YY Village on Anderson Road, Richmond

Shhh …

Don’t tell anyone I told you this. Let this be just between you and I, OK?

🙂

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Does this store front look kind of familiar to some of you? Well, YY Village is the incarnation on an old-time Richmond favourite.

A few months ago we were quite shocked to find Tai Yau Yick closed. At first we thought that they might have just closed for a family vacation or something. After all, it was a small family restaurant and such restaurants are known close for a few weeks in a year for vacation. But it later dawned on us that they were closed for good when we saw a sign outside the restaurant saying so. It was sad to see them go because we like Tai Yau Yick.

While around that area a week ago, I came across a new signboard. Where it once said “Tai Yau Yick Shanghai Food”, the new sign outside says “YY Village Shanghai and Taiwan Food”. Strangely the Chinese name of YY remains exactly the same as the old one. What does the Chinese name mean? Suanne thinks that it means “Spring Once More” … something like that.

We did not know what to expect but Suanne and I went ahead anyway to check out the restaurant.

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YY Village looked exactly the same as it was when it was Tai Yai Yick.  The chairs are the same. The tables are the same. The wallpaper is also the same.

Why even it is manned by a single elderly man. It really felt like the same Tai Yau Yick.

It is a really small restaurant. It can seat 20 people max. The biggest table seats only four people, five is you squeeze. So in essence, this is a mom-and-pop restaurant.

It was full when we were there at noon on Saturday last week. There are no one waiting for a table but every table was taken nonetheless. So, we are thinking that once we write about this place, there might be even more people in the coming weeks. They do take reservations though so perhaps that would be a smart move to make a reservation or go at a time when they are not so busy.

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Their menu looks very much the same as when it was Tai Yau Yick. Well, the system of ordering from a 1-page ordering sheet is the same. We were told that the change of ownership of the restaurant happened four months ago. The previous owner sold this and went back to Hong Kong.

The elderly man also told us that the menu is the same. Somehow the dishes that jumps out at us is not quite the same this time. Our mind was focused on other things … especially the very “heong” dish that EVERY table was having.

Service was good. The elderly man was genuinely friendly and chatty. It seems like he gets along well with every customer, chatting with people at one table and the rest of the tables listens in and chuckles at his wisecracks. Yeah, it is that cozy small restaurant feeling where people feel connected.

You know the strange thing about this restaurant is the language they used. While the signboard outside says that it serves Taiwanese and Shanghainese food (both Mandarin speaking areas), the elderly gentleman speaks Cantonese very fluently. Everyone speaks Cantonese to him.

However, the food came very slow. I think they only have one person in the kitchen working.

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This is the dish EVERY table ordered. And I dare to say right now that YY Village makes the best of this dish I had ever tried.

Very “heong” (in Cantonese).

What is the English word for “heong” anyway? Whatever it is, it smells sooo good that each time they bring a plate out people look up. You can’t ignore it at all.

So we asked what that is and we wanted it too. On the menu, it is called … Pork Chop in Noodle Soup … and it is only $5.85. The elderly gentleman told us that it is their most popular dish. I am not surprised.

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There is not one but TWO pieces of big pork chop. Bone on too, as it should be. It is deep fried without breading.

They thoughtfully slit the meat so that you could easily tear it apart. Lovely. I see people gnawing at the bones too. I gnawed at it. So did Suanne.

Trust me … order this and this pork chop will stick in your mind for a long time.

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The pork chops were served on the side with some pickled vegetables.

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The noodles were pretty decent. It is light in flavour and goes ying-yang well with the fragrant pork chops. It has cabbages, spinach and carrots.

Just $5.85 … can you believe that? Next time I’ll ask for two orders.

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The Red Hot Wonton  was $4.25. From a glance, I was quite disappointed because it looked anything but “Red Hot”. I wanted something really spicy and that’s why I chose this dish. Instead there were only a few dabs of yellowish (not red) sauce on it. The skin of the wonton does look very smooth and enticing.

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However, it was actually very spicy! The sauce were all underneath the wonton. It tasted nicely vinegarish too. So yeah, this is a well made dish.

Looks are deceiving.

Two winners in a row!

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We asked the elderly gentleman for a recommendation. He suggested we try their Slice Beef in Pancake which is $5.20. But yeah … beef in pancakes … we had it so many times before. It was nothing too particularly exciting but the elderly gentleman was convincing and said we should try it. So we did.

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Hey, this is awesome!

Just look at it. It is slightly different from the ones we normally had. The pancake that wraps the slice beef is just one round of wrapping. Unlike the usual ones, it is not rolled.

The pancake here is a bit thicker but the outer layer is amazingly crisp and flakey. It crackles as we bite into it.

The beef slices were thick and chunky. The sauce does not overwhelm the flavours imparted by the beef and the pancake. So this is a beauty.

