VieAMaggi.com

Real, raw, & relatable me. Enthusiastic food & lifestyle blogger living in Vancouver, BC!

Category: noodles Page 1 of 5

Old XiAn’s food 老西安

A group of foodies and myself were hungry, looking for a later dinner downtown, one of us suggested the very Instagram popular “biang biang” noodles. These are essentially rice noodles served in the full sheets that they are prepared as, instead of being cut into strips for easier consumption. Naturally, majority of us choose this option over the other thinner and rounder noodles, as this one is more exclusive to them.

The cafe is one of those spots that you need to know about, to know to go. The name and the exterior doesn’t speak to what’s within. And the all glass exterior showing very little seats being sat doesn’t speak to the food. It isn’t necessary one of those places to travel to for an occasion, but instead a great place for some quick and comforting Chinese food.

There isn’t much in terms of decor, labelled tables and a single server standing at the ready by the counter/register. She was a little intense to start. She spoke abruptly and spat out questions for how we wanted the food directly. “How hot do you want it?” was repeated several times when my guest didn’t know how to explain that he wanted it spicy… eventually she did warm up to us, offering up her brand of jokes and even helping us stage some of our noodle pulls.

The following are the bowls we had. One of my guests got his favourite the “Xian cold noodles”, and agreed to a medium amount of spiciness, (this was after the above back and forth with our server). It was a slippery bowl that he easily and quickly slurped up. And even though his bowl came first and there was a wait to take photos, because it was served cold he had it as it was intended.

My other guest with gestational diabetes had to skip the carbs, so ordered “Stewed lamb soup with vegetable”. It was a fulsome brew with an herbaceous after note.

Two others ordered the “Spicy oil noodle with soy sauce pork, tomato, and fried eggs”. This was dry noodles served sauced up and well seasoned. Rich and meaty, with a good layer of grit around the “sheets”. Both agreed that it need more spice though, and they remedied it with a side of spicy chilli oil to share and dip into.

I went with what I knew and ordered the “Braised beef noodle in soup”, they also had a broth-less version, but I wanted something warm for this colder night. The chunks of beef were sparse and a little dry. I wished for a richer soup, so that the noodles cold absorb their flavour more. Good, but I wanted a richer broth to match the luxury noodle feel. But in the end I kept going back for more and finished my serving clean because of how much I enjoyed biting down and chewing through the texture of the noodle sheets.

One of my guests also got their “Stewed pork burger”. Soggy pulled pork served in a white dough bun. He asked for cilantro so that he could have some greens and their freshness in his handheld, but was warned that he would be charged extra for the herbs. I found this odd, but he agreed to it willingly. As for taste it was a little soggy, given our wait to eat.

 

Would I come back? – Yes.
Would I line up for it? – Yes.
Would I recommend it? – Yes.
Would I suggest this to someone visiting from out of town? – No.
I can definitely see myself craving this again, and thanks to two other locations, I need not travel all that far to quell them. They are definitely taking noodles to a whole new level here. Don’t deny your cravings.

 

OLD XIAN FOODS
1517 Robson Street, Vancouver BC, V6G 1C3
236-455-7080

Guy Fieri at Peaceful Restaurant

“Food Network” celebrity, Guy Fieri was in Vancouver shooting for his latest television series. In it he revisits his favourite stops along his travels, while looking for the best “Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives”. And I just so happened to be at the original “Peaceful Restaurant”, when he popped in. No words needed to be spoken, you could tell something was happening in the restaurant tonight. The camera crew, the large spot lights, and the cherry red convertible rolling up with a “FLVRTWN” license plate. Not to mention all the well dressed staff on shift today and the owner and his entire family present and ready to serve customers and prepare food. And it is not surprising that tonight I have had some of the best service, and the best meal from them to date.

For those unfamiliar with “Peaceful” they are the well known and beloved Sichuan restaurant that is delicious and approachable. A friendly spot that anyone unfamiliar with Chinese food, or is too intimidated to visit a restaurant with its name only written in Chinese characters; can come to and order exactly what they want and how they want it. Cut and paste Chinese food with an easy to read menu and plenty of photos. The restaurant takes into consideration their customers taste. More spice, less chilli, or additional salt. It is no wonder this winning recipe has earned them international recognition and additional locations all across the Lower Mainland.

