We don’t usually go for breakfast on the weekend, having preferred to go for dinner or lunch instead.
I guess it is because breakfasts are so unexciting to us. We can think of either dim sum or western breakfasts or HK Style Cafes … and we felt that all of them serves pretty much the same thing.
So, without any idea where to go to, we decided to let Arkensen and Nanzaro decide the place for a change. They did not care but told us that they will be OK as long as:
- we don’t drive across any bridges
- we don’t go to another Asian restaurant
- we don’t go near a place where mum could do grocery shoppping
Yeah, mum would always pop into a nearby grocery store conveniently when we are out eating and make us go shopping with her. Firstly, she doesn’t decide what to buy to cook at home because all of the boys at home are fussy eaters. She is smart … I know she observes us walking along the aisle and see what catches our eyes and buys that. Secondly, she will ALWAYS buy something heavy … like a bag of rice, or a bag of flour, or drinks. She takes advantage of the timing when we are there so that we can carry the heavy stuff for her.
The boys hate that. That is because I make them carry it. I had done my fair share of carrying their stuff when they are babies and toddlers. It is pay back time … like it or not. LOL!
So, the boys said we’ll go to the strip mall near home. It is so near, they can walk home on their own the moment mum ever suggest that “we got to pick up groceries for next week”.
We had been to the Friendly Banners Restaurant before. That was many, many years ago … those were the days before chowtimes and eating out was a simple affair. It was good to go back and check out our old family favourite.
After all these years, the restaurant hasn’t changed much at all except that it does show its age. It is still the same decor like it is a family restaurant from the 80’s … faux flowers and all.
We were surprised that despite the size of the restaurant, it was absolutely packed on that Saturday morning. Most of the customers are Caucasians. I guess with so many Asian restaurants in Richmond, this is one of the few places remaining which still serves good old hearty western breakfasts.
You may click on the pictures above to show a larger version.
They are all pretty much the same with different combinations of eggs, bacon, sausage, ham, toast, hashbrowns, pancakes and cheese. So it was kind of hard to decide what combination we wanted really.
Nanzaro, my youngest boy, is in a rush to grow up. He wants to outdo his Ko-Ko (that’s how he addresses his big brother) … and that irritates the heck out of Arkensen.
Well, in a traditional Chinese family, the first born BOY (girl doesn’t count) is supposed to be the #1 son … you know, the one who gets to inherit everything the father has, that sort of things. So, it kind of rub off Arkensen that he is the #1 son and he is the privilege one. When Arkensen was much taller than Nanzaro, he gets new clothes and Nanzaro gets the hand me downs. LOL!
Now, Nanzaro is slightly taller than his Ko-Ko (his doctor officially told him so) and he is mighty pleased with it.
So at the breakfast, the waitress came and of course start off by asking us what we wanted to drink. For Suanne and I, it is coffee.
When she asked Nanzaro “what will you have, honey?”, Nanzaro turned to his mum and dad and said “Coffee … can I?”
Epic fail. While he wants to be grown up, he still thinks he need to ask permission to drink coffee. Rather embarrassed by his question, I … just said “sure”.
I could see the waitress asking with a look in her eyes that says “are you sure?”. I am not surprised. Nanzaro looks cute and younger for his age (it’s in the genes, LOL!). I know to the waitress, all Asians look younger and to her Nanzaro probably looks like he is twelve.
The coffee is $2.25 and with free refills too. Nanzaro asked for refills … his Ko-Ko was doubly annoyed.
I know Suanne and I can see the flutter in her eyes when the waitress put down the stuff above. I was teasing her not to take a couple of the jam spread home for tomorrow’s breakfast. It is an Asian thing, I think.
That is why you see Asian restaurants are really stingy with these sort of things … be it ketchup packets, jam spread, plastic cutleries … you name it. I can’t quite explain it but that’s what Asians do. If it is free, take it even though you don’t need it at the very moment.
Alright, I am gonna get some tongue lashing from all of you for saying that.
And … to protect the good name of Suanne, I better clarify that she did not take the extra jam spread. Am just saying only, OK?
I know Arkensen. Every time we are at such breakfast, he will go for the big items. He got the Banner Skillet which is $12.
This one has bacon, pork sausage, ham, European sausage, seasoned hash browns with scrambled eggs, topped with cheese and …
… served with a toast or 2 pancakes.
Nothing fancy really. The “skillet” they used is more like a mini wok to us. Lest you expect it, they did not cook the breakfast in the skillet. It is just served on a skillet.
I had the Banners Breakfast ($11). This is almost similar to Arkensen’s except that it is served on a plate, not a skillet.
I like the sunny side up eggs and there are THREE of them. I enjoy breaking up the yolk and eat it as a sort of a dip with the other meat items.
You know what sort of sauce is best with sunny side up eggs? It is soya sauce. I was pushing Suanne to ask the waitress for soya sauce (not sure if they do have it) but she refuse to do it for me. She’s chicken.
Other than the eggs, there are 2 strips of bacon, 2 breakfast sausages, one slice of ham and a choice of toast and hash browns or pancakes.
I had toasts because I know mummy love toasts.
The above is Nanzaro’s order. He tries to be fancy and asked for the Smoked European sausage and eggs (scrambled) which is $9.
The European sausage is mildly spiced and smoked. The eggs, Nanzaro asked for it to be scrambled.
Mum does not order one for herself but instead chooses to eat the items that we did not want. What a mum, huh?
Anyway, she is not really crazy about this kind of breakfast as it is too meaty for her.
The bill came to $43 before tips. I do find that western breakfasts are not cheap. It costs only slightly cheaper than dinner servings. That is my impression.
The boys were in a chatty mood that day and we all enjoyed the breakfast. We stayed back quite a bit even after we had finished the food and talked a while. It is rare that the boys did not say “let’s go” immediately after the food is gone.
We talked about what it means to “go to Harvard”. We all asked Nanzaro why he always look at himself in the mirror before he walks out the door at home. Nanzaro rubbed it in by repeating his doctor words that he is taller than Arkensen.
The boys reminded us that the legal adult age for a Canadian is 18 and that they can buy beer on their own. LOL! They also pointed out to us that in the US, the legal beer drinking age is 21. So we are one up on the Yanks. I wonder where they got these info from and why they knew these sort of things.
Oh yeah … both boys declared that they are not Chinese. They made it very clear that they are Canadians, not Chinese. I said what about the fact that they have a Chinese face and a Chinese name? They didn’t care. They are Canadians, period.
Sigh … there goes our Chinese heritage.
Yeah, we enjoyed the breakfast. I can’t help to think that they will grow up in a few short years and Suanne and I will miss such moments. At least we get to document this on this blog. Someday we can show this post to our grandchildren and let them know how Nanzaro and Arkensen was. I think it will be priceless.