March 11, 2011 | | Comments 12

Kam’s Bakery on Main and East 8th Ave, Vancouver

For some reason, this HK Style Cafe and bakery flew under the radar for a long time. A lot of people know of this place Kam’s Bakery and Restaurant on Main but strangely there are very little reviews of them on the internet … and none on Urbanspoon.

I was reminded of this place by a few remarks left by LotusRapper.

Kam’s Bakery and Restaurant is located on Main Street near the intersection with East 8th Avenue in Vancouver. Maybe one of the reasons why people do not really take the effort to go into this restaurant is that it is located at a section of Main Street where people just zip through.

Maybe it is because of the … wedding cakes on the window display. Perhaps people were thinking this is a Chinese bakery specializing in wedding cakes and does not realize that this is also a restaurant.

From the outside, Kam’s look like a big place because it spans two shoplots. Once inside, we found that it is really small. It is so small that it is about one of the smallest HK Style Cafe we had ever been before.

The interior looked like it had not been cared for a long while already … sort of like it’s neglected and sorely in need for some sprucing up. Frankly, it does look like this place is not going to last and that they don’t care. I don’t know why I said this but it is just how I felt looking at the sad state the place is and the way the waitresses lacked enthusiasm and all.

You can click on the images above to show the menu larger.

We were there in the morning and so we were pretty much focused on the breakfast items. Their menu carries all the pretty common HK Style Cafe items. So it was nothing special about it.

One thing different was that they also serve Bubble Tea. We sure don’t see a lot of that in a HK Style Cafe. The Bubble Tea is $4.75 which is kind of expensive.

In other areas, price wise, it was cheap as expected of such HK Style Cafe. Breakfast items ranges from $3.50 to $6.50. Comparing with other HK Style Cafes, their menu is quite small.

Suanne had lately try to eat like a bird. So she had the French Toast with Cheese which was $3.80.

The French Toast came with a choice of coffee or tea. If you opt for coffee, it is free refill but not for tea.

One thing about milk tea is that usually if you order it hot, it does not include sugar. You sweeten it yourself. But if it is iced milk tea, it will come sweetened. This is mainly because it is hard to dilute the sugar in cold drinks. I can’t remember where now, but some places will serve iced milk tea unsweetened and they will provide you with liquid sugar or syrup to sweeten yourself.

Suanne loves sweet things. The sweeter the better. For me I shudder at the thought of so much sugar.

To add to the sweetness, they also spread kaya in between the slices.

Talking about Kaya, how many of you have tried it before? In Malaysia, Kaya is the #1 spread for bread. My mum used to make it at home but I like the ones that is bought from the stores. Yeo’s was my favourite brand and the can looked like this.

Since Kam’s is primarily a bakery, we thought we give their Pineapple Bun a try. In a way we judge how good a Chinese bakery is by their pineapple buns.

Kam’s pineapple bun was pretty big. It sure is one of the largest pineapple buns we ever seen. It has the softness that is so important in defining a great pineapple bun (left picture). But they were not fresh out from the oven. It looked like they were made the day before. So thumbs down.

I just can’t repeat this enough. If someone who had never been to Richmond before and wanted to try a nice cheap place as a representative resto of what Richmond’s culinary scene is about, I would almost always bring the person to Lido. We love that small restaurant, especially their Pineapple Buns. Hmmm … if there is one wish I would wish for all Vancouverites is that everyone try a freshly baked Pineapple Bun from Lido.

For me, I ordered the Breakfast E which is $5.75. It is quite a combo. The combo includes the above, plus a noodle soup and a choice of coffee, tea or juice.

I got the sunny side up eggs which is my favourite way of having eggs. Actually I would prefer half-boiled eggs if only they serve it here. I can’t recall if any restaurant in Vancouver ever serve half-boiled eggs at all.

I just need ketchup with my eggs. Either ketchup or soya sauce. But I asked for ketchup.

They brought me ketchup in packets. No kick because I usually use more than what they gave me. I decided not to ask for more.

It is kind of hard to have sunny side up eggs using a fork. The only proper way to eat this is to lift the plate up and shove the eggs into the mouth. The bun was useful to wipe the plate clean.

I opted for the Satay Beef Japanese Noodles in Soup. It doesn’t look good but it tasted quite decent with a slight spiciness. I wasn’t expecting that initially because I was thinking of the Malaysian “satay” and not the Taiwanese “sa-te” or shacha sauce.

Noodles was the normal doll noodles.

Talking about doll noodles, we finally bought a few packets of the HK Doll branded noodles. Believe it or not, we had never tried the original Doll noodles until lately. It was pretty good. We bought the ramen flavoured ones.