The cafe on Broadway by Cambie is their first location, the original one that Guy first visited and helped launch all those years ago. With his endorsement he was able to help propel this family run business into the multi chain organization that they are today. And it was nice to be within the restaurant when the two parties (Guy and Charlie the chef and owner) reminisced about it all.

The filming was done in the kitchen, where Chef Charlie offered up newer dishes and sought Guy’s opinion on them. There was tasting and talking before the shaking of hands. The Guy was gone, just as quick as he came. But not before posing for a few photos and tagging the wall, just like he did 6 years ago.

When it came time for me to have my meal, we took our time and stayed much longer. The staff were friendly, and very hospitable. I heard servers ask about preferences when talking orders , and returning a couple more times to check on dinner and if they can be of further assistance.

I wanted what Guy got to try so ordered the two below. “Sichuan thousand chilli chicken”. Crispy chicken stir fried with dried peppers, peppercorns, garlic, ginger, green onion, green beans, and crispy potatoes (which is a new twist they are taking on this dish). It looks a lot more spicy and intimating than it really was. If you avoid the red chillies, you avoided the heat. Therefore the dish took work to eat, can’t just scoop and plop a spoonful into your mouth. Being caught off guard by a peppercorn or two, isn’t all that fun. But the menu gave you fair warning. They called this dish “tongue tingling” and that it was. I did like the rest of the ingredients. The ratio of batter to chicken was great, enough for crunch, without hiding the actual flavour of chicken. The beans were firm and the flavour complimentary to the nuggets of meats and the slivers of garlic. As my guest put it, this was a well balance meal with meat, vegetable, and starch; you just needed dairy.

“Xian steamed cold noodle” was the other dish we tried cause Guy did. I love a good thick and chewy noodle, so was excited to try some of “Peaceful’s” house made version today. When ordering it, our hostess spoke to how the dough for this is prepared. It is washed before it is cut into strips. And is then boiled and a thorough dressing with a garlic vinaigrette that includes sesame oil and tahini. The result, a chilled tart and tangy dish, with a warming chilli spice. Our hostess was also quick to boast that their freshly made chilli oil is what makes all the difference in this, and she was right. Great as a summer plate or a appetizer to kickstart your appetite.

And what put them on the map during Guy’s last visit, and the dish he helped familiarized: the “Peaceful beef roll”. Slices of beef and strips of chives roll together with a sweet and tangy sauce in a chewy green onion pancake. Altogether a great combination. It is worth nothing that everything in this, and everything else on the menu is made in house, except the rice cakes.

My favourite dish of the night was the “Peaceful house stir fried noodles”. Seared noodles, fish, shrimp, squid, pork, and vegetables; all coated in a chilli garlic sauce. It has a really great flavour that fully coats each slurp-able noodle strand. I liked the texture of the squishy squid with it, but found the BBQ pork a little much, whereas the fish was hard to notice all together.

And when it is handmade in house and on the menu, you have to get the classic “Xiao long bao”. These steamed pork and chive filled dumplings were deliciously moist, one bite morsels filled with warm soup. They were so soft that they almost melt under your tongue.

It turns out the owner’s daughter was working front of house tonight, and she was actually the one tending to us. Upon learning this fact, I took the opportunity to chat her up some. We discussed the universality of their Sichuan cuisine. And the fact that they are the Chinese food chain that is welcoming for everyone. She seemed proud, as her dad and brother dawned their chef’s uniforms, and her mother sat in the dining area taking it all in. What a cool experience and a great day to play the fly on the wall.

 

Would I come back? – Yes.
Would I line up for it? – No.
Would I recommend it? – Yes.
Would I suggest this to someone visiting from out of town? – No.
Same assessment as the last time I visited. A solid choice for quick and easy Chinese, made all the more special tonight. Don’t deny your cravings.

 

PEACEFUL RESTAURANT
532 West Broadway, Vancouver BC
604-879-9878
peacefulrestaurant.com

Mr. Red Cafe

“Mr. Red Cafe” is a well known Vietnamese restaurant that specializes in North Vietnamese cuisine. They have been a long standing staple, therefore it is surprising that I am only just now visiting them. And lucky me, I was here with the best tour guide, acclaimed foodie and blogger extraordinaire “@foodologyca”.

She took the helm when it came to ordering, as I took in the decor. This cafe was transformed into a tropical rain forest with plenty of live greenery. Against a red brick wall a straw thatched roof was erected with wooden masks and straw lanterns hanging above. Whicker, wood, and bamboo really helped to complete the island vibe. They matched the straw and banana leaves that a few of our dishes were served on.

