DAY TRIPS

GET OUT OF TOWN

Vancouver Magazine - Best of the City 2016 - - Front page -

The city of Rich­mond, 20 min­utes south of down­town Van­cou­ver, is no mere sub­urb; this is­land com­mu­nity is a full-blown world unto it­self. The malls (ex­tra­or­di­nary and fre­netic), the restau­rants (best Chi­nese food of your life), the air­port, and the street life (a rush of lan­guages and cul­tures) re­flect a well-es­tab­lished pop­u­la­tion of (mostly Asian) im­mi­grants. In fact, Rich­mond has the high­est im­mi­grant pop­u­la­tion in the coun­try: 60 per­cent

EAT

When Chef Hung Tai­wanese Beef Noo­dle ( 4151 Hazel­bridge Way, 604-295-9357. Chefhung­noo­dle.com) opened in Aberdeen Cen­tre, line­ups topped out at two hours for bowls of award-win­ning Tai­wan-style beef noo­dles. The ini­tial frenzy has sub­sided, and it’s worth wait­ing in the mod­er­ate queue to sam­ple the glo­ri­ous beef shank noo­dles, pre­pared in a slow-cooked broth (MSG-free). The Tai­wanese love lit­tle side plates and snacks; the chilled spicy bam­boo shoots, spinach­like chopped ma-lan with tofu, and mar­i­nated beef wrapped in crispy pan­cake are all top­notch.

The Shang­hainese/Tai­wanese hy­brid Dinesty Chi­nese Restau­rant ( 160–8111 Ack­royd Rd., 604-303-7772) is al­ways packed—per­haps be­cause they cook Shang­hai cui­sine with a lit­tle more sugar and spice than is tra­di­tional. A sim­ple room opens to a glassed-in kitchen, where you can see cooks fu­ri­ously wrap­ping, steam­ing, and fry­ing. (You’d never guess the space once housed a 7-Eleven.) Don’t miss the ex­cel­lent ap­pe­tizer and dim sum selections; stand­outs in­clude cold wine chicken, par­tially deboned and rolled into savoury roulades. Try the ex­cel­lent xiao long bao, with del­i­cate won ton skins and su­perb pork filling.

In high-end Hong Kong kitchens, re­straint and fo­cus are paramount con­sid­er­a­tions, and heavy-hand­ed­ness is con­sid­ered vulgar. Jade Seafood Restau­rant ( 8511 Alexan­dra Rd., 604-249-0082. Jader­estau­rant.ca) epit­o­mizes this ap­proach, and dishes re­flect a sub­tle and pre­cise hand. The room is full of fam­i­lies en­joy­ing quiet, el­e­gant meals, in­clud­ing dishes like the fa­mous Grand­fa­ther Chicken (suc­cu­lent with gen­tle soy smok­i­ness), Dun­geness crab, black cod hot pot, and pump­kin seafood soup. Dim sum here is ar­guably the best around: faves are steamed mush­room dumplings, deep-fried radish cakes, and crisp rolls of prawn, cen­tury egg, and pick­led ginger. Ser­vice is for­mal but gen­uinely warm.

SHOP

In Rich­mond, shop­ping means malls—crazy, be­wil­der­ing, fan­tas­tic malls. Steps from the Canada Line sta­tion, Aberdeen Cen­tre ( 4151 Hazel­bridge Way, 604-270-1234. Aberdeen­cen­tre.com) is Rich­mond’s most popular shop­ping des­ti­na­tion for tourists, likely be­cause of the glo­ri­ous Ja­panese dol­lar store, Daiso (a legend in Asia, this is the first in North Amer­ica). Stock up on sweet teacups and dearly pat­terned side plates.

EX­PLORE

Ditch the car and do like 12,000 lo­cals each sum­mer week­end night, grab­bing the Canada Line to Bridge­port Sta­tion for the Rich­mond Night Mar­ket ( Rich­mond­night­mar­ket.com). A sta­ple since 2000, the 18-acre fair is part open-air mar­ket (nov­elty iPhone cases for ev­ery­one!), part out­door Idol com­pe­ti­tion, and big-time global food fair lean­ing

Over 150 shops make up Parker Place ( 4380 No. 3 Rd., 778-297-5666. Park­er­place.com), an in­sti­tu­tion in Rich­mond for two decades. Hit up Gift Univer­sal for ev­ery­thing Hello Kitty; Sweet Home prof­fers the oblig­a­tory pa­per lanterns and rice cook­ers. Fin­ish with bub­ble tea—nat­u­rally—at Cherry Fruit Juice and Icy Bar. to skew­ered meats and deep-fried ev­ery­thing. Re­gion’s best peo­ple­watch­ing. Open May to Oc­to­ber.

The un­abashedly blingy River Rock Casino ( 8811 River Rd., 604-247-8573. River­rock.com) is the largest casino in Bri­tish Columbia, with 1,100 slot ma­chines, daily tour­na­ments at the poker ta­bles, and 24/7 gambling. Keep feed­ing enough coins into those slots and they might just re­turn enough to pay for din­ner at the casino’s fine din­ing room, Tra­monto: River Rock poached top tal­ent from some of the best rooms in town and is de­liv­er­ing qual­ity (if main­stream) fare. Rock acts of yore make their way through the River Rock Show The­atre. Nazareth, Salt ’N’ Pepa, and Earth, Wind & Fire are all likely to climb aboard the nostal­gia train here.

Rich­mond Night Mar­ket

Chef Hung Tai­wanese Beef Noo­dle

Aberdeen Cen­tre

TASTE TH IS

Pan-Fried Buns TOP SHANG­HAI

CUI­SINE Or­der the pan-fried

shengjian bao. It’s hands-down the

best in town 8100 Ack­royd Rd.,

604-278-8798

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