life of me. The closest place was S&P Chinese Food - which looks like they serve Hunanese food. Is there somewhere else that actually called 'Cyrstal Hunan'?

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Kalbi? Oh, translations are fascinating!

Crystal Hunan Cuisine is across from the Crystal Mall. You can find it via Mapquest, as the address is 4539 Kingsway Highway in Burnaby. And the phone number is 604-437-0828.

I have some work in Burnaby one night next month, so I'm hoping to go back there - though I'm anxious to try Chen's and also get back to The Place Restaurant, too!

DimSumFan:

You are a good eater!  The veal bones at Gingeri are actually kalbi bones - bad english translation (what a suprise eh?). 

BTW - where the hell Crystal Hunan?  Is it IN the Crystal Mall - cause I cannot fucking find it for the life of me.  The closest place was S&P Chinese Food - which looks like they serve Hunanese food.  Is there somewhere else that actually called 'Cyrstal Hunan'?

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Canucklehead, I'm with you. I thought I was the only one who

for the life of me could not find this place! I was just up in the area

yesterday and looked and couldn't find it! I know other posters have

tried to explain where it is, but, sheesh! All I can see is a Chinese

restaurant on the corner of Kingsway and Willingdon, where the old

Chongqing used to be before the health board shut it down for having

over the maximum allowable limit of rodent population.

Apparently it's not inside the Crystal Mall, and it's not on Willingdon,

or anywhere near the Library, so WTF??? I'll check mapquest out,

but I'm gettin' mighty frustrated!!! I need spice!! Hey, I know. I'll

also call the place. How's that for resourcefulness....

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Is Crystal Hunan the one with Chairman Mao's portrait or not? Last time I drove by, there were two Hunan places across the street from Metrotown/Crystal Mall -- my guess is that you ate at the one just a few doors from the Willingdon intersection. This is the older one, about which I have heard quite a few good words. Don't know about the newer one with the portrait -- perhaps Lee would be kind enough to sample both and report back...?

Shiang Garden is a Cantonese dim sum house, and, despite its slide lately, can be counted among one of the best in town. No wonder the har gow was fantastic; also no surprise that the xiao long bao was a total disaster -- Cantonese dim sum houses rarely, if ever, make dim sum from other locales, including Shanghai, well.

If you like the Sichuan style of tripe, be sure to check out Yum Yum in North Vancouver. Among a few other dishes such as sliced pork with garlic sauce and chicken with home-made sauce, the tripe there (known as Szechuan shredded beef on the menu) are really capable of giving Golden Szechuan a run for "your" money. Be sure to tell them you really like it the way Sichuanese take it.

And if you like your xiao long bao to be bountiful with soap yet don't mind the wrapper to be slightly thicker than usual, do give Xianheng in Richmond a try. I ought to write a fuller report of this place... if anyone is interested, that is.

Thanks for making trip into town and giving your support to Chinese dim sum!

BB

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You guys are killing me! :hmmm: I'd never been to Burnaby, and it was easy to find. Maybe I have a bizarre nose for food? I took 49th Avenue east from Vancouver. Just past Boundary Road you'll hit Patterson Avenue/Willingdon Extension. Make a left. As you head north, this becomes Willington Avenue, and you'll soon hit the intersection with Kingsway. The restaurant is just a few doors down from the northeast corner (where the other Chinese restaurant is) of that intersection, on Kingsway, across from the Crystal Mall, at 4539 Kingsway. You can try calling, but the employees' English is very limited!

Good luck, everyone, with your search! I recommend parking your car near that corner and just walk, using the address as a guide...

Apparently it's not inside the Crystal Mall, and it's not on Willingdon,

or anywhere near the Library, so WTF??? I'll check mapquest out,

but I'm gettin' mighty frustrated!!! I need spice!! Hey, I know. I'll

also call the place. How's that for resourcefulness....

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When did Shiang Garden start going downhill? Must have been really amazing before!

Will have to check out your food picks - thanks! Would love more of a report on Xianheng (read a bit a few posts back). Please share when you have time!

Shiang Garden is a Cantonese dim sum house, and, despite its slide lately, can be counted among one of the best in town. No wonder the har gow was fantastic; also no surprise that the xiao long bao was a total disaster -- Cantonese dim sum houses rarely, if ever, make dim sum from other locales, including Shanghai, well...

And if you like your xiao long bao to be bountiful with soap yet don't mind the wrapper to be slightly thicker than usual, do give Xianheng in Richmond a try. I ought to write a fuller report of this place... if anyone is interested, that is.

Thanks for making trip into town and giving your support to Chinese dim sum!

BB

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Went back to the Place Restaurant tonight to do some further research on their dim sum menu... it is all in the name of science, you see!  :wink:

This time, I sampled the wontons in spicy garlic sauce, the xiao long bao (have to have them!) and the black sesame rice flour balls.

I also ordered the lamb skewers to go and I am looking forward to enjoying them tomorrow night for dinner.

