Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Deer Garden Signatures 鹿園魚湯米線: Sexsmith location


This is my second visit to Deer Garden and I really wanted to give the restaurant a second chance, for personal reasons. You see, I am not a fan of noodles. First, I do not get full off noodles and second, I rather have pretty much anything else (pizza, burger, donair, vegetables, steak, chicken… ice cream).

So on my first visit, I remember having to wait five minutes for a seat and was shocked that I waited for noodles! It is really hard for me to have bubble tea food, noodles, or eat at a Hong Kong style cafe; so yes, I was quite frustrated that I waited for a noodle shop. In addition, I have never even heard of Deer Garden and the restaurant was my friend's choice. So since I did not eat noodles then, I had the curry beef brisket (which was alright.. nothing special and kind of chewy) and a red bean smoothie with ice cream.

Fast forward to a couple of years later, I started randomly craving for noodles! Meaning, I had to visit Deer Garden, properly. We came around 4:00pm on a weekday and the restaurant was fairly empty. Walking in, there was a strong fresh aroma of milk tea, I liked it LOL.

Tapioca Cafe 三年一班

I am the worst person to be with in Richmond for a late night dinner. Why? Because I do not want to eat Chinese or Shanghainese food anymore. Also, I think it is silly to visit Cactus Club if I am in Richmond. Plus, I did not want hot pot either so that limited my options quite a bit. I was however, craving for Taiwanese beef noodles (I am pretty much a poser and can only eat 10 strands)! After circling Richmond for an hour, literally, I made up my mind and decided to try Tapioca Cafe. I only know of Tapioca Cafe because I used to see their "soft opening" and "grand opening" signs when I headed next door to Richmond Sushi. The restaurant's interior has a classroom style layout and looks cute. The only complaint would be the tables. Every table has a bar which prevents people from crossing their legs.


Shanghai Wonderful Restaurant 旺

From all the Chinese restaurants I have been going to lately, my new phase has been Shanghai cuisine. It seems like my interest in Shanghai cuisine started when I thought of it as an "escape" from eating Chinese food, and that I am happy with XLBs and pan fried buns for dinner. 

I visited Shanghai Wonderful before Shanghai River but since I lost sleep over Shanghai River, I posted about that restaurant first. Also, since Shanghai River pretty much killed my mood for Shanghainese, my new phase is now Taiwanese cuisine. It is a bit funny that I am Taiwanese but rarely visit those restaurants since I never get "full", nor am I a fan of noodles. Anyways, continuing with Shanghai Wonderful, the restaurant was a bit busy and luckily there was no wait. The restaurant looks fairly clean, has plenty of seats and the staff is friendly.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Shanghai River 滬江海派料理

Shanghai River is the only upscale and "high end" Shanghai cuisine restaurant in Richmond. To me, their popularity started due to being the first restaurant in Richmond to make xiao long bao and wontons open for the public to see. Furthermore, people (well, larger groups of four to eight) come to Shanghai River to celebrate a birthday or for a nice "atmosphere" dinner, since on a Monday evening there were a few birthday dinners.

Shanghai River is also quite large but the seating arrangements are a bit tight and not very comfortable when the restaurant gets busy.

Monday, August 26, 2013

Fortune City Seafood Restaurant 百福海鮮酒家

Last week when my boyfriend and I passed this restaurant on our way to Venice Garden, we noticed it is extremely busy and some of the dishes posted outside the restaurant looked good. Well actually my boyfriend wanted to eat here but I thought it was too busy and I hate eating at busy restaurants (spotlight effect, social anxiety, the usual yenno).

Going to a cleaner Chinese restaurant has always lead me to believe that the service will be good. However, I realize that is not the case anymore so I did not expect anything special. But surprisingly the service is amazing and the staff (fine, one of the servers) is attentive and professional.


To start, the ROASTED SQUAB ($12.80). The squab could have been more tender as well as juicy and the skin is not really crispy. At least the squab is not chewy and is somewhat tasty, but other then that it is pretty oily. The squab is not that good.

The second dish is the 2lb BRAISED LOBSTER IN SUPERIOR BROTH WITH NOODLE ($29.80). The lobster is tender with a nice snap and the superior broth is a bit above average. This dish is one of the specials they have.

