Monday, December 29, 2014

Redbud Restaurant 紫荊閣餐廳

For three consecutive days, we headed to Richmond for an errand only to end up forgetting because we focused on eating! This was irritating because the both of us reminded ourselves to "not forget" before eating. Fortunately after three trips to Richmond though, we finally got the errand done before dinner. So as we circled around Richmond looking for a place to eat, we agreed to pass on live seafood along with bubble tea restaurants and settled for a Hong Kong Style Cafe.

Only since the beginning of the year, it was impossible for me to set foot in a HK style cafe, but now I no longer mind because some of the restaurants offer steak. There are also only two HK style cafes in Richmond that serve above average food to us which are La Amigo along with Kingspark Steak House. However when circling around, BF noticed Redbud twice and kept yapping about the restaurant so I decided to give it a go. Plus, some of the photos that were uploaded from someone related to the restaurant did not look bad.

Redbud appears to be a new HK style cafe and a higher end one, offering dishes such as rack of lamb, steak and lobster. The restaurant is fairly spacious and there are booth seating arrangements along the walls and tables in the centre. On our visit, there was an older waitress along with a younger one and both were friendly. The younger waitress was very attentive and polite too.

The basics of a HK style cafe are that a drink along with soup are included with the purchase of a set menu or entree. Hot drinks are always included but cold drinks are an extra charge. Also, at most HK style cafes, restaurants offer speciality drinks for an additional charge too but Redbud does not provide that option. Since I only drink water, BF ordered ovaline along with horlick. According to him, the drinks taste average.

Rating: 2/5.
Every HK style cafe I have been to allows an upgrade on the choice of soup for an additional charge. However, Redbud does not. So for those who want a larger soup or a better option such as a seafood with pastry puff, will have to pay the full price despite that an order of soup is included with a set menu or entree. As for the included Cream Soup, there is a hint of chicken broth and a nice creaminess. There is no creamy flavour but the consistency is there. However, the soup tastes very light, borderline being bland (not as bad as Hollywood Steakhouse's).

Rating: 2/5.
This is where there was a miscommunication. We ordered the Russian Borscht which is included with the purchase of a set menu, but the older waitress thought we wanted the regular size. But even if we did want the regular size, where is the soup that is included with a meal? As for the taste, the flavours are fairly weak which may be expected with russian borschts at HK style cafes. There is a watery tomato flavour and the ingredients include cabbage along with carrot.

Rating: 2/5.
The toasts are served cold and despite the toasted appearance, the bread tastes soft.

Rating: 2.5/5.
The escargot tastes tender along with a touch buttery, but there is not much cheese or flavour.

Rating: 1/5.
The rib eye steak is cooked to a medium rare as requested, exhibits nice looking grill marks, and has a simple salt n' pepper seasoning. As for the taste, the first cut of the rib eye tastes tender and juicy but the remainder of the steak fell apart. The steak has no marbling and tasted dry along with chewy. If comparing to other HK style cafe steaks, Kingspark Steak House's is better and La Amigo's has a great marbling.

As for the other highlight of the entree, the lobster is not pre-cut like Kingspark Steak House's so it requires a bit more effort to get into. The lobster tastes a touch overcooked too and lacks that nice bounciness, but it is also topped with a tasty cream and butter sauce along with a bit of mushroom and corn. In addition, the selection of vegetables include zucchini, carrot and corn.

Another basic HK style cafe offering is a choice of carbs which includes mashed potato, rice or spaghetti and I went for the last option. The spaghetti tastes overcooked and does not come with any sauce, so the pasta was left behind.

Rating: 1/5.
BF went for the three item combo for $13.95 but because of the additional charges on six items, it ended up costing $27.95. The NY steak has a good looking crust and is prepared to a medium rare, like the Rib Eye. However, the steak tastes very chewy, dry, tough and a bit watery.

There is no rich beefy flavour too which is odd, considering we confirmed if the steaks are previously frozen. Both the NY and Rib Eye steaks overall are a very poor quality, including for a HK style cafe. As for the side, he chose rice instead of spaghetti but I traded steaks with him because he was annoyed about this one.

Rating: 2.5/5.
His second item is the lobster which is consistently prepared like mine. As for the third item which is the pork chop, the meat tastes tender and has a tasty seasoning. Definitely stick to the traditional HK cafe items instead of the steaks. The meal also includes his choice of sauce which is Gravy, but there is no taste. The gravy is not watery, just bland. My choice of sauce is Garlic, which has a heavy black pepper bitterness that leaves a stinging feeling in the mouth.

Rating: 2.5/5.
After the disappointing meal, we were presented with coconut tapioca puddings. The puddings are the best item from the meal and have a rich coconut along with a tapioca flavour. The texture is soft like mousse too, but not "airy".

TOTAL: $79.15 + TIP $7.85 = $87.00.

Since we were charged $5.55 for a full order of Russian Borscht which was not confirmed with us, we took the price difference out of the tip. With regards to the menu, it is very confusing and misleading. No upgrades are allowed and what kind of set menu has additional costs on almost half the items? Furthermore, even some of the sauces such as the Mushroom or Creamy Corn have an addition $1.00 charge. Asides from the additional charges, the poor quality items we ordered are not worth the price. However, the waitresses were friendly, especially the younger one. As for the cashier/owner's wife, wouldn't she be curious why a table is being charged for an order of soup when one is included?

- Friendly waitresses
- Free parking?

- Misleading menu
- Poor quality steaks
- Expensive food for the quality
- Miscommunication regarding the russian borscht
- There are better HK style cafes nearby

- It was so upsetting pulling out my blog post on Kingspark Steak House as we were eating and realized the food costs less there. And tastes better!

Food: 1.5/5
Service: 3/5

Redbud Restaurant 紫荊閣餐廳 on Urbanspoon

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