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Jul 13, 2010 12:16 AM

Best Shanghai in Richmond?

I'm coming to Vancouver in 2 days and the Shanghainese out here in Toronto is lacking (compared to what I had in Shanghai a few years ago).

I only have time to try one place in Richmond. I don't need great XLB since I'll try it at Wangs in Crystal Mall (or maybe Lin's). Just need something with good tasty dishes, nothing fancy ambiance or service wise.

Here's my list from chowhound readings, or if any other places you can suggest would be great. Specific dishes recommended is preferred too.

Shanghai River
Chen's Shanghai
Top Shanghai

Crystal Mall
4500 Kingsway, Burnaby, BC V5H2A9, CA

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

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

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  1. Those are all pretty good. Shanghai River is the most upscale of the places you mentioned.

    I like Chen's which is more of a hole in the wall. They do good XLB and other dumpling-ish things. Preparations are rustic and basic. and

    I had a couple of very good meals at Suhang - specifically for the Shanghai breakfast
    It is run by former Shanghai River employees. More intimate compared to SR and more upscale room compared to Chen's. I think it is a more well-rounded restaurant than Chen's as they seem to do more dishes well.

    It's been a few years since I have been to Top Shanghai.

    My favourite Shanghai joint however is actually in Vancouver: Long's Noodle House on Main St.

    2 Replies
    1. re: fmed

      I should also mention my other favourite: Ningtu (also in Vancouver). Old-school Shanghai joint.

      Ningtu Restaurant
      2130 Kingsway, Vancouver, BC V5N2T5, CA

      1. re: fmed

        Slightly off-Richmond, but a new place called Shanghai Village in Vancouver, on Cambie Street btwn 16/17 Ave., is well worth the trip out from Richmond. Esp. if you take the new Canada Line rapid transit line (from Richmond or South Vancouver), it's only about 15 mins ride tops.

      2. We made a bee line to Chen's when we rolled into town. My Dad grew up in Shanghai and was longing for food from the home front. He was tickled pink after eating there. He loved the XLB. We also had the beef roll (my favorite of the meal -- I thought it was an interesting twist on Peking Duck). We also ordered (and forgive the English spellings, I'm working off my Dad's notations... Zheng Jiang xiao ru (cold diced pork) -- Dad loved it! The drunken chicken -- Mom loved it), Ma lan tou ban xiang gan (finely diced wild vegetable mixed with bean curd), Shanghai spring roll, Shanghai saan jeen bao (kind of like the fried version of the XLB, but very different, -- terrific!), crystal shrimp, the Shanghai vegetable rice, and tea smoked duck. All of the dishes we ordered were great and we all had our favorites.

        We have time to try one more Shanghainese restaurant. So if you had just one more to select in addition to Chen's -- what would it be? Shanghai River? Shanghai Village? We're open to suggestion! Location and atmosphere (or lack thereof) don't matter. We will go where ever the good Shanghai food is. Many thanks in advance for your direction!

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

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

        5 Replies
        1. re: amyleechen

          I agree with fmed's rec of Long's but be sure you make a reservation -- the waits are too long.

          1. re: amyleechen

            Between Shanghai Village and River I'd go for Shanghai Village. IMHO SV exudes a rather "Patrician" atmosphere [I can almost hear some background classical music, waitaminit was that Yo Yo Ma ? .....] and I find it very easy to concentrate on the food there. Whereas many other venues (esp. in Richmond) tend to be too "re nao/(热闹" (boisterous) which is fine I think for Cantonese dim sum and banquets, LOL.

            Look up SV's blog review pics in Urbanspoon and you'd know what I mean:



            1. re: LotusRapper

              I haven't had any really outstanding food at SV yet -- maybe I've just been ordering wrong. I'm not in love with their XLB either (3 times) which for me is an important component of a Shanghainese meal :-). The room is definitely more serene than Long's or Chen's, though. Resos important if you're going at prime time -- we were turned away twice without them on weekday evenings at dinner.

            2. re: amyleechen

              We actually managed to make it to 3 different Shanghainese restos during my stay (as well as Wang's XLB in Crystal Mall). I can't recall all the dishes yet, but I'll sift through my notes later and post a followup when I get more time.

