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Quest for Ottawa-Style Eggrolls in The Lower Mainland

If you've never had eggrolls from a place like The Golden Palace in Ottawa, you may not know what I'm talking about.

In BC we've only found 'springrolls'; typically a veggie filling in a thin, multilayered wrapping. Often dripping with fat. The product that we seek is a finely chopped, meaty (porky) filling in a thick eggroll wrapper, usually flattened at each end, but occasionally open-ended. (Open-ended is less desirable, but we're desperate.) These yummy darlings are deep-fried, but tend to be non-greasy....just crispy.

We live in Maple Ridge, but the eggroll craving hubster works in downtown Vanc., so location is not an issue. We'd even go to the island or the Sunshine coast!

Is there such a thing here?

(This is a link on this subject, just so that you know that I'm not alone in this quest! http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/3322...

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  1. After looking at the menu for The Golden Palace and how your description reminds me of the egg rolls you can get at the M&M Meat shops, I think you're looking for an old school Westernized Chinese Canadian restaurant.

    I can only think of one restuarant that fits the bill and that's Paul's Restaurant in North Burnaby (4621 Hastings St Burnaby, BC V5C2K6 Tel: (604) 298-6905))

    It's not a gaurantee that you'll find your egg roll but I think you'll have better luck finding them in Chinese Canadian Restaurants than authentic Chinese restaurants. Maybe other chowhounders can list other Chinese Canadian restaurants.

    The other thread is correct in saying the main difference is the wrapper. Most Chinese restaurants that are authentic will use a spring roll wrapper as that's how it done in Hong Kong and China.

    1. For meaty (porky) spring rolls, I can think of Vietnamese rolls (cha gio) that may be a bit closer to what you miss, although the wrap may not be as crispy as your description.

      This place Bao Chau on Hastings near Renfrew is well-known for their Vietnamese cha gio:

      http://chowtimes.com/2010/10/22/bao-c...

      But of course cha gios vary in content and texture.

      9 Replies
      1. re: LotusRapper

        The last time I had an egg roll like that was in Quesnel :-). I expect they still exist but only in places like moyen describes. Small towns tend to still have such restos -- maybe you'd be best off looking further out the Valley?

        1. re: grayelf

          Or interior BC. Or Vancouver Island outside of Victoria.

          Any family-run Chinese resto whose name contains either "Golden", "Jade", "Peking", "Rickshaw" or "Palace" would have a high chance of offering this type of spring rolls [wink]

          1. re: LotusRapper

            cf Quesnel above! The other thing I remember from that meal (which resto had a Palace in the name, methinks) was the wor won ton soup. No idea if it was at all authentic but it was delicious and not something you see too often around these parts.

            1. re: grayelf

              Wor wonton soup ? Tres common (actually a staple) in most noodle/rice/congee houses. Wor simply means "everything but the kitchen sink" (LOL) and comes in XL bowl as a communal dish.

              1. re: LotusRapper

                Clearly I am not frequenting the right restos, LR :-). When I had it, it was for one albeit in a large pho-sized bowl and had lots of non-Asian veggies. I'm going to have to keep an eye peeled for it.

                1. re: grayelf

                  You have to go to the greasy spoons (greasy chopsticks?) like On Lok (Hastings). They have Wor Wonton there. I bet they also have a proper eggroll there (I see it on their menu - but I have not ordered it).

                  1. re: fmed

                    Here is a pic of the Golden Palace egg roll.
                    http://tinyurl.com/2atm4nb

                    It looks a lot like Filipino style Lumpia'ng Shanghai....but bigger.

                    1. re: fmed

                      Looks like a "chivichanga" :-)

                      GE: On Lok, Congee Noodle House, maybe even Hon's should have Wor Wonton.

                      "Wor ...... was is it good for ?" LOL

              2. re: grayelf

                I like the Wor Won Ton at Fuloi on 600 block West Broadway. That's about all I like from there although they might have the eggrolls the OP was looking for. They seem like the type of place.
                And ironically, and I can't believe i'm saying this, but the won ton soup at Cactus Club is actually surprisingly tasty and has lots of added noodles, veggies and BBQ pork, and you can add chicken or shrimp for a few more dollars, so it's very similar to Wor Won Ton.

        2. funny i"m from Ottawa and totally forgot about those, they were pretty tasty though...

          1. Thanks for all of the ideas, we'll start with Paul's Restaurant, and expand the search from there!

            6 Replies
            1. re: SherBel

              After reading some of the comments, here are some restaurants that may have the egg roll you're looking for.

              - As mentioned by fmed and LotusRapper: On Lok on Hastings
              - Half a block east is Penny's

              I also wonder if Foo's Ho Ho in Chinatown would have the egg roll?

              All 3 of these restaurants have been in Vancouver for 20+ years, longer in the case of Foo's.

              Also there's a place in Port Coquitlam called Sky Dragon that might have the egg roll, but
              I'm not sure how the food is.

              -----
              Foo's Ho Ho Restaurant
              102 Pender St E, Vancouver, BC V6A1T3, CA

              Sky Dragon Restaurant
              1538 Prairie Ave, Port Coquitlam, BC V3B1T4, CA

              1. re: moyenchow

                My money is on Lotus Gardens on the main drag in Squamish.


                Lotus Gardens, (604) 892-5853
                38180 Cleveland Ave
                Squamish, British Columbia

                1. re: Sam Salmon

                  LotusRapper previously said: "Any family-run Chinese resto whose name contains either "Golden", "Jade", "Peking", "Rickshaw" or "Palace" would have a high chance of offering this type of spring rolls [wink]"

                  Ha, thanks Sam. We'll add "Lotus" to the list of signature Chinese resto names :-D

                  I bring to the attention of those of you who may be interested in reading about the history of Chinese cuisine and restaurant life in N. America, a book by Dr. John Jung:

                  http://www.lulu.com/product/paperback...

