Restaurant: New Peace Chinese Restaurant (Formerly Peaceful Chinese)
Last visited: January 12, 2012
Area: Vancouver, BC (Yaletown/Downtown)
Address: 630 Davie Street
Transit: Yaletown-Roundhouse Stn Northbound
Phone: (604) 488-0399
Price range: $10 or less, $10-20
1: Poor 2: OK 3: Good 4: Very good 5: Excellent 6: FMF Must Try!
- Formerly Peaceful Chinese
- New ownership/management
- Shanghainese cuisine
- Northern Chinese cuisine
- Noodles/dim sum
- Handcrafted noodles
- Busy/Local favourite
- Extensive menu
- Family friendly
- Buget friendly/cheap eats
- Open late
- Dine in/Take out/Delivery
- Sun-Wed 11:00 am – 11:00 pm
- Thurs-Sat11:00 am – 2:00 am
**Recommendations: Xiao Long Bao, New Peace Beef Rolls, Sichuan String Beans.
New Peace Chinese Restaurant (formerly called Peaceful Chinese) has changed ownership and management, but the menu is more or less the same. Originally this was the second location for Peaceful Chinese Restaurant on West Broadway which was featured on Food Network’s Diners, Drive Ins, and Dives. It was already a local favourite before getting “TV famous” and yet I still haven’t been to either location until now.
It’s not really that surprising because I’ve said it before, but I prefer my Chinese food in Richmond, BC. Chinese food in Vancouver is good too, but if I’m going with which has the higher average of good Chinese restaurants than I’ll stick to Richmond. It is widely known as the notorious hub for it.
It’s all about context. Even when I think about Chinese food in Vancouver, downtown is probably the last place I want to go for it. Yes, Vancouver has a huge Chinese population and as many Chinese restaurants as it probably does Japanese sushi joints, but when it comes down to good Chinese food I do not look in downtown. The choices are just too Americanized for my tastes, or the quality is not great, and I prefer authentic Chinese food.
New Peace Chinese Restaurant offers Northern Chinese dishes with attention to Shanghainese cuisine. They offer a lot of Sichuan, Beijing and Cantonese dishes as well, but most of it was catered for Cantonese tastes. This is typical though since Cantonese-Chinese are the biggest population in Vancouver. However in this case they do not only cater more towards Cantonese palates, but also a slightly Western palate. I do not consider it “Westernized Chinese food”, but it was a bit Westernized although not to the point of being disappointing.
In the context of downtown Vancouver I would say this is a solid place for authentic and traditional Chinese or Shanghainese food. However outside of downtown Vancouver I would say it does get better. This would be standard for many good places specializing in the same cuisine. I’m not impressed with the options for Chinese food in downtown and the majority I would not be eager to visit, but this was pretty legit despite there being better.
I would certainly come again for a quick and casual lunch or dinner if I was craving Shanghainese in downtown. The hand crafted noodles are supposed to be a highlight here and although I didn’t try them, I would have high hopes. I would also come for late night eats and I prefer it to Tsui Hung Village, although that is a Cantonese-Chinese restaurant so different menus and styles entirely.
On the table:
- The xiao long bao aka “XLB” is the “must try” at any Shanghainese restaurant. It is the “tell all” dish.
- They were hand made in house and they were pretty good! I was surprised.
- They were a bit smaller compared to other Chinese/Shanghinese restaurants in Metro Vancouver, but in China they would be around this size.
- I like mine a bit bigger (but still bite sized) because I find they have more soup and that’s the best part.
- If I’m going to be even pickier than I am I would say these ones had good folds, but the nub was a bit thicker than it should be. Not a big deal.
- The skins were thin, but not as thin as they could be and I prefer mine thinner. For XLB, this is not that thin.
- The goal for XLB makers is to get the skin as thin as possible without it breaking when you pick it up with chopsticks.
- The soup was hot, but there was not enough and it was not as rich in pork flavour as I prefer, although still flavourful.
- For me the smaller size did not allow for enough pork soup or filling especially if you compare to other XLB in Metro Vancouver.
- However the pork filling was very tender, but still not as tender as ones from Top Shanghai, Suhung Restaurant or Shanghai House.
- The pork did not have a gingery or soy sauce flavour which I actually prefer because I like to taste the pure and natural pork flavour.
- In the context of Vancouver and near downtown I like the ones at Lin’s Chinese Cuisine more, but these were still very good.
- My favourite XLB in Metro Vancouver thus far are from Top Shanghai and Suhung Restaurant.
- I liked these here! It is one of my favourite Shanhainese/Taiwanese dim sum dishes or snacks and they did a great job with them.
- It is basically a savoury Chinese beef crepe, or green onion pancake stuffed with 5 spiced beef slices.
- The pastry was made in house and although it was not as flaky as I would have liked, it was still crisp on the outside and thin and tender to chew.
- It was not all pastry dough, but there was not that much beef and I would have liked a little bit more.
- The beef was a bit chewy and gelatinous (sliced beef shank), but authentically it would be and I expected it.
