New Culinary Horizons: Vancouver’s Chinese Cuisine

The curious palate needs to be fed. And what better way to excite and educate it than to wade in to the deep delicious waters of Chinese cuisine. This vast pool encompasses the complex and the nuanced, the cheap-and-cheerful, the luxurious and the exotic. It takes its cues from the timeless traditions dishes of Cantonese, Mandarin, Hunanese, Shanghainese, Szechuan, Hong Kong – both traditional and modern – the congee, noodle and dumpling houses, and other distinct styles associated with provinces within China.
I’m not embarking on jet plane to far away Asian climes, nor attempting to know everything in three days, but sailing the high seas aboard BC Ferries, to the city of Vancouver and the restaurants that dot the landscape from the city to the suburbs of Richmond. They offer an diverse and delicious world beyond deep fried shrimp balls and neon-coloured sweet and sour, and I’m so ready to dive in.
Comfort foods are a good way start, and I find myself at the Congee Noodle House with Nathan Fong at the helm.
This popular Cantonese restaurant, and one of Fong’s favourite hangouts, specializes in hearty plates of noodles and congee, a thick nourishing rice broth that holds its own against the renowned healing properties of chicken soup. The clean tasting broth held luscious pieces of sea bass and the soup’s addition of cilantro, ginger, green onion and peanuts provided delicate verdant and textural counterpoints.
According to Fong, a fried donut is often served alongside congee, and he ordered a stylized version, known as Ja Leung. Made-to-order, the tubular-shaped airy donut came wrapped in rice noodle. It was delicious, and such a curious presentation. (Sorry, no photo).
Next came soy sauce chicken, that Fong says, “is the best in the city.”

Why? Fong refers to the “smooth taste”, which in Cantonese sounds like Wat. Indeed the meat was smooth tasting, almost silky, not in the least dry, and had such an exciting dipping sauce, one that I’ve written about in the past, a salty amalgam of green onion, ginger and oil. The result gives the chicken a shot of bright gingery saltiness that beautifully compliments the “smooth” chicken.
I’ve spoken to many aficionados about Chinese cuisine, and they all agree that wontons or dumpling are a great indicator of a restaurant’s prowess in the kitchen. At Congee Noodle House theirs are massive beasts, buoyant beauties, densely packed. The wontons held pork fat, shrimp and bamboo shoots bobbling in a clean tasting broth, and the oblong shaped sui gow, or water dumplings held shrimp, tree ears, bamboo shoots and chinese mushrooms. Prowess? 10 out of 10.
For any newbies in search of culinary adventure, places like the Congee Noodle House are easy on the pocketbook. With the addition of a fried noodle dish and a plate of bright green Kai-lan, the four people at our table ate like kings for $50.
The adventures have only just begun.

2 Responses to “New Culinary Horizons: Vancouver’s Chinese Cuisine”

  1. This popular Cantonese bistro, and one of Fong’s recommended hangouts, concentrates on fulfilling outfits of evening meal and congee, a wide healthy feed soup that maintains its own against the well known treatment qualities of poultry soup.
    Restaurants In Canada The clean flavorful soup organised heavenly items of sea bass appears to be sounds and the soup’s addition of cilantro, nutmeg, natural red red onion and nut products provided delicate natural and textural counterpoints.

  2. Vancouver’s China Dishes foods its so nice i like it so much .This popular Cantonese eating place, and one of Fong’s preferred hangouts,Restaurants In Canada focuses on satisfying clothing of dinner and congee, a dense healthy grain broth that holds its own against the well known treatment qualities of chicken broth.

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