Pacific Plaza Food Court, Richmond

I can’t remember who now now but someone told us that there is a stall in the Pacific Plaza Food Court that serves good laksa … one that would give Bo’s Laksa the run for the money. That is an interesting comment because Bo’s Laksa to us is currently the king of laksa. To dethrone him would not be easy … but yeah, I am hoping that someday someone will serve laksa better than his … with cockles.

With RAW cockles!

I was away on work last week. It was a grueling three days of workshop that I had to facilitate and by the end of it I was just totally exhausted. I mean, I ate well but I can tell you that Atlanta is a culinary wasteland. I had lots of steaks. I had lots of fried chicken and collard greens. But at the end of it, I really crave Asian food. So, at the Atlanta airport, I was already discussing with Suanne over the phone where we are going out for food the moment I land at YVR.


There is no better place than to go to a food court. We decided to go to the Pacific Plaza to check out the laksa there hoping that maybe, just maybe the laksa there would be even better than Bo’s laksa.

The Pacific Plaza is a mall that many people know it’s there but not know what the name is. It is located on Cambie Road and Odlin Crescent. It is also the building where the very good Sushi Hachi is.


The Pacific Plaza is not exactly a shopping mall. There are many small businesses here catering undoubtedly to the Chinese community. There is a few odd religious operations here too. Suanne and I don’t normally have a reason to come here at all.

Most people will never know that there is a food court here. See the lady standing on the second floor? Well, that is the entrance to the food court. From afar you would think it is just another office.


Yeah … just one little sign.


The food court is not too big. It is definitely the quietest of all food courts we have seen in Richmond. Even the food court in the Empire Center is busier. The customers there seems to be people who works in the area. This is so slow here that everyone … customers and operators were all fixated on the Chinese serials showing on the TV. It was showing an old Canto TV series called “Chern Ching” (translated as Love Of The Family) … the only one series I had watched from start to finish eons ago.

Only five stalls were opened — all of which were pretty interesting. All the stalls that are opened have a large offering with lots of signs pasted on the stalls. We counted about 5 other empty stalls.

But we like it. Like the FC in the Empire Center, we like slow, quiet food courts like this. The food offering seems pretty good too as you will see later. You don’t really need a lot of stalls in a food court to be good. All you need is just a few good stalls.


Gee Taste Good is the name of the stall that we were coming for the laksa. They describe themselves as South East Asian Specialty.

This was more than expected. There are a lot of Malaysian food served here, not just laksa. And they are in pictures too. It seems like this stall had been featured several times in the print media before which they proudly show.

As much as we wanted to try other dishes too, we decided to stay the course and go for the laksa.


This is it … the laksa that is supposed to as good as Bo’s laksa. You can order this either with chicken or with prawns. We asked for chicken as chicken is the most common meat served with laksa anyway in Malaysia.

We asked that this be made extra spicy. Depending on the ingredient ordered, it is between $5.50 and $6.00 a bowl.

So, how was it?


Let’s just compare with the looks department. The above two pix is from Bo’s Laksa.

No fight.

The most important component is the laksa broth. Bo’s laksa is super creamy and rich.


Gee taste Good’s laksa broth is certainly not as creamy. It’s the coconut milk, buddy … they are missing this.

So this does not look particularly exciting. It has the shredded chicken which tasted like it’s overcooked (harder) and it also has the tofu puff. Other than that it’s nothing much more.

The laksa broth, I must say, is not bad. It is spicy and has a kick to it. It is certainly one of the better ones we had tried. Unfortunately, this is no where near Bo’s.


They use vermicelli as the noodles (like Bo’s). We noticed that their vermicelli is thicker than normal.

We enjoy the laksa here but … sorry … Bo’s laksa still reigns supreme.


The above is the menu from Gee Good Taste (click image to enlarge). We will definitely want to come back someday to try their other dishes.


For the sake of variety, Suanne chose the stall next to Gee Taste Good called Swan Good Eats.

She ordered the Hainanese Chicken Rice ($5.50) which came with soup and steamed vegetables. In the looks department, it looked great. Don’t you agree? To think it is just $5.50.


This is everything I love about Hainanese Chicken. It is topped with lots and lots of minced ginger and green onions.

The skin is soft and the meat is cooked just right.


The other thing I like is the “jup”. LOL! This is not the sauce. What is this called?

This is excellent with the steamed rice. So we pour this over the rice. Admittedly, it is also a tad salty so we need to have the “jup” with rice.


