One of the best things about living on the West Coast of Canada, well, apart from the balmy winter weather (I’ve been keeping mum on that out of respect for my Newfie peeps battling an apocalyptic winter) is the mix of many fascinating cultures, what with Canada being so wonderfully diverse and all.
Last week my work took me to Vancouver again and this time I was lucky enough to travel with my lovely colleague who grew up in the city and knows it well. If you don’t know a lot about Vancouver, it boasts a very large Asian population. After years in rural France desperate for decent dim sum I felt it was a golden opportunity. So before we left, I asked my traveling companion (who also happens to be Chinese) to help source out a spot for delicious Chinese fare. And she did not disappoint.
With only a short time to spare before our flight, we hit the Shaolin Noodle House on Broadway, an understated place where the chefs still believe that handmade is best made. They make all their own noodles and the kitchen is in plain view through a giant window.
This chef is holding a giant roll of freshly pressed dough and with a machete like blade he is slicing long ribbons at a frenzied pace into the vat of boiling water. The result is a bowl of irregularly shaped and sized noodles so fine they are almost translucent. Then they get passed to the next station…
where all the delights of China come together in perfect harmony. And before he can say, “The Italians totally stole this idea from us,” you end up with something like this…
In addition to this chicken soup on steroids, we ordered crispy spring rolls stuffed with exotic mushrooms and spices, a large plate of house made steamed pork and chive dumplings, and a mountain sized mound of fried noodles. What can I say, working girls gotta eat and these two obviously had eyes three times the size of their bellies. We barely made a dent into the feast, so we decided to to pile it into take out containers, and take it out we did—all the way to Victoria.
We were traveling by helicopter, a cool method of transport in every aspect. So cool I call it the flying fridge meaning I knew our leftovers would arrive safe and sound. Mid flight I had a thought that made me smile: Here I am, a Newfoundlander who wound her way from Halifax Harbour to a medieval Burgundy town, then to the foot of the Alps on the shores of Lake Geneva, and now I’m flying in a chopper over the Pacific Ocean having just sky checked a plastic bag of Chinese food. That’s what I call using your noodle.