Amanda’s Restaurant, Nelson, B.C. – a suprise Chinese food find

A surprising Chinese food ‘find’ in Nelson, B.C., Amanda’s Restaurant

Chinese restaurants are as common in small town Western Canada as, well, Ford F150 pickup trucks.

The proliferation of Chinese restaurants across Canada is well documented in the excellent book, Chop Suey Nation: The Story of the Legion Cafe and Other Stories from Canada’s Chinese Restaurants, by Ann Hui. During the construction of the Canadian Pacific Railway, Chinese immigrant rail workers were unceremoniously dumped off to fend for themselves once their section of rail was completed, usually in the middle of nowhere. With no education or skills, they opened cafes, cooking the food they were familiar with.

In Nelson, B.C., on the 4th day of our 2020 Fall motorcycle tour, we walked the few steps from our motel to Amanda’s Restaurant. It was a surprising Chinese restaurant find.

There’s nothing overt that broadcasts Amanda’s as a Chinese restaurant. It lacks the “Golden”, “Jade”, “Dragon” or “Garden” the common give away in a name that shouts, ‘THIS IS A CHINESE RESTAURAN!.’

After a very good motorcycle riding day from Kamloops, our touring group was happy to find Amanda’s next to our motel.

Amanda’s has a mixed menu with a broad choice of Chinese and Western dishes.

Sweet and sour pork, shrimp and fried rice
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Our hungry group of six ordered a variety of combination dinners ($15.50-$17.50, fish and chips ($15.75), and Chinese food, such as the Beef and Chinese Greens (bok choy, $14.25) I had or the very, very impressive Lemon Chicken ($14.95, no photo) Walker ordered. Walker’s Lemon Chicken came as two schnitzel-sized pieces of flattened chicken breast, a style I had never seen before. It was enough to feed 2 people, and somehow, Walker, with a little help from the rest of the table, managed to eat it all.

The quality of Amanda’s Chinese cuisine is top-tier among small town Chinese restaurants. The next time I’m in Nelson, I’ll absolutely return to dine again at Amanda’s Restaurant.

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