Not Even Close To Being Authentic: Red Chili Szechuan Cuisine

I have heard that Red Chili is the best Chinese restaurant in the north shore. I have read that Red Chili is supposedly the only restaurant that serves authentic Szechuan cuisine in the north shore. I have been told that Red Chili’s cuisine more than holds its own against the best ‘mala’ (numbing and spicy) dishes from authentic Szechuan and Hunan places in Vancouver, Burnaby, and Richmond. These are bold, BOLD statements; these are statements whose veracity warrant a visit to the restaurant to confirm and verify. At minimum, I expected to taste the following at Red Chili: the numbness … Continue reading Not Even Close To Being Authentic: Red Chili Szechuan Cuisine

A (Partial) Introduction to Guizhou Cuisine: Yummy Mammy

Ever since I found out that there is a whole new world of regional Asian restaurants in the Burnaby/Vancouver border waiting for me to explore, I have insisted on staying for dinner in Burnaby every Saturday after picking my daughter up from Mandarin school. This Saturday we decided to try out cuisine from the Guizhou region of China at Yummy Mammy. I have to admit that I do not have a lot of experience with Guizhou cuisine. I know that Guizhou is a region inhabited by the indigenous Miao people and that there are a lot of sour flavours in … Continue reading A (Partial) Introduction to Guizhou Cuisine: Yummy Mammy

MSG Plaza Part 2: New Spicy Chili Restaurant

I normally don’t associate restaurants that serve authentic Szechuan cuisine with MSG. The dishes in Szechuan cuisine usually have such an overabundance of hot, spicy, and numbing flavours (mala flavours) that there is really not a need for the flavour-enhancing qualities of MSG. Actually, let me rephrase my previous statement. Although MSG is undoubtedly used in the dishes of Szechuan cuisine, its flavour usually does not become a focal point because it is much more subtle than the omnipresent ‘mala’ flavours. I wouldn’t have noticed that the dishes we ordered at New Spicy Chili were chock full of MSG if … Continue reading MSG Plaza Part 2: New Spicy Chili Restaurant

High-End Spicy: Golden Szechuan

Don’t you just hate it when you sit right next to the table of someone who drives a Ferrari? You get zero service. ZERO!!! I have nothing against Ferraris’ or their drivers; I enjoy admiring them as much as everyone else who walks by one parked in a parking lot. And I have nothing against their drivers. If they are successful enough (or, as is often the case with local Ferrari drivers, if their parents are successful enough for them) to afford to drive something that costs as much as a studio apartment (probably not locally, but in many major … Continue reading High-End Spicy: Golden Szechuan

Taipei: Ding Wang Hotpot

Ding Wang has been one of the hottest (in terms of popularity) hot pot restaurants in Taiwan for the past few years. The restaurant originated in Taichung, became extremely popular, and subsequently expanded to the culinary big leagues of Taipei. Because of Ding Wang’s stellar reputation, it took relatively short time for the restaurant to ascend to the upper echelons of Taipei’s hot pot scene. As great as everyone thinks the hot pot at Ding Wang was, my wife and I were not fans of their food when we made our only visit there around two years ago. We thought … Continue reading Taipei: Ding Wang Hotpot

This Here’s Crack, and I Need My Fix

Alvin Garden – Spicy Sichuan/Hunan food is kinda like crack. It looks unappealing and unattractive if you haven’t had it in a while, but once you have a taste, there’s something about it that entices you back for more. I speculated that this might be because of some unknown (to me, at least) element in flower peppers that make food containing them so addictive. My mother-in-law went a step further by joking that all sichuan/hunan restaurants added morphine to their dishes to keep customers coming back. After our meal at S.W. Pepper House a few days ago, each of my … Continue reading This Here’s Crack, and I Need My Fix

Appealing To The Target Audience

S.W. Pepper House – The Crystal Mall is as close to a captive market as I have seen in terms of Chinese Malls. Normally, when a city has a large enough local Chinese population to support a Chinese Mall, there is always more than one mall developed/built to compete for the consumer’s dollars. And in a North American city with a substantial Chinese population such a Burnaby, the constant development and redevelopment of Chinese malls and plazas is almost a given. Burnaby is an aberration in that it has only one major Chinese mall in The Crystal Mall. And as … Continue reading Appealing To The Target Audience