The third dish is the BRAISED CRAB MEAT AND SHARK'S FIN SOUP ($12.80/bowl). The broth is really light and clear which I personally prefer, and the crab meat is shredded.

The fourth dish is the BRAISED ABALONE AND GOOSE WEBS ($12.80). The sauce is a bit heavy for me (again, personal preference) and is not salty. The broccoli is not overcooked and I like how they cut it in smaller pieces. What do I say about abalone? It is average, no complaints, a bit too hard and if anything the sauce is a bit strong.

The fifth dish is the FRIED SCALLOP AND SHRIMP WITH CHOY SUM IN BROTH ($13.80). The choy sum is not over or under cooked and the broth is really tasty with the scallops and shrimp. This is now one of my favourite dishes! Can you say healthy? I do find the broth to be a bit salty but that is because I prefer my vegetables clean. I will definitely come back if I was in the area for Chinese food just so I can order this.

The last dish is the STEAMED EGG WITH MINCED PORK AND DRY SCALLOPS ($13.80). This dish is pretty much perfectly made. The steamed egg is perfectly smooth like tofu. The minced pork, egg, scallops, green onions, this is a healthy and yummy refreshing dish. Next time I would go without the soy sauce since I like bland healthy food sometimes.

For dessert, COMPLIMENTARY BLACK SESAME SOUP and COOKIES. I am not a fan of drinking black sesame like this but I like how it is something different other than red bean soup. The cookies are not that great but meh. The flatter ones are coconut and I hate coconut. The coconut cookie tastes a bit "wet" but there are a good amount of coconut flakes.

With the professional service and yummy healthier options, I will come back. Something interesting was that a table was celebrating a birthday and the restaurant had the birthday song playing on the speakers in an asian childlike english voice which was cute/tacky/fob at the same time.

Food: 3/5
Service: 4/5

Fortune City Seafood Restaurant 百福海鮮酒家 on Urbanspoon

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Timothy's Frozen Yogurt : Steveston location

Timothy's frozen yogurt is one of the three (or four?) ice cream stands in Steveston. In addition, Timothy's offers frozen yogurt, gelato, sorbet and housemade fresh waffles. Emphasize on the housemade fresh waffles, since it is what the shop is known for.

After finishing a small lunch at Pajo's, we headed to Timothy's for dessert. When walking in, the cashier was friendly, welcoming as well as inviting. Actually, he is the friendliest cashier out of everyone I have met from here!

Phoenix Garden Chinese Restaurant 鳳凰城酒家

Phoenix Garden was previously Golden Phoenix which was owned by Cindy who now owns Cindy's Palace. My only "blurb" about Phoenix Garden, two strikes and you are out. Phoenix Garden's interior is a cleaner Chinese restaurant which gives the impression that the food will be tasty and service will be attentive.

CRAB MEAT WITH SHARK'S FIN SOUP ($18.80/bowl). The shark's fin is fused with the soup which is something different for me since I usually see a piece of shark's fin. The broth tastes light, clear and tastes good. For the price, it would have been nice to have a piece or two of crab meat.

2lb LOTUS WRAP LOBSTER AND STICKY RICE ($29.80). This is a special and I think it is usually $10.00 more. It seems like Chinese restaurants are trying to compete with each other because lately there has been many lobster and/or crab specials. The only reason BF and I wanted to come here is for the lotus wrap lobster, he had it the first time and found it interesting. The lobster tastes flavourful as well as tender since it is only 2lb. The rice has a nice lobster aroma and some tasty niblets of corn.

OYSTER WITH ROASTED PORK AND BITTER MELON ($16.95). The bitter melon tastes perfectly cooked with a nice crunch. Unfortunately the roasted pork tastes too chewy, and I did not try the oyster. The black bean sauce tastes average and not too salty or overwhelming.

SPARERIBS INSIDE A WHOLE PUMPKIN ($16.80). For this dish, the waitress usually slices the sides of pumpkin to let the sauce pour out. The spareribs taste tender, flavourful, not salty, and the pumpkin does not taste overcooked. 

RED BEAN SOUP (COMPLIMENTARY). The soup tastes average, not too sweet and could have been more thick (personal preference).