- In the context of the roll you can’t really feel the texture of the beef or even taste the beef.
- If you don’t like chewy or gelatinous textures, it is likely you won’t be able to tell unless you eat the beef slices on their own.
- This one was heavier with the sweet and savoury Hoisin sauce which I didn’t mind, but it was overpowering the 5 spiced beef flavour.
- I would have liked more scallions too, but I would order these again and it is great Chinese street food in general.
- I also recommend the Beef Rolls at Beefy Beef Noodle.
- This is another favourite cold appetizer. There are several versions of it in Northern China and they vary quite greatly.
- I like the one with the creamy sesame sauce, but this one just had sesame oil and no sesame sauce.
- The sauce was flavourful and good even without the sesame sauce, but the glass noodles were undercooked and still crunchy.
- The noodles are mung bean noodle sheets which are thick like lasagne sheets, but chewy and resistant.
- Sometimes they are known as “Chinese parpadelle”, but these were left as sheets instead of cut into strips.
- The sauce was fragrant with lots of sesame oil and then seasoned with soy sauce and perhaps sugar and vinegar.
- The sesame oil sauce was slightly bitter from having the Sichuan chilies fried into it, but I didn’t find it bothersome and authentically it should be even spicier.
- The chicken was boneless and skinless dark meat chicken and there was a limited amount of it.
- I usually see it topped with scallions instead of cilantro, but I like cilantro so I didn’t mind.
- Personally I like it when they serve it with roasted peanuts and raw julienne cucumber too, but this can vary depending on the region it is made.
- This was mild-medium spicy with chili oil and chili flakes. In Shanghai they serve it with Chinese mustard on the side.
- If the noodles had been cooked properly I would say it was 4/6 (Very good) so I hope it was a one time thing and they are not always like this.
- To see an authentic Sichuan Clear Noodle Salad – see here.
- To see an authentic Sichuan Clear Noodle Salad with sesame sauce – see here (Top Shanghai), here (Lin’s Chinese) or here (Shanghai Wonderful).
- To see an authentic Beijing Clear Noodle Salad – see here.
- I thought I was ordering Malantou by the name of “Tofu & Celery Salad”, but instead it was this.
- Malantou is one of my favourite cold appetizer salads at Shanghainese restaurants – see Malantou.
- This was very simple, but the ingredients were fresh and clean and it was good.
- It was julienne Chinese celery, red and orange bell peppers, and medium tofu lightly dressed in a sesame oil vinaigrette and topped with cilantro.
- Chinese celery is stronger than American celery so you have to like celery to like this.
- The dressing was so mild I could barely taste it, but it was sesame oil and Chinese vinegar for sure, but it wasn’t that acidic or sour.
- It was very basic and something I could make at home, but it was good.
- This is another favourite for Westerners.
- Every Chinese meal traditionally starts with soup – it’s the “bread and butter” of Chinese dining.
- It was a good hot and sour soup, but it was Westernized although not to the point of being bastardized and watered down.
- It was sweet and sour from rice wine vinegar, but definitely toned down in spice although I’m sure you could request hotter.
- The soup had a pork/chicken broth (?) although not rich with meat flavour and then soy sauce, sugar, chili oil and sesame oil for seasoning.
- I found it mildly spicy and it was slightly gluey from being thickened with cornstarch which is a common trait, but even so this one was a bit much.
- There were crunchy black wood ear mushrooms, baby shrimps, tofu, a good amount of scrambled egg, pieces of pork and scallions.
- Authentically it would have pork’s blood pieces, bamboo shoots and maybe even lily bulbs (depends on region), but this one didn’t have any of them.
- It was a bit more Cantonese and Western in style, but I’ve definitely had more Westernized versions of this soup before and I still enjoyed this one.
- If it was completely Westernized it would not have wood ear mushrooms, but perhaps button mushrooms. It can still taste good, but it would not be authentic.
- The sweet and sour was well balanced and I would have liked it heartier with a bit more ingredients and spicier too, but it was good.
- For the size and what it was I actually found it quite pricey. It was a bit on the smaller side compared to most and also pricier.
- This is a popular dish and favourite for many Westerners, but it doesn’t mean it is not authentic.
- It is a traditional Chinese Sichuan dish, but I usually eat it at the food court or at home.
- The beans are the Chinese green beans which are crunchier and a bit wrinkly compared to Euro-American string beans.
- Traditionally the beans are wok-fried twice. First to cook and then again with the oil.
- These ones were cooked perfectly and still had their crunch and while they were oily, it wasn’t overly so.
- They were wok fried with garlic, ginger, chili paste, soy sauce, and sesame oil and they were mildly spicy.
- It was more Cantonese-Chinese than Sichuan in style and if it was really Sichuan they would have fried Sichuan peppercorns in the oil and made it hot.
- The pork was plentiful, tender, and not all lean, but it also wasn’t all fat and this is typically what Chinese people would use – if anything even fattier.
- I’m sure many people have had this dish and it was no better or worse than average at a good traditional Chinese place.
- Authentically this should be fried with peanut oil, so I would double check if there are allergies.