Like the “Vong village’s deep fry young rice cake with ground shrimp and pork”. They were essentially irregular, hand shaped meat patties. They had a gummy quality to them, similar to that of dim sum; but with the classic Vietnamese tangy fish sauce to dip them into.

The “Grilled beef wrapped in la lot leaves” was a handsome platter served with vermicelli noodle, fresh herbs, crushed peanuts, and fried shallots. Accompanied by the same light fish sauce again. I liked the meatiness of the sausage filling, but not the bitterness of the leaves that engulfed them. To help balance it out, I sought out more fish sauce and citrus, with the peanut for crunch. I would have also liked some vegetable and/or pickle within the leaves to give depth to the one toned meat log.

The “Mr. Red cafe spicy beef noodle soup” was inspired by hue style noodle soups, serve with assorted beef and pork ham slices, topped with green onion, cilantro, basil, and bean spouts. It wasn’t too spicy, a hearty and deep broth that warmed you to the core. No complaints.

 

Would I come back? – Yes.
Would I line up for it? – No.
Would I recommend it? – Yes.
Would I suggest this to someone visiting from out of town? – No.
With an extensive menu filled with so much more to try, I would love to return when craving Vietnamese cuisine. A collection of platters, set meals, sandwiches, omelettes, soups, and wraps to keep you coming back for more. Don’t deny your cravings.

 

MR RED CAFE
2131 E Hastings Street, Vancouver BC, V5L 1V2
604-710-9515
mrredcafe.ca
Mr. Red Cafe Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Giant Vegan Pho Challenge at Dundas Pho

The restaurant that brought Vancouver its first big bowl pho challenge is back with another!

It has been a year since “Dundas Eat + Drink” gave us their 6lbs “Six-O-Pho” challenge. And with the colder weather upon us, they’ve reckoned its time to launch another. This is their 3lbs “Vegan Bún bò Huế” challenge. It is 100% plant based, meaning this opens the doors for a lot more competitors.

 

And once again, I am honoured to be able to be the first one to attempt this challenge, and to road test it for them. To check out how I faired, and to get an idea of what’s it like to take on an eating challenge, visit my YouTube channel: MaggiMei.

 

Bún bò Huế is a popular Vietnamese soup containing rice vermicelli and beef. The dish is best known for its balance of spicy, sour, salty, and umami flavours. This version is as tasty as its reputation suggests; made with deep fried tofu, king oyster mushrooms, and vegan Vietnamese ham. All the above gives the bowl plenty of taste and texture; along with the rice noodle base, and the mix of raw green onions, red onions, and cilantro for topping. But truly the star of this dish is the spicy vegetable broth. Despite its red hue it is actually not that spicy, more of a medium-mild on the heat meter. Delicious and great for chugging, which is helpful considering the challenge requires finishing the entire bowl, including the broth, down to the very last drop.

So now that you know how delicious this serving is, how can you try it for yourself, and better yet beat it?

The challenge is running all through December, it started on the 1st and “Dundas Eat + Drink” continue to host customers until the 31st. Each competitor pays $25 to play, win of lose the price is set. If you finish the entire bowl in under 20 min, you will win an instant prize! Then the 5 fastest contestants will be invited back for round two. This is a winner’s table where all 5 will face off against one another, in the hopes of winning the grand prize, valued at $500!

As they did last year, the extra large bowl of noodles will continue to be available for order after December 2018, although the price will increase to $30. To reminisce over last’s year’s meat heavy pho challenge, click on the link to watch my attempt video.

 

DUNDAS EAT + DRINK
2077 Dundas Street, Vancouver BC, V5L 1J5
604-420-1200
eatdundas.com

Gon’s Izakaya

After a day out at Stanley Park, attending a music festival in the rain, I was more than ecstatic to end our night within the warmth of this fushion Asia Restaurant.

Given how much I liked the food, I was surprised to see it so empty on a Saturday night. But this is also how I felt about the last three restaurants that held this space. Maybe it’s the location? -A far walk from Robson’s main strip, but then again they are next to a popular dessert cafe that has only flourished with its tenure. None the less we had plenty of room to enjoy this Japanese inspired izakaya, sharing raw seafood, saucy noodles and deep-fried vegetables amongst three.

