Broccoli Salad

Minoo and Andrea demonstrated in the South Arm Park Community Kitchen while Vanessa was away on holiday in Hong Kong. Minoo got a big bag of purple broccoli from the Richmond Sharing Farm and she decided to make a Broccoli Salad.


Unlike the regular broccoli which comes in a big floweret, this purple broccoli comes in small floweret. It is more tender and milder in taste, just great for salad. We’ve yet to see such variety in the market.


The Broccoli Salad has sweet peppers, onions, raisins and some mix seeds. Although the purple broccoli is more tender than the regular one, it is still a hardy salad.


  • 1 cup broccoli, cut into small floweret
  • 1/4 cup chopped red or yellow pepper
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped red onion
  • 2 tablespoons dried raisins
  • 2 tablespoons sunflower seeds, unsalted, plain
  • some ground flax seeds

Dressing ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoon light miracle whip or mayonnaise
  • 1 tablespoon plain low fat yogurt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon sugar



IMG_5201Mix all the salad ingredients together in a bowl.
IMG_5206Mix the salad dressing ingredients in another small bowl.Pour dressing over top of broccoli mixture and toss lightly. The above recipe serves 2, approximately 1 cup each.

Minoo, thank you for sharing this simple and nutritious salad and introducing the purple broccoli to us.

Italia Deli & Cafe on Granville St.

Updated 4 June 2009: Replaced by Chloe Cafe (Vietnamese).

For this cake meet, we had Angie joined Polly and me. Since Angie lives in West Vancouver, we try to meet in Vancouver. We decided to meet at Italia Deli & Cafe on Granville St.


Italia Deli & Cafe is family owned and operated since 2004.


This is a small cafe with about 5 tables and few high seat overlooking the street. There are a few chairs outside the cafe, good for warmer weather. There are also some sofas at the inner side of the cafe with a large TV. It will be great for nights with game telecast. I like the nostalgic black and white photos of old movies stars (I presumed Italian) which decorated the wall.

Angie was late that morning, so Polly and I started off with some coffees and sweet treats.


Polly had a small Coffee Mocha for $2.50 while I just ordered regular coffee. Continue reading

Cream Cheese Bun

Ben decided that I should release a few of my recipe posts before he starts our Seattle vacation series. So, here I go again.

Helen is my morning walk companion. We walk at the South Arm Park twice a week and we chit chat about our kids, recipes and all sorts of things. She shared with me this Cream Cheese Bun recipe. We are always in search of bread recipe which yields soft bun which lasts for a couple of days. A lot of the recipes we tried before yield soft buns when they first come out from the oven but they will become tough the next day.


This Cream Cheese Bun remains relatively soft the next day. For best result, microwave for 10 seconds if you consume it the next day.

I made the Cream Cheese Bun in the muffin pan as the recipe is for a small loaf. Helen had tried to make it as a loaf but it did not turn out right. I have never try to make it as loaf.


Arkensen and Nanzaro like to eat the Cream Cheese Bun with nutella. Sometime, I snug in some white chocolate wafer for a little surprise. You can fill the bun with red bean paste, lotus seed paste, etc. But my kids like it plain with nutella.


Ingredient A:

  • 1/3 cup warm water
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons yeast
  • 1 tablespoon sugar

Ingredient B:

  • 1 2/3 cups flour
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 3 tablespoons cream cheese

Ingredient C:

  • 3 tablespoons butter, softened


Click on the link below for the instructions.

Continue reading

Go Go Tea Cafe in Richmond

This restaurant has closed according to Urbanspoon; updated on 15th June 2010.

The four of us, we don’t normally go to Bubble Tea Houses. It is not that we don’t like Bubble Tea. As a matter of fact, our boys absolutely like it but they told us they will not be caught dead in a Bubble Tea House. I think they are associating it with places where girls hangout … LOL!


We would not had gone in if not for the fact that we have absolutely no idea where to go. You know, it was one of those days when we needed some place to blog about but simply cannot think of one … until we drove past the Cosmos Plaza on Garden City and McKim (in Richmond that is). That is when Suanne said that Gogo Tea Cafe had at sometime ran commercials on the TV.


It is located a floor above the street level. Almost all restaurants in Richmond simply had no views at all and is dark. Well, the view here was not that great but at least it had a lot of light here. It was still winter when we visited Gogo Tea. When spring comes round, there will be more color.

