There is a new kid on the block.
And I think this new restaurant is gonna make it in the long run.
I am talking about the new restaurant on No 3 Road called The One Cafe. This restaurant is the THIRD restaurant called The One in Metro Vancouver. There is one The One Restaurant in Burnaby which is an offshoot from Lao Shan Dong (see the blog posting here). There is another restaurant also called The One on Granville and W 41st in Vancouver.
To add to the confusion, there are also other “1” restaurants like the No 1 Beef Noodle House, Hot Pot One, and No 1 Shanghai just to name a few.
This latest The One Cafe is located across the street from the Brighouse Skytrain station. Location-wise, I felt it is just perfect because this stretch had recently turned out to be the one area with the heaviest food traffic in the whole of Richmond. It wasn’t like that until late last year.
Prior to The One Cafe opening here, it was the Queen’s Cafe and before Queen’s it was something else. The location was awful before the Skytrain line was opened. There were hardly anyone walking along that part of the street. And moreover, the Queen’s Cafe seems too upscale and expensive. We never had the urge to check them out.
But I was surprised that The One Cafe is doing very well. We were there just last Saturday for lunch. The restaurant is absolutely packed even though the restaurant is bigger than the average restaurants in Richmond. There is even a line for tables at one point at about 1:30PM.
This restaurant is a Hongkong Style Cafe. Inside, it looked really nice for such a cafe. With clean, modern lines, it is certainly better looking than other HK-Style Cafes. Suanne was saying that the chairs were too high for her and is not comfortable. I did not find that the case at all. Maybe her legs were too short or something.
Although there were a lot of wait staff, all pleasantly attired in black, I have to point out that service is spotty. Most of them are very attentive but our waiter not only dropped the ball but he also ignored a request by saying to me “we’re too busy. please wait”. More about that later.
There is nothing special about the menu. It is largely HK Style Cafe type of dishes made up of noodles, hot pots, rice and western style dishes too. The prices are OK and inline with the prices of similar dishes you find in other HK Style Cafe. So that is good.
The left most menu is the interesting Noodle Soup Combo (more about that later). The right most menu is the breakfast menu. It is interesting to note that they open very early at 7:30AM. So, for those of you who takes the SkyTrain to work in the morning, this is one handy restaurant you could go for a quick bite before hopping on the train.
Suanne decided to get the Noodle Soup Combo. We came across this style of combo dishes for the first time in Cattle Cafe. I think Cattle Cafe is the restaurant that popularized this way of ordering. For $8, you get to choose:
- Soup base of six choices
- Two Toppings from list of 22 choices
- Noodles of eight choices
Some of the choices are quite interesting with options such as watercress&coconut fish soup, slice omasum, ox-tongue and … parsley¢ury egg soup. Click on the left most menu if you want to see what they are.
Suanne ordered the Tonkotsu as her soup base with toppings of pork cheek and stuffed tofu.
The Tonkotsu soup base was flavorful and it included other ingredients like suey choy, tofu puff and mushroom.
The pork cheek was really good. It is thinly slices, tender and taste porky … you know, like it tasted like good fresh pork. The stuffed tofu turned out to be just fish tofu. We thought the stuffed tofu is like yong tau foo (like this).
Suanne finds that the ramen noodles was too soft not al dente. What is the fancy word to describe noodles that are too soft … “Too dente”? And if it is undercooked … “Un-dente”?
Anyway, Suanne for some odd reason said that she prefer the frozen ramen we had at home better.
Like all HK Style Cafe, most of the meals came with free coffee or tea. It is $1 extra if you want it cold/with ice.
Uncle Ben ordered the Japanese Shabu-Shabu Hot Pot. This is $10 and despite its higher price, it does not come with a free beverage.
Firstly, when the waiter (there was only one waiter the day we were there, the rest were the feminine versions) brought the hot pot to the table, he did not light the burner. He forgot. I had to ask him for it and he said yes, went away and did not come back with the lighter. We had to get another waitress who promptly lighted it for me.
OK, Uncle Ben loves soupy food right? And Uncle Ben thought that there were too little soup (see picture above). So I called the waiter again asking him to fill up the hot pot with more soup. The waiter told Uncle Ben “we are too busy. please wait”. He walked away like I was too pesky to be entertained.
But Uncle Ben is a persistent guy. He is like a pit bull who just can’t let go. So Uncle Ben asked another waitress and lo and behold, an extra bowl of soup came the very next minute. So yeah, I was really unhappy with the attitude of the one particular waiter who I thought was rude to brush aside a customer and did not even light the burner. He doesn’t like me I think. And that is OK because the feeling is mutual.
See above again … see how little the soup is … and the fact that you don’t see it boiling or steaming shows that the waiter forgot to light the burner and did not do it after I had reminded him about it.
