Lee Garden Seafood is a somewhat new resto in Burnaby that replaced the infamous Grand Buffet. For many years, Grand Buffet was a solid, go-to spot for a cheap fill…the Uncle Willy’s of Asian fare. As the years went by, it slowly deteriorated into an unseemly dive with barely warmed chaffing dishes of nastiness alongside crunchy, past-due sushi and frostbitten ice cream. On our final visit, I pulled a ladle of soup from the tureen with a foot-long hair attached. Rock-bottom. They shut down, thankfully, a couple of years ago. This past spring the space was transformed into a rather luxurious new restaurant. Miss Vancouver Piggy captured the room beautifully in her post.
As is tradition in our office this time of year, we say goodbye to our summer students with a feast. This time around we went with a rather major meal at Burnaby’s newest Dim Sum joint.
Lee Garden is an extremely popular spot. On most days the parking lot is full by 11:30 a.m. with the overflow lining the side streets. Most dim sum items are in the $5 range so it ain’t bargains drawing in the crowds. It seems cleanliness, good eats and great service are the main attractions.
Har Gow will always be ordered. It’s a standard to go by. Here it’s labelled Lee Garden Special Prawn Dumplings. And these were pretty special. There’s a sizeable amount of fresh, firm prawn encased in a light wrap all steamed to a perfect degree. I haven’t come across many better executed.
Another standard, of course, is Sui Mai (Steamed Pork Dumplings). These were prepared very well. Tight, fresh ground pork, still juicy and full-flavored. The haphazard tossing of tobiko seemed odd. Why finish a nice dish so sloppily? Sherman noted this in his post as well. It’s very strange that a higher-end establishment would allow this kind of inconsistency to hit the table repeatedly.
From the Chef’s Specialty menu, we went with the rather inexpensive Pan Fried Noodle with Chive ($5.98). Nothing special but tasty, nonetheless. A good noodle cooked right.
Deep Fried Pork & Shrimp Dumplings. I love these mainly for the crisp and chewy wrap. The minced ingredients are on the minimal side but it is one addictive morsel!
For another crunchy, grease-laden treat, we grabbed a couple plates of Fried Shrimp Spring Rolls with Garlic. These were well-packed with crisp prawn and almost enough garlic. A sweeter dip would’ve helped but that’s just me being a gweilo.
In this day and age, a bargain is hard to come by. Sure, there is a lot of cheap stuff out there but to find something substantial, satisfying and reasonably priced, all at the same time, is a rarity.
When Becky mentioned great big, spicy hot pots at Red 6, I made sure to check it out promptly.
Red 6 is a tiny Mom & Pop shop in Parkcrest Plaza on Broadway in Burnaby. The room seats maybe twenty and on a cold, rainy day it’s packed. The main attraction here are the ridiculously huge, steaming hot pots.
This past Thursday was particularly wet and chilly. After Becky described the bountiful, spicy bowls on offer here, we grabbed The Gut and the three of us dug in.
The standard set for the Assorted Hot Pot consists of a choice of meat…beef, pork, chicken or fish. You can also opt for the seafood version (shrimp, mussel and fish ball). You choose rice or noodle and one of seven types of soup.
The Gut went for the Miso Soup with chicken. It looked darn good and due to the long amount of silence, I’ll assume it tasted just as good.
As Ben from Chowtimes was headed off to Beijing for an extended work stint, a bunch of us got together for a send-off. The original plan was for a spicy feast at Aree Thai. Turns out they were closed that night so I put out a call for some different options. The ever-intrepid Fmed came up with a very unique suggestion…Khyber Pass.
Khyber Pass is right near Kingsway & Victoria in East Van in what was formerly the Red Fort. They offer Afghan and Pakistani fare in a cozy, kitschy, old-school dining room.
Not the most modern or elegant of settings but a nice sense of comfort sets in immediately. We had originally planned for a dozen or so diners. Fmed had wangled us a set rate of $14 a head. Come mealtime, we were down to seven folks. Not sure if the kitchen got word of the down-size because we got hit with a massive amount of food.
We had a rough idea of tonight’s menu…some kebabs, some curry, some rice. The appies, however, were to be a mystery. The first plate was a simple form of spring roll.
