It happened: the second location of Fat Mao, Chinatown’s beloved noodlery (is that a word? It should be) is now open. We got a sneak peek into the restaurant pre-opening—and while Fat Mao I is a narrow, cozy space that has hole-in-the-wall vibes (despite basically everyone knowing where it is), Fat Mao II is full of sunshine.

Fat Mao Noodles Vancouver dining roomAlaina Michelle Photography

The new restaurant, located at 983 Helmcken Street in the Wall Centre, is about the same size square-footage wise as the original Fat Mao. But thanks to a more square-shaped floor plan and mirrors lining one wall, it feels much bigger. 

Vancouver Fat Mao Noodles KitchenAlaina Michelle Photography

According to chef Angus An, Fat Mao I will share about 60% of its menu with Fat Mao II. There will be some items that are exclusive to the location, though: the new Fat Mao is introducing braised brisket noodles with Asian celery and fried garlic, Albacore tuna ceviche with herb dressing and crispy taro and Nam Ngaio (a Northern-style tender pork-rib noodle dish with pork-blood cake, red cotton tree flowers and fermented soybean).

Fat Mao Noodles Downtown MenuAlaina Michelle Photography

Also, make sure you’ve brought along your dessert stomach when you journey to the second Fat Mao: there’s also Thai-tea shaved ice, which they’re serving with grass jelly, condensed milk and Thai iced tea panna cotta. 

Thai Iced Tea Shaved IceAlaina Michelle Photography

Chef An opted for more spots for individual diners at the new Fat Mao, with table-level bar seating so all diners at the same height. Small plants bring greenery into the space, and local lighting brand Bocci’s iconic “87” pendant is a stunning design element—and also happens to look a lot like hand-pulled noodles. ("No one taller than me can work here," joked An as he walked under the pendant.)

Bocci 87 LightAlyssa Hirose

For now, there’s no alcohol served (but An is keeping his fingers crossed for a liquor license later in the Fall) and it’s indoor seating only (but look for a patio next summer). 

Chef Angus AnAlaina Michelle Photography

Downtown Fat Mao is open weekdays from 11:30am to 9:00pm. So remember the next time a buddy suggests grabbing a bowl of noods at Fat Mao, first reply “Hell yeah,” followed by “which one?” 

MORE NEW PLACES TO EAT: Beaucoup Bakery Is Opening a New Location Downtown