When I am in an adventurous mood for authentic Chinese food, there are two places I would go to often — the Crystal Mall Food Court in Burnaby and the Richmond Public Market. Here are two places where you will find food as it is prepared in China. These are also the places I used to call “MSG city” because I usually go away feeling thirsty after eating there.
Crystal Mall is just a short walk from my place of work. So, I go to the food court when I eat alone and can’t think of anything specific to eat. There are also other very good restaurants in Crystal Mall. For one, there is Abdul’s BBQ. A friend at work swears that is where you can get the best shawarma in Vancouver. My favourite Sichuan restaurant is also located there which serves the most amazing cumin lamb on rice. There is also the Top Gun Hot Pot which is one of the more well known hot pot places in Vancouver.
It was just a couple of weeks ago. Actually it was just a couple of days before the 8GTCC Hunan dinner. That was when the 8GTCC team members had a final meeting with Alvin Garden. After a very fruitful meeting, we decided to go to the Crystal Mall Food Court for dinner and continue with our discussion.
At the Crystal Mall Food Court, it was hard to decide what to get. There are so many choices to choose from. Dylan suggested that we try the noodles from the Huaxi Noodles Specialist.
I got the one with beef tendon to share between Suanne and I. I love beef tendon. I just love the texture and this is just perfect.
When I was young my mom told me that beef tendon is the penis of the cow. I don’t know why she told me that but it really scared me off eating it until I found out it was not true. Hmmm … maybe I’ll try telling this to Arkensen and Nanzaro and see if they believe me.
To me this noodles is perfectly done in every sense … from the tendon to the broth to the noodles. But I do think this is not the type of noodles for everybody. It does not have that appetizing look and for some the film of oil floating on top will put them off.
Today I want to tell you about a blogger unlike all that you know. Dylan is a member of the 8GTCC team and he is the only one in the team that reads and writes Chinese. The amazing thing is this — he is Caucasian!
He loves Chinese food and is very knowledgeable about the cuisine and culture. So he is a great resource when we want access to Chinese materials for our research. He has a blog where he translates Chinese literature to English. Of late, he had started another blog and this time on food!!!
That blog is called … Chinese Food, The Suburbs Vancouver. It is also known as JiaoQu which is Mandarin for suburbs. I like his site because it is unique and bridges the vast Chinese food blog readers with the new generation English readers.
The moment we were in the Crystal Mall Food Court, Dylan made a beeline for the Want Want Hot and Spicy House. He placed an order of his favourite …
… the Lamb with Cumin, stuffed in bread. I wouldn’t have picked this myself and it is indeed very good. The whole bread is bursting with flavour. They sprinkle cumin powder and salt on the outside and grilled. So the bread itself without the lamb is just as good.
The lamb is grilled only on order and so it takes a bit of a wait. It is simply moist and best eaten warm. McDonalds could learn a bit from this but I know … logistically, it will not work for a fast food chain.
You just gotta eat with your hands. Just hold the bun with your hands, sans the wrapper. Don’t wipe your fingers with a napkin … lick it clean.
There were a lot of other food that we had that day. I was rather taken aback that Keev and fmed got so much food. So it was like a feast. And, no, we did not finish the food.
There is a lot to discover in the Crystal Mall Food Court with a lot of authentic Chinese regional favourite food. That place is really busy. If you have never been to a Chinese food court before, you could get somewhat overwhelmed.