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One week in Vancouver... The catch? Two little kids

Crap You're Right Sam!

I meant Guu with Garlic on Robson and typed in Guu Garden by mistake.

Thanks for catching the mistake.

One week in Vancouver... The catch? Two little kids

Good list! A few additions:
If Revolver, which is bit cramped, is busy. Around the corner is Timbertrain which has good coffee and booths for the little ones to squirm around in.

With booths in mind, for seafood Blue Water Cafe is surprisingly kid tolerant especially for kids that are well behaved. Just ask for a booth in case they want to nap or play on the ipad in the corner of the booth.

For Izakaya I would add Guu Garden which has good food and a small upstairs area where you sit on the floor.

Chinese places don't bat an eye when it comes to kids, even if they are running a muck in the restaurant.

For you dim sum, I would drop Sun Sui Wah and consider Chef Tony in Richmond ( Easy to get to from downtown on the Canada Line and it might be neat for the kids, you go over the river to get to Richmond.

Another Ramen place to try is Taishoken for their tsukemen ramen.

Any Intel on Mr. Red?

It may not be as bad as we feared it terms of the "hungry hordes" descending onto the place. I went by the place both Saturday and Sunday in between 2 - 3 pm and it wasn't busy. I think dinner service maybe busy but I'm thinking afternoons might not be bad.

Also if we going to point out issues with Gill's piece the veg in the Bun Cha dipping sauce is carrots and papaya, not daikon. Texture seemed off for daikon so were asked the lady and she told us it was papaya.

Any Intel on Mr. Red?

You mean like the "Groupon" effect, people rush there and it overwhelms the business leading to poorer experience than the restaurant can normally execute, which ensues a backlash?


The "Bo Laska" effect where all these people show up because of the buzz and the owner gets a false sense of the demand for their food. They expand but the people move on to the next trendy food item and they are left with an empty restaurant?


The "Kimura" effect which Scoffier mentions below, they get the buzz and manage to retain the large customer base. As a result, the people who discovered it get shut out because it becomes impossible to get a table anymore?

It's a tricky balance: you want them have the publicity so they can thrive but hope for the best it doesn't overwhelm them.

We going to find out if they can cope, with both fmed putting them on his Eater Banh Mi list and Eater having them on their heat map.

To be honest, the lady is so nice and food is tasty, so I do hope they succeed. I do hope they get an extra person to help out in front.

Weekday Dim Sum for 10 incl kids,

It's not flounder and the presentation is different, but I had a similar dish at Golden Lake near the Vancouver/Burnaby border on Hastings street.

It was a stunning dish. I think it's on the special dishes menu.

Any Intel on Mr. Red?

Nice write up, GE!

LOL, nice "that upstart, basil"

I was actually wondering if that wrapper for the Crab Spring Roll is not a rice wrapper but something else like a bean curd sheet since it has a different text and appearance.

Any Intel on Mr. Red?

Thanks for the update. Can you elaborate on the appie or entree sizing option? I was quite surprised that my crab meat spring roll was an entree.

Which dishes have you been able downsized to appie portion? Can they all be downsized? Curious if that can be done for the sticky rice.

Also have you had the dish that looks like a small mound of sheets of rice flour noodles? I didn't have chance to ask the poor lady what the dish was, as it was super busy.

Granville Island - Restaurants

Everyone's different and the tasting flights are great to figure out what one likes and dislikes. Personally, I like the Osake Junmai Ginjo Genshu and have it at home.

Chicken ramen w/chicken meat?

How's the Nut Ramen at Marutama? Awesome enough to recommend as veg only option?

Any Intel on Mr. Red?

My friend had the Chicken Pho and she thought the broth was cleaner and lighter but still flavorful in comparison to other chicken phos she had. They use dark meat with skin attached. So a little different.

One more thing to note, the Lady (should of asked for her name) was very emphatic that they do not use MSG or too much sugar in their food. I would tend to agree as I felt fine after our meal there.

Regarding the New Hai Phong, yes I would recommend it and specifically the Bun Rieu. Also a small space, but very nicely decorated; felt more like a cafe than a Vietnamese restaurant.

However not sure if could say one is better than the other since one is Northern food and the other is Southern food. If open, I would go Mr. Red as Northern Vietnamese is not as common in the city.

Any Intel on Mr. Red?

I remember seeing a sign at the counter saying that they are closed today (Aug 5).

Went Sunday with a friend and we had the Chicken Pho, Crab Spring Rolls and Bun Cha. Everything was fresh and a very sizable portion. The biggest thing I noticed was that the flavours were more understated and balanced. For example, the dip for the Crab Spring Roll was sweet but not overwhelming. You actually taste the other elements of the dip.

The lady that runs the show, is very sweet and very proud of their food. She will explain how to eat everything and answer any questions you have.

I actually plan to return as there later in the week. There were a few items that I wanted to try like the sticky rice and steamed crepes.

Some things to be aware of:
-Some of the menus have not been updated to include the Bun Cha dish and other dishes. The Bun Cha is #46. Updated menus have white labels with the new dishes.

