The opening of the Harbour Spirit Restaurant was perhaps one of the most anticipated on over the last few months. One of the reasons is that they were taking an old location vacated by Sammy J Peppers which is a large space and highly visible along the No 3 Road.
They are so big that we were told by the restaurant that they will “specialize” on Cantonese AND Sichuan AND Northern AND Hot Pot when we went there (did not eat) on their opening day (see here). I can’t find that comment now but I distinctly remember someone saying that with trying be everything to everyone, they will either succeed big time or they will fail big time.
The initial reports from this place were mostly unfavourable. I was not surprised because with such a big operations there are a lot more kinks to sort out. As much as Suanne and I would like to go check them out, we decided that against it. We sort of knew what the experience would be like — no different from all the early reports.
We finally went after they were opened for 1.5 months. That should be enough time to have things to settle down and well past the dry run periods.
It does seems like the Harbour Spirit have deep pockets. They want to open up with a bang to awe people. On the surface they did quite a good job. The chandeliers and the heavy set chairs were highly visible. But on a second glance, they are still very rough around the edges. It is in the details that they fell short.
OK things like this bother me especially when they try to be classy but ignore the details. The white table cloth above, I find them distractingly nonuniform. That was not just it. The materials are cheap and too light that it shifts when you move the plates or teapot around. And they are wrinkled.
They must have spend some … More on following page. Click here to continue reading
Minoo, Marian, Lorna and I volunteered in the Activate! Wellness Fair 55+ at the Minoru Place on March 16th, 2011. The Activate Fair is to promote programs for the 55+ to keep our seniors active in the community and stay healthy.
Our booth is to to showcase the seniors community kitchen.
Besides the seniors community kitchen, we also display information on the multicultural community kitchens. We were able to get some people to sign up for the programs during the fair.
Marian, Lorna and I volunteered until lunch time and we decided to go for lunch together. Marian wanted something spicy and we ended up at Moutai Plus Szechuan Cuisine on Park Road. When I told Lorna about this Szechuan place called Moutai Plus at Park Road, she was puzzled as she is not aware of a restaurant called Moutai Plus here. Apparently, she has always known this restaurant as “Dumpling Shop” as indicated in their Chinese name.
The interior is made up of … More on following page. Click here to continue reading
I can’t count and almost made a mess of it!
Actually when I plan for a chowdown, it is actually Suanne who does the heavy lifting behind the scenes. She is meticulous. Me? I get utterly confused when numbers are thrown at me. You see, for once I thought it would be easy for me to just plan the dinner myself since Suanne has already a lot on her plate.
Let me take you back to the genesis of this chowdown. It was two months ago I blogged about the good lunch I had in Shanghai House. It was so good, authentic and cheap that I mentioned that I would love to go back again for dinner and this time order more food. Of course with a few more people to make it more “dai” (worthwhile). Somewhere within the comment thread, someone suggested that I organize a chowdown. And I said sure, I’ll do it.
It was a quickie plan. I called for a show of hands of people who are interested. The post was put up on a Wednesday and I suggested a chowdown on Friday. Actually, I was thinking that we will have only two, maybe three couples who will attend given the short 2 day notice.
It then quickly got out of hands for me. Amidst my work and handling the emails and all, I guess I lost track of who is coming with who and all. I wanted to have a dinner on ONE table only. Spreading attendees over two tables defeats the purpose of having a good time chatting with everyone. So, I counted 14 people and I confirmed with Shanghai House that they have a table for 14 and 15 with a tight squeeze.
16 turned up.
I was in trouble! Good thing a few good sport did not mind sitting on a stool to make room for everyone. Sorry guys, it was my mistake. Next time, I’ll let Master Suanne handle this.
The restaurant was full that Friday evening. Nope, the picture above was not from the Friday but from the first early lunch we had. I just want to show you how pleasant the dining hall was. One could be easily fooled thinking this is a restaurant with above average prices. It is not. The prices will … More on following page. Click here to continue reading
It had been a while.
After 5 years of blogging we find that the local Asian restaurant scene had changed a lot. Suanne and I don’t normally go back to restaurants we had blogged about before. Instead we wanted to try new places and seek new dishes.
However, we realized that a lot of our earlier blog posts are already dated. Some of which are no longer relevant. So we thought it might be a good idea to make visits back to some of them that we remember as very good ones.
So what better place to go to but The Place. In Chinese, this restaurant is called 老地方 which mean the old place — a place you go back to for old time sake.
We were here and blogged about them about three years ago. It was so long ago that LotusRapper was then known as saabken which I think is his teenage name. Yeah, it was LotusRapper who raved about this place to us. We went and blogged about The Place in this post. The Place is located on Granville Street in the south end of Vancouver.
Yeah, the above was what we had three years ago. We particularly like the Family Hot Pot (top right) which had a nice name in Chinese. It is called Chien Gar Fook which means … More on following page. Click here to continue reading
This is another blog post done entirely with the iPhone, including the pictures and video.
It came as a shock to many people to learn that Wang’s had closed. I found out only last week. The new place is called Xu’s. Apparently new owner. The new lady in charge look very familiar but I just can’t remember where I had seen her before.
So here I am trying Xu’s XLB. They call this the Baiyulan XLB which is $4 for a basket of … More on following page. Click here to continue reading
How is this for taking one for the team?
This restaurant post has to be a record for a new restaurant ever on chowtimes. The previous record was new Kumare Filipino restaurant where we happened to visit them on their first day of business. That was quite by accident but it did turn out to be one heck of a restaurant.
