Cantonese pub

Classic Cantonese cuisine revisited in refurbished Flamingo House

Chinese restaurants, for some reason, are very comforting to visit.

On the first rainy Saturday (September 4th) in recent memory, I was craving comfort food, so I stopped by Flamingo House, one of Vancouver’s oldest Chinese restaurants.

Today at 1652 Southeast Marine Drive, earlier incarnations had existed on Cambie and Fraser Streets throughout its 47-year history. In fact, it was one of the first Chinese restaurants to open in Vancouver outside of Chinatown.

To my surprise, the traditional bright red decor had received a facelift, replaced by a modern, chic teal, complemented by vintage photos of Hong Kong.

The new look was actually unveiled last November after the restaurant closed for a while due to the pandemic.

The cuisine remains as memorable as ever.

To start, my table mate orders Sui Mai ($ 6.50). As Chinese food lovers know, this is a classic dim sum dumpling with a slightly sweet filling of ground pork and shrimp. Three of them came in a round bamboo box and they tasted like anything you would get in Hong Kong.

For the main courses, we opted for the sole fillet ($ 22) and the Young Chow fried rice ($ 19).

The pile of sole was lightly breaded, dipped in a thin sweet and sour sauce with onions and peppers. I hadn’t eaten fish in a while so it was a real treat to enjoy a decent, family-friendly portion.

A close friend got carried away in the past about eating Young Chow (sometimes written Yangzhou or Yeung Chow) fried rice in Hong Kong, so I decided to order it this time rather than going with the cooked rice. with the usual steam. It turned out to be a smash hit because it was light, not heavy or greasy like the fried rice commonly found in food courts.

Besides the grilled pork, peas and eggs, it was also full of shrimp. Be careful, seafood lovers. Everything went well with the house jasmine tea.

Many Chinese restaurants in Metro Vancouver did not survive the pandemic, which took a heavy toll on the culture of that region.

Fortunately, Flamingo House continues, evolving over time without losing its traditional charm.

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