              First was dinner at Long's from Fmed's redo, which was very good. Definitely more rustic style. Lady working there was very nice, spoke both Mandarin and Cantonese. Really liked the spicy egg plant and eel slivers, deep fried rice puffs w/ egg yolk, XLB was decent too).

              Next was Suhang's for lunch, which I found was a bit plain in the dishes we ordered (noodles, diced veggie/tofu, etc). Nice and calm, but probably the least fav of the bunch.

              Wang's XLB was great, so fresh and juicy but not too oily/fatty like some places do it.

              Lastly we had dinner at Shanghai Wonderful. I went there mostly because my parents wanted to try it out since my sis had a good meal there before. Was pleased with most of the dishes (cold jelly fish slices, cold duck meat w/ egg yolk, deep fried sweet n sour fish, fatty pork belly w/ veggie, XLB, pan fried dumplings with crab brain (amazing), and a few others. We did noticed we were quite thirsty afterwards (?MSG component). I couldn't find any chowhound posts in this place yet.

              All in all, much better than the stuff we can get in Toronto.

              1. re: Royaljelly

                We have discussed Shanghai Wonderful in the past...probably in the old "Western Canada" board prior to the re-structuring. It is a good Shanghai place - excelling in cold dishes and snacks. I haven't been back in a while because quite a number of good to very good places have taken some of it's thunder. It also doesn't have a great XLB - often the benchmark of a Shanghai restaurant.

                It sounds like you might have ordered sub-optimally at Suhang. I find that it is one of the best Shanghai restaurants in the GVA. The kitchen and front-of-house management were an off-shoot of the well-regarded Shanghai River. Try them for dinner next time. (I was just there tonight, actually).

            3. So on Saturday we will have a car (going hiking for the day) so can drive anywhere for good Shanghainese food (the wife is from nearby Wuxi) - and Richmond seems to be worth the trek. It seems to be between Chen's and Suhang. Leaning towards Suhang it sounds more than just a dumpling shop for dinner. Don't really care about decor but don't want to have wait a while for a table on a saturday night...

              I was curious if there was anything else worth doing while we were in Richmond - I know nothing about the area. Any other suggestions for walking around that area on a Saturday evening?

              Also besides XLB, any other dishes that are particularly recommended...

              thanks as always and can't wait to visit your city...


              6 Replies
              1. re: bennyscuba

                Not a lot to do in Richmond on a Saturday night besides eat ;-). If it is a nice night you could go out to Steveston and walk by the river... and then come back into Richmond and hit the Night Market for (you guessed it) more food. I wouldn't normally recommend that to a visitor but if you're going to cross the bridge anyway, it might be fun.

                1. re: grayelf

                  This is good to read, grayelf - I was just asking whether or not a trip out to Richmond for the night market is "worth it." We probably won't have a car, so the getting there part is daunting! Glad to read your rec - it helps, so thanks! Hate to miss out on such great food, though...

                  1. re: DKS1

                    Like I replied to you in the adjacent thread, maybe stick with the Chinatown Night Market [cough] and cut your losses [grin], then head on over to either Long's on Main St or Lin on Broadway @ Granville, where I'd prefer to spend a weekend evening myself, because if I'm STILL hungry after eating at Lin I can always go to BIN 942 a few doors down :-D


                    1. re: LotusRapper

                      That's also good to know - since this is our first trip to the city its nice to be in areas that's good for wandering (also nice to get rid of the car early!)

                      Between Lin's and Long's which is recommended? Fmeds post on Long's looks great...


                      1. re: bennyscuba

                        Lin's sometimes has service issues, though our recent dinner there had no such problems. Both are pretty popular but I believe you can get reservations at both so that would help. More options at Lin's but I like Long's better, can't really say exactly why -- more homey, perhaps? The strange colour of the walls at Lin's is quite offputting actually, that may be it. Like dining inside a bottle of Pepto Bismol. Long's is a bit further from downtown if that makes a difference and there is nothing nearby it unless you go for lunch and then head over to Queen Elizabeth Park, which come to think of it is not a bad plan for visitors. Slight edge to Long's for Sandy the chief cook and bottle washer :-).

                        1. re: grayelf

                          Here's a few pix of last week's meal at Lin's so you can compare with fmed's of Long's (not that there's any comparison between the quality of his photos and mine!)