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 2002 - 2006


mamster
 Share

Recommended Posts

Further to Daddy-A's post, Abra provided the excuse to eat and it was also an early Chinese New Year meal. I did not get any red envelopes despite the not so subtle hints about being the only unmarried person at a table of married folk.

The food was very good and the good company made it better. The waitstaff was not particularly used to serving non-english customers - but they were very glad to have such good and appreciative eaters. They offered that if we ever decided to have another such meal - they would make some more wine friendly recommendations.

I took photos - but unfortunately I did not have my camera for the first two courses. I think Abra will be posting pictures in her trip report. If not I will post them downthread.

Gung hai fat choy.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Pork Buns - So good I bought another dozen of them.

These should now and for evermore be refered to as "Freedom Bits". About the price, don't worry as Tim Hortons will be jumping on the bandwagon soon enough and you will be able to get them 20 for $5.

I did not get any red envelopes despite the not so subtle hints about being the only unmarried person at a table of married folk.

I thought it was older giving to younger, and so I was waiting for a lycee from you. I'll take the free dinner tho. (JK) How did you make out at River Rock / the Drake afterwards, BTW?

Thanks Canucklehead and Mooshmouse for organizing, it was great fun - perhaps only comparable to a marathon session of Dance Dance Revolution.

Highlights for me:

Jellyfish - what else is new? Crunchy sesame oiled deliciousness, way moreso than the goose feet.

Geoduck - like a lot of longer-cooked seafood, if you get past the texture you're in for a treat. And even then, the texture is a bit of an acquired thing.

Crab - home run (again). This time I thought the crab itself was super sweet and the hunk I got out of the pincer was excellent. The sauce is perfect.

Chayote and pork - I love this, it is a variation on a traditional Cantonese dish (I am used to hairy melon in lieu of chayote) and it reminds me very much of my youth.

Steamed fish - usually this is my favourite dish, but in this case I thought it was a bit overcooked. However, it was the first time I've eaten the eye - which really was not that tasty, it was basically just eating goo. But the highlight was actually doing it.

Almond soup - I really liked the flower syrop "business" that was served with the milk, but all in all it was way too subtle. Certainly not going to get KT to rescind past comments on Chinese desserts. But the hightlight was that it was not red bean.

Lowlight was the unfortunate bottle of wine I brought. In my defence, it was the most expensive bottle at Beijing Airport (at $9 CDN).

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Favourite Items:

Kabocha squash in the crab dish - worked well with the coconut-curry sauce

BBQ Pork Bun - I thought it was weird to have at the end of the meal, but its sweeetness made it work almost as a dessert.

Could have done without:

Almond Soup - bland and the egg white bits where unappetizing. I would rather have drunk a bowl of flower syrup. I would have preferred red bean.

Steamed Fish - also a little lacking in flavour. I had the same dish the next evening at Fortune Seafood (Oakridge) as part of another Chinese banquet and that was much better.

Nevertheless, I thoroughly enjoyed myself. Thank you Canucklehead and Mooshmouse.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Being at the kids' table was waaaaaaaaaaaay too much fun. Cheers to all of my companions.

Waiting for the Keith Talent Dance Dance Revolution Dance-Off. I hear the Richmond preadolescents are lining up to show off their stuff and compete against the Master.

Agenda-free since 1966.

Foodblog: Power, Convection and Lies

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Exquisite evening. Many thanks to Canucklehed and Mooshmouse for organizing. Great restaurant, great service. A special thanks to Lee for translating all my questions and seeking out the answers.

Very subtle balanced flavours, I enjoyed everything brought to the table, except maybe the goose feet, which was too much about the texture. The jellyfish was a wonder of tenderness and redolent with sesame oil. And you are right Daddy A, the fried rice was incredible.

I was also intrigued about all the dipping sauces that spun around the table, especially the fermented tofu whip. (I feel some research coming on).

