Updated: 26th Sep 2010: This restaurant is replaced with Beijing Cuisine.
Did any of you noticed that there had been a lot of restaurants that had been closed the last few months? We did. It is sad that many of our favourite restaurants are no longer there. What is sadder to learn is that some good restaurants were opened for just a few months.
One such restaurant we like was Vogue. We had blogged about our lunch at Vogue before here.
When we were back at the Continental Mall last weekend, we were puzzled standing in front of this restaurant where Vogue used to be. It is all familiar except that the name Vogue is absent from the signboard. Vogue had the same distinctive all white signage with black cursive Chinese characters for a logo. Moreover Vogue had always been known as a Taiwanese restaurant.
In place is a restaurant that is simply called Taiwanese Cuisine. We decided to check this place out instead of the other place we wanted to go for lunch.
The interior is different from what we remembered of Vogue. The same high-back dark leather chairs seems to be the same. We were curious and so we asked the waitress how recently had they opened. We were told that it’s the same restaurant as Vogue! It seems like they had just rebranded the place and did a bit of renovations here.
Obviously, Suanne and I were puzzled as to why would a restaurant want to do that. The only thing we can think of is perhaps they had some problems with Vancouver Coastal Health but no, they do NOT have that problem, we checked. I can see that the waitress does not want to answer more of my questions and I just let it rest to focus on food.
Do any of you know what strategic reasons there are that restaurants spend money to rebrand their restaurants? I can think of another Richmond restaurant that had just undergone rebranding. Zephyr in the Sky is now known as Delicious Cuisine. Maybe both Zephyr and Vogue are the same owners and they are consolidating the brand to something Cuisine? You reckon? He he he … me and my logic!
Service was not stellar. I don’t like it. You see … this time it was just Suanne and I. This restaurant has way too many large tables and all the small two seater tables were taken. What is left are the five and ten seaters. They want us to take the ten seater tables. We said no because we sort of suspect they will force us to share tables with other customers. We pointed that we would like to have the nearest five seaters table but she said it was reserved (no reserved sign was there, fine). I then pointed to another five seater and only then she reluctantly gave that to us. Guess what, just shortly after we were seated another party came in was seated at the table they told us was reserved. From the overheard conversation, the party did not have a reservation. They lied to us!
Enough of that. One thing about Taiwanese restaurants … do you notice, most of them stick a printout of your orders on the table? They check the items off as they deliver each item to the table. I see this method employed mostly in Taiwanese restaurants.
For starters, we ordered Jellied Pork. We don’t know what this is and ordered this simply because it was something new to us. This dish costs $6 and is served cold with julienne raw ginger. It had an odd texture and tasted quite bland. Both Suanne and I did not like it at all. We ate half of this and left the rest untouched.
Now the next order was much better. Suanne opted for their combo dish. The above is only $8 and came in a large tray. So it is a lot of value for money if you ask me. There are a a total of 16 choices from this combo set. The one that Suanne ordered is called the Crispy Chicken.
The Crispy Chicken is really nice and very much like popcorn chicken pieces. It is deep fried and so it was crunchy. It was a bit kind of dry eating this alone with steamed rice. However, the combo have also …
… sides of stewed tofu and stir fried beansprouts. We thought if the tofu is spicy it would have been better.
The third sides is the salad which had an odd pinkish color to the dressing.
For me, I ordered the Stewed Seafood and Tofu with Crab Meat Sauce. This $13 dish is served in a claypot and does not come with rice. I find it odd that for something that costs $13 it should have rice with this. For that price, I had high expectation for this dish. It turned out to be quite flavorless and had a lot of soft tofu … too much as a matter of fact. I can’t find any crab meat in the hotpot … maybe they blended it in the stew, no?
The bill came up to just under $30 before taxes. Hmmm … we were not awed by our visit here (it is our way of saying we are disappointed!). I had better experience when this place was Vogue. Taiwanese Cuisine accepts only cash. Here is their menu: