Please note: This restaurant has since closed
Address: 1795 Pendrell Street (corner of Denman), Vancouver.
ReaL opened in January 2008 referring to itself as Urban Chinese Savour – and it is. It finds a gentle combination somewhere between dim sum and jazz bar. Inside ReaL restaurant the chocolate leather chairs and flooring punctuate the upscale mood. The service is slow and relaxed – but they can get away with it – because it’s rarely, if ever, busy.
ReaL has a variety of traditional chinese-canadian dishes. A million types of fried rice and chow mein ($8-11), vermicelli and rice noodle dishes, stews and soups ($6-11), an array of seafood dishes, beef, pork, chicken, tofu, and a decent assortment of veggie options. The most expensive items on the menu are the prawn/calamari mains and they will run you $17. But for the west end – that’s nothing too crazy. The dishes are tasty and are a decent size. You won’t be blown away – but you won’t be pissed off either. And isn’t that the point of going out to eat? We all have the same goal, not to be pissed off. This common goal will be met with success at ReaL.
But forget all that other stuff, the specialty at ReaL is dim sum. Something that is lacking in the west end. So here we go! From $4-6 each dish comes with something between 2 and 8 pieces. Everything I’ve tried was light and delicious in its flavor combos. ReaL ain’t serving up that 40 cent slimy grease-ridden gristle you would get in a cafeteria style slop house. The Crispy Chicken is tender, lightly battered and served with dark basil and a delightful plum chili sauce. The bbq pork buns are the soft, white, steamed sort. And the red wine vinegar goes wonderfully well with the pot stickers.
Damn, come to think of it — now as I’m looking over their menu, I’m oohing and awwing and wondering why I didn’t order the deep fried wonton…or the crystal crab buns. Maybe I’ll have time to stop in for a quick bite tomorrow before work.
The food is good. That’s about it – it’s not amazing, not terrible, not expensive, not cheap. All around good. But seriously, what’s with the capitalization of the ‘L’?
Open: 11am – 11pm daily (10am – 10pm on Sunday)
Reservations: They couldn’t hurt
Bonus: Small patio open on the sunny side of the street!
Other Bonus: They have all sorts of specials (10% off pick up, free delivery, free spring rolls and soup with large delivery orders, 20% off dim sum during the week from 2.30-5.30pm)
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