Suanne and I hardly go to Chinatown anymore. We used to.
Many many years ago, we would drive down to Chinatown at least twice a month to buy groceries and also have dim sum. And then we stopped going. There was no longer a need to drive all the way there as we get better food and groceries in Richmond.
It had been so long, we just lost touch with Chinatown.
Thomas recently wrote to us about a restaurant where he had a dish called Baked Portuguese Pork Chop with Rice. He said it was called May Sum. We searched high and low on the internet but we could not find it. It was only a week later that we realized that he was using the phonetic translation of the Chinese name of the restaurant.
So May Sum is actually Maxim’s which is a more recognizable name. We had always thought that Maxim’s only a bakery. We see a lot of Maxim’s bakeries around town. However, they also have a restaurant, a Hong Kong Style Cafe, on Keefer in Chinatown. We were not aware until Thomas told us.
Maxim’s is a well known chain of restaurants in Hong Kong. It was founded in 1956 and today operates all kinds of restaurants. They are also the one who brought Starbucks to Hong Kong. It all started with that one brand, Maxim’s Restaurant and with that familiar and yet simple logo.
But as I understand it, the Maxim’s Restaurant and Bakery on Keefer is not affiliated to the Maxim’s in Hong Kong. This is despite that the logo is exactly the same, down to the font used. Can someone help confirm this?
We were expecting a grimy dark dingy restaurant well past its prime. It was far from it. Instead, we were confronted by a well lit and clean flight of stairs leading to the restaurant located upstairs.
Yeah, from the front of the street, not many people are aware that they have a restaurant here.
We were pleasantly surprised. It is like going into a different world. Outside on Keefer, everything looked so old and worn. In the restaurant (no windows to remind you of the grime outside!), it is clean and bright. Quite unreal.
We also saw a couple of tourists having snacks here. I know they are tourists because they had guide books with them. They looked like they are European judging by the accent they had. I was thinking that a tourist knows how to find a place like this better than Ben of chowtimes. Such shame. LOL!
The seating is very much like other HK Style Cafes with mostly booth seats.
We were there at an odd time. It was 3PM and yet there were quite a lot of customers. Apart from the two tables of tourist, most of them look like they live or work around Chinatown.
Their normal menu is under a glass top on the table – very practical but not very classy. But then who cares, right? Certainly not in a place like this.
Service was very prompt but serious. Looking at their faces, I know it is not a place for me to ask dumb questions. If they are chatty, I would love to learn more about the restaurant. I was itching to ask if they had just renovated … questions like that.
But they were definitely very chatty with the regulars, mostly older looking customers. Here they don’t care about chowtimes and jazz like that. “Chow Meh Yeh, Ah?” is probably their reaction at the mention of chowtimes. LOL!
The prices are quite good with the same low prices you expect from all HK Style Cafes. To us, there are not many dishes that stands out.
Armed with Thomas’ recommendation, we already know what we want. We looked high and low for the Baked Portuguese Pork Chop with Rice on the menu. We even scanned it twice slowly but we can’t find it. The closest we found was something called Baked Portuguese Chicken with Rice but not with pork chop (on the rightmost menu above).
Ben is like a pit bull. He never lets go. Once his mind is set on something, he wants that and nothing else. Not when he drove all the way from Richmond to try it. Failure is not an option.
So I asked the waitress about it. Yeah, it was just our luck that we got the waitress who has a more serious look. With all the charm I can muster, I asked for that version. She said no, they don’t have it on the menu. But I pleaded again … can they maybe make it for me? I mean, it is just the pork chop and I am sure they can make a substitution.
No, I did not mention chowtimes in case you are wondering. Like I said they might just respond by say “chow meh yeh, ah?”
The waitress quite reluctantly check with the kitchen and come back to say, yes, they can make it for us. But it will be an extra charge. $1 extra!
I took it.
Hey, hey, hey! Look at that!
It was mouthwatering to say the least. It smell nice and it was served so hot that … the “jup” was still bubbling. We could smell the melted cheese which was a nice touch.
For $8.50 + $1 extra charge, I thought it was not too bad price-wise.
The dish came with a very big plate of rice which was more than enough for the two of us.
This is marvelous and obviously a very good recommendation from Thomas (he knows his food!). The pork chop was very well made and it was a lot of meat too. It was crispy and yet moist inside. With the way this is made, I don’t even care if it is served together with the “jup”.
BTW, the word “jup” is pronounced as “ja-up”, not “joop”. Learn to use this word and make it a mandatory foodie vocabulary. All together now … “Ja-Up!”.
The “jup” goes well with steamed rice. Can you do me a favour? Can you write a comment on this blog for me and suggest to Suanne to make this at home for me? I dare not ask her for it because she always gives me that evil stare whenever I ask her to make food we eat outside at home.
