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Aug 9, 2010 01:16 AM

Visiting Vancouver... recommendations?

Hello from Toronto! My girlfriend and I will be taking a trip to Vancouver soon. We'll be staying at the Sheraton Vancouver Airport in Richmond for a few days and then the Hyatt Regency in Vancouver for the remainder of the trip. We probably won't be renting a car, so we'll be getting around by foot and public transportation.

I'm hoping we can get some help figuring out which places to check out.

Fine Dining - Trying to narrow this down to two places.
-Blue Water

Dim Sum - Trying to narrow this down to one place.
-Sun Sui Wah

Other places on our list...
-Chen's Shanghai Kitchen
-Seto Sushi
-Sushi Hachi

Other recommendations are welcome! We're also looking for a good but affordable sushi place in the Richmond area (ideally near the subway line). Thanks!

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  1. From your lists: Cioppino's; Kirin; Chen's Shanghai Kitchen.

    For sushi: Sushi Hachi is good and traditional. Seto is also good and I think provides a much wider selection of Japanese dishes than Sushi Hachi (which has quite minimal menu).

    More from Richmond and not on our list: Suhang (Shanghai); S&W Pepperhouse (Sichuan); the foodcourt stall called O'tray (at President Plaza); Shanghai River; Richmond Public Market (the Xi'an Stall in particular).

    You may want to check out Vancouver's Shanghai scene if you are coming from Toronto. Along with the above - Long's Noodle House on Main St. Also check out the izakaya scene here - the Guu's (you have one branch in TO now); Kingyo, Zakkushi. The ramen is good in this city too (Benkei, Motomachi Shokodu; Ramen Santuoka, etc).

    9 Replies
    1. re: fmed

      Thanks so much! I used to think that Toronto's Shanghainese restaurants were pretty good, but I was blown away when I went to HK earlier this year (really loved the La Mian dish at Crystal Jade, although I'm not 100% sure if this was actually Shanghainese).. I'll definitely try to check out your recommendations.

      What would your second choice be for fine dining?

      Crystal Jade Restaurant
      801 Vernon Ave, Victoria, BC V8X2W8, CA

      1. re: CKN

        Chambar (which is not on your list).

        1. re: fmed

          i'd add Market to that list. good price point for a jean george 'inspired' kitchen.
          imho, chambar is a tad below fine dining.

          as for dimsum suggestion. this one is harder. none of the three you listed would be on my rotation for dimsum. and even the ones i would suggest can be hit or miss depending on the items you order and which cook makes it.

          1. re: betterthanbourdain

            For "finer" fine diining - maybe Lupo (which has getting much love here lately), Diva, Lumiere.

            1. re: fmed

              base on personal and the review on this board recently, Lumière would be a good bet.

              still haven't made it to Lupo since the re-vamp.

              Diva would be on my radar in the near future. Always admired Chef QD.
              here's a recent article on DIva:

              1. re: betterthanbourdain

                Lumière is a great rec. You can't go wrong.

            2. re: betterthanbourdain

              Chambar isn't fine dining? That is ridiculous! I'd take Chambar over Market any day. In fact, there's not too many resto's in the city that I'd rather dine at.

              1. re: waylman

                I think I understand what BTB was getting at...Chambar can get loud and raucous when it is busy - sometimes more like a neighbourhood bar than a fine dining restaurant. I equate "Fine Dining" to having a more hushed ambiance (if you know what I mean).

                I agree with you though - the food and drinks are excellent and the service stellar.

                1. re: fmed

                  That's can get very loud at Chambar!

                  To the topic starter...If you wan't a fun place with great food hit Chambar. Cioppino's is also outstanding and quite laid back.
                  I haven't been to Lumiere or West in quite some time but they are certainly not as "bustling" as Chambar.
                  It really depends on what you are looking for...a nice quiet dinner with an older crowd (Lumiere, West) or something a little more happening (Chambar, Boneta).

                  I'm also a big fan of Blue Water and Vij's....if you are looking for great seafood and sushi Blue Water would be the place. If you love Indian you can't miss Vij's!

                  2551 West Broadway, Vancouver, BC V6K2E9, CA

      2. Thanks to everyone for their help! Vancouver is such a great city for Chowhounds! Some quick notes...

        Pajo's - WOW! We already ate before coming here, but I couldn't resist. Got the halibut and had no problems finishing it because it was so delicious. Chips could have been better, but man, that halibut...

        Lido Restaurant - Went for their famous pineapple bun. So much butter. So good.

        West - I was really impressed with the whole dining experience. A very cohesive menu, excellent service, and their bartender really knows how to mix drinks. Loved their scallops and their agnolotti was really something special!

        Araxi - We thought we would try this place after having such a great experience at West. Unfortunately, our experience at Araxi was fairly disappointing. Our appetizers (duck liver parfait and trio of BC seafood) were nothing really special, with the salmon ballotine (from the trio) being the only exception. For my main course, I had the pork trio, which included a ravioli, pork belly, and house made sausage. The ravioli pasta was a bit thick and overcooked, and the sausage was really salty. My girlfriend had the halibut which was overcooked. We probably should have sent the halibut back, but we were pressed for time and didn't want to wait. It was a really busy night, which might explain the decline in quality.

        Cioppino's - The atmosphere was more boisterous than I expected, but the food was amazing! Most notably, the pappardelle with braised veal cheeks. I would definitely come back for this dish alone.

        Shanghai River - Loved the crab XLB, but I thought the meat was a bit too dense in the pork XLB. Also got a dish that was similar to the La Mian I mentioned earlier. It was good, but not as tasty as the one I had in HK.

        We went to a lot of other restaurants, but unfortunately we also missed out on quite a few (like Chambar and Vij's). I can't wait to go back!

        Vij's Restaurant
        1480 11th Ave W, Vancouver, BC V6H1L1, CA

        Araxi Restaurant + Bar
        4222 Village Square, Whistler, BC V0N 1B4, CA

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

        1. A short trip to west Van on the Blue Bus from Down Town gets you to the Brunch at calvin's 2452 on Marine Drive ( Sundays 10-2 ) Rösti Potatoes with bacon Swiss Cheesse poached Eggs and Fresh Hollandaise Sauce the Price 9.50 ???