On Saturday night we went out to Burnaby with Mark & Andrea to eat at the Alvin Garden Restaurant. It cooks Hunan Chinese food.

As always, I asked Fernando for recommendations of what we should get, and he pointed me at two articles he had been involved in writing up. First is his Chowtimes run down of what to order and second was the Eight Great Traditions of Chinese Cuisine, where Alvin Garden was representing Hunan Cuisine.
First of all, this place will very often have a line up, so be prepared for a 30 minute wait.
We were pretty excited to try the spicy pig heart as recommended, but when we sat down and asked for it, they were sold out! This is a BIG menu. There is a lot in it, and it all looks delicious. You can tell them how spicy you want the food. We're pretty used to spice, so we got it spicy - that is, the regular way that most people eat Hunan food.


We didn't order Spicy Pork's Feet in Bucket - but that's another dish I want to go back for!


This is Hunan Pickle, served cold. It's spicy when you eat it. And then you try other things, and this is the cooling dish.

This is the Red Braised Pork. It's the only dish that isn't spicy. It's got a hint of five spice and a bit of sweetness. The big cubes of fat and tender pork go nicely with the Hunan pickle.


This is Hunan Bacon with Garlic Bolts. aka garlic scapes. The bacon is smokey in a particular Hunan way that isn't overwhelming.


This is Chicken Giblets with Hunan White Chili. The giblets have lots of gizzards in them that have a satisfying crunch to them.


This is Beef Tripe with Chilies. At this point, the "with chilies" should be redundant :)


This is Steamed Taro with Chilies and Black Beans. This isn't a very exciting dish (taro isn't, generally), but it's a beautiful dish and once you scrape the chilies off, the taro can be cooling.


This is Beef with Hunan Pickled Chilies. This was a really flavorful and tasty dish.


This is Shredded Spicy & Sour Potato. The potatoes are just lightly cooked, so have a good crunch to them.