Talking about spring, I just can’t get enough of spring … it is simply the best season of the year for me. It does cheer me up with the longer days. Even driving to work is interesting observing how there are more colors every day.


Gogo Tea is bright … with ceiling to wall windows and white furnishings. On a bright day it could be blinding. Oh yeah, it is a youngster hangout alright but there are a couple of families there too.


Milk Teas are Gogo Tea’s specialties. Ordered as an individual items, the Milk Teas are $4 and above. However, if you order from their lunch menu, you just need to add $1 for regular milk tea and an additional 50 cents if you want pearls (or coconut jelly, pudding or grass jelly) too.

We love the milk teas. They are absolutely fabulous and I am sure you will like them too. They are uniquely served in really tall glasses. They are so tall that we can’t even drink from the straws without taking it off below the table level to reach the straws!

I had the Gogo Milk Tea which came with coffee flavoured chewy jelly and whipped cream. Suanne had the Matcha Milk Tea which was more green tea and not at all sweet. Arkensen had the Chocolate Milk Tea and Nanzaro the Mocha flavoured one.

The best among all had to be the Gogo Milk Tea … it’s rich, creamy, chewy, sweet. They have a huge milk tea selection and if you don’t know what to order, then go for the Gogo Milk Tea. You won’t be disappointed.


For food, Arkensen ordered the Deep Fried Pork Chop on Rice which costs $7.25. Continue reading

Mak’s Noodle Restaurant in Richmond

Updated: 2nd Jan 2015; This restaurant is now called Max Noodle House according to

I know I am soooo behind in my blogs but I just realized how behind I was. Well, we went Mak’s in January and it is until now I got down to blogging about it. Frankly, I find so little time to do the things I enjoy these days. But anyway, I only have this entry and tomorrow’s to go before I get started on the Seattle Spring Break series.

For today, it’s about Mak’s Noodle Restaurant. We only got to know about Mak’s when Erick commented that they have one of the best wonton noodles in Richmond. Erick is from Seattle and he comes over to Richmond every now and then just for food! So, I guess being a true-blue foodie, he knows where the great food is.


We would not have found Mak’s on our own. It is sort of tucked deep in a strip mall along Alexandra Rd, the “eat street” of Richmond. The address if you are interested is 1200-8580 Alexandra Road. It is a Cantonese restaurant and their specialty is wonton noodles.


Table condiments are the all important chili oil (or oil chili?) for wonton noodles. As important as the wonton and noodle, the chili oil is just as indispensable.

There are vinegar too but I had never understood the use of vinegar here. I mean, what do you use that with?


Nanzaro insisted in making his own order. As long as he does not order Fried Rice again, we just let him decide on his own and stay out of commenting on his poor choice. He ordered the Lo-Mein with Shredded Pork in Spicy Brown Sauce. Six bucks … hmmm … Continue reading

Da Hong Yun Shanghai Restaurant in Richmond

Update 6 June 09; this restaurant had been replaced by Shanghai JJ Restaurant.

Have any of you ever been to this Shanghainese restaurant right across No 3 Road from the Richmond Centre Mall? For some reason, they had been changing hands several times over the years. I am not sure why because they seem to do very well as evidenced by how packed it is all the time.


It is now called Da Hong Yun but I remember they used to be called Shanghai Wind and at another time it was called Chen’s. We went there because we were enticed by the Live Crab banner that they put up outside.


The restaurant is smallish with something like 10 tables at the max. It’s so cramped that it was hard to move around once all the tables were filled. Decor wise, there is nothing much to it (why they even have Chinese New Year decorations still hanging in the store even today).

This is a very traditional Chinese restaurant which means that they cater to mainly Chinese customers. It’s because there is only one waitress who could barely managed to communicate in English. So ordering here was quite difficult for us.


Despite the language difficulty, we managed quite well ordering the Duck with Fried Gluten. Continue reading

Michigan Noodle Shop in Richmond

Updated: 2nd Jan 2015; This restaurant is closed.

I can almost swear that this place is new. Well, not new-new but new as in about 4 months new. We had been eating around Alexandra Rd every other weekend but it never quite notice it until recently. You know, with a name like Michigan, we can almost guess this is another HK Style Cafe. Suanne and I still have not figured out why so many HK Style Cafes are named after American Cities.