Don’t worry, she only gives me (and the boys too!) the evil stare. She doesn’t do that to others. So you are safe.
Yeah … I like the “jup” a lot that I got to show you again. It was very creamy and delicious.
What exactly is Portuguese sauce anyway? I think I heard somewhere that it is just curry sauce with coconut milk but am not sure what gives this that extra creaminess.
The iced lemon tea was extra charge. $3. It was quite OK. They gave us enough lemon slices that we can taste the lemon.
Suanne spotted something she like. It was the Deep Fried Shrimp Toast and Fries ($6) which came with a free hot drink.
But it was not what she had in mind. She thought that it was going to be one of those triangle’ish toasts topped with shrimp (like this).
It was disappointing for Suanne having to eat this. I mean, it wasn’t very bad but this is not the type of food that Suanne likes at all.
It was dry but at least there is a thousand island dip to go with it.
There is nothing much in terms of shrimp too. It does not even taste like shrimp at all.
He he he … good thing we had lots of “jup” from the baked pork chop. The “jup” saved the dish!
Oh … we also ordered an Ovaltine … WITH EGG!
Without the egg it was $2.00 and with the egg added it is $2.50. Have you ever tried having beverage with eggs in it? It is awesome I tell you. The egg makes the Ovaltine richer.
One thing I did not like is that they stirred the egg into the Ovaltine. Not good because it disappeared into the drink. They should just leave the egg alone for the customer to decide if they want it stirred in or not.
Suanne said she can actually smell the raw egg in the drink. I can’t. She just has a more keener sense of smell than me. But she just took a sip because she just don’t like egg.
This drink with egg reminded me how I love to have egg with my Milo. Yeah, I do add an egg to my Milo when I was a teenager.
That gave me an idea. When I got home, I wanted to let Arkensen and Nanzaro try it.
We had just bought a tin of Milo (the ones made in Malaysia!) about a couple of weeks ago. I was showing them how to make Milo the right way … the Dad’s way … the way it is meant to be. And they liked it. They like it so much that the tin of Milo is almost finished after just two weeks.
So I followed up with a phase 2 lesson in making the ultimate – Milo with egg! When I suggested that they said I am crazy and thought I was pulling their legs.
Here is how to do it right:
Put in lots of Milo. Rightfully the Milo should be 1/4 of the glass with three large spoonful of condensed milk! Because they were aghast at all the sweetness, I held back a bit … just a bit.
Now, the water must be boiling hot … 100C, when you pour in the water. Stir the Milo and condensed milk just slightly but don’t over stir it. You want a bit of chunks of Milo and concentration of condensed milk in there.
Crack an egg … and let it be.
Viola! Milo with egg. 🙂
Best drank with a spoon. Don’t ever stir the egg in but use the spoon to break the yolk. If the water is hot enough, you will get pieces of egg white and egg yolk. It was wonderful.
Nanzaro took a spoonful, said thanks and took a step back. He doesn’t want me to force him to drink the whole glass! He said it was “meh”. I thought it was great.
Have any of you ever tried drinks like this before? If not, you should!
Anyway, back to the Maxim’s Restaurant …
There is a bakery downstairs. It looked like it is smaller than the ones I see in Metrotown and Richmond Center with lesser variety. Nope, we did not get any of their bakery items. We were just full from the meal upstairs.
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The restaurant layout, especially the menus under the glass table top, look exactly like The Boss in Chinatown. Interesting how the restaurant section is upstairs. Is it big?
Hi Nick: Nice to see your comment here! Maxim’s Restaurant is not very big. I would say it will fit about 30’ish. Ben
I agree! Not only do they put the menu under the glass top the same as Metro’s The Boss…. their menu layout + items look the same too.
Maxim is NOT the same establishment as the one in Hong Kong. It was founded in the mid/late 70s I believe. They are the same owners as The Boss. Many years ago, Maxim tried to open another location a block over (where the old RBC is) called May Ging (it was underground). That didn’t last for very long.
Since the bad eggs incident, they have opened a couple more bakeries (including the one in the Chinatown mall where Floata is) without publicly affiliating themselves as part of the Maxim group. Michelle’s bakery in Kerrisdale is also part of Maxim. Michelle’s uses an ingredient that softens the bread which is why their buns seem like a higher quality than others and they are more expensive.
I’m really surprised at how long Maxim stayed around for because I don’t think their food is very good.
