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May 2, 2010 07:40 PM

Richmond Vacation Recommendations Needed

I will be in staying in Richmond for 12 days on vacation. The first weekend we have friends joining us for several days. Two read Chinese and speak Mandarin so we plan on taking advantage of this. Alex is from Beijing and a trained chef though not working as such at this time. He is looking forward to trying the Sichuan food in Richmond/Vancouver. Here is what I have planned so far:

Chuen Xiang Ge - dinner Sat evening
Top Shanghai or Shanghai Wonderful - brunch Sun
Shanghai River - dinner Sun (I have reservations for this already, since it will be Mother's day)
S&W Pepper House, Richmond - brunch Mon
Nothing yet for Monday dinner
Northern Dynasty or Northern Delicacy - brunch Tues
La Belle Auberge - dinner Tues (have reservations)
Top Gun J & C - dim sum Wed (before they leave town)

I'm planning visits to Richmond Public Market, T & T store, Yoahan Centre, Rice World, Parker Center, and Aberdeen with them.

Which, on my list, are musts? Are there places I'm missing? Any recommendations will be appreciated.

This is the first visit to Richmond/Vancouver for the Mandarin speaking couple (her parents have been here many times with us). We want to make sure they enjoy their stay so we can take advantage of their reading ability on other furture visits!


Shanghai River Restaurant
7831 Westminster Hwy, Richmond, BC V6X1A4, CA

J & C Restaurant
8766 McKim Way, Richmond, BC V6X4G4, CA

Top Shanghai
8100 Ackroyd Rd, Richmond, BC V6X3K2, CA

Northern Dynasty
8391 Alexandra Rd, Richmond, BC V6X1C3, CA

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  1. You pretty much have it all covered.

    I recommend O'Tray (Tianjin Flavours in Chinese ) in the President Plaza (up the escalators from T&T). Negative Space (Odlin Rd near Pacific Plaza) won an award for one of their Crab dishes at the CRA 2010

    I believe you have been to Chen's and a few of the other oft-recommended places.

    Big Crazy (on No 3 Rd) - a Chinese grocery with some unusual items should have re-opened by now. There is also a new Taiwanese grocer just down the block from it (I haven't been, but it looks large). Attison Food Equipment also on No 3 Rd close by has a nice range of Chinese restaurant supplies and tools.

    I note that you want to keep it all in Richmond, however, if you are willing to drive to Burnaby:
    How about Hunan (Alvin Garden)? or Crystal Mall's food court?

    PS - With a Sichuan chef in tow, you shouldn't have a problem communicating your desire for "authentic" SIchuan at CXG. They have issues with being a bit lax with that.

    10 Replies
    1. re: fmed

      We have to make a trip to Surrey to go to Central City Brewing, so maybe lunch at Alvin Garden on our way. I'll also bring up Crystal Mall. I had both on one list, but have way too many places listed to keep track of them. Another I missed was Chen's which I haven't been too. I have been to Shanghai Wonderful and Top Shanghai.

      And thanks for the grocery store mentions. I've only been in a couple of T&T's and Rice World; didn't know which others would be worth while.

      1. re: Iona

        Alvin Graden and Crystal Mall are in closed proximity. though neither is on route to surrey from richmond.

        i like top gun for dim sum. my former goto. but there are better and more interesting choices for dim sum. jade, empire and sea harbor(good dinner option) i prefer... the first two won multiple award in CRA..

        also consider Suhang. and the strip mall with frogleg/ostrich etc etc claypot rice and double boil soup.. fmed help me out here....

        la belle auberge? OT blast from the past for me... scot jaeger his former sous owns and run pear tree in burnaby. recomended.

        Crystal Mall
        4500 Kingsway, Burnaby, BC V5H2A9, CA

        1. re: betterthanbourdain

          The sandpot stall is called James Snacks is in the Empire Centre's food courts:

          Some interesting southern Chinese stalls in there too. The stall almost directly across from James serves some interesting looking dishes.

