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Chinese in Vancouver 2002 - 2006


mamster
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I recently discovered a little family owned hunanese place, which I believe is one of the undiscovered gems in the area.  The beef with preserved chili, although not one of their better dishes, has the distinction of being the first dish in Vancouver that has actually been spicy enough to affect me. 

Check out our review, which I believe is the finest our little website has put out yet. - Hu Nan Chinese Restaurant

Some Gulleters went for lunch there last summer? fall?

It was very tasty indeed :smile:

Agenda-free since 1966.

Foodblog: Power, Convection and Lies

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I recently discovered a little family owned hunanese place, which I believe is one of the undiscovered gems in the area.  The beef with preserved chili, although not one of their better dishes, has the distinction of being the first dish in Vancouver that has actually been spicy enough to affect me. 

Check out our review, which I believe is the finest our little website has put out yet. - Hu Nan Chinese Restaurant

Some Gulleters went for lunch there last summer? fall?

It was very tasty indeed :smile:

Yeah - based upon a recommendation from Nondual - we went last year - see posting #71 up thread for details. It was very good and I am glad that others have gone and enjoyed it also.

Reminds me that I should go visit again - this time asking for more heat.

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I have been back there a few times since that lunch ... the food there can be seriously hot and spicy - very interesting flavours and very different from the traditional Chinese of Kung Pao etc. I love this place and find that you can ask for details on the dishes and get some realistic description of what is what.

Also be aware, there are two menus, menu A and menu B - one is more traditional for food from Hunan provence and one is more Westernized. I'm close by, so if people are heading there, I'm always up for a meet and dine!

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My equally gluttonous friend and I want to have an entire Peking duck (with mini crepe things, and then the meat with the lettuce wraps) for ourselves at dinner. Which restaurant in Richmond or Vancouver do you all think serves the best? And what can we expect to pay? (Being "kids", our parents have always taken care of the bill.)

I'm no expert on the subject, but I love the Peking Duck at Shanghai Chinese Bistro. I don't know how much it costs because I am also a kid and my friends parents always pay. :unsure:

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Okay - this is not food in Vancouver - but I just wanted to link some pictures that were posted in the Chinese Thread on Sichuan Food in Guandong. They just looked too good!

Sichuan Pictures

Okay - I vow to find something similiar in Vancouver. Who will join me in my cause? (he says and he starts his car for Richmond).

Edited by canucklehead (log)
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Wow ... only place that comes close that I have been to in Vancouver is the Hu Nan spot we were discussing earlier, maybe bring photos and ask ... you have the advantage with language - I'm willing to go along - but remind me to eat cooling foods in advance!

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I recently discovered a little family owned hunanese place, which I believe is one of the undiscovered gems in the area.  The beef with preserved chili, although not one of their better dishes, has the distinction of being the first dish in Vancouver that has actually been spicy enough to affect me. 

Check out our review, which I believe is the finest our little website has put out yet. - Hu Nan Chinese Restaurant

Some Gulleters went for lunch there last summer? fall?

It was very tasty indeed :smile:

Yeah - based upon a recommendation from Nondual - we went last year - see posting #71 up thread for details. It was very good and I am glad that others have gone and enjoyed it also.

Reminds me that I should go visit again - this time asking for more heat.

Neat, thanks for the heads up. I should have known egullet would have beat me to it :) But it's great that this little family owned place is getting our business.

Jason

Editor

EatVancouver.net

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today i wandered down to the richmond public market and came accross the guy on the ground floor selling BBQ duck and BBQ pork and other things. I bought a whole duck to have over several meals and when i did get to it tonight it was good but it got me to thinkin about BBQ ducks....

Where have you eaten them that you thought they were SUPER tasty?

and what kind of prices were you paying?

I always get the duck for takeaway ...usually from a BBQ place but...if anyone has any suggestions as to where they have had good ones in the richmond area i would really appreciate knowing.

this was the first time i bought a whole duck but it looked good and i was really in the mood to dive in....and knowing there is more tomorrow means i dont have to think about dinner as i work such long hours. not alot of choices down here in the point roberts area.

so... any help on the duck thing would be great i want to most flavor i can find.

thanks.

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today i wandered down to the richmond public market and came accross the guy on the ground floor selling BBQ duck and BBQ pork and other things. I bought a whole duck to have over several meals and when i did get to it tonight it was good but it got me to thinkin about BBQ ducks....

