Now Open: Inside the New Fat Mao Noodles in Downtown Vancouver

A first look inside Chef Angus An’s latest room, which opened September 6.

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.

tables inside the new Fat Mao
Photo: Alaina 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. 

chef angus an pictured in his new restaurant location
Photo: Alaina 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).

the bar at the new fat mao
Photo: Alaina 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. 

a bocci 87 light fixture hangs at the new fat mao
Photo: Alyssa Hirose

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.)

thai iced tea panna cotta
Photo: Alaina Michelle Photography.

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). 

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?”

food at the bar at fat mao
Photo: Alaina Michelle Photography.

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