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Chinese in Vancouver 2002 - 2006


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One of the best things I ate this week--(and it's been a VERY good week  :biggrin: )--huai go ti pang at Top Shanghai. (Warning--this has an inch thick layer of soft fat around the meat, and the fat's delicious. Not for dieters.)

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looks yummy. is it pork? beef? do you know the cut? is it slow braised?

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We've been sampling the xiao long bao all over Richmond/Vancouver. What a surprise to find the BEST of all, per an earlier tip, at The Place Restaurant (great name, isn't it?) at 8028 Granville. It's open 11-11.

Not the delicate wrapper of Shanghai River, and still not as good as Joe's Shanghai in New York (or some places I've tried in Taipei and Shanghai), but overall the best in the northwest. The medium-thickness (less than Shanghai Wind's) wrapper holds a LOT of delicious broth. We even went back the next day to make sure it wasn't a fluke - and we were again happy.

Our happy memories of those xiao long bao (and a couple of other dishes I'll try to report on later) helped get us through the horrible 7+ hour drive home to Seattle yesterday...

I agree! It's a little hole-in-the-wall restaurant - close to the Petro-Canada on the east side of Granville.

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Ah, Chocomoo... I owe you thanks. Great find! FYI, they do have an English menu (just ask for it).

We tried the pumpkin, but were disappointed with that. Not so special, at least for us. Noodles look good, and maybe we'll try the kidneys or another spicy dish next time. And certainly more of the great xiao long bao.

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My pleasure! I was disappointed with the "wo teep" ("wo tie" in Mandarin?) or potstickers though. Way too rustic - it's like someone haphazardly slapped some dough around some longish balls of meat. Not crispy enough, either. Flavour is ok, but I much prefer the xiao long baos.

I'm wondering whether we had the same pumpkin things - I think there are at least 2 pumpkin-related things on the menu. The ones we had were good, but not so good that I have to order them again.

They also have siao bing with the 5-spiced thin-sliced beef brisket in the middle - not bad, although the beef could be a bit more salty.

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I'm wondering whether we had the same pumpkin things - I think there are at least 2 pumpkin-related things on the menu.  The ones we had were good, but not so good that I have to order them again.

I think we had the same thing: "Golden Sand" pumpkin or similar (that's what we determined from the Chinese characters). I don't think they're made from panko... just seemed to be some egg and flour batter and then fried. A big plate of just that for $8.95.

A woman who seemed to be the owner came out to chat, as she's recognized us from the day before. She recommended trying the green onion pancake with sesame next time. Unfortunately, my next time won't likely be until the end of February.

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I'm wondering whether we had the same pumpkin things - I think there are at least 2 pumpkin-related things on the menu.  The ones we had were good, but not so good that I have to order them again.

I think we had the same thing: "Golden Sand" pumpkin or similar (that's what we determined from the Chinese characters). I don't think they're made from panko... just seemed to be some egg and flour batter and then fried. A big plate of just that for $8.95.

I think that "golden sand" may be the salted duck egg sauce. Genius!! Thanks for the heads up - I am definitely going to try this place...

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No, dimsumfan's right, it's the deep-fried kind. I've seen "golden sand" described two different ways on menus these days:

- coated with breadcrumbs & deep-fried (as in golden sand egg tofu)

- cooked with salted duck egg sauce

Mmm, salted duck egg... My mom & auntie sometimes make 3-yolk (chicken, century & duck) omelette or steamed egg and it's sooo good.

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We've been sampling the xiao long bao all over Richmond/Vancouver. What a surprise to find the BEST of all, per an earlier tip, at The Place Restaurant (great name, isn't it?) at 8028 Granville. It's open 11-11.

Not the delicate wrapper of Shanghai River, and still not as good as Joe's Shanghai in New York (or some places I've tried in Taipei and Shanghai), but overall the best in the northwest. The medium-thickness (less than Shanghai Wind's) wrapper holds a LOT of delicious broth. We even went back the next day to make sure it wasn't a fluke - and we were again happy.

Went and checked it out - in Chinese the name means "Old Place" or "the Regular Place" - meaning old hang out. The XLB were very good - swollen with soup and the broth itself was clean and sweet.

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Came with shredded ginger and good vinegar. The skin was a little thick - and I would have to say that I like the Shanghai Wind ones a little better. But really, when the XLB are this good - this is splitting hairs.