We also went to another stall called Taikoo Yummy Food and get a little something else to try.

The menu in the stall is entirely Chinese and so I just verbally ask them for recommendation. I wanted something light and asked what is their best selling light food.

The said we should try their Fried Chicken Wings ($3.75).

We get 3 whole wings … all superbly crispy and not heavy in batter.


This one I thought was very good. There is hardly any batter, just pure chicken. And yet, the skin is so crispy.


The above is the Taikoo stall. The man you see manning the stall above … well, he came over to talk to us when he saw our camera and note taking.

Very interesting fellow and he is not a bit shy at all. So we took the opportunity to get more info about him and his food. He said that he had been operating here for 12 years already. I said that I am curious how he can last so long here when he could have moved to a busier food court.

He said he is happy here and he said he wants to do something that is different from the other food court. What he said next was interesting … and something we would not have noticed if he did not say it. He said that he does not precook his food unlike the busier food courts. He cooks the food only when the customer orders it. It is like going to a full service restaurant except that it is in a food court. That is the only way he can make a difference and some of his customers appreciate it. I never thought of it that way.


I asked him what is the one dish he is most proud of. His empress chicken he said and then promptly asked us to go into his kitchen to show us.


He was saying that we should have tried his chicken rather than the one we had from the other stall.

He specializes in Empress Chicken and showed us that he ordered the best and most expensive chicken available. He even showed us the individually wrapped chicken with brand on it just to prove a point. We had no idea if it is truly what he said it is but the wrapping looked like it is branded chicken.

He said his chicken is definitely smaller than the other stall, adding that it is young chicken and in the perfect size. I asked how can one tell. He said we should look at the size of the “kwan”… the head/crown thingy or whatever you call it. Too big, no good.

And the skin is naturally yellow for this chicken, which is very important. [but, but, I like chicken with white skin!]

The chicken is cooked in chicken broth, and then plunged in cold water for 30 minutes. The last step is to marinated in ‘white marinated sauce’.

This “white marinated sauce”!


This sauce had been with him for 12 years already and it is his most precious stock. He said he will die if he loses this and had to start from scratch again. LOL!

Wow … the first time I see old stock like this.


Since we were full, he gave us some sample to take home.

It was good.


The above is Taikoo’s specialties. Can someone help me translate it?

The chef said that he was a chef in some big name restaurant in Hongkong before he migrated here. I can sense that he is missing his glory days and in this humble food court, he is just eking a small living and serving less sophisticated customers, like us.

Hey … the Pacific Plaza FC is worth a check out too. The food is cheap so you have nothing to lose.

There is one other stall we wanted to check out. It is called “Uncle Lim’s Everyday is Chinese New Year House”. They specialize in Shanghai Dumpling and the stall is impressive.

We will come back for sure.

Gee! Taste Good on UrbanspoonTaikoo Yummy Food on Urbanspoon

This Post Has 0 Comments

  1. TimeToChow

    Excellent post ben. So interesting. Let’s hope the refrigeration Doesnt break down. 12 years old stock.. 🙂 .

  2. ike

    Poor guy…if he is serious about building a more profitable business, he needs to move to a better food court.

    I still won’t visit this food court. The whole building including the parking just looks depressing and dingy.

  3. DragonFire

    Here comes the translation:

    Hong Kong Style Tea time snack combo, either eat in or take out (would still be great), reasonable price with quality food, Special house made deep fried Chicken Wing (should be the one you have), Empress Chicken.


    1. Ben

      Thanks for the translation, DragonFire. Looks like I got to both their specials.

  4. Elaine

    I love Bo’s laksa buttttttttt I wish it’s even spicier and even more flavourful. But I guess that doesn’t appeal to the Western taste, because a few of my friends I brought along already said it’s too spicy =/ Regardless, it’s still the best I have had in Vancouver!

  5. Julie

    “Jup” would be called “juices” right? But it’s more like a reduction sauce but… lighter? Not as dense as gravy? I’m not sure…Haha hopefully my religious watching of foodnetwork does not fail me.

    1. Ben

      Hi Julie: Sometimes there is no proper word to describe it. The word juice might be it to describe “jup” but then it is not quite right. Oh well … “jup” it is. Ben

      1. fmed

        How about “jus” as in “au jus”?

    2. DylanLK

      In oldschool Beijing Mandarin, you’d call it 汤儿 tāngr (prounced “tārrrng”), which is completely different from 汤 tāng, meaning a more recognizable soup. I’ve also heard my friend from Shaanxi call it 汤汤 tāngtang. Both are diminutive forms of “soup,” basically, which refer to… well… “jup.”