-Bring some patience if it's busy. It's a family run business with only the lady greeting, serving and cleaning up. So when it gets busy like the night I went, the service was very chaotic.

However the lady felt so bad not being there to personally explain our dishes to us and not seating us right away, she gave us a discount on a bill.

I feel that's the only area they need to work on. They probably need to hire one more person to help out on the floor as I think they are going to be swamped with customers because of their tasty food.

Any restaurants serve Horse Meat on the menu in YVR area?

Are you looking for basashi?

There are a few Japanese restaurants that serve it in town.

Baoguette ..... on Denman

The concept is not fusion gunk at all, SS.

I remember chowhounder dennisthefoodie saying his Vietnamese mother in law making them at home.

I just think you don't see it on menu that often because it would be labour intensive and not business savvy.

Why bother combining the two items into one when you can sell them separately for more money.

Hai Phong: Viet in Vancouver deserving its own thread

Yes we are referring to the same dish.

The new Hai Phong in Crosstown across from the Chinatown T&T is working on an electric stove top and a small kitchen. They have a much smaller and pared down menu in comparison to the mothership location on Kingsway.

The main Kingsway location has a gas powered kitchen so that's why you can get Bahn Xeo there.

Same family runs both, so it should be happy eating for you on Tuesday despite the absence of Banh Xeo.

Report back, especially if you have an Avocado shake.

Wahh Tee Burmese - mini mini Chowdown

Glad to see Karl writing again. Look forward to reading his stuff.

Hai Phong: Viet in Vancouver deserving its own thread

The Bun Rieu is an umami lover's dream. The soup was complex with many flavour elements yet it was very light and easy to eat.

When it arrived, you can smell the aromatic shrimp paste wafting up from the soup; very appetizing.

They use many traditional ingredients such as banana blossoms, morning glory, the globs of crab meat that's enhance with dried shrimp and cubes of pig's blood.

However they have made one concession on the dish; they use cubes of hock meat (it least comes with pig skin attached) I think instead of a piece of pig feet.

I think it's an understandable adjustment given its downtown location and potential customer base.

Chicken wings were good with a good taste of butter.

I'm giving them props for trying to make Bun Xeo but then taking it off the menu when they realize they couldn't make it properly. For me that shows commitment to serving good food.

Best Price for Pork Shoulder?

Supreme Meats located in North Burnaby just over Boundary. They are a wholesaler that's open to the public. I'm sure you can get quality pork shoulder and other meat products for a good price.

If it's a trek for you to get there you can make it worthwhile by also visiting Bosa foods, Ciofi's and eateries like Glenburn Soda shop, Chez Christopher & Broken Rice in North Burnaby.

Ramen Koika - new ramen on Robson

I'm not sure I'm a fan of it in Ramen. I know Chinese influences are found all around that part of Asia and even Ramen is a derivative of Chinese noodles.

However, the wok thing is the same technique used for Chinese Preserved Snow Veg with Pork Shreds and Preserved Root veg with Pork Shreds soup noodles.

I feel it kinda caters to Chinese consumers in Vancouver. We speak of Westernize Chinese to cater to westerners but what about "Chinese-ing" food to cater to the Chinese Consumer here in Vancouver (or in some cases, "Cantonese-ing" other genre of Chinese food).

Ramen Koika - new ramen on Robson

Regarding the Wok Cuisine thing. I figured it out thanks to my Ezogiku Flashback. They must stir fry the veggies (carrot, cabbage, beansprouts & mushroom) in a wok with a gravy. They place the veggies onto the noodles and then must must ladle the soup over the ensemble.

At dinner I couldn't figure out why I got such a strong hit of "wok hei" in the soup. It hit me this morning that Ezogiku did that with their Ramen and why I had such a deja vu.

Ramen Koika - new ramen on Robson

Ramen Koika is not legit at. Jack of all trades master of none. It's hard enough to do 1 solid soup base for ramen but they attempt to do 2: chicken and tonkotsu broths.

2 fellow hounds and I went last night and none of us were impressed.

The noodle was weird, it reminded me more of Chinese noodles than ramen noodles. Also poor execution on the noodles as we all ordered hard and they came out soft.

The chicken soup I had in my King ramen was not very flavourful and had no depth of flavour. Also I have a suspicion they may use MSG as I was really thirsty and felt a bit unwell afterwards. I never have this problem after visiting Santouka or Marutama.

My King Ramen remind me of long departed Ezogiku's Ramen, which is not good.

Ramen Koika - new ramen on Robson

Regarding the new ramen place near Abbott & Pender, it's the place LoutusRapper mention Taishoken. It's actually not mediocre at all. The pork belly cha-su is excellent and I would say it's on the same level as Jinya.

Tsuki is the sushi bar that's next door and it excellent as well. They make a good cha-wan mushi and I really like their non-traditional dynamite roll.

Four Days in Vancouver

In regards to food trucks, I forgot to add
-the smoked salmon sandwich from the Kaboom Box food Granville & Georgia streets.

As for Ramen & Izakaya, the great places are all clustered around Robson and Denman near Dinesty.