- Dinner was better than the first because we were given red bean soup this time and not fortune cookies

- Average tasting dishes
- Pricier dishes
- Service? Won't get any unless you're here with a large group

- Below is my vent, a pretty rude vent
- I understand the owner has good intentions by telling me to order soup and only one dish, but I am starving. For him to YANK the menu out of my hand numerous times, come on. Seriously. When I say yank, I mean yank. The first time we came here, he did the exact same thing and it really pisses me off. Why must you yank the menu out of a customer's hand? Usually people are happy when customers order more! I really wanted a vegetable dish because I prefer less saucy dishes. He practically did not even want us to order the third and forth dishes, we literally said we wanted them for five minutes straight. Other than the ordering problem, I actually banned this place before because they gave us a fortune cookie for dessert, WTF? Not to sound like a b@#$%, but fine a fortune cookie is acceptable. I only find it not acceptable when everyone has else red bean soup and cookies on their table.
- Continuing with my vent, the service is pathetic. There is no service unless you are here with 8-10 people. Are you guys stupid? So many larger tables do not even tip properly. Stop thinking that larger tables will mean a bigger tip. It is not always necessarily true and I have seen it so many times. I regret the tip I gave them and should have tipped what they assume two people will tip. This restaurant really pisses me off. All I wanted is to order peacefully, freely, and order what I want. The only service I needed was the bill and some take out containers, why is that so hard when you have 2 waitresses and 2 owners with only 4 seated tables in the restaurant?  

Food: 2.5/5
Service: 1/5

Phoenix Garden Chinese Restaurant 鳳凰城酒家 on Urbanspoon

Joey Coquitlam

Some people hate restaurant chains, but I am not one of them. The reason why I enjoy them is because I like consistency, whether good or bad. I also like to have a certain amount or lack of expectations to prevent any annoyances or surprises during my dining experience. For example, some chains are considered to constantly provide underwhelming service; so when I visit, I can expect mediocre service without getting frustrated. Moreover, I usually go to a couple of restaurant chains for specific dishes. Take Joey for example, I enjoy their ahi tuna salad and apple pie.

Joey has a similar atmosphere to Cactus Club, where the restaurant is dimly lit, loud music plays in the background, and the female servers are usually attractive and wear short black dresses/skirts.

Friday, August 23, 2013

Pajo's Fish & Chips

Pajo's is located at the Steveston pier in Richmond and word of the mouth is, the fast food joint serves the best fish n' chips. As for my experiences, unfortunately I have experienced many misses with the ratio being 4:0. Fortunately though, my first positive experience brings me to 4:1!

What started out as a leisurely bike ride, ended up in Richmond... 40km later! When we arrived, she really wanted Pajo's and being hesitant at first because I have never had a positive experience here before, I was too tired to think of another place to eat. Usually I go for the halibut but she recommends the salmon and says it is a lot better.

Thursday, August 22, 2013


Honest to truth, I do not know much about Hawksworth. Apparently the chef is David Hawksworth who is a respected chef in Vancouver? It seems like the tasting menu is the most popular choice here, but I only came for the 30oz heritage angus bone in rib eye. For the price, it MUST be good right?

The entrance to the restaurant is through Hotel Georgia and the restaurant is quite dim. I love how the cutlery is displayed as an "H". 

I deliberately chose coming here on a Wednesday evening and assumed the restaurant would be quieter, but I was wrong. The restaurant was pretty busy and this was at 9:00pm. Me of course, having the spotlight effect and not wanting to bother people with the flash from my phone, asked if we could move to another room because I thought it would be more quiet. Also, this is when I definitely learned my lesson to never change tables.

The other room is not quieter and was equally as loud, plus we got seated by the washroom :(.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Lucky Gate Chinese Restaurant 前門飯店


Judging from the restaurant's exterior, I did not have much hopes for a clean restaurant and assumed that Lucky Gate is another "dirty" late night Chinese restaurant; serving average or below average tasting food. However, after walking in, the restaurant looked promising with a clean interior and an open kitchen window, which showed the cook making fresh noodles from scratch. Lucky Gate specializes in Northern China cuisine and the restaurant has booth seating arrangements as well as a couple of tables to accommodate larger parties.

The Jade Seafood Restaurant 玉庭軒海鮮酒家

One of the reasons I have always wanted to try Jade Seafood is because of the chandler which can be seen from the outside! Furthermore since I was getting my car cleaned, my friend and I decided to walk fifteen minutes here for dim sum.

