Beijing Cuisine on Cambie and Sexsmith, Richmond

Updated: 27th Oct 2014; This restaurant is closed according to Urbanspoon.com.

May I have your permission to get excited again … please? LOL!

Let me cut to the chase … this is a restaurant that:

  • serves good food
  • portions are big
  • waitresses speaks English and very friendly, and
  • most importantly, very reasonable prices.

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We just chanced onto the Beijing Cuisine last weekend while driving around deciding where to eat next. That’s what we do sometimes when we don’t know where to go to and we don’t want what’s on the to-try list. In Richmond, there are plenty of places to eat. Every now and then, you see new restaurants opening.

The Beijing Cuisine is located in the Continental Center which is on Cambie and Sexsmith in Richmond. This exact location can be considered another “restaurant graveyard”. Before Beijing Cuisine, this was called Taiwanese Cuisine (blogged in June 2009) … and even before it was Taiwanese Cuisine, it was Vogue Chinese Cuisine (blogged in April 2008).

We were drawn by the simple bright red sign. With darkened windows, we thought this would be one of the higher end restaurants. We were wrong.

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The interior is exactly the same as we remember it when it was Taiwanese Cuisine. Even the furnitures and the lightings are the same.

Service was friendly and surprisingly all three waitresses speaks very good English. That helped a lot because we could chat with them and ask them all sort of questions.

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At a glance at the menu cover, I thought that looked very familiar and saw it somewhere before.

The name of this restaurant in Chinese is translated as “Old Beijing” or “Traditional Beijing”. But it was the red cover with the yellow fonts that I remember. When I flipped open the menu, the sections and selections also look awfully familiar.

It was after a few minutes when I ask the waitress “Are you by any chance related to the Beijing Noodle House on Buswell?”

“Yes” she said adding that they had only opened for 10 days. She even flashed all her 10 fingers to emphasize that. I think she was kind of proud that after just ten days operating they are running almost full house.

She told us that the owner of Beijing Noodle House (we blogged about them here before), had just sold that restaurant and opened this one instead. The Beijing Noodle House is still there, sporting the same name. If you go to that Beijing Noodle House blog entry and look at the menu on the table in the second picture, you will see the identical red menu.

See? I have good memory of good menus. 🙂

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I like menus like this. There were so many to go over that we took our sweet time. The waitresses came by twice asking if we are ready to order and on the third time, we told told her we will just order the appetizer first because we need more time.

If you want to check the menus above, let me tell you a little trick. Just right-click each image and select “Open in new window or tab”. That way you don’t have to flip to the menu, come back to this post and click the next one.

The appetizers are as cheap as $3.00 to $6.50. The Mouth Watering Chicken was supposed to be $7.95 but they scratch it out to say $12.95! Now that one is expensive.

Here are some of their other price ranges:

  • Main dishes are mostly $10 to $13
  • Soup are $6 to $12
  • Noodles are mostly $7 to $8
  • Beijing style snacks are $5.00 to $7.50
  • Dessert are $4 to $5

The prices are not too bad right?

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The above was the get-off-our-back-we-need-more-time-with-the menu order.

Actually it was recommended by the waitress … the Beijing Style Sauteed Pork with Green Onion in Bean Sauce and Pancake ($11).

Actually I didn’t want to … order this but the waitress was telling us theirs is very good.

Actually it was very good like what the waitress said.

The eight pancakes were served warm. It was not dryish or flour-y as some other places tend to be. It was moist and soft.

We like that they have the sauteed pork served on a bed of julienne raw green onion. There was too much pork and not enough wrap.

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What is the proper way to wrap this anyway? The method on the left seems to be the right way but it’s harder to eat because the pork keeps slipping out from the ends.

The method on the right is easier to handle. The problem is trying to shove the whole thing into the mouth.

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We saw some neighboring tables ordering these burgerlets which we can smell from our table.

“Roujiamo” is that they call it, I think. On the menu this is called the Fried Lamb with Cumin Served with Special Pan cake ($4.50 for two).

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It beats McDonalds $2 McMini anytime.

It had that distinct cumin lamb flavour and smell. Look at the meat and you can just imagine how moist and tender it is. It is lightly spicy.

