Northern Delicacy in Aberdeen Centre

Updated: 12th Jan 2015; This restaurant is closed.

We hardly go to the Aberdeen Centre, not sure why even though we know there are quite a few nice bloggable restaurants there. Suanne and I had an afternoon by ourselves and decided to go to the Aberdeen Centre to check out the restaurants there.

The Aberdeen Centre s actually named after the Aberdeen Harbour in Hongkong. This centre is actually a new reincarnation of the old Aberdeen Center which was demolished and rebuilt again to compete with the other new Asian Mall around Richmond.

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The Aberdeen Centre caters primarily for Asian-Canadian shoppers — mainly Chinese, Hongkong Chinese. The primary tenant is Daiso where everything is sold for two dollars. Unlike other Asian Malls around the Vancouver area, this one is very clean, spacious, bright and uncluttered.

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Someone recommended the Northern Delicacy restaurant to us sometime back. I can’t be absolutely sure but I think it was Daniel and Clarina. The restaurant has a very wide entrance, untypical of chinese restaurants and you can’t miss the two Terracotta warriors by it’s entrance.

I know very little about Chinese cuisines, especially the little subtleties of cuisines around the various regions. So, I got a question for you readers … what exactly is termed as Northern Cuisine? My impression is that it consists of things like steamed buns (especially xiao lung bao) and noodles in soup. Somehow, I felt that Northern food are more “steamy” because of the cold weather in the northern region. Any expert who can enlighten us?

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Suanne told me that the Chinese name for this restaurant does not translate to Northern Delicacy but instead it should translate to something like “Full House Restaurant”. Continue reading

Hong-Zao Fried Rice

Julie also made a Hong-Zao Fried Rice to be served with the Twice Cooked Pork Belly and Hong-Zao Stir-fry Pork Belly. She also brought some Hong-Zao made by her friend for sale. It costs $5 for a small tub as it takes a long time to make it. I did not buy it because I’m not sure if my kids will like the distinctive flavour of Hong-Zao.

The Hong-Zao Fried Rice is reddish because of the colour of Hong-Zao.

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Ingredients

  • 4 cups cooked rice
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/2 lb ground pork
  • 2 tablespoons Hong-Zao paste, divided
  • 1 tablespoon sweet bean sauce or soy sauce

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Hong-Zao Stir-fry Pork Belly

Julie made a dish called Hong-Zao Chicken Salad sometime ago. Julie told us that Hong-Zao, the red fermented glutinous rice paste is known to improve blood circulation and helps to reduce clogs in the arteries according to a Japan University study.

This time, Julie made a Stir-fry Pork Belly seasoned with Hong-Zao. She used the same pork belly which has been boiled once and sliced thin.

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Ingredients

  • Pork belly which had been boiled and thinly sliced
  • a few sticks of celery which is cut into one inch strips and thinly sliced; you may substitute celery with sliced onions or green onions.
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 3 teaspoons of Hong-Zao paste
  • 2 teaspoons of Miso paste

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Instructions

  • Briefly blanched the thinly sliced celery in boiling water.
  • As usual, start with sauteing the garlic until fragrant in medium heat.
  • Mix the Hong-Zao paste with Miso paste in a small bowl and add to the sauteed garlic.
  • Add in the cooked sliced pork belly and stir-fry until well mix.

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  • Finally, add in the celery and stir-fry until well mix but do not overcooked the vegetables.

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The Hong-Zao gives the dish a distinguish reddish colour. It also has a wine flavour to it. Such dish is always great with steam rice.

Twice Cooked Pork Belly

Twice Cooked Pork Belly is one of my favourite dish. I like to order this whenever I visit a Shanghai restaurant. I’m glad that Julie demonstrated how to make it in the South Arm Community Kitchen.

Twice Cooked Pork Belly is a spicy dish and quite heavy in seasonings. So, it goes best with steam rice.

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Julie served the Twice Cooked Pork Belly with Hong-Zao Fried Rice along with another dish; Hong-Zao Stir-Fried Pork. The meal ended with Sweet Potato Soup with lots of ginger to enhance the flavour.

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Here is the recipe for the Twice Cooked Pork Belly.

Ingredients

  • 1 slab of pork belly, about 1 lb
  • 1 medium cabbage
  • 1 tablespoon chopped garlic
  • 1 tablespoon chopped ginger
  • 1 tablespoon spicy broad bean paste (“lark tou pan jiang”) or chilli sauce
  • 1 tablespoon sweet fermented bean paste (“tien mien jiang”)
  • dark soy sauce for colour
  • sugar to taste

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Continue reading

Tim Tam

I had heard a long time about this snack which is very popular in Australia. I came across this at the Real Canadian Superstore some weeks ago. I would have missed seeing this if not because the Superstore placed a big signage of it at the end-cap.

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Tim Tam is basically a chocolate biscuit. It is made of two layers of chocolate malted biscuit, separated by a light chocolate cream filing and coated with a layer of chocolate.

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It’s amazing how a simple chocolate biscuit became such a popular snack in Australia. I think it largely because of the way Tim Tams are supposed to be eaten. I had been told that the right way to eat Tim Tam is to bite off two corners of the biscuit and then use it like a drinking straw to suck up hot chocolates.

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You got to suck it really hard and fast as the insides does melt away really fast and makes the biscuit collapse. My boys always have a hot chocolate before they sleep and they love Tim Tams.