      1. Ben

        You are funny, DylanK. Whatever it is called, I think I want to stick with the use of the word “jup” on chowtimes. Fmed’s au jus is nice but it is too, well, sophisticated and refined a word to describe something as crude as a “jup”.


  6. Crispy Lechon

    Great post Ben. I think I only ate once in that food court and what I had wasnt that memorable. One thing I dont like eating in the small “depressed” food courts, when you come up to a stall to browse their menu, you sort of feel obligated to order out of pity. Anyway, I’m going to try that Taiko stall for lunch today and I’ll mention that I came because of the blog post in Chowtimes.

  7. fmed

    I’ve only been to the stall that specializes in Taiwanese noodles. It wasn’t memorable…I forgot what I had! LOL!

  8. Tak Sharp

    I remember quite a few years ago there used to be a stall serving Italian food.

  9. simon

    Thanks for the continued reviews of the food courts in richmond…, I hope you will continue to review as many stalls as possible as I think it is a great alternative to the bigger, stand-alone places. I am a big supporter of smaller, mom-pop places. These reviews are very informative as it helps me plan where to dine during my visits.

    1. Ben

      Hi Simon: Yeah, I intend to make more visits to food courts and just focus on notable dishes. There are hidden gems in those stalls. Need help to find them. Do you have any tips for me? Ben

  10. Silviu

    I like coming to your blog to see the places you go to, but your FOB-iness (despite your Chinese illiteracy) is really evident.

    1. Ben

      Hi Silviu: What does FOB-iness mean? Is that some kind of insult, derogatory comment or something like that? Is this a problem of sorts to you? Ben

      1. Joe

        Ben, “FOB” stands for “Fresh of the Boat.” Don’t take it to heart – Chowtimes is purely charming.

        Silviu: I’m hoping to God that you didn’t mean to use that term in a derogatory way. If you didn’t, do a bit of background work and come correct next time you comment. Otherwise, them’s fighting words.

        1. LotusRapper

          I was FOJP (fresh off the jet plane) ……

          1. Buddha Girl

            I was FO747…China Airlines too…I survived!

          2. Buddha Girl

            Ooops…my bad…bad memory recall…I was FO747 off JAL…no direct flights between TPE & YVR at that time…oops…sorry…

    2. LotusRapper

      Whoa, what ?!?

    3. Ben

      Hi Silviu:

      I did not make this up myself but see this link:

      Urban Dictionary defines a FOB as follows:

      1. A derogatory adjective for Asians who are “Fresh Off the Boat.” It is also commonly used for rich kids from Hong Kong who immigrate to another country and stick together only speaking Cantonese. They often dress in the most expensive clothing possible and favour BMW 325s and Mercedes SLKs. These are further appointed with a variety of Hello Kitty(TM) or other Japanese cute-and-cuddlies. They often have really bizarre english names taken from they think “sounds cool.”

      2. Stands for “Fresh Of the Boat”; refers to immigrants who once came to America by boat. In its general sense, it may be applied to any immigrant; but recently, there seems to be a consensus to apply it only to Asian immigrants. Its definition depends on the person who uses the term. It may used by Americans to designate any Asian person who lives in America. This usage is offensive: it is a epithet used in place of more appropriate term. It may also used by long established Asian-Americans to identify new Asian immigrants (thus the phrase “Fresh Off”). This usage is offensive: it denotes the new immigrant’s inability to adopt American culture and his/her continuing practice of his/her lifestyle from his/her country of origin.

      3. Stands for “Fresh Off the Boat.” An unpleasant referral to Asians who can’t speak or understand English very well. Comes from the old days when Asians used to arrive in America on a boat.

      Really … you can tell me … let it all out … are you angry when you typed the comment? I feel insulted and undeserving of that crude remark … but strangely, I don’t feel angry … just felt sorry for you if you had meant to offend.


      1. Crispy Lechon

        Good comeback Ben.

        1. LotusRapper


    4. Buddha Girl

      Just like the terms “Chinaman” or “Chinawoman”, the word “FOB” is an insult…however, I pity you for not choosing your words correctly and appropriately when trying to insulting someone.

      If you would like to insult Ben or Chowtimes, please do some research and learn about his background first before you start.

      Using the word “FOB” to insult Ben is really just insulting yourself.

    5. Kevin

      What does that have to do with the places Ben eats and blogs about?
      Downright insulting, no matter how you try to justify it.