The bun is more like a sesame coated soft pancake. In many respects, this rivals the roujiamo from the Want Want stall in Crystal Mall. It is addictive. We wished we had more but there is just so much room on our stomach. After all, these are just the appetizers.

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The Fried Lamb Slices with Ginger and Green Onion ($12). This is another persistent recommendation from our waitress. We did not want to order this initially because we already had lamb with the roujiamo.

What an excellent recommendation! The lamb here is totally not gamey at all. For a short while we thought they might have given us a pork version instead. Not only was the meat not gamey, it even has the same look and consistency of pork. But yes, there is that unmistakable smell of lamb.

So much “jup” that it was great with rice. I think even people who don’t like lamb may want to give this a try.

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We might as well let the waitress do all the ordering.

This one is the same. We wanted to order the Peanut Sauce Noodle Beijing Style (Cold) but the waitress smiled at us and asking us “You sure? This one is no good. This one better”.

First thing I did was to check the price. I was thinking she was trying to get me to order the more expensive dish.

But the dish she recommended is the same price, $5.95. It was the Noodles with Soy Bean Paste, Beijing Style … aka the Zha Jiang Mian.

It was a big serving — enough for two people. It has the same traditional ingredients … ground pork bean sauce, julienne cucumber and bean sprout.

The bean sauce was quite flavourful and does a lot to the dish. But like I said, it was a big bowl of noodles.

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Last but least … the Boiled Pork Dumpling Stuffed with Leeks, Shrimp and Eggs (15 pieces) $7.50 did not appeal to us.

While it was served hot and the skin of the dumpling is soft, the skin was simply too thick and the ingredients inside did not stand out at all. So it was like eating the dumpling skin.

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For all the food, I thought the price is more than reasonable. We had some to take home.

Beijing Cuisine on Urbanspoon

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  1. great post! and LOL! “she said adding that they had only opened for 10 years” but I know you meant 10 days haha and its funny how the waitress said a dish was “no good” lol the “Roujiamo” looks soooo yummy

    1. @martha: Oopsie. Thanks for proof reading for me. 🙂 Ben

  2. I’m excited too. Its another great find from you Ben. I can’t wait to try it out. I think if one sticks to noodles and roujamo the prices are about the same as what you would pay in a food court. Now I know where I will go for dinner tomorrow. Thanks for the post.

    1. Hi Crispy: If you do go to Beijing Cuisine tonight, would you let us know what you think? Ben

  3. Definitely bringing mom here hehehe!

  4. Great find!

  5. hey, the special bun would be great as a street food item, and even cheaper than many around too.

    1. Yes, its way cheaper and better than that 6 dollar small ham and cheese croissant from the Panda Fresh food cart.

      1. LOL! Lechon you’re still choked about that place huh? hahahah!

  6. Those mini burgers look good! I think you can try to fold the pancake into an envelope, perhaps that will be easier.

  7. Call it a “slider” instead of a “roujiamo” and it will be very trendy. Looks good!

    1. Well, they could call them “Xiao Hua Mo” (little sliding sandwich”, LOL

    2. Hi etranger: Believe it or not, the name “roujiamo” is trendy for Vancouver area food geeks. If you go to chowhound and search the BC board for this word, you will see long discussion threads about it. I think the word slider will probably invite yawns. 🙂 Oh BTW, I watched Harold and Kumar Go To White Castle just a few days ago. It was hilarious. After that show, I wanted to try White Castle. There are none here in Vancouver. Are there any White Castles in Washington state? Ben

    3. Some fusion places around town are already calling them “sliders” and charging twice as much, but it usually implies they are made either oddly (e.g westernized choices of starch or sauces) or poorly. 😉

    1. Hi Vancity 2nd Home: Yeah, both the Korean Jajangmyeon and the Beijing Zha Jiang Mien are the same. Even the name sounded the same too. Ben

  8. Ben,

    Do you think this place (food-wise) is better than their previous BNH ?

    1. Hi LotusRapper: The food is pretty much the same. We like Beijing Noodle House and is one of the few restaurants we have made several return visits (when we eat out and did not have to find a place to blog about). I think if there is one thing that appeals to us in this new Beijing Cuisine place, it is the prices and in a setting like that. Ben

      1. White Castle is only in these states:

        Illinois
        Indiana
        Kentucky
        Michigan
        Minnesota
        Missouri
        New Jersey
        New York
        Ohio
        Tennessee
        Wisconsin

        But give them a few more years …..

