Best Chinese Cuisine in Richmond, BC
The most authentic Chinese cuisine outside of China.
Richmond is widely considered North America’s Chinese cuisine capital. Depending on where you live, you may be familiar with the tantalizing tastes of really good Chinese food. It can be spicy, sweet, savoury, and oh-so-delicious. Whether served family-style or in small bites like dim sum, few things in this world compare to the satisfaction and sensory treat it offers. Chinese chefs take great care in preparing their food, and strive for perfection in colour, taste, and smell. Home to one of Canada’s largest Asian populations, Richmond’s restauranteurs have brought authentic home cooking across the Pacific for everyone to enjoy. This guide will familiarize you with some of the different regional cuisines you can get on your plate and in your bowl in Richmond.
Sichuan (sometimes spelled Szechuan)
Bold and spicy
Sichuan cuisine is notoriously hot and spicy. Prominent ingredients include chili pepper and garlic, giving most of the dishes a bold flavour. Chengdu, the capital of Sichuan Province, was actually given UNESCO designation as a city of gastronomy to recognize the sophistication of the cooking style. Many of Richmond’s Chinese restaurants serve some Sichuan dishes, but places like Szechuan House (located in Aberdeen Centre) specialize in it.
Rich and hearty
Xinjiang cuisine hails from China’s mountainous northwest, where countless nomadic populations once passed through via the Silk Road. Given the harsh climate and terrain of the landlocked region, lamb and freshwater fish covered in cumin and other fragrant spices are abundant in its dishes. Particularly interesting about Xinjiang cuisine is that many dishes are halal, owing to the region’s Muslim population and international neighbours. You can try halal Xinjiang food at Beijiang Restaurant and Silkway Halal. You can also find Xinjiang cuisine in the Richmond Night Market at stalls like Chef James Xin Jiang Man BBQ, who is well-loved for his succulent BBQ meat skewers.
Light and mellow
Shanghai is the most populous city in the world, with over 24 million residents. It’s almost like a small country! It has been a cosmopolitan city for quite a while now, so it shapes many trends in the world of Chinese cuisine. Shanghainese food tends to be lighter, sweeter, and more mellow in flavour than other Chinese cuisine. Expect lots of seafood, since Shanghai is a coastal city. Other staples include savoury xiao long baos (pork soup dumplings) and beggar’s chicken. This classic dish features whole or half chicken stuffed then baked at an extremely high temperature while covered in a very thick dough encasement that resembles clay—how it was traditionally prepared.
Cantonese (also known as Guangdong)
Diverse and delicious
Guangdong is a huge province in China, making it hard to specifically categorize its cuisine. A good rule of thumb is that Cantonese cuisine is pretty close to what most people consider ‘typical’ Chinese food. That’s because many of North America’s Chinese immigrants come from this region, and have adapted Cantonese cuisine to North American palates. In fact, chow mein and egg foo young are Americanized versions of traditional Cantonese dishes. You can find great examples of Cantonese cuisine in our 40+ dim sum restaurants and at the banquet meals found at higher-end restaurants such as Jade Seafood Restaurant, Sea Harbour Restaurant, and Red Star Seafood Restaurant.
Warm and filling
Unlike South China, where the staple crop is rice, Northern Chinese cuisine is wheat-centric, with a particular focus on noodles. Paired with hearty meats, a little spice, and some garlic, Northern Chinese cuisine satisfies the soul and keeps you warm and full for hours—the region tends to get quite cold in the winter. Beijing is considered a hub of Northern Chinese cuisine, with hot and sour soup and Peking duck as exemplary representations of the region’s culinary scene. You can try really good Northern Chinese food at Imperial Court Beijing Cuisine and Beijing Noodle House.