Many thanks to Sushicat for the recommendation below - the wontons in garlic sauce were excellent! :smile:

What ... you went without me? Hope the lamb held up well as leftovers. Am off to Chen's tonight, for a comparison.

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Sushicat - if you read this before you go - try the Black Sesame Cakes - 'Huachiao' Cakes - they are very good.  Also they have Red Bean Spring Rolls - have not had them but they looked well done.

Good luck and good eating.

Thanks CH, but we were long gone ... met up with the Richmond Auntie - even us white folks have those! She has adapted to our Chinese food hangouts pretty well, but we did order eye watering food (by mistake) yesterday. I ordered prawns with cashews on the menu, prawns/chilis/cashews or something like that - and I honestly did not see the chilli bit! It was very good, extremely tender fresh prawns were used - and completely consumed. Of course we had XLB, but I think that both the Wind and the Place make them better than Chen's. I noticed a lot of people eating the fried soup buns ... what are they called there?

Next time, Huachiao cakes ... I'm so there! If you are at my table, then Red Bean Spring Rolls, but just for you! I'm not a red bean fan.

OH - FYI soupy Dan Dan noodles for those who need to know. Flavour is peanut-y and hot and quite a lot of soup.

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there were two Hunan places across the street from Metrotown/Crystal Mall

Drove by Metrotown this evening and both of the Hunan places were dark. This being a Saturday, I would venture a guess that they are no more.

I noticed that there are two other Hunan restaurants along Kingsway (in Vancouver rather than Burnaby). But I have not heard anything about them or tried them myself.

BB

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  • 4 weeks later...
We are going to be up in Vancouver this weekend.  I would like three really good Chinese restaurants to try. One for dim sum, one for lunch and one for dinner.  Thanks.

Is dining in Richmond an option, or would you like to stay in Vancouver proper?

Joie Alvaro Kent

"I like rice. Rice is great if you're hungry and want 2,000 of something." ~ Mitch Hedberg

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  • 3 weeks later...

I'm headed back to the Chinese food mecca known as Richmond this Wednesday and Thursday. Not as much time as in past visits for a feeding frenzy, but want to revisit The Place restaurant for more great xiao long bao (and maybe another dish or two). I am also looking forward to trying Chen's Shanghai (anyone with a specific address?) and maybe Xianheng.

My partner can't make the trip this time, so if anyone wants to join me, let me know. The only challenge is that I have to leave Richmond about 5:30pm each of those nights to get to my gigs in Burnaby and Surrey. So... if anyone's free for lunch or late afternoon dinner either Wednesday or Thursday, let me know and we can share some food (and I'll tell you how much better it is than the Chinese food in Seattle!)...

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I am also looking forward to trying Chen's Shanghai (anyone with a specific address?)

Chen's Shanghai Restaurant

8095 Park Road

(604) 304-8288

11:00 a.m. - 10:00 p.m.

Heads up that they're closed on Wednesdays. Happy dining!

Joie Alvaro Kent

"I like rice. Rice is great if you're hungry and want 2,000 of something." ~ Mitch Hedberg

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I am also looking forward to trying Chen's Shanghai (anyone with a specific address?)

Chen's Shanghai Restaurant

8095 Park Road

(604) 304-8288

11:00 a.m. - 10:00 p.m.

Heads up that they're closed on Wednesdays. Happy dining!

Sweet! I thought they were still on Leslie Road, so yesterday we were driving up and down (and up and down) looking for them to get our fix of xiao long bao. We even drove up and down (and up and down) Alexandra thinking we got the address wrong. Going later this week yippee!

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I am also looking forward to trying Chen's Shanghai (anyone with a specific address?)

Chen's Shanghai Restaurant

8095 Park Road

(604) 304-8288

11:00 a.m. - 10:00 p.m.

Heads up that they're closed on Wednesdays. Happy dining!

Sweet! I thought they were still on Leslie Road, so yesterday we were driving up and down (and up and down) looking for them to get our fix of xiao long bao. We even drove up and down (and up and down) Alexandra thinking we got the address wrong. Going later this week yippee!

It's probably a good idea to call them to see if they require reservation (just like Shanghai Wind). They are starting to get busy now at that new location. Last night I passed by there and there was a line-up.

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I went back to The Place yesterday for a late-night snack. Really wanted to have the xiao long bao, but the nice folks there convinced me to try something different. So, I had something they call nail cakes (so-called because they're bigger than the nails on the doors at Tiananmen Square), which are not on the English menu. They're like xiao long bao, but flat and pan-fried, with a good amount of green onions mixed with the pork, and lots of soup. Really hard to eat. I like to put the whole xiao long bao in my mouth, but with these, you have to bite a small section and then suck out the juice. Good luck! Fun to try, but I prefer the xiao long bao.

Also had the lamb skewers, which were great. Dipping powder is very spicy - addictively so.