At the entrance was a lengthy share table centred with some decorative bamboo and stones. Around the corner were additional seats lined up against the wall, a row set parallel to chairs along the bar. We grabbed a corner at the former and began amassing food and drink, starting with a bottle of white wine.

The menu is easy to navigate with pictorials. Their “Spicy red nabe”, was declared a must try, highlighted on its own laminated sheet. This was their house special hot pot with Japanese nappa cabbage, bean sprouts, tofu, eggplant, chicken, and pork belly: cooked in a miso broth flavoured with red pepper and paprika. You had the option of choosing how spicy you wanted it from a scale of one to five, I went for a one to be able to enjoy the dish.

It is cooked table side over a electric coil. It comes as a tower of raw ingredients in the aforementioned broth. Then as the brew boils and the steam seeps out, your server returns to peel back the layers of pork belly, and shift vegetables around to uncover a foundation of beansprouts. This opening is used to stir in a paste and a chilli sauce. Then the serving is allowed more time to boil and cook. The result is a wonderfully fragrant hot pot, one of the best in flavour with the fermented pickling providing a natural umami to the mix. This was definitely my favourite dish of the evening and one I would order again, should I return.

A close second for very different reasons was the “Tempura curry Udon”. I would order this one again too on my next visit. I was looking for something rich in sauciness with the proper carbs to soak it up. This sweet Japanese style curry with chewy fat udon noodles did not disappoint. The flavours and the textures of this are all ones I personally gravitate towards, if I am ordering for preference. I want another serving just writing and re-reading this.

The “Gon’s original kara-age” is Japanese style deep fried organic chicken. These were an easy win, tasty nuggets of juicy chicken you could easily pop into your mouth. Best with an beer to balance out its saltiness.

A little too similar was the gathering of deep fried vegetable and homemade fishballs. Tasty, but together with the chicken above this was too much deep fry and not enough pickled vegetable or creamy sauce to break things apart.

The “Seafood donburi” came as a set with miso soup, a side salad with vinaigrette, a steamed egg dish, seasoned bamboo, and a dish of tangy pickles. You felt you got your money’s worth with this one. Plenty to mix and match flavours with, and enough to leave you full. The raw fish over the sushi rice was a collection of sashimi that included red snapper, yellow tail, tuna, octopus, and sweet spot prawn. It was a seafood lover’s dream given how fresh it all tasted.

The “Takoyaki poutine” made good drunk food. Fries, gravy, and parmesan cheese topped with four balls of takoyaki, flavoured with its normal dressing of sweet mayo and bonito flakes. It tasted exactly as it sounds.

 

Would I come back? – Yes.
Would I line up for it? – Yes.
Would I recommend it? – Yes.
Would I suggest this to someone visiting from out of town? – No.
I really liked this place, as I naturally gravitate to asian fusion and smaller plates that allow you to order lots, try plenty, and sharing everything. If this was by my work I would be frequenting them more often. But sadly its not that close to make a trip out to, nor is parking easy by it. But if you are ever in the area and are ever given the option, I would definitely suggest snacking with them. Don’t deny your cravings

 

GON’S
854 Denman Street, Vancouver BC, V6G 2L8
604-559-6404
izakaya-gons.com/denman

Red Beef Noodle Kitchen

Today I visited a beef noodle place on West 4th, one that my guest has been meaning try. She has heard good things about the place and only recently have they completed their renovations. So here we were for an earlier dinner with no wait.

I haven’t visited before today, but I can confirm that the interior is lovely. It now has a very modern appeal with all black cushioned chairs, and booth seats facing white tables, stocked with a caddy of condiments. The featured wall appears to be papered in snippets from their menu, scrawled in cursive lettering. I was delighted that the hostess allowed us to occupy a large and spacious booth that could sit six, or eight if you tried, for just us two. This was the preferred seating for me, as the other group tables with chairs facing benches were taken; and I don’t particularly enjoy parking myself at one of those tables that is centred by an aisle on either side. This large booth felt more intimate, and it allowed us to relax more.

The menu was an easy read. High definition photos of each item. It didn’t do more to tell you what you would be getting, than offering a brief but precise description of the dish. But I was preoccupied with the smell of spicy broth that sat in the air. It had me salivating with familiar taste memories. This was a good sign of things to come, and enviable when they are known for laying meat and noodles in a bowl, then pouring their piping hot soup broth over it all: right at your table, right before your very eyes. The heat of the steaming broth helped to cook the serving we had below.