        1. From the list of states with White Castle, it seems like it will take decades, not years before the chain makes the leap over the continental divide to the west coast. Am not holding my breath. Ben

          1. Maybe with enough grease, they’ll just um, sliiiide over the Rockies, LOL

      2. Hey Ben,

        Thanks for pointing out that Beijing Cuisine is linked to Beijing Noodle House.

        For clarification, my understanding is that this resto is the child of the *previous* BNH owners, from when the food at BNH was more Beijing-style (strong flavours, a bit oily/salty, etc.). One of our friends had been lamenting the “downfall” of BNH ever since it changed hands, because he used to go there for nostalgic food and felt the new owners had changed things until the food was much less like what he remembered from his youth in Beijing. I think he was pretty happy to find out the old owners have this new venture — sort of like going “home” for him. Thanks for calling its BNH-links to our attention!

  9. Seems like a great restaurant, I hope they survive. I noticed that some spot just keep changing restaurants one after another(Bool Chul Pan Korean Hot Grill is closed, this must be the 4th restaurant closed in the past few years).I am no way superstitious, but the frequency does make one think, maybe there is something going on with the whole Chinese Feng Shui stuff.

    Anyways, the food looks great. The dumpling in Northern China are typically like this, the skin is thick and the stuffing generous. A lot of people are not use to it, because we are mostly only familiar with the typical gyoza type. My mom make a killer version of this dumpling, maybe next time we should have a pot luck and I can bring it 🙂

    1. You are probably right, Jenny. Good suggestion about a potluck. I have a few events that we could piggy back a potluck on. I am game if you are. Ben

      1. definitely, just let us know the time and date, and we are there.. thanks Ben 🙂

  10. Crispy: The 2 brothers behind Panda Fresh are nice pleasant guys. I already have changed my viewpoint on them as “trying”to make positive improvements. They have added other things to their menu. They now are not bad, passable compared to before which was simply wrong.

  11. Crispy: Regarding Panda bakery, they are currently running a contest where you are being asked to suggest new fillings for the croissants on their menu. They have some wierd stuff already to stuff their croissants.

  12. Hey Ben – That’s some pretty good looking Jing Jiang Rou Si 京酱肉丝!

  13. I think I’m gonna try them out later this week.

    1. Let us know your experience!!! We may try it in a few weeks…we’ve got some other places to go thru first…LOL!

      1. Sure, I’ll report back here.

  14. My hubby and I are planning on a vacation in Vancouver soon, do you recommend any Asian restaurants downtown? Thanks.

    1. Hi M2: That is a very open question … not knowing what you and your husband likes. If you want Asian, I suggest you hop on the train for a quick ride to Richmond. You have a lot more good choices here located in a smaller walkable area. Easier if you let me know what you’re looking for … Japanese sushi? ramen? Shanghainese? Beijing? Cantonese? Sichuan? etc … Ben

  15. OK we ventured out to Old Beijing last night. When I left the house I had “Capstain Way” locked in my mind, so when I got to Sexsmith and wandered into Union Square I had a tough time finding OB. Then I thought maybe it’s Cambie instead, so we went further down and voila.

    To sum up:

    Ambiance: spacious, modern, comfortable. Tables are fairly far apart. Nothing to complain about. In fact for Chinese restos (or many other cuisines) this space doesn’t get too much better.

    Menu: good selection and variety of snacks, dim sum and dishes.

    Prices: really that low, eh ?

    Service: attentive, friendly. It’s all good.