          It's pretty dead there, but it all adds to the intrigue.

          Suhang (Ackroyd Road) is really good for Shanghai "dim sum" - they have an extensive menu of Shanghai snacks. Someone said that they are somehow affiliated with Shanghai River - so it has a good pedigree.

          Parker Place mall has Parker Place BBQ (specifically for roast pork) and the Dragon's Beard stall...and a pretty good Singapore style pork jerky place. (Almost as good as Bee Kim Heng).

          HK BBQ Master underneath the Superstore on No 3 Rd also has excellent BBQ pork and roast pork.

          1. re: fmed

            Also Bushuair for Hunan - the new name of Gordon Park/Xiangcai Museum/Aroma Garden. It is almost as good as Alvin Garden (some say better) the same strip mall as Empire - but across the parking lot where Hon's used to be.

            1. re: fmed

              OT, sorry. did anyone notice .'Buffet King'? i think where hon's use to be.
              saw it a couple of weeks ago. anyone with some details? a chinese buffet in richmond?

              1. re: fmed

                I was jonesing for some Hunan and decided to go to Aroma Garden. However, the restaurant has changed names -- and quite possibly, changed concept as well. It's now a hotpot restaurant. Don't know if they still serve Hunan as there was nobody there when I dropped in and they didn't have a menu by the door.

                1. re: _js_

                  bushuiar - formerly aroma garden/xingcai museum/gordon park is now located next to what used to be hon's.
                  sorry for the lowercase - typing on iphone

                  1. re: fmed

                    Oh thanks -- interestingly, the new hotpot restaurant seems to be also affliated with the Bushuair/Xingcai Museum/Gordon Park, since they appear to have the same logo? They also have two names or at least two signs. What is with the proliferation of names? LOL

              2. re: fmed

                Former employees of Shanghai River branched out and opened their own restaurant, Suhang. We've had pretty good meals at Suhang.

                Shanghai River Restaurant
                7831 Westminster Hwy, Richmond, BC V6X1A4, CA

              3. re: betterthanbourdain

                Richmond to Surrey via Burnaby would not be an unusal route for us when we're after food, beer, & shopping (there's a needlework shop in Surrey that I like to go to).

                We usually go to J & C because they open at 9, so people can get on their way but both Jade & Empire Chinese are on Alexandra where we are staying, so I'm going to check their hours. We've been to both and think they are excellant.

                I know about Scott Jaeger and have had dinner at The Pear Tree. I actually liked the food better at The Pear Tree but we like the atmosphere at La Belle plus one of this group wants to take his daugher and son-in-law there. We've been to La Belle several times with this couple so the staff knows us. My husband and I may go to The Pear Tree one night when there is just the two of us.

                I now have Suhang on my list. Thanks. Way too many possibilities for just a few days.

          2. Now in Richmond. So far we've been to Manzo Itamae, Chen's, Tsim Chai Noodles, Suhang (twice), CXG, Shanghai River, Empire Chinese, and Garden City Hot Pot. This morning we're going to Northern Dynasty. Also to Aberdeen, Big Crazy, Thomas Haas (on Broadway), Granville Island, BC liquor stores for beer, and others. More details later.

            3 Replies
            1. re: Iona

              All that in only three days, wow! I went to Big Crazy on Sunday for the first time and it's a fun store. Have fun in my 'hood today (TH, GIsle) and can't wait to read your reports.

              1. re: grayelf

                Impressive list after three days! I note you went to Suhang twice, Iona.

                Here are pics of the Taiwanese store I was telling you about upthread - Kuo Hua Trading Co. Snacks, Sundries, Bubble Tea Supplies, Jerky, Dried Fruit...and more. It's a big box store of Taiwanese snacks. I've never seen anything like it.


                1. re: fmed

                  Hee hee the third pic is of some "jelly juice" -- I bought a couple at Big Crazy (apple and lichee). Kind of fun to drink. I definitely need to check Kuo Hua out next trip to 3 Rd (thanks for the reminder on the name, fmed)