Where have you eaten them that you thought they were SUPER tasty?

and what kind of prices were you paying?

I always get the duck for takeaway ...usually from a BBQ place but...if anyone has any suggestions as to where they have had good ones in the richmond area i would really appreciate knowing.

this was the first time i bought a whole duck but it looked good and i was really in the mood to dive in....and knowing there is more tomorrow means i dont have to think about dinner as i work such long hours.  not alot of choices down here in the point roberts area.

so... any help on the duck thing would be great i want to most flavor i can find.

thanks.

Number 9 in Lansdowne Mall of course!! A million customers can't be wrong :biggrin: Actually I take that back, ANY dish there is YUMMMMMY. I go there at least once a week.

"Since when do you have to be hungry to eat?"

Give a man a fish and you’ll feed him for a day. Teach a man how to fish andhe’ll open up his own place right across the street from yours, steal your sous-chef, talk shit about you, haggle with suppliers, undercut your prices, kiss critics’ ass, steal your clients and you’ll eventually curse the day you taught him how to fish.

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^I have to disagree with No. 9. The dishes are largely hit-and-miss, with most of them being "misses" for me. I only eat there if I'm drunk and it's 4 a.m. I do like the tendon and noodle bowl, though. The plates of BBQ duck from No. 9 always seem kind of boney to me...

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^I have to disagree with No. 9. The dishes are largely hit-and-miss, with most of them being "misses" for me. I only eat there if I'm drunk and it's 4 a.m. I do like the tendon and noodle bowl, though. The plates of BBQ duck from No. 9 always seem kind of boney to me...

And I disagree with your disagreement! :raz: I think its greasy Chinese food at its best. Although yes, I've usually eaten during the wee hours while hammered, but I can still tell bad from good (like Denny’s at 3am). And their Spicy Green Beans are the best I have eaten anywhere, ditto bbq pork.

"Since when do you have to be hungry to eat?"

Give a man a fish and you’ll feed him for a day. Teach a man how to fish andhe’ll open up his own place right across the street from yours, steal your sous-chef, talk shit about you, haggle with suppliers, undercut your prices, kiss critics’ ass, steal your clients and you’ll eventually curse the day you taught him how to fish.

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Went to Gingeri tonight (Lansdowne Mall) and it was quite good. They totally subscribe to the less is more school of cooking. It was all about very clean light flavors (that actually border on bland). Very stripped down preparations which focus on the ingredients (which were impeccable).

Centerpiece of the meal was '8 treasure duck) - is a boned duck, stuffed with various grains and meats and slowly braised.

gallery_25348_1373_13134.jpggallery_25348_1373_9450.jpg

Needed the sauce to bring out the flavors - but very succulent - yet not greasy or fatty.

Sai Geung (Sand Ginger?) Poached Free Range Chicken, Braised mixed tofu.

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Chicken was very good (two fowl dishes though) and the braised tofu was surprisingly garlicky topped with mixed meat and seafood that were fresh, pristine, which each element remaining distinct.

Sablefish braised with scallions and knotted noodles, Pea Tips in Light Broth

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Again very light clean flavors. The Pea Tips really skated that line - very restrained hand in seasoning - what you tasted was unadulterated green.

Sesame Crisps and Almond Coconut Cookies

gallery_25348_1373_3986.jpg

Crisp and light without any hint of grease - delicous. (Not sure if they are made on site - but I don't think this place would outsource).

All for C$115 before taxes and tip (fed 5 adult with lots of leftovers). This is extremely plain light food - so be warned, it can come across as bland and a little wet tasting. Very little greasiness apparent in any of the dishes. It was the epitome of the style of Cantonese food that is all about leaving things alone.

Saw other tables having very good looking soups, Peking Duck, Squab, Blanched Geoduck. This place is going for the top end of the market with meals built around abalone, birds nest, and shark fin. The decor is not great - though only 2 years old - it looks like something out of Miami Vice. But apparently they do an insane dim sum - with line ups on weekdays and virtually no room on weekends (reservations mandatory at all times).

This place is an example of how Chinese food in Vancouver really measures up to HK standards.

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Upon Canucklehead's wayyy upthread recommendation, the first 2006 edition of Ukranians-do-Chinese went to Golden Szechuan tonight. VERY good indeed.

