Metro Vancouver is blessed with some incredible Chinese cuisine. Nearly 500,000 of the region’s residents trace their roots to China, which translates into a huge demand for fresh, authentic Chinese food, from Cantonese to Szechuan, Hunan and everything in between. In fact, more than 200 Chinese restaurants pack Richmond’s famous Alexandra Road alone.
But with so many choices, how do you hunt down the hidden gems?
The answer: the Chinese Restaurant Awards. Inaugurated in 2009, the awards recognize the best Chinese dishes served in Metro Vancouver. Professional food critics pore over countless entries before deciding on the top Chinese plates in the region. And the 2012 results are in: Wondering where to get some of the best sweet and sour pork in the area? That would be Golden Paramount Seafood Restaurant in Richmond (8071 Park Rd.), which serves its pork with a unique selection of fresh fruit.
Or how about the best hot pot chicken? Big Chef restaurant, also in Richmond (1060-8580 Alexandra Rd.), took home a gold this year for its signature hot pot soya sauce chicken dish.
Or maybe you’re in the mood for seafood. Richmond’s Jade Seafood Restaurant (8511 Alexandra Rd.) was recognized this year for its outstanding sauteed BC Dungeness crab with mixed mushrooms.
And for the vegetarians? Nothing tops the sauteed Buddha’s feast at Dynasty Seafood Restaurant in Vancouver (108-777 West Broadway).
In total, 28 different dishes were recognized by the critics in the awards. Richmond narrowly edged out Vancouver, taking home 17 awards to Vancouver’s 11. Meanwhile, perennial powerhouse Shiang Garden Seafood Restaurant in Richmond (2200-4540 No. 3 Rd.) took home two awards in the new Signature Dish Category (which this year required chefs to use Alberta beef, Alberta pork or Amoy soy sauce): one medal for its Dongpo-style braised Alberta Pork and another for its fried lobster with green onions.
Hungry yet? You can see a list of all the 2012 award-winning dishes here.
What do you think of the critics’ picks? Do you have a favourite Chinese restaurant in Vancouver or Richmond?