For Ramen I would go with Santouka's Toroniku ramen and Marutama's basic chicken ramen.

For Izakaya I think Zakkushi on Denman (technically a yakitori place) would work well for you as a couple. The SO can have the basic beef and chicken grilled meats, while you can order the more adventurous offerings.

Also Guu with Garlic and Kingyo would be good Izakaya choices.

If the SO doth protest, you can bribe her with a trip to Soirette which is about 10 - 15 minute walk from the Ramen and Izakaya places. They have great macarons and even have high tea.

Four Days in Vancouver

Here are some additional places for you to consider while in Vancouver.
Modern Chinese with Great Cocktails:
-Bao Bei in Chinatown
-Bambuddha in Gastown


Food Trucks: I suggest downloading the Street Food App so that you can easily see which trucks are open are where they are. Here would be my picks for the food trucks.
-Fish Tacos at Tacofino (Dunsmuir & Burrard)
-Wraps at Mangal Kiss (Georgia St between Howe & hornby)
- Chicken Karaage at Mogu (Dunsmuir & Howe)
- Duck Confit "Philly style" sandwich at Fat Duck (usually at Cordova & Howe)

If you interested in exploring Japanese Cuisine there's lot of quality eateries to chosen from. There's izakaya, sushi and ramen if you want to try it.

Offaly good: how many of these "daring" dishes have you tried in Vancouver?

Hi LR,

Thanks for the comments. I can't speak on fmed's behalf but I can address my contribution to the list. The goal of the list was just to bring attention to Vancouverites, that there are restaurants that offer unusual cuts of meat or weird meats on their menus as a part of's larger Meat Week theme. It was not meant to be a "Best of List" but just an awareness piece.

The piece just ended up being offal focused as in terms of mainstream Western dining, offal are very unusual.

This actually caused some headaches as some of the dishes listed, I don't think are unusual, e.g. Gizzards are must at Zakkushi. I had to think not like a chowhound but like a person who likes great food but grew up eating steak and potatoes.

Fmed and I wanted to diversify the list as much as possible to show that with the exception of the USA & Canada, offal is actually very common around the world. There is a perception only Asian cultures eat offal and in Vancouver, due to concentration, Chinese restaurants are the only ones that routinely offer it.

I also wanted to make sure that the item was available to the public so that if they do take up the challenge they weren't disappointed that it was not there on the menu.

This was also difficult. As we all know, Chinese Restaurants are notorious for not have menus online and having a lot of hand written specials plastered on their walls. This does not help non-Chinese readers.

Depending on the response of piece, may want to run a "Best Offal" list and I suspect the list may look a little different.

CA + GA friends visit Vancouver for Asian food - need help!

Regarding your Wednesday dilemma with the Train. Would you consider taking a short bus ride (15 minutes or less depending on traffic) for a very good meal sized Wonton Noodle?

At Main and Broadway, you can find Congee Noodle House which serves one of the better meal sized Shrimp wonton noodles (or Congee if you feel like it) in the city

You can easily get there by hopping on the #3 bus along Main Street South bound in Chinatown. Once finish you can take the same bus Northbound and just get off at the stop in front of the train station.

I know Chinese food is the main focus of your trip but if you want to stay in Chinatown before your train then I actually would recommend Bestie for their currywurst and sausages.

Generic Chinese Buffet?

I think the trouble of finding Westernized Chinese food in general (not just buffets), in Vancouver speaks to the improved awareness and knowledge of non-Chinese people regarding traditional Chinese food. They know Westernize Chinese food is not the "real deal".

Westernize Chinese food would still exist if there was a demand for it but clearly the demand is not there and very few want to eat it.

However I agree when well prepared Westernize Chinese food can still be tasty.

Generic Chinese Buffet?

Well in general buffets are not known for great food & service but it's what the poster's parents want.

Sometimes the stomach wants what the stomach wants, even foodies.

I know better but I really like McDonald's Filet of Fish.

I actually think this could be it's own thread: As a Foodie I know better but I really like ......

Generic Chinese Buffet?

I think this may be a bit far from your parents home but it matches exactly what you are looking for.

Oriental Buffet
15140 101 Avenue
Surrey, BC V3R 7V4

Generic Chinese Buffet?

I believe the two locations are related. Yup a bit of institution. As a kid growing up in late 80s into the 90s, my parents would grab a full serving of dish after work, usually a deep fried item, to help complemented the dishes for dinner at home.

Many thanks to all the B.C. hounds and food trucks?

I would skip Feastro and Aussie Pie - not really a big fan of their stuff.

Yes to Vij's Railway Express - I like the puff rice salad and their fish curry if available that day.

Agree with Philx, Yes to Fat Duck - their duck confit sandwich is great.

Also another + to Mogu, their chicken karaage is amazing.

+ to Le Tigre but I like their Kick Ass Rice with pork belly.

Kaboom Box's smoked salmon sandwich is the west coast thing to get and is good.

Another one to consider is Mangal Kiss, their wraps are very healthy with tons of veggie and meat that is grilled when ordered.