Chinatowns are an interesting phenomenon. And not so much in the fact that a group of people from a country showed up to a new country and settled in one area, but in the way that they no longer really seem to be representative of China. Case in point: while in Vancouver, I knew there was good Chinese to be found, and rather than point me to Chinatown, my hotel pointed me to Richmond, which he called real Chinatown. By real, he meant that the Chinatown on the map was simply no longer authentic, if it ever was. By recommendation, we went to a place called Rainflower to devour dim sum before undertaking the long drive to Jasper.
As opposed to the dim sum I have grown used to, Rainflower took more of a dumpling house tactic of letting the customers mark off their desired dishes on a checklist. This was a nice change from the often-overwhelming carts being pushed around by people who seem disappointed every time I pass on an option.
Despite this difference, Rainflower’s food wasn’t really any different from any dim sum I have had before. Tasty shrimp, flavorful pork, custard tarts and rice noodles all rang true, plus I was pleased to see xiaolongbao included in the offerings. Being one of my favorite Chinese dishes, it seemed that Rainflower knew how to make me happy. It wasn’t my favorite xiaolongbao, but it sure was a nice addition.
Now, I must say that as happy as I was with the typical dim sum I had at Rainflower, I couldn’t help but think Vancouver could offer me something better. It had satisfied my hunger, but with such a great Chinese population and easy access to Asia and the oceans, I had some lofty expectations and while Rainflower met the lowest of expectations, I would like to wager that something better is out there.