    Food: only three adults and one child, so we ordered light:

    1) xiao long bao (XLB – steamed buns): juicy savoury filling, wrapped in delicate multi-*pleated* skin. I’d say 7.5/10. The filling could be a wee bigger, though.
    2) millet congee: this is traditional country food. My mom ordered it, it was only $1. It tasted bland (you’re supposed to add sugar) and I recall eating it in Taiwan and it should be yellow, like polenta.
    3) beef roll: common item in many Shanghai/Taiwanese restos. Pancake was thick, a bit doughey but not too bad. Filling was disappointing, two slices of marinated beef with lots of shredded iceberg lettuce and green onion. Wouldn’t order again.
    4) braised beef noodle soup: big hearty bowl of beefy goodness. Stock was deep and rich, not salty. Beef chunks literally fell apart when held up with chopsticks. Noodles were pretty good, but I prefer them more firm and chewy. Dad gave this dish a big thumbs up.
    5) Beijing pork & green onion w. pancakes: as good as Ben’s above. Funny, ours came with quite a bit of dark rich sauce at the bottom of the plate whereas Ben’s above and others at adjacent tables were dry-looking with a piece of parchment paper on bottom of the plate. But hey, all that sauce could only mean: “Waitress, please bring me a big bowl of plain rice !”
    6) stir-fried sour cabbage & pork tripe: perhaps the other star of the evening. Sour cabbage like this is hard to come by authentically in big chunks. Very yummy. Pork tripe was sliced thin, stir-fried with a lot of wok-hei and very tender and tasty …. “Oh waitress, another TWO bowls of rice please !”

    Total was just over $40, with leftovers to boot. We liked OB very much and would return in a flash 🙂

    1. Thanks for the review, LotusRapper. Oh … one thing I forgot to add in my writeup. I find the restaurant a bit stuffy. So I was sweating quite a bit. A few days ago, we returned to the crime scene and we saw that they threw open all their doors. Did you find it stuffy too?

      BTW, you did not get roujiamo … aka Chinese sliders?

      Ben

      1. Restaurant felt fine when we were there. They had the front door open when we arrived (6-ish) but later closed it. Didn’t feel hot nor stuffy for us, maybe their A/C was not on when you were there.

        No we didn’t order RJM, nor ja-jiang-mien nor peanut sauce noodles (dan dan mien). We had leftovers as is with what we had, if we had another adult (ie: Mrs. LR) present then yeah, then more foodie goodie 🙂

  16. Ben – I should note the Beijing pork & green onion dish is itself $11 (as you noted above), but the addition of thin pancake wraps is $2, so the total would be $13 as shown on yours, and my bill.

  17. I’m eating at this place right now, and the waitress has trouble understanding mandarin AND english…. Uh………

  18. Coming back with a more comprehensive review. It was hit and miss for me…

    -our waitress barely spoke mandarin and had to switch to Cantonese most of the time. I asked for chopsticks in English twice and she couldn’t understand. However another waitress that came and got us tea was nice and attentive.

    -the shredded pork and wrap was great (11+2 for the pancake). Love the texture of the pancake!
    -the pork wrap was nice with very flaky and crispy skin.

    -the stir-fried prawns were WAY TOO SALTY, and the veggie steamed dumplings were completely tasteless (possibly because it came awhile after the prawns?)

    If I return I’d probably stick with the noodles and pancake dishes.

    1. Thanks a lot Chubbychick for reporting back on your experience at Beijing Cuisine. Ben

  19. i think the food is horrible, and its over priced, last time i went there with my grandpa, we ordered xia long bao. 20mins later, it still hasnt arrived. We asked the waiter to speed up the process, and she said it will be ready soon. When THE XIA LONG BAO arrived, it was COLD. The two of us ate a few pieces ,and tried to leave without paying tips. The waiter scolded at us and said we are not allow to go back. I mean who would go back there again, they serve crappy and cold food.

    [ edit Ben 21-Dec-2010: This comment is highly suspicious as it shares the same IP address as Rainny, thomas and Jacky in this post: http://chowtimes.com/2008/08/11/wing-kee-restaurant-in-richmond/ ]

    1. Hi Jacky: Sorry to hear of your experience. Did you order anything else other than the XLB? Anyway, I have never had XLBs served cold (which I think you mean at room temperature). I am thinking that at room temperature even that the soup will gel back to gelatin and making it totally inedible. Other dishes may be served “cold” but XLB definitely not. Something is just not right with your visit. Ben

  20. FWIW, was told the owners of this place bought the old Beijing Noodle on iirc buswell back. So they plan to re-open soon.
    When they opened this shop they hired another chef more familiar with Shanghainese cuisine to add to their menu. Items like XLB etc..
    The strenght of their offerings are still more the beijing item i find.
    My experience this week wasn’t as positive but my sample size was very small, with only three items. None of the items i had was good to be honest.

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