Hi Mo: Tell me more about the bad eggs incident in Maxim’s. When did that happen? Ben
the salmonella outbreak in 2002 affecting over 30 ppl who bought from the richmond location. there was a class action lawsuit against the company which they settled in favour of the affected customers. this case was the one that was publicized although there had been other small claims of the same nature since then.
the bakery issued a statement in the chinese newspaper indicating that only the richmond one was affected because the richmond location was the one that received the tainted eggs. however, a majority of the buns and pastries in the smaller shops were delivered from their main store because they did not have the capacity to bake (at that time, not sure about now) on location. That means that it was the main location that received the tainted product and they were fortunate that other locations did not receive a class action lawsuit against.
as a consumer, i understand that sometimes it’s not entirely a business’ fault if they purchased a faulty ingredient. in this case, it was the farm that provided the eggs to them. however, it was their inaccurate release statement that made me feel that they are not trustworthy and not owning up to the mistake as a company, but rather blaming it on one location in order to keep the trust for the other locations. this is a problem for me as a consumer.
i’ve emailed you some related reading materials in case u’ve got nothing better to do. lol
Very interesting, Mo. So everyone just got $6K-$10K only huh?
I heard that some unscrupulous bakeries and HK cafes buy substandard eggs. Eggs that have been rejected because its dirty with chicken feces and sometimes even cracked. That may have caused the salmonella outbreak. This is not verified though but knowing the profit margins of these establishments are quite low, it doesnt really surprise me. Since then, I stopped eating sunny side up eggs in HK cafes.
Crispy, if you saw how (most) restaurants, even higher-end ones, operate their kitchens, you (and many of us) may be turned off of eating out altogether.
But yes I agree with you that tight margins can and do pose risks in restaurants’ food purchases, food preparation and handling practices.
I tend to avoid restos and vendors where there’s slow business and slow turnover. All things being equal (that being the customers can’t see what goes on behind the kitchen), more popular restos/vendors that go through higher volumes and turnover will “likely” pose lesser risk as far as sub-par quality of ingredients and/or unsafe food handling/preparation practices.
– Maxim’s Restaurant (Chinatown)
– bakery inside Floata’s mall
– The Boss (Metrotown)
– Michelle’s Bakery (Kerrisdale)
Are all own by the same owner? What else do they own? Is the Richmond location of Michelle Bakery theirs too?
I remember this place. There’s an old lady who sell newspapers right infront of the door.From the dirty-ness of the door, I never thought of checking this place out. A great alternative to the Boss perhaps?
I wonder how their pasta is like hmm..
P.S: I think Suanne should make this for Ben and the kids. It’ll be much healthier, and I bet much tastier than any place around! ;]
Hi Gloria: Thank you! 🙂 Ben
ahh my mom used to make hot milk with honey and egg for me all the time! i’ve always wondered if anyone else did that. it’s delicious and comforting, especially in this kind of weather. i’ll have to try it with milo sometime (:
I like hot milk with egg too, but my eggs will be more cooked. Great for breakfast!
My mom (and/or aunt) would heat up milk in a pot, and crack an egg into it to “poach” it, then pour the whole thing into a cup. No honey. That’d be my breakfast, with some toast and mayonnaise (you read right ….. mayonnaise).
Mom and our house servant would take a can of Milo, a can of Ovaltine, open them up and spread all over the kitchen table (lined with newspaper). Using their hands, they’d mix up everything and use the newspaper to funnel everything back into the same cans, now filled with a Milo/Ovaltine mix. Sometimes Horlicks would be in the mix too.
Funny how we all grew up in similar ways albeit in different parts of the world.
Gosh, seriously? Toast with mayo? Gosh! LOL!
I like toast with mayo too. To take it up a notch, spread the mayo on white bread first then toast it. Caramelized mayo on toast is even better.
Back in the days where I did charity concerts, the team leader (organizer) would give each of us a glass of hot lemon water with an egg in it…they believe it apparently soothes the throat and “opens” the vocal cords…hahahaha!
Hi BuddhaGirl: Hot lemon water with egg … how did that taste? Hmmm … I can relate to having eggs with beverage that is thick (like with Milo, with Milk, etc) but not a clear beverage. Interesting. 🙂 Ben
Hi Ben: hot lemon water with raw egg….tasted awful…I usually hide when he brought it to us…hahahahaha!
When we were in primary school, our mom would occasionally do the egg swirl using boiling hot water and a large spoon of sugar to make a sweet eggy drink. It was yuk! Wished we had Milo then; it would have killed that eggy taste.
Hmm, I’d like to find out about the affiliation mystery as well. Which reminds me, I saw a “May Sum” cafe when I was in the Shanghai Expo last year. I made a serious mistake by having lunch at the Romanian pavillion just so I could get in without waiting in line. I remember eating Chinese version of the western food and looking out the window, so jealous of people that were going into the “May Sum” cafe next door….
