I would be very interested to know what the average age of a restaurant is in Metro Vancouver, particularly in Richmond. It doesn’t seems to me that there are many restaurants that are older than 10 years. I don’t know … it seems to me there are a lot of new restaurants and there are also quite a number of unexpected closures too.
And since we are on this topic, I am wondering what is the oldest restaurant in Richmond. Anyone knows? I am guessing it has to be one of the HK Style Cafes or Cantonese restaurants. Even if we don’t know the oldest restaurant, I am thinking that if everyone let me know the oldest you can think of, we might just narrow down to that oldest restaurant in Richmond.
The Specialty Chicken and Wonton House is one of the more hardy restaurants in Richmond. They had been operating in the Ackroyd area for the past 12 years. They used to be in the corner of the strip mall nearest Save on Food.
Just last week, Suanne and I were surprised to find that the familiar name is now a few doors away. It is now occupying a bigger shop lot and it has a fresh new look to it. It was later on we found out they moved to this new location just 3 months ago.
The dining area is big. It can fit about 20 tables which each seating at least 4 people and quite a number of them are much larger tables. So I guess you can imagine how many people this place fits.
While we did not have to wait for a table, the place was bustling with customers. We had not been to this restaurant for … oh … 8 years now and so we were quite pleasantly surprised to see them still going strong.
Service was cheerful. I would even say exceptionally cheerful. It’s a welcome change to see every worker eager to chat with the customers. They even chatted with us like we are old customers.
The entire restaurant is filled with the aroma of herbal chicken soup from the hot pot dish. So many customers got this especially because it is a good dish to have in the cold weather.
Yeah, it’s no wonder why too. The Chinese Herbal Chicken Hot Pot is on top of the single page Chef’s Special menu. All the items looked so good that Suanne and I had a hard time deciding what to get.
This restaurant’s specialty is chicken. Just take a look at the range of chicken they have above. Pictures of menu on this post are clickable to enlarge.
Empress, Hainan, Ching Ping, Salt Baked and soya sauce … I just can’t tell between all of them. Can an expert out there help me differentiate them?
I can only tell apart the soy sauce chicken — it is dark. See I know at least one type. 🙂
All the chicken are served cold except for soy sauce chicken.
And then there are the specials on the plastic holders at the table. I was particularly interested in the home style steamed rice which is $7. Since we were there for dinner, we can’t order this. Makes it easier for us to decide what to get since we can’t get this. 🙂
Since it was cold, we know we want to have a hot pot. This type of hot pot is not the same kind of all you can eat hot pots where you get to cook your own food. This type of hot pot serves pre-cooked ones.
Our table has a built in recessed compartment for the burner for hotpot. I like that because it lowers the hot pot and makes it easier to eat from.
It was a toss up between the herbal chicken (which most tables got) or the goat meat hot pot. What tipped the decision was that goat hot pot is less common than herbal chicken which we had a lot of times already. Actually we prefer chicken herbal hot pot a lot. Our favourite place is in Jubilant and Neptune Wonton.
So this is it … the Goat Meat Hotpot (large) $18.80 from the chef’s special menu.
The hotpot was unexpectedly big. The pot has more than enough food for two people, maybe even three. It has bean curd sticks, shiitake mushroom and suey choy.
The sauce is thicker than what we usually had. You know what … I didn’t like it. LOL!
It has lots of meat for sure but we immediately felt we ordered the wrong one. We should have gone for the Herbal Chicken version instead.
The Goat Meat Hotpot is served with a fermented bean curd dipping sauce. I did not like the dipping sauce at all but Suanne said it was good.
About the only thing I like about this hot pot is the meat with the skin and fatty layer of the goat.
The Chinese believes that goat and lamb is a good winter dish as they have body warming effect.
We had to order a chicken dish and ended up with the Ginger and Green Onion Chicken (half bird for $13). It was quite a random selection among all the many chicken they have. They all looked the same to us except that they are in different shades of yellowness.
This chicken is served warm. Suanne and I were thinking between ourselves that most “white cut chicken” are served “cold” (which also means at room temperature).
Most tables ordered the Soy Chicken. Actually we wished that we had ordered soy chicken like most other people. This one, we did not like (again!).
The meat is tough as expected since it’s free range chicken. I personally prefer they use plumb chicken and has a nice layer of fat below the skin.
Since we ordered two dishes, they gave us free soup and rice. The soup of the day was chicken feet and peanut soup. It was flavourful except that I don’t like peanuts in soup.
We also got free dessert soup – red bean soup.
Hey they call this “hong tao sar” instead of “hing tao sui”. Is there a difference between the two names?
This restaurant accepts cash and only Visa if above $50.
I think we just got all the wrong dishes that day. Seeing how popular this place is I think there are more to it than what we had ordered. We will come back definitely someday to try out their vast menu (see below).
Until then, I would love to learn the difference between Hainan Chicken, Empress Chicken, White-Cut Chicken and what ever else.
Talking about Empress Chicken, the one dish we all in the family love the most at home is “Emperor Chicken”. Suanne uses the A1 Emperor Herbs Chicken Spices. Have you tried it before?