Eating Live Alaskan King Crab at Sun Sui Wah in Vancouver

Sun Sui Wah Vancouver by The High Heel Gourmet 9

Any of you who are following me on Instagram (link) probably know that I went to Vancouver for an Indian wedding. This is probably the first time I’ve experienced Vancouver at the best time of the year. I was there before, but only briefly—two nights in November—nothing memorable there. This time the city was so beautiful with bright sunshine and perfect climate.

Hornby St.

Hornby St.

Also, it’s an amazingly clean city! I really mean it. One night I was crazy enough to walk on my 6” heels from the hotel where the party was back to my hotel—about a mile distance—on an uphill slope. Half way there I was so ready to take my high heels off. (I have never done so in my entire life!) I looked down on the sidewalk and was surprised. There was no sign of dirty cigarette butts, chewed gum, or little knickknack junk that would normally be there.

This picture is taken from near by the Cactus Cafe by the harbor.

This picture is taken from near by the Cactus Cafe by the harbor.

Since the weather was so nice, I almost forgot that this beautiful city is buried under either rain or snow from September through May and that might have something to do with the extremely clean sidewalk. Don’t get me wrong, this is not as clean as the table of a brain surgeon, but much cleaner than the footpaths in Singapore, Iceland and Germany that I already thought were very clean.



Still, I didn’t take my shoes off. I think eventually I might have to let my virgin feet touch the footpath for the first time. After all, my farmer feet are made for walking on the dirt, I know.

Other than the cleanliness of the sidewalk, the air is so clean and the water is way too clean! It took me half an hour just to wash and rinse my hair with their soft water! Can you imagine how fruits and vegetables taste here?

The food here is really good. There are two restaurants that I really like. One is a Chinese restaurant called Sun Sui Wah that serves live king crabs and another is an Indian restaurant.

Sun Sui Wah is a restaurant that advertises at the Vancouver airport! Seriously?!?! Wouldn’t that be a warning? I got a list of restaurants from a foodie friend who comes to the city quite often because he works in the movie industry. I saw the picture and thought, this must be another restaurant with the same name. From what I knew, Sun Sui Wah was doing well they didn’t need to advertise. Also, this restaurant was mentioned in the Michelin Green Guide too!

Sun Sui Wah Vancouver by The High Heel Gourmet 1 (2)

Anyhow, I double checked by going there to eat their dim-sum first. It turned out to be the same restaurant and the dim-sum was good. I wasn’t that excited about the dim-sum because I can get dim-sum as good in Alhambra and Monterey Park in Los Angeles County where I live. Their dim-sum service isn’t the type with many Chinese ladies pushing carts filled with steaming dishes between the tables. It’s the kind where you have to order your dim-sum off the menu. It’s fresher and tastes better this way (to me) because the food hasn’t been sitting on the cart. And I don’t have to keep looking for the items I want. I can just relax and eat.

Sun Sui Wah Vancouver by The High Heel Gourmet 2 (2)

After the dim-sum I knew how this restaurant cooked their food. I wanted to go back and eat the live king crab because I want to try one freshly cooked. I had only eaten frozen ones, so far. The problem was we were there for a wedding so our evenings were quite occupied. Luckily, Sun Sui Wah would serve the king crab at lunch time too.

WHERE:  Sun Sui Wah
3888 Main St, Vancouver, BC V5V 3N9, Canada
Tel: +1 604 – 872 – 8822

Lunch (Dim-Sum)
Monday – Friday  10:30 am – 3 pm
Saturday – Sunday 10:00 am – 3 pm

Monday – Sunday 5 pm – 10:30 pm

HOW: Walk in seems to be ok. I didn’t have to wait for the table but I go there around 1pm both times. If you are not sure, make reservation by calling in first.

WHAT: Live seafoods and dim-sum

The victim, so small isn't it.

The victim, so small isn’t it.

The small size Alaskan king crab is about 6.5 lb. The regular size crab is about 10lb or over so be aware to bring more than two people. They will cook the crab two ways: the legs would be steamed with garlic and the knuckles would be fried with spicy salt. Of course we had leftovers. First they brought out the crab to be sacrificed so the god (you) gets to pet it, take a picture and do whatever with it first. I was so afraid that the crab would remember my face and might even hand an iPhone photo of me to the lord of hell to point out who had ordered him to be killed. So I didn’t really made eye contact with him, obviously.

