My mom has come to town for a week-long visit during the Olympics (it’s so very exciting for me to show her around during all of the craziness in my own neighbourhood!) and we wanted some quick and simple food close by for lunch the other day. I remember a girlfriend of mine has gotten takeout from Yopo Cafe Chinese Cuisine of Yaletown occasionally and liked it, so we decided to stop by for a bite.
We managed to get in just before noon on a weekday, and were lucky enough to beat the rush by only a few minutes, and were thus able to score a table in the small 20(?) seat restaurant after putting in our orders at the counter (there are chalkboards overhead and to one side wall listing off various specials and other food selections).
Even through the gorgeous sunny spring-like weather in February, we were feeling a little chilly so we opted for a couple of bowls of soup. The Seafood Wonton Soup sounded enticing, so we gave that a shot. There was a variety of prawns, scallops and squid along with the broccoli, carrots, sui choy, baby corn and green onion within the broth. In addition to all of the veggies and seafood, there were about ten juicy pork wontons within the soup, filled with some chopped up water chestnuts, which added a great crunchy texture. I was actually pretty happy with them – the only thing that I would add if I were making them myself would be a little bit of ginger. To the side of every table, there was also quite a decent selection of condiments, and we chose to add some hot chili oil to give it an extra kick.
We also thought we’d try an order of Spring Rolls (6 for $2.99), as we weren’t sure how large the soup would be at the time of ordering, and ended up being pleasantly surprised and also unsure of how much we would actually finish in the end. It was served with a sweet plum sauce, which was actually a bit tart and I would’ve preferred something more like a Thai sweet chili sauce, so I ended up just eating my rolls plain after trying the dip a couple of times. The filling was a bit softer than I expected and almost tasted more like potato instead of a veggie filling that I usually prefer (it was vegetarian though).
Finally, I had the Szechuan Dan Dan Noodle Soup. This came with what looked like thick egg noodles, and a peanut-type broth and sauce with some ground up pork on top. I’m not a huge peanut fan to begin with, and I wasn’t really thinking about this when I put in my order, so I was a bit disappointed. This was probably just a matter of preference though – I didn’t actually ask for more details and didn’t see a description of the soup, so I was kind of just flying by the seat of my pants on this one.
Overall, the prices were very reasonable, and our meal came to under $19 in total. A great place in Yaletown for some quick Chinese food at a decent price. They are also really fast at getting takeout made if you’re wandering in and need something on the go (from what I could tell the two times I was with a girlfriend who ordered from here).
It also seems to be quite the busy little weekday lunch place for those working in the area. Make sure to get tto Yopo before noon if you want to get a table! I’ve definitely had better Chinese food, but did appreciate how it seems to be run by a hardworking group of people, who are very friendly and fast and have very reasonable prices for the neighbourhood.