Rewind 6 weeks. I’m sitting in my apartment in Toronto running through a press trip itinerary for my upcoming trip to Vancouver and I find myself scratching my chin. I’m flying West to write a few stories on the city’s top breweries, award winning restaurants and world class tourist attractions and have left the evening of my arrival open to enjoy a catch up feast with family. My sister Amy and cousin Noelle who call British Columbia’s cosmopolitan capital home would be joining me that eve for sips and nibbles. So where on earth should we eat?
I immediately emailed my good friend and fellow culinary tourism writer Mijune Pak from Follow Me Foodie to get her local expert advice. Mijune and I have travelled together through Israel and Hong Kong and I regularly follow her culinary adventures at home where she showcases the best eats Canada’s West Coast has to offer. As a Canadian born Chinese to parents from Hong Kong, Ms. Pak would know the perfect place. My request was simple, “I’ll be jet lagged so want to eat somewhere downtown that is easily accessible. I’m keen on sampling through authentic Chinese cuisine at a restaurant which caters to both local food fans and visitors with a hankering for hungry.”
Mijune responds with a chirp, “It’s no secret anymore, but Vancouver’s Asian food scene, particularly Chinese, arguably holds the highest standard for Chinese food outside of China. Many respected chefs immigrate to Vancouver bringing with them their techniques and traditional flavours. From traditional to modern dishes, Chinese chefs are getting creative with what BC has to offer.
Sun Sui Wah is one of Vancouver’s busiest and most iconic Chinese restaurants specializing in Cantonese cuisine. While it attracts many tourists with a Chinese and English menu (although many Chinese restaurants offer this in Metro Vancouver), it is still popular with the Chinese and non-Chinese locals. The food is traditional, space welcoming, and prices reasonable. I recommend the restaurant to out of town guests looking for a family friendly spot to experience traditional Chinese seafood, dim sum, and cuisine. It’s also close to downtown, easy to find and convenient.”
Thanks to Mijune my first feast in Vancouver was a magical one. Steam swirled over petite white tea cups as we sipped through loose leaf while attacking each glowing plate with eager chopsticks. At one point during our dinner I remember catching my breath between lip smacks and noodle slurps to blurt out, “thank God Mijune pointed out this place we’d never have found it!” I’m pretty sure I’ve turned two locals into avid fans and it’s no wonder as the restaurant (which has locations in both downtown Vancouver and neighbouring Richmond) won three categories in this past year’s Golden Plate Award for Best Richmond Restaurant, Cantonese and Dim Sum.
1) Singing Chicken and Sausage Hot Pot
2) Singapore Noodles
3) Sweet & Sour Pork with Lychee
4) Shrimp and BBQ Pork Fried Rice
5) Tender Chicken Fillet with Lemon Sauce