The restaurant prides themselves on the finest beef noodle soups, so naturally we had to get their “Premium red beef noodle soup” as our first taste. For twelve hours they slow boil beef bones with Chinese spices, resulting in a deeply flavourful soup that promises to be “complex and balanced” in taste. You have the option of enjoying said broth clear or spicy, I went for the former out of preference, and to be able to really taste the meatiness in the soup, as it was intended. This was one of the most full bodied, yet lightest broths I have ever enjoyed. It tasted healthy, but delicious; flavourful, but not salty.

The restaurant is called “Red Beef” because the beef from their signature noodle dish, (the one we enjoyed) comes raw. This is certified angus beef, it was tender, but lacked flavour when not enjoyed with mouthfuls of broth. The noodles are prepared tender to match, with a slightly firm and perfectly chewy mouthfeel in mind.

This was definitely the most refined beef noodle that I have ever had. It tasted premium, feeling like the almost $20 I spent on it was worth it. Especially as this was a large serving, there was a lot more noodles than we first thought. You couldn’t finish this serving alone based on size and the linger desire to have a change of taste after a few bites. The broth consumed and left you wanting something to freshened things up with. I don’t eat wilted greens due to a strong dislike of its texture, and there wasn’t enough corn kernels to go around. Though the corn’s presence was not missed as it injected its sweetness fully into the serving.

For their regular beef noodle soups they use beef shins and cook it in a wok, set over high temperatures, then dial it down to a lower temperature when it comes time to braise the meat. This ensures that the meat is delicately soft in texture. This was the beef noodle that I am familiar with, the one I would love to come back and try it.

To break up the heavy flavours of the soup, we shared a serving of “Wontons in chilli oil”. They were cooked to order, with the piping hot centres to prove it. The spiciness defined the dumplings, hiding any depth I would have gotten from its well seasoned centre. The textures were perfect: soften dough over chewy balls of meat.

 

Would I come back? – Yes.
Would I line up for it? – Yes.
Would I recommend it? – Yes.
Would I suggest this to someone visiting from out of town? – No.
This was good beef noodle and a good meal, but it is not a beef noodle soup that I would crave of. It wasn’t warming enough, or cozy like what I envision beef noodle to be, or like the servings from bubble tea houses that I am most familiar with. But still delicious, and worth returning to soon. Don’t deny your cravings.

 

RED BEEF
1947 W 4th Ave, Vancouver BC, V6J 1M7
604-558-1237
redbeef.ca

Long’s Noodle House

I have read somewhere that the way to define a good Chinese restaurant is a worn down exterior with matching interior, lots of Chinese people dining within, and a grumpy cashier. Well, this well known stop for noodles on Main Street has all three.

It is one of those cash only, hole in the wall Chinese restaurants. It is community fuelled, where regulars make them a part of their routines. And for good reason: the food comes fast, it is tasty, and affordable for day to day eating.

I found everything tasty and as I expected it to be. I grew up eating so much Chinese food, and with some many variations on my favourite dishes; I really can’t separate good from great. This was delicious, we ate it all down greedily, though at the same time, I wouldn’t need to drive all the way down for more, as there are other equally good Chinese restaurants, closer to my home. I did like how it was smaller and had a more casual feel though. You wouldn’t necessarily feel comfortable walking into one of those large dim sum in the morning, seafood restaurants at night, large enough to host a wedding reception at restaurants.

“Rice cake with preserve vegetable”. I love the chew of these slices and really eat it more for that then the flavour. In fact, I even avoid the slivers of green from the vegetable.

The “Tan tan with meat sauce” is one of my favourite noodle dishes. With a thick sauce and plenty of ground meat, the noodles walked away with plenty of flavour.

We rounded out our meal with even more carbs: the classic “Xiao long bao”. These were made in house, by a woman behind the front counter. They were plenty tasty, with a tangy dip in the vinegar. The meat was tender and the dough chewy, I just wish there was more soup within each bundle, enough to have the liquid gush and hit you in the back of your throat when you bit down.

 

Would I come back? – Yes.
Would I line up for it? – No.
Would I recommend it? – Yes.
Would I suggest this to someone visiting from out of town? – No.
It was good, we ate our fill and had no leftovers. I will crave such flavours again, but don’t necessarily need to satisfy them back here. Overall, I am neutral on this one. Don’t deny your cravings.

