Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Peaceful Meat Pancakes

Along West Broadway, near Cambie, there is a stretch of dirty, subpar, nondescript Asian restaurants. There is a pho joint, the Shalin Noodle Restaurant, a tacky sushi spot, and - finally - Peaceful Restaurant. Like many people who have dined here recently, I heard about this little cranny of a restaurant from Yelp and was excited to hear that a decent Chinese eatery has opened in the False Creek/Fairview area. 

We asked our perky and assertive server (who has a serious weakness for pork belly) for recommendations, since the menu is extensive and intimidating. We didn't order everything that she suggested, since most of it involved (you guessed it) pork belly, but we did order the Beef Roll, the Ginger Eggplant, the Sesame Chicken, the Szechuan Noodles with dao xiao mian, and the Pork Belly with Cabbage (which our waitress made us order). This is a Mandarin, northern Chinese restaurant, so they use wheat-based, hand-cut noodles made in-house, which are available as small "cat ears" (mao er duo), long sheared strands (dao xiao mian), or thick hand-dragged strands (cu mian). The noodles are often al dente, and they held Peaceful's sauces very well.

The Beef Roll appetizer was probably my favourite item, although every dish was fresh and clean tasting. The Roll's paper-thin five-spiced beef, crisp green onions and sweet hoisin sauce are united and enrobed by a light, flavourful pancake. It was like a Chinese burrito! My second favourite was the Pork Belly and Cabbage (!), which had an incredible texture. Mixing thin slices of marbled pork belly with wide swatches of pressed tofu, leeks, garlic, onion and green onion resulted in a gustatory adventure filled with crunch and spongy succulence.

There is so much on the menu that our table wanted to order, so I'll have to go back. Good thing I live in the False Creek/Fairview area!

Keywords: "Alphabet Review", "Chinese Restaurants Vancouver", Alex Dawkins

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