If you were to visit Vancouver some twenty years ago, you’d probably have a hard time finding a real Taiwanese restaurant. The Chinese demographic in Vancouver has shifted considerably in the last couple of decades and this has brought along a greater variety of cuisine from different areas. These days, you almost can’t throw a shoe in Richmond without hitting a Taiwanese restaurant with beef noodle soup, bubble tea, and fried chicken nuggets.
With a nondescript storefront in an unassuming strip mall, we find Sunway Restaurant. The exterior really isn’t anything special and, if you weren’t actively looking for it, you’d easily pass right by it. The interior isn’t much to talk of either with a large fridge in the front containing some cold treats, plus just a small handful of tables. Sunway is not going for the same kind of atmosphere that you’d find at places like The One or Ali Shan; it’s far more humble and direct than that.
Maybe it’s because I write and edit for a living, but I couldn’t help to notice the abundance of “Chingrish” on the menu. There are plenty of typos and misspellings, some more humorous than others. You’ll see in the menu image above, for example, that they have a deluxe “reef” [sic] noodle soup. We all know that’s supposed to be “beef.”
Deep Fried Pig Intestine
There’s something wonderful about offal. Here, we have some pig intestine that has been deep fried, served with some pickled vegetables. I would have liked the exterior to be just a little bit crispier, but each rich morsel was delicious and gooey. It’s definitely an acquired taste, but as soon as you acquire it, you’ll always come back for more.
Deep Fried Popcorn Chicken
Susanne went with the popcorn chicken noodle soup. The “noodle soup” part of the equation here isn’t pictured, but we did appreciate that the popcorn chicken was served on the side. If the fried chicken were served in the soup, it’d immediately lose a lot of its seasoning and crispiness. While the overall flavor of this fried chicken was decent and in line with the special Taiwanese seasoning used on so many deep fried things, I did find that there wasn’t quite enough breading or enough frying. It could have been crunchier.
Deluxe Beef Noodle Soup
I went with the
reef beef noodle soup, opting for the wider noodles. In addition the usual brisket, the bowl contained more offal in the form of tripe and tendon. While this bowl of noodles didn’t disappoint, it wasn’t exactly out of this world either. It had the right level of beefy savoriness and contained plenty of beef.
All said, dinner for two came to just under $30 after tax and tip. You’re not paying for the ambiance or the service. Sunway is very much one of those not-too-special restaurants in Richmond that you could revisit out of convenience. It’s good, but not great, but it’s good enough that you’d come back here rather than venture to another unknown hole in the wall for some crispy chicken and beef noodles.
It should be noted that Sunway is quite small and it does not open late, but you do get fresh ingredients prepared well. They just need to hire a copywriter to help edit their English menu… there is a difference between “coming” and “comein,” after all.