20 June 2018
During our explorations of Vancouver, we noticed that just out of Downtown, there’s Chinatown! But with most things Vancouver, one is never enough (endless mountains, massive parks, hot dog stands) so of course, there has to be two Chinatowns aswell.
This is a tale about Chinatown 2: Richmond.
Whenever we researched Asian food in Vancouver, everyone always goes on about how Richmond is the “real” Chinatown, and upon visiting both Chinatown and Chinatown 2: Richmond, it’s hard to disagree. Richmond is definitely a lot more vibrant with a lot of real ‘Asianness’ (it’s a thing!) everywhere. Apparently, the Downtown Chinatown used to be it, but due to its proximity to East Hastings Street and gentrification, the Chinese community moved out to Richmond, where they decided to set up shop again.
So depending on your views of it all, maybe you still think that the Downtown Chinatown is the real Chinatown! In any case it doesn’t really matter, this post is about how we went down to Chinatown 2 and went to a Hong Kong eatery named Sanbo Chinese Restaurant!
I’ve got a real soft spot for Hong Kong food. I used to travel there all the time (which is a long terrible story that I’m never going to get into). But these trip created my love for their ‘Dai Pai Dong’ which is essentially a type of cafe. I think they’re meant to be open air stalls, but the terminology is really loose. One of the things that I can never resist in Hong Kong is their scrambled egg sandwiches. These come with spam or corned beef and is always filled with the fluffiest scrambled eggs that you’re ever likely to eat.
So, this is the Ham (Spam) and egg sandwich ($4.45) from Sanbo Chinese. This is a bit of a comfort food for me, so I’m just going to say that I loved it with the caveat that it really is what you think it is. Egg and ham in bread, with the crusts cut off! Isn’t it nice that theres an adult sandwich out there that has the crusts removed!? I can eat this and not feel like a child, yay.
I would try and make this at home, except I don’t really want to come to terms with the amount of butter that is required to get the scrambled eggs as fluffy as it is. I’d rather just let that be magic behind the curtain stuff that I treat myself with every so often.
It’s better that way.
This is another dish that I can’t help but order whenever it’s on the menu Baked pork chop rice ($13.95). It’s essentially rice, covered in pork chops and veggies, then covered with a tomato sauce (sometimes with cheese) and the whole thing gets baked in an oven until it’s all crispy on top, and soft and gooey in the middle. This dish is another one of my Hong Kong loves, and I’ve yet to have a bad one (and I’ve had a LOT of these). I guess the finest compliment I can give this is – it tastes pretty similar to how it does in Australia, and with that, tastes similar to how it is in Hong Kong. Authenticity means a lot to me, so take that for what it’s worth.
Look at it! In all its gooey glory! So you can see that the rice is fairly untouched by the sauce at this point. I like to take the time to mix the sauce in so the rice becomes a gooey saucy mess before I even get started devouring it. If you’re really lazy, you can take the time to cut up the pork chops into bite sized chunks too, and then this dish becomes a complete one hander – you’ve got a whole free hand to do whatever you want with. Truly a dish for the multitasker.
One thing I should mention is that we also ordered a Hainam chicken ($9.95) take away that we didn’t end up taking a picture of. It was pretty good, though I don’t think it’s really fair to judge it since we had it reheated at home.
All in all, we had a great time here, it’s affordable, authentic and honestly a cuisine I just really enjoy. They only take cash though, so keep that in mind. Because that caused us heaps of problems but there are two ATMs right around the corner.
Sanbo Chinese Restaurant is right outside Richmond Station, so if you ever feel like Hong Kong food, don’t have a favourite all ready and want to walk as little as possible, this places works for your.
Oh also, this is your typical ratty Asian joint, so don’t expect great service or anything here – but for me, I eat for the food not the service, so this suits me just fine.
Sanbo Chinese Restaurant
Address: 6-6340 Number 3 Road, Richmond