The front of house guy is very welcoming, and was delighted to point dishes he thought we'd really enjoy, including a few things on the special board, which would have remained totally incomprehensible to us without his translation. On his recommendation, we started out with shredded pork with crepes - this was a beautifully cooked pork in a soy-based sauce that came with a scallion afro. And - in a hallmark of good service - we got exactly 2 crepes per person without even having to ask (restaurants that bring 6 crepes when there are 5 of us are surpringly common. And baffling. They must be in cahoots with the hot dogs/hot dog buns packaging mafia) Followed that up with sweet and sour pork (yum) and chicken with cashews - this one was a very pleasant surprise. I usually avoid this dish because the clear sauce everythign is cooked in is typically bland, but this was rich and flavourful, adding an extra layer of savoury poultry goodness. My Dad the noodle guy HAD to have the Szechuan Tan Tan noodles (especially after FOH guy extolled their virtues) and they were fantastic. Quite a kick to them. Ordered some orange peel chicken to take home to Mr Cat and of course I paoched a bite, and it too was great.

All in all, a great meal. High quality ingredients, excellent flavouring, and very friendly, attentive service. And all that food for $59! We're going to try to the hot pot next time we go, as well as an intriguing shredded pork dish that was served on something that (from across the room and without my glasses) looked like a trebuchet. Woo HOO!

Jenn

"She's not that kind of a girl, Booger!"

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Based upon heads ups way up the thread from Chocomoo and Ling - I went to another wonton house in Richmond Tsim Jai Gai. They are an offshoot of a place in HK that dares to go toe to toe with Mak's. In HK they are located right across the street from eachother.

Tsim Jai Gai really tries to offers money for value while trying to maintain qaulity. Their hallmark are their GIANT wontons (they are the size of dim sum). In HK - their orginal location has now been remodeled and looks very swank. In Richmond they have decided to decorate using cheap white latex and ugly bathroom tiles. The effect is a little like you are eating in a restroom.

The noodles are very good - light with and excellent fresh bite. The wontons were also surprisingly good - with good shrimp flavour without too much pork filler.

gallery_25348_1373_13766.jpggallery_25348_1373_7289.jpg

The only shortcoming really was the soup. It was very light compared to Mak's - without the strong brothy taste that comes from careful handling of all of the ingredients. I thought that it also meant that perhaps that the MSG would be lower - but I still got the post meal daze...

I then went across the street to a baker called Q House and spied this nerf sized football red bean bread.

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It was disgustingly dry and flavourless. I think that a nerf football would have been easier to choke down. Oh well - a failed experiment is better than no experiment at all.

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On our way back from Steveston, we went to Tsim Chai Noodles On Westminster Hwy on Sunday as well, for afternoon tea.

I had the Beef Brisket Noodles in Soup. Very flavourful meat. The noodles have a very nice "toothy" texture (kind of like the Chinese equivalent of "al dente") as well. It was my partner's first visit and he had the Pork and Preserved Duck Egg Congee, which he always orders at these places. He declared it the best congee he's had in Vancouver, despite finding two bits of egg-shells in it.

Edited by bccoati (log)
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... He declared it the best congee he's had in Vancouver, despite finding two bits of egg-shells in it.

Dude

Usually, having particulate matter in your congee would automatically disqualify it from being the best congee in Vancouver (kind of a like falling down in figure skating... not that I watch figure skating... ever).

Anyway - has your friend been to Double Double on Kingsway? I will try the congee at Tsim Tsai Gai to test this out. I simply don't want it to be the case that the best examples of all Chinese food items are all in Richmond.

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... He declared it the best congee he's had in Vancouver, despite finding two bits of egg-shells in it.

Dude

Usually, having particulate matter in your congee would automatically disqualify it from being the best congee in Vancouver (kind of a like falling down in figure skating... not that I watch figure skating... ever).

Anyway - has your friend been to Double Double on Kingsway? I will try the congee at Tsim Tsai Gai to test this out. I simply don't want it to be the case that the best examples of all Chinese food items are all in Richmond.

Interesting comment. Asian friends and work mates, through the last few years have recommended TTG (oh, and they don't live in Richmond). The congee is yummy! Personally, I'm quite delighted to see a comment about it here.

"If cookin' with tabasco makes me white trash, I don't wanna be recycled."

courtesy of jsolomon

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... He declared it the best congee he's had in Vancouver, despite finding two bits of egg-shells in it.

I simply don't want it to be the case that the best examples of all Chinese food items are all in Richmond.

