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.
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 Seafood—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.
Fresh Bowl's food gurus craft a Southeast Asian–influenced menu populated by made-from-scratch curries, spice blends, and dishes including organic, gluten-free, and dairy-free offerings. Boot up aroma-powered nostrils with the savoury scent of chicken or prawns in a Singapore laksa rice-noodle-filled soup ($9.95), or plunge chopsticks into a bevy of gluten-free Penang red curry made with chicken ($9.95), prawns ($9.95), tofu ($8.95), or vegetables ($8.95) and served with a choice of jambori or organic long brown rice. Meanwhile, a tower of veggie garnish shadows a bowl of meat ($9.95), vegetable ($8.95), or tofu ($8.95) wok-fired mee goreng. Patrons can wash down eats with assorted teas, such as a calamansi shaken tea mixed with lemon-lime juice and a house-brewed black tea ($2.50), or sink sweet teeth and overeager noses into delectable desserts such as tapioca-ball pudding made with coconut milk and palm sugar ($3.95).
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.
A self-described "Japanese-style spaghetti dessert house," Cafe De Waraku serves up an unexpected hybrid of Japanese and Italian favourites. The pasta dishes are inspired by Japanese culinary tradition rather than straight Italian, but the kitchen does craft favourites such as beef ravioli and pizza fresh from a wood oven along with pub-style starters and a sprawling selection of sweets. Lavender cheesecake and rose cheesecake end meals, and fork tines can impale black-sesame cake, tiramisu, and crème brûlée.