I was wondering if the Chinese speaking community has a nickname for Alexandra Road in Richmond. As you know, Alexandra Road is known as the road in Richmond that has the highest concentration of restaurants. So, I thought it might be cool to give it a nickname if there is not one already … like calling it Wai Sek Gai (Glutton Street). LOL!
No seriously. The city of Richmond should make better effort in recognizing that the biggest asset of the city is the multitude of Asian restaurants. Let’s face it, there are not many exciting things to do in Richmond. People from outside of Richmond mostly make the trip to the city only to eat and to shop for Asian groceries. I always thought that if there is any city in Metro Vancouver who could lead the way in promoting a rich food legacy, it is Richmond. Alexandra Road could well be the epicenter of it all.
Right in the entrance to Alexandra Road is a newish restaurant called the Red House Restaurant. This location used to be the old Boston Steakhouse (see old blog here). When we blogged about the Boston Steakhouse and their cheap steaks last year, I distinctly remember that post was immensely popular with record 24hr pageviews. So, I am very surprised that the Boston Steakhouse closed a few months after.
A friend of ours told us about this restaurant and that it is worthwhile checking it out. We were told that their club sandwich is pretty good.
The very first thing we notice about the place is how similar it looked to the Boston Steakhouse. The most apparent similarity is the plastic table cloth — it is exactly the same distinct ones. Very jau-mm-lat (cannot escape).
Service was serious. It is the no nonsense kind … you know … no eye contact and all. The waiters and waitresses are dressed smartly in uniforms which is better than most other restaurants like them. The Red House is a Hongkong Style Cafe.
They have a Special Menu where the order of food comes with a drink equivalent to $2.50. This Special Menu is available only from 11:00 AM to 5:30 PM and from 9:00PM to close. Most of the items in this section is $7 or $8 with a few of them at $9. So it is quite cheap considering it included a beverage. Click on the pictures above to show a larger image.
Outside of the Special Menu, the other menu is a bit pricier. It is about a dollar or two more than other HK Style Cafe. Otherwise, the menu are nothing particularly exciting. It is basically the same stuff you find elsewhere.
As always, we try to order items from a good cross section of their menu. We had the Rack of Lamb Provancale which is the most expensive item at $17.
Hey … let me know what your thoughts are. When the waiter took our order, he asked us how we want the lamb done. For a moment I was unsure. It was because I can’t recall if anyone had ever asked me how I wanted the lamb done. Beef yeah but lamb never before. It took me a while before I blurted out … “medium”. Do you find it normal that you are asked how you want your lamb done?
It came served with steamed vegetables like broccoli, carrot and corns. The fries were soggy as you can even clearly see yourself. Nanzaro even declined when I asked him to help himself.
There are five bones of the lamb. It had a panko crust which I thought it was way way too much and too thick … and also too crumbly that it made a mess. The panko crust really did not do much for the lamb because it adsorbed moisture from the meat.
The panko crust also has a lemony flavour which masked the taste of the meat too. Save your money. This is not worth it even if it is cheaper. I hate to say this but I don’t think I had worse rack of lamb than this.
The Club House Sandwich was the one which our friend was telling us about. We don’t normally order sandwiches but we did this time.
The Club House Sandwich is $9 and it came with the same unsalted fries.
It was tall and has egg, tomato, lettuce, chicken, cheese ham, and bacon. It wasn’t anything special really. OK … not only that … we thought it was way too expensive for such a simple sandwich. There were four servings. We only ate two.
Nanzaro ordered the Pan Fried Shredded Chicken Rice Noodle with Shrimp Paste ($9). This smells nice with a clear belacan fragrant. It came with a choice of beverage which Nanzaro asked for the ice milk tea. There is an extra charge of 50 cents for ice.
The serving is big but it is almost entirely noodles. There are hardly any meat in this. As you can see, it was quite a bit oilier than normal.
Arkensen ordered the Baked Seafood on Rice ($8). This is from the Special Menu and so Arkensen had a coke with crushed ice with his order.
This looked wetter than normal and has imitation crab meat, mussel, prawn, scallop and squid. Arkensen said he liked it.
Frankly, we were quite disappointed with the food here. We did not enjoy it and this is coming from us who normally are not fussy eaters. Other than Arkensen saying his baked rice was good, we were struggling to find anything positive about the other dishes.
The Red House Restaurant accepts cash only.