Three winners in a row.

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We thought the Deep Fried Pig’s Intestine sounded kind of interesting. They have marinated intestines which are more common but deep fried ones are harder to come by. This is $5.80.

The elderly gentleman was pleased, flashing a thumbs us as we said we wanted it. He said we are adventurous and not many people will try this. He said it is good and is glad that we  chose this.

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They served the deep fried pig intestines with some marinated minced garlic and chili sauce on the side.

The intestine is filled with a green onion and it is marvelously crispy on the outside. Yet it is chewy inside and lightly salted.

Yeah … this is four winners in a row.

We were extremely impressed with the food. As I was paying the elderly gentleman asked us if they are up to par with Tai Yau Yick. He flashed a big grin on his face and his thumbs shot up again when I told him his food is BETTER than Tai Yau Yick.

I really do think it is better.

The total bill came to $23.63 before tips. Understandably such small restaurant accepts cash only. If you are thinking of checking them out today, don’t go. This is because they are closed on Mondays.

If you do check them out, let us know what you think.

YY Village Taiwan & Shanghai Food on Urbanspoon

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  1. That beef roll looks awesome! How does it stack up to Peaceful’s version?

    1. Hi fmed: Both Peaceful’s and YY’s are differently good. In Peaceful (picture here), the pancake is thin with the beef thinly sliced and rolled up. I can also taste the hoisin sauce at Peaceful’s. The sauce plays a lesser part in YY’s and instead it is the flakiness of the outer wrap and the chunky beef that stands out. Actually YY is oilier too. Ben

  2. Hey Ben!

    I think the best English word for “heong” in Cantonese, or “xiang” in Mandarin (“香”) is the word “fragrant”

    I just checked your old post of YY…wow…it did not change much…everything looked “similar”…LOL!!! Hey…and from the old thread…I noticed you had salty soy milk!!! One of my all time breakfast favorites!!! I usually put more vinegar in it than needed…hehehe!

    Definitely will go and give this a try…holy my list is too long now!

    1. Hi Buddha Girl: Teach me … the Cantonese “heong” refers to not only fragrance in smell but also in taste. Is that correct? The English word fragrant refers only to the smell. That’s why I am struggling in getting that one word equivalent to “heong”. Ben

      1. Hey Ben!

        “Heong” or “Xiang” is used both in smell and taste…some words that can be used to associate it are: fragrant, sweet-smelling, aromatic, savory.

        香 has many meanings and usage in Chinese language…other than the above mentioned senses…sometimes the word is also used to describe young attractive girls or their belongings (though not commonly used in urban areas), or the popularity of an item or an action.

        ^_^

        Buddha Girl

  3. Thanks Ben for this tip. I will go there for dinner tomorrow and order that pork chop with noodle.

  4. Hi Ben,
    In Cantonese, “heong” refers to the fragrant smell as well as the flavourful taste on the tongue (tastebuds). I have described food as being “heong” when I mean either or both.

  5. “Heong” (Cantonese) or “Xiang” (Mandarin) has also other non-taste/smell meanings depending on context. Colloquially it can be used casually like “cool”, “sweet”, even “awesome” ……..variations on a positive affirmation.

    Ben – I wonder if the proprietor “closed” Tai Yau Yick and re-opened as YY for some financial or tax reasons.

  6. Gosh Ben, all your restaurant reviews makes me want to take a trip out to Vancouver, or home to New York. I miss the little Mom and Pop restaurants. Finding ones with good service is like a needle in a haystack though. But I would take great food over service any day…like someone said before, get take out. 😀

  7. Ben,
    Definitely a place to try. Looks real good, reminds me of some of the dishes we get when we visit TW.

  8. Daaaang that beef pancake and spicy wonton looks so good!

  9. Er, I’m not a huge wanderer around Richmond. Which part of Anderson Road YY is located? That spicy wonton is calling me!! Calling mmeeeeeee!!!

    1. YY is between #3 Road and Buswell (closest to Buswell), in a strip mall on the north side

      1. Its right beside the Dairy Queen Anderson branch. So if you see Dairy Queen, then you’ve found it.

  10. What a good find, Ben. I went there for lunch today and ordered the pork chop with noodle soup plus a plate of smoked pork hock. The noodle with pork chop was a huge portion. I couldnt believe it. The pork chops are 2 big pieces that occupied the whole plate. No room to put the preserved veggies on the plate so they just piled it on top of the pork chops. All of it for less than 6 bucks. Boy it certainly cheaper than eating in a foodcourt. Tastewise, the pork chop was very flavourful. It is nicely fried while retaining the tenderness of the meat. I agree with Ben, this is the best Taiwanese pork chop I’ve eaten. The noodle soup has a nice flavour too. Not too salty and just mildly flavoured. Its a perfect accompaniment to the very flavourful pork chop. It’s a ying and yang at its best.

