Jump to content
  • Welcome to the eG Forums, a service of the eGullet Society for Culinary Arts & Letters. The Society is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of the culinary arts. These advertising-free forums are provided free of charge through donations from Society members. Anyone may read the forums, but to post you must create a free account.

Chinese in Vancouver 2007 -


SushiCat
 Share

Recommended Posts

Any suggestions for decent Sichuan hotpot in yvr? Not your average spicy hotpots from the Cantonese places around town. It's either there or The Xiang for me but I don't think I can eat another Hunan meal for a while.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 1 month later...

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.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I dig Chuan Xiang Ge 川香阁 in Richmond. First, they're consistent, from dish to dish and visit to visit.

I haven't tried enough Sichuan places in town, because I'm so often disappointed, but I like this one.

Wow - Chuan Xiang Ge sounds amazing DylanK!

How's the Gong Bao chicken (宫保鸡丁) and Ma Po Doufu (麻婆豆腐)? I've been searching high and low for a true Ma Po Doufu in Metro Vancouver. And the Gong Bao chicken is what I always use to judge the quality of a Sichuan restaurant - and it's tasty too of course.

I wonder if they have shuizhu yu (水煮鱼 - spicy water-boiled fish)? If so I might just have to move to Richmond... :wink:

健啖家(kentan-ka):A hearty eater

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

Link to comment
Share on other sites

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:

mpdf2.jpgmpdf.jpg

I think someone was asking about Sichuan hot pot and I was kinda curious about that, too.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I was there a couple of months ago and am dying to go back. I only had a few dishes....but my own litmus test (dan dan noodles) passed with flying colours. (Lots of Sichuan peppercorn and cruncy fried soybeans in a "proper" chili-oil sauce. The noodles were also nice and chewy.)DSCF2425.JPG

fmed

de gustibus non est disputandum

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...

Just thought I'd post a quick report on Chuan Xiang Ge. DylanK, grayelf, grayelf's SO - J, and I went there a couple of nights ago. Overall, the food was very polished and delicious. There were some subtle compromises made to appeal to the local palate (eg, a bit of Cantonizing, toning down of heat, etc).

DSC02037.JPG

From the sounds of things (and DylanK can back me up), we can ask for a purely Sichuan meal from the chef and he can deliver it without compromises. The slight authenticities were most likely a result of a their misunderstanding of our expectations. This is my 4th time there (first 3 for lunch) and I would definitely recommend it....just make sure to be clear to them about your preferences.

I'd also add that everyone at the table prefered S&W Pepperhouse (Burnaby) for its bustling ambiance, unmuted flavours and in-your-face Sichuaness.

I would personally like to complete the snapshot of the current state of Sichuan here in town with a couple more visits to Chuan Xiang Ge and a couple more visits to Golden Spring (Xiao Sichuan).

Are we missing any authentically Sichuan places that we should check out? I've discounted Golden Szechuan, Szechuan Restaurant on Saba, Szechuan House (two locations - Bby, and Cambie) for a variety of reasons. Perhaps they have improved of late and deserve a second chance?

-f

fmed

de gustibus non est disputandum

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'd also add that everyone at the table prefered S&W Pepperhouse (Burnaby) for its bustling ambiance, unmuted flavours and in-your-face Sichuaness.

Not to discount your tastes and opinions, but my two-cents:

A lot of the items on S&W's menu are not Sichuan. And I find that their "spiciness" is more fiery than numbing; the latter, as well as the complex inter-play of the four flavours (sweet, sour, bitter and spiciness) are the true hallmarks of Sichuan cuisine. The all-out peppery-fire at S&W somewhat makes its dishes a little too one-dimensional to me. Besides, Sichuan cuisine is known for its non-spicy dishes as much as its spicy ones; it's much easier to over-whelm the diners with spicy dishes than to subtly charm and seduce them with non-spicy ones, which a Sichuan chef must do to be worth his salt.

As for Golden Spring, it might just be isolated incidents, but on more than one occasions, either myself or my friends did not feel well after dining there. I personally would not be going back, although I am sure others would have better luck.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

They do list dishes from Guizhou (including their new signature Conde Nast approved dish - Guizhuo Fish in Cilantro/Chile/Peanut sauce).

I think what appeals to me most about S&W is the rustic quality of the food. Some of the dishes can end up too fiery for sure (eg the Water Boiled dishes in the Richmond branch was just too one-dimensional in its chili flavours) - however, in our last group dinner at the Burnaby location, the chef managed to balance the flavours well. I think we ordered well too.

