We started off with a short walk through the Vancouver Chinatown Market and tried some cha siew bao (pork buns), sui mai (open face dumplings), potstickers, spring rolls and green onion pancakes. Some of the items were decent, but it’s obvious they’ve been sitting there in the warmers for a while.
While we munched away, Executive Chef Todd Bright from Wild Rice would take the time to explain and talk about the traditional ways of preparation and the ingredients used.
Just a little further East, we stopped at a few grocery stores where Todd reveled in and expressed delight at the variety of produce available, all of which are mostly local.
Chevrolet picked us up in style in the Equinox LTZ (below) and the Orlando (not shown) and took us through a short drive through Stanley Park. It was nice to be chauffeured around and get to know the cars and the features a bit.
After the drive, we were dropped off in front of Wild Rice.
I will fully admit, that as an Asian, “modern asian cuisine” simply does not appeal to me as much for more than a couple reasons. The interior of this place is quite industrial and open aired, pleasant to the eyes.
So following the taste tests of the items at the market earlier, it was now time to try out Todd’s versions at Wild Rice.
Todd showed us two ways of making siu mai, with the below picture being the “gwai lo” version, slapping the whole thing meat side down and just tuck everything in, as opposed to the traditional Chinese way of tucking it in a little pocket between the thumb and index finger.
The other item was a dumpling potsticker, with the most important part being the folds, and then invited us to get our hands dirty and try so ourself.
After cleaning up, we were seated and Todd soon brought out Wild Rice’s version of siu mai. Fresh pork from a butcher out in the valley with Ocean Wise sidestripe shrimp, these were good with no use of msg or any additives.
The second dish, Lamb Potstickers (braised Fraser Valley lamb) served on top of a pea and mint puree. An interesting twist on a classic dish, and the flavours all played together well. Both these two dishes are available on the menu regularly for $7 each and comes with 4 pcs.
A modern twist on the Sweet and Sour Pork, with the sweet coming from the braised pork (complete with pigs skin crackle!) and the sour from the pickled watermelon cubes. Together along with plain blanched vegetables, this was a unique combination of flavours on the tongue. It sort of looks like pulled pork…oh and it’s served in a larger portion for $12.
We finished off with some made especially for the event dessert, 2 Chocolate Szechuan cookies, made-from-scratch Rice Krispie squares with lavender rooibos marshmellow and a cupcake with a berry compote and lemon icing.
It was an intimate event, and I must thank Todd Bright and our hosts for the experience. I can fully appreciate the local sustainable food practice used by Wild Rice, and would actually consider coming back one day..my Asian-ness be damned.