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Chinese in Vancouver 2007 -


SushiCat
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New hole-in-the-wall at 532 W. Broadway called Peaceful Restaurant. It is just west of Cambie. Apparently they used to be located on Main Street a while back - perhaps in the Aurora Bistro spot? I had never seen them before. Was drawn in by the sign that said, "Hand Craft Noodles" and tried the Cat's Ear noodles stir-fry. My first time trying those, and I quite enjoyed the chewy texture. Seems they have a variety of different regions represented on their menu. Also tried the henan noodles which had a very clear but flavourful broth. The noodles were hand-pulled fresh for the dish and had a good chewiness. Perfectly done.

I must admit having a menu section called, "For those that want to try something different" with some interesting items makes it promising for a return visit.

Anyone else tried it out?

Cheers!

Edited by Vancouver (log)
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...where is Tsim Jai Kee?

Thanks, guys!

Tsim Jai Kee is in Richmond - Westminster before three road - right across the street from the Richmond Public Market. They have good congee.

They have opened shop across from the main branch of the VPL on Robson - and have dubbed it Jim's Noodles. Not bad - but the orginal is better.

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Thanks Vancouver. That makes the decision much easier.

Canucklehead, thank you. I'm familiar with Jim's Noodle House. Unfortunately, I walked by a couple of weeks ago and it was dark and there was a note about another noodle joint coming in. Too bad, I liked their wontons and it was close to work. I'll have to go to the Richmond one next time I'm in the hood.

Quentina

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New hole-in-the-wall at 532 W. Broadway called Peaceful Restaurant.

[snip]

I must admit having a menu section called, "For those that want to try something different" with some interesting items makes it promising for a return visit. 

Anyone else tried it out?

just tried it today cuz we were in the area... pics below.

gallery_24789_2718_33486.jpg

the restaurant. kinda small, narrow.

gallery_24789_2718_17467.jpg

potstickers (aka "pan-fried dumplings"). although the frying technique was good, these must be the worst potstickers i've ever eaten. my main complaint is with the dough. no firmness or chewiness...it was almost mushy. the filling was ok...ground pork and veg, but the crappy wrapping brought it way down.

gallery_24789_2718_19614.jpg

their stir-fried "peaceful house noodles". on the menu it said it had seafood, meat and veg, and was "slightly spicy". well, it arrived without any seafood nor any spiciness. and we found it to be a lot oilier than i think was needed. don't you love the way the oiliness coats your lips as you eat? i don't. it was a little salty, yet with no flavour. the texture of the noodles was good...but i like sha-lin noodles' stir-fried noodles better.

towards the end of our meal, we mentioned to the young waiter guy that the dish was missing the seafood, so he talked to the older lady waitress, then went to the kitchen to yell at the cook, but never came back to us so i don't know if the issue got resolved or what...if future dishes will be cooked with seafood or not... seems to be a weird communication problem between the floor and the kitchen.

gallery_24789_2718_36164.jpg

this was the lamb stew dish off the "something out of the ordinary" section of the menu. it's bits of lamb in a soup with clear vermicelli noodles, a bit of choy and house-made flatbread that's been cubed and plopped on top. the bread gets soggy and you eat it. i found it a little strange...a little bit like, uhhh, poor peasant food? i know i sound mean... but as i was eating, i kept thinking this was a dish that my dad would make, and he can't cook -- so he resorts to throwing a bunch of stuff in broth and adding noodles. (the dark stuff in the pic is wood ear fungus)

i really feel for the people running this place though...i can imagine how hard it is to run a restaurant, only to have yahoos like me come in and trash the place. but if you're going to open up a few doors down from the king of hand-pulled noodles (Sha-Lin Noodle House) you gotta bring your a-game. what we had was below average. i didn't see or taste any pride in the dishes.

on a positive note, we had no issues with the waitstaff. and the menu contains no engrish (aside from "blade-sheared noodles"). but on the whole, i found the flavours to be bland, they're really stingy with the meat and the prices are a little high for what you're actually getting. are the cooks actually tasting what they're cooking?? it seems like they're just going through the motions.

they have a website with pics and their full menu: www.peacefulrestaurant.com

maybe i'll go back to try the cat's ear noodle thing (cuz every place has their good and bad dishes), but honestly i'm in no hurry. sorry vancouver, this is no slight against you, this was just my experience. if any of you are curious about this place, you should go try it yourself and come to your own conclusions.

Edited by flowbee (log)
album of the moment: Kelley Polar - I Need You To Hold On While The Sky Is Falling - 2008
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maybe i'll go back to try the cat's ear noodle thing (cuz every place has their good and bad dishes), but honestly i'm in no hurry. sorry vancouver, this is no slight against you, this was just my experience. if any of you are curious about this place, you should go try it yourself and come to your own conclusions.

Thanks for the review of it. No slight taken at all. It is really interesting to see another experience with it. Oddly the one time I visited sha-lin noodle house I thought the noodles were mushy, broth overly salty, and that it was targeted primarily to a non-Chinese customer base.

I have since been back to Peaceful another time and it was an entirely different waitstaff and kitchen crew. I even got an entirely different menu. Very confusing. I wonder if they have some odd staffing schedule and subsequently variation in quality of the cooking.

Cheers!

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  • 1 month later...

Located Crystal Hunan's new location with much help from Daddy-A. Just a few blocks south on Nelson and Imperial in Burnaby. Renamed "The Xiang" - very good Hunan, lots of heat, clean and bright vinegary flavours.

Kitchen is primed - food came out very quickly and was very fresh. Definitely worth a cross town trip.

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Located Crystal Hunan's new location with much help from Daddy-A.  Just a few blocks south on Nelson and Imperial in Burnaby.  Renamed "The Xiang" - very good Hunan, lots of heat, clean and bright vinegary flavours.

Oooh...I just went by this place last week. It looked good, but I had no idea it was the Crystal Hunan folks. Thanks for the tip canucklehead! I'm going to try to hit it this week.

健啖家(kentan-ka):A hearty eater

He was a wise man who invented beer." - Plato

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  • 3 weeks later...
Located Crystal Hunan's new location with much help from Daddy-A.  Just a few blocks south on Nelson and Imperial in Burnaby.  Renamed "The Xiang" - very good Hunan, lots of heat, clean and bright vinegary flavours.

Oooh...I just went by this place last week. It looked good, but I had no idea it was the Crystal Hunan folks. Thanks for the tip canucklehead! I'm going to try to hit it this week.

Finally got a chance to drop in at The Xiang this week at 4850 Imperial @ Nelson in Bby. I had the Mala Niurou Mian (Spicy Beef Noodles) and came away very impressed. The room is nothing special, as I would have expected for its location. The server I had was friendly and attentive, which was a happy surprise. I initially asked for medium-spicy, but was advised that I should try mild, since medium was a real Hunan medium. Oh yeah, the mild was spicy enough for me. Hooo~! :biggrin: But it's a good spicy. You know those meals where the spice lingers in your mouth and you have to eat rice to try to cool your mouth down? Hunan spices aren't that way at all. It's a quick spice hit which doesn't sit and burn your tongue.

Price was $6 for a big bowl with lots of meat. It took about 15 minutes to arrive, and the waiter actually apologized for the wait, saying that as the noodles were made to order it took a bit longer. No worries! I'll go for fresh over speed every time. He said that if you're in a hurry, the dishes with rice are the best bet.

Hours are 11-3 and 5-9 seven days a week. Well worth visiting if you're in the hood.

健啖家(kentan-ka):A hearty eater

He was a wise man who invented beer." - Plato

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Finally found and tried this place too and, sad to say, I was disappointed...

Decided to try something simple to test it out, so went with the spicy chicken (ordered medium spicy too -- not a good idea; my buds were completely stripped after the first bite. They don't fool around...). It was like they took a chicken leg and chopped it into bite sized pieces, so that every bite was bone. Never occurred to me the dish would have bone, since the menu didn't indicate, and most places, in my experience, serve boneless. I couldn't really get a sense of the flavor because I was too busy spitting out bone (and dousing the fire on my buds).

