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Chinese Dinner Rec.-Vancouver

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I'm going to be in Vancouver (Richmond) for 1 night in June and would like an authentic Hong Kong/ Mandarin/ Peking dinner (Aren't these cuisines all similiar?). So far from perusing this board and others, Sun Sui Wah and Kirin seem to be mentioned the most frequently.

I understand that there has been continued Asian growth, especially in the Richmond area, since Hong Kong changed hands. With all of that said, are there other newer restaurants that are better? Is there a difference in the quality between the different locations? What is the typical bill for a nice dinner for 2? Even though the main king crab season is over, are fresh crabs still available and if so is fresh crab so much better that it shouldn't be missed? Any and all suggestions would be appreciated.
BTW on a non food note. Is the Chinese garden as spectacular as it is made out to be?
Thanks in advance.

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  1. STLLifer,

    I'm sure this question will generate quite a number of responses. There's quite a discernable difference between the various regional Chinese cuisines (in fact, some effort is being made by Chowtimes to enlighten people about this: http://chowtimes.com/2010/04/02/a-dis...); an authentic Hong Kong (I'm assuming you mean Cantonese) dinner will be quite a bit different than a Shanghainese dinner which would be quite a bit different from a Szechuan dinner, etc etc ad infinitum. It might help focus the responses down if you could specify what exactly you're looking for.

    Sun Sui Wah and Kirin are both institutions in town, to be sure, and both are probably best summed up as Cantonese restaurants (perhaps someone will have a differing opinion). Each branch location of either restaurant can vary widely in many ways. You'd probably be paying top dollar at each, particularly at Kirin, imho.

    I believe you can still get King Crab at a number of places (mostly Cantonese places), but you're looking at anywhere between $14 to $20 a pound (perhaps even more). I'd say King Crab is honestly that much better, if one can afford it.

    In terms of the Sun Yat Sen garden, it's just okay. There's also a Japanese garden on the UBC campus. Neither are particularly mindblowing. Instead, you may want to check out the Van Dusen or Queen Elizabeth Park instead.

    2 Replies
    1. re: clutterer

      Thanks Clutterer, I actually meant Cantonese not Mandarin in the post. I suppose Cantonese would be the defining regoinal cuisine for what we are looking for. I just thought that the Hong Kong cuisine was a slight variation of Cantonese. Also the King Crab is not the deciding factor in our choice. I just noticed in a few posts that the season recently started and that it was not something to be missed but since we will be there in June it may not be an issue. I just don't want to end up at Kirin or Sun Sui just because that is where all of the tourists are sent and miss out on something newer or better.

      1. re: STLLifer

        There isn't a subject line that fills me with more dread than the one you wrote STLLifer LOL, but clutterer covered the topic very well.

        Kirin and SSW are indeed stalwarts and as such they are safe bets. If you are looking outside the box in terms of high-end Cantonese then Sea Harbour (Richmond) would be my choice. If you are looking for a place that where the locals eat then places like Koon Bo or Ho Yuen Kee (both on Fraser St) will fit the bill. Both of these are great little Vancouver-Cantonese family restaurants with great food but spartan decor.

        King Crab season is virtually over and by June, the prices will be in the $30/lb range.

        Just as an aside - you are correct in stating that Hong Kong cuisine is generally an off-shoot of Cantonese (Guangdong) cuisine....but with additional influences from the surrounding provinces, other parts of Asia and Western cuisines.

        -----
        Sun Sui Wah Seafood Restaurant
        3888 Main St, Vancouver, BC V5V3N9, CA

        Ho Yuen Restaurant
        6236 Fraser St, Vancouver, BC V5W, CA

        Kirin Mandarin Restaurant
        1166 Alberni St, Vancouver, BC V6E3Z3, CA

        Koon Bo Restaurant Ltd
        5682 Fraser St, Vancouver, BC V5W2Z4, CA

    2. If you will be in Richmond in June on a Fri-Sun and are interested in street stall food, I'd also recommend the night market. On your non-food query, the Chinese and Japanese gardens in the city are naturally different than western-style gardens but equally fascinating. Be sure to go on the tour at the Sun Yat-Sen Garden to get the most out of it. Of course, I'm biased for SYS since working there one summer was fun and magical when I had to close the place and no one was around.