For dinner one night in Vancouver, the BF and I went to Peaceful Restaurant. I have a rule about a restaurant’s quality being at an inverse relation to how good their site looks, but my rule was wrong this time. The website was decent, but the food was more than decent; it was comforting, delicious, crave-worthy Chinese food.
We started off with a cucumber appetizer. The cucumbers were crispy and had a slightly spicy taste. It wasn’t “Oh my god, I won’t be able to taste the rest of the meal” spicy. I couldn’t wait to try what was coming next after having this dish.
I ordered the crispy pork-cutlet with dao xiao mien (hand shaved) noodles in broth. The pork cutlet was perfect and not soggy at all. Hand shaved noodles are my favorite type because their varying thickness makes them chewy and soft at the same time without being too mushy. These noodles were up there with the best I’ve ever had. The broth in the soup was clear, rich, savory, and just the right amount of salty.
Never one to turn down xiao long bao (soup dumplings), I ordered a basket of these even though the noodle dish was more than enough for me. The hand-made wrapper was thick and chewy, which I liked, but not everyone may be a fan of. I was impressed that the top “knot” was thin enough not to be a big wad of dough, which some places unfortunately have. The broth inside was fantastic and the filling wasn’t half bad either. Some people may prefer paper-thin xiao long bao skins, but I don’t mind a bit of bite to mine.
The BF ordered the stir-fried dao xiao noodles with some sort of Szechwan spice. He said it wasn’t numbing enough, but the flavor was still good. Peaceful Restaurant has got the wok-chi flavor perfected because these noodles were full of it. I’m jealous because I can never have a high enough fire at home to produce that type of flavor. The noodles were just savory and salty enough not to be too overpowering.
Lastly, we also ordered the pan-fried veggie dumplings (vegan). The wrapper was perfect. Thick and chewy on top, crunchy and fried on the bottom. The filling was mostly greens, cellophane noodle, and tofu, which to me was a bit bland. I would have preferred baked tofu or something more savory in the filling.
Peaceful Restaurant ranks in my top ten casual Chinese restaurants. The dishes were all decently priced and tasted good. The menu was large enough that I can’t really see myself being bored of this place. The staff was also very pleasant and accommodating even after an order mix-up. The place is a bit small and the decor is a fine balance between hole-in-the-wall and 80s version of nice, but that’s how I like my Chinese restaurants.