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No. 47

Mott 32

IN A CITY WITH PLENTY OF EXCELLENT CHINESE RESTAURANTS, the Vancouver outpost of this modern-upscale Hong Kong chain is in a class of its own — and, in its seventh year, busier than ever. Dark and sexy, the industrial-chinoiserie design repurposes vintage birdcages as chandeliers and transforms one of four private rooms into a silk-cushioned pseudo–opium den. An expansive menu (100-plus dishes, all meant for sharing) is mostly contemporized Cantonese, which includes the widely copied but rarely matched black truffle, ibérico pork and soft-quail-egg siu mai. There’s also a notable Sichuanese influence, evidenced, for instance, in the crispy Chongqing “chicken” on the plant-based menu. While group executive chef Lee Man Sing still plays a significant role in menu development, the recent addition of Vancouver-based head chef He Hong Wei is one of many factors helping to cultivate a unique regionally focused identity among Mott 32’s nine locations worldwide. This means, for example, locally foraged mushrooms in lettuce cups, and B.C.-caught Dungeness crab served whole with golden garlic, glutinous rice and preserved sausage. Meanwhile, wine director Robert Stelmachuk shoots past the obvious Riesling and Grand Cru Bordeaux pairings (although he has plenty of both) to offer scores of excellent B.C. bottles.

The best Chinese food in the country, with a great wine and cocktail program. Howard Levitt
Best Seats
Birdcage booth with unobstructed view of the open kitchen.

Photography by Courtesy Mott 32

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