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Chinese in Vancouver 2002 - 2006


mamster
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Shi-Art (sp?) in Richmond Centre sells tins of mooncakes imported from HK (I recognized the name of the producer at time of reading tin, but can't remember it now)....

Hang Heung? I just got back from T&T and they were blowing out their remaining mooncake gift boxes for 1/2 price. All of the remaining boxes appeared to be from two producers: Hang Heung Bakery in HK and I-Mei of Taiwan. I picked up a tin of the I-Mei mooncakes.

In a moment of complete stupidity, I neglected to look for the iced mooncakes that everybody has mentioned.

http://www.tnt-supermarket.com/mid_autumn/mid_autumn-e.php

Edited by sanrensho (log)
Baker of "impaired" cakes...
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I just had (leftover) dimsum from some friends who went to the Kirin at Cambie just now, and though I really appreciate the food, it wasn't as good as what I've had at the Kirin in Richmond. Perhaps it is because I'm eating this stuff reheated, but my boyfriend who was at the lunch apparently also felt the same way. It was still pretty good dim sum though, and I don't think anyone would be disappointed at this location.

So there's another two votes for the Kirin in Richmond to add to the mix for "best dim sum" in town.  :smile:

Ah, see, it's all a question of semantics. I consider dim sum in Richmond and dim sum in Vancouver two completely different animals. Kirin Cambie would be my first choice on this side of the bridge. South of the Fraser, however, is an entirely different story.

Joie Alvaro Kent

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

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Dim Sum at Sea Harbour - rumours of shitty dim sum were unfounded. Food was generally good - but pricey. What I was after was the gai lan stirred fried with cured meats. Delicous! Vancouver is known in Chinese food circles for having an excellent producer of cured sausages (lap cheong), pork belly (lap yuk), and air dried duck (lap ap) - Dollar Meats in Chinatown.

A classic Chinese winter dish is a large clay pot of rice cooked with a mix of cured meats topped with gai lan and soy. The rice is rich with cured meat flavours and fat - and crispy at the bottom from being cooked in a clay pot. What is sometimes done is after the rice is eaten, a clear chicken broth is poured over the crispy rice, stirred around to release the toasty bits. The result is a the most fantastic chicken and rice soup imagninable.

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^ Isn't there supposed to be a good source of lap cheung at Parker Place? I think it's close to the food court? I always hold my breath when I walk by because there's a seafood place next door & you get this huge whiff of raw meat+fishy seafood.

I haven't had lap ap since the last time I ate some and a mushroom cloud of rancidness filled my mouth... :sad:

I had some really good yuen cheung (cured liver sausage) a while ago but I don't know where or who we got it from. I like it even better than lap cheung :wub:

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A classic Chinese winter dish is a large clay pot of rice cooked with a mix of cured meats topped with gai lan and soy. The rice is rich with cured meat flavours and fat - and crispy at the bottom from being cooked in a clay pot. What is sometimes done is after the rice is eaten, a clear chicken broth is poured over the crispy rice, stirred around to release the toasty bits. The result is a the most fantastic chicken and rice soup imagninable.

That sounds amazing! Can this be found at a local haunt, or is this a home-cooked thing only? Do I have to camp out on your doorstep AGAIN??

A.

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Dim Sum at Sea Harbour - rumours of shitty dim sum were unfounded.

What rumors? I think Sea Harbour offers one of the best dim sums in Vancouver. Pricey, granted, but you won't find better pork cheek anywhere.

My Aunt said she was not a big fan of their dim sum and to be honest I found that Sea Harbour does the non-traditional offerings better than the standard dim sum offerings. The shrimp dumplings, sticky rice, and rice rolls were okay - but it was items like pastry stuffed with lotus root, grilled pork cheeks (LB - you are right it is excellent), and gai lan with cured meats that were the big winners for me. Lunch was finished with a dish of dried scallop fried rice that was just about perfect.

