The critics weigh in on the best Chinese dishes for 2015 – Vancouver Sun

By Mia Stainsby, Vancouver Sun

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This year, the critics’ choice signature dishes — the heart of the Chinese Restaurant Awards — were quietly awarded without the usual fanfare and ceremony because organizers were busy with other events.

Dim sum dishes were a highlight among the judges’ selections.

“We had Chef Tony (Seafood Restaurant) come in and shake things up. Kirin’s dim sum is always so seasonal. We went back to Bao Bei and they’re doing nighttime dim sum with a lot of innovation. We often don’t give awards when restaurants first open but Bao Bei has been so awesome year in and year out, they’ve proven themselves,” said Lee Man, one of
the judges.

The judges have rough categories, but winning dishes come down the best dishes judges have tried over the year.

“We noticed a trend of high-end China-based restaurants opening, aiming for the spendy crowd,” says Man. “Chef Tony and Peninsula are targeting the heavy-duty spender. We haven’t seen this kind of ambition for a long time.”

One of the award-winners, Daisy Garden, has since closed due to fire. “It’s heartbreaking,” says Man. “It was such a lovely old-school Chinese place and their roasted meats were really awesome.”

For those who might want to keep up with the Chinese Restaurant Awards Critics’ Choice awards, these are the 2015 restaurants and the dishes the judges deemed worthy of awards this year, along with their comments:

Golden Paramount Seafood Restaurant, 8071 Park Rd., Richmond


Pork Lung with Almond Soup: Great clean flavours with a lovely balance between sweet meatiness and slightly bitter nuttiness — a result of careful slow cooking. This soup sells out regularly each night.

Peninsula Seafood Restaurant, 640 West 41st Ave.


Buddha Jumping Over The Wall: A dish that highlights the best of rigorous old-fashioned technique with a modern take on what constitutes modern luxury Chinese cuisine. Blissfully shark fin-free.

NingTu Restaurant, 2130 Kingsway


Deep Fried Yellow Croaker Fish with Seaweed: Beautifully delicate frying technique, with a batter that incorporates green strands of briny seaweed — results in a dish that is both ethereally and rustically delicious.

Chef Tony Seafood Restaurant, 4600 No. 3 Rd., Richmond


Fried Squab: Last minute flash frying ensures absolute freshness and chin dripping succulence. Perfection.

Daisy Garden Restaurant, 142 East Pender (Closed due to a fire.)


Barbecue Duck: The standard by which all other barbecue ducks should aspire to — wonderfully crackling skin, richly flavoured flesh and satisfying lusciousness.

Silkway Halal Cuisine Restaurant, 8188 Saba Rd., Richmond


Sliced Lamb with Pickled Cabbage in Hot Pot: Simple fresh flavours prepared with surprisingly clean and tight technique. Elevated home cooked flavours at their best. Execution is awesome.

Dynasty Seafood Restaurant, 777 West Broadway


Spicy Typhoon Shelter Sticky Rice with Crisp Bread Crumbs: The soft texture of plump sticky rice against the sharp heat of chilies and fried garlic, and the gratifying crunch of crisp seasoned breadcrumbs is simply irresistible.

Bao Bei Chinese Brasserie,163 Keefer St.

bao bei shao bing

Lamb Sirloin Shao Bing: Uncompromisingly delicious, the lamb sirloin shao bing incorporates modern notions of ethically and locally sourced products with an unerring commitment to big flavoured handcrafted cooking.

Chef Tony Seafood Restaurant, 4600 No. 3 Rd., Richmond


Black Truffles, Pork And Shrimp Dumpling: It’s all about the attention to detail here with the black truffles providing just the right amount of accent to the earthy sweetness of the pork and shrimp. Even the size of the dumpling was carefully considered, to ensure the diner could take the perfect bites.

Kirin Restaurant, 7900 Westminster Highway, Richmond


Steamed Prawn And Pork Dumpling Topped with Flying Fish Roe: Hand chopping the pork ensures fantastic texture and succulence — and shows why this classic dim sum dumpling deserves to be rediscovered all over again.