Sun Sui Wah Vancouver by The High Heel Gourmet 5

August is not the season of Alaskan king crab when it’s in abundance and hence we can get them at a reasonable price. We paid $40/lb. for the crab, twice more than in March, which is the real king crab season. I figured the plane ticket for two to return to Vancouver would have cost us much more than just eating it now, so we did.

This is how the first dish was served.

This is how the first dish was served.

The legs was steamed with garlic and green onion

The legs was steamed with garlic and green onion

After taken the shell off these were underneath it.

After taken the shell off these were underneath it.

I almost can't take the picture. I want to dive in.

I almost can’t take the picture. I want to dive in.

Close up! That's it. I have to eat.

Close up! That’s it. I have to eat.

The knuckles are fried with garlic, pepper salt. It was so good I forgot to take picture of the full plate. Who want to touch the camera when you hands are dirty, right?

The knuckles are fried with garlic, pepper salt. It was so good I forgot to take picture of the full plate. Who want to touch the camera when you hands are dirty, right?

The dim-sum photo from Sun Sui Wah is on my Instagram here.

32 thoughts on “Eating Live Alaskan King Crab at Sun Sui Wah in Vancouver

  1. The crab looks amazing! I was just up in Vancouver a couple of months ago but didn’t get to try the Chinese food cuz the boyfriend kept wanting to go to Japadog. I am regretting it now!

    • Now THAT is a darn good idea! I will remember for the next time. (S*** don’t tell my husbanditor but he never check the comment anyway.)

      The crab was so intimidating. I agree but I ate it. I guess I can say I won.

  2. Oh Em Gee, did you say that was small? Good thinking on your part for not looking into his eyes. You should have also put on your sunglasses! But, no worry, I’m pretty sure he wouldn’t remember you, since you were tourist. It’s very hard and confusing for locals to recognize tourists, you know! 🙂

  3. What an interesting post! I enjoyed hearing about Vancouver and the restaurants you went to. That crab was amazing. I have never heard of saying hi to your dinner before!:) I guess I lead a sheltered life in the desert!

    • Shari not that you live sheltered live but it’s just the typical Chinese seafood restaurant. They always do that in Chinese restaurant in every country. You would be surprise to see that at a restaurant in the Four Season hotel in Hong Kong too. You know, they’re so luxury. I though they wouldn’t dare carry dripping live seafood to your table but they fix it by using a cart! lol

  4. Your pics are incredible, wish I was there 🙂
    I spent a lot of time in alaska in the early seventies while I was a chef on a cruise ship (royal viking sky). We were in vancouver every other week for three nights during the summer. While I went out on town after work, my chinese assistant fished for crabs from the aft deck, right there in port. In 30 minutes he usually got about 15 to 20 crabs of the size in your picture. When we came back from shore, he had them prepared for us, ginger garlic crab.
    As much as you can eat, for free :-). Those were the times…… Thanks for the memory jolt

    • How did you store them? They are huge! OMG I’m so envy. I bet it’s taste better than this. I’ve heard that the crab in the tank is stress and the sweetness of the flesh is losing because of that. I never taste the live king crab before so I don’t know what should I expect. This is good but I bet yours was better.

  5. Vancouver has many awesome restaurants, all types, and some delicious restaurants for dessert, Thierry in downtown is amazing. I continue to recommend your blog, detailed, friendly, interesting and super photos. Looking forward to learn which Indian restaurant you ate , in case it is one I know.

  6. Vancouver sounds like a great city to visit. I son briefly considered school there, then mercifully (for his parents in Boston) decided that it might be a bit far away, even for him. We were afraid the city would be so cool we’d never see him again. The crab looks fantastic, but I’m afraid you may have a date with him in the Bardo. Ken

  7. I love Vancouver too! So glad you got to experience Sun Sui , I love it for dim sum. You went to Gastown but no photo of the clock? 😀 Next time you must do Granville Island and Robson St.
    thanks for ‘liking’ my post

    • I had it in video when it popping and making all the noises but errrr…don’t know how to post it…lol…I was trying in IG too but just got the picture. Lovely area! I’ve got a bracelet made by local artist from a store there too. I so want to go back there (for Japadog…haha).

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