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Posts Tagged ‘dumplings’

The wait is over. One of the highly anticipated restaurants to open in Vancouver – Afuri ramen + dumpling – has officially opened its doors. The Afuri brand was established in 2001. This is the fourth ramen + dumpling location outside of Japan, first in Canada. Last year we went to Portland and checked out the ramen + izakaya and I was quite excited about the arrival of ramen + dumpling here in Vancouver. Technically the restaurant is in Richmond. It’s where Dazzling Cafe used to be (remember Dazzling Cafe?). I was invited to its media night and previewed some of its menu items.

Afuri ramen + dumpling uses a kiosk system. Meaning, you go up to one of the three kiosks at the restaurant, place your order, grab a number then head back to your table. At the media preview, to my surprise food arrived very quickly so I don’t think it would be a long wait at the table for your food.

Food

Afuri’s signature broth is chicken based. We saw this giant stock pot (apparently there’s only 3 of these pots in Vancouver and here’s one) that holds enough broth to serve 450-500 bowls of ramen. It takes 300lbs of chicken (meat and bones), 3 types of dried fish, konbu seaweed, and fresh vegetables, on a simmer at 90 degrees for 3 hours. They never bring this broth to a boil, to ensure a clear broth in your bowl. It also helps skimming the fat easier. They then add yuzu, a small citrus fruit native to Asia, to give this broth a refreshing taste.

As for noodles, they make them fresh, in house, daily. If you visit them at lunch, you will likely see the machines going, mixing and rolling the dough and cutting the dough into noodles. Will they run out? I was told they would make enough servings everyday and if need be, they can jump in and make some more to meet the demand.

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Surprisingly I’ve never been to Dinesty even though it’s one of the popular Shanghainese restaurants in Lower Mainland. Now that I’m in Richmond, of course I took the opportunity to visit one of the locations — the one on Ackroyd Road.

Food

With the four of us, we ordered a few appetizers and a few entrees to share. For appetizers we started with a cold dish, Chinese Spinach with Bean Curd. The Chinese spinach has more fibre than regular spinach, so it had a nice bite to it. The combination, served cold, was quite refreshing. I like that it’s in a small dish so there wasn’t too much to share. The Stewed Duck Leg in Brown Sauce was rather ordinary. The meat was tender, but wasn’t very flavourful. The thinner slices seemed to have more flavours; it may be helpful if it’s served with a little bit of sauce on the plate.

Chinese Spinach with Bean CurdStewed Duck Leg in Brown Sauce

The Bean Curd Mushroom Roll is one of our favourite dishes, so we were excited about ordering it. It was good, with a lot of diced shitake mushrooms in the filling. It was a bit too crispy for our liking, though, as we prefer the pan-fried version. The dipping sauce was a hot, sweet and sour sauce, and it worked well with the fried bean curd. The Marinated Beef Wrapped in Pancake was a bit of a letdown. The pancake was thick, doughy, and there was not enough sauce inside the wrap. The one from Long’s Noodle House is still my favourite preparation of this.

Bean Curd Mushroom RollMarinated Beef Wrapped in Pancake

Of course, you can’t go to a Shanghainese restaurant without the classic, Steamed Pork Dumplings, or known to many, Xiao Long Bao or XLB. This was probably one of the best I’ve had. (more…)

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The other day I overheard my colleagues AM, JN and JL talking about their lunch at Dim Sum Express. Because they had wanted to go back, it piqued my interest and I thought I would join them on their adventure.

Dim Sum Express is one of the first food trucks appearing on the streets of Vancouver. It’s currently located near the Canada Place, outside of the new Miku Restaurant. Definitely a good spot for the summer with lots of foot traffic from the cruise ships.

Dim Sum Express

Dim Sum Express

Food

With four of us, we decided to order an assortment of dim sum a la carte style, and share among ourselves. A la carte items range from $3.50 to $4.50, and depending on the item, you may find two to five pieces per order. That’s great for sharing dishes like we did.

So here’s what we ordered. We ordered multiples of everything so there’s enough food to share:

  • Pork Dumplings (Siu Mai)
  • Shrimp Dumplings (Har Gow)
  • Juicy Dumplings (Xiao Long Bao)
  • BBQ Pork Buns
  • Pan-Fried Dumplings

Assorted dim sum

Assorted dim sum

Verdict? (more…)

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Warning: This will be a fairly long post.

You’re wondering, why am I reviewing two Chinese restaurants when I traveled so far? Frankly, because these two stood out for me…and I may have forgotten to take pictures while I was traveling. You can falcon punch me if you ever meet me. I spent two weeks in Australia, going from Sydney, to Melbourne, to Gold Coast, and back to Sydney again.

Bridge in Sydney by the Opera House.

While in Melbourne, though there are different kinds of cuisines, I didn’t get to try much, or get any photos. I can tell you they have one full street dedicated to some amazing Italian food though. Unfortunately, the Chinese food was terrible and very overpriced. I won’t name this restaurant, but it was in one of the casinos. They charge 6 dollars for a single spring roll that tastes very similar to a microwavable one you can buy from Costco.

My brother is unimpressed by their $6 spring roll. He had to eat both.

Though the food wasn’t the most spectacular, there seems to be a lot of museums and art galleries. And of course, if you’re like my mother, there is a Chinatown by the downtown area.

Gold Coast was my favourite, golden sands and blue waters. I did get washed out by a wave while sitting on the beach though, while fully clothed. By the beaches are all West Coast style cuisines, but I didn’t get any pictures of the food. It was quite delicious, I tried some seafood chowder and lobster linguine.

Golden sandy beaches... cause I don't have any pictures of food.

The mentioned restaurants are both located in Sydney, Australia, where I spent the majority of my time. Both are Chinese restaurants found in the downtown core of Sydney. (more…)

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