Paul Stirfry Chopstick House is probably the first restaurant that made me cringed when I first learned of the name. I can’t really put my finger to it but as an individual of Asian background I actually felt offended. I hope ‘Paul’ created the name with maybe irony and cheekiness in mind.
Paul Stirfry’s theme is South East Asian Street Food with a West Coast twist. The menu specializes in healthy alternatives like vegetarian, vegan, and gluten free healthy items. Even though Paul’s is literally 1 min away from my building, I initially had no desire to check it out. Early reviewers felt the prices were way too high for the food that claims to be ‘street food’ and criticized the food preparation and portions. Since I grew up with ‘stir fry’ as part of my diet, any noodle or rice bowl over $8 seems preposterous. Well the restaurant paid heed to its customers and have since lowered their prices by a $1 or so.
I’ve been to Paul’s a couple of times now and to be honest the ‘local’ discount coupons lured me in. Thus this post is based on the times I’ve been there.
Paul’s restaurant is small but cleanly designed with a couple of tvs to entice the Canuck fans. The first time I went I ordered one of the ‘Build Your Own’ bowls where you choose a base, your protein, and starch. I picked The Red Head with Shanghai noodles.
The Red Heat is a spicy combination of ginger garlic, sambal soy, bok choy, carrots, snow peas, and fresh herbs. It was nice to see fresh vegetables to add the crunch and healthiness to the bowl. But even with the ginger garlic and sambal soy, I would have preferred if they found a sauce combination stronger on the sambal than soy. After I was done, there was a little pool of sauce at the bottom. So I think if the sauce base was a thicker it’ll coat the noodles better and providing more flavour to each bite. Along with my meal, I had ordered a white. I had to wait for it because it was a brand new bottle that wasn’t chilled yet. The cute waitress came by often to check on my meal and apologized for the lateness of the wine. I was almost done with my noodle bowl when my wine came; they ended up comping my wine. Dear Restaurants Elsewhere, this is an example of excellent customer service.
I was still hungry so I ordered some satay skewers to fill up the remaining spaces in my stomach. I ordered a prawn and chicken.
The satays came with the duo sauce of ginger soy and siracha aioli. The skewers were lightly seasoned but it would have nice if it had that open fire grill taste to it.
Another time I went to the restaurant was with my friends who also lived nearby. That time I ordered the Yaletown Salad (didn’t take pictures) which was a basic roughage combination of vegetable medley, romaine lettuce with a Japanese mustard and sesame dressing.
To start our meal, we shared the Surf and Turf Spring Roll with banana ketchup
The spring rolls were filled with seasoned ground beef, baby shrimp, and julienne carrots. The greasy spring rolls were just ok but I did think it was cool that I actually tasted banana in the ketchup.
Paul Stirfry has become a local popular spot to grab take out or a have a quick dinner. It helps that they have a health conscious menu that caters to the locals, rewards neighbors for their patronage, and have good customer service. I don’t know if I would come by often because I still prefer my $6 and under noodle and rice bowls. But it’s a nice low key spot to eat some comfort food while cheering for the Canucks
Paul Stirfry Chopstick House
550 Nelson Street
Vancouver, BC V6B