Red Star Seafood Restaurant

Andy Lai and family from Portland visited Vancouver this week. Andy was Ben’s primary and secondary school mates. They only found each other back last year through the wonder of internet. Andy and Ben has not met one another for more than 25 years. It was very unfortunate for Ben as he was in London this week and unable to meet up with Andy.

Nevertheless, Andy met up with me and the kids while they were in Richmond on Wednesday. We went shopping at Parker Place and Aberdeen Centre. Andy and family love to come to Vancouver for shopping and food. According to Andy, there is not many Chinese restaurants in Portland. Andy will go all the way to look for good food.

After a day of shopping, we went to Red Star Seafood Restaurant on Granville St and West 67th Avenue for dinner. Andy’s friends, Tom and Marina recommended this restaurant.

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Andy and Tom ordered a lot of dishes that evening. Here are some of the dishes they ordered.

Lobsters stir fried in ginger and green onions.

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Empire Seafood Restaurant

The Gilmore Church Community Kitchen decided to have a break on the last session of this season before the break for summer holiday. Instead of the regular cooking class, the group went for dim sum at Empire Seafood Restaurant.

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Empire Seafood Restaurant is located next to London Drugs on No. 3 Rd and Westminster Highway. This restaurant offers 20% discount if you place your order before 11:00 am. There are daily specials on discounted price. The restaurant has a menu of 82 items and the price ranges from $2.45 on daily specials to $7.85 per dish. I must say that it is not cheap.

Here are some of the dishes we ordered.

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This is Empire’s specialty dish; baked BBQ pork buns. Regular price is $3.95 but it’s on special today @ $2.45.

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Atlanta Trip Report Day 3

Day 3 in Atlanta. Have been putting long hours going to one meeting to another. I really hate doing this because it does not give me time to plan for the meeting and not having a proper time to recap what the take-aways were. I figure that out tonight in the hotel. By 6:00 pm my mind was so saturated that I just don’t want to think about work anymore!

Like Mark promised, he brought Paul and I to a Southern Cooking place. It was a really nice restaurant called South City Kitchen Vinings. The service was excellent — one of the places that stands out as genuine service, not waiters who fake it for a bigger tip.

Thanks to Maritza who recommended that I order “sweet tea”, I chose this. It is basically iced tea and was pretty sweet. Free refills, that’s what I like.

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We were served muffins with butter. The muffins were soft and buttery. Just took only one coz I know the main dish will be large.

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Atlanta Trip Report Day 2

Mark took me to a Mexican place for lunch today. I’ve never really been to an authentic Mexican restaurant before although there were a few around Vancouver. Not that I don’t like Mexican food but it’s just that I don’t know what to order besides Taco.

The nachos and salsa were free. Mark told me that most Mexican restaurants will serve it free. The salsa was made fresh and the nachos warm. Very nice — definitely much nicer than those we make at home.

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I really can’t remember what it is I ordered! :-) I know the short name — it’s the Lunch Special #6. Well, it has some rice. It also has some fried beans — all mashed up. Almost every dish has beans. Mexicans like beans but not me. There is also some guacamole (spelling correct?) — it’s the green stuff. Avocado, I believe.

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The lunch special was just $5.45. The restaurant is called The Border — kind of an odd name for Mexican restaurant, if you ask me, especially when these days the US is getting less tolerant of illegals from Mexico.

Mark said he’ll show me Southern Cooking tomorrow.

Atlanta Trip Report Day 1

We thought we will take a break on blogging about recipes and such — and will instead blog for the next two weeks of my business trips to Atlanta and London. There’s going to be a total of 34 hours of flying time in all! However, so not to turn off our blog readers, I will continue to blog about food.

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So, for the next four days, I will be in Atlanta, Georgia. You know what I hate most about going to the States? It’s getting thru US customs and immigration. Those guys have a perpetual scowl on their face. Treats everyone as either potential illegal immigrants or terrorists, if you ask me. Why, while queuing up to clear immigration, there was this young woman with her cute 5-year girl ahead of me. The little was bubbly and tried chatting with the immigration officer. You know what happened? The immigration officer upgraded his scowl to a growl — poor girl.

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I have always been proud to live in best city in the world (OK, the 3rd best city in the world this year but for a long time we were No 1). It’s so beautiful. We have everything within minutes from downtown — the sea, the mountains. The setting is just beautiful. Vancouver is about the only place in the world where you could sail, golf and ski on the same day.

In the foreground is the University of British Columbia. In many other cities, this piece of land would have been prime real estate but no, the forefathers of Vancouver had the foresight to reserve this for an university. Unless you are a Vancouverite, I bet you don’t know that there is a nudist beach right smack in the university. Never been there because they insists on fair-play.

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Lucky Joy BBQ Restaurant on No 5 and Cambie

The family dined out at the Lucky Joy BBQ Restaurant a couple of weekends ago. Lucky Joy is located near the intersection of Cambie and No 5 in Richmond. It’s on a little strip mall where Panago Pizza is, across the road from Fruiticana.

We would not have found this place if not for the recommendation of Steve Lum. Steve and his family had always been someone we look up to a lot because we felt that their live journey is so similar to ours. We have always admired how they brought up his two boys and how committed they are in the Lord’s work.