But the dish was good. In the pot are enoki mushroom, beef and lots of suey choy. The soup is light and flavourful. The sliced beef was precooked. I could see that. I was saying to Suanne that perhaps if they had delivered uncooked beef slices on the side it would be better. I would have preferred it because I could decide how cooked I want the beef to be. Or maybe they serve it like Vietnamese Pho with raw beef slices rest on top of the soup.
It came with a bowl of rice and “dessert”. I can’t understand this sort of “dessert”. You don’t give kiddie jellies to adult customers. I really wonder how many people actually eat it.
Nanzaro ordered the Malaysian Fried Spicy Kuey Teow for $8. It is spelled as Kiteow on the menu. A typo obviously but it took us a while to figure out what a Kiteow is.
They should NOT label this dish as Malaysian. You will never get this sort of koay teow style from Malaysia. This is just HK style fried noodles if you ask me. The Cantonese folks thinks that if you throw in some curry powder and make it a spicy stir fry noodle, it is Malaysian style noodle.
Taste-wise, it was OK … as long as you call it Curry Powder Flat Noodle Stir Fry.
My first born, Arkensen … he disappoints me when it comes to food. At the rate he is going, he will inherit chowtimes from us and then promptly rename this site to chow-fun-times. Chow-fun in Cantonese means fried rice.
So he had the same old … Diced Chicken with Salted Fish Fried Rice ($8).
Hey, the fried rice is very fragrant despite the plain looking dish. They use good salted fish which smell so good and tasted much better than most other similar fried rice.
Other than the waiter who doesn’t like me, we are quite OK with this restaurant. The prices are quite good. The food is quite good. I think this restaurant will do well for this location for a change.
Oh, despite the size of the restaurant, they only have five parking bays at the back of the restaurant. You might have to find alternative parking in the Richmond Center parkade but be careful when you use the parkade. This is because there are people who catches non-customers parking there. The best bet is to park in the upstairs parking in Richmond Center and then walk through the mall so that you don’t get caught and have your car towed.
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Wow!!! looks delicious……my mother wouldn’t touch pork cheeks anymore even though they are SOOOO good after she heard that that’s the area where needles enter when pigs get their shots. Is that true?
Hi Christine: Well, it all depends on what you mean by “cheek”. In the human anatomy, did you know that there are two “cheeks”? The commonly known cheeks are those you find in a human face — that is, just below the eyes. The other “cheek” is on the opposite side of the human body — at the back, just above the thighs. This is the smoother and larger cheek. In colloquial English, this other cheek is also known as the butt which is short for buttocks. I think this is the cheek area that your mum was referring to where the needles enter the pig. The good news is that the pork cheeks that they serve in The One Cafe is the cheek-cheek, not the butt-cheek. Hope that helps. Please feel free to share with your mum this fact. We all learn new things everyday. LOL! Ben.
P.S. it should be chow-fan times, chow fun is noodles XD
Thanks for the heads up on this new restaurant. I’m always on the lookout for new restaurant to eat in Richmond. This one looks like a good one to try. Its also another breakfast place in addition to my usual Alleluia and eCanteen.
I’ve been watching this space for a long, long time. The very first restaurant in this space was a Japanese restaurant, where I used to work. Man, that was a long time ago! 🙂
I love HK style cafes….such variety and it comes with a drink. I don’t understand why it costs an extra $1 for a cold drink though. All they’re doing is adding ice.
You need to know that, you need energy/electricity to make ice or money to buy ice. The hot brewed tea or coffee need to be cooled down before serving. Compared with hot tea or coffee, there are extra steps to make cold drinks.
Thanks for sharing!!! I gotta try the noodle combo…it looks interesting!!! It’s kind of like the cart-style noodles you get in HK…choose your own ingredients…the one in Parker Place is popular since it’s one of the only places (in food courts) that does that…my husband and I started our own little adventure…”field trip in food courts”…hahahaha…but I don’t have a blog (not sure if he does)…I just like to post all my food pix on my facebook page…anyhow…if you ever try the place in Parker Place…please share and let us know!!!
Hi BuddhaGirl604: Fixed your comment for you. Anyway, what is this place in Parker Place you are talking about? There are a number of stalls in the food court but am not sure which one. Ben
Hi Ben: Thanks so much! Sorry I didn’t catch the name of the stall in the Parker Place food court…but I think it’s the only one that sells cart-style noodle (tsei-jei-mein)…it has whole bunch of ingredients placed at the front counter…then they will ask you whether you want it with clear broth or curry…or both…I heard they asked one lady…let me check again on the weekend and see the name of the place and let you know!!!
