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Vancouver--Need Great but cheap recommendations

PAO Mar 4, 2009 08:19 PM

We're planning our almost annual trip to Vancouver. We usually go to higher end places, but given the US economy, would like to do only one of our regular higher end places and then go less expensive. Would love good Chinese or other ethnic preferably with a relaxed atmosphere, but the quality of the food is most important. Will probably stay off Robson. Please recommend a few places!

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  1. Sam Salmon RE: PAO Mar 4, 2009 08:38 PM

    At risk of being a stuck record (or CD these days)


    1. fmed RE: PAO Mar 4, 2009 08:53 PM

      For Chinese off Robson, the two best spots are Kirin (Alberni) and Shanghai Chinese Bistro. If you want great Chinese, Richmond is the place to go. There is a newish place that is just starting to get buzz called Bing Sheng on the Eastside....a bit of a drive from downtown on Renfrew and 1st (maybe a $20 cab)...described as 'rustic' Cantonese. I am dying to give it a go.

      18 Replies
      1. re: fmed
        PAO RE: fmed Mar 5, 2009 06:22 AM

        I should have mentioned that we will have a car. Thanks

        1. re: PAO
          grayelf RE: PAO Mar 5, 2009 07:18 AM

          It looks like you're from the Pacific NWest, so I don't know if you need Japanese recs but izakaya is something to consider if you're interested, esp if you're staying near Robson/Denman. Do a quick search here and you'll see what I mean :-). I love Guu with Garlic but there are lots of options.

          If you want to try a local favourite, you could nip over to Chinatown and hit Pnomh Penh for some Vietnamese/Cambodian. Again do a search to see who likes what but don't miss the chicken wings if you go.

          Another possibility is Golden Garden on Main near Pender (also Chinatown). I haven't posted on it yet but we went two weeks ago and will definitely be returning. It is Vietnamese BTW -- big menu, small prices, tasty food. Just don't walk north on Main...

          1. re: grayelf
            PAO RE: grayelf Mar 5, 2009 08:23 AM

            Many years ago, we used to go to Phnom Penh for that great soup with the pineapple. Then the place seemed to go downhill. Has it returned to its former glory?

            1. re: PAO
              fmed RE: PAO Mar 5, 2009 09:00 AM

              It's still good...but it went through an inconsistent patch.

            2. re: grayelf
              fmed RE: grayelf Mar 5, 2009 09:05 AM

              If you need more recs regarding Chinese PAO, post again. In particular, if you have a specific regional Chinese cuisine in mind. I'll post a few regional recs to save time:

              Hunan - Alvin Garden, Burnaby, Accessible by Skytrain
              Sichuan - Golden Spring, Richmond, 30 mins by car from downtown
              Cantonese Dim Sum - Sun Sui Wah (Richmond), Gingeri (Richmond), Red Star (Vancouver and Richmond)
              Shanghai Dim Sum - Shanghai River (Richmond)
              Cantonese - Bing Sheng, Golden Swan, Kirin, SSW, and quite a number of others
              Xiao Long Bao - Lin's Fine Chinese

              1. re: fmed
                PAO RE: fmed Mar 5, 2009 12:56 PM

                Thanks. I'm salivating just looking at your list. Chinese in Seattle is not very good.

          2. re: fmed
            fmed RE: fmed Mar 5, 2009 06:02 PM

            Thumbs up to the newish Bing Sheng. Rustic Cantonese food from the countryside of Guangdong province (as opposed to the more familiar Hong Kong style city-fied Cantonese. Thanks for this description Lee).

            I'll post a bigger review later. Order from the extensive Chinese-only Menu and ask them to translate it if possible. The English menu is limited to "safe" and familiar dishes.

            1. re: fmed
              grayelf RE: fmed Mar 5, 2009 06:44 PM

              I smell another Chowdown :-).

              1. re: fmed
                peter.v RE: fmed Mar 5, 2009 07:53 PM

                What's that rice dish fmed? Or at least, what's in it? Looks really tasty...

                1. re: peter.v
                  fmed RE: peter.v Mar 5, 2009 08:07 PM

                  It's a sticky rice lettuce wrap. It has sticky rice, housemade Chinese sausage, peanuts, and various aromatics.

                  1. re: fmed
                    peter.v RE: fmed Mar 5, 2009 09:03 PM

                    Aha! Thanks!

                2. re: fmed
                  grayelf RE: fmed Mar 15, 2009 06:11 PM

                  Okay, fmed, where is that Bing Sheng report you promised? We are thinking of going tonight...

                  1. re: grayelf
                    fmed RE: grayelf Mar 15, 2009 06:17 PM

                    It's a block south of the T&T at Renfrew and 1st ave on the east side of the road.

                    If coming from downtown, head East on 1st Ave then take a right at Renfrew (the T&T is right at that corner). Once you have made that right turn...look over to the left (eastern) side of the Renfrew. You should see red(?) awning - that's it right there.

                    1. re: fmed
                      fmed RE: fmed Mar 15, 2009 06:20 PM

                      Oh...and you better bring that camera of yours.

                      1. re: fmed
                        grayelf RE: fmed Mar 15, 2009 11:10 PM

                        Thanks for the directions but I was talking about the fuller report you promised above :-). We went by tonight but it was rocking and we were kind of intimidated by the "only order from the Chinese menu" as we are oh-so-white. I was hoping to crib some ordering ideas but couldn't find any specific names of dishes on CH or the other foodie sites I haunt. Went to Song Huong for bo 7 mon instead so didn't exactly regret the choice... will post on that soon.

                        1. re: grayelf
                          fmed RE: grayelf Mar 16, 2009 02:18 AM

                          I misread your request! Sorry about that. A more full report is forthcoming...I only had a few dishes so far and I would like to try a couple more things before I do a write up.

                          1. re: fmed
                            grayelf RE: fmed Mar 17, 2009 07:30 PM

                            Let me know if you need a couple of extra stomachs to assist in your research :-).

                            1. re: grayelf
                              fmed RE: grayelf Mar 18, 2009 12:09 AM

                              Haha...you and SO are first on my list.

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