 

LONG’S NOODLE HOUSE
4853 Main Street, Vancouver BC
604-879-7879
Long's Noodle House Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Xi An Cuisine

This is my first time to the “Richmond Public Market”, and maybe my last given how troublesome parking was…. The narrow lanes, tight stalls, and reckless driving makes the trouble hardly worth it. And that’s a shame because the food from their food court is some of the most authentic, and our lunch spot is well known in the community as having some of the best noodles in the city. Delicious noodles in a time where instagram is littered with #noodlepulls, and individuals are striving to find the best bowl in the city.

Here I was, having never heard of “Richmond Public Market”, only to learn “Xi An Cuisine”
has been called the market home for over 20 years. The owner use to be an electrician, but has since decided to pursue his passion in making hand pulled noodles, and can be seen doing just that almost every day.

He began this journey by experimenting on noodle recipes and making his own at home. His recipes come from the ones from Xi An, but the ingredients are different, because he uses what is available to him in Richmond. Apparently it took him six months to work out the perfect recipe, before opening this stall to the public.

Our group of four ordered four bowls, featuring four different hand made noodles and shared each betwixt us. We were able to watch such noodles being prepared from behind the sneeze proof glass. Strands being pulled then tossed, balls of dough being cut.

The “Noodle with fried pork and chilli” had a good amount of heat paired with tender shreds of pork and chewy noodles in a flavourful, orangey broth.

The “Special cold noodles” used mung bean to achieve the texture of their noodles. I liked the thickness of the strands and how their smooth surfaces paired well in contrast to the crisp cucumber and bean sprouts. The sauce was plenty flavourful and I liked its flavour, I just wish it was thicker in consistency and served over warm noodles. I guess I don’t like my food cold all that much.

The “Fried noodle with lamb and vegetable” was my favourite. This is one of my favourite Chinese dishes and “Xi An Cuisines’” interpretation of it is one of the better. The julienned shreds of vegetable offered some crunch, and the lamb meat was absolutely delicious; I just wished there was more, for a more even noodle to tender lamb meat ratio.

The “Noodle with beef tendon in soup” was my least favourite, I found it a little too herbaceous for my tastes, but did enjoy how warming the slippery fragment of noodles was in the broth. I was also pleasantly surprised by how flavourful the meat remained after its soak in a clear broth.

 

Would I come back? – Yes.
Would I line up for it? – No.
Would I recommend it? – Yes.
Would I suggest this to someone visiting from out of town? – Yes.
I appreciate a good success story, and the work and pride individuals put into perfecting their craft. It makes me appreciate what I am eating even more and gives a seemingly simple bowl of noodles some character. To see it come to fruition from dough, to noodles pulled, then boiled to cook. Don’t deny your cravings

 

XI AN CUISINE
Richmond Public Market, Second Floor, Food Court
2370-8260 Westminster Highway, Richmond BC, V6X 1A7
604-279-9727
Xi'An Cuisine Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Pearl Castle, Taiwanese Beef Noodle Colossal

Enjoy Vancouver’s largest Taiwanese Beef Boodle for charity!

“Pearl Castle” is one of the first Taiwanese style restaurants to hit the lower mainland many years ago. Its original opening helped to introduce and popularize bubble tea and Taiwanese cafe style cuisine to Vancouverites. Since then it is still fondly known as one of the best Taiwanese restaurants in the city, winning many awards for its food and drink. Today I was at its original location at Richmond’s Continental Centre, here to try the city’s largest bowl of beef noodle soup. It is authentically made by chefs hailing from Taiwan. So if one of their regular sized bowls is good, imagine how much better a bigger bowl must be!?

This spectacle is made possible by @foodicure (sister brand to @chinesebites). Their goal is to create awareness and earn funds for local charities by leveraging social media and how we exchange information across its various platforms. The are partnering with over 100 restaurants in the city to create dishes that are photo worthy and sure to cause a viral sensation. “The Beef Noodle Colossal” is only the first of such initiatives. The goal is to launch 3-4 like dishes every month.

 

This large bowl is 3-4 times the size of a regular bowl of beef noodle. It is served with a set of wooden chopsticks and a matching spoon; larger than usual utensil. It is within proportion to the bowl and its mound of noodle and soup within. You are getting 3x the tender chunks of premium beef, 4x the flat chewy noodles, and 3.5x the deliciously rich beef broth. You also get more of the baby bok choy; but if you are like me, you end up scooping it out and discarding it because you hate the taste and texture.

