[CRA 2011] Baked Durian Pastry from Rainflower Restaurant

Unlike last year when we pretty much went around tasting the CRA award winning dishes on our own, this year we decided that we want to go try these dishes with others. One of the reason is because many of the winning dishes these year is expensive. There is very little point bringing our boys to these dinners because all they care about is salted fish fried rice. Yeah, to them crabs are hassle to eat and they prefer fried rice over them.

So we met up with JoyLuckClub and BR. We wanted to meet up to discuss something too and so we suggested to meet in Rainflower Restaurant. Some of you may know that JoyLuckClub is a blogger and she blogs on A Wok in the Tuscan Kitchen.

With a blog name like that, I had initially thought that they were from Italy. It was not. It’s just that the Tuscan reference is of their garden. They must be very proud of their garden. I gotta see what the fuss is some day.

Just a bit of a background (you probably can deduce it from JoyLuckClub’s blog anyway) … JoyLuckClub is Asian and BR is white. And I was hinted to go easy with BR. LOL! I was thinking … shoot! I guess I can’t order chicken feet, pig stomach, chicken knee joint, pork knuckles and stuff like that.

I was also thinking … “does that mean I should stay away from ordering the award winning Baked DURIAN Pastry?” No way I am not going to order that. LOL!


Suanne and I had never been to the Rainflower Restaurant before. This place intimidates us. We has seen how posh looking it is before and we thought it would be very expensive eating here. So we had never tried it before.

The Rainflower Restaurant is located on No 3 Road and sandwiched between Canadian Tire and Yaohan Center. It is impossible to miss this stand alone building with that bright yellow awning and purplish wall. The restaurant perhaps has the biggest signage of all Chinese restaurants in Richmond.

Parking here is horrendous. You have to be careful here. If you are eating in Rainflower, you need to park in the car park in front of Rainflower. Don’t think that you can just park in Yaohan Center or Canadian Tire and walk over. There are people who will pounce on your car the moment they observe you parking in the wrong place.

I managed to snag a spot at the back of the restaurant. There are some spots at the back which not many people know about. JoyLuckClub is a veteran in this place. They parked in Yaohan Center, walked into the shopping mall and then walk out again. I did not ask if they walk in and out via different entrance. If you want to pull that trick, you must walk in from one side and out the other. The tow truck people have dollar $ign$ in their eyes.


The dining hall is very big, very cavernous. This place used to be Mark Work Wearhouse and later on XS Cargo before they made this into a restaurant. So you can imagine the high ceiling and wide column free dining area.

I like it. It is quite fancy but it is also somewhat dim for a dim sum restaurant. I noticed this because this is one place I had difficulty taking pictures for dim sum.

Despite the site the restaurant is very busy and they managed to fill almost the entire restaurant.


Hehehe … JoyLuckClub remarked that Suanne and I took a long time going over each and every item. This time we are a bit more careful because of you know who. LOL!

I like their dim sum menu. The page on the left is the steamed dim sum items – mostly the normal things like dumplings, buns and such. This page is not particularly exciting. The items here are priced from $3.25 to $5.80 and is available from 9:00 AM through 3:00 PM. So it was not as expensive I thought. As a matter of fact, for a setting like this, I thought the prices were very reasonable.

Flipping over the menu (the right image above), this is more exciting. This is where the (more expensive) Chef’s Specials are. The Chef’s Specials are only available from 10:00 AM. The items here are $6.00 to $9.00.


The Rainflower Restaurant won two CRA awards this year. The first award was the Baked Durian Pastry which we located on the menu. The other award winning dish was nowhere to be found. It is the Roasted Lamb Rack with Chinese Wine.


I asked one of the captains about it and he brought us the menu above. It is obviously not part if their dim sum menu but he told us that we can order this if we want. So we ordered it.


The Baked Durian Pastry (on their menu it is called Durian Roll) looked every bit what I would expect from an award winning dish.  The pastry was … very flaky and delicate and yet the layers looked so perfect.

