Shanghai & Szechuan dimsum items and noodle/rice entrees. From dumplings to noodles in soup to fried noodles or rice. This is a family-style Asian diner with inexpensive eats.
I've always been meaning to give that Shanghai Palace on Granville a try but they were closed for a staff vacation. The pictures & menu posted outside of this particular restaurant right next door seemed tempting enough. There seems to be a good number of diners inside enjoying their late lunch meal. I was excited to try the xiao long bao and the szechuan beef noodles, etc. So in we went. To be greated by the first empty table closest to the door. It's grease-filled w/ leftover food bits from the previous set of diners and beyond. It seems only the dishes were removed while a quick dry paper napkin swipe of the grease filled table was made before running back into the kitchen area to prep the next bunch of orders.
Filth aside, the prices are quite affordable. The xiao long bao's were somewhat disappointing, but they were large & relatively inexpensive & pork & sauce filled--nothing interesting in the soup content. But it was alright overall since at least it wasn't dry inside. The beef was prepared nicely as is the homemade noodles themselves. The broth is flavourful. The spicy wonton dish was different--nearly gelatin in texture, but it's still not bad.
I found nothing especially wrong with the food, just that it's not worth a return visit as I'm sure the kitchen, the ingredients, and the utensils & dishes are kept just as unsanitary as the dining tables & spoon that she brought out to me upon request--apparently dishes were not done/cleaned, so she was out of the soup spoon I wanted, and offered me a stained metal one instead.
Food: biggest Shanghainese pork dumplings in Vancouver and Richmond probably. tons of juice, although the wrap is slightly thicker than what I am used to. Beef noodles are also a fan favorite there.
Service: friendly, efficient
Value: I can and have taken a group of purely guys on empty stomachs to eat our fill. Total tab usually is <$10 each.
Ambiance: recently repainted, looks brighter and cozier. Not to bring a first date to, mind you.
Though this place is small and not newly renovated, IT IS CLEAN! I've never seen pieces of food on the floor like I have in other restaurants. Their food is not microwaved, like other places. Almost all their dishes are great. Meatballs, Siao Long Bao, Fried & Soup Noodles, Radish Cake, & the desserts. Service can be slow and servers unresponsive, but the chef always says hi to me.
Great Shanghai snack foods for $4.50 per dish. Delicious noodles for $5-8.
I disagree with the previous reviewer that it's VERY dirty - it's not sparkling and white like your typical high end restaurant, but it is a typical Asian resturant with easy-to-wipe glass tabletops and old furniture and decor.
Only thing I have to complain about is that on my bill, every item was $0.05 to $0.25 more than the listed price on the menu, then tax was added on top of it.
This restaurant is as clean as any for a start , a lot cleaner than the average Earls or McDonalds . The food is outstanding , delicious huge XLB , very finr sichuan beef noodles and a truly wonderful braised pork in chinese wine , all of it at really cheap prices . The place was very busy with locals and the staff was very friendly , putting up with all my questions , the manager even came at the end to ask if I had liked the Braised pork as apparently many anglos don't . Will definitively go back many times .
If your expectations are for a nicely decorated place with super service, go elsewhere and pay 2 or 3 times more. If you want good comfort food at super prices, go to The Place. Amongst orange walls and ceilings that don't match, and servers that usually don't understand much english, there is the owner, short and cute Winnie. She is usually standing behind the counter, making her famous Juicy Pork Dumplings (Siu Long Bao's), and always ready with a big smile. Those juicy dumplings are really good. In fact, I agree with my chinese mother that she makes them better than any other restaurant in town, even the fancier restaurants. But, my absolute favorite are her Steamed Veggie Dumplings, that are full of minced greens, carrots, chinese mushrooms, bean thread noodles, and some other unidentifiable ingredients that make them so flavorful (but no MSG). I have often bought the frozen dumplings to bring home for future snacks, but they always taste best eaten there. The noodle soups are superb, especially the beefy ones, and I can't get enough of the noodles, they're so tender, slippery and tasty! If you talk to Winnie (the only one who understands enough english), she'll even take special orders. For my kids, I usually order the beef noodle soup, with no beef, and extra vegetables. And she always gives my little boys uncooked dumpling dough to play with while we wait for the food. My four year old and I went in the other day, and shared two trays of dumplings, and a big bowl of chicken noodle soup. We finished everything except 2 dumplings, which we brought home and later devoured with pleasure. I've probably been there over 20 times, and we don't live particularly close to the restaurant. Don't let the decor fool you, this is definitely worth going to!