I love going food court hopping when I’m visiting the Vancouver area. There are just so many hidden gems, especially those stalls serving up regional Chinese fare that you may not typically find at restaurants. I first learnt about the O’Tray Noodle stall in the President Plaza food court when my foodie friend, Grayelf, took me there when I was in town last November. O’Tray Noodle specializes in street food from the Tianjin region of China. I liked it so much that I wanted to re-visit again on this recent trip as it is not often I get the opportunity to experience Tianjin food.
The menu mainly focuses around noodles and snacks. My favourite item on the menu is the Tian Jin Wrap ($3.75). This wrap is also sometimes known as Jiangbing. Basically, it is like a Chinese breakfast crepe and is a very popular street food item in China. This version from O’Tray Noodle is filled with a thin crispy piece of fried dough in the center along with a sweet bean paste similar to hoisin sauce. I love the crispy texture of the fried dough and the sweetness of the bean paste against egginess of the crepe.
I also really enjoy the Soft Tofu Soup ($3.75) at O’Tray. Normally I’m not even a tofu fan, but the soft tofu at O’Tray is made in-house and is silky and smooth. This soft tofu is served in a flavourful, slightly thickened meat broth and topped with a bit of chili oil, sesame sauce, and fermented bean sauce. This combination of flavours really work well together to turn the otherwise, bland tofu into a tasty treat. Think of this as the savoury counterpart to the traditional sweet tofu flower (dòufuhuā) or tofu pudding that is often served as a Chinese dessert.
I like having both the Tian Jin Wrap and the Soft Tofu Soup together. I find both items really complement each other in terms of texture and flavour. This is the perfect breakfast or snack to have on a rainy day, which is quite often in Vancouver. I wish I would be able to find hidden gems like O’Tray in the food courts in Calgary. In the meantime, I guess I’ll just have to make more frequent trips to Vancouver to get my fill.
#2285, 8181 Cambie Road