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Jun 27, 2010 06:18 PM

Escaping the Heat: PHX CHer Headed to Vancouver. Questions abound.

Howdy, all.

I hang out over on the Phoenix board, but my husband and I are headed to Vancouver for a few days in mid July and we need some culinary direction. I have been reading this board for a few weeks and, to be honest, I am overwhelmed at all the options. That, of course, leads to questions, many of which I am sure you have answered before, but its nearly 110 F in Phoenix so have pity on me. :o)

We have Japadog, Gyoza King, and Phnom Penh on our agenda. However, we are struggling with a couple of ideas and would appreciate some input.

Malaysian: Banana Leaf, Tamarind Hill or someplace else?

Dim Sum: We are taking the SkyTrain from our hotel area to the airport to meet with some US and Canadian government officials (we're spies). Anyway, since we will be near/at Richmond, we thought Dim Sum might be a find choice for lunch. The hubby is more adventurous than I am so a place near the SkyTrain that has traditional and maybe a few surprised on the Dim Sum menu might be nice, but if something truly traditional is best, that works, too. We don't care if it is carts or table service (we enjoy both).

Vancouverish: So, if we take Asian out of the equation, what restaurant would you recommend for a nice dinner out that represents Vancouver. Could be PNW, could be seafood, could be a steakhouse. We are open to any suggestions.

Chinese: The Chinese food scene in Phoenix is sorely lacking compared to Vancouver. The trade off is great Mexican food here. So, we are looking for something that you can't get in Phoenix, which is pretty much any style. However, we are somewhat fascinated by unique styles of Chinese cooking (we adored the Islamic Chinese restaurant in Orange County, CA). I have noticed Bejing, Tiawanese, etc. Any suggestions would be wonderful.

Something special: Could be anywhere including a little traveling distance outside of the Vancouver metro area (we will have a vehicle). Maybe a little out of the way place with great food and service and just a fine evening out. Definitely not someplace typical tourists would go.

Thank you in advance for any input. It will be greatly appreciated.

And if you visit my hometown, I am more than happy to return the favor.

Best wishes,


Gyoza King
1508 Robson St, Vancouver, BC V6G1C2, CA

Banana Leaf
820W Broadway W, Vancouver, BC V5Z1J8, CA

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  1. Hello Seth Chadwick...

    Nice to see a prolific poster from another board visit Vancouver.

    Malaysian: Banana Leaf and Tamarind Hill are both upscale Malaysian restaurants with a Chinese tinge (ie Chinese-Malaysian). In that context, I think they are both just fine - with a slight preference to Tamarind Hill for me (I haven't been to the North Vancouver location, and it has been a long time since my visit to New West location.). My favourite Malaysian restaurant is a Malay-Malaysian hole in the wall called Seri Malaysia.

    Dim Sum near the Canada Line: I would say Sea Harbour, Fisheman's Terrace (Aberdeen Center) are good spots....but there are some very good ones 10-15 min walk from a couple of stations.

    Vancouverish: Bishop's.

    Chinese: Generally Vancouver does Cantonese and Shanghai cuisine best. Followed by Taiwanese. There are a couple of restaurants that specialise in Hunan (Alvin Garden), SIchuan (S&W Pepperhouse, Chuan Xiang Ge...and a couple more).

    Note that we have a depth of Cantonese here with sub-variants such as HK, HK Cafe, Seafood, Dim Sum, Noodlehouses, Rustic homestyle, Westernized...etc that are well represented. Shanghai cuisine here has less depth but is also of high quality with holes-in-the walls all the way to high-end serving very good Shanghai food. We can hone in a bit more to some specific recs.

    Something Special: I always try to encourage visitors to take a BC Ferry to one of the Islands or the Sunshine Coast....not necessarily for the food. Someone recently recommended Chasters in Gibson's to me. Another option is an old-school place like La Belle Auberge in Ladner - just south of Richmond BC). And yet another option is Vij's (controversial choice for French influenced Indian - or is it the other way around).

    Don't overlook that we have good Japanese here too.

    5 Replies
    1. re: fmed


      Thank you SO much for the input. I have been reading your musings both here and over at Chow Times. This will help a lot and I am greatly appreciative of your time in posting.

      1. re: Seth Chadwick

        Don't forget our annual Chinese Summer Night Market (Fri-Sun) in Chinatown and Richmond. Not quite what it used to be but still a different set of stimulus for the senses (but mostly the tastebuds !)

      2. re: fmed

        I was going to definitely suggest Bishop's as your vancouver-ish meal. Wonderful food, and a distinctly vancouver atmosphere, IMO.
        Fmed has you covered in everything else!
        I personally love Salt Spring Island. Or Tofino is a popular destination with a couple of great restaurants as well. Have fun! I could have used your expertise when I was in your area.

        1. re: fmed

          You gotta try the fish head curry at Seri Malaysia. It was almost as good as Banana Leaf Apollo in Singapore. You go have to give them 2 days notice though.

          For Indian food head to Surrey. Check out Pakwan House for their Shami Kebabs and Dakshin for possibly the best biriyani in BC.

          Seri Malaysia Restaurant
          2327E Hastings St E, Vancouver, BC V5L1V6, CA

          1. re: oiboy

            I do have my sights set on fish head curry at Seri Malyasia actually. Also chili crab (we can bring our own fresh crab - chopped - perhaps at T&T not too far away)

        2. I simply ask that you kindly bring over a ton of your Phoenix summer heat to us ............. ;-)

          1 Reply
          1. re: LotusRapper

            i kinda like it, i abhor hot weather