About as simple as you can make it. There’s cabbage, carrot, pepper and a bit of seasoning. A mildly spicy tamarind dip alongside.
The Mantoo are Afghanistan’s (and neighbouring regions’) dumpling. They are full of spiced beef or lamb and covered in a minty yogurt sauce. They’re then topped with a ratatouille of beans, corn, peas and peppers. Not sure why the addition of the stewed veg…seems to obscure the mildly flavored dumpling and delicate sauce.
The Naan was hot, fresh and tasty…just a bit flat. That’s flat as in not quite leavened enough. A bit too chewy, not very flaky. It is, however, a great vehicle for this:
Bouranee Baunjan (Afghan Eggplant with Yogurt Sauce). A nice, rudimentary sauté of eggplant, tomato, onion and garlic. The minty yogurt sauce makes another well-placed appearance.
Right next to the Holdom Skytrain Station in central Burnaby, is a comfortable, friendly, slightly surreal sushi joint called Sushimoto. It’s a somewhat sleek and very unique venue.
Aside from the great fare, the room is full of interesting knick-knacks. Some traditional Japanese, some quirky eye candy. There’s the requisite paper lanterns but there’s also a cool collection of action figures.
The detail on Tony Montana is freaking eerie…right down to the five o’clock shadow!
I’ve been meaning to hit this place up for quite awhile. Since I first saw their vibrant menu and then read the continuing stream of positive commentary, it was obvious that this was a spot to go to for stellar eats.
Sushimoto offers up some pretty decent lunch specials. One of them is the Maki Roll, Miso Soup, Sunomono Combo. For $9.99 you choose from one of eight specialty rolls and your choice of Vegetable, Tako or Ebi Sunomono.
Quite a substantial sunomono. Nearly double the size I’ve become accustomed to in a combo setting. Clean, cool and very fresh.
The Red Hot Chili Roll really hit the mark. Great sushi rice to start…perfectly cooked and seasoned. A nice, creamy scallop filling topped with spicy tuna and drizzled with spicy sauce & mayo. It has a bit of zip…no serious heat factor, though.
A couple of Fridays ago, my mission was to get the gang in the mood for Dim Sum. Part of that mission was also to do a reasonably priced Friday lunch. Nothing scares fellow diners off more than a continuing string of expensive meals. When I brought up Wah Lun Chinese Restaurant on Hastings in North Burnaby, the idea was met with, “Why don’t you try it on your own gut first“. You see, the internets are full of so-so opinions about this place. There are also a bunch of positive comments out there and because Burnaby is sorely lacking in decent Dim Sum restaurants, I figure it’s best to check out each and every one. In the end the “Let’s all give it a shot” sentiment won out.
So, on an absolutely horrendous rain-soaked day, seven hearty souls trundled to the northern reaches of Burnaby to see what was really up at Wah Lun.
The checklist menu here has most of the usual suspects as well as a boatload more. What jumped out right away was the assortment of interesting dessert items. Not just egg tarts and coconut jello here. Unfortunately, no one had room after the dim sum feast.
After many, many dim sum lunches of late, I figure I’ll order at least one or two items I’ve yet to try. There’s always the must-haves, but variety is…well, you know. One item here that caught my attention was the Deep Fried Crispy Seafood Salad Roll. Damn tasty. Not what we’d expected, tho.
After a couple of years of food-blogging, I thought it was time to hit up some old favorites and give them a fresh look. It’s always interesting to check out some different menu items and see if things are as good as I remembered. My main reason for going back to New Age is because of recent visits to Kalvin’s and Long’s Noodle House. At those two spots I had a couple of dishes that I noticed were also on New Age’s menu.
New Age Chinese Cuisine is primarily a Taiwanese resto with some Shanghainese thrown in for good measure. It’s quite an easy spot to miss as it’s located within the Best Western King’s Inn in Burnaby. There’s no street adverts for the restaurant…you’ve just got to know where you’re going.
This is the dining area you see when you first arrive. There’s three large tables and about five smaller ones. If you tack right at the service counter you’ll enter the much larger banquet area. There you’ll find several tables that hold ten or twelve.
Over the years I’ve dragged a Friday Lunch crew here about seven or eight times. This past Friday we arrived around 11:30 to a deserted room. As this was our first visit in many months, this gave me a bit of a scare. Plus the fact that the usual familiar faces were gone didn’t help neither. Not to worry. By the time we left, the entire restaurant was full up.
