One of the delights of the dumpling trail is discovering hidden gems in unlikely locations and the food court at Lansdowne Centre mall is one such place. R&H Chinese Food is an unassuming looking outlet that serves some of the city’s best Xiao Long Bao (XLB). Technically a bun that originates from Shanghai, XLBs are named after the bamboo steaming baskets (xiaolong) that they are made in. Commonly called ‘soup dumplings,’ XLBs contain ground pork and a (hot!) broth—the key to eating them is to take a little bite to let some heat out, and then suck the soup out.
Dumplings can sometimes be an intimidating food for vegetarians wondering exactly what’s in them, but 4 Stones takes all the guesswork out as everything is vegetarian, with the added option of making everything vegan. Majorly filling, the vegetarian dishes are best shared with a hungry crowd. Although the wonton soup and imitation pork gyozas are highlights, it’s also worth taking a little detour off the dumpling trail to try the kung pao ‘chicken’—spicy textured tofu that could convince even die-hard carnivores to try a meatless mouthful.
Start the trail at one of Richmond’s most renowned dim sum spots. The Jade Seafood Restaurant is on Richmond’s Alexandra Street (aka ‘food street’) where you’ll find over 200 restaurants spread along just three blocks. Traditional dim sum hours are 10 a.m. until 2 p.m., so head here first to tuck into baskets of breakfast bites such as Har Gow (plump shrimp dumplings delicately wrapped in tapioca starch pastry) and Siu Mai (Cantonese-style shrimp and pork dumplings topped with fish roe, which resemble moneybags with their yellow casing).
One of the delights of the dumpling trail is discovering hidden gems in unlikely locations
From food courts to family-run hole-in-the-walls, there are a mind-boggling 800 restaurants in Richmond and over half of them serve Asian cuisine.
Tourism Richmond’s Dumpling Trail highlights 15 of the top spots to try delicious dumplings—from daytime dim sum of Har Gow and Siu Mai to late-night bites of wontons and gyoza. Gluten-free foodies can join in, with dumplings made from tapioca starch or rice flour and options for vegetarians and vegans on the menu too.
Whether boiled, deep-fried or steamed, dumplings are the ultimate comfort food for winter and this self guided tour takes you on a culinary trip to China, Taiwan, Korea and Japan. Easy to get to by transit or car, the hardest part of the trail is deciding where to go.
The secret is not to load up in one sitting, so start off with these three spots and then choose your own adventure...
Amy Watkins is a British writer who fell in love with Vancouver when she visited on an assignment and then moved here. She writes about travel for national UK publications and writes BCLiving's weekly events column.