Monday, October 20, 2014

Chubby Lamb Hot Pot 河豚火鍋 (New ownership)

"What do you want to eat? Hot pot? Is it worth the drive and $80.00?", lmfao this is how the conversation started when deciding on a place for dinner. A big reason for visiting Chubby Lamb Hotpot in Richmond is because the restaurant serves the best Chinese chicken and herbal soup base! The broth is consistent, tastes rich, and the owner always encourages us to have a couple of bowls each before starting on the hot pot!

However, the restaurant is now under a new ownership and management. Chubby Lamb has been closed for a couple of months and I assumed the restaurant was being renovated, but the biggest sign of a new ownership was the staff. The staff is different from the last few previous years and there are polaroid photos of the new team by the counter. The fish bowl sitting on the counter is another sign as well!

Walking in, the restaurant was empty but the room filled up fast. Both the waiter and waitress at the front of the house were friendly and inviting, especially the waitress. The waitress appears to be related to the owner and is a very hard worker. She is also extremely polite and even says "Hello, welcome" as well as "Please, right this way" in Chinese, which is actually a first for me out of 150+ Chinese restaurants I have blogged about. Furthermore, she followed up with every table and made sure to say goodbye to everyone.

As for the interior, Chubby Lamb is one of the smaller hot pot restaurants so reservations are recommended. There are only a couple of seating arrangements for parties of more than six and less than twelve tables. After ordering, every table is provided with soy, peanut and satay sauce, and extra condiments are $0.75.

ADULT $22.50 || CHILD (5-11) $14.90 || AGE (3-4) $5.00
BROTH $7.00 - $12.00 || UNLIMITED POP $1.50.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Belgium Place

Belgium Place is one of the newer cafes that serves authentic liege waffles; the ones with pearl crystals throughout the dough which caramelizes the exterior and results in a nice golden color. Walking in, one of the cashiers was having lunch and he immediately got up to greet us and take our order. We were very pleased with his friendliness along with his patience as we browsed through the four screen television menu.

The cafe is very spacious and there is a fair amount of seating arrangements along with a few patio seats. I like the spaciousness because during busier times, both the ordering and picking up line ups would not be cramped. There is nothing worse than bumping and nudging the next person beside you when in a long line up!

Other than waffles, Belgium Place offers croissants, quiches, panini and baguette sandwiches. About the waffles though, there are sweet as well as savoury choices and everything is housemade. There is also a choice of almond, chocolate, as well as chocolate and almond waffles for those who want to skip on the plain ones.

As for the accompaniments, there are fruit compotes which include apple, apricot, blueberry and strawberry. On top of that, gelato (vanilla or chocolate), sauce (chocolate, caramel, maple syrup) and caramelized nuts (almond or walnuts) are also available as toppings.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Kaya Japanese Restaurant (2nd visit)


Generally I choose not to blog about restaurants when I have a meal with my family or a group of friends. The reason is because I am spending time with good company rather than for the purpose of eating. Plus, considering the amount of food I order with just BF… imagine how much dishes there are with more people! Another reason is also because I tend to visit my regular restaurants with family and friends rather than trying somewhere new.

However, Kaya Japanese is an exception. My family and BF travelled forty five minutes just to come here because my first experience was great; food and service wise. Our waitress followed up with our dishes a few times and always asked if we needed more drinks. Most importantly, the food was good too! I practically raved about the restaurant on my first blog post. Although unfortunately, the staff from my first visit was not here this time around and our experience was a negative one.

Walking to the front doors, I noticed a sign on the right door. There is a sign that mentions which door to open now… so no more getting yelled at by the staff as a welcoming! After seating, my father did not bring his reading glasses and asked the waitress what the meaning of a Chinese character on the cup was. Surprisingly her response was, "Why? Why are you asking me?" in a rude tone of voice. She could have easily mentioned that she cannot read Chinese instead, or fake her customer service skills and talk in a "happier" tone of voice, like she is shy and was curious to know why he asked.

Furthermore when the waitress brought over the table setting later on, she did not even bother serving the plates and side bowls to us. She just plopped them on the table and walked away. Not much service so far…

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Happy Family

I did not really plan on posting about an experience of Happy Family Restaurant because it was a small take out order, but decided to do so to make my man happy. Plus, we recently stopped at a red light literally in front of the restaurant and it seemed like it was meant to be - to take a photo of the restaurant's exterior!

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Dinesty Dumpling House : Robson location

Whenever I have a negative experience at a chain or franchise business, I tend to avoid any of the other restaurants (ABC Country, Banana Leaf, Sushi Bella, Swiss Chalet…). This is somewhat unfair because every chain and franchise business is operated differently so one location may be horrible while another is great. In this case, the franchise is Dinesty Dumpling House. I have visited the location in Richmond before and the food was horrible along with the service. Not only was there no service, but the staff was also rude!

However, BF has been wanting to try Dinesty at the Downtown location for months. He is also the same person who had dinner with me at the Richmond location and vowed never to return! I guess in the end, I did not mind trying the Downtown location just because I was in a good mood. Plus, I was not really hungry since we went to Rodney's earlier. Picking up a pair of stilettos that finally arrived after a couple of weeks of waiting did not hurt either, hehe.

Walking in, the manager immediately stormed past us and closed the front door while yelling in chinese, "who didn't close the door?!". She then made eye contact with us after slamming the door so I asked for a table for two. Although there must have been a miscommunication on her end because she waved us away like we were pan handlers and rolled her eyes… umm? After standing there for a while, a waitress approached us but did not say a word so we asked if the restaurant was still open. With a response of yes, we asked her for a table for two.

At this point, it seemed like deja vu with the Richmond location (rushed atmosphere and unfriendly staff) and I sort of wanted to leave but we already seated. The waitress was neutral though and there were no dirty looks or a negative attitude. Also because we arrived fifteen minutes before the last call, we only ordered a few items to sample and decided to revisit if the food tasted good.


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