The Toronto Star said Vancouver has "the world's best" chinese cuisine. Photo: The Star
Having lived the first 10 years of my life in Hong Kong, Chinese food holds a special place in my heart....and stomach! I've known for a long time that Vancouver's Chinese culinary scene is something quite extra-ordinary, but thanks to Mark Schatzker's article in the Feb. 2010 issue of Conde Naste magazine the world is also going to know this...
On a recent trip here, he ate 38 meals in 12 restaurants and was amazed by the quality and variety. He dined with one of our local Chinese food critics and writers, Stephanie Yuen, and concurred that the Chinese food in Vancouver is the best in the world....a culinary gold!!
For lunch, I'd like to highlight a unique Chinese dumpling called xiao long bao. Once you've tasted one, you'll understand why foodies around the world search for this perfect little morsel. It's a Shanghai style dumpling that traditionally contains minced pork intricately wrapped in a delicate dough skin and then steamed. When you bite into the dumpling, your mouth gets an intense explosion of flavorful broth. But watch out – it’s hot, so wait for it to cool a little before eating. These dumplings are served with a dark vinegar and slivered ginger sauce for dipping. There are there are three restaurants I'd recommend for delightful xiao long bao: Chen's Shanghai Restaurant in Richmond, Lin's Chinese Cuisine and Tea House in Vancouver (www.linchinese.ca/), and Wang's Shanghai Cuisine in the Crystal Mall Food Court in Burnaby. Make sure to try the many other treats also on offer, such as the beef pancake roll. Prices for lunch at all three places are about $10/person.
Chen's Shanghai Kitchen, 8095 Park Rd, Richmond, BC, (604) 304-8288; Lunch 11:30am-3pm, Dinner 5pm- 10pm closed Wed. Close to Richmond’s O-Zone, Holland House, and Richmond Olympic Oval
Lin's Chinese Cuisine and Tea House 1537 W. Broadway, Vancouver, BC, 604-733-9696; Lunch 11am-3pm, Dinner 5pm-10pm closed Tues. Close to Place de la Francophonie, Atlantic Canada House, and House of Switzerland
Wang's Shanghai Cuisine, 2110-4500 Kingsway, Burnaby, BC, 604-909-6688; Lunch 11am-3pm. Close to Scandinavia House
For dinner, one of the best restaurants to showcase Cantonese cooking's clean sharp taste is Sea Harbour Seafood Restaurant in Richmond. Seafood is the star at this place and signature dishes include the Crab and Kabocha Hotpot, the Steamed Live Rock Cod, the Hand Shredded chicken, the Choi Sum with Wolfberry and Dry Scallop in Superior Broth, the Steamed Sablefish in Bamboo Steamers and the Roasted Squab. Some items require you to call ahead and preorder. If possible, go with a group of 8-10 and experience a large variety of dishes. You can also choose from one of the many set Chinese banquet meals which is a good option for those less familiar with the cuisine. Prices vary greatly depending on the seafood dishes you order but $40/person would give you quite a feast. This place also serves one of the better dim sums in the city, a Cantonese lunch specialty consisting of many small dishes.
Sea Harbour Seafood Restaurant, 3711 No. 3 Road Richmond, BC, (604) 232-0816; 10:30am - 3:00pm, 5:00pm - 10:30pm (Mon - Fri) and 10:00am - 3:00pm, 5:00pm - 10:30pm (Sat & Sun). Close to Richmond Olympic Oval, Richmond’s O-Zone and Holland House.