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“Go for the Dim Sum, the main dishes although ample are not the tastiest” 3 of 5 stars
Review of Szechuan Chongqing Seafood

Szechuan Chongqing Seafood
88 West Pender Street, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada (Downtown)
(604) 734-1668
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Ranked #1,973 of 2,895 Restaurants in Vancouver
Cuisines: Chinese, Dim Sum, Seafood
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Dining options: Reservations, Delivery
Neighborhood: Downtown
Vancouver
Top Contributor
79 reviews 79 reviews
57 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 18 cities Reviews in 18 cities
49 helpful votes 49 helpful votes
“Go for the Dim Sum, the main dishes although ample are not the tastiest”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed March 17, 2013

I have been going to this restaurant at a few of the Vancouver locations, but generally head to the Broadway location which is found on the 2nd floor between Fir and Pine Streets (tucked bet. Burrard and Granville St.)
If I had written this year 6 years ago, it would have received a higher rating... I go for the Dim Sum, and they used to do cart service: where they wheel a steaming cart around, or bring by plates for you to make selections.
Now, in 2013, they have stopped doing this and the menu is rather streamlined. For those who have no idea what to order for dim sum, you lose the visual appeal of seeing the dishes and making more of an informed choice. Secondly, and I heard this upon my last visit this week: the dishes have skyrocketed in price. It wasn't too long ago that each and every one of their dim sum dishes was $2.75 a piece, then in a 3 year period, many have been raised to more than double the price. (The tiny menu where you tick off your selections lists items and their prices: a large item is $5.95 + tax, and the dish is not a large portion which is very misleading).
In a nutshell, what used to cost me under $20.00 to feed 2 people now costs bet. $35.00 and $40.00 with a tip included. Here are some examples: Fried green beans are $5.25 for a portion the size of a man's hand (these are however, some of the best, spiciest szechuan beans in the city), the deep fried prawn triangles are $5.25 for 3 pcs, Shui Mai (pork dumplings w/ prawns) are $4.95 for 4. So yes, with many other dim sum places to dine at, I feel the value has slipped.
I have listed it at a higher cost per person, because comparatively, it has jumped almost double in 3 years... that is a major price hike (and what used to be a booming business with door waits, has died down considerably... many empty tables and no more door waits.)
They renovated their locations in 2012 with new paint job, new flooring, new window blinds, and have opted for paper overlays on the table, when they used to have plastic tablecloths that they would pull off the tables full of dirty dishes and just bring them back to the kitchen. Times have changed, but with that, the place has lost much of it's charm.
The price and selection for dim sum was what made this place so fun, but now I go seldomly go back... not sure if it changed ownership, but it kinda feels like it's gouging. Been twice for regular dinner dishes and was not impressed by the flavours. For Szechuan, my favorite which has never disappointed, is Won More down on Denman street near English Bay.

  • Visited March 2013
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
    • 3 of 5 stars Food
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42 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    5
    16
    4
    6
    11
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • German first
  • Any
English first
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
6 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
“Below Average (BLAH)”
1 of 5 stars Reviewed March 11, 2013

Better Chinese food at the Mall Food Court! I thought Szechuan food should be spicy? Sweet tasting and Uninteresting! Please try another. A side note the service was friendly and humorous. Good Luck....:(

    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 1 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Vancouver, Canada
Contributor
12 reviews 12 reviews
10 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
“Friendly service was the only plus”
1 of 5 stars Reviewed March 4, 2013