Hi BuddhaGirl604, the place you’re referring to is called “Connie’s Curry Kitchen 咖喱小廚”.
Coincidentally, there was a stall called “The One 聚客亭” that was located beside Connie’s Curry Kitchen a while ago. But now, it has been replaced with “Yummy Yummy”. Hmmm…wonder if the owner for the old “The One” in Parker Place is the same as the owner for this new restaurant on No. 3 Rd? The English & Chinese names are exactly the same.
I think it’s great The One opens at 7:30 am. I now have a new place to go to…
Hello Anne: Have you tried Connie’s Curry Kitchen’s 車仔麵? I always wanted to try it but afraid the soup stock has beef in it…since I don’t eat beef…
I won’t be surprised if “The One 聚客亭” used to be in food courts, I re-called few restaurants started that way too…when I went with my husband to Parker Place food court couple weeks ago, I noticed the HK-cafe style stall beside 咖喱小廚 has just opened recently (they still have their new-opening flowers on their counter)…
Hi BuddhaGirl604, I haven’t been to Connie’s Curry Kitchen for a long, long time. So I don’t recall if there’s any beef in their soup stock. Maybe someone from this blog would know?
Hi Ben, have you tried the Angel Cake Cafe @ 5995 Fraser St.? Their food is more reasonably priced and they don’t add $! for cold drinks, which is a plus. I find their breaksfast menu cheaper than most places in Richmond. For $4.95 you can get a full breakfast (there’s a variety of choices) of 2 eggs, 2 pork sausages, French toast & a drink, and if that’s not enough to fill you, add $1 for a bowl of beef brisket vermicelli or macaroni & ham! Breakfast is served until 11:30am everyday. Their lunch menu is also cheaper than most HK style cafes. Some of their best dishes are M’sian fried vermecelli with belachan, chicken & salted fish fried rice, Hainanese chicken rice & curries. BTW, pig cheek is commonly known as pig jowl, so as not to be confused with the other cheek!!
Hi HM: Angel Cake House? Been there, done that — http://bit.ly/a7mpdj — we like Angle Cake House but it is so far away for us. Ben
Tks for your prompt response. I see you went there in 2008, at which time I still haven’t joined your blog…LOL!! One thing I noticed from your receipt, their prices haven’t gone up since!
– “The One” on Kingsway
– “The One” at Granville & 41st
– “The One” inside Parker Place food court
The Parker Place location was closed down already, from what I heard.
Yea…I think it’s now called Yummy something…
Hi BuddhaGirl604: Do you have a blog by any chance? I just stumbled upon a blog with an almost similar handle as yours and it is awesome! Ben
Hello Ben: Yes I do! I am new to food blogging so bare with me!!! I like to take pictures of my food more than talking about it…LOL! FOODFORBUDDHA.com is my blog! Please feel free to share your opinions and any improvements the site needs!!! Thanks so much!!!
Yeah, I stumbled upon FoodForBuddha.com this morning and thought it might be yours. I spent 1/2 hr this morning going over your posts and was almost late for an appointment. Great job! I left an idea comment about Chez Bhuddha. He he he … how about it? Ben
LOL!!! I told Buddha Boy about the plan, he got so shy and thinks it’s so embarrassing cooking a meal for food bloggers since he’s not a pro-chef! He just loves to cook and play around in the kitchen…I will try to convince him!!!
He he he … I am thinking bigger than that! No, I am not thinking of a once off dinner by Buddha Boy for bloggers. From your Chez Buddha posts, I am really thinking of an Asian version of 12B Underground Kitchen. Ben
LOL!!! An Asian style 12B? LOL!!! Many of our friends have already asked us to have a “private kitchen”…but we just like to cook, but don’t think we can turn it into a business…hahahah…we’re not that good!!!
Wow! I’m browsing through the buddhagirl blog above and it looks really good. Yes I totally agree. Good job on the blog. Keep up the good work. Another good Vancouver food blog to follow. You must be well off to eat as often as you do and ordering the more expensive dishes.
Hello Lechon: No no…we have no money!!! LOL! But being a woman who wear no makeup or jewellery, nor use any skin-products (well, except hand lotions from Crab Tree)…I do have a little more spending room for good food! Plus, I am not a typical “woman”…I hate mall shopping (like shopping for clothes or shoes), I rather take my cash and spend it at supermarkets!!! LOL!!!
I wish all women are like you. Spend less on other trivial girly things and spend more on food. Buddhaboy is lucky to have you. LOL.
I think thats a great idea to have a dinner catered by Buddhaboy. I hope I can come too even though I’m not a blogger.
If we do have a gathering, we would be happy to have you!
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this restaurant used to be a food court store at Parker Place Mall for a while, then left and opened their own restaurant