Beijing Cuisine

Restaurant: Beijing Cuisine
Cuisine: Chinese/Beijing/Shanghai
Last visited: April 24, 2011
Location: Richmond, BC (Richmond Central)
Address: 1118-3779 Sexsmith Rd (Continental Square)
Price Range: $10 or less, $10-20 for lunch, $10-20+ for dinner

1: Poor 2: OK 3: Good 4: Very good 5: Excellent 6: Tres Excellent!!

Food: 4.5 (based on what I tried)
Service: 2
Ambiance: 3
Overall: 4
Additional comments:

  • Beijing/Shanghainese cuisine
  • Authentic
  • Popular to Chinese locals
  • Fresh home made pastry
  • Clean/comfortable
  • Quick/casual
  • Chinese/English menu
  • Good for groups
  • Very affordable
  • Cheap eats for lunch
  • Family friendly
  • Cash only
  • Mon-Sun: 11am-3pm, 5pm-10pm

**Recommendations: Tossed Mung Clear Noodles in Sauce, Sesame Paste & Shredded Meat, Fried Pancake with Leeks and Eggs, Steamed Bun Stuffed with Pork

Thanks to a very loyal and regular commenter Bow for suggesting me to try this restaurant. I’m sure you can tell he knows his food just by the the extensive knowledge behind all the wonderful comments he leaves! I was looking forward to trying this restaurant especially since it was Bow’s recommendation, and a fine recommendation it was!

This restaurant has gone through changes in names, and I’m quite sure ownership as well, in the last few years as it struggles to find its niche. I mean they’ve always been serving some take on Shanghainese cuisine whether it’s executed with Shanghai, Cantonese Chinese, Taiwanese or now Beijing style. I remember dining here in previous years and the last time was when it was called Chopsticks Taiwanese Cuisine, but since then I haven’t gone back due to the mediocre food I experienced. I guess part of me always thought that it was the same restaurant with a different name, but it’s actually not the case. Or maybe it is, but the chefs are sure different this time around!

I wouldn’t say Beijing Cuisine is a hidden gem, but it is often overlooked in a strip mall plaza of restaurants. However the Chinese locals do know about it and the place is decently busy for lunch and dinner.

On this occasion I came here for lunch and I must say that the service was a bit interesting. The menu is in Chinese and English (with a few things only in Chinese), but as usual the English translations are very vague. Since my server didn’t speak much English either it made things quite confusing for both of us. In the end I had two random dishes that I didn’t intend to order on my table. After pointing it out, nothing really changed and it just became really pointless. She was pretty young and the prices are more than fair and the random things she gave us weren’t bad, so I just let it go.

I might as well stop beating around the bush and just say it. Expect great food at a great price, but with the standard service you would expect from a Chinese restaurant… which is notorious for not being good.

On the table:

**Tossed Mung Clear Noodles in Sauce, Sesame Paste & Shredded Meat – 5/6

  • $7.95
  • I’d be satisfied to have this alone for lunch or dinner… all to myself… and I like variety so that means a lot.
  • I love this dish in general, but everywhere makes it different depending on the region.
  • This is perhaps a more Beijing style of preparing it, but I do like the Shanghai way of making it as well – see Shredded Chicken with Glass Noodle at Northern Delicacy.
  • It’s usually an appetizer, but this was entree sized. It was served warm and it can be served chilled too.

All mixed up.

  • The noodles were thick, fresh, slippery and springy and the pork was lean and tender and well marinated in a garlic chili soy sauce with sesame oil.
  • It’s a very aromatic and flavourful dish and it’s savoury, nutty and quite spicy with dried Szechuan pepper flakes.
  • The heat lingers and it’s about a medium spicy. The fresh cucumbers cut the spice and add a refreshing crunch to the dish.
  • It was more intense with sesame oil than sesame sauce flavour, so it actually wasn’t very creamy.
  • I loved it! The noodles were perfectly cooked with a bite and there were lots of ingredients.

