A Taste of Chopstick Fest 2016 – Lu Charcoal Grill

On behalf of Vancouver Foodie Pulse, I was invited to the media tasting at Lu Charcoal Grill, a participating restaurant in Chopstick Fest 2016.

After chatting with the owner, a Tianjin native from Northern China, I was quite fascinated by the concept of this place. Inspired by Japanese Yakitori-ya and izakaya and adopted widely over Northern China, this form of gastropubs has become rather popular. ‘Lu’ in Chinese is the motion of pulling off food from the skewer, so it’s considered a great way to hang out with friends or co-workers over ‘pulling’, drinking and enjoying themselves after work or on a weekend evening.

Lu Charcoal Grill
Lu Charcoal Grill

The interiors of Lu are pretty similar to a typical izakaya joint but with the owner’s personal touches.   A lot of decorative objects are related to soccer. Soccer is the most watched sport in China and it seems like owner is a big fan. I can imageine the whole place would be more packed when some important international soccer game is on their big-screen TV’s on the walls

Lu Charcoal Grill
Lu Charcoal Grill
Lu Charcoal Grill
Lu Charcoal Grill

Naturally the skewers are the most common items for the ‘Lu’ fun. The popular choices are chicken, pork belly and shrimp on skewers.

pork belly and chicken skewers
pork belly and chicken skewers
shrimps on skewers
shrimp on skewers

They also have some unique items such as this chicken wing skewers, on which the chicken wings are de-boned and stretched out like butterflies.

Lu Charcoal Grill
Lu Charcoal Grill

If you like spicy food, they offer fish balls, tofu and squid on skewers dipped in a big pot of Sichuan peppercorn sauce, steaming hot and spicy.

skewers in sichuan  spicy hot pot
skewers in sichuan spicy hot pot

The roasted corn on skewers just reminds me the food vendors at the PNE fair.

roasted corn on sticks
roasted corn on sticks

I also find mantou, or white bao bun on skewers quite interesting. The buns are coated with a sweet and savoury sauce and a layer of pork floss. Visually they look like chocolate coated ice cream bars.

grilled bao bun with Rousong
grilled bao bun with Rousong

For booze, we were served a double distilled spirit similar to vodka called Er Guo Tou, which is 42% in alcohol and is supposed be consumed straight from the bottle. I found the liquor had an intense flavour at first but it definitely went down a lot smoother as I was slowly sipping it.

er guo tou - double distilled sprit
er guo tou – double distilled sprit

They also offer cold dishes that make great snacks for drinking. Such as marinated cucumber, blanched peanuts seasoned with salt and 5 spices, and chilled shrimp with garlic.

chilled shrimps
chilled shrimps

I was happy to see they served the Green Onion Crepes, one of my favourite Norther Chinese specialties. And I was informed that they served Tianjin style breakfast in the morning such as the Special Tofu Soup and the Donut Wrapped in Crepe.

green onion crepe
green onion crepe

I really enjoy the geniality and humbleness of Lu Charcoal Grill, which offers an authentic pub experience in northern China. And I’m looking forward to more unique Chinese culture and  culinary experience brought by the very first Chopstick Fest in Vancouver and the Lower Mainland.

* All food and beverages in this review were complimentary. Opinions are on the reviewer’s own. *

For more info about Chopstick Fest 2016…

Facebook:

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Lu-Charcoal-Grill-in-Richmond-BC/215099345558263

More reviews:

Lu Charcoal Grill Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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