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Chinese in Vancouver 2002 - 2006


mamster
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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.

I watch the steam and have learned how to time things pretty well. Everyone laughs at me, but I really like the full soup sensation! But I definitely don't do that with the pan fried ones. I had them in Taiwan, I think, and know it's a no-no...

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The Place SLB are served really damn hot, and also they are huge (relatively) - so I imagine the full "soup" effect, if your steam observation was off, would be blistering to say the least.

Maybe the best thing to do is be the second person to eat the bao.

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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).

I went there a couple of years ago when they first opened. I wasn't into XLB's yet at that time. I can't even remember if we ordered it or not. I remember we had Beijing duck but it was a disappoinment because it was deep fried instead of roasted. Nothing spectacular. Maybe I'll go there again and try their XLB. I will let you know.

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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).

I went there a couple of years ago when they first opened. I wasn't into XLB's yet at that time. I can't even remember if we ordered it or not. I remember we had Beijing duck but it was a disappoinment because it was deep fried instead of roasted. Nothing spectacular. Maybe I'll go there again and try their XLB. I will let you know.

Ok I went to Ping's last night and ordered their XLB. It comes in orders of 4 and 8 pcs. 4 pcs is 3.95 and 8 pcs is 5.95 per order. I didn't really enjoy the XLB. It lacks the juiciness of SW or Chen's Shanghai Rest XLB. I even think that it was made from frozen XLB. The other dishes I ordered, the Shanghai stir-fried noodles, the taste is good but the noodle is a bit on a chewy side. Also had their fried pork buns. The outside bun is actually too big with small stuffing and with little broth. I think their other dishes may be better but the ones I ordered I wasn't impessed at all. Although I like their menu with pictures.

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Maybe the best thing to do is be the second person to eat the bao.

Dude, you were the second person to eat the xiao long bao and you still burned your tongue.

Next suggestion.

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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I really can't recommend trying the same duck dish Ho Yuen Kee (46th and Fraser) strongly enough. It is fantastic. But get it with a large group because it is incredibly rich. It's not on the menu and you have to order it when you make your reservation, but it is well worth the effort.

Finally checked out Ho Yuen Kee tonight with two other friends. Did not have the stuffed duck that sushi boy was referring to - but it was still all good. The place is totally what the average working class HK family would go to for dinner - it felt like I was in a Mongkok (Hong Kong) restaurant trying to be fancy (complete with crazy baroque dining chairs).

The menu offers a wide range of dished done in the HK fashion. The cooking is fast n' furious and the flavors are clean and fresh. Not the super-refined cooking of Sea Harbour - but done just as well in its way.

We had Dungeness Crab over Sticky Rice, Beef Brisket and Turnips (thinly sliced brisket and braised daikon in a clear broth), Chui Chow Duck (duck poached in soy based sauce served with garlic vinegar) and Stirred Fried Choy Sum.

The crab is wok fried and served over sticky rice tossed with shallots, roe, and frozen corn(!). Great dish - crab was HOT, fresh and stirred fried quickly in a light sauce to preserve its fresh flavors. The rice was awesome - perfectly toothsome, absorbing the crab flavors - and the corn totally worked to bring out the sweetness of the crab and cut the richness. The beef brisket is served in a very clear broth deeply flavored with star anise - a very clean fresh preparation - absolutely delicous. The duck is an excellent example of Chui Chow cooking - the duck is served at room temp with a dip of white vinegar and raw garlic to balance the richness of the duck.

Dessert was fresh soft tofu with ginger syrup a warm, soft, and light tasting (a little bland) textural experience.

Everything was $100 t&t included. The crab was probably about half of it - ~ 3lbs @ $13.80/lb. Good!

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I too recently had that exact menu there! (Well with deep fried dough and condensed milk too.) I concur with Canucklehead - the crab / rice and beef brisket are both excellent. Even the soft tofu with ginger syrup, I was pretty reluctant about at first but it was really good. It ain't gonna change KT's mind, but I was certainly pleasantly surprised. They tried to foist red bean on us "for free" (ie please take this shite off our hands, please) but I was vehemently shaking my head.

