Bravo to Alvin Garden in Burnaby (and a Lao Shan Dong Bonus)

With all of my reports on Vancouver and Richmond, I’ve been remiss in reporting about one of my favorite restaurants in the area: Alvin Garden in Burnaby. This Hunanese restaurant is for serious spice lovers; I’ve learned not to take chili pepper-fearing friends who’ve threatened to end our friendship. (It’s not like I sabotaged them to go!) The spiciness makes me salivate, pulling me in. Or maybe it’s because Alvin Garden satisfies my love of offal? Some dishes I’ve enjoyed and recommend:

Alvin Garden's spicy pork ears

Alvin Garden’s spicy pork ears

"Pork heart with five spices"

“Pork heart with five spices”

Pork tripe with leek flower

Pork tripe with leek flower

Stir-fried garlic bolt with Hunan smoked pork

Stir-fried garlic bolt with Hunan smoked pork

Lamb with pickled green chili at Alvin Garden

Lamb with pickled green chili at Alvin Garden

Also in Burnaby is a little restaurant with a mission: Lao Shan Dong Homemade Noodle House. As a fan of beef noodle soup, I was anxious to give this place a try, comparing their version to Chef Hung’s and the one I make at home. It’s a very good noodle soup, slightly sweeter than Chef Hung’s. I prefer Chef Hung’s thicker noodles and broth very more depth of flavor, but wouldn’t hesitate to return—if I can’t get into Alvin Garden.

Braised beef flank and tendon with noodle in soup

Braised beef flank and tendon with noodle in soup

"Spicy sour mustard" (to which my server asked, "Do you really want that?")

“Spicy sour mustard” (to which my server asked, “Do you really want that?”)

Alvin Garden ?????? on Urbanspoon

Lao Shan Dong Homemade Noodle House on Urbanspoon



6 Responses to “Bravo to Alvin Garden in Burnaby (and a Lao Shan Dong Bonus)”

  1. LotusRapper
    December 12, 2015 at 8:49 am #

    Hi Jay,

    I bet with a very favorable currency exchange for you these days, coming up to Lotusland for good noms is more tempting than ever !

    Really enjoy your blog, btw, and I’ve been doing so for the past 2-3 years. Keep up the great work.

    I just want to quickly add some local yokel info to your knowledge base. Lao Shan Dong (us locals affectionately refer to them as “LSD”, haha) has a sister resto a little further east on Kingsway in Burnaby, called The One. “TO” is oriented to the younger crowd who stay up later. Generally the same menu as LSD, but with more in the way of BBTs and other non-alc drinks the younglings enjoy:

    And since you like Taiwanese Beef Noodles (TBN) like that at LSD and Chef Hung, there’s another TBN (& pho) resto in close vicinity to LSD. The resto, a serious-hole-in-wall, is called The Green Bamboo, and is situated at Crystal Mall, the Chinese mall just west of Metrotown Mall. Green Bamboo’s only entrance is from the west side of Crystal Mall building, accessed from Willingdon Avenue. It’s best *not* to park in the Crystal Mall underground parkade, but rather just find an on-street spot. Green Bamboo has Vietnamese dishes *and* Taiwanese dishes but their menu can be a bit confusing distinguishing the Viet noodles from the Chinese noodle bowls, so be sure to clarify with the only waitress whose name is Olive :-)

    Their Viet fried rolls (cha gio) seriously rocks !!!

  2. Jay
    December 12, 2015 at 9:40 am #

    Thanks for the kind words and the scoop on some new places. I should get back to Burnaby some trip. Hard to get me out of Richmond, though! Anyway, will keep your recommendations on file. I’ve appreciated that you’ve been a great resource for me when I’ve researched restaurants up in your direction.

  3. LotusRapper
    December 12, 2015 at 1:37 pm #

    NP ! Yeah IKR ?!? ….. Richmond is really a one-stop shop, and within such a small area there’s such diversity of restos and cuisines.

    You’d also find me, and other MUCH more knowledgeable people than I, on Chowhound BC/Vancouver, where we hang.

    And Scout Vancouver is good on having the pulse on the newest and upcoming restos in the local scene:

  4. FYLegend
    December 25, 2015 at 4:53 am #

    After trying the original Lao Shan Dong in Ximending today, I’m somewhat disappointed by the Burnaby location. It is still decent but it just doesn’t capture the original flavour. The Taiwan location is less sweetened and more savoury and spicy. Pearl House’s Beef Noodle actually tastes more like the original Lao Shan Dong! It also comes with wide/flat noodles that are really nice but they may be suspect to tangling or clumping.

  5. Jay
    December 25, 2015 at 7:57 am #

    Thanks so much for taking time to share your insight! Will have to keep Pearl House in mind if I get back to Burnaby.

  6. LotusRapper
    January 13, 2016 at 10:50 pm #

    @FYLegend: so Lao Shan Dong originated in Taipei ? I didn’t know that. I was born there but left at a relatively young age (I vaguely remember shopping in the Ximending district).

    Sounds like you’re in Vancouver too. Are you referring to the Pearl House on Sperling ?

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