Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Top Shanghai Cuisine 上海一只鼎

Top Shanghai Cuisine is located in Richmond and I have made four visits since June. I have my "usual" dishes that I like to order and the service is generally decent. Some may complain about how busy the restaurant gets though, but the wait has never been an issue for me. Despite waiting thirty five minutes on my first visit… But the rest of my visits never required a wait and the restaurant was always pretty empty.

Top Shanghai Cuisine has a good amount of tables for groups larger than five, and a few tables for two to four people. Furthermore, the restaurant is categorized as a typical "not the cleanest and may experience dirty tables or table setting" Asian restaurant.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

New Starlet Seafood Restaurant

BF and I have never tried Po King together and since the restaurant is gone, we decided to try the replacement which is New Startlet Seafood. We arrived fifteen minutes prior to closing (10:00pm) and were not rushed throughout the dinner, since the restaurant started a private room of MJ. Furthermore, the last thing we would want is to ever feel rushed, which is ironic because we subconsciously still felt rushed and got everything packed home to eat.

When we walked in, our first thoughts were that New Starlet is one of the cleaner restaurants on Kingsway Street. In addition, the interior is bright, has comfortable seating arrangements as well as nice chandeliers, and looks good.

Monday, July 29, 2013

T&T Supermarket: Coquitlam location

After Coras' I was still hungry so I grabbed some sushi from T&T in Coquitlam Centre.

The round sushi roll ($4.99) looks more like a cherry blossom roll. It comes with salmon, avocado and tomago.

I actually really enjoy it because I like the inside more than Kameis' cherry blossom roll.

The smoked salmon sushi roll ($5.99). It comes with imitation crab meat, cucumbers and smoked salmon on top. 

I wish it came with avocado inside. I like how they separated the pieces of sushi with lemon.

Overall it is T&T sushi for people on the go, it is not bad. The only problem is always with the rice, it is too hard.

Food: 2.5/5
Service: N/A

T & T Supermarket 大統華超級市場 on Urbanspoon

Cora Breakfast and Lunch

The inside is spacious and colorful.

If you love or enjoy fruit, then you will definitely want to come here. Cora has many breakfast and lunch options that come with fresh fruit.

We ordered the mochachino, smoked salmon benny and large cinnamon-raisin brioche.

My boyfriend's mochachino ($3.95). I love whipped cream, but this is just generic store brand. The only thing different from Dennys' and Cora is that Cora has fresh fruit.. other then that, no fresh juice or fresh whipped cream is available.

My 1990's harvest, a large cinnamon-raisin brioche dipped in french toast batter with an egg and bacon on one side and a mountain of fresh fruit on the other ($12.45). I wanted something different and hesitated on getting the cinnamon-raisin.. since I did not think I would like it. I love the fresh fruit, especially if you are too lazy to wash fruit! The bacon and egg is average.

Yeah, I did not like the raisin bread. It was dry, bland, chewy, tasteless, and tastes worse than if I got it from a supermarket, I could not even eat it with the toppings. They have a french toast option available instead of the cinnamon-raisin, I would recommend it over this.

My boyfriend's two poached eggs on an english muffin covered with hollandaise sauce, served with roasted potatoes and fresh fruit, smoked salmon ($14.95). This is one of the best things to order here. I am not a fan of hollandaise sauce, and I like it here because the sauce is really light. I wanted to order this, but I am one of those people who think ordering the same thing as someone else defeats the whole purpose. The potatoes are really good and crisp too.

The egg is poached well, it could be more runny if I was being picky.

Overall I recommend Cora over Dennys' because of their fresh fruit. Service wise, you pay at the front and are pretty much given everything you need so you do not really need to ask your server for much.

Food: 3/5
Service: 3/5

Cora Breakfast & Lunch on Urbanspoon

Hing Fung Restaurant

I am not ready to eat chinese food yet, and my boyfriend tricked me into coming here. This is the restaurant we were planning on visiting before (but it was too busy so we went to Star Anise on Monday). The first time we tried going, there was a long line up out the door and for 45 minutes on  a Monday. This time, we came Saturday evening and it was empty. The reason I got tricked is because my boyfriend said he looked at the menu, and there is a really good lobster dish that is is made TWO DIFFERENT WAYS. Oh cool, I guess I will suck it up and go.

We ordered steamed halibut with hot pepper, steamed chicken in chinese wine and lobster.

So.... when I mentioned about being tricked, yeah. This is what my boyfriend was talking about. A two lobster set dinner.. nothing special. I do not like hong kong cafes because of their set menus since I feel restricted, and this place reminds me of a hong kong cafe. Basically the deal is 2 lobsters, 2 menu items, soup and dessert.

The first dish is the soup of the day in a small bowl with a piece of carrot and chinese vegetable. It is nothing special, a bit too salty, and is available complimentary at other chinese restaurants when you order any dish.

The second dish is (2) 2lb lobster in supreme broth. HUH? When I heard my boyfriend order lobster with cream and butter sauce, I thought that is not unique at all, so I changed it to supreme broth since it was just a generic lobster that I can get at any other chinese restaurant and it is my usual. There are 2 lobsters which are barely 2lbs each. The lobsters are missing quite a few pieces of meat as well as the claws. But it is very tender since they are so small.

The third dish is the steamed halibut with hot pepper. The halibut pieces are a bit too hard and over steamed. The broth has a nice spiciness to it without being saucy which I prefer.

The last dish is the steamed chicken in chinese wine. The chicken is chewy, tough, hard and there are tiny bits of bones in every piece. The broth is not too winey which I like, and the wolf berries make the dish look pretty. 

For dessert, coconut tapioca soup. It is luke warm, bland and watered down.