Hope we can make the trip over to Vancouver again if there is another dinner planned. Keep 'em coming.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I loved this dinner. There were a lot of firsts for me: geoduck, jellyfish, fish maw, and fermented tofu. (Did I eat a slice of pig's feet?) I liked the way the meal emphasized subtle differences in texture. The jellyfish was just the way I'd imagined it: squeaky and succulent. I loved that sticky crab and kabocha and wanted that sauce smeared all over my piscean body. What was in it? That fermented tofu sauce was incredibly unctuous and really woke up areas of my palate I didn't know I had-like finding a luxuriously upholstered room in the house you didn't know was there. I loved the fried rice: another "Where have you been all my life?" I totally thought the pork bun made a great "dessert." My wine: I brought the Ironstone "Obsession" as I'd had it about six years ago and liked it and kept reading it's good with Asian food. Well... hard to match all the items on the menu, but it did do some very nice things to the crab dish. My palate has changed, and now I like my whites with more acidity. I had a Stoneleigh Sauv. Blanc at Sage the other night and wished I could have tried it with this meal.

You know funny thing-I really liked the almond milk. I drink steamed milk with almond all the time and I use almond flavoring in baking a lot. I thought they could have held back on the almond extract-thought it could have been more subtle to let the flowers come through. What is almond extract-I mean I know what it is (bitter almond oil and alcohol), but are all almond extracts the same quality?

Next time I want to play more with the sauces. I think I missed out on some of that action. Wonderful to meet Abra, Shell, barolo, Shelora and the über-mysterious memo. Let's do it again next week!

Thanks to Joie and Lee for organizing. Lee, your lai see packet is in the mail. :raz:

Didn't try the duck feet--due to to my childhood exposure to taxidermy. :unsure:

Edited by Zucchini Mama (log)

"I used to be Snow White, but I drifted."

--Mae West

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I did not get any red envelopes despite the not so subtle hints about being the only unmarried person at a table of married folk.

Strange - but, by the end of the meal - everyone had red (packet) faces.

redpacket.jpg

Steamed fish... it was the first time I've eaten the eye - which really was not that tasty, it was basically just eating goo. But the highlight was actually doing it.

Here's the post-eye fish head.

PICT0001.jpg

I had a great time. Thanks so much, Mooshmouse & Canucklehead - et al.

Memo

Ríate y el mundo ríe contigo. Ronques y duermes solito.

Laugh, and the world laughs with you. Snore, and you sleep alone.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Went to Shiang Garden on No.3 Road today for dim sum with Mooshmouse.  I have not been for a little while - but I remember liking it the first time I went.

Finally got around to formatting these photos. My post is, however, accompanied by a disclaimer.

Warning: the pictures that you're about to see represent an obscene amount of food for two people to share... probably enough to feed half the population of Eritrea with leftovers. View at your own risk.

The decor is over the top - double height ceilings with giant chandeliers - it looks like Versailles as redecorated by Chairman Mao.  These places always look great when they are first built - but chinese restaurants are not so good at upkeep.  So things are a little scruffy and worn around the edges.

gallery_18820_1174_32475.jpg

So stylish. So chic. So very Gianni-Versacesque. NOT.

The food was as good I remember.  Mooshmouse took some pictures that I hope she posts. Overall the dim sum was very good - bright and fresh with contrasting textures and flavors.

Without question, some of the best dim sum that I've ever had in the Lower Mainland. Very, very high on my list.

We had a bbq pork bun that was the softest lightest bun ever.  It had a sweet crackling glaze and it sold out before lunch was out (we were going to buy some for junior mouse). 

gallery_18820_1174_49575.jpg

The best way for me to describe the bread would be like the feathery sweet Asian knockoff of brioche topped with a light sugar topping. Outstanding filling, flavour didn't overpower the lightness of the bread.

Pea shoots in superior broth - the broth being chicken/yunan ham based - were fresh and vibrant tasting, but coated with a little too much oil. The broth itself was very clear and nicely flavored.

gallery_18820_1174_40417.jpg

In hindsight, I should have used my flash photo of the pea shoots as it clearly shows the oiliness of this dish. No worries. Only one small misstep.

Beef Cheung Fun (or Rice Noodles) were nicely flavored with fresh cilantro and crunchy water chestnuts.  The rice noodles themselves though were a little sticky.

Sticky rice came wrapped in an extremely thin egg crepe (or wash).  Good but not outstanding.

gallery_18820_1174_14858.jpg

As Lee said, good but not outstanding. I thought the rice was slightly too dry but still well flavoured. The beef cheung fun more than compensated for the rice balls. Very lightly flavoured. Water chestnuts offered a good textural counterpoint to the soft noodles and tender beef. Surprisingly, though also filled with ground beef, much different in taste from the meatballs as seen below. An absolutely delicious version of this dish.