I must reiterate that the CXG may have misread us when they prepared the dishes....so my experience was coloured from that perspective.

Edited by fmed (log)

fmed

de gustibus non est disputandum

Link to comment
Share on other sites

From the sounds of things (and DylanK can back me up), we can ask for a purely Sichuan meal from the chef and he can deliver it without compromises.

That's genius fmed! I never thought to tell the chef our preferences - I guess I'm just used to accepting whatever we get.

My gf and I went to CXG last week for the first time. While it was good and spicy, the dishes that should have had huajiao (花椒 - Sichuan pepper) didn't have any. Could it be because most diners in Richmond don't like the tingly numbness of huajiao? We asked about the chef, and the waitress said he's from Chengdu so I'm sure he'd be happy to make the dishes as close to Sichuan style as possible. We'll definitely try that next time.

BTW - Is the S&W Pepper House you're talking about in the Crystal Mall?

健啖家(kentan-ka):A hearty eater

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

Link to comment
Share on other sites

That does tend to happen a lot. Even here at CXG, one person at another forum "hated it". I wish CXG would take a non-compromising stance the way Xiang/Alvin Garden (Hunan) does. There is some negotiation in terms of chili heat, but the food there never crosses the line.

PS I actually talked about both locations of S&W - Crystal Mall and at No 3 Rd in Richmond. I prefer the food at S&W.

fmed

de gustibus non est disputandum

Link to comment
Share on other sites

That does tend to happen a lot. Even here at CXG, one person at another forum "hated it". I wish CXG would take a non-compromising stance the way Xiang/Alvin Garden (Hunan) does. There is some negotiation in terms of chili heat, but the food there never crosses the line.

PS I actually talked about both locations of S&W - Crystal Mall and at No 3 Rd in Richmond. I prefer the food at S&W.

In the last sentence above, I meant to say "I prefer the food at S&W Burnaby."

fmed

de gustibus non est disputandum

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 4 weeks later...

Just thought I'd post a quick report on Chuan Xiang Ge. DylanK, grayelf, grayelf's SO - J, and I went there a couple of nights ago. Overall, the food was very polished and delicious. There were some subtle compromises made to appeal to the local palate (eg, a bit of Cantonizing, toning down of heat, etc).

DSC02037.JPG

From the sounds of things (and DylanK can back me up), we can ask for a purely Sichuan meal from the chef and he can deliver it without compromises. The slight authenticities were most likely a result of a their misunderstanding of our expectations. This is my 4th time there (first 3 for lunch) and I would definitely recommend it....just make sure to be clear to them about your preferences.

I'd also add that everyone at the table prefered S&W Pepperhouse (Burnaby) for its bustling ambiance, unmuted flavours and in-your-face Sichuaness.

I would personally like to complete the snapshot of the current state of Sichuan here in town with a couple more visits to Chuan Xiang Ge and a couple more visits to Golden Spring (Xiao Sichuan).

Are we missing any authentically Sichuan places that we should check out? I've discounted Golden Szechuan, Szechuan Restaurant on Saba, Szechuan House (two locations - Bby, and Cambie) for a variety of reasons. Perhaps they have improved of late and deserve a second chance?

-f

Hey fmed -- sorry to contradict you just a trice, but I actually prefer both the grub and the atmosphere at CXG so far (having visited it twice and the two S&Ws once each, so a tiny sample). Not that I disliked either S&W, I just preferred CXG. I was in love with the water boiled fish at CXG which although deffo milder than the other two's versions, was I thought a better fish (not sure what kind).

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think I have turned too and now prefer CXG for its more refined take on Sichuan. I do think that S&W's much more robust and rustic approach with its cafeteria ambiance has its own appeal. I like them both. If anything - the cold peanut and cilantro dish at S&W is worth the trip....and their water boiled dishes are certainly a lot scarier looking in terms of the sheer amount of chilies and huajiao.

I'm still in for fried rabbit heads at CXG if anyone dares.

fmed

de gustibus non est disputandum

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think I have turned too and now prefer CXG for its more refined take on Sichuan.

This is how positive feedback loops work -- the more people asking for and appreciating authentic dishes, the better the chef will strive for them. If more of us keep up our demand on CXG's authentic Sichuan food, I can see a lot of potential there.

I'm still in for fried rabbit heads at CXG if anyone dares.

Sounds like I'll just have to give it a try next time I go in!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 5 weeks later...