Service staff were "characters" shall we say. The blonde guy was awesome.

Edited by BCinBC (log)
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Wow... three of us ordering the same menu items on the same night! The coincidence is remarkable, really!

I, too, was impressed with the crab on sticky rice; next time around, however, I'd like to try the version with lobster as I've heard that's it's even better than the crab. The spicy chili crab served with garlic chips also sounded unbelievably good, and I'm a big fan of what I think is called deep-fried garlic-chili "silver" fish on their late-night menu. Keep the choy sum, though. It's too floral tasting for me.

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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:biggrin: Trying to play catch-up here, so please bear with me...

About Ho Yuen Kee: It has long been one of the favorite places to go to if one doesn't feel like lighting the stove-fire at home. But I sometimes find it a little on the pricey side; which brings us to another old favorite -- Au Wing Kee. Au Wing Kee, formerly on Fraser, has risen from the fire (!) and re-opened on Kingsway (2600 block). Its home-style cooking always offers excellent value; but its HK-style wonton noodles is simply *the* standard this side of the Pacific.

About Chen's Shanghai in Richmond: It first opened some 6 or 7 years ago in the exact same spot as Shanghai Wind. At that time, it was mainly a noodles and buns house, which explains its expertise in Xiao Long Bao, with a minimal offering of entree dishes. When Shanghai Wind took over the address, it re-opened on Leslie (I think), adding a full menu of entrees and the works. I ate there once or twice but they were hardly remarkable. I don't think business was that great either, thus they moved again. I have not checked out this new revival -- I am not tired of Shanghai Wind yet, so no hurry. But if anyone is interested in trying a different style (more upscale as oppsed to the home-cooking style of Chen's and Shanghai Wind) of Shanghai cuisine, do go to Xianheng (No. 3 & Cook). Their fried stuffed bean-curd skin ("xiang ling"), wine chicken ("zhao Ji") and pork belly in preseved vegetables ("mei gan chai xiao rou") are among their house specialties. I like their fish in soup ("da tang huang yu") as well, but it might not be as well appreciated by others. Xianheng is technically a Zhejiang, the province wherein Shanghai lies, restaurant and I have heard it from Zhejiang natives that this restaurant is as authentically Zhejiang as it gets.

About James Snack: This place offers very "technically-correct" clay-pot rice, despite the fact that it uses Japanese-style casserole pots a la Daisho. I am a frequent customer of that food court, because...

... besides James Snack's rice, one can find the best BBQ pork ("char siu"), one of the best bak kut teh ( http://www.answers.com/topic/bak-kut-teh ) and arguably the best braised beef offals in the Lower Mainland there. Even the Northern Chinese stall there offers respectable food. I could dine there everyday if only gas prices would come down more...

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  • 2 weeks later...

All this talk of xiao long bao made me very curious (and hungry!), so I headed to Place Restaurant on Granville last night.

I ordered the chicken in wine sauce, the lamb skewers and of course the xiao long bao, which are called "Shangai-style juicy dumplings" on the English menu. I also ordered the sweet sesame cakes to round my meal off, even though the lady who took my order looked a little concerned and kept telling me "that's too much food for one person!" :laugh:

The chicken in wine sauce, served cold, was very flavourful and quite meaty, compared to other places where the chicken is almost all skin and cartilage.

I ordered the lamb skewers after reading that Chocomoo had enjoyed them and wow, what a nice dish that was! The lamb was cooked through but still juicy, there was a perfect balance between lean meat and fattier chunks and the spice mix was very interesting, enhanced by a liberal sprinkling of sesame seeds. I will order this dish again next time and would recommend it to all lamb enthusiasts.

