We have been going to Chen’s Shanghai Kitchen for years. The restaurant is extremely popular. So popular in fact that when Chen’s opened its doors at 8095 Park Road in Richmond, they didn’t do any advertising what-so-ever. To this very day, they have spent a grand total of zero to promote the restaurant. The place is so packed at times that you maybe required to share a table with other diners. Luckily, we (myself, Sarah, Greg and his girlfriend Linda) showed up before the lunch time crowd did.
Chen’s Shanghai Kitchen is known for their xiao long bao, which are steamed mini pork buns. Almost every table in the restaurant orders them. They are easily the best xiao long bao in Vancouver. Other signature dishes include the Shanghai style pan fried pork buns, which are basically the fried version of the xiao long bao.
Baiyulan Steam Mini Pork Buns
This is the famous xiao long bao. If you go to Chen’s, make sure this is on your order. Be careful eating it because the bun is steaming hot and the pork inside is surrounded by a boiling soup base that will burn your tongue if you’re not careful.
Shanghai Style Pan Fried Pork Buns
This is the other signature dish at Chen’s. Again, you must be careful eating it as the soup base inside the pork bun is extremely hot. Personally, I prefer steam mini buns but Sarah likes the pan friend version more. Both are really good.
Deep Fried Sticky Rice Cake
Another very hot dish. The rice is deep fried to get a nice golden crust. It’s served with a side plate of raw sugar. Just sprinkle whatever amount you want on the rice to adjust the sweetness. It’s way better than rice crispy squares.
Green Onion Pancake
I didn’t see much of the green onions in this dish but I can definitely taste it. The outside of the pancake was nice and crispy and the inside was really soft.
Pan-Fried Shanghai Noodles
You can’t dine at a Shanghai restaurant and not order Shanghai noodle. Well, I guess you can but it would be strange. Then again, Chen’s is known for their xiao long bao and not their Shanghai noodle, which is very good as far as Shanghai noodles go.
Pan Fried Dumplings
Greg wanted to try this dish. It’s similar to the “pot stickers” you get at Hon’s. The main difference is Hon’s serves their dumplings with a vinegar dipping sauce which adds a tangy favor.
The Free Dessert
We know the owner of Chen’s for a long time and whenever we dine there, she prepares a free sample dish for us to try. Since we order so many main courses this time, she created a dessert using glutinous rice and peanuts. The dish was very sweet and chewy.
The prices at Chen’s are extremely reasonable. Our lunch came to just $40 with tips and we had tons of left over food that we couldn’t finish. We ended up taking it home in a dogie bag. Great food and great prices have helped propelled Chen’s into the Silver position for Best Casual Chinese Dining from Vancouver Magazine. If the place wasn’t so jam packed all the time, it could have won Gold.