Crouching Dragon…Flying Tiger…a high price for street food…a good price for great food

The Flying Tiger
2958 West 4th Avenue, Vancouver   V6K 1R4
604.737.7529

Asian street food, gourmet style.  You might miss this little place if you’re not looking, but it has a great quaint, warm atmosphere inside.  For street food the price point is a little high, but worth it.  Be prepared to share your food, as they are principled in their family style culture and will only bring one dish at a time.  I’m glad they are though, because I tried a few things I wouldn’t have tried were not forced.  The Har Gow (steamed dumplings) and the Vietnamese Sablefish were both delicious, but the highlight of the meal was the Pulled Duck Confit Crepes….these morsels of yumminess danced across my tastebuds, and the bundles of fragrant herbs that you can put on top cut the richness of the duck.  But this dish is rich, so make sure to save room to enjoy it.  I would have loved to try dessert…but there was no room!  What a great meal, I’m giving it a Very Good, and an I’ll be back.  The love hate with West 4th continues :)

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The way to a man’s heart and a smidgen of mine – My Papa and an early introduction to ginger

Recipe Featured: Rice Paper Tuna Rolls with Mango Ginger Dipping Sauce

tuna rollsMy Papa, my great grandfather on my mother’s side, was a generous and kind man.  By trade he was a Ford Mechanic, and most people who knew him tell me he had a knack for taking apart a car and putting it back together with less pieces than it came with.  He had his own shop which was central in our hometown and right next door my great grandmother, Nana, had a teashop where folks could hang their hat while waiting for their car to be repaired.  But by the time I was born those days were long behind my Papa, and his full time job as far as I could tell was telling me stories.  While perched atop his knee I sipped a Canada Dry Ginger Ale through a straw and figured out what splendid thing I would share with him that would cause him to open the large red glass candy jar next to his chair and offer me a candy.  There were only two occasions in my life when I was allowed to Ginger Ale (or any kind of pop), the first was as told here at my Papa’s house, and the second is when I was deathly ill with stomach flu, the former being my favourite.  Now ginger is not a fresh ingredient I was aware of until much later in life, and to be honest it wasn’t until I was introduced that I even realized ginger was a flavouring of plant origins.  I always thought it was something that those smart folks at Canada Dry created. However, now more enlightened, I think these early memories of ginger influenced it as one of my favourite flavours, and I enjoy it most in its natural form.  And to this day when I get sick the one thing that comforts me most is a glass of Ginger Ale.  There are many recipes for Ginger Ale, but my opinion Canada Dry has got that right, so why mess with a good thing. I’ve decided to come up with my own recipe that uses a bit of ginger in it.  Those moments with my Papa were such loving moments I feel true comfort remembering them.  I’m sure my Papa never had sushi, rice rolls, and I’m not even sure he would have had mango or avocado.  So what I’m sharing here is a truly evolutionary use of ginger for Papa’s little Port Dover girl.  

Click here for the Rice Paper Tuna Rolls with Ginger Mango Dipping Sauce.

Using your noodle…

Sha Lin Noodle House
548 W Broadway, Vancouver
604.873.1816

 

Some time ago I wrote a post on Sha Lin (http://www.gayledishes.com/?p=513), my new favourite noodle joint. This past weekend I returned with a friend who avidly reads restaurant reviews and her reading brought to light a delightful treat there, that I had not tried. The sliced rolls…these morsels of bread loveliness are fried or steamed (we tried fried, and I’m glad we did) and are served with a little bowl of condensed milk. Might sound weird…but it is so delightful I’d make the trip just for these. Also this time I got noodles in sauce and went for vegetarian which a little more my speed and enjoyed both the noodles and the sauce.

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Noodle this…

Sha Lin Noodle House
548 W Broadway, Vancouver
604.873.1816

 

This restaurant was a tip from a long lost friend… and as a recommendation it was right on the mark with 3 stars from Frommers, and when you mention the name around Vancouver everyone seems to know it. Cut noodles, pushed noodles, pulled noodles, all types of noodles! The order…two 37’s with pulled noodles, one number 121 selected from 190 options with multiple permutations provide you with a seemingly limitless number of options for this small restaurant. The location is in one of my favourite Vancouver neighbourhoods, close to the BestBuy, my favourite Starbucks, my orthopedic surgeon, Wholefoods, and the City Square Mall (where the cookshop is).These noodles are the best I’ve ever had, but I did order a dish with a broth that was not ideal for a gwai low (in my case gwai por), especially one who has just started eating meat out in restaurants, so next time I go I’m going to order a broth or sauce that is a bit more mainstream. The servings are huge, the prices are cheap, and you get to see your noodles made to order right in front of you. For me this is definitely not a first date place, because I want to save this one to impress people I really care about, and save it for myself on a rainy day.

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Tall and Narrow – 7 days a week

Wild Rice
117 West Pender St.
Vancouver
604.642.2882
 
If you’re looking for a good place to grab a cocktail or eat a solid Asian fusion meal this stop at the edge of Chinatown is your place. I owe this suggestion to Alyssa (she has some of the best restaurant picks!). The atmosphere here is good for a date or meeting up with friends. High ceilings, bar height tables, and modern furnishings give this place a contemporary feel that matches the food on the menu. When here a couple of weekends ago we shared a couple of dishes including the spicy kung po chicken with twice cooked peanuts (substituted tofu) – spicy, yummy, and such a large portion we shared it among three.  The food can be eaten family style, but those with food restrictions can find suitable options to eat alone. I love the use of mushrooms in dishes like the wild rice steam buns (a vegetarian option as well) and if you want to expand your vegetable portfolio try the gai lan & crisped shallots. They have an extensive and delicious martini menu and some great liquor on the bar including premium vodkas and tequilas (favs of mine). Open for lunch, dinner until late you’ll find this is a good place to put into your back pocket. I think it gets somewhere between a Very Okay and Very Good.
 

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Not OKJust OKVery OKVery GoodGreat (1 votes, average: 4.00 out of 5)
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