Beef balls were very good - again nicely seasoned and with the flavors nicely lifted by the bite of more cilantro.

gallery_18820_1174_77621.jpg

The meatballs had a very delicate taste, and the cilantro added a lovely brightness. Excellent.

There was also taro with scallops (tall towers of deep fried taro stuffed with lightly curried pork - rich), pork and chive dumplings and deep fried dumplings with pork filling. 

gallery_18820_1174_26909.jpg

gallery_18820_1174_14857.jpg

gallery_18820_1174_23275.jpg

The taro with scallops and curried pork was extremely rich. Not my favourite dish at the best, so I can't accurately comment on how well it was executed. However, as good as the steamed pork and chive dumplings were, they played second fiddle to the deep-fried version. These were wonderfully light, not too greasy with a hint of sweetness.

Believe it or not, Lee, you actually forgot a dish.

gallery_18820_1174_14335.jpg

Char Siu So, a barbecue-pork-filled "cake" of sorts with tender, flaky pastry.

Too much food to finish for about $55 tax and tip included.

You got that right, Lee. Do we ever learn? We were even thinking about ordering dessert but simply ran out of time. :rolleyes:

I leave you with this lovely post-holiday image of Christmas cheer at Shiang Garden.

gallery_18820_1174_70049.jpg

Classy.

Joie Alvaro Kent

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

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Went had lunch at the Golden Sichuan in Richmond and the food was very good - in fact, it seemed a little more 'authentic' than the Vancouver branch. Stronger flavors, hotter spices. They had things on their menu that W. Broadway did not have and they carted around various cold dishes - that looked quite good.

Here is a cold dish with shredded chicken, cucumbers, and noodles made from beans (as in bean thread). It was dressed in a vinegary peanut dressing.

gallery_25348_1373_7611.jpggallery_25348_1373_3462.jpg

Ginger Beef (any deep fried meat - and I am THERE), Spicy Shredded Pork

gallery_25348_1373_20947.jpggallery_25348_1373_15159.jpg

After lunch - I went and ran some errands and saw this sign in front of a beauty salon.

gallery_25348_1373_212.jpg

I wonder, do you pay to get the DNA facial or to give it. I think the 'revitalizing' part needs no explanation. Who says there is no adventure in Richmond?

Edited by canucklehead (log)
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Where is Golden Szechuan located in Richmond? The ginger beef looks particularly good!

I also took my parents and my grandma out for dim sum at Shiang Garden awhile ago (like any good, dutiful Chinese daughter :wink: ) and we enjoyed it quite a bit. I remember some sort of ha gow made with scallops? I don't know if these are still on the menu. I also really liked their lotus-wrapped glutinous rice dish...don't know if anything's changed though.

gallery_25348_1373_212.jpg

I wonder, do pay to get the DNA facial or to give it.  I think the 'revitalizing' part needs no explanation.  Who says there is no adventure in Richmond?

So bad...! :laugh:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Went had lunch at the Golden Sichuan in Richmond and the food was very good - in fact, it seemed a little more 'authentic' than the Vancouver branch.  Stronger flavors, hotter spices.  They had things on their menu that W. Broadway did not have and they carted around various cold dishes - that looked quite good.

Here is a cold dish with shredded chicken, cucumbers, and noodles made from beans (as in bean thread).  It was dressed in a vinegary peanut dressing.

gallery_25348_1373_7611.jpggallery_25348_1373_3462.jpg

Ginger Beef (any deep fried meat - and I am THERE), Spicy Shredded Pork

gallery_25348_1373_20947.jpggallery_25348_1373_15159.jpg

After lunch - I went and ran some errands and saw this sign in front of a beauty salon.

gallery_25348_1373_212.jpg

I wonder, do pay to get the DNA facial or to give it.  I think the 'revitalizing' part needs no explanation.  Who says there is no adventure in Richmond?

Great sign Lee :biggrin: you get credit for bringing a little laugh post dinner. Alas, you eat Sichuan without me! The cold noodle / sesame/vinegar sauce is very traditional. How was it? I have had many cold things from the cart at the W. Broadway location, but it seems that they stopped doing much of that in the last year or so.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Here is a cold dish with shredded chicken, cucumbers, and noodles made from beans (as in bean thread).  It was dressed in a vinegary peanut dressing.

gallery_25348_1373_3462.jpg

Speaking as Lee's dining companion that day ... I gotta say that cold dish tasted way better than it looks! The noodles were very tender, but my favorite part was the cucumber. Odd I know, but so very good!
Ginger Beef (any deep fried meat - and I am THERE), Spicy Shredded Pork

gallery_25348_1373_20947.jpggallery_25348_1373_15159.jpg

MMMMMMMMM ... leftovers! :laugh: Thanks dude!