Boiled Pork Dumplings Stuffed with Leeks, Shrimp and Eggs – 4/6

  • 15 pieces $7.50
  • I wasn’t expecting them to offer such a variety of boiled pork dumplings and they were on every table, so I figured it was a specialty.
  • It’s a lot of dumplings so hopefully you have a group.
  • These were reminiscent of the ones I had in Hong Kong from Wang Fu Restaurant, except these were much more Shanghainese in style.
  • They’re home made, and made upon order but the skins are a bit thick and doughy for my liking.

  • This one was a bit undercooked, but the rest were fine. The gray pieces were actually raw shrimp, I still ate it and I’m still alive, but that was a major no no.
  • They were savoury and full of leeks with coarsely chopped prawn and some scrambled eggs for flavour and texture, but I actually couldn’t taste much pork.
  • These are eaten with malted vinegar which was noticeably tangier and very good here.

**Steamed Bun Stuffed with Pork – 4.5/6

  • 6 pieces $4.95
  • The xiao long baos, XLB’s, juicy pork dumplings, soup dumplings, Shanghai steamed pork dumplings… whatever you call them, you have to order them or at least try them! It’s a staple at any Shanghainese restaurant, I guess Beijing in this case though.
  • I didn’t expect much from them since it was a Beijing restaurant, but they were solid!
  • They were filled with soup! A lot of soup! More than usual.

  • They were incredibly delicate and thin skins that weer so transparent you could just see the soup from the outside.
  • The size was good and they were piping hot!
  • They flavour of the soup was great, but perhaps not as creamy or rich as say the ones from Suhang or Shanghai House.
  • The pork may have been a bit leaner and actually seemed more marinated than I’m used to. It was incredibly tender and juicy but it tasted like they used more soy sauce in the marinade.
  • Regardless they were well made, flavourful, and they did hold more soup than a lot of places.

**Fried Pancake with Leeks & Eggs4/6

  • $7.50
  • This was the first random order that arrived. I actually like it though, so it didn’t bother me too much that I didn’t order it.
  • For what it was it was a 5/6 because it was made very well, but in general I find it a 4/6 based on my enjoyment of it.
  • The pancake was very thin and crispy on the top and bottom and it’s a very large portion.

  • It’s generously stuffed with lots of leeks, Chinese vegetables, diced omelette pieces, and dried shrimp (the clear things).
  • The eggs were pieces of a thin omelette crepe and it was made from preserved salty duck egg so it had a naturally salty flavour compared to a regular egg. They could have used a combination of the two, but I definitely tasted duck egg.
  • The whole thing was very savoury with a slight seafood taste from the mini dried shrimp.
  • I loved the contrast of the juicy texture of the sweet chives and leek filling with the crispy pancake and it’s a great snack to share with a group.

Fried Green Onion Cake2/6

  • $4.50
  • This is the other random item that showed up that I didn’t order. I had originally pointed to “beef pancake roll” and then this landed.
  • Anyways everyone seems to love these in general, but I don’t see the big deal. Well I did have excellent ones in China once though – see here (The busiest restaurant I’ve ever been to in my life).

  • The pancake pastry was handmade upon order, fresh, flaky and crisp, but overall it was bland.
  • There was green onion filling but I didn’t get the flavour or the aromatics of it.
  • I did like that it wasn’t too oily for what it was though.
  • It looked pretty good, but the ratio of dough and onion wasn’t ideal.

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20 Comments

  • Jan says:

    I usually don’t comment on blogs but I really like yours! It’s funny that you mentioned how many dumplings there are on the plate. This is very typical of Shanghai household. One of my aunt is Shanghainess. My mother visited her family once (a long time again) and was asked how many dumplings they should make for her when dinner approached. My mom said perhaps 5? And my aunt and cousins were horrified, because they are used to having at least 20 per person, even for the girls!! So it is not unusual that the family would make over 100 dumplings per dinner!

  • LotusRapper says:

    Wow that pancake stuffed with leeks and eggs look amazing. I thought chives are typically used for this (like the chives pockets, which also has shredded omelet). I guess this is a variation. Anyway my mouth is watering just looking at that picture.