As mentioned, I really wanted to come back here because of a couple of interesting plates I’d got to try recently. By sheer coincidence, Jacky Chan, a co-worker and my personal Chinese food guru, visited Long’s Noodle House the night before and had their Wine Chicken. We had a bit of a concern that our fellow diners might not appreciate a cold, partially gelatinous chicken dish. After a bit of humming and hawing, there wasn’t a complaint to be heard.
Here, it’s referred to as Chicken in Shao Xing Wine Sauce. This must’ve been a big bird. Although a bit drier than Long’s version, it was much meatier and packed with just as much flavor. A touch salty but not overly so.
One dish that resonated quite well from the feast at Kalvin’s was their Chicken with Three Spice aka Three Cup Chicken. It was a great dish. New Age’s version, methinks, was even better.
Slathered in a combo of Shaoxing wine, sesame oil and soy, this dish is a must order here. What sets it apart from Kalvin’s is that the meat is much more tender and a lot less bony. It simply falls away…no bits of bone to contend with. The soft cloves of garlic don’t hurt a bit. Phenomenal stuff.
Ah, Sunday..the best day of the week. Everything gets slowed down a notch or two, it seems. More often than not, it’s a late snooze, a slow meander to Starbucks and then off for another dining adventure. Lately we’ve been hitting up a lot of Dim Sum. This past week was no exception. Our mission on this day was to check out the award-winning Red Star Seafood.
Red Star has won a plethora of awards. Last year they took home the gold for their BBQ Duck at the Chinese Restaurant Awards. This year it was the “Most Innovative” award for their Dungeness Crab with Wild Rice.
As with most large, upper-scale Dim Sum restaurants, this one was packed to overflowing on a Sunday afternoon. Even with a reservation, we had to wait thirty minutes for an opening. After the third time the hostess told us, “Five minutes, we’ll call your name!”, we seriously considering crossing the street to Talay Thai. Just as I was about to bolt, our table was finally ready.
The ordering system here is somewhat confusing. The checklist is only in Chinese. The numbers correspond to the items in the regular menu. Photos of the menu can be seen here.
Here it is! The 2010 CRA Critic’s Choice Gold Medal winning BBQ Duck. I gotta say, this is damn good! Make that great! Very tender and juicy…the fat melted away to create the most succulent duck imaginable. The duck is basted for hours in a sweet five-spice marinade to achieve the beautiful lacquered finish.
About a month ago, in the midst of a whole bunch of stupidity, Kevin from 604foodtography, suggested a big ol’ chowdown at Kalvin’s Restaurant. Within a day or so, thirteen of us responded with a resounding “Hell, yeah!“. From a rather depressing, unfortunate day, the focus was returned to where it should always be in the food blogging community…on the food! After all, that’s what we’re only here for…right?
Other bloggers at this night’s feast included:
- Sherman from Sherman’s Food Adventures
- Ben & Suanne from Chowtimes
- Angie from Sea Salt With Food
- Jessica from Yum-O-Rama
- Ed from Ed Eats
- Diana from Foodology
- Russell from The Daily Slif
Strange thing about Kalvin’s…the awning says “Kalvin’s Szechuen Restaurant” so I was all geared up for a fiery, chile-laden feast. Turns out they put up mostly Taiwanese fare. No problem…I’m game for anything! There were a few spicy dishes and some interesting Taiwanese I’d not yet tried.
This’d be one of those dishes I’d put in the “I’ll-try-it-one-time” category. The Fondue Spicy Pork with Organ Stew was actually quite tasty if you can get your head around the intestine part. It’s obviously a cultural thing that I’ve yet to adapt to. Texturally, it was fine. No excessive chewiness…not rubbery at all. For me, it’s all about the funky aroma. There’s a load of foods I love that give off strange, unique smells. It’s just that when the smell originates from that part of the animal, it can be difficult to adjust to.
The Pork & Ton Choy in BBQ Sauce also had a unique flavor to it. If you close your eyes, you’d swear you were eating a seafood dish. That was due, according to Kevin, to the use of a satay sauce or, as I later found out, it can be called “Shacha sauce“. It’s a much different flavor to most satay sauces due to the addition of brill fish and dried shrimp. The ton choy itself was nicely cooked giving the dish a well needed fresh, crisp element.