I've been to the Szechuan Chongquing on Commercial Drive many times, and it's my favourite Chinese restaurant. I thought the one on Broadway (although not related) would be similar, but no such luck. Everything that could be bad was bad The friendly host/manager did not make up for the negatives, which were:
They only had the large bottles of Tsingtao beer; they were out of the regular size;
They were so much overstaffed that we had a number of different staff come to our table to ask the same thing (Do you have a groupon? Can you show me please (after we'd given it to the previous staff); (Do you want a drink?; We've ordered from the other fellow); (Do you want another drink? We ordered from the other fellow and we're still waiting); (and having many different staff people wandering by our table, smiling, and walking away.
We ordered Orange Peel Beef and got Mongolian Beef;
The portion size was about 1/2 the size of the Commercial Drive restaurant. On Commercial, my partner and I would have been full on 3 dishes and had take-away. Here, we easily put away four.
The dishes marked "H" were not hot; they were mild to medium. Not nearly as tasty as I had expected.
And here is the 'kicker": My partner, who likes eggplant, suggested that as the vegetable dish we have "fried eggplant with chili oil and sour sauce" and that sounded good to me. I had a fair bit of it. Then about an hour after we got home, my stomach started acting up. I spent much of the night in the bathroom and it was not pretty. I was wondering what could have done it, as my partner wasn't reacting, and she then told me that the eggplant dish had chunks of pork in it. I don't eat pork, and my body was obviously rebelling, and since I don't eat it, I didn't recognize it in the dish. I assumed the chunks were eggplant or another veg. I can understand that every single ingredient may not be listed on a menu but to omit "pork" from a dish that otherwise would be vegetarian????? I was not pleased.
So that's our experience. Despite the friendliness of the host/manager, there is no way that I will be going back, groupon or not.

  • Visited March 2013
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
    • 1 of 5 stars Food
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
vancouver, BC
Top Contributor
171 reviews 171 reviews
82 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 50 cities Reviews in 50 cities
197 helpful votes 197 helpful votes
“Awful service and beware if you use Groupon Voucher”
1 of 5 stars Reviewed February 23, 2013

This is our first time trying this restaurant with a Groupon Voucher and it will be our last! the minute we sat down, a waiter came by and asked if we had a groupon so i gave it to him. shortly after we got our menu, another waiter comes by and asks if we had a groupon and started to upsell us in ordering alcoholic beverages, appetizers, and even fresh lobster! we declined to all that but did order 3 entrees for the 2 of us--green beans, fried calamari, and chili garlic pork.

First the green beans came and 15 minutes later, did the calamari come and then another 10 minutes the chili garlic pork. whenever we ate at Chinese restaurants, all entrees should come out simultaneously or close together but not at intervals of 10 to 15 minutes. the beans were okay, the calamari was so so, but the chili garlic pork with spinach was awful with no taste!
All their dishes were not large but their prices were quite high. imho, you can get much much better chinese food else where for much cheaper and with much better service. perhaps this is why they are promoting with Groupon?!

At the end of the meal, another waiter comes to us and asks if we had a Groupon....omg! enough is enough! our voucher was for $40 so after taxes we needed to pay a difference of $7.89. this waiter was so rude and before I even paid, he said, "you need to tip on the full amount of $47.89 so don't forget" i had every intention of doing so but the way he presented that came across very bluntly and rudely. i handed him my Visa Card and he said, i will have to add on an additional $2 ! are you kidding me???!!! so i gave him Cash $20 and told him we just needed a $5 change back. This leaves over a $7 tip which is close to 18%!! When he brought back the $5 instead of a $5 bill, he gives us 5 loonies wanting us to leave ANOTHER TIP!!! of course we didn't as we left over $7 tip already. So, as we were leaving, the bus boys gave us a dirty look wondering where the tip was so we explained to them that we already left over $7 tip but the other waiter took it already so this $5 was our change.

The experience at Chongqing Broadway was ABSOLUTELY AWFUL and be prepared if you are using GROUPON because you will be hard sold on fresh lobsters and alcohol. the service was pushy and we felt like we were treated like 2nd class citizen because we used a Groupon.
Expensive prices, so so tasting food, awful service! we will definitely NOT return!

  • Visited February 2013
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 1 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
    • 3 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Vancouver, Canada
1 review
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
“Rip off...unbelievable poor service”
1 of 5 stars Reviewed November 11, 2012

Dirty and poor service. Its prices are ridiculous high considering the ridiculous small quantity of its dishes.

  • Visited November 2012
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 1 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
    • 1 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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