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recommendations for a nice dinner and dim sum

My husband and I are in town for two nights and want to dine one night at an upscale restaurant and the other night at a local favorite. We hear the dim sum is great in Vancouver!
For the nice evening, we like unique flavor mixes and unusual twists on classic food. Can't do sushi (pregnant), not too interested in Italian. Looking for the second night to be Asian food, someplace casual. Looking forward to hearing y'all's recs!

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  1. I'm looking forward to replies regarding dim sum for dinner. Dim sum in the cities I've visited is a breakfast/lunch meal so will be interested to read about how it differs in Vancouver.

    1. Where in town will you be staying, and is a car available to you ?

      3 Replies
      1. re: LotusRapper

        We are downtown and have a rental car. Thanks!

        1. re: abbydh

          Dinesty (on Robson, one block east of Denman Street) could be fun for casual Shanghainese Taiwanese. They're famous for their xiao long bao (soup dumplings).

          http://blogs.vancouversun.com/2013/10...

          1. re: Florentine

            that sounds delicious! thank you!

      2. Take a look at L'abbatoir for your first evening. Ask for the back area if you want it a bit quieter. Cantonese dim sum is typically limited to the morning/lunch. There are some Shanghainese dimsum items at those restos available at night eg Dinesty as mentioned.

        9 Replies
        1. re: grayelf

          Great rec! What do you think of West or Le Crocodile (which is not very modern)?
          If we want casual the second night, I understand Asian food in your city is AWESOME. Instead of Dim Sum, what's a good Asian restaurant?
          If you would also recommend lunch Dim Sum...what's a good place?

          1. re: abbydh

            West hasn't blown me away but I've only been once in the last two years. Le Croc is great "true French" but not perhaps terribly specific to Vancouver. Neither strike me as likely to fulfil your request for unique flavor mixes and unusual twists on classic food.

            Going out for most Chinese cuisine here at dinner is a bit challenging if there are just two of you. Dim sum is easier in a duo as the dishes are much smaller. I like Kirin at 12th and Cambie -- be sure to make a reso if you are going on the weekend (that goes for any dim sum place; sometimes you will wait even WITH a reso!)

            1. re: grayelf

              You would describe L'Abattoir as Vancouver-Frenchish?
              Actually, for lunch, my mom will be joining us and a baby as well. It will be during the week. :) So still try Kirin?

              1. re: grayelf

                how would you describe food that's specific to Vancouver?

                  1. re: Sam Salmon

                    this is a heavy on alcohol place, right? Ill be too jelly (prego)

                    1. re: abbydh

                      Yes it's a bar with food but the food and the atmosphere are-as an adept here once posted- 'very Vancouver'.

                      No one will force you to order a drink it's not that kind of a place.

                1. re: grayelf

                  what about Rain City?....overhyped?
                  Is it worth eating at the Teahouse in the park?
                  What about the Observatory on Grouse?
                  Thanks a bunch!

            2. In addition to Greyelf's excellent recommendations, I would like to suggest the following for your consideration:

              Dim Sum:
              - Dynasty Seafood Restaurant http://www.dynasty-restaurant.ca/

              For Traditional Chinese Dinner:
              - I would also recommend Dynasty Seafood Restaurant
              - Jade Seafood Restaurant in Richmond, especially if they still have their Tapas Menu http://www.jaderestaurant.ca/menu_din...

              For maybe modern Chinese which may work for you as a couple:
              -Bao Bei http://bao-bei.ca/
              -Bambuddha http://bambudda.ca/

              For Upscale, are you avoiding seafood all together or just raw seafood?
              If cooked seafood is ok, I would recommend
              -Blue Water Cafe http://bluewatercafe.net/
              - Yew http://www.yewseafood.com/?src=ppc_go...

              5 Replies
              1. re: moyenchow

                WOW, awesome. You Canadians are the NICEST ppl! (right next to us Texans :)

                No raw, and some seafood is ok when pregnant, depends on mercury levels.

                1. re: abbydh

                  Then NO TUNA for you then ;)

                  Both Blue Water Cafe and Yew will work fine. Please consider our local seafood of Sablefish, Halibut, Salmon and Dungeoness Crab which all should be OK regarding Mercury.

                  I would describe Vancouver food as one that focuses on local ingredients (land & sea) with an Asian influence.

                  I like the view of the city you can get from the top of Grouse Mountain, not so much the food.

                  1. re: moyenchow

                    I figured it was one of those places where the view is great, and they know it so the food is just overpriced. LOL.

                    I guess we can go in and my hubby and mom can have a cocktail! milk for me and baby!

                    1. re: moyenchow

                      "Then NO TUNA for you"

                      Do that again, as if you're on Seinfeld ;-)

                2. I'll throw Chambar into the mix for the more upscale night out option. I remember having some fantastic "mocktails" there when I was pregnant. Not on the bar list but when I asked for something non-alcoholic they asked if for my drink preferences (fruity/sour/citrusy, etc) and then surprised me with the bartenders creations. Delicious everytime and I love the food, service and atmosphere.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: islandgirl

                    nice! Yelp says its Belgium Moroccan...how does that worK?