Metro Vancouver’s best Chinese restaurants: Dining delights


A roundup of some of restaurant critic Mia Stainsby’s favourite Chinese restaurants

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This last year has been difficult for the local Asian community as hateful pandemic finger-pointing has proliferated.

Hate crimes, mostly against Asian people, rose over 700 per cent in the months following the start of the pandemic, according to statistics from the Vancouver Police Department.

It’s happened to people I know: A friend’s mom. A lawyer. An Order of Canada recipient. I’m in social recluse mode these days, but I’m guessing there were so many more examples of racism against people in my orbit.

I’ve also witnessed it: “No cycling, no spitting,” a woman hissed one day at a young Asian family by the West Vancouver sea wall.

It has happened twice to Yuyina Zhang, a spirited, creative, lovely woman whose Street Auntie Aperitivo House was one of the most exciting Chinese restaurants to open during the pandemic. The racial slurs punctured her well-being, but in the spirit of “when they go low, we go high,” Zhang went to the restaurant kitchen and created harmony on a dish using West Coast smoked salmon, crispy tofu skin and avocado salsa.


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The racist perpetrators are cowards, boors and bullies missing a kindness chip — a very small minority with issues who are lashing out. We can show support for the Asian community by patronizing the restaurants that add so much to the culture and vibrancy of this city.

This week, I’m sharing some of my favourite Chinese restaurants and next week, I’ll share other Asian and pan-Asian restaurants.

Most of these places will have switched to takeout and delivery during the provincial ban on indoor dining until April 19, when hopefully we’ll return to limited indoor seatings. So here’s a sampling of the astounding variety of Chinese restaurants shaping Vancouver into the cosmopolitan city that, despite the vile acts of some deplorables, it truly is.

Bao Bei Chinese Brasserie

Where: 163 Keefer St., Vancouver.

Info: 604-688-0876.

Hip. Cool. Funky. Still, the Chinese food here respects tradition, only elevated and styled with a global flavour or two thrown in. And how can hip exist without a good cocktail list? Check! The stir-fried sticky rice cakes are a must-try. And you gotta love the old-timey neon sign, a time travel to Chinatown’s glory days.

Chef Hung Taiwanese Beef Noodle

Where: Various locations.

Are international awards for the beef noodle soups convincing enough? The global chain has locations in Kerrisdale, Ambleside, UBC, SFU and Richmond. There’s a whole lot of other noodles soups as well as other dishes like dumplings, mashed red bean cake, rice bowl dishes and deep-fried chicken nuggets.


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Chef Tony

Where: Empire Centre, 4600 No. 3 Rd., Richmond.


A few years ago, I wrote that I was “gobsmacked in a good way” by a dish — the steamed milk and egg white dumpling, beautifully prepared with herbs shyly visible through the translucent wrapper and filled with a soft pudding of whipped eggs and milk. It took the chef two months to nail it technically and it was delicious. The dim sum stands out, but youll find overall high-quality Cantonese food. They are closed during the provincial indoor dining ban and plan to open on April 20 when it’s lifted.

Flower and Horse in Spring

Where: 1741 Robson St., Vancouver.


(No website, Doordash and Ubereats for delivery)

It’s like walking into someones home in a Yunnan village in southwest China with its many ethnic minorities; the room’s ablaze with colours and staff are sometimes in traditional clothing. I love Crossing The Bridge Noodles, a neat array of 12 ingredients and noodles ready to take a splash in a bowl of broth. The romantic story behind the dish is too long for this space — google it. Lots of hearty, assertive noodle, dumpling and rice dishes.

The interior of Geng Shi Ji restaurant at 8338 Capstan Way in Richmond.
The interior of Geng Shi Ji restaurant at 8338 Capstan Way in Richmond. Photo by Mia Stainsby

Geng Shi Ji

Where: 8338 Capstan Way, Richmond.


Last year, diners voted it the best Hunan restaurant, and in 2018 critics gave it a Chinese Restaurant Award for best claypot chicken. Deservedly so. Five spice and smoky camphor wood reach you first, then an unexpected umami from pork hock parked under the chicken. A designy restaurant done up in shades of grey, concrete, brick and wood.


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Good Choice

Where: 6007 Fraser St., Vancouver.


(No website)

Pretty sure you wouldn’t notice this unpretentious, family-run business without this heads up. The food’s fresh, well-prepared and well-priced. The all-day dim sum is great and so is their 10-per-cent discount on takeout orders.

These dim sum dumplings are in the pink at Heritage Asian Eatery on West Broadway.
These dim sum dumplings are in the pink at Heritage Asian Eatery on West Broadway. Photo by Mia Stainsby

Heritage Asian Eatery

Where: 382 West Broadway, Vancouver.