*Not* to be confused with the famous (and original) Maxim’s in Hong Kong:
“Founded in 1956, Hong Kong Maxim’s Group has grown into the largest catering company in Hong Kong operating over 70 brands and 600 outlets, while serving more than 540,000 people every day. The Group offers a diversified service comprising Chinese, Asian and European restaurants, fast food outlets, cake shops, coffee shops, conveyor-belt sushi outlets and institutional catering. Maxim’s Mooncakes has also been the No. 1 Seller in Hong Kong since 1998*
In 1971, Hong Kong Maxim’s Group introduced a brand new management concept – “Chinese Food, Western Service” – in its first Chinese restaurant, Jade Garden. Thereafter, the Group opened Cantonese restaurants with now renowned names such as Maxim’s Palace and Maxim’s Chinese Restaurant, making the Group the perfect choice for celebratory dinners for all occasions.
Other new restaurant concepts include 8 Happiness, which provides innovative specialties, while JASMINE and House of Jasmine inject healthy elements to Chinese cuisine and serve western desserts with a twist.
The first Chiuchow Garden Restaurant was established in 1981, providing high quality Chiuchow style cuisine in a refined atmosphere. In 2007, the newly established Chiuchow Garden provides an exquisite dining ambience with a modern interpretation of Chiuchow cuisine..
After the successful launch of its Cantonese restaurants, the Group introduced different Provincial Chinese delicacies by opening Peking Garden and Hunan Garden restaurants. Over the past few years, the Group has made other breakthroughs by creating new menus and adopting sleek, eastern and western inspired décors in some new establishments, like Festive China, Shanghai Garden and House of Beijing.
Hong Kong Maxim’s Group’s first western restaurant, Maxim’s Restaurant, was opened in 1956, and aimed at introducing western fine dining to Hong Kong. Western delicacies, splendid décor and live band music soon made the restaurant hugely popular among celebrities and business persons.
m.a.x. concepts, a restaurant line of Maxim’s Group, has been diversifying its portfolio of characteristic restaurants since 1998. m.a.x. concepts believes a perfect dining experience comprises great food, pleasant ambience and attentive service; and they are indeed the fundamental of every m.a.x. concepts restaurant. It strives to deliver distinctive cuisines with innovative ideas – Western, Japanese, Vietnamese, Thai and international cuisine. In 2000, Thai Basil was awarded by Condé Nast Traveler as one of the 60 best new restaurants around the world. In 2006, the Group has also brought internationally renowned restaurant chain Lawry’s the Prime Rib to Hong Kong. In 2007, simplylife BAKERY CAFÉ was opened, housing European hand-made bread and various healthy and organic choices.
Quick Service Restaurant and Catering Services
From the opening of the first fast food restaurant in 1972, Hong Kong Maxim’s Group has been committed to maintaining high food quality and keeping abreast of the times. Maxim’s MX, established in 2005, aims at delighting people with a new menu, interior and dining environment in the fast food industry. To date, Maxim’s MX has over 70 outlets in Hong Kong, together with other quick service brands including can.teen, Maxim’s Food2 and Maxim’s Hong Kong Day.
From basic hygiene practice to sophisticated food processing and quality control policies, Hong Kong Maxim’s Group has them all. The Group has been widely recognised as a professional supplier of catering services and has witnessed the opening of Tsing Ma Bridge and Hong Kong International Airport and many other unforgettable moments. In 2005, the Hospital Authority appointed Maxim’s to carry out a Public-Private Partnership Project on Patients’ Food Services, which enables Maxim’s Group to provide food services to in-patients of the New Territories West Clusterand Queen Elizabeth Hospital. Starting from the same year, the Group has been operating Plaza Inn and Market House Bakery in the Hong Kong Disneyland.
With a long history of culinary expertise, Hong Kong Maxim’s Group has provided first-class catering services for many international functions and large-scale events. It was appointed as one of the caterers for the 2005 Ministerial Conference of the World Trade Organization and designated caterer of the 2008 Olympic Equestrian Events in Hong Kong.
As the largest quality catering group in Hong Kong, Maxim’s Group is committed to promoting the unique culinary culture of Hong Kong. The Group is honored to participate in the Shanghai World Expo, an international spotlight, with a massive food hall in Zone C (building No. 7; opposite to Russia Pavilion), occupying about 2,000 sq. metres with some 800 seats. It provides a wide array of Hong Kong, Asian and Western cuisines. Hong Kong Maxim’s Group is also the only Hong Kong catering representative in the Chinese Culinary Zone, showcasing Hong Kong delicacies.
