The woks at Terracotta Modern Cuisine sizzle with Chinese tapas-style dishes that meld traditional flavours with contemporary plating. The menu teems with small plates of golden squid, shiitake mushrooms, and five-spice crispy chicken sliders nestled in golden mantou buns, as well as vegetarian options including vegan spring and rice paper rolls, sesame noodle salad, and vegetarian noodle soup. The staff regularly visits Chinatown for ingredients for their fresh desserts, such as the housemade baked tapioca Happy Ending paired with green-tea gelato from La Casa.
Beneath the modern dining room’s softly glowing pendant lights, terracotta warriors styled after those of the Qin dynasty stand guard over the dark wood tables. Cushy, high-backed leather chairs encourage a leisurely meal punctuated by diners swapping tales or shouting "comma" every few words.
At No. 1 Shanghai Cuisine, guests tuck in to savoury pork buns, pan-fried rice and noodle dishes, and chicken and pork dishes laced with a spicy chili sauce. Eschewing overly Westernized menus, the restaurant invites visitors to sample authentic Chinese dishes, from steamed dumplings to exotic stuffed lotus or delectable green-onion pancakes.
Sang Thai Restaurant has garnered local praise for its pan-Asian cuisine; diners even crowned it Favourite Thai Restaurant on the 2012 Tri-City News A LIst. Inside, bright red walls and hanging lamps surround guests as they dine on Thai and Asian specialties, including curry, fried rice, and clay-pot dishes. Wooden pillars divide the sleek, minimalist dining room into two sections. A bar decorated with martini glasses and figurines stands next to a wall of illuminated bamboo that frequently attracts botanists eager to nibble on it.
Although the cooks at Happy Mom's Cafe look across the Pacific for their recipes and culinary inspiration, they guarantee freshness by sourcing ingredients from local producers. This commitment to vibrant flavours also extends to their cooking methods, such as bubbling hot pots of trans-fat-free canola oil that heat meats and vegetables without exposing them to open flames. The menu features a number of vegetarian options alongside meatier plates of pork spareribs and beef chop suey in curry sauce.
Seven varieties of mushrooms imported from Japan flavour Shang Noodle House's signature Red Reishi Ramen dish, each adding nutrients which can help bolster the immune system, metabolism, and other vital functions. The kitchen's focus on healthy eating continues with its hand-pulled wheat ramen noodles, vitamin C-packed mango juice, and free-range chicken dim sum. More than 24 varieties of ramen, from traditional to fried, round out the menu alongside barbecued pork belly, duck, and cuttlefish. Bamboo accents and contemporary art lend a modern air to Shang's Richmond and New Westminster eateries, which are part of the Kirin Restaurant Group. The latter location features a conveyor belt that rolls chef specials fresh out of the kitchen and carts back origami-folded thank-you notes from sated diners.
In the city of Chongqing, restaurants and vendors line the streets, tempting passersby with spicy Szechuan-inspired cuisine supplemented with chili peppers, sesame, scallions, and ginger. For more than 30 years, Bor and Kai Wong—owners of The Original Szechuan Chongqing Bistro—have brought this mix of powerful flavours to Vancouver through carefully prepared dishes. Chefs pluck lobster, fish, and jumbo prawns from the live seafood tank and braise and fry them with traditional sauces, such as black bean and garlic or spicy chili. A hot pot, the Chongqing answer to fondue, simmers at the centre of tables, letting customers submerge thinly sliced meats and morsels of brisket until they’re fully cooked. A dozen different noodle dishes and 20 extra-spicy chicken, pork, and beef feasts fill plates in the eatery's comfortable dining room.