I remember reading good reviews about this place so I decided to take my parents there on our weekly lunch excursions. We arrived to an almost empty restaurant (my usual reaction would be to go elsewhere) but my dad (probably responding to hunger pangs) suggested we just try it since we were there at the door already. We ordered the 'signature' beef noodles, XLB (xiao long bao - steamed pork dumplings), Taiwanese fried noodles, and deep fried porkribs. We were advised that the XLB will take 15 minutes. We got excited thinking that they must make the dumplings fresh if it takes that long - until I saw the waitress in the back reaching into the freezer to retrieve the frozen dumplings - STRIKE 1.
The first dish to arrive was the Taiwanese fried noodles. Hmm...how should I describe the dish? Like pig slop. No exaggeration...The noodles were tossed with some sauce and the veggies and meat were laid on top. No frying here, that's for sure! I wish I had taken a picture of the dish. It was the saddest dish of food I've seen ever served at a restaurant. And there was barely enough on the little side plate it came on to feed my 2 year old nephew! - STRIKE 2.
Then came the deep fried porkribs. It was one half-fried pork chop (the other half was soggy) cut up with scissors into bite size pieces. - STRIKE 3.
The beef noodles came next. They're signature - you can't screw this up! And they didn't...but how they can call the beef noodles their signature is the first question to be answered. Noodles faintly tasted of dish detergent (?), beef was, well, it was beef, soup was, well, soup.
Finally, the XLB arrived with a VERY conservative dish of black vinegar (I won't even mention the missing ginger slivers - oh, I just did). When I asked the waitress for some more vinegar, she returned with a bottle containing a clear liquid. I pointed to the black vinegar on our table and explained that I wanted BLACK vinegar, not white. And she matter-of-factly told us that they 'make' their own black vinegar with the white vinegar. HUH? My parents are from Hong Kong and though I was born in YVR, I am very well-versed in Asian cuisine, and none of us have ever heard such nonsense before. Why (and how) would anyone 'mix' their own black vinegar when you can just buy a bottle of the stuff from any Chinese grocery? Absurd! - YOU'RE OUT!!!
My parents have rated this restaurant "The worse food I've had in Vancouver in the almost 40 years we've been here"... How many stars is that?