If by some feat of magIc you were suddenly dropped into Richmond , British Columbia , it might take a minute to realize that you were still in Canada . Looking around , you ’ d spy Chinese lanterns hanging from storefronts and streets choc-a-bloc with Asian restaurants . Perhaps you ’ d glance upward and see the sky illuminated by the neon signs of a night market .
Richmond is where East meet West . A visit here is akin to travelling to Asia without crossing the Pacific , as nearly two-thirds of the population is of Asian
International Buddhist Temple
Go West for Eastern Culture
a legacy of asian immigration has given richmond , B . C . its unique flavour
by tRacy Hyatt
descent — from China , Taiwan and Hong Kong , but also Japan , Korea and the rest of the Asian diaspora . Pick a day or two and discover the charms of this vibrant coastal city that ’ s right next door to Vancouver .
tastes of the town By far the best way to experience Richmond ’ s Asian culture is by taking a curious appetite to Alexandra Road , known locally as “ Food
Har gow : a dim sum staple
Street .” With 200-plus eateries lining the three blocks , it ’ s a foodie ’ s dream filled with hot pots , pho , dim sum , sushi and more .
Dim sum is an institution here ; it ’ d be downright foolish not to indulge . At Empire Seafood Restaurant , the small-bites meal is served seven days a week and as early as 9 a . m . The kitchen turns out beautiful har gow ( shrimp dumplings ) and siu mai ( pork and shrimp dumplings ), as well as standout wu gok , a shareable , deep-fried dumpling with mashed taro and duck .
Empire is one of more than 15 eateries , ranging from beloved holein-the-wall spots to fine-dining establishments , that comprise Richmond ’ s Dumpling Trail . At Suhang Restaurant , you can savour Shanghainese fare like xiao long bao soup dumplings . Served with dipping vinegar , these meat- and soup-filled nibbles are so tasty that they ’ re worth the inevitable drips down your shirt . One thing to remember about the food scene here is that many of the more adventurous offerings are found tucked away in shopping malls and markets — like the Richmond Night Market , open from May to mid-October . As the sun sets , locals and visitors alike descend on this wildly popular destination for amazing street eats , including barbecue skewers , pan-fried satay squid and Korean-style pork belly . The bazaar also hosts dozens of stalls hawking clothes , electronics and other bric-a-brac . temple : riChard Wong / alamY ; marKet , har goW : tourism riChmond