Excelsior Restaurant on No 3 Road, Richmond

Updated: 18th Nov 2014; This restaurant is closed.

Excelsior had always been there for as long as I remember. Or at least I think it had always been there for a long time. I don’t really know.

For some reason we had not gone to the Brighouse Square strip mall for anything other than the rare trip to Staples or pickup some pastries from the New Town Bakery.

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I could be wrong but I assumed that Excelsior is a long timer in Richmond. It opened in the days when there were more HK immigrants.

What I find strange is that there is only ONE review on Excelsior (by Yum-O-Rama) and nothing on Dinehere.ca, Urbanspoon or Yelp. And yet when we stand in front of the door, we see impressive age-faded newspaper reviews showing high-end food. Those must have came from their glory days.

The place was absolutely full. It was so unexpected. The first thing they asked is if we had a reservation. When we said no, they hesitated for a moment and then showed us to the crappiest three-seater table by the corridor which connects two separate dining areas.

We were not unhappy about it really. Just glad that they gave us a table. Boy, was this restaurant popular!

A lot of their customers are families. Many of them are multi-generation families out for a family dinner.

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Excelsior is decidedly Cantonese. I just can’t classify them properly. The decor, tables, chairs and even the bowls shows their age and had seen better days. At a glance, they are like any HK Style Cafe. But they don’t serve the normal HK Style Cafe fare.

Their menu was exciting. At least to us it was. There were so many new things that we had a hard time deciding. Looking at the variety on menu, Suanne said that it looks like we are going to come here several more times. The prices are on the higher side compared but quite affordable.

We discarded the main menu and focused on the two that says “Chef Recommendations” and “Special Stylish Dishes”. That is their more popular dishes. We took an awfully long time to decide what we wanted. We shortlisted EIGHT dishes but forced to narrow it down to three since it was just three of us at this dinner.

Service was OK. It was fast … rushed and somewhat impatient. After all, it is a HK restaurant. What do you expect. At least they were not rude. They are not really good with English for sure. We ordered with the English names and they had to cross check it with the Chinese name at the back of the menu.

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They came by with free soup. I am not sure how it works and if everyone gets this regardless of what is ordered. I see every table getting this.

It was a nice touch. Not many restaurants does this anymore. The soup was flavourful. It even had boney pork pieces in it.

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Most tables ordered this. We figured this must be their specialty.

This is called Steamed Chicken with Soy Sauce. We had the smaller portioned half-chicken ($13). The whole chicken is $24.

It was simply the best we had ever tried. Bar none. Such simplicity … such simplicity that they don’t even care to … (more…)

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Cranberry Nut Loaf

Stella shared this lovely Cranberry Nut Loaf with the members of the South Arm Cooking Club for seniors. She was given a cook book by one of the members of the South Arm seniors titled “A World Community Cookbook’, Simply in Season. This recipe from extracted from this cookbook.
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Stella insisted that everyone must try her cake because it is very rare for her to bake. Of course, we will never resist such a healthy cake loaded with flax seeds, cranberries and nuts.

Ingredients

Dry:

  • 1 cup (250ml) whole wheat flour
  • 1 cup (250ml) all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup (75ml) flax seed meal
  • 1 1//2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

Wet:

  • 3/4 cup (175ml) sugar
  • 3/4 cup (175ml) orange juice
  • 1/4 cup (60ml) oil
  • 2 tablespoons grated orange zest
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

Additions:

  • 1 1/2 cups (375ml) sweetened dried cranberries (coarsely chopped)
  • 1/2 cup (125ml) walnuts or pecans (chopped)

This recipe yields 1 loaf.

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Hearty Bean and Barley Soup

I did not get to taste this Hearty Bean and Barley Soup in the South Arm Cooking Club for Seniors as Charlene made this second soup for the seniors to bring home. A mixture of kidney beans and spinach give this soup a triple-punch of nutrition in the form of iron, fiber, and calcium. You can also vary this soup by adding shredded chicken or different vegetables.

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This is a great soup to freeze in 1 or 2 cups portions to reheat for the future. If you intend to freeze it, do not add the spinach. You may add the spinach just before you serve the soup after reheating. You may need to add an extra half cup to one cup of water to the leftovers, since the barley will continue to absorb liquid over time.

Ingredients

  • 1 (19 ounce) can dark red kidney beans, rinsed and drained
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 carrot, chopped
  • 1 stalk celery, chopped
  • 6 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 teaspoons dry rosemary, minced
  • 2 boxes less-sodium chicken broth (8 cups broth)
  • 1 can diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 1 cup pearl barley
  • 16 ounces bag spinach
  • 1/4 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
  • Parmesan cheese to serve, optional

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Paul, Chris O’Brennam and Marcel made this hearty soup adapted from Cooking Light.

Prep time: 15 mins; Cook time: 50 mins

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