The Michigan Noodle Shop is located at the eastern end of Alexandra Road. It is actually on the same strip mall as Zen Chinese Cuisine and across the road from Coco Chili. You won’t miss, not with that bright yellow signboard in an otherwise drab looking strip mall. Parking might looked to be very limited but just so that you know, you could actually drive up the ramp and park upstairs.


We really thought that this place is one of the more expensive restaurant especially with their decor and expensive cars parked outside. It turned out that it’s a very traditional Chinese restaurant and nothing like any of the HK Style Cafes.


We like this place and the ambiance. It does seem upscale with the customers mostly very well dressed. The waitresses too were garbed in traditional Chinese costume. The tables and seats were quite plush.

Service was great Continue reading

Vogue Chinese Cuisine in Richmond

Updated: 2nd Jan 2015; This restaurant is closed.

We met up with Angie’s family for lunch on a Saturday. We actually got to know each other through chowtimes. We are still amazed even today how we had gotten to know so many people through the blog.


We decided to go to Vogue for lunch. Vogue is a popular Taiwanese restaurant located in the Continental Mall in Richmond. That mall, located on Cambie and Sexsmith, has quite a lot of eateries.


We were early that day. Vogue opens at 11:30AM but we were already there about 15 minutes early. They were nice and asked that we come in and allow them some time to setup. Needless to say, the place were empty at that time. By lunch time, the place were absolutely packed.

They have one of the more trendy and modern decor among Richmond restaurants. Not too fancy but really neat.


For me, I like places where they pay attention to the details. The bowls, plates, cups and chopsticks were logo’d. This is the kind of place where you are better off ordering dishes for sharing.


You know what I hated most eating out with people who knows I am the Ben behind chowtimes? They think I know so much about food that everyone leaves the ordering to me! Frankly, I did not really know what I was ordering and went by just the name. It turned out that all the dishes I ordered came out to be almost the same stuff. 🙂

The Ma Po Tofu above was $8.25. Continue reading

Thai Son Reopened in Richmond

Thai Son was one of the first restaurant reviews we made when we started blogging two years ago. We used to go there very often until one day the entire strip mall along the No 3 Road in Richmond was torn down. In place of that strip mall is the still under construction final stop of the new Skytrain Canada Line.


We were pleasantly surprised to find that they had reopened on Garden City and Leslie Road. It’s just across the road from Fabricana. Thai Son is now also opened in three other locations. They are also at:

  • 373 East Broadway, Vancouver
  • #230-2800 East 1st. Avenue, Vancouver
  • #201 4501 North Road, Burnaby

They had labeled themselves as “The Best Vietnamese Food in Town”. For us, they are really one of the best Vietnamese places we had been to.


The place is much larger than the old Thai Son but just as packed as it was then. I am pretty sure many of the patrons are return customers because there is no way a new restaurant in this location could draw that many people. This new location is quite out of the way for many.


Their menu is still the same ones we were so accustomed to from the old Thai Son restaurant on No 3 Road. It’s exactly the same except that they are newly printed. Oh, I remember their #30 … always had that. I remembered going to Thai Son and just ordered #30 without even looking at the menu.


The bean sprouts were blanched. It would have been nicer if it was blanched a bit longer. Continue reading

Ajisen Ramen in Richmond

Updated: 2nd Jan 2015; This restaurant is closed.

Not sure about you but Ramen does conjure images of school days when we could not afford three square meals and all we had was meals after meals of instant noodles. For some reason, I loved instant noodles then. Am not sure what it is about instant noodles and kids … my boys are simply addicted to those stuff too.


We went to Ajisen Ramen not too long ago for dinner with Nanzaro. Since he likes noodles, we thought we should just give it a try. Ajisen is located in the Parker Place Mall in Richmond. It’s on the eastern side of the mall, the part facing Hazelbridge Way. You won’t miss it, driving along Hazebridge.


Inside, it does look kind of Japanese with gaudy coloured pink chairs and all. When we walked in they shouted greetings in Japanese. I’ve never been to Japan before but my impression of how a Japanese restaurant is like is exactly just like that.

Despite that pretense, to us it is a Cantonese restaurant because the people who work there all spoke in Cantonese.


We got seated and was promptly handed the menu. ALL menus should be like these if you ask me. Simple names and pictures to show how it looks like (or at least how it is supposed to look like). I like especially the “Recommended!” notations above some of the dishes. It takes brain work out of choosing from an unfamiliar menu.


The condiments on the tables were interesting. Continue reading