Where Did Hai Jun Go?

I might as well just post about this little restaurant we like so much … even though it is now closed!

Every now and then Suanne and I get emails from chowtimes readers recommending a restaurant they like. We love recommendations like that because it takes the brainwork out of having to decide where to eat. Jacqueline recommended Hai Jun to which was located on the Asian mall called Pacific Plaza on McKim Way and Odlin.

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We visited Hai Jun in late September but when we went back again two weeks ago, we were surprised to find that in the location is now a Japanese fusion restaurant. It was such a bummer because we love the food in Hai Jun so much. So, I am posting this again in case someone out there knows what happened to Hai Jun. I hope that they had just moved somewhere else.

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It is a small eatery and have a very family feel to it. I said a family feel because they had their pre-teen daughter around the restaurant then. It was not awfully busy when we visited them but then we were there at 5PM — hardly a time many people would turn up for dinner.

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Their special was the $1.99 Dan Dan Noodle. I bet there are nowhere else that offers a bowl of Dan Dan Noodle at this price. And the bowl is not small too … it was quite large. The Dan Dan Noodle is served in a peanuty sauce. It was not particularly spicy as I expected but the noodles were springy and fresh. For that price, you just get the noodles and a piece of veggie … that’s it … no meat.

Does anyone know why is this type of noodle called Dan Dan Noodle?

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The dish above is called the Twice Cooked Beef Slices. It was full of flavor and the bean sauce “jup” (juice) makes it so great with rice. It was quite a large serving and more than enough for two people. It costs only $8.50.

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Talking about rice, they were very generous and heap their rice way up high. Don’t you agree that they looked steamed to perfection? It was. And guess what … it was just 80 cents. They could have round it up to a dollar but they did not.

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We also ordered the Napa Soup which came served in a boiling hotpot. Despite the size, it was full of stuff in it … not expensive ingredients but has luncheon meat and vermicelli under it. This one is $6.95 … can you believe it?

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We all like this kind of soup. All of us ended up drowning our entire bowl of rice with the soup. This is the way I grew up eating at home although I think Chinese frown upon doing it this way. I remember when I first had dinner at Suanne’s house, her family has a tradition of each having a bowl of soup. They are meant to be like a side dish but I unknowingly pour the soup into my bowl of rice as I wanted to eat it that way. They were quite surprised I did that — so uncouth!

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The Deep Fried Duck in Half costs $9.80. It was very “chooi” (crispy?) and even the bones are brittle. We find it a bit too dry and also salty. They served this with mantau which we did not understand at all.

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We ended up having their Salty Sticky Rice. Despite the name, it was both salty and sweet. We like that it was warm to the touch when served. We can’t really make out everything that is inside — we see that they have pork floss, chinese doughnut (yew tiao) and pickled cabbage (jar choy).

The entire meal was only $42. Their serving is huge and cheap. Maybe the reason they are closed was because of the location.

We really are dying to know where the chef had gone to. Jacqueline … do you know?

This Post Has 12 Comments

  1. JUJU

    Too bad they’re closed. I would have tried it for sure.

  2. Vanessa

    I LOVE THIS RESTAURANT TOO….so affordable and yummy and clean! i go at least once a week before…and they had no signs of closing down, they did not even tell me anything about closing down…which was quite sad….
    but the new restaurant @ this location also have a $1.99 menu
    which is called “ja jurn noodle” is the dark meaty sauce one. i Haven’t tried it out yet, maybe if you have time you can consider trying it out =] !

    oh by the way, there is another place which is located on westminster in richmond called “xin mao tao” its in the same plaza as the sushi restaurant “BANZAI” right beside KINGSPARK. They have similar foods as HAI JUN and also serves 1.99 dan dan noodle!!! πŸ˜€

  3. love2eat

    I’m also a loyal customer of this restaurant and am so upset that it’s gone! Loved their lunch specials, $5.95 for an entree with soup, drink AND that big bowl of rice! They have the best and cheapest Dan Dan Noodles!

    Vanessa, funny you should mention “xin mao tao” because before it was “xin mao tao”, it was “mao tao” which closed and the people who use to run “mao tao” moved and opened up Hai Jun. “xin mao tao” has a similar but bigger menu, but prices are also a bit higher than Hai Jun…except for the $1.99 Dan Dan Noodles, although the portion is a bit smaller.

  4. Chris

    Had the deep fried duck before but it was called “Aromatic Duck”…..a northern specialty. I had it served deboned, much like Peking Duck and then the crispy bones served on the side…YUMMY!!

  5. Jacqueline

    I’m glad your family enjoyed this restaurant! No idea where they went though πŸ™ I haven’t been there for over a month now and had no idea they closed before this post. Like lovetoeat said above, this restaurant used to be called “Mao Tai” and was in a plaza on Westminster Hwy and also closed out of nowhere about two years ago. It was by chance that I found that the owners reopened at “Hai Jun”. Boy, I am going to miss their food, especially their chewy noodles!

  6. Opus

    That’s not Dan Dan Noodle, atleast not authentic. Dan Dan Noodle would have a reddish sauce on top instead of the noodles floating in a brownish stock.

  7. holly

    I love this restaurant too and was very disappointed at the change of owners. I had to go back to the mao tao on westminster where the owners of Hai Jun began, but the Dan Dan dish there is not as tasty. Also, the other dishes are not the same and are not as good a value. Please someone tell me if they have re-opened another location!!

  8. Jasmine

    Hi I am the drink maker at the Hai Jun restaurant! We had a serious tragic accident with one of the workers so we had to close it down.2 years already?! Well were not going to be opening another one so sorry if you want to eat at our resturant! P.S. I’m the kid and my parents told me to write this thanks for all the support for our restaurant!

    1. Ben

      Hi Jasmine: So sorry to hear about the accident but please let your parents know that they had done well with Hai Jun. If it is still open, Hai Jun will most definitely be one of our regular places. Ben

    2. Marcus

      Hi Jasmine,

      I had been going to the old MouTai for years on Westminster Hwy and it was by far my favourite restaurant in the whole vancouver area! I used to stop by a couple of times a month, and almost always ordered the peppery chicken with the crispy spinach. It was my favourite, and i have yet to find another szechuan or shanghaiese restaurant that can make it with as much flavour! I’ve been searching for a replacement for years, to no avail. Tonite i went in search of HaiJun only to discover it had been replaced with some taiwanese place…not bad, but certainly nowhere near as good. I’m so sorry about the accident with your worker. Please let your parents know that if they ever open again, i will definitely be making a regular return, even if it’s a litte more expensive. Also, i don’t suppose you might know if the chef you had is now working elsewhere and if so, where? I crave his chicken so much LOL!

      Best wishes, Marcus

  9. Jasmine

    I’m so happy that all of you like our resturant! Sadly,were not gonna open again because of the chef’s health difficulties πŸ™ thanks for all the wonderful comments and I really appreciate it.

    @Marcus The chef who made it was my dad and hopefully I can give you the recipe for the dish.That’s one of my favourites too!

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