A pleasant dining experience at Bing Sheng Chinese Restaurant on Renfrew & 2nd Avenue
My dad is as old as the Queen of England, and he can use a treat for his birthday. My dad and I always like to try out different restaurants since we immigrated to Canada from China in 1967. BC Royal Café in Vancouver Chinatown was our first dining adventure. The Char Shui Bow (BBQ pork bun) was as big and as tough as a softball or baseball. Chinese restaurants like Marco Polo, New Diamond, Asia Garden, Ming’s, Ho Ho Chop Suey, Hon’s Wonton, Bamboo Terrace, Hong Kong Café, and Wah Kui were the ones that we can recall trying in those days.
Dad and I worked in a Chinese restaurant, so we understand the challenges facing the business. Consistency in food preparation and services to the guests appears to be difficult to maintain. Let’s skip to our near-perfect dinning experience at Bing Sheng on Wednesday, February 29, 2012. My 9 year-old son and I surveyed the site and test-tasted a dish on Sunday, February 26, 2012. We stayed there for about 2 hours. The place was relatively full with customers. The washroom was relatively clean. Service and food was marginal. We noticed that the food was not overly seasoned with salt or MSG (mono-sodium glutamate). We met our cousins at the restaurant and we were warned not to order the Shark Fin Soup---a traditional Chinese dish. They said that it was not as good as they anticipated. We watched the documentary on Shark Fin Soup on TV, so we decided not to consume the soup. I studied the menu and placed an order which included their signature dishes. It cost us about $100 per person for the dinner. We arrived at 5:30 pm to avoid the crowd and traffic on a Wednesday’s evening. The serving staffs were friendly, efficient and helpful. We noticed that our water glasses were not clean, so the waiter replaced them at the outset. We wasted no time and ate like pigs. Each serving of steamed rice was actually steamed individually. My mom likes eating plain steamed rice, and she gave it a “Thumb Up”. We seldom see steamed rice presented in this manner in Vancouver. Soup of the Day was perfect as it is better than the way we prepare it at home. We had smoke salmon on our appetizer plate, so I thought that we might be in for food prepared from Zen’s in Richmond. Fusion food? Steamed scallops and abalones were prepared the way that we anticipated. There was a lot of Wow Wow coming from the guests. It was a memorable dining experience. We had a table near the window. Décor and ambience suited our preference. Our parents truly enjoyed the food as well as the service. I mentioned to the waiter that such an experience might be difficult to duplicate or replicate. He assured me that it can be repeated. The manager indicated that the cooks were trained in Guangzhou, so every dish is prepared authentically. I shall book-mark this place for many dinning pleasures. Chefs from Sun Sui Wah, Kirin, Shiang Garden, Golden Ocean, Dynasty, Golden Paramount, Hoi Tong, Jade Seafood, Landmark Hot Pot House, Alvin Garden, Bamboo Grove, Bao Bei, Prince, Nine Dishes, and Sea Harbour must be scratching their heads.