The Place

February 17th, 2008 · 5 Comments

xiaolongbao-down banner

Target 2: The Place 8028 Granville St (map)
Phone: 604-261-3948
Menu: Page 1
Price: $4.55 for 6 baos

Visit date: February 1st, 2008
Visit time: 7:30 PM


Jason’s ratings

Soup: 7.5/10
Pastry: 7/10
Meat: 8.5/10
Other items & condiments: 3.25/5
Service & atmosphere: 3.5/5

Jason’s total: 7.46/10

Des’ ratings –

Soup: 8/10
Pastry: 8/10
Meat: 8.5/10
Other items & condiments: 4/5
Service & atmosphere: 3.5/5

Des’ total: 8/10

Total Score (averaged across both raters, all variables) = 7.73
Quality per dollar (based on an order of six) = 1.6989

Jason’s notes –

The Place is a member of a very select group. It happens to be one of the few respectable xiaolongbao destinations actually located in Vancouver proper. It’s also easily confused with it’s neighbor, the Shanghai Palace, and I have to think the similarly named competition isn’t good for business. If someone is choosing between a restaurant called the palace or the place, it’s not really a hard decision. Unless of course, the place in question happens to be a palace, in which case it’s a toss-up. Although it’s hard to beat a palace, I think The Place gives them a run for their money, and is certainly one of the top xiaolongbaos in town. first thing to note about The Place’s xiaolongbao is that they are quite large, but manage to hold together well. This structural integrity is offset in my mind by a bit too much thickness in the exterior. That’s a minor quibble, especially given the large piece of exceptionally fatty pork tucked away inside, and a very nice broth (that could have perhaps been seasoned a bit more).

As is our tradition, Des and and I also ordered a few other items that eventually turned into a large, decadent meal. We started off with the Nanjing-salted duck (Nanjing yan shui ya, $5.95), a cold appetizer, that demanded we eat with our hands to separate the duck meat from the bones. Salty and fatty, it was a good start to the meal. Our other appetizer-type-thing was the beef sandwiches (Niu rou shao bing, $4.55) which were basically slices of beef and onion inside of freshly baked flaky pastry. Although they were nearly impossible to eat without leaving crumbs everywhere, Des and I enjoyed these mightily. As our mains, we shared the house noodles (Zhao pai shou la mian, $8.15) and the braised meatballs (Hongshao shizi tou, $9.15). While I thought the noodles were just your basic fried noodles, the braised meatballs were something of a very different sort. These two herculean-sized balls of braised pork, replete with chunks of fat were no easy feat after a meal including duck, noodles cooked with pork fat and dumplings full of pork fat. I do have to admit that the baby bok-choy braised with the meatballs were a nice respite, but Des and I soon bowed out and took the rest home.

In sum, The Place is a great place, with friendly (albeit slow) service and delightful food. Just be careful you don’t overexert yourself, a lesson that once learned, is hard to forget.

Place on Urbanspoon

Tags: Chinese · Xiaolongbao

5 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Knightafter // Mar 7, 2008 at 6:30 pm

    Are you aware that THE PLACE just changed hands ? Lin who ran it for years opened LIN’S at broadway/granville , she is one of the best cooks in this city . Her Southasian pancake (was $2.50 at the Place , now sadly $5 at Lin’s) is one of the best appys anywhere .
    But it sounds that whoever bought THE PLACE is doing a good job , I will go and check it out .

  • 2 Jason // Mar 7, 2008 at 8:42 pm

    damn. when did this happen?

  • 3 Knightafter // Mar 14, 2008 at 9:11 pm

    about a month ago

  • 4 Michelle // Apr 24, 2008 at 5:19 am

    Is the food still good and the Place? Do they still have good XLB?

  • 5 Jason // Apr 24, 2008 at 10:53 am

    Yes, it still is very good.

Leave a Comment