When I was visiting Vancouver back in September, Big Chef Restaurant in Richmond was one of my top choices for Cantonese food. After having read some stellar reviews from fellow Chowhounds who had a Chowdown at Big Chef back in August, I was intrigued. For this dinner, I met up with my foodie friend Grayelf, her SO and fellow Chowhound, DylanLK, who also happened to be in town that week. Since Grayelf had partaken in the Chowdown previously, we followed her lead on what dishes to order.
We started off with a small order of Auntie Song’s Fish Soup ($10.80 for small; $14.80 for medium; $17.80 for large). I was surprised at how generous the portion was for a small as there was enough soup for the four of us and most of us even had a second helping as well. This soup reminded me of the Fish Thick Soup from Long’s Noodle House but I thought this version was even better.
The hint of vinegar in the soup added a bit of tanginess and really helped to brighten the flavours. It’s not often that I’m that impressed with soup but this soup actually turned out to be my favourite dish of the evening and is definitely a must order item at Big Chef.
Our first dish was the Stir Fried Scallop and Chicken with Chili Pepper ($17.80). This dish was well-executed. Both the chicken and scallop were tender and flavourful. Personally, I found this dish be a touch on the oily side but it was very tasty nonetheless. Of course, our favourite part of the dish was the crispy deep-fried spinach leaves.
Next up was the dish that I’d be dying to try, the Steamed Assorted Preserved Egg with Dry Scallops ($14.80). After having this dish described by several Chowhounds as a Chawan mushi-like savoury custard, I was instantly intrigued. Ever since I had the outstanding Chawan mushi prepared by Michelin-starred chef, Hiro Sone, at the CHARCUT Collaboration Dinner in Calgary this past summer, I’ve been craving Chawan mushi. Though this dish is not true Chawan mushi, I was hoping it would satisfy my craving nonetheless. As the name of the dish suggests, it consisted of a silky-smooth savoury custard with a mixture of salted egg as well as century egg (aka thousand-year egg or pídàn) chunks along with some dried scallops. I was really impressed at the perfect execution. The combination flavours were just spot on.
Lastly, we had the Steamed Minced Pork with Salted Fish ($15.80). Again, this dish was executed with precision. It was definitely one of the better versions that I’ve had to date. The salted fish (ham yu) was pronounced while minced pork was very tender and flavourful. This dish really complemented the Steamed Assorted Preserved Egg with Dry Scallops well and I thoroughly enjoyed them in combination.
The complimentary dessert consisted of a sweet soup with coconut milk, taro, and tapioca pearls. This is actually one of my favourite Chinese dessert soups. I definitely prefer it over the traditional red bean soup.
Overall, I was actually quite impressed with our meal at Big Chef. It was definitely one of the better Cantonese meals I’ve had in Vancouver in a long time. All of the dishes were very well executed. There wasn’t a dish we had that I wouldn’t order again. The most memorable for me was definitely Auntie Song’s Fish Soup. I’m really glad I had the opportunity to check out Big Chef on this recent trip as I now have found a great place not only for dinner but for late night eats as well. Big Chef is open daily from 5pm to 2am. They are actually not open for lunch.
Big Chef Restaurant
#1060, 8580 Alexandra Road