Cakes & Bakery
Maxim’s Cakes has since evolved from a cake corner in the 1960’s into the largest bakery chain with over 160 stores along MTR stations and Airport Express. Maxim’s Cakes offer fresh and innovative bakery products and strive to provide the best quality products and service to the customers. In 2005, the Group established its bakery plant and outlets in Guangzhou and Shenzhen, bringing the finest bakery products to South China region and to date, it has more than 50 outlets in China.
In March 2008, Hong Kong Maxim’s Group acquired Arome Bakery (HK) Company Limited and started to operate over 50 Arome Bakery shops in Hong Kong. The Group will continue to develop the premium Japanese cakes and bakery market.
Starbucks Coffee Hong Kong and Macau
In 2000, Hong Kong Maxim’s Group introduced Starbucks Coffee to town. Coffee Concepts (Hong Kong) Limited, a joint venture between Maxim’s Caterers Ltd. and Starbucks Coffee International, Inc. operates Starbucks stores in Hong Kong and Macau. By May 2008, Starbucks opened its 100th store at Hollywood Road, Central. Starbucks has now more than 110 stores across Hong Kong’s commercial, shopping & entertainment and residential areas. Starbucks coffee shops in Southern China and South West China are also operated by joint venture companies established by Hong Kong Maxim’s Group and Starbucks Coffee International, Inc.
Genki Sushi and sen-ryo
In January 2006, the Group partnered with Genki Sushi Japan and started to operate Genki Sushi and sen-ryo in Hong Kong under the name of Genki Sushi Hong Kong Limited. Genki Sushi and sen-ryo are famous Japanese conveyor-belt sushi restaurant chains offering a quality, fast and fun dining experience. Currently there are over 40 Genki Sushi and sen-ryo outlets in Hong Kong. In June 2008, Genki Sushi Hong Kong Limited gained the operating rights of Genki Sushi in Southern China. In June 2010, Genki opened its first store in Shenzhen, and aims to introduce Japanese dining culture to different parts of China.
Hong Kong Maxim’s Group also offers a range of festive products, spanning from Chinese New Year Puddings, Rice Dumplings to Chinese Preserved Meat. The signature Maxim’s Mooncakes evolve from two flavours, white lotus seed paste and yellow lotus seed paste, to currently a series of products including low-sugar, snowy and cartoon mooncakes.
Hong Kong Maxim’s Mooncakes is also the first local brand being granted the “HK Q-Mark Award” by the Federation of Hong Kong Industries and is accredited with the HACCP Certificate and ISO 9001:2008 and ISO 22000:2005 certificates. According to the Nielsen Research Report, Hong Kong Maxim’s Mooncakes has been the number one mooncake seller in Hong Kong for twelve consecutive years since 1998.
“Maxim’s” and any name, logo or trademark of Maxim’s restaurants referred to in the above text belong to Maxim’s Caterers Limited, a company operating in Hong Kong.
*Source: Nielsen Hong Kong Mooncake Research Report 1998.”
Hmm.My mom used to do sugar and milk over the pot and stir in egg. Either that or condensed milk, hot water and stirred the egg. I never got it as it made my tongue all dry. Kind of the same drying feeling you get when you have something with too much tannins.
Yes…I have heard the Maxim here is not part of the one in HK…but that was only through friends…
Maxim is definitely different in Hong Kong! Just like the Red Star Seafood Restaurant in Vancouver I would also presume… I ate at one in Guangzhou; it was a tourist trap and was horrible. There was however the same logo in Hong Kong too, but those restaurants looked more high end. (And when I saw them, I was like, hey, isn’t that logo from one of the restaurants I saw on Chowtimes???) There’s tons of people here in North America which copy names from Asia…some are better while others are worse than the Asia version.
Maxims is different in Hong Kong, the logos vary depending on what type. For example, high end restaurant they manage is Peking Garden which has western style decor…the rest are pretty much shown in LotusRapper’s post.
Hmm…I like “jup” although “jhup” could also work!
Oh yeah … “jhup” does remove the ambiguity over the pronounciation. Ben
That looks more like a “curry” sauce than a Portuguese sauce. I must have mentioned it previously but it seems that I’ve been having a lot of things in “Portuguese” sauce lately and have eaten it at different restaurants around town. The “Portuguese” sauce varies: some quite good, some pretty tasteless. My favourite Portuguese sauce would probably be the one served over chicken at Amigo Restaurant in Richmond, followed by the Silver Tower one which they serve with some caramelized/broiled coconut flakes on top.
I was also going to order one at Cafe Gloucester but got sidetracked by a Chef’s Special: baked pork chop with mango sauce. I wasn’t expecting much but was pleasantly surprised. It was actually quite good! I plan to go back and try the Baked Pork Chop with Tahiti Sauce — I have no idea what the Tahiti sauce is but am very intrigued.
