Smothered By MSG: Shanghai Xiao Long Bao Restaurant

Yes, it does seem like they put THAT MUCH msg into every one of their dishes. How much is THAT MUCH? TOO MUCH.EXCESSIVE . Exhibit A: The hot and sour soup. My wife and I were not expecting much. We have been searching for the perfect bowl of hot and sour soup for the better part of 15 years now and we have never even come close to finding that perfect amalgamation of ┬ápure sourness, straight spiciness, just-right thickness, and satisfying toothsomeness of ingredients. Having a fair amount of experience with the genre, I knew to ask for our order … Continue reading Smothered By MSG: Shanghai Xiao Long Bao Restaurant

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

MSG Plaza Part 1: Jubilant Restaurant

For some inexplicable reason, out of the countless restaurants in Richmond we intended to try out but have yet to visit, my wife and I decided to visit two restaurants that were not previously on our culinary radar located in the same plaza on the same day. Our meals at the two restaurants were comprised of dishes that repeatedly set off MSG-induced alarm bells in my wife’s digestive and nervous systems. The worse MSG offender of the two was the restaurant we visited for lunch: Jubilant Restaurant. As I’ve mentioned in other posts, I am not opposed to the use … Continue reading MSG Plaza Part 1: Jubilant Restaurant

You Don’t Need To Order Noodles To Enjoy Your Meal: Lucky Noodles

Sometimes you get so stuck in a particular thought pattern and mindset that you fail to see the numerous obvious options that are staring right at you. My mind happened to be stuck in the particularly pathetic logic of first trying to find restaurants to dine at in Burnaby and, upon failing to find an interesting-looking restaurant in the stretch of Kingsway between Swangard Stadium and Pearl House, concluding that there are simply no restaurants in the area worth trying anymore. This is a rather depressing thought since my daughter’s enrollment in a local Mandarin school means that my family … Continue reading You Don’t Need To Order Noodles To Enjoy Your Meal: Lucky Noodles

Finally, Real Chinese Food in West Van: Shanghai Village

There is a lack of quality Chinese food in West Van, so I was quite excited when I found out about Shanghai Village as I drove by its front doors on my way home one day. I was even more excited when I found out that it was an established and fairly well-regarded authentic Shanghainese restaurant transplanted from Vancouver proper. As excited as I was about finally having possibly good Chinese food within a ten minutes drive from my house, I didn’t visit Shanghai Village immediately. There were simply too many Chinese restaurants in the local metropolitan area on my … Continue reading Finally, Real Chinese Food in West Van: Shanghai Village