Chinese BBQ at Gain Wah

Chinese BBQ at Gain Wah Restaurant in Vancouver’s Chinatown

If you are lucky enough to have a Chinatown, or sizeable Chinese population, in your community, you may have establishments displaying and serving classic Cantonese style 燒烤, or Chinese BBQ. Here, in the windows of such places, you will see whole golden Roast Duck and large, crispy chunks of Roast Pork hanging from hooks. In Vancouver’s Chinatown, Gain Wah is a Cantonese Restaurant with a full and varied menu featuring all sorts of delicious items, but it also does a number of Chinese BBQ specialties, especially Duck and Roast Pork, that are truly delicious

I went to the Gain Wah Restaurant in Vancouver’s Chinatown to try the Steamed Crab I had read about in an on-line review. The restaurant appeared to be run by an older couple and I was served my crab by the lady of the establishment, who also brought me a number of other delicious items as well. While I enjoyed my meal, I watched the gentleman I took to be my server’s husband tending the little BBQ station at the front of the restaurant. I later asked him a couple of questions about the BBQ and he insisted on having me try a little of the Duck and Roast Pork at no charge.

Well, despite being very full after the excellent meal I had just eaten, I couldn’t turn down this kindness and I tried a little of both. They were, I have to say, delicious, and the very next day I returned and ordered the meats you see pictured above.

The Duck and the Pork were both glazed with what seemed to be a moderately sweet Char Siu type sauce, but this was applied so deftly that they only gave a hint of their presence with each mouthful, allowing the full flavor of the meat to shine. In both cases, the meat was not only exquisitely tender, but also remarkably juicy. Barbecued meats, in any tradition, can often be a bit dry, despite the liberal use of sauces and so forth, but, here, the result was as succulent as any I have had. I have no idea when, or if, I will return to Vancouver, but I would definitely make Gain Wah a priority visit this time around.

Comments, questions or suggestions most welcome!