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GREAT DAY TRIPS

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 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.)

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.

Award-win­ning Gu­drun ( 150– 3500 Monc­ton Rd., 604-272-1991. Gu­drun.ca), in his­toric Steve­ston, is the per­fect tucked-away des­ti­na­tion for an in­ti­mate meal that’s up­scale but never pre­ten­tious. Fine cheeses, house-made char­cu­terie, and lo­cal wines and beers are the fo­cus, but the daily fresh sheet of mar­ket-in­spired mains al­ways re­wards trust in the kitchen.

SHOP

In Rich­mond, shop­ping means malls—crazy, be­wil­der­ing, fan­tas­tic malls. Steps from the Canada Line’s Aberdeen 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.

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.

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 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 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 and pop acts of yore make their way through the River Rock Show Theatre— Cul­ture Club, Brian Wilson, and Boz Scaggs have all climbed aboard the nos­tal­gia train here re­cently.

Rich­mond Night Mar­ket

LO­CAL ICON YVR 3211 GRANT MCCONACHIE WAY Canada’s sec­ond­bus­i­est air­port teems with har­ried trav­ellers. Don’t be one. Take the Canada Line di­rect from down­town and de­board a stop early at the luxe new McArthur Glen out­door mall be­fore reach­ing the...

Gu­drun

Daiso at Aberdeen Cen­tre

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