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Any Aussie reader on this blog? Any tips on how best to eat Tim Tam? I am sure there are ways to prevent this biscuit from falling apart so fast.

Corn Flake Cookies

Arkensen’s appetite has been growing lately. He is constantly looking for snacks. So, I decided to bake a batch of cookies to satisfy his huge appetite.

After browsing through my recipe collections, I decided to try this Corn Flake Cookies since I have some corn flakes in my pantry. My kids are not a fan of cereals. I bought the corn flakes to make Peanut Butter Pita Bread.

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The Corn Flake Cookies came out thin, crispy and buttery, just the way Ben likes cookies. However, Arkensen would prefer chewier cookies.

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This recipe yields 40 cookies. This is a very simple cookies recipe and I don’t think I need to illustrate the steps with pictures. I will just post the recipe here.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup butter, room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup chopped nuts (I used walnuts)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 cups cornflakes, whole

Instructions

  • Cream the butter and sugar (I just cream them by hand).
  • Mix all dry ingredients and add to the butter-sugar mixture. Mix well.
  • Add nuts, vanilla and cornflakes (no need to crush as the mixing will crush them). Mix until blended (by hand).
  • Roll into balls about the size of an English walnut. I used a small ice-cream scoop to do the job.
  • Place balls on an ungreased cookie sheet (which I lined with parchment paper). Leave space (2″ apart) for spreading as the cookies spread quite a bit. Flatten the ball with a fork.
  • Bake in a preheated 350F (I set mine to 325F as I’m using dark cookie sheet) for 10 to 12 minutes.
  • Let cool slightly on cookie sheet (cookie is very soft just out of the oven) before removing to a wire rack to cool completely.

I hope you’ll enjoy this cookie as much as I do.

Baked Chicken with Pineapple

Jean’s second dish is Baked Chicken with Pineapple. Chicken goes well with pineapple. The pineapple juice helps to tenderize the chicken.

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The chicken turned out to be slightly on the sweet side as Jean added a lot more candied ginger than stated in the recipe to the dish. Jean loves candied ginger, so do I. Check out the goodness of candied ginger here.

Ingredients

  • 1 teaspoon dried rosemary
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 3 to 4 lbs chicken parts or split breast, boneless and skinless
  • 10 to 12 green onions, chopped
  • 1 cup pineapple juice
  • 2 teaspoons finely chopped candied ginger
  • 1 small can of sliced pineapples, halved

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Continue reading

Baked French Potato Wedges

Jean made two dishes in the Gilmore Park Church community kitchen. Jean told us that we will be the guinea pigs to test the recipes as this is the first time she’s making them.

The first dish is the Baked French Potato Wedges. These potato wedges are crispy, flavourful and cheesy. I’m sure kids will love this, especially mine.

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Ingredients

  • 4 medium russet potatoes, scrubbed and cut into 8 wedges each
  • 2 tablespoons margarine or butter, melted
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1 teaspoon chopped garlic
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 tablespoon grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese

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Sweet Obsession on West 16th Ave, Vancouver

Polly and I missed our cake meet as both of us have a busy schedule. Finally, we get to have a break this Tuesday to go to Sweet Obsession at 2611 West 16th Avenue, Vancouver. Sweet Obsession is located in a small street mall in a residential area.

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There is hardly any signage except one small one in front of the shop.

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Sweet Obsession has a selection of exquisite cakes and pastries. You will be amazed at the selection available there; ranging from cheese cake, chocolate cake, mousse cake, tiramisu, torte, tart, flan, etc. They cater for all occasions from small dinner parties to weddings and formal affairs.

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Sweet Obsession also serves sandwiches, pastries, cookies and dessert bars.

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We decided to order our favourite cheesecake. We ordered two slices of cheesecake to share. The first one is a Chai Latte flavour cheesecake. The Chai flavour is very strong and overpowering somehow.

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We preferred the Lemon flavour cheesecake instead. The tanginess just goes well with the creaminess of the cheesecake.

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The cheesecake cost slightly over $5 per slice. We also ordered a Mocha and a Cappuccino to go with the cheesecakes. The drinks cost between $2.50 and $2.70.

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The total bill came up close to $20 including tips. This is the only cake place that we’ve seen with mothers coming in for a take out with their baby prams. Sweet Obsession has very good traffic with a lot of clients coming in for take-out. The traffic tells us that this is a great place for cake.

Click on the link below to see more cakes.

Continue reading

Chicken Rice

Zoe served her Spicy Chicken Salad with Chicken Rice. The Chicken Rice is cooked with the chicken broth from cooking the chicken breast in yesterday’s post.

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Zoe cooked the rice with a one to one ratio of rice and broth. She used a few slices of ginger and a pinch of salt to flavour the rice. She used an electric rice cooker to cook the rice.

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While the rice is cooking, Zoe pan-fried some of the shredded chicken from the Spicy Chicken Salad recipe with some grated ginger and two teaspoons of oil.

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The shredded chicken is fried until light golden brown. When the rice is ready, Zoe added the fried shredded chicken into the rice and mix them well.

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Zoe, thank you for sharing with us such homey dishes which we can easily make for our family. I’m sure my kids will love this Chicken Rice. They are big fans of Hainanese Chicken Rice.