The rest of their dim sum items are quite good also. The Shanghainese Sesame Cakes were savory, flakey and filled with a sweet meaty filling (sounds odd - I know). Not greasy at all. And the day we were there - the Wo Tip or Chinese Fried Dumplings were very good - crispy skin and juicy. The filling was a mix of pork and chopped spinach - not quite as savory as the XLB.

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Also had the preserved vegetable/shredded pork with hand pulled noodles and broth. Nice clean tasting broth and good chew to the noodles - a bland contrast to the stronger flavored things we had been eating.

Thanks for the heads up -its a great place. And for those of us who live in Vancouver - it means that we don't have to schlep all the way to Richmond for a good soup bun fix. The servies is great and the waitresses speak reasonably good english. Not too busy so it was easy getting a table. Their front door closes very slowly though - so the cold air kept rushing in - the place was freezing. Small price to pay though.

Next up - I want to head back to Top Shanghai and try out the braised pork shoulder that Ling posted about - looks incredible. Also I've heard good things about the new Shanghainese place on Park Rd in Richmond.

As it has been pointed out by others - all the new and exciting places opening up seem to be Northern Chinese food. Have not heard of a new Cantonese place causing a buzz in a while.

PS - LauraF - I can't think of a place that will deliver good Soup Buns - plus you need to eat them fresh and hot - not the sort of thing that travels well at all. If you have a steamer (even if it is a vegetable steamer) - you can steam XLB at home. Lay a leaf of lettuce on the steamer and then place the frozen XLB on top and steam until they are hot and juicy. Balsamic vinegar sharpened up with some white vinegar and sesame seed oil would make a good dip. I think Hon's sells them and they can certainly be picked up at TNT. Will not be as good as eating in a restaurant - but certainly much better than delivery.

Edited by canucklehead (log)
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Next up - I want to head back to Top Shanghai and try out the braised pork shoulder that Ling posted about - looks incredible. 

Is it indeed pork shoulder? That's what I thought too, until Henry's mom and my parents all insisted it was from a part of the upper thigh. I know, of course, that "ti pang" is the name of the pig part--do you know whether it's shoulder or thigh? I plan on making this dish for some guests next week. Thanks. :smile:

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PS - LauraF - I can't think of a place that will deliver good Soup Buns - plus you need to eat them fresh and hot - not the sort of thing that travels well at all.  If you have a steamer (even if it is a vegetable steamer) - you can steam XLB at home.  Lay a leaf of lettuce on the steamer and then place the frozen XLB on top and steam until they are hot and juicy.  Balsamic vinegar sharpened up with some white vinegar and sesame seed oil would make a good dip.  I think Hon's sells them and they can certainly be picked up at TNT.  Will not be as good as eating in a restaurant - but certainly much better than delivery.

Thanks Lee. I kinda thought, considering the presentation of XLB at Shanghai River et al., that it would lose a lot of appeal in lengthy transportation. I've had a very poor version delivered from Connie's Cookhouse, but as I mentioned before, the dough was way too thick and chewy, and the interior stuffing and broth quite inferior. So, looks like I have to drive to get my XLB fix, but sounds like I don't have to go to Richmond each time. And thanks for the home-cooking techniques, but I think I'm going to leave it to the XLB experts.

But I'll barter for cinnamon pinwheels! (Remember, I'm a white girl from Kits - this is what I make at home.)

Laura Fauman

Vancouver Magazine

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Went and checked it out - in Chinese the name means "Old Place" or "the Regular Place" - meaning old hang out.  The XLB were very good - swollen with soup and the broth itself was clean and sweet.

Came with shredded ginger and good vinegar.  The skin was a little thick - and I would have to say that I like the Shanghai Wind ones a little better.  But really, when the XLB are this good - this is splitting hairs.

So glad you checked it out and enjoyed it! You think the xlb at Shanghai Wind have thinner skins? I thought they were about the same, but that The Place has more broth that's also a bit more flavorful. But it's all personal preference. The Place's vinegar is so much better than Top Shanghai's, which makes a difference. I was going to have to bring my own black vinegar to Top Shanghai!

By the way, I still owe a report on the Hunan restaurant. I will try to post something this weekend if time allows; I'm frantically getting ready for an eating adventure in Mexico!

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Next up - I want to head back to Top Shanghai and try out the braised pork shoulder that Ling posted about - looks incredible. 

