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3.5
  • Food4
  • Service3.5
  • Value4
  • Ambiance2
  • Reviews9

Gain Wah

218 Keefer Street
Vancouver, BC V6A1X5
Tel: (604) 684-1740
Neighbourhood: Central
  • Cuisine: Chinese
  • Price: $$ ($15 - $30)
  • A classic Chinatown landmark. BBQ Meats, Soup Noodles, Congee, and Wok fried Dungeness Crab at bargain prices. The charismatic and chain smoking old man butcher, unfortunately, no longer works there.

Reviews

Displaying 1 - 9 of 9 Reviews FoundSort: Useful | Helpful | Reviews | Date
Standard Chinatown Fare
By hydeeho of Burnaby (182 Reviews)
Submitted Sunday, August 10, 2008 - 7:51pm [Dine in]

Had 2 of the $5.95 specials and the steamed bass with black bean sauce. Nothing outstanding. The squid with seasonal vegetables was chewy as the membrane was not removed making it difficult to eat. The free rice which came with the specials was a little hard indicating it sat for longer then normal. Servers were pleasant and helpful. Restaurant has a real tired look to it. All in all not a visit I will be repeating.

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MSG overload
By hungryjo of Vancouver (175 Reviews)
Submitted Thursday, February 19, 2009 - 2:46pm [Dine in]

Been here twice. Once was for wonton noodle soup, it was good and cheap but very small. Any human being would need to eat 2 bowls to be full or satisfied.
Second time I was sick and was craving for congee (rice porridge) and to my surprise, the congee was full of msg. I could barely eat it but I really wanted something plain and hot.
As for service, you can't expect much at a Chinese restaurant. But I did noticed that a few staffs there speak fluent English which is a bonus for tourists.

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Great deal on good food
By RickL of vancouver (10 Reviews)
Submitted Wednesday, January 4, 2012 - 7:51am [Dine in]

I have always gone here for my cogee fix but last night we went there for supper and it did not disappoint! We had wonton soup and five dishes for 6 people and we had lots left over. The dry garlic spare ribs were very tasty and not at all greasy. We had kow nyook (sp?) which my sister remebered as a child and we have not had in 20 years. They were able to make that and it was quite amazingly good! The house special chow mein was also a good choice as well. Since they've remodelled the ambiance is ten times better. We will definately be back again and I whole heartedly recommend it. DK what the previous MSG poster's complaint is all about.

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AMAZING food... there are ordering secrets!
By audiata of Vancouver, BC (3 Reviews)
Submitted Monday, January 21, 2008 - 9:56am [Dine in]

When you first go in this place it will seem standard Chinatown restaurant - not much in the way of atmosphere or decor, etc. The food deals are incredible, though -- besides the full menu, there are 3 full pages of specials -- there's so much to read, you won't know what to order.
But here's the trick: the best dishes, as one of the previous reviewers said, are off-menu.
I recommend the steamed sea bass in ginger and green onion sauce -- this keeps me going back to Gain Wah. Also the braised tofu hotpot is delicious.
It's worth going back just to keep trying all the dishes.

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awesome
By hilabeans of Vancouver (1 Review)
Submitted Friday, January 20, 2006 - 1:06am [Dine in]

The food is awesome. Ask for the sea bass in black bean sauce - not on the menu. The live crab tank is fantastic as well as the prepartion of the crab - 3 ways if I remember correctly. Spicy pork with noodles and BBQ duck is always a favorite as well as the wonton soup. Not the fanciest place in town, but always consistent with food and service.

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cheap, good, solid
By momotaro of New Westminster (28 Reviews)
Submitted Sunday, December 10, 2006 - 11:17pm [Dine in]

We went here based on the recs here. A bargain. And worth the visit.

I don't think any of us ordered off the standard menu. The $5.95 specials were good.

My only quibble was that the rice seemed a little on the dry side. I prefer stickier rice.

BTW, if you like potstickers, try the ones they make here. They're more fried, than pan fried, but have such a good home-made taste, that you don't feel bad about the extra fat.

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Look beyond the grunge
By ToddGack of West End (19 Reviews)
Submitted Thursday, July 17, 2008 - 4:20pm [Dine in]

This place is a gem in the rough. The crab sauteed with ginger, garlic and green onion is outstanding, and very inexpensive. The ma po tofu on rice is sublime as is the bbq duck. The steamed rice is served in green thermos like containers that keeps it fresh. Any time I get the craving for good crab, I head to Gain Wah.

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good food for cheap
By anything19713 of south granville, vancouver (15 Reviews)
Submitted Saturday, November 18, 2006 - 12:44am [Dine in]

i usually go to gain wah when in chinatown. i find that the food quality is as high as it gets around that area. also, they are the only restaurant in chinatown open late. ive been there over 15x and i dont think ive ever had a bad meal there

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my favourite Chinese restaurant
By chrisjung of north vancouver (2 Reviews)
Submitted Monday, December 29, 2008 - 12:11am [Dine in]

This is my favourite low-priced Chinese restaurant. The food is second to none in quality. A good authentic Chinese restaurant uses the proper fresh seasonings to get the right taste. These guys do it. The servings are large and the food is always very fresh. The value is outstanding. Most dishes on rice cost $5-10 and you get a free soup and free tea of course. The menus and specials are well explained in English. The servers bring the food fast and they do not bother you to buy more drinks or make you finish up fast. The shop is a bit old and run-down, but then so are most of the restaurants in Chinatown. Gain Wah gets my highes recommendation in quality and value. I have never had a bad meal in the 5 or 6 years I have been going there.

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