Steamed Ribs at New Town

Steamed Ribs at the New Town Bakery and Restaurant in Vancouver

I visited the New Town Bakery and Restaurant at its main branch on Pender Street in Vancouver’s Chinatown. The bakery is out front and the restaurant in the rear portion of the building has a terrific menu with many Dim Sum selections. Their Steamed Ribs were terrific and prepared with a novel and very interesting twist.

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Chili Coriander Beef

Chili Coriander Beef

This dish is essentially a Curry prepared very much in South-East Asian style. It features strips of Beef that are first marinated ground Coriander Seed and other aromatic spices, then slow-cooked, along with Red Peppers, Ginger, Garlic and Chili Paste, in a medium of Coconut Water, much the same way as the technique used in my Vietnamese Coconut Water Pork. It takes a while to prepare but is well worth the time and effort.

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Rice Noodle Roll (腸粉) at Double Greeting

Rice Noodle Roll (腸粉) at the Double Greeting Wonton House in Edmonton, Alberta

I managed a number of different Dim Sum selections at the Double Greeting Wonton House during my one and only visit. They were all pretty good except for the Rice Noodle Roll with Shrimp, which was poorly cooked, not well presented, and quite disappointing after the other dishes I enjoyed.

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Spicy Beef and Eggplant

Spicy Beef and Eggplant

This dish is a simple, hearty, peasant-style preparation with strips of Beef, fried twice for tenderness, and batons of slender Asian Eggplant tossed with a pungent sauce of Chili Bean Paste, Sugar, and Rice Wine. Scallions, cooked at high temperature with the Eggplant, round out the dish with a pleasing sweetness.

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Octopus Grilled at Brothers Beer Bistro

Octopus Grilled at the Brothers Beer Bistro in Ottawa

Grilled Octopus is one of my favorite dishes and have eaten a lot of it in Greek and Portuguese Restaurants where they tend to treat this as a specialty. I have to say, though, that the lovely version I was served at the Brothers Beer Bistro in Ottawa pretty much outshone all of them. Not only was their Octopus grilled expertly, the dressing they used was both unusual and wonderful.

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Sichuan Pickled Mustard Beef

Sichuan Pickled Mustard Beef

There is nothing subtle or refined about this dish. Diced Beef is quickly deep-fried, then combined with tangy Pickled Mustard Greens and Peanuts in a spicy Sichuan Chili Bean Paste. It is bold, fiery, and the sort of simple, hearty peasant fare best suited to simple family meals rather than the banquet table.

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Ham Sui Gok (鹹水角) at Chu Shing

Ham Sui Gok (鹹水角) at the Chu Shing Restaurant in Ottawa

The Chu Shing Restaurant in Ottawa’s Chinatown is one of my favorite spots for Dim Sum when visiting the capital. Usually, the dishes are top-notch, but there are occasional failures. The 鹹水角, or ‘Ham Sui Gok’ I was served on this particular occasion were definitely not up to par.

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Spicy Bean Paste Eggplant

Spicy Bean Paste Eggplant

This dish was originally created to test the Lee Kum Kee™ Brand Spicy Bean Sauce, which describes itself as being a ‘Ma Po Sauce’ and carries a recipe on the label for the classic Chinese dish Ma Po Tofu. The recipe is fairly simple and I followed it closely except that I substituted cubes of eggplant for the tofu as I am not a huge fan. In any event, my eventual conclusion was that the Lee Kum Kee product rather failed at reproducing the proper ‘Ma Po’ flavors. It did, however, make for a very admirable chili bean paste in its own right and I was pleased enough with the test dish to cook it again.

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Green Onion Pancake at Gain Wah

Green Onion Pancake at the Gain Wah Restaurant in Vancouver

Some of the best Chinese dishes I have had in Vancouver’s China town were at the very pleasant Gain Wah Restaurant. Their Green Onion Pancake was fried in quite a bit of oil and ended up being quite browned and perhaps not quite as pretty as others. Beyond that, though, while I am not entirely sure it was better than my own home-made ones, in terms of texture and taste it outshone those in many other restaurants.

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Shanghai Beef with Mushrooms

Shanghai Beef with Mushrooms

The recipe for this dish has no particular connection with Shanghai, rather the name comes about because it uses Shanghai-style Bok Choy for the greens. The Beef is first coated and deep-fried, then Button mushrooms are also pre-fried before all the ingredients are brought together in a simple stock-based sauce. The seasoning for this dish is largely limited to a little salt, pepper, and shredded ginger, so it will likely appeal to even the most timid and delicate of tastes.

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