Is it indeed pork shoulder? That's what I thought too, until Henry's mom and my parents all insisted it was from a part of the upper thigh. I know, of course, that "ti pang" is the name of the pig part--do you know whether it's shoulder or thigh? I plan on making this dish for some guests next week. Thanks. :smile:

I think your Parents may be right - looking at the picture it looks like it could be the shank end of a ham (the part closer to the knee of the pig - the butt end would be closer to the shoulder or rump). A whole shank end ham can weigh as much as 10lbs so there must be more trimming of the 'leg' end to get a nice round thick meaty piece.

When I lived in Shanghai - my mom would come visit and she would always go to a yunan ham shop near by - it was hung with whole legs of ham that is really the Chinese version of proscuitto (or is THAT something else Marco Polo took back with him to Italy - :laugh: I kid of course). She would always insist that she only get the piece from the upper thigh - not the coarser butt end and not the less meaty shank end. She would buy something like 10 at time and pay a heavy premium - the other customers would look at her like she was some crazy HK lady. Our parent's generation seem to know these things instinctively - and insist on the best quality possible.

Let us know how your version turns out and share the recipe if its a winner. I suspect its a lot of work (boiling, oven braising, defatting the sauce.... phew!)

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I had one of the best Xiao Long Bao last night in a new Shanghai restaurant along Park Road in Richmond. It is super juicy and good. The meat has a slight hint of ginger.  If you burst the dumpling, the juice will overflow the Chinese spoon. It's soooo good.  The name of the place is Chen's Shanghai Restaurant and it on the same spot as the vegetarian restaurant on Park Road that just recently closed. It's along the same strip mall as the Chinese supermarket. The place is nice being fairly newly renovated.  I always go to Shanghai Wind, going there at least once a week, but I think I'm gonna start coming here instead. The menu prices are just about the same as SW, without the long wait for tables.

Dude - went based upon your recommendation and you know what? I think we have a new XLB Champeen. They were swollen and full of soup like the place on Granville St, but thin skinned and the soup was clear, bright, light and delicous. Very Very GOOD! I mean - I can't think how they could improve. Damn you - just when I thought I found a Vancouver XLB place that could satisfy my needs.

Also had the pan fried buns (also full of soup - but molten hot like magma). And the best chinese dessert I have had in a very long time. Black sesame seed puff pastry. Delicious - the pastry skin was so flaky and light - perfect foil for sweet, dark - almost bitter - filling. Excellent! The pastry is all made in house - the quality is certainly top flight. The owner's daughter apparently has opened an outpost at the Metrotown food court - but I have no first hand knowledge of the place.

It's my understanding is that the owners have owned other places before and have looked hard for the current location. Their track record seems to be things are very very good at first - but then if they get too busy - quality goes down hill as they can't keep things cooking quickly enough.

So for the sake of maintaining quality - they have implemented a "no new customer" policy. The cut-off was today at lunch. From now on - they will require that you produce an old bill to show that you are a "old time customer". No new customers allowed until and old one dies. Don't go and get them all busy now. I mean it.

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Sounds like Chen's is the place to check out...the xlb at The Place look very good, btw.

Unfortunately, my former favourite xlb from Top Shanghai were rather lackluster on my last visit, but here are some other pictures from dinner.

fish fragrant pork

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cold pork appetizer

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Lee's wine sauce chicken

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dry-fried green beans

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It's my understanding is that the owners have owned other places before and have looked hard for the current location. Their track record seems to be things are very very good at first - but then if they get too busy - quality goes down hill as they can't keep things cooking quickly enough.

So for the sake of maintaining quality - they have implemented a "no new customer" policy.  The cut-off was today at lunch.  From now on - they will require that you produce an old bill to show that you are a "old time customer".  No new customers allowed until and old one dies.  Don't go and get them all busy now.  I mean it.

I am naive enough to believe you. When are you taking me? :raz:

Laura Fauman

Vancouver Magazine

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I had one of the best Xiao Long Bao last night in a new Shanghai restaurant along Park Road in Richmond... The name of the place is Chen's Shanghai Restaurant and it on the same spot as the vegetarian restaurant on Park Road that just recently closed. It's along the same strip mall as the Chinese supermarket.

Dude - went based upon your recommendation and you know what? I think we have a new XLB Champeen. They were swollen and full of soup like the place on Granville St, but thin skinned and the soup was clear, bright, light and delicous. Very Very GOOD! I mean - I can't think how they could improve. Damn you - just when I thought I found a Vancouver XLB place that could satisfy my needs.

Canucklehead... at least you're within reach of the place! I'm stuck in Seattle craving the xlb. And to think that the original posting on this place was done the afternoon I left Vancouver!

