When it comes to the best Chinese style Barbecue in the Lower Mainland, there are two main contenders. I have gone back and forth, unable to decide which of the two it is that I prefer. However, today’s meal might have cinched it for me.
I am going to go ahead and say it: Chinatown BBQ is my favourite spot for Chinese style barbecue in the city, and the one I will continue to recommend. Consistently tender and juicy, I have yet to have a serving that disappointed.
On this night, we stopped by for a quick dinner before a show. Seeing as everything is premade and kept warm under heat lamps, the food comes out almost immediately after you order it. Much like their takeout option, but better dressed on traditional Chinese dishware.
And I would be remised if I didn’t take the time to appreciate it and the decor. Traditional yet modern, the restaurant’s setting is one that I appreciate aesthetically. Great as a take out shop, even better when you get to dine it amongst all its colouring. Jade green booths, rose red upholstered chairs, bold floral printed table cloths, and a slew of black and white vintage photos to match their black and white checkered floor. My description doesn’t really do it enough justice. It contrasts yet melds well together, simple and clean with a diner vibe.
We began our meal with a couple of Tsing Tao (Chinese) beers. I find I don’t often pair alcoholic beverages with my Chinese food, but it just seems appropriate with barbecue, here.
For food we ordered the feature: Four treasures chefs plate, which offered a little bit of their most popular meats, and a salted egg over rice. Bbq pork, soy sauce chicken, and roasted pork. Each meat, exactly as I had anticipated, each completely tender with the perfect amount of mouth warming gristle. The bbq pork was sweet with its distinct red hue. The roasted pork crunches with its crispy skin and gelatinous layer of fat. Both together balances out the leaner drier meat under. And the chicken was so tender, that if meat could melt, I would say it melted in our mouths. The soy sauce chicken was probably my favourite of the night, best enjoyed with its side sauce of ginger, green onion, and garlic.
We also ordered the two item on rice combo because I wanted their roast duck as well. I asked for the Bbq pork and bbq duck on rice, confusing the bbq pork for the roasted version, which was the one I actually wanted to double down on. Barbecue duck has such a different flavour to it. I especially like its rich smokiness partnered with a nice tangy plum sauce: preferably a 2:1 ratio on the latter.
In summary, I cannot emphasize how stand out this place is. Truly delicious Chinese style barbecue that is worth driving down to Vancouver’s Chinatown for.
130 E Pender St, Vancouver, BC V6A 1T3