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You know what we like about this place? It’s that the restaurant throws in free soup, free dessert and all-you-can-eat rice. We ordered the Dinner-for-Three option — costs about $33 not including tips. We get to choose three dishes from their menu of, oh, about 50 items?

For starters, we were given their soup-of-the-day, some mixed vegetable/meat soup.

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Since the rice is all-you-can-eat, we wanted to order dishes that has lots of gravy. Our first selection was the Fried Squid with Preserved Vegetable. It was good — liked the gravy and the “springiness” of the squid.

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Shawarma from Abdul’s on Kingsway

Shahdad swore that the bestest Shawarma in Vancouver is found in Burnaby’s Abdul BBQ, He brought us to try it out and it was simply fabulous. So, over the weekend, I simply had to bring Suanne and try it herself.

Abdul’s BBQ is located in the Crystal Mall on Kingsway and Willingdon. It’s a small shop located facing Kingsway. You will not miss it driving past the Mall on Kingsway.

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Abdul’s is a small shop with about seating for 12 on the inside. Abdul also set up a couple of tables outside his shop. Ordering is very simple because he had very big pictures posters of his menu plastered on the outside.

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Shawarma (sometimes also spelt as shawerma) is a middle eastern way of cooking meat. Common meat used are beef, lamb and chicken. The meats are cooked on a rotating machine with sources of heat over a period of several hours.

Abdul has three shawarma machines, each skewered with beef, chicken and lamb. He said that he normally will finish selling all these food by the end of day. His business had steadily grown since he opened his outlet in the Crystal Mall. He told me that when he started he had only a quarter of what you see above and today he often had to turn away customers at the end of day because his is completely sold out.

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Quilon Restaurant in Richmond

Quilon was closed for the Canada Line Project.

Zee treated me to lunch yesterday to celebrate my belated birthday. She has been an awfully sweet and generous person. I am so glad to have a neighbor like Zee — she treats me like her own sister and I feel so honoured! Zee likes to take a walk at the South Arm Park and has often invited me along. People like Zee are a rarity these days. So, Zee, this entry is dedicated to you.

Zee bought me lunch at the Quilon Restaurant. Quilon has repeatedly been voted as the No 1 Indian Cuisine restaurant in Richmond. It is located on No 3 Rd and Westminster Highway.

Quilon is the old name for Kollam, a city in the Kerala state in south India.

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We had the buffet which costs $8.95 each. Oh dear, another buffet again! I mean, I like food but ends up regretting stuffing myself too full. I know it but yet I do that again and again!

Well, the buffet spread wasn’t big but made up by the quality. I love the crispy Papadums (lentil crackers) as an appetizer. This one is good because it’s not oily like the ones that I used to eat in Malaysia.

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The main selection of the buffet is the ever popular Butter Chicken and Tandoori Chicken. They were awesome. The butter chicken is made in tomato and cream sauce — rich and creamy. The tandoori is chicken marinated in yogurt and spices for 24 hours before they are baked in a traditional clay oven. Zee swears that Quilon has the bestest Tandoori chicken in Vancouver.

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Legendary Noodles in Richmond

The Legendary Noodle restaurant in Richmond had closed.

We went to the Legendary Noodle restaurant in Richmond. It’s a small diner with only about 30 seats. What sets this place apart is that the chef pulls and cuts the noodles by hand. The chef is a very nice humble man who so graciously consented to have his pictures taken when we asked. He made it look so simple!

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He stretches the dough, brings two ends together, spins it, twists it and repeats the process over and over again until they all form thin strands of noodles. It must have been at least 100 yards of noodles by the time he finished.

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Nothing compares with a bowl of freshly made noodles. I swear that there’s a difference in Legendary’s noodles — not only in the look but also in the taste and texture. They are tender, yet chewy.

The strands are so long that the waitress actually cut the noodles with a pair of scissors just before they bring it to our table.

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Click on the link below for the review of dishes we ordered and more about the restaurant.

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$1 Breakfast in IKEA

I don’t think you could get a better breakfast deal in Vancouver than the Breakfast for a Dollar from IKEA. We have always wanted to try this out for the past few years and despite the fact that we have an IKEA just 10 minutes from home, we have never been to one.

We decided to check that out and since we were somewhere near Coquitlam, we went to that IKEA instead. This IKEA is much larger than the one in Richmond and is located along the Lougheed Highway. They have a large restaurant on the second floor.

When we were there at just after 10am, there were already a long line of people queuing up for the dollar breakfast. The breakfast is served from opening time until 11am everyday.

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Service was very fast. The dollar breakfast consists of scrambled eggs, hash browns, two sausages, and a croissant. The croissant looks flattened and somewhat crispy and flaky. Is this how Swedish croissant is supposed to be? The serving was large and the food filling.

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The coffee is 99 cents and you get unlimited refills. There are decaf’d and regular coffee. I am pretty fussy about my coffee but this coffee is really the kind I like.

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There are also Penne Pasta in Marinara Sauce for 99 cents too. If I am not mistaken, it is served from 3pm to 5pm. We’ll definite try this one of these days.