I normally would blog this in sequence but this post could be time sensitive. So, I thought I better post this two days after our visit so that more of you could take advantage of the great offer this restaurant has in store.
They currently have a 2-for-1 promotion that pretty much makes them the cheapest noodles in the city. And they are a bit of an upscale place too.
Bistro The Home is the newest restaurants in Richmond. As a matter of fact, they had been opened just one week. Before I went, I thought that this would be another Chinese restaurant. I actually was half hoping that they would serve HOME STYLE Chinese food. But they are not Chinese.
Bistro The Home is an Asianized Pasta house. Yeah, that’s what they call themselves.
For those of you familiar with the glutton’s street in Richmond, Bistro The Home took over the spot vacated by Bonqula. Suanne and I did not expect that Bistro The Home will take over the spot so fast because we only noticed that Bonqula had closed just three weeks ago. They sure moved in and got running fast.
When we heard that Bonqula closed (blog post here), we were quite shocked. To us, it was a gem of a place and has an unique flair that you don’t see in many Japanese restaurants. I compare them as the feminine cultured side of a Japanese restaurant where Izakayas is the masculine boisterous counterpart. I understand that Bonqula closed because of a death in the family. I hope that they reopen someday. Does anyone know of the inside scoop?
This location is kind of hidden from where the action is along Alexandra Road. So many people will not know it’s there if you just cruise down Alexandra to decide what you want to eat.
The restaurant is OK kind of nice. They tried to make it a date dining destination as I can see but it is still rough around the edges.
The interior is dim and they play soothing soft music. This is sort of place you go out on a date. There is also a piano in the dining hall which the server said she plays sometimes. Right in the middle is an artificial tree which although looks very much fake, it does add a nice touch to the entire ambiance.
Yeah, this is the kind of place where you bring your date for a nice quiet dinner.
The one thing we thought stood out was that the table cloth were cheap and clearly very wrinkled.
The cutleries are still brand new and they are shiny — I like that.
Service is eager and very helpful. But then the waitress and waiter does look like they are new on the job. No, I don’t fault them at all but it was obvious.
The waitress was sweet. We asked if they are Japanese but she told us that they are Korean. She also told us that their chef is from Korea who studied in Japan the craft of cooking pasta.
When we flipped open the menu, the first item jumped out at us … $35, $25. I thought this place is gonna be expensive but actually that first two items is their Chef Special where you get a steak and it comes with a pasta of your choice. Anyway, our waitress told us that their Chef Specials are not quite ready yet.
Their menu also has a breakfast section and they also have a wine license. I see a few tables having wine with their pasta — a sight you don’t normally see in Richmond’s restaurants which is predominantly Chinese.
For us, it was water only. We were not wine drinkers and moreover, we were initially shell shocked by the prices on the menu.
The waitress served us warm garlic toast for starter which is very garlicky. It also smell real good when they brought it over. This is the type of toast I like.
Bistro The Home’s pasta selection is spread over two pages of the menu. The way they lay it out took us a while to realize it is … just a simple selection of sauces and what you want with the pasta. If they laid the choices out in a table, it would probably take up only half a page. :-)
Basically they have three types of house made sauces:
- oil: extra virgin olive oil with basil and garlic shoots
- cream sauce: creamy white wine sauce
- tomato sauce: tomatoes, basil, extra virgin olive oil
Since this is a 2-for-1 promotion, we opted for two pastas … two of their most expensive pasta.
The first pasta dish was the Tomato Sauce Mare. On the menu, this is $15.50 and so with the promotion, this is less than $8. For $8, this is certainly a great deal … and much better than any pho, noodles, etc that you can find in town. However at full price, I am not sure it will work in Richmond to tell the truth. I know it will in Vancouver but in Richmond …
Mare is a seafood fusion of prawns, scallops, squids, clams and mussels. I like the tomato sauce a lot. The waitress said that their is their chef’s creation. I like that the tomato sauce is lightly spicy and it’s made with crushed tomatoes, not the sauce type.
The 2-for-1 pasta offer is confirmed only for October. The waitress said the owner had not decided if they will extend it further. So I recommend you take advantage of the promo this next week.
The other pasta we had was the Cream Sauce Gamberoni (also $15.50). We thought the Gamberoni is supposed to be prawns and scallops but we only got the prawns. We can’t find any scallops at all.
Suanne thought that the cream sauce pasta was a bit dryish but with good seafood flavour. I thought it was nicely creamy.
Since the meal is so cheap, we thought we try another item on their menu. We went for a pizza and since this is a Korean owned restaurant, we got the Bulgogi Pizza ($8.50).
It has a very thin crust. The edges were nicely crispy but the center is really soft. They are made soft from the tomato sauce base. This is pretty much an Asian style pizza with very light tomato sauce. And we like it except for the soggy center.
They gave us some pickles as side dish. It is so Korean as they must have banchan served with every meal. :-)
Like I said, this is a great deal which is worthwhile checking out. Other than that, Bistro The Home will have to compete on merits in the long run.
Maybe it is just me but I think they will have an uphill challenge when most of their customers will come from the Asian community. Unfortunately, Asians associate pasta with noodles which is a cheap food. There are a lot of places which serves great noodles for $8, so I am sure a lot of their customers will compare that way — better service and ambiance notwithstanding. They need to change that mindset if they are in for the long run.