  11. Sedap Makan

    Hi Ben I googled to FOB as I knew it wasn’t Free on board and the first thing that it came up with was “fresh off the boat”. This is not meant as a compliment I am sure. I personally like to get perspectives on food from a variety of cultures and this should be celebrated.

  12. etranger

    FOB – Friend of Bo?

    Anyway, I am impressed by the chicken. It looks like a cute food court for people who work nearby and eat there every day, keeping up on their stories. From your description it is just one step up from eating in mom’s kitchen.

  13. Crispy Lechon

    Ben, I forgot to ask you. You went inside Toikoo’s kitchen. Is it clean and well organized?

    1. Ben

      Hi Chrispy Lechon: Taikoo’s kitchen is not dirty but certainly disorganized. Just take a look at the picture of the outside of his stall. You can see boxes lying around … and that is a tell tale sign. Ben

  14. LotusRapper

    That Hainanese chicken looks fantastic ! I usually ask for extra ginger & onion (what I call Chinese pesto). I thought authentic Hainanese chicken (Singapore/Malay) is served with red chili sauce and minced ginger on the side. While minced ginger + green onion paste is (I believe) only a Cantonese practice when serving “white cut chicken” (steamed chicken).

    Someone correct me if I’m wrong.

    1. Ben

      Hi LotusRapper: Not entirely sure about Cantonese but for Malaysian, it is definitely usually served with red chili sauce and minced ginger. Take a look at this post … Nam Heong WAS the best Hainanese Chicken Rice restaurant in Kuala Lumpur. It went downhill when they started to franchise their name. As you can see from the post, there are the red chili sauce and minced ginger. As a matter of fact, there is ALWAYS chilli on the side in any restaurant in Malaysia. Ben

      1. LotusRapper

        I was gonna just about to say: “wow that looks great” then I scrolled down the comments and saw my own post to the exact same words. It’s like Groundhog Day !

        PS: I just Google Imaged “Hainanese Chicken” and almost every pic has red chili sauce and minced ginger beside the chicken 🙂

  15. Shirl

    The use of the word FOB here is really offensive in this case and uncalled for. Ben does this blog out of the enjoyment of sharing his food adventures with others and if he doesn’t understand something he tries to find out rather than wallow in ignorance.

    I love to find mom and pop places and want to support them. Sometimes flashy doesn’t mean better.

  16. Monkeysmile

    Silviu: Your ignorant comment is unacceptable.

  17. Caitlin

    Awesome post Ben!

    Keep the food court reviews coming! Eating at food courts like these is an affordable culinary adventure.
    Please keep trying new and different dishes too! I can’t thank you enough for the post on the TianJin crepe at O’Tray that inspired a day trip to Richmond. A great day too!

    1. Ben

      Hi Caitlin: Glad you tried O’Tray and find it good. 🙂 Yeah, I will try to write a bit more about food courts. He he he … I have a couple of interesting stories up my sleeve which I think you will like. I can’t wait to tell you but I can’t let the cat out of the bag yet. Ben

      1. LotusRapper

        I wonder if there are other Asian mall food courts in the lower mainland beside all the ones you listed, Ben ?

        1. Ben

          Hi LotusRapper: Outside of Richmond, what I had listed are H-Mart, Henderson Mall, Chinatown Plaza, and International Mall. Of course, Crystal Mall too. Ben

          1. DylanLK

            I kind of dig that public market place on Robson, near, I think, Cardero (actually, it might be called the Robson Public Market). There’s a good, cheap Korean place, with, like, grilled mackerel and cold noodles. And there’s an insane next-level fast food place that has, like, spaghetti and meatballs and sloppy joes and burgers (but it’s very Asian food court-style, hard to explain).

  18. jason

    That’s the opposite of what I’ve heard been. From most of the sources I read, Atlanta is supposed to have vibrant culinary scene, led by some trend-setting young chefs. Curious to hear what you are basing your comment on, or perhaps a travel post in the future?

    1. jason

      oops, mean to write *Ben, not been, and add an “a” in between have and vibrant.

    2. Ben

      Hi Jason: My comments was based on the meals I had in Atlanta over a few days. They have some funky trendy places but I was not impressed by what I had. Granted that it is not fair to say what I said having stayed only for six days there. I’ll write about them and you’ll probably understand what I mean. Ben

  19. Yan

    Silviu, I don’t think you should be reading Ben’s blog if you have issues with his FOB-iness as you called it. On the contrary, I like his blog because he brings me great memories from home. For example, the use of the word “jup”. Ben is good with his writing, truful to his opinions and funny and what a blogger should be. If you know a little, you would also know that those who grew up in Asia may not always be able to read Chinese character for very valid reasons. Frankly, it is not even necessary when it comes to blogging. Ben is doing very well no matter what his chinese literacy level is. If you don’t like anything he writes, you are free not to ever come back but to insult othes is just uncalled for.