Are there any decent Chinese (non dim sum) restaurants in Chinatown?

Sadly, no. (Though, I have a couple of nostalgic hole-in-the-wall favourites - Gain Wah, Newtown, Foo's Ho Ho).

fmed

de gustibus non est disputandum

Link to comment
Share on other sites

another gain wah fan here, i think it is quite decent for what it is, and find the service miles ahead of the average completely indifferent service at most hole-in-wall chinese restaurants, the owner in particular is always genuinely friendly and attentive

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 3 weeks later...

Went to CXG last night and I loved it. Water cooked rabbit was delcious - in fact, it was so succulent, it had me second guessing if it was really rabbit (the tiny bones would indicate that it was rabbit). Star Dish was live spotted prawns stir fried with dried chili's, sichuan peppercorns, garlic and scallions. Spicy lemony tingle contrasting perfectly with sweet fresh prawns (which were cooked superbly).

Now I am curious about the fried rabbit heads!

Question - I though I saw a picture of a steamed rice/meat dish that was served with steamed white buns to wrap everything up in. But CXG says that they don't make it. Am I thinking of another place?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Went to CXG last night and I loved it. Water cooked rabbit was delcious - in fact, it was so succulent, it had me second guessing if it was really rabbit (the tiny bones would indicate that it was rabbit). Star Dish was live spotted prawns stir fried with dried chili's, sichuan peppercorns, garlic and scallions. Spicy lemony tingle contrasting perfectly with sweet fresh prawns (which were cooked superbly).

Now I am curious about the fried rabbit heads!

Question - I though I saw a picture of a steamed rice/meat dish that was served with steamed white buns to wrap everything up in. But CXG says that they don't make it. Am I thinking of another place?

To try the rabbit heads, you'll have to join us when we have our Watership 'down. (Thanks for that one grayelf). Glad you liked CXG...the cooking can be inconsistent, but when the chef is 'on' (and he thinks you want authentic Sichuan), the food is really good. (BTW there is a dedicated thread to CXG here.)

The steamed dish you are describing is 粉蒸肉 fěnzhēngròu which is served at Xi'an Xaochi at the Richmond Public Market.

DSC02436.JPG

Edited by fmed (log)

fmed

de gustibus non est disputandum

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 Share

  • Similar Content

    • By liuzhou
      According to the 2010 census, there were officially 1,830,929 ethnic Koreans living in China and recognised as one of China’s 56 ethnic groups. The largest concentration is in Yanbian Korean Autonomous Prefecture, Jilin Province, in the north-east bordering - guess where – North Korea. They have been there for centuries. The actual number today is widely believed to be higher, with some 4 to 5 thousand recent refugees living there illegally.
       
      Anyway, what I have just taken delivery of is this Korean blood and glutinous rice sausage from Yanbian. I am an inveterate blood sausage fiend and always eager to try new examples from as many places as possible. I'll cook some tomorrow morning for breakfast and report back.
       

       

    • By liuzhou
      An eG member recently asked me by private message about mushrooms in China, so I thought I'd share some information here.
      What follows is basically extracted from my blog and describes what is available in the markets and supermarkets in the winter months - i.e now.
       
      FRESH FUNGI
       
      December sees the arrival of what most westerners deem to be the standard mushroom – the button mushroom (小蘑菇 xiǎo mó gū). Unlike in the west where they are available year round, here they only appear when in season, which is now. The season is relatively short, so I get stuck in.
       

       
      The standard mushroom for the locals is the one known in the west by its Japanese name, shiitake. They are available year round in the dried form, but for much of the year as fresh mushrooms. Known in Chinese as 香菇 (xiāng gū), which literally means “tasty mushroom”, these meaty babies are used in many dishes ranging from stir fries to hot pots.
       

       
      Second most common are the many varieties of oyster mushroom. The name comes from the majority of the species’ supposed resemblance to oysters, but as we are about to see the resemblance ain’t necessarily so.
       

       
      The picture above is of the common oyster mushroom, but the local shops aren’t common, so they have a couple of other similar but different varieties.
       
      Pleurotus geesteranus, 秀珍菇 (xiù zhēn gū) (below) are a particularly delicate version of the oyster mushroom family and usually used in soups and hot pots.
       

       
      凤尾菇 (fèng wěi gū), literally “Phoenix tail mushroom”, is a more robust, meaty variety which is more suitable for stir frying.
       