Inn Noodle House is a recent addition to New Westminster’s “dining scene”. It’s located at street-level in Plaza 88, New Westminster’s brand new condo/shopping/entertainment complex. It’s a reincarnation of the old Dragon Palace that used to reside just up the road on 8th.
I was a bit apprehensive before this visit. You see, New West isn’t exactly flush with great Chinese food. There’s the odd bit of decent fare but it’s hit or miss. Having had a couple of pretty good dishes from Dragon Palace gave me reason for hope. On this visit, we decided to keep it basic. A couple types of dim sum and some items off the lunch special menu ought to give us a flavor of this new resto.
Like I said in my previous post, “If Hot & Sour Soup is on the menu, it will be ordered!”. This is one of the rare times I should’ve gone for the corn chowder or whatever else was on offer. Can’t say that I’ve had a weirder tasting bowl. As I was taking pics, The Gut mumbled something about beef. I thought he meant there was beef instead of pork in it. He meant there was beef consomme in it! It wasn’t horrible…we did finish it, after all. Just very, very odd with that flavor.
We were impressed by the Har Gow (Shrimp Dumplings) as soon as they hit the table…they look to be good-sized, well-made dumplings. Unfortunately, as soon as you try and pick one up, the wrap breaks…obviously over-steamed. That’s confirmed by a tough, chewy ball of glued-together prawn. Bit of a shame, that.
On the other hand, our second dim sum choice was a great pick. As the Pan-fried Dumplings and the Steamed Pork Dumplings weren’t available, our server suggested these…
Long’s Noodle House has been on my “hit-list” for far too long. It’s a tiny, easy to miss spot on Main St. between 32nd and 33rd with a great reputation for their Shanghainese cuisine.
We arrived during the noon-hour on a Monday. The restaurant was about half full. Before too long, it was packed. Our friendly server/owner, Sandy, was running the floor single-handedly. When I told her we were going to order about ten dishes, she didn’t bat an eye or even grab a pad of paper. As I reeled off our choices, she simply tapped a fingertip for each one. Amazing, really.
Our first dish is a must-order here. The Wine Chicken is served at room-temp in a beautiful ceramic crock. Chicken legs are poached in Shaoxing wine, broth, pepper, ginger and a bit of sugar. A great display of simplicity.
Lin Chinese is a busy, little Northern Chinese restaurant at the equally busy intersection of Broadway & Granville. Many fellow bloggers have written about it over the years. Most of the write-ups were positive but several weren’t. Last weekend I got together some friends to find out what’s what.
This is a spot that’s been on my ever-growing “to-visit” list. I’d heard good things about their Tan Tan Noodles…a big favorite of mine. As that is more of a “solo” dish, I’ll have to make a return visit.
I arrived on a crappy, very wet and chilly Sunday afternoon…the perfect weather for feasting. Actually, any weather’s great for feasting!!
When I ordered the Crispy Daikon Pastry, I was told it wasn’t available. In lieu of that, our server suggested we try the Five Spice Tofu Sheet. Not too sure why she’d offer this kind of substitution. Oh, wait! I know why…it’s more expensive. Silly me…fell for that old trick again. Anyway, it was a pretty good suggestion…a nice refreshing start. Maybe there was “five-spice” in it but the only discernible flavor agent was sesame oil. It completely overpowered any additional elements.
The Hot & Sour Soup was a WTF moment. When I say WTF, I mean, “Where’s The Flavor”? It certainly wasn’t hot and was definitely missing the sour part. Nowhere near what we’ve come to expect. At six bucks for a huge bowl, a very good deal. If you’re looking for authenticity, not so much.
Crystal Mall, for those of you that haven’t been there, is a circular two-level Asian shopping center in Burnaby. On its street-level perimeter and on its inner concourse, are a plethora of small (some very good) restaurants. On the upper level is the mall’s food court, a wonderland of various Asian food stalls. They are all primarily Chinese-run and most offer Chinese fare. There is a smattering of Japanese and one that serves up Thai and Malaysian. All told, there’s about thirty vendors to pick from…they run the gamut from so-so to darn impressive. When lunchtime rolls around and I’m not 100% sure what I’m hungry for, I head to the food court and start grazing.
