Best Casual Chinese 2012
May 1, 2012
GOLD: ALVIN GARDEN
Silver: Hoi Tong | Bronze: Big Chef | Honourable Mentions: Nine Dishes & Dinesty
Our judges liked it hot, hot, hot! At Gold winner Alvin Garden you’ll experience whiplash heat in rustic Hunan dishes (like beef stir-fried with pickled pepper or filet of tilapia poached in a spicy broth)—keep a bowl of rice and icy beers on hand to douse the flames. Hoi Tong in Richmond (Silver), on the other hand, offers “layered, nuanced, and sophisticated” Hong Kong dishes (the prices are steep but the atmosphere is warm and convivial), while Big Chef (Bronze) stands out from its “Eat Street” contemporaries with dishes like golden crab with rice cakes. Honourable Mentions to Kingsway’s charmingly scruffy Nine Dishes, a perfect recreation of a casual Beijing hangout serving punchy and deeply spiced Northern Chinese cuisine, and Dinesty for Shanghai food (xiao long bao, fried rice with scallop and egg white) served in sleek and modern surrounds.