Shall we add Ho Yuen Ke to your test list in an attempt to get some good examples in Vancouver proper?

Cheers!

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... He declared it the best congee he's had in Vancouver, despite finding two bits of egg-shells in it.

Anyway - has your friend been to Double Double on Kingsway? I will try the congee at Tsim Tsai Gai to test this out. I simply don't want it to be the case that the best examples of all Chinese food items are all in Richmond.

Oh man, I tried Double Double for the first time on Saturday (I skipped my workout to go!! :biggrin: ). We got lots of food.

First, we got 2 kinds of congee ("kup dai" & "tang jai", as in pork internal organs (minus intestines, I think? *shudder*) and seafood). The liver in the "kup dai" congee was really fresh, & not overcooked AT ALL (the liver in congee I've had in the past has been grey & hard). There were also some small pieces of pork in the congee, kidney, & some other kind of organ (of which I had a good piece & a bad piece). The "tang jai" congee was also quite good. I think this congee differs from the higher-priced seafood congee (which sometimes contain scallops & prawns) in that it typically uses less expensive ingredients like cod & squid. There were also some roasted peanuts sprinkled on top. The congee itself was quite good - a little too thick for me though, although the flavour was quite nice - the "tang jai" seafood had a nice seafood taste without being too fishy.

Of course we got the obligatory Chinese donuts - both the long "you ja gwai" & the "ngau lei so" (beef tongue, so called because of the shape, I guess?). Normally I don't like "ngau lei so" because of the heavy baking soda flavour. The dough that it's comprised of is generally denser than the regular long Chinese donut, & the outside is also sweet. The ngo lei so at Double Double was so good! It's the only place I've ever had ngau lei so that I actually liked - no baking soda taste! My grandma says that the ones in Hong Kong usually also have a bit of "nam yue" (red fermented tofu) flavour added in as well, but these ones didn't.

We also had fried wontons ("gum lo wonton") which came with the usual sweet & sour sauce (we could've used a bigger plate of it though), which were nice, light & crisp. The wonton had 3 crisp shrimp inside - probably the best fried wonton I've ever had. Different from the ones at Jade (on Alexandra), where the focus is on the sweet & sour sauce (with scallops, fish, & prawns). I think that the traditional fried wontons have very little filling though - just a tiny little ball of pork filling, & a giant piece of "skin" - although apparently the sauce has stuff in it, like bbq pork & other stuff.

Also got the "foong sa" (wind sand?? I think the "sa" in the name comes from "sa geung", as in that ginger spice mix) deep-fried chicken wings. WOW, were the wings plump! Quality wings, with less ginger flavour than I expected - I think I like the ones at Aberdeen Centre better - the original foong sa wings! Double Double's wings are cheaper than the Aberdeen ones though, & are better quality.

We also got Chinese radish pan-fried cake ("law bak go") which was not that great (but at least not too greasy) & stir-fried soya sauce egg noodles (not bad, again not too greasy).

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I've said it before, but for really good congee (you can decide whether you think it's the best), check out Silver Palace on Fraser & E. 49th. My family goes almost every Sunday - yesterday we had the sliced beef congee, & the beef was tender as always.

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ANOTHER great place for congee that I discovered recently (again in Vancouver!) is Kwong Chow, on Main & E. 16 (kinda across from Bo Kong, but closer to 16th). The congee was so flavourful, it almost tasted like the congee we make at home every few months or so in our big 1970s crock pot (it's all chestnut, tan & orange). The congee was really "meen" (cottony soft? I'm just translating it literally). The stir-fried string beans with minced pork was the best I've had anywhere, with lots of "wok air" - not too greasy, & we got it non-spicy because my grandma can't eat spicy things. Normally when we get this dish non-spicy, there's always a little bit chili peppers left in it - it's never completely non-spicy. But Kwang Chow actually got it right (is that so hard to do?) - bonus points! The egg tofu with Buddhist vegetables ("law hon jai yok jee dofu") was soooo yummy - nice amount of sauce, & the pan-fried egg tofu (it comes in a tube & is cut into rounds) was so good!! :wub: Another highlight was the deep-fried salt & pepper tofu, which wasn't too greasy or spicy. It was so light too, & they used soft tofu instead of firm tofu (I've never had deep-fried tofu that was made with soft tofu - the flavour was nicer & the soybean flavour seemed to come through better - I guess it depends on whether it's good quality tofu though).

We're going back for Chinese New Year!!