For every bowl purchased 10% of its sales go to benefit “Canadian Blood Services” and the “Greater Vancouver Food Bank”. They are available only for a limited run, so be sure to head down and try them before they are retired.

You can choose from 3 different versions. The original “House special beef noodle” is the classic version, and the one I like the most. Fun Fact: my first taste of beef noodle was from a “Pearl Castle”, and since then it has become one of my favourite noodle dishes. A regular bowl of beef noodle costs $10.99, you pay $29.99 for the colossal. So you are saving about $9 if you decide to get a bigger bowl to split it between 3-4 friends.

The “Tomato beef noodle” is made with a tangy tomato and beef broth. It includes plenty of onions and tomato wedges for $12.99 for a regular bowl. The colossal version is $32.99, thus saving you about $12.50 for a 3-4 serving bowl.

And lastly you have the “Extreme spicy beef noodle” that really isn’t all that spicy. However if you end up completing the entire serving in one sitting, the heat does creep up on you. For a normal portion this chilli infused soup is $13.99, the colossal size is $32.99. So here you are saving about $16 if you go big.

 

To watch myself, @pekopekolife, and @monkeyeatsworld tackle all three flavours, attempting to finish a giant bowl each, click on the link to watch the latest video on my YouTube channel: MaggiMei.

If going big is your jam, and you like the idea of helping your community one bite at a time, I suggest heading down to “Pearl Castle” and ordering one of these bowls for yourself; or maybe to share between you and a friend. It was made available starting April 20, 2018; and will continued to be offered until allotted quantities sell out. So don’t miss out, and don’t deny your cravings.

 

PEARL CASTLE
Continental Centre
1128-3779 Sexsmith Road, Richmond BC, V6X 3Z9
604-270-3939
pearlcastle.com
Pearl Castle Cafe Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Peaceful Restaurant, CNY 2018 menu

Affectionally known as “Peaceful”, this Northern Chinese restaurant has been offering their traditional cuisine across several locations within the lower mainland for years now. And today we were at the one on 5th ave, celebrating an earlier Chinese New Year, with a collection of “Peaceful’s” most popular. A feast of 17 dishes, including their beef rolls and dan dan noodles. All prepared by owner and head Chef, Charlie Huang. Many may be familiar with him and his restaurant chain thanks to the interview and mention of both on Guy Fieri’s “Diners, Dive-Ins, and Drives” television series.

But first, when it comes to a media tasting, plating and portion size may be gussied up and/or paired down, and the service will usually be top notch. Though I can at least paint you the most accurate image when it comes to the food and the setting, as how I interpret it. But as always, these are my opinions and you need not take them as fact. Unless you have my exact background, have lived my exact experiences, and we possess the same tongue; no one can truly taste and appreciate as you do.

The event had a presentation component. We were treated to the artistry that is Chinese noodle and dumpling preparation, done by professionals. And a few lucky, chosen dinner guests had the opportunity to try their hand at it for themselves. I wasn’t selected as one of the few, but did get a front row seat of the action.

The “Blade sheer noodles” are my favourite type of noodles. I like their extra chewy texture and how you feel you are get more noodle per bite with them. They are more fat than long, with jagged edges. In order to make them our chef takes a large chunk of dough in one hand and special blade, that resembles a vegetable peeler, in the other. Then at a 30 degree angle he basically pares the dough like he would a piece of fruit. Quickly with short strokes. Normally they would be shaved directly into a pot of boiling water and cooked to order.

We would later enjoy the fruits of his labour in the “Mu-shu stir-fried noodles”. Wok fried starchy noodles with chicken, wood ear fungus, and lettuce. The texture of the noodles didn’t disappoint, especially with saturated sweet soya sauce coating each strip got.

The next demo was noodle pulling. Noodles are especially popular during Chinese New Year, as they represent longevity, due to their length. The longer the noodles the longer the life. So superstition states that you don’t bite down on your noodles, but instead slurp then, to save your luck. In order to hand pull noodles, the dough is repeatedly stretched to warm up the gluten. After a series of flips and spins (which could pass as a show in itself), the chef drags the noodles out. He pulls, removes the ends, pulls some more, and cuts off more end chunks. Then slowly, individual strands form within the whip of dough he is kneading.