Hey J, did the mango sauce taste like real mango, do you think it was actually made with mango juice ?
Tahiti sauce …. hmmm, that’s a new one !
There were actually a few pieces of mango on top which was pretty good. It provided a bit of sweet tartness that was welcome. The sauce wasn’t overwhelmingly mango-ey. There was a hint of cheddar in the sauce but it also wasn’t overwhelmingly cheesy. All in all, I thought the sauce was very balanced, tasty.
My mother used to crack an egg in her Sarsi (sarsaparilla drink). I’ve never tried this egg in drinks before: I suppose I would have to get the drink sufficiently hot to allay my fears.
Hi JS: It had been a while since I had come across Sarsi. Can you still get it here? So, does your mum add the egg into the Sarsi in room temperature? Ben
Hi JS: Yeah, I am intrigued too … Tahiti sauce. Wonder what it could be. Ben
Hi JS, LotusRapper: Suanne was telling me that you might mean Tahini Sauce (not Tahiti) which is sesame sauce. You reckon? Ben
Nope, it was Tahiti, I’m pretty sure. Just got back from Cafe Gloucester right now: I didn’t order the baked pork chop in Tahiti sauce though — I’m saving it for another day when I can eat very relaxedly. 🙂
Yup, room temperature egg — scary, isn’t it? 🙂
Hi JS: OK … the Tahiti sauce has been updated on the bucket list. “Die-die also must try”. Ben
I’m fascinated by the egg in the Milo but is it like cracking an egg in instant noodles? Like, is it a deflated egg leaking egg yolk into the Milo? Is that the effect you’re going for with Milo-and-egg?
I am going to try this.
Hi DylanK: No really … it is not really like cracking egg in instant noodles. People normally crack eggs over a still boiling instant noodles and continues to cook the egg in the soup. Not so with the egg Milo I make. Try it and let me know what you think! Ben
I go to Maxim’s every weekend and our favorites are the “sup chow ngau ho“ – the stir-fried beef Ho Fun and veggies and the scalloped fried rice (the latter is not in the menu but if you ask they will make it still). The scalloped fried rice has quite a lot of dried and fresh scallops and they charge around $10 for this dish which is quite cheap compared to other restaurants. But mostly we order the special combos of the day during lunch time if the combos are not appealing on that particular day, we order our favorites instead.
The Portuguese sauce originates from Macau and I doubt if it has anything to do with Portugal. It uses evaporated milk rather than coconut milk. It’s not curry powder as such but ‘yellow ginger’ powder.
Check this out ! Sometimes Wiki really amazes me with the entries it has. I think there is a legacy of Portuguese influences in Macau cuisine, which over time migrated and evolved to modern-day Hong Kong cuisine.
“Macanese cuisine is unique to Macau, China and which consists of a blend of southern Chinese and Portuguese cuisines, with significant influences from Southeast Asia and the Lusophone world. Many unique dishes resulted from the spice blends that the wives of Portuguese sailors used in an attempt to replicate European dishes. Its ingredients and seasonings include those from Europe, Latin America, Africa, India, and Southeast Asia, as well as local Chinese ingredients.
Common cooking techniques include baking, grilling and roasting. The former, seldom seen in other styles of Chinese cooking, speaks to the eclectic nature of Macanese cooking. It is renowned for its flavour-blending culture, and modern Macanese cuisine may be considered a type of fusion cuisine.
Typically, Macanese food is seasoned with various spices including turmeric, coconut milk, cinnamon and bacalhau, giving special aromas and tastes.”
I didn’t know Maxim has a restaurant in chinatown too! I must go visit one day too.
Hey I like your website, lots of suggestion for restaurants to try out:) I just came to vancouver 8 months ago, and sadly to say, I haven’t tried any good restaurant that I will scream “wow” once I put the food into my mouth. THe most I will say is, “cheh, I cook also taste better than them:(“.
Shame on you all who don’t know “Maxim” restaurant in Chinatown LOL!
No, it has got nothing to do with the Maxim chain in Hong Kong. How do I know? I worked there and “The Boss” bakery and restaurant in the 90’s to pay for college. Yes, both “Maxim” and “The Boss” are under the same group of owners.
As far as I know, “Maxim” on Keefer is the oldest HK style cafe in Chinatown. I was told it was opened in the 1980’s. They got renovated a few time since.
Hehe, I’m quite sure Mitzie’s on Pender pre-dates Maxim, although I don’t remember specifically when Mitzie’s opened.
Hmmm … does this mean that the first HK Style Cafe in Chinatown (i.e. either Maxim’s or Mitzie’s)? Ben
Actually, it may even be New Town Bakery, although they may not qualify as “HK-style” in the same sense.