Overall, this restaurant may have good dishes and I know for sure we ordered the wrong ones. If we ordered more generic and the usual available dishes at chinese restaurants, such as a vegetable with beef, bitter melon, sweet and sour pork or deep fried tofu, it could have been good.

So this is my calculation...

Steamed halibut with hot pepper ($13.95)
Steamed chicken in chinese wine ($13.95)
Soup of the day (usually complimentary)
Dessert (always complimentary)
Lobster (/lb?)
So that is ($13.95 x 2) = $ 27.90

$68.00 - $27.90 = $40.10 for the lobsters.

If we went to a chinese restaurant for a 2.5lb lobster, it would have been $45.00-$50.00 with full meat and claws. Is this a good deal? Of course not. When did I know I was tricked? When I told my boyfriend to do his thing and said I was going to eat anything, until I heard him tell our server "lobster with cream and butter sauce." That is when I knew no special lobster dishes are available or if they have unique lobster dishes. This is more of a vent if anything.

Service wise, only us and another table were here, so no complaints about service.

Would I come back when I am not sick of chinese food to try their actual real dishes here? Meh, maybe if I wanted to try hong kong dishes and their set menus for a blog post, other then that, I will pass. I do believe Hing Fung would not be bad though.

Food: 2.5/5
Service: 4/5

Hing Fung Restaurant on Urbanspoon

Old Surrey Restaurant

I heard about Old Surrey Restaurant from my friend around a month ago. Apparently the restaurant used to be an actual house and they farm their own animals.

If BF and I came from Cambie just for this restaurant (fine, and for OpenTable points) and you live in Surrey, you should definitely try this place.

There are different rooms to be seated in,

we got the library.

Old Surrey has a Chateaubriand Special from July 2nd to August 31st, and I really recommend this. We did not get it and pretty much spent an extra $45.00 getting almost the same thing. The special comes with prawns provencale, caesar salad, chateaubriand bouqetiere (beef tenderloin) and cherries jubilee for $47.50/person.


To start, COMPLIMENTARY MEATBALLS. The meatballs taste average and are a tiny bit dry. They look really saucy but the sauce is very light which I prefer.

Following the meatballs, the COMPLIMENTARY BREAD AND BUTTER. The bread is a soft baguette that is served warm, which I did not expect (since they do not serve warm bread in France). The butter is whipped which I love! I usually only finish bread if I get whipped butter and I was worried it would ruin my appetite.

The first appetizer is the SOUP OF THE DAY, SHRIMP BISQUE ($9.00). They forgot the prawn so it is given to us on a spoon. The bisque has a very strong shrimp taste and is flavourful. I did not really enjoy because it is too shrimpy for me.

The second appetizer is the FRESH VANCOUVER ISLAND QUALICUM BAY SCALLOPS, SAMBUCA AND SHALLOTS, FINISHED HOLLANDAISE AND PARMESAN CHEESE ($14.00). The scallops are fresh and moist with a very generous amount of parmesan cheese. The hollandaise is very light which I prefer.

The third appetizer is the CAESAR SALAD, ROMAINE LETTUCE, GRATED EMMENTAL AND PARMESAN, FRESHLY PREPARED AT YOUR TABLE FOR TWO OR MORE ($13.00). BF is uncomfortable when someone makes sauce in front of him and, I had to beg him to suck it up and get this. The dressing is made from scratch with garlic, egg, anchovy paste and olive oil. 

The portion of parmesan cheese is pretty generous too, about a whole cup. 

The caesar salad is really good and I recommend it. I usually do not get caesar salads and I only wanted it this time since they make it in front of you. This is one of the best caesars I ever had (I am most likely bias because I like homemade food more and I was able to see the actual ingredients used). The romaine is fresh, the dressing is fresh, and the parmesan is freshly grated (not the Kraft Tex Mex kind lol). The croutons are most likely healthier since they become soggy after a few minutes, so no preservatives are added.


He sets it on fire by pouring remy vsop.

He then puts the slices of meat on our plates,

and pours gravy on the flame.

Then he heats our plates on the stove, and mixes the alcohol, meat juices and gravy for au jus.

The filet mignon comes with potato croquettes, half a tomato, mushrooms, red peppers and carrots. To be honest, if this was the tenderloin I could not tell. The filet mignon is really chewy and tough. When I tried BFs, his was less chewy. What? It is from the same piece! I guess somehow my pieces were overcooked? Anyways, I did not really like the potato croquette but the rest of the sides are good. I did not enjoy the filet mignon and honestly think the tenderloin would have been better since it is the special. Other then that, it does not taste like filet mignon since it is so chewy.

My dessert is the SEASONAL FRUIT WITH WHIPPED CREAM AND ICE CREAM ($7.00). The dessert comes with a liquor but I passed. I love the whipped cream because it tastes so fresh! The strawberries are ridiculously sour though.

His dessert is the ESPRESSO CREME BRULEE ($7.00). The creme brulee has a nice caramelized hard brittle top and the espresso taste is very strong. This is a must order for espresso fans.

I recommend at least coming here once for the chateaubriand and restaurant experience. I do think the experience itself is a lot better than the food. I definitely recommend the tenderloin over the filet mignon since I was a bit disappointed. I was expecting the filet mignon to be so tender that I could just use my fork, but it was so tough that I struggled to cut it. If you come, get the special, it is a lot more worth it than our dinner. We could have saved $45.00 and had a better meal with the special.

Other then the food, I really enjoy the restaurant experience. I like the different rooms and how the salad and chateaubriand is made in front of you. We came on a Friday evening around 8:30pm and left I think around 10:45pm? The food takes longer than usual, so you have time to relax and talk. I came here for something different, and I really recommend it too.

Food: 3.5
Service: 4/5

Old Surrey Restaurant on Urbanspoon


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