I participated in a wonderful, educational and tasty tour of Chinatown in Vancouver with Bob Sung. The last time I participated in one of his tours was 10 years ago and this one was quite different from the last one in a great way. Each time one takes a tour in their own city they learn a thing, two or more and in this case I also learned more about this wonderful neighborhood that is full of history.
Bob is a formerly trained chef, an advocate for Chinatown and is a history buff, and he loves to share it all with guests partaking in his tours. The day that I participated, there were guests from Boston and Seattle as well as Saskatoon and Kelowna.
We walked, talked and tasted our way around starting off at the park at Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden in the heart of Chinatown which was incorporated in 1981, is a self-sustaining, not-for-profit organization with the mandate to maintain and enhance the bridge of understanding between Chinese and Western cultures, promote Chinese culture generally and be an integral part of the local community.
Our next stop was to Chinatown BBQ to taste some of the BBQ Pork which has made them famous. From there we walked to the nearby New Town Bakery for their famous Apple Tarts, and then to the Chinatown Storytelling Centre.
One of the newest attractions to open in Chinatown within the past year is the Chinatown Storytelling Centre which was very well designed, I learned so much while on this visit, and I was fortunate to have Bob guide me and the others through it.
Our next stop was to a nearby Chinese Medicine shop and learned about some of the items there, we visited a butcher ship, a fishmonger, then a stop at Maxim’s Bakery original location for Portugese Egg Tarts.
We then enjoyed partaking in a tea tasting at Olivia’s Treasure Tea that I love. Here we were treated to a traditional Chinese Tea Ceremony (Gong-Fu Cha) lead by Olivia, the owner who served us mini-tea cups and did a multi tea pour to show us the different tastes of the tea leaves. We had a chance to tour the shop looking at all of their teas and wares.
The afternoon concluded with a delicious Dim Sum lunch at Floata Seafood Restaurant where the group of 10 enjoyed tasting many different dim sum dishes that included the soup dumplings, rice rolls, Singapore noodles, radish cake, congee, and more finishing off with their tasty sesame balls.
By: Richard Wolak