Reader Restaurant Recommendations - Western Canada (British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba)
Floata Seafood Restaurant, 400 - 180 Keefer Street, Vancouver (in the heart of Chinatown), Telephone: 604 - 602 - 0368
This restaurant is the largest in the city and probably the largest in North America. With 1000 seats, it can accommodate the largest wedding or convention, but still offers superb cuisine for a table of two. The dim sum features some unique dishes not found elsewhere in Vancouver, and the set menus for dinner (especially during special events such as Chinese New Year and the Moon Festival) are the best deal in town. The seafood is very fresh and the chefs are all Hong Kong trained. This place is a Vancouver landmark. There are also branch restaurants in Richmond.
Hon's Wun Tun House, 1339 Robson Street, Vancouver, V6E 1C6, Telephone: 604 - 685 - 0871
There are seven locations but this is the best. Hon's is the king of potstickers (pan fried dumplings). The food is excellent, the menu is huge, and all the cooking is done out in the open in front of you. The Robson Street facility features three open area kitchens: a wun-tun kitchen doing noodles, soups, and dumplings, the main kitchen doing an array of delicious dishes and a separate vegetarian kitchen for all vegetarian dishes. Besides the potstickers, the chicken and mango with cashewnuts served in a potato basket is excellent, as is the Honeymoon rice. Most dishes are less than ten dollars, and a feast for six will usually only cost about fifty dollars Canadian (about thirty-two dollars in American funds).. I live about two blocks from this restaurant (in the heart of the city), and I visit about once a week..it's that good!
Kirin Seafood Restaurant, 200 - 7900 Westminster
Hwy., Richmond (Greater Vancouver area), Telephone: 604 - 303 - 8833
There are three locations but this is the best. The service is exquisite and the decor beautiful (modern not old style). The food is extremely fresh and represents authentic Cantonese style. The dim sum is served by order rather than from carts, and the presentation is excellent. A bit pricier, but worth the investment. Private dining rooms are available for groups and the service in these rooms is extra special.
Sun Sui Wah Restaurant, 3888 Main Street, Vancouver, Telephone:
604 - 872 - 8822
Extremely popular for Dim Sum on the weekends, this restaurant exemplifies the best of Hong Kong Cantonese cuisine. Specialties include roast squab which is delicate in flavor and delicious, and look for lobster congee at lunch. The decor is modern and open, and a very fun place to visit. Get there early for Dim Sum as the lineups are long starting about noon. Try it for both Dim Sum and dinner. My friend who took me there told me that this restaurant had a lot of famous people visit them. The food is as good as the service. Price is reasonable. I'll highly recommend this "King" to everyone who loves to eat Chinese food.
Szechuan Chongquing Restaurant, 2808 Commerical Drive, Vancouver, Telephone: 604 - 254 - 7434
If you like it hot then this is your place. The large Indian population of the city eat here regularly especially after church. Classic szechuan dishes such as Tan Tan Noodles, Ginger Beef, Hot Dry Fried Green Beans, and Orange Peel Chicken is without a doubt the best in the city. No one comes close to these guys for great Szechuan. I have personally nominated them for the PBS Chefs promotion in Seattle (chefs demonstrate their dishes and they sell a cookbook). You can specify if you want it a bit tamer, but don't tell them you want it really hot unless you are prepared to burn baby burn! They also do Dim Sum in a spicy style with the classics and some special Shanghai style dumplings with hot chili sauce. It's a great spot - I just love everything I have tasted there.
Finally, a reader's impressions of Vancouver's Chinese cuisine scene:
As you might know, Vancouver became a very popular place for Hong Kong Chinese to immigrate in the 1990's with the pending take over by China. With that immigration came some of the best chefs from the famous Hong Kong restaurants. We are blessed with an abundance of produce, great fish, and all of the exotic ingredients for the best chinese cooking around. Vancouver's suburban communities have all developed their own "Chinatowns", with Richmond (near the airport) having almost 40% of its population now made up of Asian immigrants. One thing I have noticed in my travels is the food in Vancouver is superior to most North American cities, and the prices are extremely cheap when compared to the other major centres (New York, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Toronto etc.).
Calgary (southern Alberta)
Buddha's Veggie Restaurant, 5802 Macleod Trail South, Calgary, T2J 0P6, Telephone: 403-252-8830
Calgary's most popular vegetarian restaurant is tucked away in a small building on Macleod Trail in southern Calgary. The decor is very calm and relaxing, with private booths, Oriental music, and festive red lanterns. But the star of the show is the food. Buddha's offers over 100 dishes, including vegetarian versions of popular favorites such as Ginger Beef, Sweet and Sour Pork, Sizzling Rice and Spring Rolls. For the Chinese cuisine connoisseur, there is more exotic fare such as Shark's Fin Soup, Five Spice Bean Curd Stick and Deep Fried Taro Duck. Having trouble deciding? Check out the photo section at the back of the menu. The food is delicious - and an added plus is that Buddha's does not use MSG. Probably one of the few vegetarian restaurants that both vegetarians and non-vegetarians alike will enjoy. For more information, check out their website.
Chopsticks image © 2000 by Rhonda Parkinson