October 05, 2010 | | Comments 16

Traditional Beijing Cuisine on Kingsway, Vancouver

Updated: 4th July 2012; This restaurant had closed according to Urbanspoon.com.

You are not gonna believe it when I tell you when we went to the Traditional Beijing Cuisine.

The Traditional Beijing Cuisine had just newly opened. It must be at most three months, most likely less than that. It is new and it has one of the most eye catching restaurant front for sure — especially at night when the LED lights on the window is turned on.

The Traditional Beijing Cuisine is located on Kingsway. Actually it is located just next door to the Luckynoodle Chinese Restaurant which I blogged about yesterday.

Believe it or not, some of us went to the Traditional Beijing Cuisine RIGHT AFTER the 13 course dinner we had in Luckynoodle. He he he … after the feast, some of us just walked over next door for more food. In the picture above, the entrance on the left is Luckynoodle and the one on the right is the Traditional Beijing Cuisine.

About 10 of the 21 who attended the dinner at Lucknoodle stayed. Don’t look at me funny, OK? I am just a follower … albeit a very willing follower.

The restaurant is kind of quiet.

Unlike Luckynoodles which was packed, this is quiet. Sorry to say this up front but the first thing that came to my mind when I walked in was the words “restaurant graveyard”.

As opposed to what we see outside the restaurant with all the LED lights and all, the inside is completely different.

Suanne and I was just hanging around the die-hard foodies. So we left all the ordering to them.

If the print above is too small for you, you may click on the image to show a larger version.

If you can recognize the two set of hands, they are the ring leaders. I had eaten out with them many times before and let me warn you they are huge eaters.

How huge? Well, one of them went to Romer’s Burger Bar two hours before coming to the Luckynoodle feast of 13 dishes … and after that we are here for more food. LOL!

And despite all the eating they are not at all fat. I really wonder how they do it.

In the picture above, they were complaining how hard it is to take pictures of skewers. They love skewers … and don’t they work well as a team?

Actually I was kind of shocked how much food they ordered again.

TWELVE different dishes! OMG!

Luckily, Traditional Beijing Cuisine serves popular Beijing street food … so their servings is a TAD smaller.

The Fried Shredded Meat with Garlic Shoots above is $9. The garlic shoot tasted sweet.

The picture of this dish they have outside the restaurant looked a million times better. The one they served looked different. This is simply called the Flavour Pork Skin Jelly. I did not like it — too salty … or maybe I should say too flavorful. In it are tofu, carrot and beans.


Of course we got a number of skewers. We had the lamb ($1.20, chewy, salty) but the one that takes the prize is the one above.

Know what that is?

It is … Grilled Chicken Skin on skewers! It actually tasted very good and is 99 cents.

First time in my life I saw something like this. They call this the Blueberry and Chinese Yam. It is cold and slippery. It is also rather expensive ($7).

The Noodles in Black Bean Sauce is $7. It came in parts and you are to assemble the noodles yourself …

… and mix them yourself. Normally, other restaurants will take the easy way out and put everything into the bowl and let you do the mixing.

Nothing really special taste-wise. I had tasted far better ones.

This is something new to me too. It is called the Beijing Crisp Dip in Vinegar. It is unique but otherwise, it is pretty tasteless. I don’t really see the point to this dish.

The Grilled Eggplant is just eggplant that is grilled. Nothing special too. $1.70 each. Wow!

The Grilled Cakes ($1.09) from the outside looked like something that I would like …

… but it is filled with taro and is super dry. It is so dry that it sucks every drop of saliva and moisture out of my tongue.

The Grilled Steamed Bread Slices (99 cents) are just grilled mantao. It taste like garlic toasts.

Maybe I don’t get Beijing street food or maybe this restaurant did not do a good job with the food. Overall, I could hardly find one thing I would order again here. Maybe the chicken skin skewers and the garlic shoot dish … other than that, it did not do much for me.

I thought that $70 was kind of steep for the food we had.

After this meal, one would have thought that enough is enough.

I mean after burgers in Romers … and then a 13 courses feast at Luckynoodle … and 10 more dishes here … one would have thought this is already too much food.

But no … the folks went to a Bubble Tea House a few doors away and continue eating.

Suanne and I surrendered … we had enough. LOL!

Traditional Beijing Cuisine on Urbanspoon

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  1. joyluckclub says:

    oh my….you are die hard foodies with amazing capacity. Might have to join in one of your food adventures soon!

    • Ben says:

      Hi JoyLuckClub: Keep an eye out on chowtimes. I organize these sort of dinners occasionally and I would love to have you attend. You should also go to this site called vanchow (http://vanchow.ning.com). I hang around that site and there is where there are a few dinners organized every month. I go to some of them. I said SOME because I just can’t keep up with those foodies. LOL! Ben

      • joyluckclub says:

        oh I have been watching….you do some very cool dinners. (i especially am intrigued with the underground dinners!) I will have to do a bit more training with BR, but it would be great to experience one of your Chowtimes chowdowns….

  2. fmed says:

    Yeah – this place was disappointing. The execution of nearly every dish was sloppy. I say pass on this place and go to Nine Dishes for a similar menu, but much better food.

