Emily, Lorna, Marian and I met up for lunch after Christmas for a get together. Lorna suggested to go to Curry King Cafe on 3250 Cambie Street in Vancouver.
However, when we reached our destination, the location was taken over by Wang’s Beef Noodle House. We explored the nearby restaurants for a bit. We even went in to Cafe Gloucester which was pretty full already. We were given a table right at the door which we did not like. With the door opening often when customers get in and out, the winter chill will not be pleasant. Moreover, the restaurant was so busy that we dont think it will be a good location for us to chit chat. So, we decided to go back to Wang’s Beef Noodle House which was not busy.
The seating arrangement was spacious and it is quite comfortable and pleasant.
We ordered a few items to share. For appetizers, we had the three items combo for $8.50. We picked mostly vegetarian as the rest of our items had meat. We had the marinated dried tofu, cucumber in chili sauce and kelp seaweed.
Wontons in chili sauce was $4.25. There were six wontons and the sauce has the Sichuan numbing spiciness. Pretty good. More on following page. Click here to continue reading
When the weather is good, Ben likes to explore new walking path. During a spring/summer day, we decided to walk across the Canada Line bridge from Richmond crossing over to Vancouver.
Fraser River view from the bridge.
A tugboat passed by.
View of the north shore mountains from the bridge.
Here comes the train.
Finally we were in the Vancouver side. More on following page. Click here to continue reading
When Marian, Emily, Lorna and me had a meet up at the Yuemicka Noodle House which ended up to celebrate Marian’s birthday, we vouched to get together again for the next birthday among us. September is Emily’s birthday. I tried to organize a lunch since mid September but we just cant have a date that suit all. After several dates being postponed, Marian finally suggested that we get together first without the birthday girl and organized another meet up for Emily’s birthday. So, Marian, Lorna and me met up at Flo Tea Room in Richmond.
Flo Tea Room has two locations; one on Granville St and this Richmond location is a new addition. This location used to be Ginger and Garlic Malaysian Restaurant & Grill. The original Flo Tea Room on Granville St. is a Taiwanese place with bubble tea. So, I thought the new Flo Tea Room in Richmond will be the same.
The Flo Tea Room in Richmond looks nicer than the old Ginger and Garlic. It must have been renovated when Flo Tea Room took over the restaurant.
We were quite surprise to find that the menu is more like HongKong style with the addition of some Taiwanese snacks and bubble tea. You can click on the menu to have a larger view. The menu is elaborate, range from snacks, salad, soup, vegetarian, hot pot, set meals, western, special eastern and noodle soup.
We ordered two drinks to try. The one on the right is Mango Slush with crystal jelly for $4.50. It is quite sweet. The one on the right is Taro Milk Tea with crystal jelly for $4.25. We did not even get to try the taro milk tea as we were very full at the end. I took the drink home and tried it later. I found the taste was kind of artificial.
For appetizer, we ordered the Roti Canai for $5.25. Roti canai is a Malaysian street food. The roti canai here is not as flaky and crispy. It came with a very mild curry sauce.
The roti canai came with a drink. Marian opted for a Coffee Tea Mix (Yin Yeong). It has pretty strong flavour.
For the main course, we opted for a special of the day called Duck with Pamelo Skin. The dish which came with steamed rice and steamed bok choy … More on following page. Click here to continue reading
After the wine tasting and tour at the Lulu Island Winery, Emily S dropped us back at the South Arm Community Center. She and her friend went their way. Lorna, Peggy L and I decided to go for lunch.
Kao’s Family Restaurant has been on our list of places to try for a while but never get to it. I suggested this restaurant because Peggy L is from Taiwan and she can recommends some popular Taiwanese dishes to us.
Kao’s Family Restaurant has been in business for 10 years as the owner told us. This restaurant is tucked in a corner in the strip mall where Bei Jiang Restaurant is. The restaurant has minimalistic setting, just a few tables and chairs. It was pretty quiet on a weekday afternoon. Oh, parking is a big problem in this strip mall.
We left all the ordering to Peggy L. For starter, we had the Pig’s Hoof with Jelly for $4.75. It is served with a garlicky vinegarish dipping sauce which has a kick to it, i.e. a little spicy.
The Pig’s Hoof with Jelly is made with pigs feet that are boiled until the skin falls off the bones. Only the skin is used while … More on following page. Click here to continue reading
As I was loading the pictures for this post yesterday, I was marveling at this picture below.
I was thinking how amazing it was when we had this. The simplicity of the dish and yet it is delicately complex. The entire process that goes into making this involves techniques that one takes for granted but not many cuisine would even dare to think of.
And then while I was loading the pictures, I came across a website which has a picture of a bag of Pork Floss and under the picture it says something like “Used for getting bacon out from between your teeth!”
It was then I realized how repulsive (for the lack of a better word) the dish above is to other cultures and yet to me this is considered a delicacy.
What I like about this is also that this is cheap. This is called simply the Preserved Egg with Tofu and is $3.50. This is a cold dish and the tofu is sometimes chilling cold when served.
The thing that is strange to non-Asians is the … More on following page. Click here to continue reading
I am surprised.
This restaurant had flew under the radar for so long that am surprised why there are not more reviews written about them. The only blogger who wrote about Kalvin’s Restaurant is Kevin of 604foodtography. The reason was because I was taken aback on how busy this place was when we visited. The food is very good.