A.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I just want to add my thanks to Canucklehead and Mooshmouse for organizing the New Year's extravaganza. I've put up a few pictures and comments about the Sea Harbour dinner and our whole trip here. It was an excellent time!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Just wanted to add some pictures to compliment Daddy-A's and Abra's posts.

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
    gallery_25348_2413_27688.jpggallery_25348_2413_2014.jpg
  • Fish maw and duck meat soup
    gallery_25348_2413_9700.jpggallery_25348_2413_1192.jpg
  • Dungeness crab and kabocha squash hotpot
    gallery_25348_2413_11395.jpggallery_25348_2413_17209.jpg
  • Braised chayote with minced pork and preserved vegetables
    gallery_25348_2413_13887.jpggallery_25348_2413_888.jpg
  • Sea Harbour hand-shredded five-spice boneless chicken
  • Steamed live fish with a chili-soy dipping sauce
    gallery_25348_2413_16901.jpggallery_25348_2413_11327.jpg
  • Stewed lamb belly in casserole with vegetable
    gallery_25348_2413_8832.jpggallery_25348_2413_5652.jpg
  • Fried rice with dried scallops, egg whites and scallions
    gallery_25348_2413_9784.jpg
  • Sea Harbour baked barbecue pork bun
    gallery_25348_2413_2424.jpg
  • Egg whites steamed in almond milk

For me - the crab, lamb (with a fermented tofu sauce), chayote, and rice were the best courses. The chayote had bits of Chinese olives - and it suprised many that there was such a thing. A couple of people commented that the briny crab with sweet squash punctuated with sharp fermented black bean would not be out of place in some of the more adventerous non-asian restaurants in the city.

I think that this really speaks to how chefs in Vancouver are able to incorporate Asian ingredients without seeming gimmicky. The immediate example for me is the clean subtle five spice broth that I had recently at Aurora.

I think the next time we need a 'Dance Dance Revolution' station to help burn off some of the Chinese Red Wine that BCinBC was so generous with. Ack.. that kid's table was noisy!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The kid's table may have been noisy, but it was all the fault of that what....oh..that wine.

It was great night of food and friends. I think the highlight for me was the pork and chayote. It was very tasty and olives were a nice surprise. The crab was very good, but I think I wore more of the sauce than I actually tasted. The pork buns were truly ethereal. The dough was soft and silky and the pork was thankfully not that bright red you normally find a BBQ pork bun. They were still just as good cold a few hours later (thanks for the midnight snack Arne. I think we all inhaled them)

The cod was very good, very fresh (obviously) with a delicate hint of soy. Very nice. It was a great night. Next up, the "Dance Dance Revolution" competition, featuring BCinBC vs Keith Talent.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

^Omigod. Those pork buns look incredible! Love the glossy tops. My friend has dim sum at Sea Harbour sometimes...anyone been?

I can't wait for the DDR competition. I assume it'll take place at RUSH, conveniently located a stone's throw from Sea Harbour? (Talk about a throwback to 1997. I haven't stepped into RUSH since grade 10!)

Better dig out the baby-t, brown lipstick, and glow sticks.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Throwing in a few photos of my own to cover courses that canucklehead had missed.

gallery_18820_2458_77804.jpg

Sea Harbour cold-cut platter

Starting at the top and working clockwise, this plate includes poached pork belly, poached pork belly, vegetarian tofu wrap, spiced beef, deboned goose feet in a sesame-oil marinade and sesame-oil-marinated jellyfish (centre).

gallery_18820_2458_38825.jpg

Dungeness crab and kabocha squash in black-bean sauce hotpot

Pilfered this photo and the previous one from my September foodblog as I was too busy eating to take pictures. :rolleyes:

gallery_18820_2458_33871.jpg

Now that's some crab meat!

gallery_18820_2458_54023.jpg

Sea Harbour hand-shredded five-spice boneless chicken

Another shot from my blog.

gallery_18820_2458_42086.jpg

Steamed live fish with a chili-soy dipping sauce

gallery_18820_2458_21427.jpg

Here's the beginning of the Great Fish Eye Debacle, otherwise known as How Two Asians Can Gross Out Their Tablemates.

