Chinese Restaurant Awards 2017 – Winners

Since 2008, the Chinese Restaurant Awards have been promoting the high quality Chinese restaurants and chefs in Metro Vancouver as well as creating an opportunity for cross-cultural connections.

The Chinese Restaurant Awards are based on three categories; Critics’ Choice, Diners’ Choice and Social Media Choice Awards

The Diners’ Choice Winners have been announced and will be presented their awards, along with the Critics and Social Media Choice Award winners, at the 9th Annual Chinese Restaurant Awards Ceremony, March 7th at the River Rock Show Theatre.

The 22 Diners’ Choice Winners are;

Best Cantonese Siu Mai – Chef Tony Seafood Restaurant

Best Shredded Turnip Pastry – Yuan’s Shanghai Serendipity Cuisine

Best Sichuan Dan Dan Noodles – Long’s Noodle House

Best Taiwanese Popcorn Chicken – Memory Corner

Best Durian Glutinous Rice Dumpling – Kirin Restaurants

Best New Restaurant (open less than 1 year) – CoCo Fresh Tea & Juice

Best Vanfood’s Takeout Restaurant – Alvin Garden

Best Services Restaurant – The Jade Seafood Restaurant

Best Fine Dining Restaurant – Chang’An

Best Dim Sum Restaurant – Sun Sui Wah Seafood Restaurant

Best Vegetarian Restaurant – Sun Bo Kong Vegetarian Restaurant

Best Northern Chinese Restaurant – Chang’An

Best Cantonese Restaurant – Top Gun J & C Restaurant

Best Shanghainese Restaurant – Shanghai River Restaurant

Best Szechuan/Hunan Restaurant – Lucky Noodle Chinese Restaurant

Best Taiwanese Restaurant/BBT Café – Pearl Castle Cafe

Best Hot Pot Restaurant – Liu Yi Shou Hot Pot Restaurant

Best Hong Kong-style Café – Deer Garden Signatures

Best Congee and Noodle Restaurant – Neptune Wonton Noodle

Best Food Court Stall – James Snack Sandpot Rice, Empire Centre

Best B.B.Q. Shop – Parker Place (Aberdeen) Meat & B.B.Q.

Best Bakery Shop – T & T Supermarkets, Bakery Shop

With world recognized Chinese Food in Metro Vancouver, the Chinese Restaurant Awards can help you navigate the overwhelming choices on offer.

The Music Man at Gateway Theatre

There’s only 9 performances left to catch the award-winning musical Meredith Wilson’s The Music Man at Gateway Theatre in Richmond. The rollicking classic takes us back to a simpler era. The early 1900’s in River City, Iowa was an innocent time making the small town a prime target for renowned con man “Professor” Harold Hill. In Setting himself up as a school band leader, in order to sell the town on his latest scam, he convinces the stubborn Iowans that there’s ‘Trouble’ in River City, that only he can fix by keeping the town’s youth occupied with his band.

Prepared to hit and run, Hill doesn’t expect the town instead to do number on his heart when he meets librarian Marian and son Winthrop.  Leads, Jay Hindle as Harold Hill and Meghan Gardiner playing Marian, display good chemistry in their often antagonistic relationship. Making his theatrical debut, Gateway academy student Oliver Gold, as Winthop is a gem.  Director Barbara Tomasic tells how Oliver’s enthusiasm with the theatre helped her find the inspiration for her direction of the musical. The early 20th century aura is aided by Set Designer Marshall McMahen and costumers Carmen Alatorre and Megan Kennedy,

Make the trip to Gateway Theatre and be transported River City, but hurry Meredith Wilson’s The Music Man closes December 31, 2016.

