You know there are restaurants that intimidates us that we don’t consider going to unless it’s for a special occasion. Although we do spend quite a bit eating out, we feel uncomfortable going to expensive looking restaurants.
Sometimes we don’t even know if they are expensive or not. If it looks too posh, it has got to be expensive. If the captains wear suits, it is not cheap. If they have a chandelier, it might not be affordable.
If they have a large vase outside the restaurant … gosh, I don’t want to think how much that cost. Yeah, frankly, it was this vase outside the restaurant that intimidates me. I had peered inside the restaurant before too. It was fancy.
I was taken by total surprise when JoyLuckClub blogged about this place. The food here is cheap … unbelievably cheap. I think you will too if you see the prices of the food we had.
The Shanghai House Restaurant is located at the Brighouse strip mall. This is about as central Richmond as you can get. Located across the No 3 Road from this restaurant is the Richmond Center. It is also next to the Brighouse terminus station of the Canada Line. So for those of you from outside Richmond, getting here would be an easy train ride.
In such a centrally located area, parking here is sometimes a challenge. It is not as bad as in Yaohan Center but sometimes you will need to circle round to get a spot. So they are serious about parking here. I think 2 hour is the limit.
They enforce parking limits here by chalking the tires of the car. So, you know … next time you are here and you need to park more than two hours, you need to “top up”. To top up, you need a … wet cloth. They don’t remember the cars and will just blindly chalk the tires. Just don’t be caught doing it. LOL!
Look at it. Doesn’t a place like this looks like they will charge $12.00 for noodles and $20.00 for main dishes?
The setting is nice and serene. The lighting with the pink table cloth and red covered seats gives this place a warm color tone. This is certainly one of the more well designed Chinese restaurant.
Most of the customers here are Mandarin speakers.
We can smell the vinegar the moment we were seated. On every table, there is already a saucer of vinegar with julienne ginger … every table. This is a reminder that we need to order Xiao Long Bao.
I did not get the permission to take pictures of the menu this time but I can tell you that it is a menu that I wish I have a bottomless stomach. There are so many dishes Suanne and I wanted to order.
The best thing is that the prices were unbelievably cheap. At a place like this, I would not have batted an eye lid even if it was a dollar or two more expensive per dish.
We wanted to eat light. We had been trying to not eat too much these days. It is just too easy to put on weight and so difficult to lose it. So this time, we just got small dishes and we wanted to also try their beef noodles as seen in JoyLuckClub’s blog post.
Being adventurous, I wanted to get this dish called the Marinated Chicken Feet, Duck Kidney, Edamame with Chinese Wine. This is just $5.00. Suanne said if I order this, I gotta eat it all by myself because she said she doesn’t like cold and white chicken feet. She only likes the brown type you see in dim sums. I said fine. I want it.
When I ordered this, the server strongly discouraged me from ordering this. He said several times that I won’t like it. He said this is a dish that only a Shanghainese would like. I asked and he explained why I will not like it (“you know what kind of wine we use?!?”).
The more he tried to discourage me, the more determined I am to order this. He was very reluctant to give me the dish. I can see it in his face. He should also read my face too … I want it!
Maybe he saw my camera, I don’t know. Maybe it was because I spoke to him in English. But I gotta give it to him that he is doing it because I think he wants us to enjoy our meal here.
This is a cold dish with a very strong winery taste. Besides the chicken feet, duck kidney and edamame, they also had duck wings in this too.
What is the waiter talking about. I like it. He came by after a while and asked how it was. I told him it was not as bad as he made me fear. He didn’t looked convinced nor pleased that I liked it. I thought it was strange of him.
The chicken feet was hard to chew and it is firm but then it is how it is. The whole idea is to gnaw at the meat … gnaw, gnaw, gnaw, spit, spit. spit. That’s how to do it.
I like the duck kidney particularly.
Yeah … for 90% of you, you know about edamame and how to eat this. Don’t be surprised that there are chowtimes readers all over the world and some people does not know this food.
If you eat the whole thing above, don’t complain that this is not nice OK? You will chew and chew and chew until the cows come home and you will never break it down enough to swallow it.
This is the dish we wanted to come here for. In their menu, this is the Spicy Beef Noodle in Soup.
Look at the size of the bowl … compare that to the ladle in the bowl. Guess how much this is. If you tell me it is $8.00, I would say it is pretty well priced. If you tell me it is $7.00, I would say “really?”.
It is $6.00 … with change too. Two cents change as a matter of fact. Well, ALL of their noodle dishes are just $6.00. How about that?
As this was served to us, the server told us that this is their most popular dish.
The soup has this strange red, blood-like color. It looked thick. It also looked very spicy but we did not find this particularly spicy. Just nice.
The noodles is not chewy. It is one of those longish soft noodles that compels you to want to lower your head to the bowl and slurp the noodles up … at the same time feeling so worried about the splatter on your clothes.
Yeah, I made a bit of a splatter on my shirt. It was OK though. I had been wearing that shirt for weeks already (not everyday mind you!) and it is time to wash it.
Loooook at THAT! Isn’t it the perfect-est piece of beef flank you had ever seen?
The beef flank is tender and not too fibrous. Really nice. I can’t stand fibrous-y beef flank that gets stuck between my teeth. Drive me crazy. This one is soft and tender. So yeah, with this, I don’t have to fish out the dental floss in the middle of the meal.
Suanne wants the Salty Soy Milk. As a revenge for not wanting the the marinated chicken feet, I told Suanne I don’t want this. If she wants it, she gotta eat it all by herself. Sweet revenge.
This is just $2.00 … with a two cents change. I thought it was also awfully cheap and that it has a lot of “lieu” (Cantonese). This soy milk has some preserved vegetable, green onions and cut up Chinese donut.
Despite the name, this soy milk is not salty but instead it is savoury.
The Crisp Chinese Donut is extra and it is also $1.98.
This is not your normal Cantonese-y yu tiao. This version is the Shanghai Big Yu Tiao … very big yu tiao.
They served this very very hot. It seems like it just got out from the fryer. It was lovely crisp on the outside and soft inside. That was what Suanne said. She was not happy because she had to finish it all by herself and it is big and a lot. This type of food you cannot ta-pau (pack to go).
Of course we had to have XLB. We chose their Rolls-Royce version which is the Steamed Shanghai Dumpling with Crab Meat. This is the most expensive dish of all we had. It is $8.98 and came in six pieces only.
BTW, I guess almost all of you know about Chinese superstition with numbers, right? Eight (8) is a lucky number and (3) is a living number. So most of the dishes end with a 8, as in $1.98 and $8.98.
The number four (4) is to be avoided because it rhymes with the word for death.
That is Chinese. People are so superstitious in Asia that some buildings do not have floors with the number 4 in it. Have you heard of this before? There are some buildings in Malaysia (Chinese owned no doubt) that doesn’t have fourth floor, fourteenth floor and so on. I guess the equivalent in the western world is the absence of the 13th floor.
Oh … I want to talk more about numbers, like how stores like Best Buy and Wal-Mart prices their items and what the numbers mean. Next time …
The XLB is not bad. It somewhat passes the ”bag-test”. I had seen much better ones but at least this one sags into a bag lifting it up.
The soup in it was golden in color. It was tasty and pretty good. The color looked so unreal that I wonder if they added coloring to it otherwise we can’t think how they could get to this bright yellow.
Anyway, this is certainly one restaurant I would want to come back again. The prices are pleasantly cheap. I don’t know if the dinners are just as cheap but for sure the lunches is a great deal.
This restaurant even accepts credit cards (Visa and Mastercard). Our bill came to $26.00 before tips.