39 Smithe Street, Vancouver
Advice: Reservations suggested. Open daily. On the third floor of Parq Vancouver.
With it’s focus on Fine Dining Chinese cuisine, this new restaurant is named after the year Chinatown emerged in Vancouver. 1886 is the ultimate destination for urban fine dining, offering innovative dishes from four culinary regions of China: Canton, Szechuan, Hunan, and Shanghai.
The dining room is stunning, elegant booths, round tables as well as some private dining rooms, there is a live seafood tank filled with seasonal delicacies and table-side tea service. Michelin Star Chef Richard Chen leads the kitchen as well as the menu development and service is top notch. Most of the dishes are served family style and sharing is encouraged.
Lawrence and I started our dining adventure with their Gaiwan Tea Service and I enjoyed the Iron Godess of Mercy Tea. This tea service is done table side and it is something to watch.
The Imperial Peking Duck was carved table side and this was one incredible dish making for an amazing sharing experience, for $90 you get 2 courses, the first is the traditional dish that comes with, mandarin crepes, cucumber, scallion, hoisin and they make them and serve to you. The 2nd dish is your choice of soup or salad, I chose the salad option which was the Peking Duck Salad with almonds, crisp orange truffle vinaigrette and we loved it.
The next dishes that I ordered were the delicious Wok Tossed Lingcode Flllet ($42) with wild golden chanterelle mushroom, winter bamboo shoot, snow peas; and the outstanding Wok Tossed Wagyu Beef ($99) with sautéed matsutake mushroom, snow peas, black peppercorn sauce served with black pepper sauce on the side. This dish perfectly paired with the glass of Cedar Creek Pinot Noir which we both had with this dish.
The Seafood Egg White Fried Rice ($26) was an incredible dish filled with seafood; the Yu Shang Braised Eggplant ($15) with shitake mushroom was another incredible dish and the presentation was superior as well. The Pan Seared Chicken and Vegetable Crispy Egg Noodle ($19) was similar to a chow mein and very good.
For dessert, we tried three, each quite different and all very good, the desserts are $12 each, The Red Bean Creme Brulee and almond cookies was my ultimate favourite followed by the Cotton Cake with plum wine & huckleberry syrup another unique offering; lastly the refreshing Tropical Fruit Sago strawberries, banana, mango, passionfruit, grapefruit, coconut ice cream.
The menu is vast, there is a large selection of live seafood cooked to order, a section of Cantonese specialties, a nightly Dim Sum as well as a daily Dim Sum service which I look forward to trying on my next visit. They also offer a couple of different multi-course tasting menus including the Autumn Tasting Menu (changes seasonlly) and the Peking Duck Tasting Menu. If you are looking to enjoy a fine dining experience with your loved one or with your family or wish to impress your out of town guests then you are going to enjoy this 1886 dining experience.
Review by: Richard Wolak