Richmond near Vancouver is the place to go for Chinese food. Probably best I’ve had outside of Asia. Highest concentration of quality and variety. Over the summer, we have gone back a couple of times and discovered some new places.
Now as it turns out Shanghainese cuisine is pretty trendy now, and popular in Vancouver. Most authentic Shanghainese foods I have had outside of Shanghai / Asia has been here. That includes NY, SF, and LA. Two places that I particularly liked are Top Shanghai (Yelp), and Yuan’s Shanghai Serendipity Cuisine (Yelp). Don’t trust the Yelp ratings. Top Shanghai is more like a mid range Shanghai Applebees. Crowded, long lines for a reason, the food is as close to Shanghai comfort / traditional dishes as they come. 36 Page menu is a extensive tour of Shanghainese cuisine. Their Shanghai breakfast / dimsum menu is page 27 and on. Of particular note is their duck seasoned with soy sauce, exactly like Grandma’s. With her passing, no one else in the family can make it, but Top Shanghai nailed it. Their glutinous rice ball with pork filling is authentic but out of this world ginormous (that’s a regular sized rice bowl in the picture!). Their Shanghai noodles and braised pork are also excellent in an unassuming authentic kinda way.
Yuan’s is a slightly more upscale restaurant with an interior attempting to echo 1930’s French Concession Shanghai. Food is overall good across the board, some dishes better than Top Shanghai, others a different take, but to me not as good. However, the best Shengjian mantou (panfried mini buns) this side of the Pacific is here.
As for dimsum of the cart variety, we decided that Chef Tony is the best overall. We didn’t have a great experience at Fisherman’s Terrace last couple of times. Don’t get me wrong, better than anything Seattle has by miles, but have fallen behind Chef Tony’s for sure. I mean look at the egg yolk custard bun (official English menu item name: Steamed bun filled with salty egg yolk lava) that is worthy of a James Bond villain! Squid ink black, perfectly fluffy, gooey creamy slightly savory inside.
Of course there’s the night market, much has been written on the interwebs on it, and YouTube videos everywhere. The fried chicken that’s flattened and fried like a weinerschnitzel size of your head, and the rather expensive stinky tofu.
As for Taiwanese food, and really there for the flavored Taiwan Beers (see previous post on beers of Taiwan) and casual food there’s Maji (Yelp). Also the slushy topped beer we had in Japan now exists at Guu, looked like Richmond location is now closed. Hopefully the beer slushy machine survived and got moved to another location…