This is $4.65 for a plate of three.


The pieces were rather big. We all like the warm gooey, creamy custardy durian flavoured fillings. The filling is quite firm too.

I was impressed … BR gamely ate this. Actually this is not that bad. For the uninitiated, this would be a good introduction to durian.


The Baked BBQ Pork Bun was $4.00. You can never go wrong with ordering this. I have yet to come across anyone who doesn’t like this type of bun nor is it easy to find anyone who can botch making this. So this is a safe order.

I like ordering this because this is a cross between the pineapple bun and the char siu bao (BBQ Pork Bun).

I can’t mention enough that the best pineapple bun is from Lido. I love the pineapple buns there especially when it is fresh out from the oven.


The “pineapple” topping was crumbly and the fillings was sweetish and moist. Nice … just nice, not very nice. I had better ones before. Personally, I prefer the ones from Garden City Hot Pot.


I wanted JoyLuckClub and BR to try the Chan-Chuen-Fun (Chan Village Noodles). In their menu it is called Steamed Noodle, Spareribs in Black Bean Sauce.

It turned out to be a disappointment. The serving is small and the presentation was poor. It is so dry and hardly any “jhup” in it. The spareribs seemed to be cooked separately and just topped on the noodles.


The noodles is too soft and breaks easily. I like the ones from Kam Wah Loong and Good Choice better.


The name Milk Pan Cake sounded nice. Not knowing what it was, we ordered it anyway. This is $4 and comes in four mini cakes which is topped with sesame seeds.


This was just so-so. The outside is tender, soft and a little sticky. Inside, it is filled with egg custard with salty egg yoke flavour. This would be better if the egg custard is a bit more gooey.


The Fried Fish in Garlic Spicy Sauce ($7.25) looked like smelt but without the eggs. The spicy garlic bits are really spicy and does give a real kick.

Hey errr … Suanne and I had been trying to find smelt with eggs but we had never come across any at all. You know what I am talking about? It is those that we see a lot of in the rice combo stalls in food courts. Do you know where we could find them?


To me the Chef’s Special Pan Fried Prawn with Basil ($7.80) is the best dish of the day. Too bad it is a small serving.


The shell is so crispy that I ate the shell too. That is the best part, I tell you. At least if you don’t eat the shell, you must suck every drop of juice from it.

The prawns are tasty and sweetish.


The Steamed Siao Mai with Shrimp & Pork looked good. I did not try this because I know BR likes this. The siu mai looked rather small to me.


A strange thing happened. After we had the first Durian Roll, they brought us another one.

It seems that they made a mistake. Instead of the other award winning dish (the Roasted Lamb Rack in Wine), they gave us another Durian Roll. They entered the order wrongly.

But then we were already too full and decided to just forgo the Roast Lamb Rack. Guess I have to come back again or else my life can never be complete. 🙁


The dim sum in Rainflower Restaurant was not as expensive as we thought it would be. It is a bit pricier but quite affordable. Frankly, I wasn’t too impressed with the overall meal but it was made up by the great company.

Suanne and I had a great time meeting up with JoyLuckClub and BR. We spent two hours there which was much longer than we normally spend for dim sum. So thanks a lot JLK and BR for coming out.

JoyLuckClub wrote about the dim sum in her blog too. It is here … go check it out!

Rainflower Restaurant on UrbanspoonBUSINESS HOURS

7 days a week

Dim Sum: 9:00 AM to 3:00 PM
Dinner: 5:00 PM to 10:00 PM

This Post Has 14 Comments

  1. joyluckclub

    Hi Ben…
    thanks for the shout out!
    BR and I had a great time meeting you and Suanne.
    hehe…about the parking, we did exactly as you said….in one door and out another. Mind you, we did wander around Yoahan for a while and I actually purchased something..LOL!
    I guess we were past there 2 hour limit though…I did noticed our tire was marked. I’m guessing we just beat the tow truck……haha

    BTW, BR is a bit more adventurous than you might think….and sometimes, I just tell him he’s eating chicken *wink*

    For certain you and Suanne will be invited to Tuscany……I might even get up the nerve to cook for you.