Where: 1108 West Pender, Vancouver.


A younger, hipper version of a Chinese restaurant but with high-powered chefs in the kitchen. The West Broadway location dives deep with barbecued duck, pork and chicken and dim sum alongside small plates, baos, noodles, rice bowls. The downtown menu offers a truncated version. I confess to being a big fan of both.

HK BBQ Master

Where: 4651 No. 3 Rd., Richmond.


(No website)

Celeb chef David Chang asked if I’d tour him around the Richmond Night Market when in Vancouver. Hell, ya! His Momofuku Noodle Bar at Vancouver House is pandemically stalled, but when we’re normal again I’m detouring him to this oddity off a supermarket parking lot because it’ll blow his gasket. The excellent barbecued meats are selling full steam ahead through the pandemic and have been from the git-go.

Jade Seafood Restaurant

Where: 2811 No. 3 Rd., Richmond.


This place has racked up a lot of local awards, and well it should. The Chiu Chow food is on point, elevated and innovative and bestows love to seafood. An all-day takeout menu offers a 12-per-cent discount.


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Some dumplings dished out at Nine Dumplings.
Some dumplings dished out at Nine Dumplings. Photo by Mia Stainsby

Nine Dumplings

Where: 1610 Robson St., Vancouver.


(No website)

The one reason to venture into Robson Public Market. The nine kinds of wonderful handmade, vegetable-dyed dumplings that are the colours of the rainbow. So good — buy them ready to eat or frozen. But please allow yourself be side-tracked by other dishes like lamb skewers, sweet sesame pancakes or fiery water-boiled fish with a canopy of red chilies.

Old Bird

Where: 3950 Main St., Vancouver.


“Old bird, in Chinese, refers to someone with balls, doesn’t care what other people think, and is confident,” says owner Sophia Lin. And yes, there’s attitude in the red glow of the room but not in the food. It aims to please with flavour bombs like Old Bird chicken wings, double fried in a gluten-free batter with jasmine tea leaf powder, served with chili-laden salsa.

Street Auntie Aperitivo House

Where: 1039 Granville St., Vancouver.


When indoor dining’s back, the haute tasting menu with its finely styled food a la Yunnan province is a labour of love and a very good deal. Jarringly on this edgy portion of Granville Street, inside it’s a calm, elegant rustically arty room. A multi-course takeout menu is more casual but just as thoughtfully prepared with generous portions.

Sun Bo Kong Vegetarian

Where: 1363 Kingsway, Vancouver.


Vegetarian strong since 1992 and not just because no animals are served, it’s declared delicious by meat-eaters, too. A varied menu including dim sum, hot pots, congee and vegetables that act like vegetables, not as faux meat or fish.


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Western Lake Chinese Seafood

Where: 4989 Victoria Dr., Vancouver.


“We’re crazy busy right now. Would you mind calling back?” I’m asked when I call. He’s harried dealing with a run on takeout orders. In normal times, it translates to a lineup for dim sum lunch. They know their way around seafood and king crab season is a big draw, but wouldn’t I love some of their Beijing duck right now! Or their salt-roast, free-range chicken cooked with time-consuming attention.

• Next week: Other top Asian and pan-Asian restaurants across Metro Vancouver.

• Editors note: Due to recent provincial health measures related to COVID-19, indoor dining has been temporarily halted. Please check with the restaurant directly about current takeout, outdoor dining and delivery options.


Food and The Arts Cherry Blossom Festival

Seven B.C. chefs a-cooking, music, film and poetry a-happening — theyre part of this year’s Cherry Blossom Festival fundraiser on April 25. For Sakura at Home, chefs create three-course dinners celebrating cherries and their blossoms.

The chefs: Andrea Carlson (Burdock), Vikram Vij and Meeru Dhalwala (Vij’s), Kazuhiro Hayashi (Miku Waterfront), the culinary team at Salmon n’ Bannock, Will Lew (Nootka Marine Adventures), Clement Chan and Paul Moran (Wild Origins).

Tickets include a takeout meal with dishes like cherry leaf cured scallop and shiso rice crisp, house-cured sakura gel and ice from Burdock and sakura roll with spicy tuna, shiso, konbu dashi gelée, salted sakura flower from Miku. Virtual performances include Vancouver Metropolitan Orchestra conductor Ken Hsieh on a Fazioli piano, Bard on the Beach artistic director Christopher Gaze reading haiku and the world premiere of In Full Bloom, a short film by Patrick Weir. Tickets are $150 (with a $100 tax receipt). For more information on menus and tickets, visit

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