Ben and Suanne of Chowtimes ( http://www.chowtimes.com) proposed unprecedented initiative for Vancouver: A series of dinners that represent all Eight Great Traditions of Chinese Cuisine.
I jumped at the chance to volunteer to help research and organize these events. At the first meeting a number of weeks ago, I proposed we start with Hunan at Alvin Garden. I have posted about Alvin Garden here in the past and we have even had one of our early Chowdowns there. It is perhaps my favourite Chinese restaurant in town. They serve uncompromising and authentic Hunan food. The real deal (unlike much of the "Hunan" served in North America). http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hunan_cu...
Though this was a collaboration between some of the city's top bloggers and online foodies - Chowtimes provided the primary forum for discussion. The 52 diners who were in attendance were predominantly from the Chowtimes regular audience.
I won't replicate much of the commentary and description of the food and the event as it is already well covered on Chowtimes:
and on Vancouver Slop:
I will however state that the whole evening was fun, the company was great, the food was fantastic and plentiful (16 dishes in total - $20/pp - an astonishing value! You gotta love Chinese food.). The servers, cooks and Ivy - the owner of Alvin Garden pulled out all the stops to make this whole evening work.
My favourite dishes of the evening were:
-Five Spice Pork Heart (which I have raved about numerous times here).
-Hunan Smoked Pork with Garlic Bolts (my personal fave dish there).
-The Hunan Smoked duck (superb and well deserving of the recent Silver it received at the Chinese Restaurant Awards 2010 recently).
Many thanks to Ben and Suanne for setting this up and thanks to the 8GTCC team for showing real passion for this cuisine.
More pictures here:
4850 Imperial St, Burnaby, BC V5J, CA