Today’s first stop is Red Persimmon Taiwanese Cuisine for their Gua Bao (刮包) aka the Taiwanese Burger. This pick was due to a tip from Kim from I’m Only Here For The Food.
It doesn’t look like much…kinda boring actually. But that’s far from true. The big chunk of pork has been braised a good looong while…very tender, very moist. The massive, pillowy steam bun has nice chew, slathered with sugary peanut powder and crunchy pickled greens. Excellent value at $3.50.
Seems most recipes call for cilantro. That particular fresh herb would have livened things up nicely.
Ali Shan is another one of those places I’ve walked by many times on my way into Crystal Court. I’ll pause awhile, peruse the colorful array of food photos, and keep on going. Finally, after many months, I stopped in for a quick lunch.
This is a small, comfortable and welcoming room that fills up fast over the lunch hour. It’s located on the south side of the mall, across from the library, right next to the entrance to the parkade from hell. Here’s a tip for whenever you want to hit Crystal Court…grab a spot at Station Square. It’s a short walk and it’s free. You will, however, miss the never-ending entertainment of circular parking.
***Since I started writing this (yesterday), Ali Shan has closed this location and moved shop around the corner. They are now two doors down from Green Bamboo, a big-time favorite of mine! The new store hasn’t yet opened. A server told me they plan on opening sometime in May.
Dang. Too many good options. Being in the mood for something spicy (as usual) but not soup-wise, it took awhile to choose. Luckily, there was a big poster displaying the ”Spicy Stired Beef with Rice Cake”. Sounds good to me!
At first glance, I was just a bit worried. The tubes of rice cake looked to be on the hefty side. Turns out they weren’t at all…fantastic these were! Rather light, actually. They picked up the sweet and spicy sauce beautifully. A great plate, this.
A week or so ago, the plan was to check out Lin Chinese. Benzie, already there, called with the news that they were closed for two weeks. Grrrrr! On to Plan B…Thai Basil. Closed on Sunday. Double grrrrr! Whilst cruising down Denman on the way to our third option, Gyoza King, I called an audible and we wound up at Legendary Noodle.
Legendary Noodle has been on my wish list for some time. Any place that takes the time and effort to create their own noodles is always worth a visit or five. It turns out, at least in our case, that they make noodles to order!
We arrived to an empty, very decorative, small room. As soon as we ordered, the head chef/La Mian Master sprung into action.
It’s always fascinating to see hand-pulled noodles being created. Yes, a lot of it is about show, but seeing your noodles being made before your eyes is always a novelty…it never gets old. When a noodle-maker puts himself on display, you know right away he takes pride in his work. You’ve just got to admire that.
During a recent visit to Sun Sui Wah we decided to start a gluttonous run through the vastness of Vancouver’s top Dim Sum spots. Next stop…Spicy Court Chinese on Cambie at 41st.
Upon arrival, it was obvious that street parking nearby wasn’t gonna happen. That meant only one thing…scary underground parking. Having read about Spicy Court’s parkade, I got a tinge nervous. A parkade four levels deep with tiny stalls and no exit…yikes!
Spicy Court’s spots are on the third level down. Being Sunday at peak hours, this is a ridiculous situation. With the upper two levels completely empty, Spicy’s spots are near fully packed. Can’t y’all work something out?
As with Sun Sui Wah, we arrived on an early Sunday afternoon, absolutely famished. Even worse, Benzie and I had to wait for a couple of stragglers. Being somewhat polite diners, we held off ordering for fifteen minutes. When they still hadn’t shown up, we chucked the politeness out the door and started ordering like it was a death row meal. As the first plate arrived, so did the other half of our crew.
Before the dishes arrived we were sure to grab a saucer of Spicy Court’s fermented bean chili paste. This has a nice, dense flavour with a mighty kick. Perfect for virtually any dish. Especially this one:
A couple of weeks back, on a rather lackluster Tuesday, The Gut asked, “What’s for lunch?”. After the usual suspects came to mind, I remembered checking out some posts on Bubble World the previous evening. Upon reading a bunch of mixed reviews and checking out their somewhat diverse menu, I figured it was worth a shot.