I think after reading this post, some of you will be making your way there. I hope you do. It is worth the trip across town.
I kept asking myself why would a restaurant this popular was hardly written about? I don’t have the answer why. Maybe it is the name, you reckon? I mean, with a name like Kalvin’s Szechuan Restaurant, it could be easy for people not to give them a second glance. Moreover, the front of the restaurant does not shout out who or what they really are.
The name outside the restaurant says Kalvin’s Szechuan Restaurant. Deep in their soul, it is actually a fabulous Taiwanese restaurant. Maybe the chef was originally from Sichuan. Maybe that is the name it got started with and they did not bother to change the signboard. However, the take out menu and even the name in Urbanspoon dropped the “Szechuan” word from the name.
One consistent comment I read was that you need … More on following page. Click here to continue reading
Nanzaro is one of those people who unselfishly volunteers his time helping people or be involved extra-curricula activities. He likes doing things like that. He had been spending a lot of time over months training for a first aid competition against some tough competition from St Johns Ambulance. In the days leading to the competition, I could see he was anxious and did not want me to ask him about the competition.
Well, his team did not win anything. Obviously the St Johns Ambulance groups swept the honors. After all this is a first aid competition. The Air Cadets did not stand a chance against the pros. But despite the results, I thought that his dedication to doing the best he can be is admirable.
The competition started in the morning and it lasted to late afternoon. When we picked him up, he was upbeat despite being soundly beaten. The first thing he said was “Taiwanese and Bubble Tea”. Suanne and I laughed at him, particularly at the bubble tea part. We had teased him before why he is not like other Asian boys who hangs out at bubble tea houses. He always says that only Asian girls hangs out in Bubble Tea houses and boys go there because they are forced to tag along.
Like Nanzaro, I do not find bubble tea houses appealing. But Suanne latched on to the suggestion. She said we should go to the Flo Tea Room because she remembers that they have free toasts in the afternoon. Moreover the Flo Tea Room was just on our route home.
It was quite a rush getting to the Flo Tea Room. You see, the free toast is available only from … More on following page. Click here to continue reading
In the past couple of months we had quite a bit of attention put on Hong Kong Style Cafes, Malaysian Cuisine and Filipino Cuisine. I think I had neglected Chinese Cuisine somewhat but I think it will pick up again next month when I set my focus on getting the 8GTCC project going again.
But there is one cuisine I am not very familiar with and it is the Taiwanese cuisine. This is despite that we had 41 dine out posts categorized under the Taiwanese keyword. Quite a lot isn’t it?
My curiosity was piqued last weekend when Suanne blogged about a dish she learned from the Richmond Community Kitchen called Ba Wan (link here). I had never heard of that dish before – not even after blogging on 41 Taiwanese restaurant. What caught me by surprised is the reactions from readers on that post.
We often get dozens of comments for restaurant posts but recipe posts doesn’t draw nearly as many comments. On a very good day, it will draw about 5 comments but the post on Ba Wan drew 20 comments. So I guess this particular dish does resonate well with a lot of the readers.
[Yeah, recipe posts are very different from restaurant posts. While restaurant posts have a lot of reactions, the comments will die down very quickly within a week of two. However, recipe posts have the greatest staying power as it provides a steady trickle of readers, mostly from Google. That is why recipe posts have the highest hits by far. Just that is draws very little reactions].
So I was really keen to learn more about Ba Wan and what the whole deal is with that simple dish. Crispy alerted us that this dish had actually been reviewed before on 604foodtography.
We went to the restaurant that Kevin blogged about. It is Yuen-Yuen Cafe and is located on Cambie and 41st in Vancouver. They are actually located just next door to Samurai Sushi … and that is an important point to note!
You know my boys right? They have this thing about driving across bridges. But at the mere mention of the name Samurai Sushi, they have no issues. They love their ridiculously House Roll. Have you seen how big they are? See this! It is so big you have to eat this resting on your palms.
Yuen-Yuen is basically a bubble-tea house. It is small, clean and neat like most Taiwanese restaurants. Yeah, I noticed that Taiwanese restaurants are generally much well-designed and modern than HK Style Cafes for instance.
They have a funky seating arrangement with a unique wavy table. It is sort of like forcing people to look at the sample photos taken by someone with a photography business. Maybe the owner of Yuen-Yuen also has another wedding photography business or something.
It is self-service. You order the drinks (and food) from the counter, pay for it and when it is ready they will call you over to pick it up. Business was quite empty during that Saturday afternoon. There is an occasional customer who comes in to get bubble tea but no one stays for long. We felt kind of odd coming here for a family meal … to eat and not to drink.
They have limited food available but of course they have Ba Wan. Because of the small selection (which had pictures posted on the wall next to the counter), we practically ordered every food item they have. The prices are quite cheap too but they are mostly snack food rather than full meals.
Oh, cash only also.
Nanzaro and Arkensen does not fancy bubble tea. They prefer Coke (and water!) over bubble tea. Neither does Suanne, strangely for someone with a sweet tooth.
But we still ordered one to share just because this is a bubble tea house. We got the Mocha Milk Tea with bubble ($4.75).
This is the reason we are in Yuen-Yuen – the Ba Wan. Their English translation for this is … More on following page. Click here to continue reading