gallery_18820_2458_24548.jpg

gallery_18820_2458_4249.jpg

gallery_18820_2458_19422.jpg

Go, Brian, go!

gallery_18820_2458_68474.jpg

Serving of the stewed lamb belly in casserole with vegetable

gallery_18820_2458_44541.jpg

gallery_18820_2458_50413.jpg

gallery_18820_2458_6574.jpg

Fried rice with dried scallops, egg whites and scallions

Sea Harbour baked barbecue pork bun

gallery_18820_2458_56036.jpg

And here's what really did the kids' table in... Brian's now-infamous bottle of Dai Chuang Winery "biological project" dry red wine. WTF is biological project wine?! :blink:

Standout dishes for me were the crab hotpot, pork with chayote and the fried rice. Never thought I'd be extolling the virtues of fried rice, but this was starch nirvana.

Another great meal was had by all... and a slightly more raucous evening was had by the riff-raff at the kids' table! Thanks to all of you who came out for contributing to a wonderful evening.

Joie Alvaro Kent

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

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I apologise once again for the wine, but you must admit that it made for some lively discussion. I only wish we could have found someone to read what we were drinking less than or equal to 4 grams per litre of...

Oh, and I don't know how I got sucked into a DDR dance-off with Mr Talent. I'm a little nervous about it. I mean, we're talking about a man who bumps his own children from the Playstation to practice, before going out to challenge the local tweeners. Perhaps my only hope is to find another performance-enhancing bottle of the '03 Dai Chuang biological project.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

No need to apologise for the wine Brian. I think it enhanced the experience. Of course, that could have been the unidentified 4 grams per litre, but that's OK. Could you imagine what would have happened had the other table had a bottle as well. :blink:

Oh, I forgot to add, my Dad and BIL drank the bottle that my BIL brought back from Beijing. My father's response to this wine "It wasn't bad. Drinkable." :huh: I think the bottle you had may have been blown.

damn fingers.....

Edited by peppyre (log)
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Managed to track down a non-blurry closeup of the bottle in question.

gallery_18820_2458_52509.jpg

I apologise once again for the wine, but you must admit that it made for some lively discussion.

No need to apologise for the wine Brian.  I think it enhanced the experience.

Two greater understatements could not be found... the wine definitely enhanced our lively discussion at the kids' table, all right! Why apologize for that? :wink:

Joie Alvaro Kent

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

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Saturday night, my wife and I were invited to a New Year's dinner at the King Fortune restaurant on Burrard. My wife and I used to be regulars until about two years ago when an incident with a rude waiter (I don't know the details as I wasn't there at the time) forced us to cross it off our list. Two years later, there we were, sitting down a ten course meal, the offending waiter presumably long gone. Overall the meal was excellent although the service did lag at times (they had to reminded about two of our dishes). Now, I'm a pretty adventurous eater and, for the most part, I'm pleasantly surprised by some of the seemingly odd pairings one may come across on a Chinese restaurant menu. For the most part. That night's starter, a shrimp salad with melon balls in mayonnaise was a bit of a head scratcher. The fellow next to me informed me that it was a fairly common Chinese dish that his mother often made when they were growing up (although my wife, who is Chinese, claims she'd never heard of it before that night). Fruit salad and mayonnaise? A common Chinese dish? Really?

Anyhoo, we enjoyed excellent lobster chow mein, steamed fish, sliced abalone mushrooms, and what was the tastiest, most through and through moist crispy chicken I've ever had. We had deep fried milk rolled in sugar (a first for me and most enjoyable) and finished off the meal with what I believe was a walnut soup with black sesame dumplings.

www.josephmallozzi.wordpress.com

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Then, the next night, we headed out to Richmond and had dinner at a restaurant recommended by a friend of a fellow diner: Gala Seafood. Another great meal, but one dish stood out in particular. Unfortunately, I don't know the name of the dish and simply ordered it when I saw a waiter deliver it to a neighboring table. It was prawn with walnuts in what I believe was a sweet mayonnaise sauce. Anybody have any idea what I'm talking about? I had a craving last night and went through the menu sections of all of the Chinese restaurants in the Vancouver yellow pages, desperately searching for it, finally settling for what I believe was close enough - prawn with cashews - that turned out to be a disaster. Ideas? Anyone?

www.josephmallozzi.wordpress.com

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest
This topic is now closed to further replies.
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...