Huge bonus - everything on the menu has pictures accompanying the item description in both english and chinese. It made for extremely easy ordering. I would stick to the more adventerous items on the menu - and note: everything on the dinner menu is also available for lunch (ie: the gai lan and cured meats).

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Dim Sum at Sea Harbour - rumours of shitty dim sum were unfounded.

My Aunt said she was not a big fan of their dim sum and to be honest I found that Sea Harbour does the non-traditional offerings better than the standard dim sum offerings.

Ah. I've never been a fan of the siu mai or haw gaw (sic?), preferring the more non-traditional fare (check out their conch with garlic paste).

By the way, do you know of any other places that offer non-traditional menu items?

www.josephmallozzi.wordpress.com

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I had some really good yuen cheung (cured liver sausage) a while ago but I don't know where or who we got it from.  I like it even better than lap cheung  :wub:

I like the liver sausage too. You can get it at Dollar Meats. They also sell the same stuff at Hon's in the area where you can buy frozen dimsum and fresh noodles.

Daddy-A: You can find the rice dish Lee is taking about at most Szechuan restaurants...though I'm not sure whether it's a Szechuan dish or not. It's pronounced "woah ba". (BTW--I hate this dish. :raz: )

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Daddy-A: You can find the rice dish Lee is taking about at most Szechuan restaurants...though I'm not sure whether it's a Szechuan dish or not. It's pronounced "woah ba". (BTW--I hate this dish.  :raz: )

Actually the dish I am describing is "bo jai fan" - or little clay pot rice. A clay pot of steamed rice and preserved meats that is almost a one pot meal in its simplicity - and deceptively hard to do right. In HK - you see restaurants with jet burners lined up on tables outside cooking up little pots of rice as the weather cools. I have not seen this dish done properly in Vancouver - and not sure how you could make it at home. Not a simple rice cooker dish I think given the super high heat that I've seen used in restaurant preparations.

"Wo Bah" is crisped up sheets of rice (usually deep fried) with a sauce poured over the top - the classic sizzling rice dishes you seen on alot of old school chinese places - it's traditionally a northern dish. Completely different from 'bo jai fan'.

Edited by canucklehead (log)
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^Sorry! I skimmed your original post and I didn't know people put chicken soup back in the clay pot after you finish your bo jai fan. BTW, they have it in the food court that's in the same complex as Hon's on No. 3 Road. The "clay pots" are the cheap ones they get at Daiso, and you can keep the clay pot afterwards too. I tried it a few times about a year ago, and it was pretty good. Nothing fancy. They used to be very busy (~30 minute wait on weekends), don't know if that's still the case. However, I'm pretty sure it wouldn't live up to your memories of what you've had in HK.

Edited by Ling (log)
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The clay pots are so banged up after the making the 'bo jai fan' - that they usually can't reuse them - so giving them away indicates it should the real deal. What I hate are places that make the rice separately and then serve it in the clay pot - very anticlimatic!

In HK - you can request having "top broth" to be poured into the crusted on rice in the pots after you finish eating the contents. I've ordered clay pot rice - then have them remove the rice (after a bowl or two) and then have the soup and rice as a second course - good! There is a place in HK - Farm House in Causeway Bay - that does a giant version of this - heaven.

I will check out the local version that you speak of.

Edited by canucklehead (log)
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Wow, I've never had bo jai fan with chicken soup poured back in after the rice is done! Jade in Richmond has an octopus & ground pork rice ("jeung yue yook sui fan"), but it doesn't have crispy rice bits in it :sad: Then again, it's merely served in a bo jai, & it's not called bo jai fan on the menu. Although I think the first few times we had it, it did have the crispies. I still like it though!

Ling, I don't like wo ba either :wink:

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BTW, they have it in the food court that's in the same complex as Hon's on No. 3 Road. The "clay pots" are the cheap ones they get at Daiso, and you can keep the clay pot afterwards too. I tried it a few times about a year ago, and it was pretty good. Nothing fancy. They used to be very busy (~30 minute wait on weekends), don't know if that's still the case. However, I'm pretty sure it wouldn't live up to your memories of what you've had in HK.