Next were the xiao long bao, which were simply delicious. The broth was clear and had an excellent, clean flavour, perfectly paired with the melt-in-your-mouth pork filling. The vinegar was good and the shredded ginger the bao came with was a perfect complement to the other flavours. I see many, many more of these wonderful dumplings in my future :wub:

My last dish was the sweet sesame cakes, which came as three large buns sprinkled with sesame seeds. The sesame filling was not overly sweet, which made these cakes a great alternative to dessert for someone like myself who does not really have a sweet tooth.

I thoroughly enjoyed my meal and will be back soon, as there are several other dishes that I am looking forward to trying. There is no doubt that I will be dragging many friends to this restaurant :smile:

Emmanuelle
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Seems like my wife and I must have been the other non-Chinese at "The Place" on

Granville last night. And we wondered what you were ordering, especially as we were having a devil of time figuring our how to choose ourselves given the very limited English menu (not the first time that I have regretted being lazy in college and passing up on taking Chinese). Had we only known about the lamb skewers (we missed the relevant post)! We ended up doing well on the dumplings -- the xiao long bao were as good as advertised and the pan fried pork and vegetable dumplings were as hot and (surprisingly) nearly juicy as the steamed version. But Shanghai special noodles were just ok, and we were out of gas by the time they brought the Szechuan spicy pork dish we ordered.

This has been one of those visits to Vancouver during which Chinese restaurants have dominated our agenda. Among other ventures, we tried Chen's for the first time and returned to Shanghai Wind. Both were very good, but we'd probably give the nod to Chen's. The xiao long bao there get our prize and the several other dishes we tried (a pork with chilies and cabbage and a ginger beef) were superb.

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Yes, I thought that you too may well have read about the Place here, especially after overhearing that you were ordering the hot item of the moment - the juicy dumplings! :wink:

I should have introduced myself, but I did not want to barge into your conversation and, since I have not posted here in a very long time, my username would not have rung a bell anyway.

The pork and vegetable dumplings sounded tempting too, I will have to try that on my next visit!

How was the Szechuan pork dish? Would you recommend it?

Next time I go, I plan on bringing several friends so that we can sample a bit of everything, so recommendations are welcome...

Emmanuelle
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Had lunch at the Place today - here's the summary

Hits: XLB's - really, really good. Spicy szechuan pork was rich with flavour, but way too oily. Still, I'd order it again, but with rice to soak up the yummy sauce. Pork and veggie pot stickers....surprisingly, they were crispy on the outside, but juicy on the inside....or was it oil??? Anyways, everyone loved them. Shanghai noodles were....meh...didn't love them, but didn't hate them either.

Misses: Tan Tan noodles....I prefer them in a soup..these were gloppy noddles with an odd anticeptic taste....blech. Chicken in wine..nothing to write home about. Chive cake...why oh why did I order that? I thought it might be similar to Szechuan Chonging's green onion pancakes. I'd pass on that one for sure.

Another table ordered the lamb kebabs and they smelled great...too bad I don't like lamb. Wish they'd put beef or chicken on the menu.

The place was completely full at lunch time, and only two staff members working...one cooking, one serving. Thankfully another server showed up, and they were absolutely swamped. Seems word is getting out.

Anybody who believes that the way to a man's heart is through his stomach flunked geography.

~ Robert Byrne

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Yes, I thought that you too may well have read about the Place here, especially after overhearing that you were ordering the hot item of the moment - the juicy dumplings!  wink.gif

I should have introduced myself, but I did not want to barge into your conversation and, since I have not posted here in a very long time, my username would not have rung a bell anyway.

The pork and vegetable dumplings sounded tempting too, I will have to try that on my next visit!
How was the Szechuan pork dish? Would you recommend it?
Next time I go, I plan on bringing several friends so that we can sample a bit of everything, so recommendations are welcome...



The Szechuan pork is still sitting in the frig, but I would venture to say that we probably would try something else next time. Tell us how you fare after your next visit.

 

 

 

[Host's note:  To minimise the load on our servers, this topic has been split.  The discussion continues here.]

Edited by lesliec
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