Stopped for lunch in the First Avenue Marketplace (at East 1st and Renfrew Street) in east Vancouver, stopping in at the Venice Garden Seafood Restaurant.

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This is a larger establishment (probably seats 120-150) which serves a wide range of chinese cuisine, from simple congee and noodles, to fancier banquet style seafood dishes.

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We went with the fish and preserved egg congee

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This is a classic simple chicken broth, simmered with a small amount of rice which thickens the porridge (and provides the lumpiness), it was accented with pieces of white fish and slices of preserved egg, and garnished with fried peanuts and scallions.  It was accompanied by the prerequisite chinese donut

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The congee was quite thick and lumpy, which I don’t mind, and it had decent flavor.  The chinese donuts were pretty good, crisp on the outside, but spongy and bready on the inside.

Ordinarily, we would imagine having crab for lunch, but then had a special, and plenty of other people in the restaurant seemed to be having it so we gave it a try.

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This was a medium-sized Dungeness crab, segmented and stir-fried with onions, ginger and scallions and served with a thick chicken based sauce.  This was pretty good, the crab was cooked to about the right doneness, with lots of aroma from the ginger and onions.  I’ve had better (and worse) crab around town, but none at the price offered here ($10 for a whole crab).

We also ordered some of the Singapore style noodles

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This is thread rice noodles, stir-fried with onions, green peppers, prawns, barbecued pork, and egg, accented with curry flavors (and in spite of its name, isn’t really served in Singapore).  This was pretty, there was some decent flavor and proper seasoning, but it was a tad on the dry side for me liking.

The servers were efficient, but not especially attentive or friendly (which is par-for-the-course for most chinese restaurants around town).

The fare here was decent and a good value.

Venice Garden Seafood Restaurant 海皇美食 on Urbanspoon

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