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Vancouver Hop on Hop off-Chinatown stop -Best Nearby Dim Sum???

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What is the best dim sum spot near the Chinatown Hop on Hop off Bus Stop (Keeffer & Columbia)? Planning on a Saturday morning with a stop at the Chinese garden.

Oh-our favorites are turnip cake, har gow, BBQ pork slices and (? hopefully something new and unique and yummy)

Thanks,

Laurie

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Best Dim Sum downtown isn't in Chinatown unfortunately. You'll get a far superior spread in Kirin (two branches - downtown core at Alberni & Bute, or at Cambie & 12th near City Hall) or Dynasty Seafood (Broadway & Willow - this is about the award-winningest Chinese resto in the region over the last several years). If you care more about the vibe than the food, then there is a good alternative in Chinatown - Floata. This is the biggest Chinese restaurant on the continent, up to a thousand diners can be handled, and while the food is rather middle-of-the-road it's also about the only place left doing trolley service Dim Sum. Very convenient location above the mall just along Keefer from the park side of the garden on Columbia St.

 

If you want to come back for dinner things are better - Bao Bei is still awesome and does a very interesting Taiwan/Shanghai style menu with a very modern approach and custom cocktails (no resos - go when they open or expect to wait, even though they've been open for 8 years now IIRC) and we've had a resurgence of new restos like Sai Woo and very recently a deliberately-old-school-like-it-was-decades-ago-in-Chinatown vibe has begun, starting with Chinatown BBQ on Pender. Foo's Ho Ho is supposed to be reopening this summer too - and I'll be camped out side the door waiting when that day rolls around! New Town bakery is also worth a stop whether you do a Dim Sum lunch or come back for dinner - pop in in for some of their pastries for dessert, their apple fritters are world famous.

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I can't even imagine 1,000 diners! Wow! Although we are used to the trolley-style dim sum carts in San Diego. Because we are staying at the Pan Pacific we may go ahead and try your recommendation of Kirin at Alberni & Bute St. sounds close enough. We know from local dim sum that if you go early you avoid the long waits. Thanks for the tip,

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Yeah, I've dined at Floata among a group of 400 - and I was pleasantly surprised at how efficiently they managed to get the food to the tables promptly and that everything was appropriately hot or cold, so they do have a BIG kitchen, and the rooms are divided such that I think that's close to the maximum they'd ever be catering simultaneous service to, but they are famous for being big - not good.

 

Kirin has racked up many awards specifically for their dim sum over the years, so you can expect a very good experience - especially when you're ordering it a la carte instead of getting if off the carts (groan) ;-)

 

Everything should be freshly made then delivered right to you, instead of meandering its way around the resto (cart dim sum is the only time I try to score a table near the kitchen door, as this way you never miss popular dishes which disappear quickly, and the food doesn't have time to change temp).

 

Carts are fun, the random element encourages you to try a few new things, so it's definitely a good way to try dim sum your first few times out, but eventually the frustration that the your fave dish never seems to come around or people take all the plates before you get a chance makes the hassle outweigh the benefits.

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Several years ago, people we knew in Vancouver told us the best Chinese food was in Richmond. Is that still true?

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Several years ago, people we knew in Vancouver told us the best Chinese food was in Richmond. Is that still true?

Probably on average still true - and definitely true if you're talking 'mom & pop' small places who do what they do well rather than more expensive restos, the kind of things that Chowhound was all about when it first opened - but over the last 4-5 years the local awards have shifted toward in-Vancouver restos (and given the demographic of the folks behind the awards any bias would be toward Richmond, so the Vancouver winners are strong wins not marginal ones).

 

Mini-chains like Kirin, Sun Sui Wah, Dinesty who have branches in both Vancouver and Richmond complicate matters of course, as do regional cuisines given the settlement patterns and different periods of immigration to the region - for example if you want Northern Chinese, Peaceful dominates that and ALL of their now six(!) branches are in Vancouver.

 

I'd say that if you wanted to randomly patronize an establishment based on just walking by and seeing it be really busy, smell good etc. Richmond is definitely where you want to be - but if you do your research up-front, and especially want high end food, it's pointless to leave Vancouver as the absolute best-of-the-best fancy food as well as several more affordable regional cuisines are just as, or even more, likely to be found in Vancouver than in Richmond.

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The Richmond branches of the chains with a presence in Vancouver are reputed by critics to be better because they have bigger kitchens.

 

That said, be prepared to be disappointed (or if lucky, delighted) as quality varies one day to the next. The A team is apparently on duty on weekends (you'll need a reservation to wait in line). C and D teams mid week but it's a crap shoot.

 

One place way off the tourist route is on 41st Avenue 1 block east of East Blvd on the south side (upstairs, don't remember the current name). It's been consistently good over the years. Another that was reputedly very good, but not on my visit is West Lake on Victoria Drive between 33rd and 34th avenues.

 

I've sadly experienced this even in HongKong.

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Thank you all. One of the best cheap places here is a hole-in-the-wall place on 10th Avenue that no one from out of town would ever think of visiting (it has one table, and is mostly for takeout or delivery). Jerry Seinfeld and Larry David used to order from it when it was on 9th, and we locals keep it a secret...