  2. joyluckclub

    “I guess we were past there 2 hour limit though…I did noticed our tire was marked. I’m guessing we just beat the tow truck……haha”

    correcting my ‘engrish’ better go have my coffee LOL!

    should read, I guess we were past their 2 hour limit….I did notice…..

    1. Ben

      Hi JLC (easier to type than JoyLuckClub): Wow, I did not even know that they mark tires to enforce the 2 hr limit. Man, those tow truck people in this mall sure are ruthless! I was not even aware of the 2 hr limit. Hehehe … I like that you even bought something inside Yaohan (better keep the receipt!). 🙂 Ben

  3. Lissa

    Wow, if I were a restaurant owner and see you with such a camera photographing everything, I would be afraid, very afraid, LOL!!

    1. Ben

      Hi Lissa: Actually, with such a big camera it is *I* who would be afraid because it attracts attention. I wish I could use a smaller camera but it just does not measure up! Ben

  4. liz

    Although I haven’t tried it yet, the pic of the Chan village noodles look similar to pieces of hydrated summer roll wrappers with a spoon of dry ribs.

    1. Ben

      Yeah, you describe it so beautifully … so beautifully, it’s a waste you don’t have a food blog on your own. LOL! Start one! 🙂 Ben

  5. WS

    So the Roasted Lamb Rack with Chinese Wine is not on the menu(a off the menu item)?

    1. Ben

      Hi WS: We were there in late morning and this restaurant was serving dim sum at that time. The Roast Lamb Rack is more of a dinner item but they do make it if you ask for it. Ben

  6. Lissa

    I tau-pau the durian roll this morning. It’s really good. The pastry is just so flaky and the filling wasn’t too bad. Kinda small though. 🙂

    1. Ben

      Oh wait … Lissa has a gravatar now. LOL! What is that? Crossed fingers behind your back? Ben

      1. Lissa

        Yes, fingers crossed for a win in Lotto Max! 🙂

  7. Lily

    Hi Ben and Suanne: Went to this dim sum restaurant recently and kind of got talked into purchasing their VIP card for $20 by my dining companions. Any way, the food was decent (though I prefer Western Lake on Victoria Drive) and I thought why not. One of my dining companion was quite the salesperson and sold me on the idea. She gave me a lowdown on what to expect as an owner of a VIP card – 20% off dim sum, 10% off dinner, free tea, no expiry date, and the kicker – your $20 will be refundable at your next visit (dim sum or dinner). Essentially, your VIP card is free! There was a manager-type (guy in a black suit) standing beside our table as I was getting the description. To make a long story short, there is no refund of the $20, but the manager (?) made no correction even though he was within earshot of the conversation. He offered no brochure on what you get for being a VIP cardholder, nor was he forthcoming with any information on being a “member”. I paid by credit card and didn’t want to return my VIP membership after the order was processed. It’s not the money – although at one time, they did refund the $20 during your next visit – but I thought it was a cash grab by the restaurant and nothing more. In this information collecting age, I didn’t have to fill out any application form (not that I minded), just pay for my VIP card with cash or a credit card and I immediately received my card. What a wasted opportunity for the restaurant to not glean customers’ data for potential marketing purposes! After sharing all this with you and your readers, what I want to know is this – what are the benefits, other than what I’ve listed, of being a VIP cardholder of this restaurant? Can anyone enlighten me?

    1. Ben

      Hi Lilly: I am puzzled myself too! Maybe it is just that … they just wanted you to come back at least once (for the $20 refund) and hope that you will come back again for more discounts. Maybe I’ll go check it out myself too. There is nothing to lose. Ben

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