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Jan 25, 2012 11:41 AM

Looking for Good Szechuan restaurant Vancouver area

For years we used to go to a small Szechuan restaurant on East Broadway called the "Wing Wah".
The chef produced some of the most memorable meals we have ever had. His squid in spicy garlic sauce for example was absolutely remarkable. The head waiter , Brian (English name), greeted each customer with warmth and respect. He always managed to steer us in the right direction with our menu choices.
Alas the chef, owner, decided to retire at age 85 and the restaurant closed it's doors forever.
We have been searching since the restaurant closed for a replacement but have not found one to match Wing Wah's quality.

What are your suggestions for a good Szechuan restaurant.

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  1. IIRC, WIng Wah was at the corner of Broadway and Kingsway (opposite Kingsgate Mall) before it was damaged by fire along with the fitness nutrition store and Ho Tak Kee (New Maple) restaurant.

    1. For that type of Szechuan food (ie old school westernized Szechuan) try Grandview Szechuan on Fraser and 23rdish.

      7 Replies
      1. re: fmed

        How about:

        Szechuan Chongqing (12th & Commercial)
        Hotluck (Burnaby)
        S&W Pepperhouse (Burnbay, Richmond)

        1. re: LotusRapper

          Maybe Szechuan Chongqing will work (it used to be our family's favourite many moons ago)....but Hotluck and S&W Pepperhouse* don't serve westernized Szechuan food. Both are more "authentic" Sichuan restaurants that serve food with a completely different flavour profile than the food at Wing Wah. (*S&W Pepperhouse are actually Guizhou, but serve quite a number of Sichuan dishes)

          1. re: fmed

            We used to go to Wing Wah with friends who had small children and it worked well for that. They had a tiny fountain the kids liked to dabble in (!). Agree that somewhere like Grandview would be closer to that experience.

            1. re: fmed

              Which brings me to ask, Fmed, since you prolly know. Are all the Szechuan Chongqing locations (12th Ave, Broadway, Kingsway) owned by the same folks or franchised ?

              And is Grandview Szechuan (Fraser St) used to be on W. Broadway near Manitoba, around where Mtn Equip Co-op is now ?

              1. re: LotusRapper

                No the first question (not owned by the same folks, and not franchised). (Szechuan ChongQing on Commercial Dr was sold by the owners who then re-opened at Broadway. The restaurants have the same name, but different ownership). I actually do not know anything about the ones in Burnaby and on Robson St. I suspect they are all independent.

                Yes to the second question.

                1. re: fmed

                  I had lunch last week at the Chongqing restaurant on Kingsway and Nelson in Burnaby. First thing I asked was whether they are the same as the Chongqings around town. They did tell me that it is "owned by the same owners".

                  The food was just so-so. This is definitely not one that I would go to if I am looking for a Sichuan meal. But I think this restaurant could do well in this location as the food caters to the tastes of many who works around the area. Lots of restaurants had come and gone and none lasted more than 1 year in the past.

                  1. re: chowtimes

                    That sounds reasonable. The CQ on Commercial, Robson, and Kingsway must be owned by one family. The one on Broadway is definitely not owned by the same people AFAIK.

        2. I would add Mr. Zhang's on Victoria to the list of worthy Szechuan restaurants. Looks like a hole in the wall, but the the plates that arrive from the kitchen are some of the best we have had in this genre.

          7 Replies
          1. re: Peter Rodgers

            I heard Mr. Zhang closed not too long ago (?)

            1. re: LotusRapper

              I've been meaning to confirm that. They definitely opened a Sichuan Karaoke joint in Crystal Mall. Mr Zhang's used to serve a bit of both -- "authentic" Sichuan and westernized Szechuan, IIRC. So you'll find both Ginger Beef etc and Laziji etc on the same menu.

              1. re: fmed

                Rumour has it that the Ginger Beef *as we know it locally* has it roots in Calgary, circa 1974:



                  1. re: fmed

                    I wonder how accurate that is? I used to order a dish in New York, which was available at all the szechuan/hunan places in NY and it was usually called "dry beef" or something like that. It was very similiar to what we call ginger beef(when it is done well).

                    1. re: tdeane

                      Dry fried beef. Yeah - we'll never know for sure where it was "invented."

                1. re: fmed

                  They did and its really decent. Its a weird place, it has two english names, Mr.Zhang's Karaoke and Restaurant , and some other one that was printed on the bill. Gotta say don't like their new location and the servers are so different.

                  everytime I go there the xlb is different. Its so hit and miss it drives me crazy.