The place is called "James Snack" - oddly enough. My Aunt also confirmed that this was a good clay pot rice joint.

I went today and it was very good. I am not quite sure if they fully cook the rice in the clay pot - but there was a very good crust and the rice was very fresh and fluffy. I had the preserved meat rice - came with preserved sausage, duck and pork belly- 50 cents got you a big pile of veggies also. It was excellent - about $6 in total. The fat and flavour of the preserved meats had full permeated the rice. Yum! Other add ons include eggs, salted duck eggs, and salted fish.

They had beef rice, pork rice, free run chicken rice etc....

They were very secretive about the cooking process - they had a series of screens that hid the kitchen from the take out counter. Very weird.

End product was quite satisfying though. Thanks for the heads up.

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Awesome - another place to check out.  If it has canucklehead's stamp of approval, it's good enough for me!  :biggrin:

Well - it was Ling who steered me in the right direction - and remember its just claypot rice - but when you have a craving for something - you just want it!

The preserved meat had LOTS of lap cheung and just a few bits of lay yuk and lap ap - just enough to flavor the rice nicely. Still - given all the cured meats - it was a pretty salty lunch and I am still downing water to clear my system.

The other offerings seem pretty good too. The secret really is that its freshly made and the ingredients are good quality. What some people do is that they pour the soy/oil sauce that comes with the clay pot over the rice and then close the lid to let it steam and settle a little bit more. Its a cheap and hearty lunch - and 20-30 min wait for it to be cooked to order. Have fun with it.

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Bo jai fan literally means "little pot rice". You don't need a clay pot to make this at home, nor do you need millions of BTU. Sometimes, I just use my stainless steel pot (which I prefer rather than the electric ones for cooking rice most of the time).

I use the stove top method of cooking rice because it always gives me the toasty crust at the bottom. I add sliced lap cheung, lap yuk, lap gnap, and sometimes a salted egg in the shell to the pot just after it comes to a boil. Turn the heat down to low and let it cook for about 30 minutes. The longer you leave it, the more crust at the bottom. I always leave the skin on the duck and lap yuk. The fat oozes down throughout the rice ...soooo good... :wub: With the lap yuk, I trim off the skin before I slice the meat. You have to eat the skin as soon as it is out of the pot or it will get really tough.

Once the rice is polished off, I usually heat the pot up again before I add plain hot water, or some broth from a soup we had along with supper - if it is a clear soup. It makes a lovely sizzling sound. Scrape the bottom up, let it simmer just a couple of minutes and enjoy.

Or, you can add acouple of small chunks of sweet potato in with the rest of the ingredients as you cook the rice. Before you add the liquid to the rice crust, mash in the sweet potato - delicious dessert!

I do use the clay pot more for show when I cook it for company. I also have a cast iron one, just the size for two people.

Dejah

www.hillmanweb.com

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I've been meaning to post this, but there's a newish Chinese place that's a couple of storefronts away from Shanghai Palace on Granville @ 64th. The focus is on both Shanghainese & Northern Chinese food (there are 2 separate sections for the different styles).

Yes, they make xiao long baos! Juicy filling (lots of soup, juicy pork), although the skin is not as delicate as the Shanghai River ones.

Other standouts include:

- the "fun pei" (noodle skins? I have absolutely no idea what they're made from). Nice chew to the noodle, lots of sesame flavour, really garlicky (it tastes like they use raw garlic, although I didn't seen any garlic bits in it), and also spicy!

- lamb skewers (not always available) - it's more like lamb + tendon bits on 2 skewers, but the complex flavour is distinctly Northern Chinese, grilled with spices I don't recognize (my only complaint is that it wasn't served hot)

- the "golden sand pumpkins" - basically pumpkin mochis (as in mochi made with, not filled with, pumpkin) rolled in panko & deep-fried - not greasy at all!

Unfortunately, the menu is all in Chinese. I'm lucky I was with my family the times I've eaten there! They also do takeout.

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