Bubble World is a chain of eight restaurants throughout the GVRD. The spot in Burnaby is a popular late-night hangout for Bubble Tea aficionados, obviously. I’ve never been a big fan of jelly globules in my beverages. Maybe its just the fact that I have to chew my drink. Much prefer ice…it serves a purpose!
The menu here is mainly Taiwanese with a smattering of dim sum and a bit of Japanese. It’s very much like No. 1 Beef Noodle House and The One, just to name a couple of local spots. Not sure why these places feel the need to widen their menus so far…there’s so much good Taiwanese fare already. It seems odd and a bit tricky, kitchen-wise. Unless you have a top-notch kitchen staff, the quality of the food will always suffer.
Enough with the opinionating! On to the food!
I love Dim Sum. It’s the perfect way to gather a gang of good folk and sample a wide range of snack-sized plates. There is a catch, however. Much like grocery shopping, if you do it on an empty stomach, you may buy too much. With four empty stomachs, it’s inevitable.
Sun Sui Wah is amongst the vanguard of Vancouver Dim Sum restaurants. If not the best, it is certainly one of the most popular. On a Sunday afternoon the place is teeming with several hundred diners and a small army of servers.
Upon entering the room I was stunned at the sheer size of it and the vast amount of people. Luckily, one of my friends keeps his head shaved so it wasn’t a problem finding our table. Gotta say, so far that’s the best reason for keeping a clean melon that I’ve come across.
Along with a colorful, pictorial version, there is also a menu checklist.
A couple of months ago a new, up-scale Chinese restaurant opened its doors in Burnaby. Grand Dynasty Seafood Restaurant is located in the Grand Villa Casino complex. With a mix of high-quality Dim Sum and top-notch plates, it seems to be the go-to place for well-heeled locals.
Upon arrival, we asked for a table for six. There were a few tables available but we were seated at the biggest one, a ten-top. When I asked why we were given a table so big, the service captain said, jokingly, “So you order more food!”. I knew he was kidding, but in the end, he was spot on.
The service here, it must be noted, is well above average. There’s a small army of suited waiters looking out for their customers. While waiting for the other half of our party to arrive, I realized I hadn’t plugged the parking meter. On my way a server actually followed me outside to offer suggestions on where to park for free. As I was parked just outside, and it was a dollar an hour, I just paid the meter. You’ve got to appreciate that level of attention.
Seeing as how we are a group of five and a half Caucasians, there was a small amount of trepidation. Three of us were adorned in our finest work clothes, the other three nattily attired in office gear. But, as Kim says, “I’m only here for the food!”.
We started with an array of dim sum. The price points are a tad higher than most. Small $4.50, medium $4.95, large $5.25, special $5.50 and Chef’s Special $6.50.
Well, here we are…New Year’s Eve, the last Friday of 2010. It’s been a damn good year, eats-wise. Plenty of new, local discoveries along with trips to Zacatecas and Merida in Mexico…some of the best Mexican fare I’ve encountered. Ten days spent in Vietnam left me hungering for many more southeast Asian explorations. So, it being the last Friday of the year, I got together a rather skeleton crew of lunchers and headed to Meishan Restaurant.
Meishan is on the concourse level of the Crystal Mall in Burnaby. They’re right across the way from S&W Pepper House, a fine spot for Sichuan fare. Meishan offers up Taiwanese as well as some real good Sichuan. Many times, coming and going from S&W, I’ve stopped to stare at their droolworthy façade.
This is a compact space. They make the most of it, however. There’s a couple of big tables for eight, about eight four-tops and one two-top.
At lunchtime on New Year’s Eve there’s a decent crowd…about a dozen total. I’m guessing this place packs up on regular days.
Meishan has a pretty substantial menu. This is about half of it. The Lunch Special menu itself (top-right & bottom-center) is quite impressive. I’ll be back for the Sichuan Beef Noodle Soup and their Dan Dan Noodles.
Several weeks ago, while working along Kingsway, by Metrotown, I noticed a new awning adorning Tai Won Chinese Restaurant. Always intrigued by new restaurant signage, I made a mental note to go check it out. Before I got a chance, Shokutsu from Foodosophy beat me to the punch. His well-written, in-depth post only intrigued me more.