Jade Seafood is a typical "cleaner" Chinese restaurant which gives the impression that one will get good service and with their above average prices, the quality of food will be good.

Monday, August 19, 2013

Rose Garden Seafood Restaurant 嘉好海鮮美食之家


Rose Garden used to be a regular late night restaurant of mine for about half a year. I came here weekly (even 2-3 times a week sometimes) because the food is not bad and it is quieter than Congee Noodle King. The only reason I stopped making it my regular is because the service is barely there, and it is not that hard for me to find late night Chinese restaurants I can enjoy. There is pretty much an unspoken rule (as lame as that sounds) that when you recognize your regular customers (plus I eat a lot!), you should provide average service. By the way, no relation to the person above and yes I do feel like I needed to mention that.

I consider Rose Garden to be a "dirty" Chinese restaurant. By dirty, I mean you can easily find food on the ground and have dirty cutlery. I do not mean dirty as in bugs and rats, though sometimes there are flies but that is a given for any late night restaurant? It is just one of those things where you hear people complain about dirty tables or stinky smells that seem exaggerated and you roll your eyes.


CLAMS IN LEMON BROTH ($5.99). The clams are fresh, the broth is clear and you can taste the lemon grass. There are no dead clams which makes me think they have a good quality control and throw the dead ones out.

1LB OF STEAMED SPOT PRAWNS ($25.80/lb). I did not know the spot prawns with eggs are in season, and the eggs creep me out. The prawns are not overcooked and taste the same to me everywhere (if they are not overcooked).

DEEP FRIED SILVER FISH ($5.99). The fishies are nicely deep fried and crunchy. I personally love crunchy dishes but for the average person, it would have been a bit over deep fried. The seasoning is tasty and tastes like any other chilli and salt seasoning.

SAUTEED GEODUCK SLICES ($19.99). The geoduck is a bit overcooked and tastes chewy. Other than that, the vegetables are a bit too oily but that is a given for some Chinese restaurants.

PLAIN CONGEE (COMPLIMENTARY WITH ORDER OF 4 dishes). I deliberately chose four dishes just so I can get the free congee! I have no idea why but I have been craving for plain congee lately. The congee tastes bland, home cooked, tasty, and has a nice consistency. To me, there is bad bland congee and this is considered a good one.

3 1/2lb CREAM AND BUTTER SAUCE LOBSTER ($15.80/lb). The cream and butter sauce is pretty good, creamy, has a nice consistency, and the lobster pieces are lightly battered. The lobster is not overcooked and has a nice snappy bounce. I totally forgot to add yee mein noodles and regret it.

DEEP FRIED SHANGHAI BUNS ($5.99). I like that they use new oil but I wish the buns kept their shape. The buns come with condensed milk of course, but you have to ask for it which I find odd. I did not really enjoy the taste of the buns because of the lack of shredding, lost shape, and the taste itself. The buns taste bland and are missing the usual yummy soft bun taste.

SAUTEED PORK TORO SLICES WITH VEGETABLES ($5.99). The pork toro slices have been more tender but it is not too chewy. I do not think I ever had any chewy meat dishes (sliced beef or pork toro) here before. The vegetables are nice and crisp but overly oily.

Just a little fact... I am the type to not speak up. As the only waitress in the restaurant is reading a newspaper with her back towards us, I say "excuse me" pretty loud. No response. I say it again, no response. I feel awkward and walk up behind her and say it again. LOL no response. I then walk in front of her, got her attention and asked for the bill. Later on she brings the bill and goes back to reading the newspaper. History repeats itself and luckily I was smart to calculate the amount so I did not need to get her attention once again for change :)

COMPLIMENTARY RED BEAN SOUP. The red bean soup has a nice thick consistency but tastes too sweet. I like that there is a hint of mandarin orange peels as well.

- Sauteed dishes are not too oily
- Late night restaurant 

- Average eats
- No service
- They never show the seafood and tried giving us a 4lb lobster, uh...

- Meh, if service is not an issue.. why not?
- Revisit post on Rose Garden [here]

Food: 2.5/5
Service: 1/5

Rose Garden Seafood Restaurant 嘉好海鮮美食之家 on Urbanspoon


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...