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Jun 12, 2013 08:56 AM

Some like it hot -- spicy Chinese food options proliferate in Vancouver area

A recent foray into Richmond for Sichuan got me thinking about how lucky we are here to have so many choices. Sichuan and Hunan places are popping up on Kingsway right out to Burnaby, new ones joining old favourites. Here's a link to an essential guide for locals and visitors:

What is your favourite place to get your ma la on?

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  1. Being of Cantonese heritage, I'm a ma-la weenie :-D so anything over mild/med spicy ain't my cup of tea. But the expanding landscape of Sichuan/Hunan restaurants in Metro Van is a good thing.

    A few years back, Ben embarked on a journey to discover local restaurants that showcased the fabric of the 8GTCC (8 traditions of the Chinese cuisine). It was a fab piece of work he did:

    asterisk'd ones are the 4 major regional cuisines:

    Cantonese *
    Jiangsu (Huaiyang) *
    Shandong *
    Sichuan *

    Even though we made it to eating 3 cuisines out of the 8, the series was fun and educational.


    4 Replies
    1. re: LotusRapper

      Yeah, sad that Ben never got past three. I was signed up to do Fujian, IIRC and you were going to do Zhejiang.

      I think Alvin Garden is still my favourite for Hunan, though it's been too long since I've been (the SO goes more frequently for lunch). Nine Dishes and Kalvin's make me happy for Sichuan dishes, though of course both are not strictly Sichuanese. S&W Pepperhouse in Richmond was my top pick but alas it closed last year. Still more (and more coming, it seems) to try...

      1. re: LotusRapper

        That 8 Traditions categorization has long been anachronistic. The landscape is probably better represented with a more simplified Four Schools plus the Autonomous regions (Islamic Western cuisines and Tibetan, etc) plus Taiwanese.

        1. re: fmed

          ".... plus the Autonomous regions (Islamic Western cuisines and Tibetan, etc) plus Taiwanese."

          Prolly not in the eyes of Beijing, 'tho ;-)

          1. re: LotusRapper

            "Autonomous regions" is Beijing's own hypocritical term for these areas.