Tai Won is located on a quite safe stretch of Kingsway in Burnaby. One must always be aware, however, of unsavory types lingering on the roadside looking for dining partners. This particular gentleman was especially persistent to the point that we invited him along for some lunch.
There is a fair bit of confusion about this establishment. The sign says “Chinese Restaurant”. However, once inside, you immediately can tell it’s a Korean-run spot. The staff are Korean as are all the menu items. Shokutsu cleared up some of the confusion on his post with this: “Its a Chinese-influenced restaurant however, but basically the niche genre of Chinese-Korean cuisine that’s available in Korea.”
Our server made a point of asking if we knew that they serve Korean-Chinese fare. Not knowing exactly what that meant, we all said, “Um, ok!”. Bring it on!
Way back in September 2009, I wrote a post on Green Bamboo Vietnamese Cuisine. Since then the owner/chef has been continually tweaking his menu with new and delicious items. As Green Bamboo has become my favorite local, I thought it deserved an updated post.
Green Bamboo is located on Willingdon Avenue, just south of Kingsway in Burnaby. They are street-level next to the ever popular Han Ju Tofu Hot Pot. The room is quite small, usually steamy and plastered with droolworthy photos of their dishes. Last summer while I was outside checking out the pics, the owner came out and promptly recommended the Grilled Pork Vermicelli Rice Bowl. Turned out to be a fantastic dish. For the last year or so I’ve slowly been making my way through the quite large and varied menu. I have my standbys, but there’s so much more…
Tasty Village is yet another spot the crew has visited several times over the years. Although most of the fare is good enough to come back for, we’ve had a few “misses”. One big “miss” last time around was a batch of under-cooked Sui Mai (Pork and Mushroom dumplings). That put a bit of a scare into some of us. It’s been several months since that visit, so I figured it was time to give them another shot.
Tasty Village is located on the same little strip-mall as No. 1 Beef Noodle House. Alongside New Hibiki Sushi and Michaelangelo Pizza, this can be a bit of a parking nightmare. Luckily, we had our act together and showed up good and early. Seems most of the parking craziness is over on the No. 1 BNH side of the lot leaving a load of free parking for us!
Since our last visit, things seem to of improved some at the Tasty Village. Right away one could tell they’ve been spiffing things up a bit. The room seemed fresher, somehow. There’s a glossy, new plasma screen and the menus are of the bright & shiny variety that seem to be popping up all over town.
Their new Dim Sum menu has a bunch of the usual suspects but is missing some big-time favorites. There’s no sign of Sui Mai (interesting), Har Gow, Wu Gok (Deep-fried taro balls) or even Rice Rolls. Oh, well. At least there’s a good variety left to choose from.
Korean food is one cuisine I’m not all that familiar with. I can count my visits to Korean restaurants on one hand…one trip to Jang Mo Jib and three to Hanwoori. It’s an odd thing considering all the grilled meat and chili involved…two items at the top of my all-time favorites list. My second time at Hanwoori was for their deluxe dinner for six…a most memorable feast. I hope to do that again real soon!
My most recent visit was an impromptu blogger meet-up with Ben and Fmed.
Hanwoori is a most familiar location for me. Many years ago it was Joy’s, a venerable old diner that we frequented for breakfast. Although I really miss all those old coffee shops, I am more than happy to see them replaced with restos that serve up superior Asian fare.
The really cool part of Korean dining is the complimentary Banchan.
How can you not appreciate free, tasty & unlimited appetizers? Obviously, this concept needs to be incorporated into each and every cuisine. The Kimchi here is particularly delicious.
For today’s feast Fmed suggested we try some of the more unfamiliar menu items. First off, though, I thought we should try some Korean fried dumplings.
There’s a small, somewhat humid spot on the corner of Kingsway and Nelson in Burnaby that puts out some fantastic food. For the past several years I’ve been visiting Lao Shan Dong Homemade Noodle House and have developed a major affection for their Taiwanese Beef Noodle Soup.
Lao Shan Dong is an offshoot of a Taipei restaurant that originated in 1949. The way I figure it, if a place is going to go ahead and mention a 60-year-old history of beef-noodle-making, they’re probably going to make a pretty decent bowl.
They offer a compact menu of hand-cut noodle dishes, soups, dumplings as well as a variety of traditional cold appetizers. Although the appies on display look appetizing, on this day, we’re here for the noodles.