       
      Another member of the pleurotus family bears little resemblance to its cousins and even less to an oyster. This is pleurotus eryngii, known variously as king oyster mushroom, king trumpet mushroom or French horn mushroom or, in Chinese 杏鲍菇 (xìng bào gū). It is considerably larger and has little flavour or aroma when raw. When cooked, it develops typical mushroom flavours. This is one for longer cooking in hot pots or stews.
       

       
      One of my favourites, certainly for appearance are the clusters of shimeji mushrooms. Sometimes known in English as “brown beech mushrooms’ and in Chinese as 真姬菇 zhēn jī gū or 玉皇菇 yù huáng gū, these mushrooms should not be eaten raw as they have an unpleasantly bitter taste. This, however, largely disappears when they are cooked. They are used in stir fries and with seafood. Also, they can be used in soups and stews. When cooked alone, shimeji mushrooms can be sautéed whole, including the stem or stalk. There is also a white variety which is sometimes called 白玉 菇 bái yù gū.
       

       

       
      Next up we have the needle mushrooms. Known in Japanese as enoki, these are tiny headed, long stemmed mushrooms which come in two varieties – gold (金針菇 jīn zhēn gū) and silver (银针菇 yín zhēn gū)). They are very delicate, both in appearance and taste, and are usually added to hot pots.
       

       

       
      Then we have these fellows – tea tree mushrooms (茶树菇 chá shù gū). These I like. They take a bit of cooking as the stems are quite tough, so they are mainly used in stews and soups. But their meaty texture and distinct taste is excellent. These are also available dried.
       

       
      Then there are the delightfully named 鸡腿菇 jī tuǐ gū or “chicken leg mushrooms”. These are known in English as "shaggy ink caps". Only the very young, still white mushrooms are eaten, as mature specimens have a tendency to auto-deliquesce very rapidly, turning to black ‘ink’, hence the English name.
       

       
      Not in season now, but while I’m here, let me mention a couple of other mushrooms often found in the supermarkets. First, straw mushrooms (草菇 cǎo gū). Usually only found canned in western countries, they are available here fresh in the summer months. These are another favourite – usually braised with soy sauce – delicious! When out of season, they are also available canned here.
       

       
      Then there are the curiously named Pig Stomach Mushrooms (猪肚菇 zhū dù gū, Infundibulicybe gibba. These are another favourite. They make a lovely mushroom omelette. Also, a summer find.
       

       
      And finally, not a mushroom, but certainly a fungus and available fresh is the wood ear (木耳 mù ěr). It tastes of almost nothing, but is prized in Chinese cuisine for its crunchy texture. More usually sold dried, it is available fresh in the supermarkets now.
       

       
      Please note that where I have given Chinese names, these are the names most commonly around this part of China, but many variations do exist.
       
      Coming up next - the dried varieties available.
    • By liuzhou
      Note: This follows on from the Munching with the Miao topic.
       
      The three-hour journey north from Miao territory ended up taking four, as the driver missed a turning and we had to drive on to the next exit and go back. But our hosts waited for us at the expressway exit and lead us up a winding road to our destination - Buyang 10,000 mu tea plantation (布央万亩茶园 bù yāng wàn mǔ chá yuán) The 'mu' is  a Chinese measurement of area equal to 0.07 of a hectare, but the 10,000 figure is just another Chinese way of saying "very large".
       
      We were in Sanjiang Dong Autonomous County, where 57% of the inhabitants are Dong.
       
      The Dong people (also known as the Kam) are noted for their tea, love of glutinous rice and their carpentry and architecture. And their hospitality. They tend to live at the foot of mountains, unlike the Miao who live in the mid-levels.
       
      By the time we arrived, it was lunch time, but first we had to have a sip of the local tea. This lady did the preparation duty.
       

       

       
      This was what we call black tea, but the Chinese more sensibly call 'red tea'. There is something special about drinking tea when you can see the bush it grew on just outside the window!
       
      Then into lunch:
       

       

      Chicken Soup
       

      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
      Last week, Liuzhou government invited a number of diplomats from Laos, Malaysia, Indonesia, Myanmar/Burma, Poland, and Germany to visit the city and prefecture. They also invited me along. We spent Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday introducing the diplomats to the culture of the local ethnic groups and especially to their food culture.
       