    • Ben says:

      Hi FMED: Yeah. I dare not say more as I don’t know if it is how it is like if served in Beijing. I did not like it myself. Agree … Nine Dishes is definitely better with their warts and all. Ben

  3. Shirl says:

    Is it the problem that they are taking street food and putting it in a restaurant environment? It might be better in a smaller stall type place. They seemed to have spent a lot of money there. How was the service?

    Got to give them some feed back otherwise another place goes under.

    • Ben says:

      Hi Shirl: The service at the Taditional Beijing Cuisine is OK. The restaurant is quite empty and so they can handle that few tables quite easily. Maybe the lack of customers is because was getting late already and that was the last weekend of the Richmond Night Market (I understand that many people who dined in such restaurants were in the night market that weekend). Ben

  4. souggy says:

    Wish I can afford to eat out like those guys. I remember doing the same thing in Edmonton, going to a new place every hour and people was wondering how I stay so thin. Even when I am invited for dinner, people would wonder why I would bring enough food to serve an entire potluck until they see me eat…

    Looks good though, although expensive.

  5. Buddha Girl says:

    LOL! I wasn’t too satisfy with the place when I visited…but I still gave the benefit of doubt that I did not try enough dishes to make the judgment…thanks for the post Ben, not sure if I will visit this place again…

    Btw…as I mentioned in my post, according to the waitress, this place is more a “drinking joint” than a restaurant…and that’s what they are targeting…hahaha

  6. Yeah, those “chinese yams” are very expensive! It’s the first time I have seen them paired with blueberry though. Usually I see it in stir fries or soups instead.

    For some reason I’ve found virtually every black bean noodle dish to be bland other than at one restaurant which is sadly closed now.

    • Buddha Girl says:

      Actually, those “Chinese yams” or “Cinnamon Vine” (山藥, or what Cantonese calls it 淮山) come in different levels and price ranges…everyday use ones aren’t expensive but break apart very easily (when cooked)…the good ones, when cooked, do not break part easily and still got crunch and texture.

      These “yam” or “vines” are very common in Asian countries, it’s found mostly in soups, desserts, stir-fries, cold-marinates, and even drinks! And it’s a very common ingredients for Buddhist/Taoist veggie diets due to the high content of some type of protein.

      Ben: LuLu Veggie at Crystal Mall has a deep-fried version of it.

  7. ihath says:

    Hey Ben, I always wondered, does it feel strange taking pictures of your food in a restuarant? Do people ever ask you questions about it? Something I was always curios about.

    • Ben says:

      Hi ihath:

      It used to feel strange. Not any more.

      I think we know how to conduct ourselfves properly. There are a few ground rules that we try to follow and that should put us in a proper standing with the restaurant. Here is some of them right off the top of my head. I will not take pictures if this bothers anyone. For instance, I will NEVER take pictures with flash on. It is rude to other diners. I will take pictures openly and in clear view of everyone. If the restaurant owner asked me why, I will tell them that I take pictures because I write about it –> I will not go into further details if they do not ask but if they do, I am honest and open about it. Generally, it is not a problem with the restaurant as I connect to people and can establish a rapport easily. As far as taking pictures of the menu, we will ask for permission to take pictures of the menu if (1) we know it is not available on the internet, or (2) we felt that their menu is sensitive/trade-secret. We sometimes just rely on take out menus (if they have it) as we do not need to ask permission for those publicly available ones.

      If the restaurant have issues against us taking a single picture even, we will happily respect that and will apologize sincerely (those times are rare and far in between). There is no issue about that with us if this is the wishes of the restaurant. We would offer to delete the pictures in front of them if they want. We are cool with that but I think it’s their loss not being featured on chowtimes. :-) I think generally, Suanne and I conduct ourselves well enough that people generally trusts us.

      But word does get around. In some occasions when we had to provide more info about ourselves and tell them we are “chowtimes”, some of the restaurant owners does know/recognize the “Red Chili” logo or the name “Ben and Suanne”. That helps a lot in removing suspicion and help the restaurant to open up so that we can ask as many questions as we want. I enjoy that a lot because it is not just enjoying the food but learning about the food/people that is half the fun.

      Other customers does not normally approach us. This is because it is quite common seeing people taking pictures of their food these days in Vancouver. In a few times though, people would recognize us (mostly Suanne as her picture is on the website) and they do come over to introduce themselves to us.

      So, no, it does not feel strange anymore. After almost 5 years of visiting restaurants, we felt confident and in control of taking pictures and writing notes. And if we continue to conduct ourselves well, we will be fine. BTW, not sure if you noticed … but we had turned down free meals and invites for a long time already. We think chowtimes will grow more if we stay true to our adventures in seeking out new/good food … learning about it … and sharing whatever little we know with everyone.

      There are a lot more things on my mind that I would like to dump out about our blogging experiences but I’ll leave that to some other time. Hope this answers your question.

      Ben

      • ihath says:

        Thank you Ben for your answer, it has been something I wondered about for a while and good luck with all your dining adventures. Perhaps you can write a whole post about what it is like to blog for you. I think many people would find it interesting, not just myself.

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