Side dish was green beans, which had a very odd flavor. The marital unit said they tasted like detergent. Now, I don't hold out much hope that any restaurant in the Lower Mainland can duplicate the addictive green beans from Chongqing, but a simple stir-fry with some garlic and soy shouldn't be too difficult to achieve. Alas, it was here.

I won't give up, though. I'll give it another try with another dish or two (and ask for mild...)

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It seems like the Hunanese like bone in chicken - heavy emphasis on the bone. Its good - but they should have mentioned all the bones. Try the beef with cumin - it looked intersting - and I did not get a chance to try it when I was there. The heat should not be as crazy as other dishes.

But there is no escaping it - Hunan food is HOT. I had it 'da lai' - or big heat - and I could feel the burn in my stomach all afternoon.

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I just skimmed this last page so I don't know if it's been discussed already, but Master Hung BBQ on Garden City and Blundell is back! (He used to have a location near Lansdowne mall and we used to go there all the time for suckling pig and duck). This new restaurant is larger, and the food is very good. I especially liked the Peking duck (and the duck meat dish that came afterwards), crab with vermecelli hot pot, and the appetizer platter (jellyfish, 'fai cha' aka fatty char siu, bbq pork, soy sauce chicken, and duck). They have the usual dishes (freerange chicken and soy sauce chicken, shrimp and chicken over brocolli, pea shoots, etc.)

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But I sometimes find it a little on the pricey side; which brings us to another old favorite -- Au Wing Kee. Au Wing Kee, formerly on Fraser, has risen from the fire (!) and re-opened on Kingsway (2600 block). Its home-style cooking always offers excellent value; but its HK-style wonton noodles is simply *the* standard this side of the Pacific.

Thank you for this recommendation, nondual! We have been meaning to try this place since you recommended it way back when, and finally got around to it tonight.

We had steamed pea tips, brisket, war won ton, and steamed black cod with black bean sauce. Excellent and very reasonable meal. The pea tips were perfectly cooked, with a bit of crunch in the stems still. No grease, and not oversalted at all. The brisket was served in its juices on top of lettuce. The brisket was very tender, had a good (but not too much) amount of fat, and the lettuce soaked in the juices making a delicious combination. The war won ton was very good. The won ton had whole pieces of shrimp in each one and very thin wrappers. The soup included roast pork which was very flavourful and not too fatty, squid (a little bit chewy), fresh shrimp, scallop (only 1 unfortunately!), shitake, gailan (perfectly done), chicken (tender), and a few other things I am sure I forgot. The broth was very good. The steamed black cod was perfectly cooked. The black bean sauce was a bit too salty (there simply was a little too much), but scraping a bit off left a very flavourful dish overall. This was a very pleasant experience, and we will definitely return to try our way through the menu. The meal was only about $30. Quite the steal for a very tasty meal. We preferred it over our most recent meals at Ho Yuen Kee.

Edited by Vancouver (log)
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  • 4 months later...

This has to be the single best dish I've had so far this year: Pork Belly with Tarot and Preserved Vegetables from Ken's -1097 Kingsway. gallery_14057_2869_375466.jpg

First time I've had this in an Asian restaurant so can't compare it to other versions but man was it good. The texture was like custard and believe me three slices was more than enough! Their Beef with Bitter Melon wasn't bad either.

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It looks gorgeous - my husband is salivating on my keyboard right now.  Someone tell me more about Ken's please - I think I must try it.

Ken's Chinese Restaurant (1097 Kingsway 604 873-6338)has your typical Congee Noodle House kind of menu with a couple of twists and in a nicer room although not at all upscale.

I've only been once as the guest of a friend who is a regular. The pork belly (and here goes my godawful phonetic pronunciation: Kow gnoc wooho - ouch!) needs to be ordered early on as it was the last dish out for our order. Our friend says it was slightly different this time as she is used to it being layered with the tarot, not sure how that works but she was still happy with the dish.

Something else of interest is the crab, which we did not order, but every single table (besides ours) ordered it. It reminded me of the chicken wings at Phnom Penh!

