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May 26, 2010 11:53 AM

When milk's fried: Prince Restaurant in Vancouver

I thought I posted on this but I can't find it so here goes: way back in January we were doing one of our frequent Rona runs on a Friday night (yay, house renos) and found ourselves in need of a bite. I'd often wondered what Prince was all about so we decided to try it. For a Friday night it was pretty empty and there was no line but somehow we still managed to be invisible for a while before I scared up a staffer to seat us. The menu had a few interesting items on it but with only two of us we couldn't take much advantage.

We also had a very insistent male server who was determined to give us gwailo food. He was so keen on one dish that in a moment of weakness I actually ordered it (blame the hour I'd spent in a glorified hardware store). It turned out to be that deep fried sweet and sour beef malarkey, yeesh.

The other dishes we got were very tasty, but the standout for me was the deep fried milk, offered as a dessert item. I understand from a post on another site that it is also available at dimsum and good with soy sauce (!) but we had it plain. The milk was like a very soft sweet tofu enrobed in gossamery deep fried crunchiness. It almost made up for the server, who did relent a bit when he saw the other items we were interested in and was becoming friendly by the time we left. Here are a couple of photos from which you may ID other other items, whose names are lost to the mists of time otherwise :-). One was rice cakes, the other was fish steaks and the third was the evil beef (which was actually well executed just dull). And of course the fried milk with a cutaway view that I've just realized should have been rotated, but you get the gist.

Have any other Hounds tried this place?

Prince Restaurant
2881 Grandview Hwy, Vancouver, BC V5M2E1, CA

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  1. This, along with Prince's sister restaurant on Granville (President? Something like that), is my parent's mainstay when they venture into town, particularly when king crab season is upon us. I've been to Prince a few times - it's a real claustrophobic nightmare when dim sum is on - and always found it generally good.

    I've only ever had the fried milk as a side for savory dishes. There seems to be a whole piece devoted to it at the NY Times:

    1 Reply
    1. re: clutterer

      Thanks for the link clutterer (drool). The one we had at Prince was deffo dessert but I'd love to try a savoury version.

      I've read elsewhere that dimsum at Prince was a bit of a zoo, so perhaps we'll avoid that

    2. My family went to Prince when it first opened and I thought it was a bit better than average, but my parents or I haven't been back.

      I think the fish is black cod/sablefish. I remember when one summer, long ago, deep fried milk was all the rage and it was on every set family banquet meal.

      It was always shrimp/scallops stirred fried with seasonal vegetables/broccoli with deep fried milk on the side. I wouldn't mind seeing them make a comeback.

      I've never understood why some Chinese restaurants steer their non-Chinese customers towards very bad westernized Chinese food.

      I have had that happen a few times when I recommended my non-Chinese friends to a restaurant where my family had a great meal and they ended hating it 'cause the staff recommended things like sweet & sour pork, etc.

      This is a personal pet peeve along with Chinese restaurants that don't fully translate their full menus.

      1. What a timely thread update, cool !

        For those who don't know where it is:

        I drive by there (Nanaimo/Grandview) 2-3 times a month after trips to Walmart, each time always thinking "I should check them out soon" but never end up doing so.

        So GE, how was the overall ambiance and furnishings ? They look a bit better equipped even from the outside, perhaps like Shanghai Village ?

        And their price range ? I use Yongchow Fried Rice as the "Big Mac" index for Chinese restaurant pricing .... Cheap = $6-7.50 / Avg = $7.50-9 / Above Avg = $9-12 / Expensive = $12 or higher.

        I happen to be a non-CBC who loves "gwai-lo" foods like S&S pork, chicken chowmein, kungpow, mushu, etc. Do I still get to stay on Chowhound ???

        3 Replies
        1. re: LotusRapper

          I would say that, decor wise, it's comparable to Shanghai Village but with more space (there's a main dining room and a separate dining room in the back), though they tend to pack people in as tightly as possible.

          President, the sister restaurant on Granville St and 64th, is probably the same size as Shanghai Village, and comparable in decor. Also a claustrophobic nightmare. Neither are as nice in ambience as, say, a Kirin is.

          I can't remember the price range, mostly because I tend to only eat there when it's on Bank of Mom and Dad.

          Shanghai Village
          3250 Cambie St, Vancouver, BC V5Z 2W4, CA

          1. re: clutterer

            Granville & 64th ? So the old Shanghai Palace is gone/re-branded ?

            Shanghai Palace
            8012 Granville St, Vancouver, BC V6P4Z4, CA

          2. re: LotusRapper

            Urbanspoon has some of Prince's Menu posted

            I like your Yongchow Index :)
            So based on the index .... it would be Above Average.

            But the parking is a bit of a problem when it's busy.