    We had a good dinner there last Fall. I’ll be admittedly lazy and paste what I wrote about B.C. in that other post on another food blog:

    ****
    Ambiance: spacious, modern, comfortable. Tables are fairly far apart. Nothing to complain about. In fact for Chinese restos (or many other cuisines) this space doesn’t get too much better.

    Menu: good selection and variety of snacks, dim sum and dishes.

    Prices: really that low, eh ?

    Service: attentive, friendly. It’s all good.

    Food: only three adults and one child, so we ordered light:

    1) xiao long bao (XLB – steamed buns): juicy savoury filling, wrapped in delicate multi-*pleated* skin. I’d say 7.5/10. The filling could be a wee bigger, though.
    2) millet congee: this is traditional country food. My mom ordered it, it was only $1. It tasted bland (you’re supposed to add sugar) and I recall eating it in Taiwan and it should be yellow, like polenta.
    3) beef roll: common item in many Shanghai/Taiwanese restos. Pancake was thick, a bit doughey but not too bad. Filling was disappointing, two slices of marinated beef with lots of shredded iceberg lettuce and green onion. Wouldn’t order again.
    4) braised beef noodle soup: big hearty bowl of beefy goodness. Stock was deep and rich, not salty. Beef chunks literally fell apart when held up with chopsticks. Noodles were pretty good, but I prefer them more firm and chewy. Dad gave this dish a big thumbs up.
    5) Beijing pork & green onion w. pancakes: ours came with quite a bit of dark rich sauce at the bottom of the plate whereas others at adjacent tables were dry-looking with a piece of parchment paper on bottom of the plate. But hey, all that sauce could only mean: “Waitress, please bring me a big bowl of plain rice !”
    6) stir-fried sour cabbage & pork tripe: perhaps the other star of the evening. Sour cabbage like this is hard to come by authentically in big chunks. Very yummy. Pork tripe was sliced thin, stir-fried with a lot of wok-hei and very tender and tasty …. “Oh waitress, another TWO bowls of rice please !”

    Total was just over $40, with leftovers to boot. We liked OB very much and would return in a flash 🙂
    ****

    Buon appetito !
    LR

  • LotusRapper says:

    Sorry to digress Mijune, but this one (The Place) in Marpole IMO is a bit of a hidden gem:

    http://chowtimes.com/2011/04/06/the-place-on-granville-vancouver/

    Buon appetito !
    LR

  • Bow says:

    Pretty sure that the Beijing people aren’t the people who ran the Shanghai cuisine in the same spot; different servers and the food is cooked differently. On the appetizer menu are a lot of dishes I haven’t seen at other restaurants. The people eating there are a different crowd too; not Shanghainese. The fried green onion pancake is thin…that’s good, ‘cos lottsa places make it too thick. Bland ?, well that’s ok. ‘cos the pancake is a very simple item with very little seasoning and is deceptively tasty(if you eat a bad one, you’ll know). You got to try an lamb dish. Thanks for trying it out.

  • Mijune says:

    @Jan – lol really?!?! 100 dumplings… that’s like a mini factory going on at home!! Thank you for the insider tip! Also… I’m so happy and humbled that you enjoy my blog!! You just made my night even better and I just had 3 desserts 🙂 Thank YOU!

    @LotusWrapper – *Rub eyes* um did I just read $1 congee?!?!? lol CHEAP! phew.. thanks for the heads up on the beef pancake roll! I don’t feel bad I missed out now. YUM! Braised beef noodle.. love your description! *RUB EYES* AGAIN… $40 for all of that?!??! Happy Birthday ____! Lol.. so cheap! It’s a solid experience I’d say… and btw please feel free to give me recs! Love hearing them and trying them! Thank you!!!! can’t wait to the The Place and I will! Any recs for what to order?

    @Bow – Thank YOU Bow for the recommendation! Credit to you for this one. I had a feeling it was different owners/menu/food as well, but I’m not 100% sure so just wanted to give myself space for error. Thanks again Bow and yes I’ll go back and try dinner and more dim sum dishes! And lamb!