Today I went to Chen's for a snack. Ate the egg and dried tofu dish, as well as a basket of xiao long bao. The verdict? The wrapper is a little more delicate than what you'll get at The Place, but not as much soup - and I think the flavor at The Place makes theirs the overall winner. But I'll certainly give Chen's another try, and will look forward to going with a group next time in order to sample other items that looked good. (And note that I went to Chen's just after it opened, and as I left just before noon, all the tables were taken!)

Vancouver, I continue to envy all your great Chinese food!

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I'm a fan of their spicy wontons. If you like your dan dan noodles on the soupier side, then you'll like the ones at Chen's. And be sure to save room for dessert... I often have cravings for their black sesame pastries.

Joie Alvaro Kent

"I like rice. Rice is great if you're hungry and want 2,000 of something." ~ Mitch Hedberg

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Oh (sadly), they were all on my "to-do" list. But, alas, one person can only inhale so many carbohydrates at one sitting. Next time!

I'm a fan of their spicy wontons.  If you like your dan dan noodles on the soupier side, then you'll like the ones at Chen's.  And be sure to save room for dessert... I often have cravings for their black sesame pastries.

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      The ubiquitous Egg and Tomato
       

      Dried fish with soy beans and chilli peppers. Delicious.
       

      Stir fried lotus root
       

      Daikon Radish
       

      Rice Paddy Fish Deep Fried in Camellia Oil - wonderful with a smoky flavour, but they are not smoked.
       

      Out of Focus Corn and mixed vegetable
       

      Fried Beans
       

      Steamed Pumpkin
       

      Chicken
       

      Beef with Bitter Melon
       

      Glutinous (Sticky) Rice
       

      Oranges
       

      The juiciest pomelo ever. The area is known for the quality of its pomelos.
       
      After lunch we headed out to explore the tea plantation.
       

       

       

       

       
      Interspersed with the tea plants are these camellia trees, the seeds of which are used to make the Dong people's preferred cooking oil.
       

       
      As we climbed the terraces we could hear singing and then came across this group of women. They are the tea pickers. It isn't tea picking time, but they came out in their traditional costumes to welcome us with their call and response music. They do often sing when picking. They were clearly enjoying themselves.
       

       
      And here they are:
       
       
      After our serenade we headed off again, this time to the east and the most memorable meal of the trip. Coming soon.
       
       
    • By liuzhou
      It sometimes seems likes every town in China has its own special take on noodles. Here in Liuzhou, Guangxi the local dish is Luosifen (螺蛳粉 luó sī fěn).
       
      It is a dish of rice noodles served in a very spicy stock made from the local river snails and pig bones which are stewed for hours with black cardamom, fennel seed, dried tangerine peel, cassia bark, cloves, pepper, bay leaf, licorice root, sand ginger, and star anise. Various pickled vegetables, dried tofu skin, fresh green vegetables, peanuts and loads of chilli are then usually added. Few restaurants ever reveal their precise recipe, so this is tentative. Luosifen is only really eaten in small restaurants and roadside stalls. I've never heard of anyone making it at home.
       
      In order to promote tourism to the city, the local government organised a food festival featuring an event named "10,000 people eat luosifen together." (In Chinese 10,000 often just means "many".)
       
      10,000 people (or a lot of people anyway) gathered at Liuzhou International Convention and Exhibition Centre for the grand Liuzhou luosifen eat-in. Well, they gathered in front of the centre – the actual centre is a bleak, unfinished, deserted shell of a building. I disguised myself as a noodle and joined them. 10,001.
       

       
      The vast majority of the 10,000 were students from the local colleges who patiently and happily lined up to be seated. Hey, mix students and free food – of course they are happy.
       

       
      Each table was equipped with a basket containing bottled water, a thermos flask of hot water, paper bowls, tissues etc. And most importantly, a bunch of Luosifen caps. These read “万人同品螺蛳粉” which means “10,000 people together enjoy luosifen”
       

       
      Yep, that is the soup pot! 15 meters in diameter and holding eleven tons of stock. Full of snails and pork bones, spices etc. Chefs delicately added ingredients to achieve the precise, subtle taste required.
       

       
      Noodles were distributed, soup added and dried ingredients incorporated then there was the sound of 10,000 people slurping.
       

      Surrounding the luosifen eating area were several stalls selling different goodies. Lamb kebabs (羊肉串) seemed most popular, but there was all sorts of food. Here are few of the delights on offer.
       

      Whole roast lamb or roast chicken
       

      Lamb Kebabs
       

      Kebab spice mix – Cumin, chilli powder, salt and MSG
       

      Kebab stall
       

      Crab
       

      Different crab
       

      Sweet sticky rice balls
       

      Things on sticks
       

      Grilled scorpions
       

      Pig bones and bits
       

      Snails
       
      And much more.
       
      To be honest, it wasn’t the best luosifen I’ve ever eaten, but it was wasn’t the worst. Especially when you consider the number they were catering for. But it was a lot of fun. Which was the point.
       
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