  20. grayelf

    Silviu, I don’t know where you’re from or what your background is, but where I grew up, it’s bad form to belittle someone for trying to learn more about the world around him and share his experiences.

    Ben is nowhere close to illiterate or you wouldn’t have the privilege of reading his blog. He just can’t decipher Chinese. So what? Perhaps you should also google the word “troll” while you are at it and take a look in the nearest mirror.


    Tall, white, Canadian woman who hearts Chowtimes

  21. Crispy Lechon

    This post on the 12 year old master sauce from Taikoo inspired me to make my own master sauce. I’ve stewed some pork hocks using my own spice mixture and soya sauce. The sauce tastes good. I’m going to keep reusing the same sauce to stew other meats such as chicken pieces, beef shanks etc. It’s important though to do a quick boil of the meat first in plain water before stewing it in the master sauce to get rid of the impurities such as blood, etc. I don’t think I can keep this master sauce for 12 yrs but, I will try it as long as I could.

    1. Ben

      Hi Crispy Lechon: You are such a foodie … trying to make your own master sauce! I had always considered master sauce as over-rated but to some Chinese Chefs the master sauce is the most important ingredient in his kitchen. You will probably enjoy reading this discussion on master sauce on eGullet: … keep us informed of how your master sauce project goes! Ben

      1. Crispy Lechon

        Hi Ben, thanks for the egullet link on master sauce. I never thought of freezing the master sauce in between use. The suggestion to keep the solidified layer of fat is also a good tip. I’ll keep you updated on my master sauce.

  22. Jaime

    Silviu: I am not sure what your ethinic background is, but whatever it is, your comment above was rude and distasteful. Whether you are Asian or not yourself, your comments are not welcomed. Racism in whatever form (direct or reverse)are truly dispicable.

    Ben: Please keep up with sharing your food adventures and taking valuable time to continue to update this blog for us! There are many of us that truly appreciate your generosity to share your interests. It is a shame that sharing our interests apparently puts us vulnerable to attacks from coward-racists who hide behind their monitors.

  23. neige.tyro

    taikoo is one of the original gangsters of “wind sand” chicken wings (the 6 character word on the second line of the ?back? of taikoo’s business card). i met their daughter once long time ago at night market and never heard of the the term “wind sand” wings and went to try it. fabolous – i think u guys probably would’ve enjoyed the wings from him instead.

    now that the new aberdeen mall easily overshadows these other petty asian mall / food courts, taikoo is probably a lot slower since one of aberdeen’s food stalls specializes in the same dish (maybe same owner?)…

    1. Ben

      Hi Neige.Tyro: “Wind Sand” chicken wings … what is that? Alright … I am on a mission to find out what the heck is “wind sand” chicken tonight. Have asked Suanne not to cook dinner so we can go to Taikoo and Parker Place to look for it! Ben

      1. Ben

        Oh, I think I got it … the “Wind Sand” chicken wings was what I had in Taikoo. Ben

        1. neige.tyro

          Hey Ben,
          like the comment below, i didn’t know it’s wind sand wings either. just look like wings to me but i have to admit, chinese fried wings are damned well better than your typical local pub (and the Wings establishment too may i add!).
          i think the wind sand means they might’ve added s&p to it? could be a question you can ask mister taikoo hahaha.

          anyway, i don’t know if parker place has it. but upstairs at aberdeen, there’s a place that’s usually busy and their headline item is the same type of wings… i think they go for 3pc for $3.50 or 6 for $6. again, the kicker for these chinese wings are that they’re full sized wings vs the bar’s baby wings or drumettes. enjoy! love your site =)

  24. Jessica

    Taikoo Yummy Food has a really good laksa too. You should try theirs one day if you’re planning to go back.

  25. Andy

    I know some people may perfer bigger food court such as the Aberdeen center. However once in a while I still like to visit food court like this one. While is might be abit “run down”, but I actually like the quiet and down to earth atmosphere this food court offers.

    I used to be a frequent customer at Taikoo when I work in AFC as a volunteer instructor. I especially love their XO sauce beef fried noodle!

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