My little chowhounds and I went for a little trip out to Crystal Mall yesterday. We Skytrained it out to Metrotown and walked to what could be the best, most transit friendly foodie field trip in the Greater Vancouver Area...Crystal Mall's Food Court. This trip would be a great addition to the itinerary of a chowhound tourist to Vancouver. It is more accessible (just a few stops from the Downtown skytrain stations) than a drive out to Richmond.
Once you are in Crystal Mall, it is as if you have been transported to a mall in a city in Asia. It makes Aberdeen Center (Richmond), Yaohan (Richmond) positively Disney-fied in comparison. It is more claustrophobic, chaotic and it has that slightly dingy, but authentic feel.
The food court is amazing - the selection of regional cuisine is astounding. Most of the items are served up from buffet-style steam tables....and some (like the XLB) are freshly made to order. Most of the regional cuisine here tastes authentic with the proper spicing and presentation. Some of the food here is far above most "Chinese" restaurants in the GVA....despite the steam table fare.
Today, my goal is to finally visit Wang's where some people have reported to me to have some of the best Xiao Long Bao (XLB) in the GVA. The verdict: great! It is bigger than the ones from Chen's (Richmond), to which some people might object. It might be too big for for that "pop it in your mouth and make it explode" experience. The size of these monsters might be too big from most people mouths. I, of course, had no problem.
They had two places to get Hainan Chicken Rice here too...one is the more well known Cantonese run place. The other is a new Malaysian-run place. I opted for the Malaysian stall's HCR. The verdict: very good...not Prima Taste good, but it wil give Cafe D'Lite and Hawkers Delight's HCR a run for its money. Furthermore...they had the proper sweet soy sauce at hand in bottles (you do have to ask for it).
One of my daughters had BBQ from B&W BBQ House - the BBQ Pork was excellent. Moist, tender, with an somewhat crunchy outer coating that is not too syrupy sweet.
We rounded the trip out with a Iced slushee made of fresh fruit.
4500 Kingsway, Burnaby, BC V5H2A9, CA