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Jul 2, 2011 12:46 PM

Need help with regional chinese

I'm going to be in Vancouver next month, and I'm interested in sampling some authentic regional Chinese cuisine while I'm there. I have done some searching on this board already and have found recommendations like Alvin Garden for Hunan and Peaceful for Northern Chinese. What I'm also interested in are the lesser known/more obscure regional Chinese cuisines.

Potentially I'm interested in anything and everything when it comes to regional Chinese cuisine. I don't know what my schedule will be like exactly yet so please list any recommendation you may have regardless of location.

Thank you very much in advance.

Alvin Garden
4850 Imperial St, Burnaby, BC V5J, CA

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  1. A local blogger (also here on CH) began a project last year on the 8 great regional cuisines of China. Integral to the learning and discovery of this project was the organization of dinners in local restos that specialize (not necessarily exclusively) in each of the regional fares. There's some interesting discussions in each of the threads, that might touch on the other eight regions and restos that might be good candidates to demonstrate them.

    For the record, this 8GTCC series covered Hunan, Jiangsu/Shanghai and Cantonese to date.

    I sense the series will resume one day and finish off the remaining 5GTCC :-)

    13 Replies
    1. re: LotusRapper

      (Just to note that Shanghai Village is closed.)

      Some quick recs:
      Hunan - Alvin Garden
      Yunan/Sichuan - S&W Pepperhouse
      Sichuan - Golden Spring, also a board favourite Nine Dishes
      Shanghai - Ningtu, Long's Noodle House
      Xi'an - some dishes at Peaceful (the owners are Xi'an)

      Some of my favourite regional Chinese dishes are served at foodcourt stalls:
      Guizhou (Huaxi Noodles at Crystal Mall) - for the Guizhou beef noodles
      Tianjin (O'Tray at President Plaza) in Richmond - get the crepe and the "burger"
      (Western China) Want Want (Crystal Mall) - for the cumin lamb roujiamo
      Xian (Xian Stall at Richmond Public Market)

      Crystal Mall
      4500 Kingsway, Burnaby, BC V5H2A9, CA

      Long's Noodle House
      4853 Main St, Vancouver, BC V5V3R9, CA

      Ningtu Restaurant
      2130 Kingsway, Vancouver, BC V5N2T5, CA

      Alvin Garden
      4850 Imperial St, Burnaby, BC V5J, CA

      1. re: fmed

        Could you tell me a bit more about Yunnan side of things at S&W Pepperhouse?

        This list is exactly what I was hoping for. If you (or anyone else) comes up with places for lesser known Chinese cuisine not already listed here, please add them.

        1. re: EdgeCityDweller

          They actually refer to themselves as a Guizhou restaurant but most of their dishes come from Sichuan, Yunnan, and Hunan. These cuisines are very similar as they share the same history, locale, etc. Look for pickled and hot things - eg Pork with Pickled mustard), Pork stomach with Pickled vegetable, Pickled Pork with peppers, etc. Their best known dish is the Guizhou fish with peanut and cilantro. (Actually, that peanut and cilantro dressing can be had as a seperate appetizer. Very good.)

          Another restaurant that comes to mind is Bing Sheng - which is rustic Guangdong (Cantonese)....but a bit different in that they serve homestyle dishes from outside the influence of HK-Cantonese.

          We have a number of Taiwanese restaurants here too. I like Liu's in Richmond.

          There is an pseudo Islamic Chinese/XInjiang/Uyghur place in Richmond called Bei Jiang. (Some dishes are actually good....but the overall experience is medicore).

          You might check out the Night Market in Richmond for some specific specialties.

          1. re: fmed

            I saw the thread about Bei Jiang but I couldn't get a feel for the place from that thread. What do you mean by the "overall experience in mediocre"? I realize that it's not real Uyghur food but the only place in North America I know of to get Uyghur food is in the San Gabriel Valley near LA. IOW the fact that its not true Uyghur food isn't going to stop me unless there are other reasons not to go there.

            Beyond that one thing I'm noticing is the lack of anything from Dongbei. I found a place in the archives called Joyce Jiaozi. Are they still serving Dongbei cuisine?

            Joyce Jiaozi Restaurant
            5171 Joyce St, Vancouver, BC V5R4G8, CA

            1. re: EdgeCityDweller

              Bei Jiang's front of house was staffed by very young, incredibly inexperienced staff...and most of the food was "meh". Again, a mere couple of the dishes were good (eg the skewers which they BBQ'd with charcoal). The place is a pseudo-Uyghur restaurant (look for DylanLK's comments on the thread dedicated to Bei Jiang).

              Joyce Jiaozi: I went once (sometime last year??) after the handover to the new owners and the food wasn't as good, but that may have been first week jitters. AFAIK, they are still serving Dongbei cuisine, but I haven't confirmed this recently.

              1. re: fmed

                Menu really hasn't changed at Joyce Jiaozi with the new owners. Still seeing them making and stuffing the dumplings at one of the back tables. I always go for the dumplings and maybe the shredded pancake dishes so can't comment on other Dongbei dishes, if available.

                1. re: el_lobo_solo

                  I'm passing through that area tomorrow. But dang it'll be only 9:30am. Too bad they're not open for brekkie. I recall eating millet congee and chives pocket (pastry) as kid in Taipei at a Dongbei resto:


                  And fried donuts and sesame/turnip pastries, mmmmm.

                2. re: fmed

                  Knowing that Bei Jiang is a pseudo-Uyghur restaurant and that I'm not bothered by it being "pseudo-Uyghur", is it worth going there at all?

                  1. re: EdgeCityDweller

                    Hmm. I may be worth a shot. We had a large party the second time we went (12 people?) so we were able to order a good survey of their menu. If you are a lone diner it may be easy to order badly. (I would say get their skewers at least).

                    1. re: fmed

                      If I go to Bei Jiang it's probably would be myself and one other person. What would you recommend we order there? And neither of us speak any Chinese, would that be a problem there?

                      1. re: EdgeCityDweller

                        Get lamb skewers and the big plate chicken (da pan ji) and crispy & sour cabbage .

                        This post covered the chowdown we had there a while back: - have a look at the dishes.

          2. re: fmed

            There is also one place now on Alexandra that offers traditional Chiu Chow fare (the name escapes me; it's either Delizia or near it), though you have to pre-order before you get there. The menu looks an awful lot like that former Chiu Chow place that was on Fraser. I haven't been yet, but I'm assuming somebody must have by now.

          3. re: LotusRapper

            This is great. That level of detailed information is really helpful.

            Even though I don't live in Vancouver I hope that the 8GTCC series at that blog starts up again too.