I am certainly not complaining about the prices here. It was a hearty breakfast for us who do not normally have much for breakfast.

I would sum it up as ” it was cheap but nothing great about it”.

We went over to the Bakery section to check out what they have. From the signs there, it seems like they are famous for their fruit cakes. We did not get any because we normally only get them for the boys and they are not around that weekend.

They have quite a few free parking spots in the rear of the building. So you don’t have to pay for parking on the streets in front of the restaurant.

Isn’t it beautiful in Vancouver at this time of the year? We had not seen a lot of blue sky days this winter but that day it was gorgeous. So without much to do for the rest of the day, we decided to go for a walk. It was something that we did not have the chance to do much of lately because we are both so busy.

Updated on 12-Mar-2011:
A reader brought this to our attention. Kam’s Bakery and Restaurant seems to have quite a number of Health Authority’s violations lately. The last report was just 2 days before our visit and we were not aware of it. So, it does seems that you have to exercise care about visiting this restaurant.

Inspection Date Inspection Type
03-Mar-2011 Re-inspection
24-Feb-2011 Re-inspection
17-Feb-2011 Routine
15-Dec-2010 Re-inspection
08-Dec-2010 Re-inspection

Kam's Bakery & Restaurant on UrbanspoonBUSINESS HOUR

Monday to Saturday: 7:00 AM to 7:00 PM

Sunday: 7:00 AM to 6:00 PM

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  1. Linda says:

    mmm i love kaya and yeo’s is the ONLY brand i buy – i tried other ones before and they weren’t as great – very pale in color in comparison too

  2. Tough Cookie says:

    So, what is your verdict on the milk tea? Any good? Compared to Lido?

  3. gish says:

    Golden Oscar has the iced drinks with a side of simple syrup, which I like so I can control how sweet my drink is. Thanks for this review. I just tried a bun from Lido yesterday based on your recommendation. Unfortunately it wasn’t straight from the oven but it was still very tasty. Kinda pricey though at $1.45 each?

    • Ben says:

      Hi Gish: Oh yeah, that’s it. Looking back at the Golden Oscar post, I did see that syrup for the iced drinks on the side. Oh the pineapple bun from Lido has to be enjoyed fresh out of the oven. It is very common for people to ask for the fresh ones and the wait is not too long (about 20 mins max). We always say we want a fresh one and not the ones that had been sitting there in the rack up in front. :-) I did not realize it is THAT pricey. Yeah, now that you mention it, $1.45 certainly is not cheap. Ben

  4. LotusRapper says:

    I hope I hadn’t built up your expectations about Kam’s too much, Ben !

    I must say, Kam’s is not stellar in any way, other than being fairly cheap. But in fact, outside of downtown & Chinatown, there are NO other Chinese bakery/restaurant (that I know of) where one can eat-in *and* order both bakery goods and regular hot foods, for breakfast, lunch and dinner. I’m not counting Richmond obviously. I certainly would rate New Town (Chinatown), The Boss and Maxim’s better than Kam’s, and Golden Stone trails slightly behind Maxim’s. But those three are all in Chinatown, where I often avoid for driving and parking hassles.

    So on that basis, I like Kam’s for its prices, hours and convenience :-)

    • Ben says:

      Hi LotusRapper: No, really thanks for the recommendation. For us, we had never curse any recommendation for going to a place and finding it not exactly to be great. The food wasn’t bad at all and it was certainly cheap. Ben

    • gish says:

      Does Angel Cafe still have the bakery section?

      • Doris Jung says:

        Hi, Gish:

        Angel Cafe didn’t have the bakery section for a while and then now they do; except they only have cakes. My girl friend said their Durian cake is really delicious.

        I used to go to Kam’s a lot for their value priced breakfast when the kids were young. Feels like Kam’s frozen in time:-)

        Hey, Ben:

        Really like the special effect for Suanne pouring syrup onto the French Toast. Very neat!

  5. Thomas says:

    Kam’s fresh mango cake is pretty darn good. Had some at a friend’s birthday about a month ago & was really surprised at the big chunks of yummy mango as well as by the over-all quality of cake.

  6. HM says:

    Ben, like you I really miss the kaya toast, soft boiled eggs with soys sauce & pepper, and teh-si back home at the local kopi-tiams! Lido’s fresh out of the oven pineapple buns are definitely yummy with a slice of thick cold salted butter! BTW, I also have a friend who eats her sunny egg with lots of ketchup like you and I noticed that other customers would stare at her when she does that…do you get those looks from anyone?? LOL!!

    • Ben says:

      Hi HM: Oh I don’t know if anyone gives me looks at the way I eat my eggs. I was always too focused on the eating to care. :-) Ben

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