Updated: 4th July 2012; This restaurant had closed according to Urbanspoon.com.
Alright, quick … tell me … if you are looking for breakfast at 7AM in the morning in and around Richmond, where would you go?
Driving around looking for breakfast two weeks ago, we found out that California Cafe on Lansdowne Mall actually opens at 7AM. We had rarely been to California Cafe but had blogged about that place once before. That was because it used to be closed by the health authorities for some reason I cannot recall.
Have you ever stopped going to a restaurant once you learn that they had been closed by the health authorities … even though they had cleaned up their act and was allowed to re-opened? For no rhyme or reason, we “sometimes” do. It depends on how popular the place is to us. LOL! For California Cafe, we stopped going.
But we decided to go back in and give them a try again. We were letting bygones be bygones … simply because there were no better choices for breakfast.
The California Cafe is another of many HK Style Cafes peppered all over Richmond. The interior is the same as I remembered it except that the grand piano is no longer there. I had always thought that the interior is kind of stylish with a main raised platform area. Beyond the structural design, the place is still quite haphazardly organized, very much like many Chinese restaurants.
We were there at 7:30AM. Suanne was still fuming that I dragged everyone out for breakfast so early during the weekend. She just wanted to sleep in but me, my biological clock is tuned to Atlanta and London time for months already. So, for me waking up at 6:30AM is like waking up at 9:30AM for Richmondites. Actually Suanne has a choice. She either could wake up at 6:30AM to make breakfast or she could wake up at 6:30AM and go out for breakfast. Being a sensible person she is, she chosed the latter.
BTW, just so that you know, I don’t even know where to get the toast spread in the kitchen at home and also do not know how to operate the coffee machine too. I really am not domesticated for these tasks at home. LOL!
On a more serious note, I really think there is a dearth of early breakfast joints in Richmond. Even at 7:30AM, California is already filled with customers.
They have very good Pineapple Bun here. In Cantonese, they are more cutely referred to a Bolo Bun. Seeing other tables having this we ordered one to sample. You got to know this … how good a Bolo Bun is is sometimes used as a yardstick to determine how good the restaurant is. Serious, I am not kidding.
Their Pineapple Bun costs $1.10. It is denser than the ones in Lido which makes the best Pineapple Buns this side of the planet. We like softer fluffier ones but we decided to give them the thumbs up because it tastes really good, particularly the crusty buttery topping.
California Cafe has a large menu which lists all kinds of combination that it is so confusing. We had this combination that is called Mix-n-Match which allows you to select two meat items for just $7. Along with this too includes two eggs, a bun and a beverage of your choice.
If you like meat, this will delight you. I selected Seared Chicken Leg and Seared Pork Chop. The chops are at least 4″ by 4″ each. I wonder how they make money by selling this for $7.
I love their buns. I had the eggs made sunny side up because I could use the yolk as a spread on top of the butter. Nice.
We also ordered their Chinese Breakfast Combo F. This combo costs $5.75 and gives you a selection of three items. There was the Chinese Donut …
… Pan Fried Noodle in Soy Sauce which was quite well made and tasty …
… and the House Special Congee. I cannot remember anymore but I think it is just plain congee with nothing in it.
The Breakfast Special above is $7. It has three large pieces of fish cutlet and hash browns. It also included two eggs made the way you want and a choice of bun or toast. And you also have a choice of a beverage.
We shared the breakfast combos between the four of us and it was just the right amount of food. If we had ordered one order each, we would not have been able to finish it all. The total came up to $25 in all. I felt it was good value for money.