Smokehouse Sandwich Co – Richmond

Smokehouse_photo-2016-11-18-13-36-57After hearing good things from my colleagues about Smokehouse Sandwich Co, I finally had to try it for myself. The unassuming little shop is tucked away in a small commercial building on Westminster Hwy (at Tiffany Blvd), there’s also an outlet downtown in Cathedral Place.  A rustic, cozy interior matches the housemade, uniquely stacked sandwich menu.
Smokehouse_photo-2016-11-18-13-54-49With just 5 signature sandwiches on the menu, Smokehouse Sandwich Co makes sure they’re done right.  There’s no ham and cheese or cold turkey club on this menu, instead we’re intrigued by coffee-crusted strawberry glazed beef brisket, salt-cured pork belly, pulled tamarind chicken, cumin spiced pulled pork or a vegetarian option of Portobello mushroom. Aioli, salsa, slaw, red peppers, sesame oil dress up the meat stacked on the white or high-fibre bun, double up or mix and match the meat to customize your own sandwich.  I tried the pulled pork “Billie” and enjoyed it but look forward to trying some of the other names on the menu.
Add on a side of housemade crisps, Asian Slaw or regular coleslaw, Brussel Sprout salad, green salad, veggies and dip or fresh fruit to round out your lunch tray or take out brown bag.  Eat in, order take out or even order ahead by phone or email for pick up if you’re in a hurry.

Smokehouse Sandwich Co. is located at 5188 Westminster Hwy in Richmond or in Cathedral Place at 925 West Georgia St. in downtown Vancouver.

King of the Yees at Gateway Theatre

The Gateway Theatre’s 2016-17 season has opened with the Canadian Premier of “King of the Yees”.  Award-winning playwright Lauren Yee’s semi-autobiographical play may be set in San Francisco’s Chinatown but it is transferable to our own Chinatown and Chinese heritage.

Told as a play within a play, King of the Yees, breaks the fourth wall and brings the audience and the playwright and her father on to the stage as they learn a little about each other and the culture of Chinatown.  When her father, Larry goes missing, Lauren sets about to find him and in the process discovers more about her family than she has ever known.

The lighthearted play has plenty of laughs it also has a lot of heart in the story. While it has Chinese themes and history, you don’t need to be Asian to enjoy the comedy, everyone, of all cultures, will relate to the family dynamics between Father and Daughter and the pressures of community.

King of the Yees runs only until October 22nd so get your tickets now at

Five Great Patios around Metro Vancouver

Metro Vancouver has plenty of great patios and outdoor spaces that locals flock to as soon as the weather turns to summer, and finally those days seems to be here. While sidewalk cafes and patios are great, sometimes you want a space that’s a bit out of the way, without the throngs of pedestrians strolling by your table.

Just in time for the weekend, here’s a few of my fave patios for grabbing a bite or beverage;WestinGrand_2014-08-08, 15 08 28

Pop-Up Patio at Westin Grand – Thursdays and Fridays all summer from 5 – 9pm head up to the Westin Grand’s pop-up patio (weather pending). Above the noise and hustle of Robson Street enjoy the fun and social ambience on the 3rd floor Roof Top Pool deck, listen to DJs and grab a bit from the light menu or BBQ station and creative cocktails from Hidden Tasting Bar.

Photo 2016-08-11, 22 07 11Curve Patio at River Rock Resort – another marina view patio, this hidden patio is one of Richmond’s secrets.  Head through the resort to Curve Lounge and as for a seat on the patio, the vast resort lawn is transformed during the summer with lush seating, firepits, great views across the Fraser River and enjoy food and drinks from the lounge.

Harold’s Bistro at Sheraton Vancouver Airport – one of the most surprising patios in Richmond is within the central courtyard of the Sheraton Vancouver Airport Hotel.  Sunny and warm, the sheltered courtyard and pool deck patio is open Sunday to Thursday from 11 am to 9 pm and Fridays & Saturdays from 11 am to 10 pm perfect for lunch or afterwork drinks and dining.

Neil Mcrae Bar & Lounge at the Vancouver Improv Centre on Granville Island – one of the lesser known patios on Granville Island the Neil Mcrae Bar patio is a great spot to catch the sunset and a cocktail.  The covered patio is great all year round before heading into the Improve Centre for laughs with Vancouver Theatresports League

Tasting Room at Fieldhouse Brewing Co – out in East Abbotsford, Fieldhouse Brewing Co. has one of the most chill outdoor spaces, not so much a patio but a big front lawn.  Table, benches, loungers, games and music along with some tasting bites and fresh brewed beers make it a must stop in the Fraser Valley.Fieldhouse_2016-04-30, 18 17 25

What are your choices for great patios in Metro Vancouver?

Van Foodster 3rd Taco Challenge

vf_taco_webThis month you have a new reason to celebrate Taco Tuesdays with the Vancouver Foodster’s 3rd Taco Challenge.  Now underway, until June 3rd, the Taco Challenge calls upon the participating restaurants and food trucks’ to develop their own special taco creations.

Like all Vancouver Foodster Challenges, the public is invited to try all eleven of the entries and then VOTE for their favourite hand-held bites.

At the same time a media panel of judges will be trying and selecting their favourites.  The media judges for this challenge are:
Jennifer Thomson,  @jtradiogal Traffic reporter on CKNW and AM730
Louisa Chan, @L_FOR_LIFE Writer and Editor of L for Life as well as Ming Pao
Aaron Alexander, @aaronmalexander Writer and Creator of BC BuzZ

The participating eateries are:


El Camino’s, 3250 Main Street
Twitter @El_Caminos

Darby’s Pub, 2001 Macdonald Street
Twitter @Darbys_In_Kits

Feastro Taco Truck, Location: Howe & Robson
Twitter @coastfeastro

Gringo Gastown, 27 Blood Alley Square
Twitter @GringoYVR

Las Tortas, 3353 Cambie Street

Los Cuervos Taqueria, 603 Kingsway
Twitter @LosCuervosTacos

Molli Cafe, 1225 Burrard Street
Twitter: @MolliCafe

The Pressure Box Food Truck, Location: tba
Twitter: @ThePressurebox


Hugos Tacos, McArthur Glen Outlet Mall
Twitter @Hugoschurros

Little Mexico Cantina, 3131 Chatham St #150
Twitter: @LMCSteveston

New Westminster

El Santo, 680 Columbia Street
Twitter @el_santonewwest

Get out and get your taco on with the Vancouver Foodster Taco Challenge now!

Gateway Theatre announces 2016/2017 Season

Recently Richmond’s Gateway Theatre announced the line-up for their 2016-2017 season.  The six productions, including 4 premieres, bring comedy, drama and an award-winning musical to the Gateway stages.

This season includes:

The House of Yees, by Lauren Yee  – a comedy of family and cultural clashes.
October 13 – 22, 2016
Mainstage –  Canadian Premiere

Long Division, by Peter Dickinson – The Pi Theatre Company’s new work is a multimedia exploration of the mathematical connection of human interaction.
November 17 – 26, 2016
Studio B – World Premiere

Meredith Wilson’s The Music Man – by Meredith Wilson – the classic Tony Award winning musical about a charismatic con artist and his seventy-six trombones charms audiences during the Holiday season.
December 8 – 31, 2016

You Will Remember Me – translated by Bobby Theodore from the French play Tu te souviendras de moi by François Archambault  – a bittersweet drama telling about an aging intellectual’s onset of dementia, and how is family deals with his treatment.
February 2 – 11, 2017

The Pipeline Project – by Sebastien Archibald, Kevin Loring and Quelemia Sparrow – a collaboration of ITSAZOO Productions and Savage Society in association with Gateway Theatre and Neworld Theatre is cut from today’s headlines as it tells of the political hot button issues of oil pipelines, First Nations land claims and climate change.
March 9 – 18, 2017
Studio B – World Premiere

The Watershed – by Annabel Soutar – the documentary theatre artist Soutar takes her family on a cross-Canada trip to examine the forces facing  our natural resources, from climate change to industry.
April 6 – 15, 2017

Gateway Theatre subscription packages are on sale now from $156. Choose between the Theatre Lovers (all 6 shows) or MainStage (4 shows) with two seating options.

Gateway Theatre is located at 6500 Gilbert Road, Richmond BC