The Richmond Public Market on Westminster Highway, Richmond (Part 1 of 2)

This is continuing the series of the Asian Food Courts in Richmond.

It was back in September when I sat down and listed down all the food courts in Richmond. It did not occur to me before that but I soon realized that there are eight food courts peppered all over Richmond. I was surprised. I knew there are a number of food courts but I did not realize there were eight.

Since then I went back to these food courts and had made fresh blog posts about these places:

Mind you, it is not like we had never blogged about the Richmond Public Market before. Looking back our archives, it seems like we had at least four other posts about this public market: here, here, here and here.


Way back when our boys were just toddlers and money were tight for eating out, this is the place we often end up with. The food here is cheap and the choices were plentiful. We hold fond memories of this place.

The food court is located on one half of the second floor of the building. Right in the middle of the food court is a bubble tea stall. We remember that stall but it has changed owners already by now. When Arkensen and Nanzaro was just really small, they … love the milk tea from this stall. I would normally buy it for them even though it was quite expensive to us at that time. I remember one day I gave the money to Arkensen and asked him to go buy it himself. Suanne and I coached him for quite a while about the buying protocol … like what to say, when to hand over the money, to expect change and all that. We observed him from a distance.

Yeah, that day we were proud parents that he bought something on his own the first time ever in his life. I remember seeing him walking back to us with a smile on his face … with both arms hugging the cup and one hand trying to hold tight to the change he got from the purchase.

I also remember what he bought. He got the chocolate flavoured bubble tea. Arkensen outgrew bubble tea eventually. Today he doesn’t like it at all. Too Asian, he said. LOL!


Of all the public markets in Metro Vancouver, the one in Richmond is the most chaotic and disorganized. It is miles away from the likes of the ones in Granville Island and in Lonsdale Quay. Those places are cool and trendy … and expensive! In the RPM, it is not cool and cheap.

But to us, we would not want to have it any other way. Herein lies the charm of this public market. It is decidedly Asian and the closest you would get to a market in Asia. In this two storey building you could get almost anything you need.

See the stall in the picture above. Know what it sells? They sells stuff for sleeping like pillows. It is kind of hard to see but there is the long tube’ish pillows just behind the gate at the entrance. That is what is known as a bolster (pix here). Many Asians sleep not just with the pillow but they sleep hugging the bolster. LOL! How many of you sleep with the bolster?

Me! I can’t sleep well without the bolster. When I go travelling and I say that I miss my bed, what I really mean is that I miss my 3.5 feet tall bolster. At home, Suanne has her bolster. Arkensen also has his own. Nanzaro, the youngest one, does not use one.

When our boys were younger, they cannot sleep without a bolster and so when we travel on a plane, we had to carry the bolster for them in the airport and on the plane. People would look at us funny. It was SOOO embarrassing but what can we do?


In the Richmond Public Market, you can buy almost anything you want. Let’s see … there:

  • Wet Market where you can buy Asian vegetables and fruits
  • Butchers where you can buy pork and chicken
  • Fish mongers where you can get live fishes
  • BBQ Meat shop for Siu Yook and Char Siu
  • Bakery for some of the best Asian style pastries
  • Grocery Store where you can get groceries (like the Malaysian Milo!)
  • Seamstress where you could get your clothing altered
  • Computer shop where you can get your computer fixed or get your ink cartridge refilled
  • Barber and hair dressers to get a hair cut
  • Incense shop where people buy stuff to offer prayers to their ancestors
  • DVD shop where you can buy pirated movies and Chinese serials
  • Fashion shop where you can buy fashionable Asian dresses
  • Household and kitchen shops where you can get woks and chopsticks
  • Lottery outlet for your retirement planning
  • Trophy shop which I have no idea why there is such a demand for that.

Yeah, this is a place where a lot of newcomers to Canada would come when they get homesick.


We used to come here a lot for lunch after church service. We like to snag the corner table if it is available because it gives such a nice commanding view of the entire public market.

As chaotic as it seems, the food court is quite organized in that there is a very good cross section of Chinese cuisines. So there are not much duplication. Other than three stalls which serves combo rice, the other stalls are one of a kind types including food from Xian, Xinjiang, Taiwanese, Hong Kong, Sichuan, Cantonese, and Malaysian.

Deciding what to get here is not easy. Every stall is clustered with pictures and signs of dozens of their offering.

We often walk one round of all the stalls before we narrow down to the stall we want to get from and then spend more time mulling what we want to get from the stall.

I’ll continue on the next post because there are a lot of dishes and stalls I will be going through … stay tuned.

Asian Foods (Richmond Public Market) on UrbanspoonBusiness Hour

7 days a week

Closes at 8:00 PM

This Post Has 15 Comments

  1. Crispy Lechon

    Crispy raises hand. Guilty of bolster. Didnt know its called bolster. I just call it my big pillow. LOL.

    Anyway, aside from those you mentioned, you can also find an insurance and autoplan place and also a Chinese herbal place. As for the food stalls, aside from Chinese on the second floor, on the ground floor, there is also a ramen place and an Indian dosa place.

    1. LotusRapper

      And also Pine House Bakery.

      1. joyluckclub

        Is there still a pub and the far end on the lower level?

        Haven’t been into the RPM for a while … had no idea you could buy bed companions there 🙂

        1. LotusRapper

          Richmond Station Pub is still there.

  2. Buddha Girl

    LOL!!! I recall one guy I used to work with told me bolster is also known as the “bamboo wife”…hahahahaha!

    I usually just call it “body pillow”…simply put…hahahaha!

  3. LotusRapper

    I’ve heard of kids liking body pillows … but grown-ups ?!? Sheeesh. 😀

  4. mo

    i never knew there’s a proper name for it! I just call it a log. I’m guilty of owning 3 different sizes of pekkle and my melody (had it for over 10+ years hehe)… I remember bringing it back from HK and taking a lot of suitcase room and asking my family to bring another one back.

    well at least if mine gets stolen or lost, I know where to get replacements 😛

  5. James

    I thought bolster is for single person that sleep alone Ben, but you have a wife what you need bolster for?

  6. PinoyGourmet

    I agree that you dont need a bolster.isnt that what spouses and partners are for?doesnt Suanne make a nice bolster?;-)

  7. LotusRapper

    Um …

    LOL !

  8. Ben

    You guys just don’t know anything about bolsters. Go to the RPM and get one and you will know what you are missing in life.

    As for the reason why bolster vs Suanne. Here is the long and short of it:

    >> All that snuggling you see on TV and movies … well, in real life it doesn’t happen. I hate Suanne’s hair in my face, up my nose and things like that.
    >> Suanne is too hot … errr … I mean, her body is too warm. I like my bedsheet, my pillow and my BOLSTER cold.
    >> Suanne wants the bolster there so that when I start to snore, she can shove the bolster in my face to muffling the din.
    >> I like the smell of my bolster (even though everyone else in the world finds it offensive).
    >> I had my bolster for decades already … and way before I ever knew Suanne. I can’t just dump my bolster aside just for Suanne.

    Yeah, I had been sleeping with my bolster much longer than I had with Suanne. I love my bolster more … just in a different way.


    1. joyluckclub

      I hope you bought your bolster a nice valentine :-0)

      1. Ben

        No worries. My bolster is low maintenance. 🙂

  9. Bette

    There is only one thing better than shopping in Hong Kong, and that’s eating. From small noodle joints to upscale French restaurant, you will locate all sorts of restaurant, eating hall and snack stall on earth in Hong Kong. Here I found small amount of Hong-Kong-styled snacks online ( This is definitely a good choice before I have $ for another trip.

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