      First off, we headed two hours north into the mountains of Rongshui Miao Autonomous County. The Miao people (苗族 miáo zú), who include the the Hmong, live in the mid-levels of mountains and are predominantly subsistence farmers. Our first port of call was the county town, also Rongshui (融水 róng shuǐ, literal meaning: Melt Water) where we were to have lunch. But before lunch we had to go meet some people and see their local crafts. These are people I know well from my frequent work trips to the area, but for the diplomats, it was all new.
       
      So, I had to wait for lunch, and I see no reason why you shouldn't either. Here are some of the people I live and work with.


       
      This lovely young woman is wearing the traditional costume of an unmarried girl. Many young women, including her, wear this every day, but most only on festive occasions.
       
      Her hat is made from silver (and is very heavy). Here is a closer look.
       

       
      Married women dispense with those gladrags and go for this look:
       

       
      As you can see she is weaving bamboo into a lantern cover.
       
      The men tend to go for this look, although I'm not sure that the Bluetooth earpiece for his cellphone is strictly traditional.
       

       
      The children don't get spared either
       

       
      This little girl is posing with the Malaysian Consul-General.
       
      After meeting these people we went on to visit a 芦笙 (lú shēng) workshop. The lusheng is a reed wind instrument and an important element in the Miao, Dong and Yao peoples' cultures.
       

       

       
      Then at last we headed to the restaurant, but as is their custom, in homes and restaurants, guests are barred from entering until they go through the ritual of the welcoming cup of home-brewed rice wine.
       


      The consular staff from Myanmar/Burma and Malaysia "unlock" the door.
       
      Then you have the ritual hand washing part.
       

       
      Having attended to your personal hygiene, but before  entering the dining room, there is one more ritual to go through. You arrive here and sit around this fire and wok full of some mysterious liquid on the boil.
       

       
      On a nearby table is this
       

       
      Puffed rice, soy beans, peanuts and scallion. These are ladled into bowls.
       

       
      with a little salt, and then drowned in the "tea" brewing in the wok.
       
      This is  油茶 (yóu chá) or Oil Tea. The tea is made from Tea Seed Oil which is made from the seeds of the camellia bush. This dish is used as a welcoming offering to guests in homes and restaurants. Proper etiquette suggests that three cups is a minimum, but they will keep refilling your cup until you stop drinking. First time I had it I really didn't like it, but I persevered and now look forward to it.
       

      L-R: Director of the Foreign Affairs Dept of Liuzhou government, consuls-general of Malaysia, Myanmar, Laos.
       
      Having partaken of the oil tea, finally we are allowed to enter the dining room, where two tables have been laid out for our use.
       

       
      Let the eating, finally, begin.
       
      In no particular order:
       

      Steamed corn, taro and sweet potato
       

      Bamboo Shoots
       

      Duck
       

      Banana leaf stuffed with sticky rice and mixed vegetables and steamed.
       

      Egg pancake with unidentified greenery
       

      Stir fried pork and beans
       

      Stir fried Chinese banana (Ensete lasiocarpum)
       

      Pig Ears
       

       
      This may not look like much, but was the star of the trip. Rice paddy fish, deep fried in camellia tree seed oil with wild mountain herbs. We ate this at every meal, cooked with slight variations, but never tired of it.
       

      Stir fried Greens
       
      Our meal was accompanied by the wait staff singing to us and serving home-made rice wine (sweetish and made from the local sticky rice).
       
       
       
       
      Everything we ate was grown or reared within half a kilometre of the restaurant and was all free-range, organic. And utterly delicious.
       
      Roll on dinner time.
       
      On the trip I was designated the unofficial official photographer and ended up taking 1227 photographs. I just got back last night and was busy today, so I will try to post the rest of the first day (and dinner) as soon as I can.
    • By Fast996
      I have looked for years for a black steel wok with a flat bottom it had to be thick steel to stop it from warping on the induction cooktop 3500W Burner. Well I found it made by the French company Mauviel it is 12.5" diameterwith 3mm thick steel the flat bottom is 4 1/2 inches, although it has a flat inside too it cooks wonderfully. The weight is 5lbs heavy but manageable .The cost is $100 considering there is no alternative it's cheap.Here is my review. I know there are people looking for a good wok for induction so I hope some find this post good information.I do have a JWright cast iron wok that I've used for 5 years and it too is great but it's discontinued. This M Steel Wok is much better. Posted some images of the seasoned wok so you can see it . This is after oven season @500 Degrees.Turning black already non stick .Happy !
       
      Mauviel M'Steel Black Steel Wok, 11.8", Steel
       
      If you have any ?? please post i'll do my best to answer.
       


  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...