There’s also BC Royal, a real old-timer !
BC Royal? Never heard of it. Where is it, LotusRapper?
BC Royal is on the same block as New Town but on the opposite side of the street. They’ve been there since before I can remember. They had the best steamed buns ever – loved their dow sa bao (black bean paste bun)! Ask any old timers…
Hi Lily: No old timer to ask right now but I did try to ask the Google Street View, Urbanspoon.com and Dinehere.ca … all three of them doesn’t know of any BC Royal. I tried using Google Streetview and “walked” up and down Pender … nyada. Is it near Mitzie’s? Across the street from New Town? Ben
BC Royal is no more, us old timers reference it because they were the original ‘big bun’. I think BC Royal shut down around the 90’s. That was the old days when the family that ran it lived upstairs.
New Town, with smart business moves started offering the specials from each old timer cafe as they shut down.
HK Cafe had the apple tarts (and roast beef sandwich)
BC Royal had the ‘Dai Bao’ and butter tarts
A few places that i miss were the steamed rolls from Welcome Bakery, the spring rolls from Golden Horse and the deef fried ‘loh mih guy’ from a place up near gore and pender.
In the old days, when Hon’s was located on Main street, I think they had a diner type set up.
Anyone remember watching movies at the Golden Harvest or the Shaw Theaters?
@ Buddha Boy: I barely remember when Hon’s was on Main (SE corner of Pender). It was a hole. And there was a bar counter.
Hi Ben, There a book published in 2001 by a local author that wrote about the old Vancouver cafes. It’s called “Neon Eulogy: Vancouver Café and Street” by Keith McKellar. More information to be found on Amazon.com – http://www.amazon.com/Neon-Eulogy-Vancouver-Caf%C3%A9-Street/dp/1896860923/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1294987241&sr=1-1
BC Royal Cafe was mentioned as well as many others. The book contains line drawings by the author of the places he visited. There is a line drawing of BC Royal on page 86. I found it when I google book search for “BC Royal Cafe”.
Oh I see now … BC Royal has closed already. I thought it was still running. Sad. Ben
Thanks Lily !
Don’t know when BC Royal started, but I imagine the ’50s would be a good guess. This sort of thing requires asking around some of the Chinatown historians. Maybe Friends of Foo’s Ho Ho, etc. They were a couple doors west of Mitzie’s IIRC. I found these references:
BC Royal was alive and well when we arrive in Vancouver in ’76. They had the BEST apple tarts (small ones you can still get at New Town). In addition to bakery items they also served hot foods a la old-style Chinatown restaurants. So in fairness in those days that genre of bakery/cafe/restaurant would be the spiritual predecessors of today’s Maxim, Boss, Kam’s, Gold Stone, etc.
Don’t know when they closed, as I was still in Gr.3/4 in ’76.
FOUND current location of old BC Royal Cafe !!!
At the Po Kwong Jewellery Decor & China, 119 E. Pender:
Compare to this old sketch of BC Royal. Same signage and building:
Ooops, it’s not Po Kwong Jewellery AND Decor & China. Decor & China is a separate business next door !
i’m pretty sure, the last few years of BC Royal’s life (late 80’s early 90’s), it is in the store that was later occupied by MAL Audio (with all the glass)…
i think they sell clothes in there now…
New Town is very old-style HK-style cafe…hahaha…a true street style…place like Gold Stone, Maxim, and Boss are the cleaner versions…
I think New Town is perhaps older than Maxim (but I don’t think it’s the oldest) since the current owners (being 2nd ownership) had it for 30 years (they just had their anniversary banquet few months ago).
Oh yea…BC Royal…I was there when I was very very young but couldn’t remember a thing…hahaha…Buddha Boy said they still have the best butter tarts.
HK-style cafes here are beautified…hahahah…many 茶餐廳 I’ve been to in HK are like New Town…actually, even New Town is better than a lot of those places…hahahahah!!!
Hi Buddha Girl: A number of us had a chowdown in New Town Chinatown last weekend. We had such a great time and dear Thomas showed us some of the hidden menu. He sure knows Chinatown. Do you know which HK Style Cafe is older than New Town?
Sorry…we don’t know who Thomas is…is he the son or the nephew of New Town owners?
In terms of the oldest HK-style cafe, I am not that “old timer” so I will have to ask Buddha Boy or MomJ about that…hehehe…MomJ has been working in Chinatown for 30+ years, so she should have an idea…will check for you!!!
