Hou Lok Restaurant on Cambie, Richmond

We all like lamb; each has a different way of cooking it.
~ Chinese Proverb

Ever had one of those days when you have planned to eat out but do not know where to go? Well, Suanne always insists that we eat out on the weekends because she says that since I get the weekend off work, she deserves the weekend off herself too. Last weekend we cruised along No 3 Road and were not sure where we were heading to. I came across this little unassuming place right across from the new Aberdeen Mall (and just right next to the T&T Supermarket) along Cambie.

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We were early and were their first customer for dinner. Needless to say, service were prompt. You tend to know that the food is really authentic when you see tacky looking hand written menus plastered all over the place — the Hou Lok Restaurant was one such place.

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We ordered the Chicken Ball in Szechuan sauce. This is spicy and is cooked with lots of onions and green pepper. We liked the gravy/sauce in particular — goes great with steamed rice.

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Dim Sum at Sun Sui Wah

Words that come from the heart stay warm three winters long.
~ Chinese Proverb

Panos slept over last night at our place and since we planned to go out for dim sum on this Saturday morning, we brought him along too. Panos has never been to a dim sum place before. We told him stories about eggs dunked in horse urine, chicken feet, beef tendon and all — he took it in good stride and told us he’ll try it all! :-)

We went to the Sun Sui Wah Restaurant in Richmond just across from the Lansdowne Mall. It’s a very busy restaurant, especially in the weekend. We went early just as it opened before the weekend crowds starts streaming in.

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Dim Sum is a Chinese light meal or brunch, eaten sometime from morning-to-early afternoon with family or friends. Dim sum consists of a wide spectrum of choices, from sweet to salty. It has combination of meat, vegetables, and seafood. It is usually served in a small basket or on a small dish, depending on the type of dim sum. Dim Sum is a Cantonese term, literally translated as “choose heart”, meaning “choose to one’s heart’s content”. It may also be derived from the words “yat dim sum yi, meaning a “little token”.

Dim sum dishes can be ordered from a menu or sometimes the food is wheeled around on a mobile cart by servers. Traditionally, the cost of the meal is calculated based on the number and size of dishes left on the table.

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Char Siew Pau
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Dumplings
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Chicken feet and Beef tripe

Some modern dim sum restaurants record the dishes on a bill at the table. Servers in some restaurants use different stamps so that sales statistics for each server can be recorded. Continue reading

Pho Saigon on Kingsway

Updated 17th August 2010: This restaurant is closed according to Urbanspoon.

Giving just a crumb to the hungry is worth more than giving lunch to the satisfied.
~ Vietnamese Proverb

I missed authentic Asian food after a week in the states. While there Arkensen MSN’ed me and we agreed we should go for pho this weekend. We went to a place called Pho Saigon along the eastern end of Kingsway, you know, the section just before Kingsgate?

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We have been to this place before. What we liked about this place was not so much of the pho noodles but the other Vietnamese food. It had been a while and were surprised that the place had a new coat of paint. It’s much brighter now. Apparently, the owner has changed because we could not see the normal faces and the menu does look different.

IMG_3554_edited-1Everytime I am here I ordered their dry seafood noodles. I ordered the same this time but they don’t look as good as last time. I prefer darker sauce but this one is much lighter. Enjoyed the squid and prawns — very generous portion.
IMG_3558_edited-1Suanne and Nanzaro shared the curry chicken with rice. It was not spicy but was very rich. I can see that they used a lot of coconut milk. There was very few meat — just three miserable pieces. There were more pieces of potatoes and carrots. No, not as good as it was last time we came.
IMG_3556_edited-1Arkensen will always go for Pho. He’s not the adventurous type when it comes to food. This time he has graduated from Beef Balls Pho to the No 1 Pho (all kinds of beef meat) — hmm, I am impressed. He finished off the whole LARGE bowl. I like to see that he finishes so much food.

So, is it good? No, it’s nothing to shout about. The place is simply not the same anymore — nice looking place but the food is just so-so. Total damage (including tips): $24.