                  1. re: LotusRapper

                    I would add to your list "Dragon", "Ruby", "Panda", and "Garden".

                2. re: moyenchow

                  Foo's Ho Ho lists pork and crab egg rolls on their menu. I've never tried them myself though.
                  http://www.fooshoho.com/styled/index....

                   
                  1. re: Scoffier

                    That looks like rice noodle wrapping though. The difference is in the outside as from what I experienced the 'stuffing' was the same for the spring and egg rolls but the wrap was different. The egg roll wrapping is thicker. Not at all flakey

              2. Soooo....with high expectations, the Hubster stopped by Paul's Restaurant in Burnaby and got two egg rolls to go; he ate one on the spot (so as to accurately assess it when freshly cooked), and brought one home to me for a forensic examination.

                This is not our egg roll, unfortunately. Wrong wrapper, (spring roll wrapper), incredibly greasy surface, and what seemed to be a purely vegetable filling. The filling was tasty, mind you.

                The quest continues.

                2 Replies
                1. re: SherBel

                  Sorry my recommendation didn't work out for you guys. Maybe On-Lok on Hastings since Fmed spotted it on the menu.

                  Good luck and have fun on your Egg Roll scavenger hunt. Let us know if you find it.

                  1. re: moyenchow

                    I think On Lok will be a bust too, actually. Springrolls are just so prevalent here. I think this type of eggroll with a thick wrapper is a region specific dish (perhaps more of an eastern thing...in this case Ottawa specific). I'll keep looking since it got me interested.

                2. The old-school Chinese-American eggroll phenomenon is regional, historically only found in the eastern states, especially around NYC. So it seems for Canada, as well.

                  Here is a comprehensive thread from the LA board, with recipes even. Best of luck!
                  http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/3502...

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: Jimisi

                    Thank you, Jimisi! I think that we're going to try to make these at home, just for fun. I'll share our results!

                    1. re: SherBel

                      "Egg rolls are a holdover from when Chinese food was bad", funny quote from that thread.

                      You're welcome and I may try to do the same one of these days. I will visit Vancouver soon and look forward to having some great authentic Chinese food when there, thanks to this nice board.

                  2. Update:

                    We've purchased the various ingredients for our eggroll attempt, which will happen tomorrow.

                    I'm going to take notes as I make the filling, so I can tweak and/or repeat it. We're going with a pork-shrimp-napa cabbage-based filling, which I'll season very lightly. I bought some nice fatty pork butt at T & T, and I'm going to cook it today.....just haven't decided how to cook it yet.

                    Wish me luck, I'll report back!

                    1 Reply
                    1. So. We made eggrolls yesterday, and they were....okay. Each time we attempt them we get closer, and I think that we've narrowed down our mistakes. They were good, but we got the ratio wrong, too much meat to veg, so they tasted a bit "porky".

                      The hunt continues, and we'll try them again in a month or so.

                      In other news....we were in T&T a few days ago and the hubster bought a few of the pork/shrimp dim sum-sized springrolls off the hot buffet. They were very good indeed, we hoovered 12 of them (they're tiny) in the car on the way home. They're not eggrolls, but dang....they're tasty!

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: SherBel

                        Here is another egg roll thread from Home Cooking board. In this and others I've seen, they specify Chinese barbecued pork, probably finely minced.
                        http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/348271

                      2. Are these what they look like?

                         
                        1. I had typed out a long post and it got lost so here goes again. I'm not sure if you still check this but...

                          I had my first egg roll in Regina. It was amazing and so delicious.

                          Having grown up in Richmond with authentic Asian food I had never even heard of these before and assumed my very Barrie ON friend was mistaken.

                          Clearly it was me who was mistaken and has been missing out all my life. But I agree with other posters as I can not find these anywhere except for this one restaurant that is very westernized. It has to do with authenticity. The food in this particular restaurant where I found egg rolls isn't bad, but just doesn't taste right (for example chow mein or lettuce wrap).

                          I have spoken to all my HK and Chinese friends here about egg rolls and they keep correcting me to spring rolls. It is an ongoing battle but hopefully there are a few more restaurants out there with them!

                          1. The closest I've found is the "House Special Egg Roll" at Sun Star in the Burnaby/Coquitlam area.

                            Not perfect, a bit oily, but at least definitely NOT a flaky springroll wrapper. This one is thick and deep fried until crispy outside and a bit chewy inside. They don't flatten the ends with a fork like they do back east.

                            But who cares? It's the filling that matters, right? Finally, somewhere that doesn't pack its egg-/springrolls with nothing but miserable Sui Choy Chinese Napa cabbage mix! This filling is a yummy meaty mince of all the flavours I remember -- pork, shrimp, chicken, bamboo, water chestnut, and sweet greasy love.

                            May not be the exact flavour you remember but it's closer than anything I've found in BC. Hope it helps.

                            BTW if you find any better Vancouver area places with Ottawa-style eggrolls -- or Toronto-style (filled mostly with bean sprouts plus the same Ottawa-style wrapper & filling) -- PLEEEEAAASE let us all know here? Thanks a bunch.

                            Oh, best of luck in your efforts replicating them at home. It's the only way I've been able to enjoy fake-Chinese Ontario-style flavors since I moved here too!

                            http://sunstarchinese.ca/online-order...