These noodles were then used in the “Sizzled hot-chilli noodles” dish for us to try. The chewy strands got a topping of chilli flakes and oil, with some greens for freshness.

More popular are the “Dan-Dan noodles”. They are prepared with a spicy sauce containing preserved vegetables, chili oil, Sichuan pepper, minced pork, and scallions. I found that this version had a very aromatic citrusy flavour, especially zesty with peppercorn.

The “Xi’an cold steamed noodles” used similar, but flatter noodles. It along with the chilled temperature of this dish gave you a different mouth feel. You noticed the oiliness of the noodles more and how airy the dish was. I thought it would fair better as an appetizer, not unlike the other cold dishes below.

The “Sichuan cucumbers” were better served as a palette cleanser than a starter. Although it did well as refreshing way to get the appetite going. Fresh cucumber tossed in garlic and chilli.

The “Woodear mushroom salad” served a similar purpose, with a more chewy texture. I likened it to like a softer, vegetarian cartilage. It was dressed in a light soy vinegar dressing.

“Xi’an white lamb soup” is a traditional soup made featuring chewy clumps of dough and tender strings of meat. The lamb flavour was very prominent, zesty with peppery spice.

The “Sichuan broth braised fish” paired a mild white fish with strong punchy chillies, for a warming heat. Fish is commonly served during Chinese New Year as the word for “fish” in Chinese is similar to the work for “surplus”. And “surplus” ultimately signifies prosperity, a great thing to ring in the new year with.

 

I liked the build it yourself “Xing-Jiang cumin lamb with sesame flatbread”. The lamb meat was a little dry and overly flavoured with cumin, however sandwiching is between the fragrant and crispy sesame bun helped in both regards.

My absolute favourite dish of the night was the “Chinese rice cakes”. This was another great texture to chew on, seasoned in a sweet and salty brown sauce. You eat rice cakes during Chinese New Year as they symbolize growing in success. The Chinese word for cake is “gao”, which is also the word for “high”, taken this way it equals to “higher and higher” and therefore “growing in success”. As you can see, the significance of words and how they can be used and interpreted plays heavily into Chinese culture and superstition.

The “Sichuan thousand chilli chicken” was spicy, crispy chicken nuggets sitting amongst dried chilli shells and their seeds. It was spicy, but not so much so that a novice to heat, like myself, couldn’t enjoy it.

Similar in flavour was the “Sichuan string beans”, they had a nice crisp were a great vegetable dish to have on the table.

When you mention “Peaceful Restaurant”, many remember the name because of their “Peaceful beef rolls”, the dish they are most famous for. Beef and salty brown sauce wrapped in a crispy savoury pancake like a wrap.

The last demonstration of the night was dumpling moulding. This was done by Chef Charlie himself. He showed us the speed and precision he garnered through a lifetime of practice. In less than a minute he made over a dozen perfectly, plump dumplings. He did this by rolling out dough, stuffing it with a pork and green onion mix, then pinching the edges closed.

These would be boiled up and served with a soy dipping sauce. “Northern pork dumplings” with chives and bok-choy filling.

We also enjoyed some “Pan-fried vegetable dumplings” with their nice crispy coat. These dumplings are also popular during Chinese New Year because of their shape. They are similar to the traditional Chinese golden ingot, a currency used in imperial China from its founding under the Qin dynasty until the fall of the Qing in the 20th century. Seeing as they are shaped like the dumplings, the belief is that the more dumplings you eat the more money you will make.

And everyone loved the “Xiao-long bao steamed buns”. Round meat dumplings that you take in with one bite, as they are filled with soup. Biting them in half only results in a chin full of sauce.

To end we had “Sweet rice ball”, which isn’t actually on the menu. Glutinous rice balls, filled with red bean. They are sweetened by the sugary syrup that they sit in. I just wish I had more, they are so easy to pop into your mouth.

 

Would I come back? – Yes.
Would I line up for it? – No.
Would I recommend it? – Yes.
Would I suggest this to someone visiting from out of town? – Yes.
A great place for some solid Chinese food, coupled with the notoriety of being on tv, makes this a unique destination to check out, if you haven’t already. And with so many locations, it is easy enough to do so. Don’t deny your cravings.

 

PEACEFUL RESTAURANT
43 East 5th Avenue, Vancouver BC, V5T 1J6
604-559-9511
peacefulrestaurant.com
Peaceful Restaurant Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Page 1 of 5

Powered by WordPress & Theme by Anders Norén