Hi BuddhaGirl: Thomas had left a lot of comments on chowtimes. Maybe you had seen him chipping in especially on HK Style cafe posts. Yeah thanks … it will be great to know who pioneered the HK Style Cafe in Vancouver. Ben
Oh…hahahaha…I thought you meant “Thomas” from New Town…sorry about that!!!
There’s 2 Maxim bakeries(also Chinese)in Toronto. Are the Maxim bakeries in Vancouver related to the Maxim bakeries in Toronto I wonder?
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Sounds like they were pulling your legs with all those unnecessary extra charges!
Toast and mayo ?? I havent heard if tgat,ive seen toast and ice cream ,as dir the drinks,im just amazed by everyone who shared the drinks they had when you were younger,were our parents just more creative or their way if letting us hv eggs? Thank God mom didnt made me drink it,ive seen eggs and softdrinks only, i dont intend to try it but I believe all if you when u say its good …Hehehe Ben, so i guess qhen I go try I shld be as persistent as u were…the dish looks good ,just like stew..if it has coconut, it must be good….i will sure add this to my list,after Big Thumb!
Ben….i dont knw what happened that there were some cities in between my post! Must hv pressed somethong while wrestling wy child who was reachibg for this pho e..pls delete my comment and i will write again from a pc tmrw..so sorry !!
Oh, so you were commenting from smartphone? That figures … all the typos and all. I’ve fixed the comment. Good luck added restaurants you read on chowtimes to your to try list. Hehehe … not many managed to keep up with it. The list gets longer and longer until you just give up. LOL! Ben
Trivia New Town was originally founded by A Filipino Chinese guy who later sold it to Susana Ng.Thats why there are many Chinoy dishes on the menu.Susana Ng later made it more of a HK style Coffee shop
Hence their Chinoy offerings:
Ben Sarsi with raw egg?I thought that was only Filipino Malaysia too????
Ben btw Sarsi originally bottled by Cosmos Bottling before Coke bought it is available in most Filipino stores
hehehe, you’re older than I, I recall Hon’s being located on the East side of Main, Keefer Laundry was located on Georgia… and On Lok was considered good food :p
Yeah that’s what I meant. Hon’s was on the SE corner of Main & Pender, east side of Main.
On Lok is still there. So is Penny’s !
You may remember Kingsland (Granville), Peninsula (Broadway@Ash), Pink Pearl (Hastings), Bill Kee (Broadway@Manitoba)
HI, Ben & Suanne:
I’m. Sure the Chinatown BIA would be happy to see all these interest generated from you Maxim blog:-) The talks about BC Royal, Hong Kong Cafe, Mitzie’s all brought back fond memories when I went to Chinatown book stores to rent some Chinese fictions. The Chinese books didn’t make it into the library system until years later.
I remember the ‘Har Gau- Di Bau- steamed pork dumpling and big steamed buns from BC Royal the most. There was always an old lady holding the fort there all the time. My Grandpa used to take us there when we were good:-)
So where does Suanne pick up the Milo from Malaysia? Ovaltine with egg used to be a treat for us and so was condensed sweetened milk on toast or as a hot milk drink with egg.
Bedtime otherwise would have to hunt for some Ovaltine or Milo. Humm… perhaps, “May I borrow a cuppa Milo or Ovaltine?” Would become a Chowtimes password? LOL:-)
Goodnight, dreaming of Baked Pork Chop Rice, HK style breakfast, Egg & Minced Beef on rice….
Hi Doris: The last time, Suanne got the Milo from the grocery store downstairs in the Richmond Public Market. I think Smart and Save in Lansdowne Mall also carries it. Ben
I saw Milo from Thailand at New Apple in Kits yesterday. Or was it Ovaltine? They have both anyway.
Hi Grayelf: Nanzaro knows quite a lot about Milo. He was telling me to check Wikipedia that says Milo around the world are different. There is even a picture of that shows the differences. Anyway, this same article also says that Malaysia is the worlds biggest consumer on Milo — I never knew that! So yeah, Malaysian snub our noses against non-Malaysia Milo as inferior! LOL! OK, here is the wiki post: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Milo_(drink)#Manufacture_and_marketing
Thanks for the link — I totally understand how you could be snobby about Malaysian Milo :-). But now I want to try roti canai with Milo in it!!
You got it! I want to try that too. 🙂
Hmmmm…roti canai with milo….wonder what that taste like?? Ben, I just read this post & was surprised that you too know about Milo & egg. I had that almost every morning during my school days and sometimnes we had Nestum (corn cereal) with condensed milk & egg this way too. Have you tried that before? I also missed Sarsi alot, but you can get the Taiwanese canned version (Hey Song Brand) from T&T a couple of years ago. Don’t know if they still carry them now.
LOL! Nestum! The only person who likes it at home is my mum. I hate it and so never had it very much. Ben