[CRA 2010 Signature Dish] Barbeque Spare Ribs 燒排骨 from Dollar Meat Store

It had been a long while since Suanne and I were in Chinatown. The last time was when we attended the Chinese Laundry Kids event in Foo’s Ho Ho. That event vetted my interest in the storied past of Chinatown.

Suanne and I used to visit Chinatown when we first came to Canada. We actually went all the way there on weekends to buy groceries and have dim sum. No longer. It is sad to say that every year, there are lesser and lesser reasons for us to visit Vancouver’s Chinatown.


Well, this time we visited Chinatown just to check out the award winning Chinese BBQ item.

This Dollar Meat Store had been an institution in Chinatown for well over 30 years now. I guess in its early days, this must have been a premier location for Chinese BBQ.


Despite the gunky-ness of many stores in Chinatown, Dollar Meat is surprisingly bright and clean. Even the butchers wears caps.

Dollar meats are famous for their Chinese cured sausages and pressed ducks. If you look hard enough they do have exotic meat for sale too.

I am not into eating pressed ducks but Suanne’s dad loves pressed ducks. One easy way to please him is to bring him a thigh and you will be in his good books for days.

Chinese Restaurant Award 2010 ♦ SILVER in the CHINESE BARBEQUE Category ♦ Barbeque Spare Ribs 燒排骨

It is their Barbeque Spare Ribs that won the silver award in the CRA’s Chinese Barbeque category.

We just bought a bit to go. The above is just … a little over $5.00.


I thought it was pretty fancy that they have their own logo’d Styrofoam takeout boxes. It is so rare to see people doing this these days.


So, what is good?

Hmm … it is so dried out. The meat is so tough that it is like eating dried meat. Actually no one in the family likes it at all.


And then it is so thin too in other parts.

Which is kind of puzzling that Dollar Meats won the silver award. The only reason I can think of is we got a bad batch. Maybe it is because we went at 4PM and it’s almost at the end of the day already.

So, yeah, we were disappointed. There has got to be a reason — just don’t know what.

You know where you can get the best BBQ Spare Ribs on the planet? Serious, I am not kidding … it is found here in this link. And we always go to Bellingham’s Costco to buy some of the best and biggest baby back ribs. I tell you, nothing we found in Vancouver comes close to the ribs in the US. Sad but true.

Dollar Meat Store 元昌燒臘肉食公司 on Urbanspoon

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  1. Po

    From what I know of Chinese BBQ ribs (my dad makes the best!) They aren’t the meaty, fall off the bone types. They have a little meat, bit chewy and dry but are nicely flavored. Think Chinese BBQ Roast Pork but in Rib form.

  2. LotusRapper

    Mmmmm. These and a few bowls of white rice make me a happy camper.

    I also love “roast sausages” (siu cheong), not to be confused with cured/dried Chinese sausages (lup cheong).

  3. ken lai

    the best bbq pork and ribs was made at a place called majestic bbq on the 200 block east pender street in the 70s and 80s.after they retired the owners family had “ho tak kee restaurant” on broadway between main and kingsway.there the had the best bbq meats and made a killer satay beef stir fried chow mein.dollar meat was their competition in the 70s and 80s.still good to see them serving up meats.chinatown was a bustling place in the 70s and 80s.streets were packed.my family ran a bakery in chinatown in the 70s and 80s before they retired.great site and thanks for reviewing restaurants.

      1. ken lai

        hello.it was yip hong yuen bakery.i should had taken over when my folks retired.suzanne from newtown use to work for my dad and now she is a rich lady.

  4. Pinoy Gourmet

    Thats true,When Eat Magazine had apanel of experts rate the best Chinese food in Richmond,HK BBQ Master came out as the top.My family loves this place and always has the 3 meats with rice.

  5. LotusRapper

    Anyone have suggestions for a really really good “siu cheong” (roast sausages) ?

  6. Sedap Makan

    I agree 100% about the US Ribs. So much more meat on them – I can not buy them in Canada any more since they are so disappointing compared to those from Costco south. A pack of 3 super meaty racks will run you $30 – $35. I have a good appetite but I can only eat about half a rack.

    HK BBQ master – I would say it is good, always busy. I wouldn’t call it great. On Ben’s earlier advice I have been going to the meat stall at Parker Place – it’s not a restaurant but the meat is excellent for roast pork and BBQ pork.

    Even the BBQ place at Crystal Mall (Lower Level) has better BBQ meat.

  7. ken lai

    best place i buy bbq pork is at moneys on fraser and 49th.they have great lunch specials too.

    1. LotusRapper

      And it looks like they recently did some renovations to the eating area 🙂

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