Pho Saigon on Urbanspoon

Longhorn Steakhouse in Atlanta

Take the bull by the horns.
~ Russian Proverb

In my last night in Atlanta before I return to Vancouver, a few of my project team members finally told ourselves that we should just go out for a nice meal in a restaurants a block away from our hotel. Shahdad wanted Mexican while Rob fancies steak. I was the vote breaker … I chose steak.

I heard so much about the Longhorn Steakhouse this entire week here and was told that there is a long line up most of the nights. So, we decided to give that place a try. We went at a right time because although there were five parties ahead of us, we were seated in just 10 minutes. Hmmm … good start.

The Longhorn Steakhouse has a string of restaurants in the 24 east coast states from Maine to Florida. There are 14 Longhorns just around Atlanta itself. The interior is very western with longhorns, horse shoes, cowboy stuff and whatnots adorning the walls. The service was very prompt and very friendly.

The night started with sourdough bread (or at least I think it is sourdough!) and butter. The bread was warm and felt like it’s just fresh out of the oven. It was served on a wooden platter with a sunken cup for the butter. It was a great start.

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Next came the salad. Nothing fancy except that the plate was huge. We agreed that this salad alone is good enough for dinner. I like this.

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I ordered the Flo’s Filet and Grilled Shrimp. The waitress recommended the Flo’s Filet saying it’s their most asked for selection. The Filet/Shrimp was served with rice and chipotle range sauce. That dish costs $20.49. I also order a side of Fresh Asparagus at $3.49.

The prawns were really nice with the chipotle sauce. I took that and the asparagus first — yummy! The Flo filet is a 7oz fresh tenderloin cooked to medium rare. I did not touch the rice much because I was really full.

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DQ’s Shrimp Basket

Updated: 04 Feb 2015; This restaurant is closed.

When in Rome, do as the Romans do
~ unknown

Sigh … been working in Atlanta the whole week and am seriously missing Suanne’s food! I sure look forward to coming home this weekend and have a simple bowl of noodle soup — nothing fancy, just plain noodle soup!

There were so much I need to do here that I did not have much of a chance to have a good nice Atlantan meal. So, it’s pretty much food catered for the meetings and food at the mall.

After another long day at the office, I just went over to the Cumberland Mall across the road to grab a quick bite from the food court. At the food court, there was this nice big banner with big delicious prawns that caught my attention. Sure, I thought, why not try the DQ’s Shrimp Basket.

I expected it served in a basket, like the picture on the banner but as always, what you get is not exactly the same as what is advertised. The Shrimp Basket should be called the Shrimp BOX.

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I am surprised by the size of the serving and the number of shrimps. They are deep fried and was served with fries. It looks very inviting, but does it taste good? Well … I find that North American shrimp is nothing much like those from SE Asia which tastes a bit more … shrimpy.

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The shrimps also comes with a dipping sauce and a small bowl of coleslaw. The coleslaw was terrible. I threw it away. The meal costs less than US$5. Not a bad deal. However, it’s not something I’ll go looking for again.

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Just can’t wait to get home!

Dairy Queen Cumberland Mall on Urbanspoon

First McDonalds in Canada

Some families are like potatoes — all that’s good of them is underground.
~American Proverb

It has been a while since we went to McDonalds. So, we went to the FIRST (no kidding!) McDonalds in Canada — which is also the FIRST McDonalds located outside of the US. This is located at No 3 and Granville. We were quite amazed when we first found out a few years ago that the first McDonalds outlet in Canada was in the city of Richmond. There is a plaque right by the condiments station that says that this outlet was opened in June 1st, 1967. The plaque also says that one of the first crew members of this outlet is now a Senior VP in McDonalds Canada. Today there are 1400 McDonald Restaurants all over Canada alone. Pretty amazing stuff.

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The boys favourite is always the fries. They never had enough of them. We also ordered the double cheeseburger which was a deal at $3 for two double cheeseburgers. The cheeseburger was a disappointment because it looks so flat. Nanzaro’s favourite is the chicken McNuggets which came with the sweet and sour sauce. We also ordered the Big Mac. Total costs for the meal plus drinks was $16.