Now I have to wait until the end of February to give the place a try. Anyone have the exact address? I saw a place called Chen's listed at 8111 Leslie Road, but that's apparently old info?

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I had one of the best Xiao Long Bao last night in a new Shanghai restaurant along Park Road in Richmond... The name of the place is Chen's Shanghai Restaurant and it on the same spot as the vegetarian restaurant on Park Road that just recently closed. It's along the same strip mall as the Chinese supermarket.

Dude - went based upon your recommendation and you know what? I think we have a new XLB Champeen. They were swollen and full of soup like the place on Granville St, but thin skinned and the soup was clear, bright, light and delicous. Very Very GOOD! I mean - I can't think how they could improve. Damn you - just when I thought I found a Vancouver XLB place that could satisfy my needs.

Canucklehead... at least you're within reach of the place! I'm stuck in Seattle craving the xlb. And to think that the original posting on this place was done the afternoon I left Vancouver!

Now I have to wait until the end of February to give the place a try. Anyone have the exact address? I saw a place called Chen's listed at 8111 Leslie Road, but that's apparently old info?

Park Road, runs perpendicular to no. 3 Rd. in Richmond. Let us know when next you come and I'm sure we can organize a XLB outing!

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To whom do we owe the discovery and discussion of The Place Restaurant on Granville Street? It seems to me that dimsumfan introduced us to it. It is like the time I found the best Finnish bakery in Thunder Bay - by accident - well not exactly, but you get the picture. I digress.

Don't overcrowd this spot, but my of my, excellent dan dan mien and many other must try items on their menu. I ate there tonight, in honour of my neice's birthday, (she isn't here, but she would have been happy to have some real Chinese food on her day!), am happy to report a first for me - the Chinese patrons asking the waitress what we were eating at our table!!! ... can't remember how many times I've done a 'what are they having' at various spots around the globe.

I'm heading back in a day or so to try some more of their menu. Warning, Sunday is their busiest day.

ETA - Chocomoo - thank you thank you thank you! I see you are filling us in on this and dimsumfan got the news from you. What is the story with Shaghai Palace next door? I've never been and their windows were closed off to passing patrons on Granville. We have some closed of spots on Main as well, I need more $$ and time to check all these spots out.

Edited by SushiCat (log)
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^ You're welcome, SushiCat! 'Tis always my pleasure! :biggrin: I wanted to get take-out from the Place today but we had leftover yee mein & grilled saba (from Izumi-ya - I love that place! I spent $30 on junk food, shhhh...) instead.

I must warn everyone to make sure that the Place's xiao long bao's are fully cooked - my uncle & auntie went yesterday and it wasn't until he took a big bite out of a bao that my uncle noticed it was still pink.

Now I'm really craving xiao long bao!!

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Now I have to wait until the end of February to give the place a try. Anyone have the exact address? I saw a place called Chen's listed at 8111 Leslie Road, but that's apparently old info?

The vegetarian restaurant (Rainbow) was at 8095 Park Road in Richmond (no longer listed), so that must be the address. Just around the corner from 3 Road, which runs in front of the Richmond Centre Mall (almost at the Sears end).

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

courtesy of jsolomon

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Has anyone tried Ping's yet? It's about two blocks over on Granville Avenue, in the 8000 block range, believe it's Northern Chinese cuisine (has xlb).

Edited by ~cayenne~ (log)

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

courtesy of jsolomon

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^ You're welcome, SushiCat!  'Tis always my pleasure! :biggrin: I wanted to get take-out from the Place today but we had leftover yee mein & grilled saba (from Izumi-ya - I love that place! I spent $30 on junk food, shhhh...) instead. 

I must warn everyone to make sure that the Place's xiao long bao's are fully cooked - my uncle & auntie went yesterday and it wasn't until he took a big bite out of a bao that my uncle noticed it was still pink.

Now I'm really craving xiao long bao!!

Yes, it was Chocomoo's find, and what a find it is! But now I'm worried about my xiao long bao eating style. Like sushi, I like to eat it in one bite...

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Yes, it was Chocomoo's find, and what a find it is! But now I'm worried about my xiao long bao eating style. Like sushi, I like to eat it in one bite...

Dude - that's pretty hardcore - especially with how hot some of these things get. When I got the pan fried buns ('san jeen bau') at Chen's Kitchen - they were smoking hot - even after sitting for about 5 minutes - molten lava HOT. I hope you always have a glass of ice water to help you cool things off - I don't think hot tea would be useful if things got out of hand.

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