Kumare was by chance. This one is planned.
We went to the Shanghai Fusion Restaurant 45 minutes after they opened. LOL! Yeah, we learned that they were going to open on Saturday, March 5th at 11:00 AM and so we decided to come here for our brunch.
It is not that we ever thought that this restaurant is good. It is in the name. A Chinese restaurant with the word “fusion” in the name can’t be any good. Yeah, I am one of those people who thinks that Chinese cuisine must be pure. Those Sichuan-Canto or Beijing-Xinjiang sort of things just doesn’t work in my mind.
The Shanghai Fusion Restaurant is located in the recently closed Pho Viet in the Empire Centre. This is the strip mall where King Buffet, Bushair, Shiang Garden and Sunway is located.
They have a 12% grand opening discount now. So if you want to save on the HST, this is the time to go.
It was quite a big dining area. They had removed the center partitions during the time when it was West Lake and Pho Viet. Both the previous restaurants here are now operating elsewhere in Richmond and the reason they move was because this restaurant is simply too big. So yes, this is a really big space.
I can’t quite make out what this place is. Perhaps from my observation, I would call this a … More on following page. Click here to continue reading
You know there are restaurants that intimidates us that we don’t consider going to unless it’s for a special occasion. Although we do spend quite a bit eating out, we feel uncomfortable going to expensive looking restaurants.
Sometimes we don’t even know if they are expensive or not. If it looks too posh, it has got to be expensive. If the captains wear suits, it is not cheap. If they have a chandelier, it might not be affordable.
If they have a large vase outside the restaurant … gosh, I don’t want to think how much that cost. Yeah, frankly, it was this vase outside the restaurant that intimidates me. I had peered inside the restaurant before too. It was fancy.
I was taken by total surprise when JoyLuckClub blogged about this place. The food here is cheap … unbelievably cheap. I think you will too if you see the prices of the food we had.
The Shanghai House Restaurant is located at the Brighouse strip mall. This is about as central Richmond as you can get. Located across the No 3 Road from this restaurant is the Richmond Center. It is also next to the Brighouse terminus station of the Canada Line. So for those of you from outside Richmond, getting here would be an easy train ride.
In such a centrally located area, parking here is sometimes a challenge. It is not as bad as in Yaohan Center but sometimes you will need to circle round to get a spot. So they are serious about parking here. I think 2 hour is the limit.
They enforce parking limits here by chalking the tires of the car. So, you know … next time you are here and you need to park more than two hours, you need to “top up”. To top up, you need a … More on following page. Click here to continue reading
Don’t tell anyone I told you this. Let this be just between you and I, OK?
Does this store front look kind of familiar to some of you? Well, YY Village is the incarnation on an old-time Richmond favourite.
A few months ago we were quite shocked to find Tai Yau Yick closed. At first we thought that they might have just closed for a family vacation or something. After all, it was a small family restaurant and such restaurants are known close for a few weeks in a year for vacation. But it later dawned on us that they were closed for good when we saw a sign outside the restaurant saying so. It was sad to see them go because we like Tai Yau Yick.
While around that area a week ago, I came across a new signboard. Where it once said “Tai Yau Yick Shanghai Food”, the new sign outside says “YY Village Shanghai and Taiwan Food”. Strangely the Chinese name of YY remains exactly the same as the old one. What does the Chinese name mean? Suanne thinks that it means “Spring Once More” … something like that.
We did not know what to expect but Suanne and I went ahead anyway to check out the restaurant.
YY Village looked exactly the same as it was when it was Tai Yai Yick. The chairs are the same. The tables are the same. The wallpaper is also the same.
Why even it is manned by a single elderly man. It really felt like the same Tai Yau Yick.
It is a really small restaurant. It can seat 20 people max. The biggest table seats only four people, five is you squeeze. So in essence, this is a mom-and-pop restaurant.
It was full when we were there at noon on Saturday last week. There are no one waiting for a table but every table was taken nonetheless. So, we are thinking that once we write about this place, there might be even more people in the coming weeks. They do take reservations though so perhaps that would be a smart move to make a reservation or go at a time when they are not so busy.
Their menu looks very much the same as when it was Tai Yau Yick. Well, the system of ordering from a 1-page ordering sheet is the same. We were told that the change of ownership of the restaurant happened four months ago. The previous owner sold this and went back to Hong Kong.
The elderly man also told us that the menu is the same. Somehow the dishes that jumps out at us is not quite the same this time. Our mind was focused on other things … especially the very “heong” dish that EVERY table was having.
Service was good. The elderly man was genuinely friendly and chatty. It seems like he gets along well with every customer, chatting with people at one table and the rest of the tables listens in and chuckles at his wisecracks. Yeah, it is that cozy small restaurant feeling where people feel connected.
You know the strange thing about this restaurant is the language they used. While the signboard outside says that it serves Taiwanese and Shanghainese food (both Mandarin speaking areas), the elderly gentleman speaks Cantonese very fluently. Everyone speaks Cantonese to him.
However, the food came very slow. I think they only have one person in the kitchen working.
This is the dish EVERY table ordered. And I dare to say right now that YY Village makes the best of this dish I had ever tried.
Very “heong” (in Cantonese).
What is the English word for “heong” anyway? Whatever it is, it smells sooo good that each time they bring a plate out people look up. You can’t ignore it at all.
So we asked what that is and we wanted it too. On the menu, it is called … More on following page. Click here to continue reading