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McDonald's on Urbanspoon

Thai Son Restaurant on No 3 Road

This outlet is closed. Thai Son had re-opened along in Garden City. See entry here.

Always keep your words soft and sweet, just in case you have to eat them
~ Unknown

It was cold and rainy today. Just the type of weather for a hot bowl of noodle soup. We went to the Thai Son Restaurant on No 3 Road. Is just across the road from the Richmond Centre.

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The Thai Son Restaurant is owned by a Vietnamese couple. Although the name Thai Son appears to be a Thai restaurant, it is not … it is a purely Vietnamese restaurant. Thai Son has a restaurant too under the same name in East Broadway in Vancouver.

Apparently, this restaurant was very popular back in the 1990’s among the Hong Konger crowd. There are a number of photos hanging on the wall of some old Hong Kong movie stars in the restaurant who emigrated to Vancouver prior to the 1997 handover to China.

As in all Vietnamese restaurants, they always serve first the complementary bean sprout. Thai Son serves the bean sprouts blanched and warm.

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Suanne ordered the Rice Noodle in Special Vietnamese Stew. The stew was not thick and the beef chunks were tender. Nanzaro shared this with his mum.

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Arkensen ordered a large Beef Ball noodles. He finished the entire large bowl. We are glad to see him eat the whole bowl because he normally does not eat much and is underweight for his height. Arkensen likes to add lots of teriyaki sauce to his noodle. Continue reading

All-You-Can-Eat Sushi in Top Gun Sushi

Updated 17th Jan 2011: This restaurant had been closed according to Urbanspoon.com.

A glutton is never satisfied.
~ Namibian Proverb

It’s been a while since we had sushi and the boys wanted sushi for lunch too. Suanne also wanted to try the Top Gun Sushi I went to a few weeks ago. So, we made our way to the Top Gun Sushi at the New West Quay.

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The all-you-can-eat is more expensive on the weekends. It costs about $11 for adults and $7 for kids age 6-9. He he he … the waiters thought the boys were below 9 years and we kept quiet … don’t ask, don’t tell, right?

All-you-can-eat Shashimi is $2 extra for adults. Arkensen can just eat shashimi alone. We ordered 28 pieces in all. The pieces are small but rather fresh.

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Suanne started off with cold noodles from the salad bar. I don’t know what that means when Suanne said they were “refreshing”. :-) It’s had a bit of lemon and is sourish.

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Hon’s on No 3 Road

Updated: 5th Feb 2015; This restaurant is closed.

Anything that walks, swims, crawls, or flies with its back to heaven is edible.
~ Cantonese saying

Hon’s Wun-Tun House (or better known as just Hon’s) is noted for it’s Chinese “comfort food”. The restaurant serves primarily cantonese style food and has been a favourite chinese restaurant in Vancouver for many years. Hons is well regarded for its wonton and noodle dishes, pot sticker dumplings (fried or steamed), and barbecued beef. More than 300 dishes are featured on the extensive menu!

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Meals are prepared in an open kitchen as diners look on. Although this concept is pretty common in Asia, it is a novelty in Canada. The restaurant started 25 years ago as a lone restaurant and has since opened many outlets throughout the Lower Mainland. We visited the outlet in Richmond’s No 3 Road recently.

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Crystal Mall’s Food Court

Govern a family as you would cook a small fish — very gently.
~ Chinese Proverb

We went to the Food Court in Crystal Mall for lunch on Saturday because the boys wanted Char Koay Teow. The Crystall Mall is a Chinese Mall located along Kingsway with Willingdon in Burnaby. It was always crowded when we go there during the weekend — it was just as crowded today. In Canadian standards, the parking was hard to get.

Arkensen does not normally like spicy food but he says that he only makes an exception for char koay teow. The char koay teow was good — we find that it is one of the best we could find in Vancouver. We ALWAYS order char koay teow when we eat at this food court. The char koay teow from the Curry King stall costs $5.50.

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Nanzaro wanted Shashimi and opted for the tuna shashimi from the Ebi King stall. The dish consists of 5 pieces of average slices and costs $4.95. It did not look particularly fresh but Marc did gobble them all down in quick time. I guess he must have liked them.

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