It is ( according to the manager) a house specialty. It's wok fried I would imagine and has a really appetizing crust on it which the manager said was egg yolk, garlic and some different spices.

My question to him was could you do this with chicken wings!!? :laugh: He didn't think so.

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  • 3 weeks later...
Located Crystal Hunan's new location with much help from Daddy-A.  Just a few blocks south on Nelson and Imperial in Burnaby.  Renamed "The Xiang" - very good Hunan, lots of heat, clean and bright vinegary flavours.

Oooh...I just went by this place last week. It looked good, but I had no idea it was the Crystal Hunan folks. Thanks for the tip canucklehead! I'm going to try to hit it this week.

Finally got a chance to drop in at The Xiang this week at 4850 Imperial @ Nelson in Bby. I had the Mala Niurou Mian (Spicy Beef Noodles) and came away very impressed. The room is nothing special, as I would have expected for its location. The server I had was friendly and attentive, which was a happy surprise. I initially asked for medium-spicy, but was advised that I should try mild, since medium was a real Hunan medium. Oh yeah, the mild was spicy enough for me. Hooo~! :biggrin: But it's a good spicy. You know those meals where the spice lingers in your mouth and you have to eat rice to try to cool your mouth down? Hunan spices aren't that way at all. It's a quick spice hit which doesn't sit and burn your tongue.

Price was $6 for a big bowl with lots of meat. It took about 15 minutes to arrive, and the waiter actually apologized for the wait, saying that as the noodles were made to order it took a bit longer. No worries! I'll go for fresh over speed every time. He said that if you're in a hurry, the dishes with rice are the best bet.

Hours are 11-3 and 5-9 seven days a week. Well worth visiting if you're in the hood.

So I finally tried The Xiang last night and was also very impressed. Apart from being delicious, I also felt like I was getting an authentic glimpse of this under-represented region of China (I say authentic, having little frame of reference). My favourite dishes were the sliced cold beef brisket, the lamb and cumin dish, and the beef with preserved chilis.

The heat is interesting, I found it quite different than Szechuan or other SE Asian cuisines. It just kept building and building on the roof of my mouth, and it was addictive. I resisted the rice as long as I could, but broke down about 2/3 of the way into the meal. Couple of Tsing Taos also helped. The very interesting thing, as you kind of noted Kentan, was about 15 minutes after I was done eating, the heat was gone.

The heat came back this morning though.

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The duck hot pot is good - but be prepared to really hunt for the meat, its all bones. The steamed chicken dish is like that also... What happens to all the breast meat at Hunan restuarants?

Has anyone tried Lin's yet? By the people who opened The Place. West Broadway - just one block west of Granville. I think its supposed to be spicy Sichuan.

Edited by canucklehead (log)
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The duck hot pot is good - but be prepared to really hunt for the meat, its all bones.  The steamed chicken dish is like that also...  What happens to all the breast meat at Hunan restuarants?

Has anyone tried Lin's yet?  By the people who opened The Place.  West Broadway - just one block west of Granville.  I think its supposed to be spicy Sichuan.

It's right by my work so I popped in one day at about 11 am. The interior looked rather sprightly I thought and the steam table although oddly situated in the front window looked and smelled good. I haven't been able to convince my usual lunch buddies to go because THEY went by just after noon one day and decided the interior was uninviting and the steam table more so. I may have to venture in on my own...

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  • 2 weeks later...
Two new 'downs to report: the xiaolongbao-down and the dim sum smackdown

Any recommendations on where to hit would be much appreciated. 

Thanks!

Nice! I'm glad you tried the main reason I like to eat at Peaceful: their Beef Roll. I find their noodles and soup much better than Sha Lin who have gone downhill in quality as of late.

For Dim Sum - I'd like to hear your impression of Golden Phoenix on Nanaimo at Broadway. Their dimsum is good (but a bit inconsistent). The har gao is the size of a child's fist. They have some interesting non-standard fare (like deep fried shrimp spring rolls with wasabi). And the prices are good.

Edited by fmed (log)

fmed

de gustibus non est disputandum

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