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Vancouver vs Richmond

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Just wondering if anyone can recommend one location over the other for the following restaurants:

1. Sun Sui Wah for dinner -- Main St vs #3 Road
I've been to the Main St Sun Sui Wah for dim sum and left unimpressed. Not that it was horrible, but we did get there late (2pm-ish), so I think it had to do with catching the tail end of service. Hopefully dinner will be better.

2. Guu for dinner -- Thurlow/Robson/Gastown vs Aberdeen Centre
I've been to all the Guu's (with good experiences) except for the one in Aberdeen. I'll have some friends in town who will want to go to the Richmond night market that night, so I'm thinking the Aberdeen one might be a good bet. Does it get just as crowded as the downtown locations?

3. Kirin for dim sum -- Alberni vs #3 Road
I went to the Richmond location once, and the food was great, but the service a bit slow. I'll have friends in town that day, and don't really want to go all the way down to Richmond just for dim sum if the downtown location is equally good.

TIA for any thoughts.

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  1. Richmond for 1 and 3. But Vancouver for Guu - the Guu at Aberdeen feels oddly displaced.

    If I may throw a wrench into your choices - consider Shanghai River, Shiang Garden, Northern Delicacy, and Sea Harbour as well.

    For dinner - go to Sea Harbour instead of SSW. Kirin is solid and excellent, but I prefer Shanghai River. Note that they are across the street from each other. (Strangely, I have been to SR may times over the years and I have not had their XLB. I hear it is top notch).

    2 Replies
    1. re: fmed

      Thanks for the suggestions. My guests will be an older couple who moved to the states from HK ~12 yrs ago, and they actually suggested Sun Sui Wah, as they heard great things about the seafood there.

      We thought we'd take them to Japanese, and figured that the downtown Guu's might be too crowded and rowdy for them. So we initially considered Gastown Guu, which is great for larger parties since it's more spacious, but thought I might as well ask about the Richmond location. I figured it wouldn't feel the same as the others, being in a mall that caters predominantely to Chinese patrons, but thought it might be okay for my guests. So I still might try it... Is the food actually bad? And do you know if it get as crowded as the downtown locations?

      My girlfriend, who recently arrived in Vancouver actually has her heart set on going back to Kirin. This will be her second visit, the last one being several months ago. I just might save Shanghai River for another trip.

      Thanks again for the response!

      1. re: aburitoro

        The food at the Aberdeen Guu is good. And iirc, they serve izakaya style during lunch as well as dinner. I have been there twice and it was not crowded at all both times.

    2. We ve been to the #1 in Richmond for Din Sum and left underwhelmed both times . The Main street location isn't that much better, it has been declining for years . I have not been to either for dinner but I would be wary of a place that seems to be coasting (sliding)on its reputation

      1. You may consider Nan Chu in Richmond as well. It is owned by the same folks as gyoza king. It is on Alexandra Rd beside Kam Do.

        1. My guests have left this morning. We went against the recommendations of Aberdeen Guu and Alberni Kirin for convenience sake, but did skip Sun Sui Wah.

          Aberdeen Guu was good. It was actually a bit crowded when we got there, as we arrived just as the shops in the mall were closing. The service was good, but just a tad slow and chaotic, as they seemed a bit understaffed (a help wanted sign was posted outside). The best dish was what they call "Crazy Salmon" which is basically a salmon belly nigiri sushi that's been seared on one side and seasoned with salt, pepper, garlic, and black sesame (minus the seasonings except for sea salt, itt's called aburi-salmon in Japan). We also ordered a grilled salmon head and neck (rich and delicious), marinated beef tongue, pumpkin korokke, bibimbap, broiled avocado/shrimp/mayo, mentaiko-kimchee udon, and a veggie trio consisting of eggplant in soy sauce and galrlic, goma-ae, and asparagus with mentaiko-mayo. Everything was excellent, except the avocado, which was just so-so. And yes, the vibe is different from the downtown Guus, as this one had more families, including a few screaming kids.

          Kirin on Alberni was fair. My experience at the Richmond location was better. Part of this had to do with what we ordered. To me and my girlfriend's disappointment, we ended up ordering a bunch of old-school dishes like siu mai, hargow, charsiu bau -- not because of our guests, but because of another couple that joined us. Nothing was bad, but some of it was pretty MSG-sy. Service was good though.

          We also went to Peaceful one day for lunch, and left a bit disappointed. The pork chop in our noodle soup was extremely tough (though the soup and noodles were good). They were extremeley skimpy with the green onions in the otherwise fine beef roll. The pan fried buns were thicker than I recall, and a bit doughier. The XLB skin was too thick.

          We considered going to Sea Harbour for dinner, but my guests wanted Japanese that night, which is why we ended up at Aberdeen Guu. Good thing too, as that was their favorite meal while in Vancouver.

          Thanks for the replies!

          1 Reply
          1. re: aburitoro

            >> And yes, the vibe is different from the downtown Guus, as this one had more families, including a few screaming kids.

            The screaming kids are usually a pretty good substitute to drunken Japanese salarymen.