  • LotusRapper says:

    @ Mijune: at The Place, I’d recommend the Spicy Chicken appy, Family HotPot (you choose the specific one) but this will require a few eating companions as it’s a lot of food, Braised Pork Hock (in wooden bucket) if you’re ok with that sort of fatty food, XLBs, the Twice Cooked Pork, Spicy Stir-Fried Dried Greenbeans are all good. Since their menu spans the Jiangsu/Shanghai spectrum and touches a bit of Sichuan (like many other restos of this genre in Lower Mainland), I haven’t been there enough times to say if they have one or two signature dishes. Often I’m tempted to order the same kinds of dishes I get in other similar restos in order to establish a baseline comparison. I will say though, that IMHO the XLBs at The Place seemed better than that at Beijing Cuisine.

    Bon appetit !
    LR

  • TimeToChow says:

    I read possibly on Chowtimes, so please correct me if I am wrong but this place might be affiliated to the Beijing Noodle House.
    Anyways, I haven’t been to B C. Looks like the tossed noodle is a winner. Look like a healthier and tasty dish. Cold noodles need love too. People just seem to gravitated to hot noodles…… Just wondering how the pork would taste cold though?

  • Rmd_Foodie says:

    This place is opened by the old owners of the Beijing Noodle House on Buswell Street in Richmond that is now under new ownership. I used to frequent the old Beijing Noodle House quite frequently, but haven’t tried it since it’s changed owners as I’ve heard that it has gone downhill. I’m glad that the old owners decided to open up another restaurant though as I miss the dumplings and lamb noodle soup! Will have to try out Beijing Cuisin soon!

  • LotusRapper says:

    I’m kinda confused. From the comments above, am I correct to think Beijing Cuisine has already changed owners since it opened on Sexsmith (Continental Square) ?

  • Mijune says:

    LotusRapper – Wow! That’s a lot of food I should be ordering.. hmm I can eat a lot, but I’ll need at least 4 ppl for your order I think! I trust you though because you sound like a regular! Thank you!!

    TimeToChow – Ohhh you haven’t been to Beijing Cuisine.. I thought you meant BC like British Columbia… I was thinking WHAT?! That must suck to read about all these places and not be able to try them easily lol.. .but I get it now. The “cold” noodle dish was actually served luke warm, but I agree with you I do like cold noodles… when summer is here they have more options for them as well! I’m excited for the cold ramen at Japanese places!

    Rmd_Foodie – Ohhh in that case I’m curious what you will think of this place! I hope they’ve stayed the same if they were so good before!

    LotusRapper – Hmm you got me there! I’m tempted to call them and ask.. but I have a feeling I’ll end up with another random order lol =p

  • Linda says:

    Why are the good asian restaurants in richmond??!?! i know there are a few in vancouver but richmond has a plethora of them – i need to visit soon – thank goodness for the canada line 🙂

    mm the mung noodles look yummmmmy! the picture of them all mixed up makes the noodles look like thinly sliced chayote squash lol and i look that there’s shredded meat in this dish – looks really good 🙂 the pork dumplings remind me of some i had in dalian – i like how the skin is thicker than traditional dumplings and the filling inside looks delicious! wow, that pancake sure has a lot of chives in it – i think i might try making this at home, i eat eggs with chinese chives all the time 🙂

    mmm the XLB’s look so gooooood!

  • Mijune says:

    @Linda – lol well there are some good ones in Vancouver, but I still think Richmond is the best for them… cater to the population right 🙂 I shall try and make it out to more Vancouver ones so you have more options though! xo

  • Linda says:

    thanks mijune 🙂

  • Yen says:

    After we read the blog, We decide to go to the restaurant today, but just found out that it is CLOSED.

  • Mijune says:

    @yen – oh no!!! That’s such a shame! It was a hidden gem that needed a boost of business and I guess it’s too late. Thank you for letting me know though… I will miss their food and hope they can reopen somewhere else.

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