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^^ ooh, that's good to know. i've always wondered about that place!

i have a question regarding xia long bao, for all the experts. i know the best places are in richmond, but are there any good places in vancouver proper? i rarely get to richmond, it's two bridges away!

Quentina

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So I went and checked out Tsim Chai Noodles' (that's the official name on the sign) congee after hearing all the good things upthread.

So - the congee was really excellent. I always get the minced beef congee. I know that it is a very unadventurous choice - but we are talking congee here. It was very soothing and flavorful.

gallery_25348_1373_16351.jpg

Really thin shreds of ginger - nice fresh crisp peanuts. Great texture that did not 'break' into watery bits. Less creamy than Double Double - but I think that there is some sort of culinary trick to DD's congee - it is unnaturally creamy - I think that there is ground up oatmeal in it (or something).

The nicest thing about TCN's congee was that it tasted 'honest' - just good ingredients and technique. The donut was 'meh' - but it was great once warmed up and softened in the congee. You got alot for your money.

I was chugging along and enjoying the congee - when I bit into a piece of pork bone! Nothing serious - but it was jarring. It was like watching Katerina Witt miss a jump and fall on her ass (it makes me sad that the only sports analogy I can come up with is Figure Skating - and I do NOT watch it).

Still - nice heads up. The owners were there - not sure why I was taking pictures - but they were very nice and seemed really pleased when I told them how much I liked the congee.

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Yeah, when I had the congee at Double Double I also thought "Hmm, I think there's oatmeal in this". I like how Tsim Tsai Gei gives you lychee red tea (it's the kind of tea that is sometimes used for HK style milk tea). Mmmm, I could go for some "gun lam haw" (beef brisket & tendon thick rice noodles) right now from Tsim Tsai Gei. *looking sadly at my bagel* Oh well, at least I've also got these black sesame rice crackers, Raincoast Crisps, black sesame Pocky, & 4 bars of Dagoba chocolate to tide me over until dinner at Raincity tonight!

Anyway, now that you've mentioned minced beef congee, Lee, I want some sliced beef congee from Silver Palace! If you ever decide to try it out, I should warn you that their Singapore-style stir-fried vermicelli is hit-and-miss. I like how they use really thin vermicelli, but sometimes they forget to add salt to the noodles or something, it's really weird - that's the only dish that ever gets unseasoned.

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Time to chime in on a dinner that was had at Sea Harbour Restaurant last Friday with Seattle eGulleter Abra, her hubby Shel and a few other local food nuts.

Menu was as follows:

  • Sea Harbour cold-cut platter including deboned goose feet in a sesame-oil marinade, poached pork belly, vegetarian tofu wrap, spiced beef and sesame-oil-marinated jellyfish
  • Poached geoduck in green sauce
  • Sautéed fresh scallops with seasonal greens
  • Fish maw and duck meat soup
  • Dungeness crab and kabocha squash hotpot
  • Braised chayote with minced pork and preserved vegetables
  • Sea Harbour hand-shredded five-spice boneless chicken
  • Steamed live fish with a chili-soy dipping sauce
  • Stewed lamb belly in casserole with vegetable
  • Fried rice with dried scallops, egg whites and scallions
  • Sea Harbour baked barbecue pork bun
  • Egg whites steamed in almond milk

Favourites for J & I:

Crab - How can you not like a meal where your hands and face get covered in pumpkin sauce??? The best part for me had to be the "innards" that were prepared and served in the shell. Sooooo good!

Lamb - Served with a tahini-like sauce. The saltiness of the sauce was a perfect foil for the fatty lamb belly. I could have eaten a lot more of this.

Fried Rice - If you've ever watched Iron Chef and wondered why the tasting pannel was going nuts over a dish as simple as fried rice, you've never really had fried rice. This was light and clean ... the complete antithesis of what I come to know as fried rice.

Pork Buns - So good I bought another dozen of them. They were a little pricey ($17 for 12) but totally worth it. A perfect breakfast!

Thanks to canucklehead and Mooshmouse for organizing, and an additional thanks to canucklehead for giving us the guided tour of what we were eating. The staff at Sea Harbour was extremely efficient, but not horribly forthcoming with details on what they were serving. I'm sure it was a language thing, as canucklehead was often in deep conversation with our waiters.

Unlike most Chinese meals I've had, I wasn't hungry a couple hours later.

I'm sure abra thinks we're all certifiable!

A.

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