Location: #262-2800 E 1st Ave, Vancouver, BC
I was introduced to this newly renovated restaurant by my girlfriend’s mom. Words get around very easily when it comes to Chinese parents. Anyhow, I’m not sure what used to be here. But whatever it may be, it’s totally changed inside and out.
The place felt modern with its new red chairs and is quite well-lit. But, it’s not your typical seafood restaurant. For one, it’s not carpeted, which gives the place a less feel of class. The place is equipped with sound system and a huge lcd screen, so if you’re looking to watch a hockey game on tv, this place has it all.
Right in front of the restaurant, there is a huge window of the view inside the kitchen, which is for orders. But of all places, I wonder why they chose to put it right in front of the door.
The tub of seafood was also right in front of the door. I guess they really wanted to bring out the “seafood” part of the restaurant. And it sure did! The moment I saw the huge crabs and their ad of $4.99/lb, I was thrilled to have crab that night.
They also had other signature food on sale.
My girlfriend and I decided to get one whole crab for the both of us. Our waitress told us it was about 3lbs for an entire crab, so it was alright. Side note, an average crab does not weight more than 3.5lbs, so if it’s more than that you know they are trying to rip you off. At Chinese restaurants like this, unless you know someone working there, it is most likely they will not be entirely honest with the weight of the crab. But, for this price, it’s not a bad deal.
There are quite a bit of styles when it comes to how you want your crab. Most popular with the Chinese crowd is this one, green onion with ginger. The crab is deep fried with a soft batter and then stir-fried with green onion, garlic, onions and ginger. It’s very tasty and yummy! And for $5 more, we added a wonton noodle on the bottom, so we don’t waste the tasty sauce. The noodles here were really good, very chewy and good texture. The overall taste of the crab was just really fresh! Crabs usually don’t come into season till late August or September, but I was really surprised to find crab this tasty in July!
This place is also very famous for its congee, noodles, and rice. Even though we came in at dinner time, many were still ordering congee and noodles. It’s what they are famous for & also a better deal than their normal dinner menus. We had to ask for their congee menu however, I’m guessing they really wanted to push their dinner menu as well, since it was dinner time.
This huge bowl of congee was $5. It was enough for the two of us, as it had a lot of fillings inside. Till now, I still don’t have much idea why they call it Sampan. But according to Wikipedia, Sampan is a relatively flat bottomed Chinese wooden boat used for transportation in coastal rivers. And in olden days, fisherman’s used to go out to sea and just put whatever they fished into the congee and cooked it, and that’s probably how Sampan congee came about.
The total bill came to under $34 with tips and taxes. Not bad for a Chinese seafood dinner. There’s not very much reviews out there right now, probably because it just finish renovating. So, be sure to update me what else is good there!
Until next time.