    The smoked pork hock was excellent too. I dont think it was really smoked as I didnt detect any smokiness. It is boneless. The way it is prepared is that they removed the meat from the pork hock without breaking the skin. Then the meat is seasoned and then stuffed back in the skin. The whole thing is then boiled or barbqued. Used to be you can buy them from barbq stores hanged with the other barbq meats and duck. But they are no longer offered. I guess it’s because its a time consuming product to prepare. Anyway their version was really very tasty. They drizzled some sweet soy sauce on top and some minced garlic on the side of the plate. Mix them together with the meat and it was delicious. Certainly worth it for less than 5 bucks. The only problem is that the food came out slow. But overall a good place for cheap and very good food. I will go back and go back often.

    Interesting side note, the next table ordered exactly the same dishes as you did but without the fried intestine. I was tempted to ask if they came because they read your blog post. LOL.

    1. Ooooooh!!! Thanks Crispy!!! Now I must try it!!! LOL!!!

      As for the “smoked pork hock” (燻蹄)…it’s usually smoked in a steamer…so the “smokey” taste is different…not like the actual “smokey” taste people are used to here…

      1. Oh ic ic. Its not the white man’s version of smoked meat. LOL.

      2. Hi Buddha Girl:
        What? What?
        What are you talking to Crispy about?
        * This message will self-destruct in 10 seconds*
        😉
        Ben

    2. Hi Crispy:
      Am very glad you like YY too and I was quite sure you would. After all the food, the best thing is that it is under $6. Quite unbelievable. Shh … don’t tell anyone anymore about this place. Got – to – keep – this – place – a – secret! *This message will self-destruct in 10 second*
      Ben

  11. Hey Ben,

    This was a FANTASTIC find! Queenie and I went there for lunch earlier today. The elderly gentleman at the shop was very nice!

    We really really liked the slice beef in pancake. Best we’ve had so far. The prices were very good too; 4 dishes and the total was only $20.

    I hope you don’t mind if I blog about this place ;).

    Chris

    1. Hi Chris: Oh no, not at all. Please blog about it. I was just joking about keeping this quiet with Crispy. I would love to read of your take on this restaurant. 🙂 Ben

      1. You were probably the couple I saw that ordered the same dishes as Ben’s. Where you seated at the last table in the corner? I was the lone guy dining to the left of you. I’m glad you guys enjoyed your lunch like I did. There was so much food that I took home the rest of the pork chop and half of the noodle. All for just over 10 bucks plus tax and tip.

  12. Oh! Yes that was us. Haha nice sorta meeting you! We were salivating when your order. Queenie and I were also thinking how we ordered way too much if the gent next to us has to pack it up! It was really good though so I managed to find room in my stomach for it all ;). My post will be up later tonight!

    Chris

    1. I’m not really used to eating a lot at lunch time so I had to pack the rest up. It became a nice afternoon snack for me. Nice to meet you guys too sorta. 🙂

  13. MY GOSH last night, i decided to try richmond s&w pepper house (i know, bby is better!) later on this evening. held back from informing my friends because i had a gut feeling this morning i would find something else. my coworker linked this blog and OMG…. BEN u are the best.
    usually ppl don’t like slow but i actually couldn’t care less!
    my late grandpa used to make legendary shanghainese food including “pai gwut mein” and i’m literally drooling at these pics!
    tonight’s gonna be heaven woohooooo thanks B!

  14. I have to bring my wife to lunch there every Wednesday. She just loves the porkchops and the pork intestine. Sometimes, food service is slow because they have only 1 , sometimes 2 cooks (pretend to use their washroom to get into the kitchen) But the food is worth the wait. Drawback is the elderly guy can only speaks cantonese and a little English and not so fluent mandarin.

  15. Hi Ben,
    Just had lunch there today with my sister and mom. The pork chop noodle in soup was great. Very tender but flavourful pieces of pork chop. The noodle was chewy and substantial. Soup was not too salty. I can’t say we were too impressed with the rest of our order. The fried rice cake with shredded pork had good wok hei but it was a little small for what they charged. Same with the marinated pork intestine. It was just boiled intestine served with marinating sauce. Not enough flavour if not for the ginger and chilli sauce. Our last item, xiao long bao, was small and did not have any broth inside. The dipping sauce was fine though. For nearly $30 for the three of us (tip and tax included), it didn’t satisfy us. We were still a little hungry. Service was great. The gentleman was very appreciative of our business and he made us feel welcome. So different from many food service business nowaday.

  16. Just went to YY Village tonight. The owner Mr. Law has sold the business and Sept 29th will be their last day if you want to try their food one last time. Mr. Law and his wife will retire after the restaurant is closed.

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