Updated: 7 June 2009 – this restaurant had been replaced with a new restaurant.
We met up with a Christina and Ed for the first time over lunch a few weeks ago. We got to know them because, like us, they are also food bloggers from Richmond. We decided to meet up and picked the new Famous Hakka Restaurant.
It turned out that Christina and Ed are real foodies and very knowledgeable about Chinese cuisine. Christina, in particular, takes food seriously. She told us that meal times were formal events in her home when she was young. The family meal is very important and must have at least a meat, a veggie and a soup. I thought it was quite funny when she told us that she had never had Chinese takeout until she was 12 — and how it was an event for her. Christina and Ed had a knack for properly describing the food … Suanne and I only describe food we eat with words like yummy, good, delicous … LOL!!
You guys should check out Christina and Ed’s food blog. It is called “Doesn’t TaZte Like Chicken“. Remember the word “taste” is spelt as “TaZte” — you ask them why. OK, back to food …
The Famous Hakka Restaurant is located along No 3 Road in the strip mall near the intersection with Cambie. It had just opened for just a couple of months or so. Actually, this is our first trip to a Hakka cuisine restaurant and looked forward to learn more about it.
It still being new, the entire place is neat and clean. With wrap around floor to ceiling windows, it is bright making it perfect for taking pictures.
I really know very little about Hakka cuisine even though I grew up with lots of Hakka friends. My impression is that Hakka food is simple, has little garnishing and emphasises on the main ingredient. If it is chicken, all you see and taste is chicken … they normally don’t add stuff like cucumbers, leafy veggies and such. Is my perception correct?
We left the ordering to Christina and Ed. For tea, they ordered the Gook Far Char (Chrysanthemum Tea). Gosh … for all my life I did not know that Gook Far Char and Gook Bow Char are different. I thought they are the same. I learned something new today. I had been playing around the idea of doing some research on Chinese tea and making a series out of it. He he he … that will certainly make you all cry foul worse than my tedious travel series! But seriously, I think that would be great for the Google Search Engine and will bring even more traffic to this site.
So, since this is supposed to be a formal meal and according to Christina a formal meal MUST have soup, we ordered soup. We had the Pork Stomach with Salted Veggie and Peppercorn Soup. They have a large ($13.95) or regular ($8.95) servings. We ordered the large one. I like pig stomach … and love the chewy texture especially.
We also had the ($11.95) Hakka Style Stuffed Tofu Hotpot. This reminded me so much of the popular Yong Tau Foo in Malaysia. I think they are the same. The stuffing should be made of fish and pork but am not absolutely sure.
The Braised Pork Belly with Preserved Vegetables ($11.95) would turn a lot of people off because of the fatty pork meat. But we love it. It is simply delicious especially with steamed rice. This dish must be made only with pork belly … if anyone try to make it with lean meat, it is not Mui Choy Kow Yook anymore. The most important thing here is the texture. Suanne makes this at home … see her recipe here.
We ordered half of a Baked Chicken with Spiced Salt. The half chicken costs $11.95, while the whole chicken is $22.95. See how they serve the chicken? All chicken had heads right? And so, they must also serve the head. I did not notice if anyone ate the chicken head but am pretty sure Suanne would not. So … Christina and Ed, did you guys eat the head?
The chicken is a bit boney but otherwise … well … delicious. Christina and Ed would be able to describe this dish better.
The total bill came to just under $60. For four adults and two growing teenagers, it was not bad. We enjoyed the meal, learned quite a bit but most of all, we enjoyed the company.
Updated on 1st Oct 2008, this restaurant had been replaced by another new restaurant.
Once in a while, we chance on a nondescript restaurant … you know, ones that looked so unassuming from the outside that chances you will never give it a second glance? The other day, our boys wanted to go to e-Canteen for a HK-Style lunch. We got to the entrance to e-Canteen before we changed our mind. We decided that we don’t want another HK-Style meal (yeah, we’re really fickle-minded when it comes to food!).
We looked across the parking lot seeking for another place for lunch. This was in the strip mall right across the road from the Richmond Public Market.
For the outside, the Paterson Restaurant does look very much like a small and quaint place for a casual meal. We decided to check out the many hand written poster-menu on the window and peered inside. It was alright, the prices looked really cheap and they have a bit of a unique dishes that is not run-of-the-mill stuff we had come to expect from places that looked like this.
We were there early and were the only customer in the restaurant. This looked very much like a family run business as we see children seated at one corner of the restaurant having a meal and doing homework.
There are nothing much to the decor really — with low-maintenance and efficient glass top tables and wooden chairs. I have not seen such chairs for a long time — such designs were really common in coffee shops in South East Asia.
Despite this, what really surprised us was the food they serve. They have on their menu specials such as Congee with a choice of Chinese Donut or steamed rice roll or chowmein with soya sauce for only $3.99. I can’t think of anywhere we can find such a meal for under $4 nowadays.
They also have on their menu (which we gather is their specialty) 2.5 lb crab dishes for only $14.99. Since it was really early in the morning, we took a raincheck and told ourselves we will come back to Paterson to try their crab someday … soon.
See this one … it is called the Oyster Rice in Soup. Oh man, this is such a simple dish which I remember having so much when I was really young. It’s just broth with oysters and rice but I enjoyed it a lot. For a $5.95 dish, there were surprisingly a lot of oysters and mushrooms. This is truly a homestyle fare which you do not find in other restaurant.
Nanzaro and Arkensen, as usual, went for their Salted Fish Chicken Fried Rice. Do you all have any advice for us? Suanne and I need to ween the boys off from fried rice. I mean, how on earth will they take chowtimes.com over from us if they continue to only eat fried rice? He he he … maybe they will just rename this blog to chowfantimes.com. :-) [Note: fried rice in Cantonese is called chow-fan]
The fried rice was OK. With salted fish, fried rice is always OK no matter how it is done. I remembered that it was really fragrant. $7.95 gives a plate big enough to whet the appetite of two growing boys.
The Mui Choy Khau Yoke Rice (Pork Belly and Preserved Vegetable on Rice) is another homestyle comfort food we don’t normally find else where. It is just $5.95. The sauce was excellent and goes so scrumptiously well with the rice. The pork belly slices were thick and tender. You MUST try this — even though it is not exactly really healthy food.
The Paterson Restaurant is opened from 10:30AM to 10:00PM everyday. Note that they take only cash which is understandable because of their cheap prices. The total bill came up to only $23 including taxes and tips.