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"Thank you all. One of the best cheap places here is a hole-in-the-wall place on 10th Avenue that no one from out of town would ever think of visiting (it has one table, and is mostly for takeout or delivery). Jerry Seinfeld and Larry David used to order from it when it was on 9th, and we locals keep it a secret..."

Hi Langoustine,

10th & ???

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Mind like a sieve... while it's not in Chinatown, there is a new downtown player on the Dim Sum front. The new casino has a high-end Chinese resto, 1886, which is offering all you can eat weekend dim sum (2 hour time limit) for $38.88pp - you can see the menu here and make resos on Open Table. Location makes it easy to get to by HOHO, as stop C11 is pretty much right outside.

 

Caveat - I have not visited myself yet, but friends who are both 'foodie' and Chinese have and enjoyed it. It's pretty much the opposite of a mom & pop hole-in-the-wall, but you can easily get your money's worth with as few as 4 dishes compared to ordering them separately.

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Thank you Martincath- the 1886 menu sounds very interesting-I think we may try it, maybe the casino too:cool:

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"Thank you all. One of the best cheap places here is a hole-in-the-wall place on 10th Avenue that no one from out of town would ever think of visiting (it has one table, and is mostly for takeout or delivery). Jerry Seinfeld and Larry David used to order from it when it was on 9th, and we locals keep it a secret..."

Hi Langoustine,

10th & ???

 

 

Im interested in doing carryout, what is the cross street?

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Several years ago, people we knew in Vancouver told us the best Chinese food was in Richmond. Is that still true?
According to the Chinese restaurant awards.... yes. http://chineserestaurantawards.com/award-winners/

 

Chef Tony and Sea Harbour are my fav's. Reservations strongly recommended.

Edited by xlxo

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Mind like a sieve... while it's not in Chinatown, there is a new downtown player on the Dim Sum front. The new casino has a high-end Chinese resto, 1886, which is offering all you can eat weekend dim sum (2 hour time limit) for $38.88pp

 

Thank you Martincath- the 1886 menu sounds very interesting-I think we may try it, maybe the casino too:cool:
I've done the 1886 twice now and love the experience. The place is popular on weekends.

 

[YOUTUBE]YLGOtxRJxyo[/YOUTUBE][YOUTUBE]r7D_n6zvzUA[/YOUTUBE]

 

Sadly, the 1886 ended service this weekend. 1886 has been taken off the PARQ website. Calling in to make a complaint will not help.

 

http://www.parqvancouver.com/restaurants/

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I can't even imagine 1,000 diners! Wow!
Here's a little vid on the 1000 seater and some pictures of the kitchen. FUb6c-zjDFQ

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I've done the 1886 twice now and love the experience. The place is popular on weekends.

 

YLGOtxRJxyo r7D_n6zvzUA

 

Sadly, the 1886 ended service this weekend. 1886 has been taken off the PARQ website. Calling in to make a complaint will not help.

 

http://www.parqvancouver.com/restaurants/

 

Oh, bummer!!-we will be there next week, your video looked sooooo good. I'm sorry that I won't get to try it. Thank you for letting me know, Plan B might be the FLOATA for dim sum in your other video.

Thanks xixo,

Laurie

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Oh, bummer!!-we will be there next week, your video looked sooooo good. I'm sorry that I won't get to try it. Thank you for letting me know, Plan B might be the FLOATA for dim sum in your other video.

Thanks xixo,

Laurie

Some thoughts on the Floata….

  • the carts in the video are gone. Everything is made to order.
  • I recommend arriving around 10:15am to order your first round. I think everything you order on weekdays gets a 20% discount. There's more selection after 11am.

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Some thoughts on the Floata….

 

  • the carts in the video are gone. Everything is made to order.
  • I recommend arriving around 10:15am to order your first round. I think everything you order on weekdays gets a 20% discount. There's more selection after 11am.

Floata ditched their carts!? That was literally the only reason I ever took people there (it's what dim sum n00bies expect, and the mediocre food can be tolerated for a 'Hollywood Movie Chinese dim sum experience'). A la carte ordering usually means fresher food at least - have you noticed any improvement?

 

Bummer on 1886 closing; I'm guessing that it will reopen after changes, as there are far too many gamblers used to having plenty of Chinese food available to tolerate only the limited range in MRKT: EAST - especially the high rollers who want the good stuff. Everyone I know with multiple visits does say the service was very inconsistent, and sometimes the food - just not up to snuff compared to other high end Chinese restos in the region I guess. I'd been holding off until I heard about consistency improving, so that's me pooched for ever visiting now! I wonder whether they'll go a bit more down-market or maybe try to poach experienced staff from other restos and retry the fancy end of the spectrum again...

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"Thank you all. One of the best cheap places here is a hole-in-the-wall place on 10th Avenue that no one from out of town would ever think of visiting (it has one table, and is mostly for takeout or delivery). Jerry Seinfeld and Larry David used to order from it when it was on 9th, and we locals keep it a secret..."

Hi Langoustine,

10th & ???

 

What is the cross street?

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