Shanghai River Restaurant
Shanghai River Restaurant
#110-7831 Westminster Highway,
Ph: (604) 233-8885
With its large diverse Chinese community, Vancouver celebrates Chinese New Year in style. This year a group of us, 12 in all, took the Canada Line out to Richmond, for a Chinese New Year banquet at the Shanghai River Restaurant. Arranged by Susan, whose petite frame belies her formidable social organizational skills, the evening promised to be a veritable feast and it was.
As we were led to our table which seated 12 quite comfortably, we passed by the pastry area where the dumplings and noodles are freshly made. We sipped on our hot tea while Susan and Nick decided what needed to be added to the standard banquet menu for 10 people. The rest of us debated whether to order beer or wine. Five of us settled on a bottle of Mission Hill white wine of unknown varietal. The menu did not specify. We guessed it was a Pinot Blanc or Pinot Gris but we got so involved with the various dishes that we forgot to ask them to bring back the bottle so we could check. The others ordered beers.
We were first served a cold platter with tofu, jellyfish, smoked white fish, chicken and bamboo shoots.
Next came a speciality of the house, dumplings filled with meat and broth, that were quite delicious. I also liked the pan fried tiger prawns but found the assorted seafood dish (scallops, squid and fish) very bland.
Next in rapid order came braised chicken soup with won-ton and vegetables, beef and vegetables ( tender and very tasty) and a huge platter of steamed crab coated in a thick delicious wine sauce. The crab meat was tender and full of flavour but I could have done with one of those long thin pronged forks for pulling out the crab meet.
By this time we were all licking our fingers, wiping our faces and hands with damp cloths and generally having a gloriously messy time. I stopped worrying about spilling on the table cloth when i saw big splotches in front of everyone else's places too. The dishes just kept coming.
Next up was tea-smoked duck - quite an unusual flavour. Then Chinese ham and cabbage. Another giant platter of rock cod in sweet and sour sauce made its way around the table together with a platter of pan fried handmade noodles.
By the time the banana fritter desserts were put before us and eaten I don't think anyone could have ingested another thing. We cleaned ourselves up, gathered our coats and walked back to the Brighouse Canada Line Station for the ride back to Yaletown.
The meal complete with drinks. tips and taxes came to $40 dollars a person, the company was terrific and a good time was had by all. A great start to the Year of the Tiger.