The Fourth Annual Chinese Restaurant Awards returns with a handful of surprises

(Vancouver, B.C.) – Vancouver’s splendid dining scene is inseparable with the excellence of local Chinese restaurants. Delicious Chinese dishes made with fresh Canadian ingredients haven’t just opened the eyes of locals; tourists from around the world are also attracted by their quality and innovations.

Download press release in PDF // Download critics’ bios in PDF //
Download award categories in PDF


As a trendsetter in honoring the best of Chinese Signature Dishes in Greater Vancouver, Chinese Restaurant Awards (CRA) returns for its fourth consecutive year with a series of exciting plans and events. Besides the much-anticipated awards, CRA 2012 will also launch the Signature Dish Dining Festival in November 2011. By gathering the best of Chinese culinary talents, the festival will showcase eighteen Chinese restaurants in Vancouver, Richmond, and Burnaby, each with a different and innovative Signature Dish menu that combines fresh Canadian ingredients with traditional Chinese culinary skills. The public is invited to participate and taste all these exquisite Signature Dish dine-out menus, while more information can be found on its official website:

“It is not a mystery to any travelers that Vancouver and Richmond has the best Chinese food outside of China. One of most compelling reasons for their visit is, indeed, the prevalence and selection of high quality Chinese restaurants.” Founding director Craig Stowe states upon the launch of CRA 2012. “CRA has been consistently bringing the world’s attention to Vancouver and Richmond’s Chinese Signature Dishes. We are pleased to receive profound support from Mainland Chinese journalists, in writing about our flourishing Chinese dining scene, in relations to other exciting things happening in the city.”

Building from CRA’s three consecutive years of success, CRA 2012 is divided into two components: Critics’ Choice Awards and Diner’s Choice Awards, both with new award categories to enhance the excitement. This year’s Critics’ Choice Awards will include three new categories from the Signature Dish Dining Festival, where the Best Alberta Beef, Alberta Pork, and Best use of Amoy Sauce dishes will be carefully selected. Nine other categories will comprise of twenty-two award-winning Signature Dishes, while the Wine & Spirit Award will be in place, to encourage more restaurants to come up with even better wine pairing with Chinese dishes.

“We shall revise award categories in order to produce a better dining guide, in which there could be more than one Signature Dish in each category. For example, there maybe more than one BC Dungeness crab dish that deserve the Signature Dish merit; we don’t wish to exclude them simply because each category could only allow just one winner,” explains Stephen Wong, founding chair of CRA judging panel.

“Rather than focusing on categories, we will divert our attention to great dishes and recommendations. It’s a little bit more free form, but ultimately better for the dining public,” prolific food writer and prominent member of CRA’s judging panel Lee Man adds. “As always, Critics’ Choice Awards’ judging criteria is based on the excellence of ingredients, cooking skills, and taste. CRA has always sought to reward outstanding food and be a great resources for diners and culinary travelers alike.”

CRA 2012’s Critics’ Choice Awards judging panel is comprised of 8 remarkably qualified restaurant professionals and journalists, all with thorough knowledge and passion for Chinese cuisine. As in previous years, our judging panel have begun their secret tasting in various Chinese Restaurant across Greater Vancouver in August, In early December 2011 when the tasting sessions end, they will cast votes by secret ballots, while all ballots will be sent to PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP for auditing.

Last year, CRA’s Diner’s Choice Award had set another record in the number of votes received – a total of 11,453 votes were casted online by both Mainstream and Asian dining public, along with enthusiastic discussions about where has the best Chinese food in town. New categories, such as Best Xiao Long Bao (Shanghainese soup dumpling) and Best King Crab Dish, have been added to this year’s Diners’ Choice Awards, so that diners are encouraged to evaluate Chinese food in Signature Dish terms; other three new categories, Best New Restaurant, Best Hunan/Szechuan Restaurant and Best Food Court Stall, are added so that the result will be more inclusive of Greater Vancouver’s vibrant Chinese dining scene.

Adding public’s enjoyment of the Signature Dish Dining Festival, this year’s Diners’ Choice Awards will include four additional categories to highlight the public’s favorites. These four categories are Best Signature Dish Dining Restaurant, Best Service, Best Dining Environment and Most Innovaitve. The public is invited to nominate their favorites on the Diners’ Choice Awards website (, between October 18th – 31st, while online voting will commence on November 1st, and until November 30th.

Winners of Diners’ Choice Awards will be announced online on December 11, 2011, while winners of Critics’ Choice Awards will be announced on January 17th, 2012, at an Awards Ceremony.

The Chinese Restaurant Awards wishes to thank the following sponsors who help to make these awards possible: Mercedes-Benz, Alberta Livestock and Meat Agency, Hennessy Cognac, Heneiken, Cupcake Vineyards, Amoy Food limited, Anchor Foods International Limited, Richmond Review, Westender, New Home Living,,, What’s In Magazine and


Critics’ Choice Awards (26 awards in total)
Critics’ Choice Special Award

Wine & Spirit Service Award (1 award)

Critics’ Choice Signature Dish Awards
Signature Dish Dining Festival (3 awards)
1.              Alberta Beef
2.              Alberta Pork
3.              Amoy Sauce

In General (22 Awards given under these 9 major categories)
1.              Dim Sum
2.              Appetizers
3.              Vegetable/Tofu
4.              Meat
5.              Poultry
6.              Seafood
7.              Dessert
8.              Rice / Noodle
9.              Soup

Diners’ Choice Awards (19 awards in total)
Signature Dish Dining Festival (4 awards)
1.             Best Signature Dish Dining Restaurant
2.             Best Services – Signature Dish Dining Restaurant
3.             Best Dining Environment – Signature Dish Dining Restaurant
4.             Most Innovative – Signature Dish Dining Restaurant

In General (15 awards)       *new awards this year
1.              Best Xiao Long Bao*
2.              Best King Crab Dish*
3.              Best New Restaurant (Open less than 1 year)*
4.              Best Fine Dining Restaurant
5.              Best Dim Sum Restaurant*
6.              Best Northern Chinese / Shanghainese Restaurant
7.              Best Szechuan / Hunan Restaurant*
8.              Best Taiwanese Restaurant/BBT Café
9.              Best Hot Pot Restaurant
10.           Best Congee and Noodle Restaurant
11.           Best Vegetarian Restaurant
12.           Best Hong Kong-style Café
13.           Best Bakery Shop
14.           Best BBQ Shop
15.           Best Food Court Stall*


For more information on the Chinese Restaurant Awards:
Official Site of the Signature Dish Dining Festival:
To nominate your favorite restaurants and cast your vote:
Chinese Restaurant Awards’ Facebook page & Twitter @CRADiningGuide


Written by Wai Lam Cheung

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Rae Kung
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