Sing Yee Chinese Restaurant in Richmond. I think not many of you would have heard about them. I think if I mention the name Lam Chu Kee, it might ring a bell.
Lam Chu Kee closed a few months ago. It was such a sad thing because Lam Chu Kee was one of our go-to Da Lang (late night supper) places. In the same location today is Sing Yee … and Sing Yee doesn’t do Da Lang like Lam Chu Kee used to.
We decided to go check out Sing Yee. They have these poetic descriptions of what they serve written on the window.
Other than the name change, the insides does look the same as it was when it was the previously. I asked them how long they had been opened. It was about 6 months already. Wow, time flies. I swear that Lam Chu Kee had closed just a couple of months prior. 6 months seems way too long for us not to have noticed. I thought maybe the waitress did not know and just blurted out that answer.
The waitress also mentioned that Sing Yee is under a new management and does not have anything to do with the previous Lam Chu Kee management.
That night it was very busy. We were there on a Saturday at about 8PM. The restaurant, which was quite spacious, was almost full. So that is a good sign.
The restaurant is well staffed. It is … noticeable and a good sign. The only thing is that English seems to be a challenge here. At least it was with the waitress who served us. She spoke a kind of Mandarin which is different. It has a slang that is distinctive but of course us not being expert in Chinese dialects, are unable to say what it was.
The waitress asked us about us taking pictures. Just to let you know, we had started lying. We had been telling restaurants who ask that we are tourists or from out of town. We do not tell people anymore that we are local and we write about food. On top of that we had been increasingly using a point and shoot camera just so that we blend in better. We can’t avoid not having a camera but at least we don’t look like we are “working”.
Don’t get me wrong. Despite all these actions, I am very sure that people will still find something else to fault chowtimes. It comes with the territory, I guess. When chowtimes were just small fries, no one gives a darn about what we do and do not do. Now that we have 10,000 to 11,000 pageviews, there is always something that people will get jealous with us about. *shrug*
Back to food. Rather, back to the menu. At first we wanted to go with their combo menu. That is the far most right page of the menu above. For that combo, there are 45 dishes to choose from and the combo includes soup. Check it out. It works out like $11.00 to $12.00 a dish.
We changed our mind when we saw the posters of their specials on the wall. They are all in Chinese but the waitress was patient to translate it to us — dish by dish! It was from this poster above that we finally ordered our dishes.
There is another poster (no photo sorry) on claypot rice. It seems like it’s their specialty. It requires a 20 minutes wait. The wait wasn’t a problem to us. It was just there were so many choices! The claypot prices are like this:
- small at $18.80 good for 2 to 4 people
- medium at $28.80 good for 4 to 6 people
- big at $38.80 good for 6 to 8 people
Next time … next time we will order the claypot.
We thought that the dish that is called “Fish Dish Cooked Two Ways” sounded appealing. It is like ordering one dish and getting two dishes. It is not so much of a saving that we are looking towards … just fancying two fish dishes.
The waitress even brought the fish out to show us. So it is a “swimming” fish, not any frozen ones. However, the fish looked rather small. We were looking at one another thinking “would that be enough for all of us”?
The 1st way above was the Deep Fried Fish Head.
This was served in a sizzling hot in a clay pot. It has the usual green onion, ginger and Chinese sausage.
It tasted really good. Very crispy meatier than we thought. Of course the fins and skin adds to the crunchy texture.
The above is the second course of the fish. We had an option of having the second dish as fish porridge or steamed fish body. We opted for the steamed fish body.
It is topped with julienne ginger, green onion and cilantro and slathered with a good concoction of sweet soya sauce. It looked appealing and the fish was really fresh tasting. The down side is the small portion because the fish selected was really small.
Yeah, the best part is the jhup. It is really nice with steamed rice. We can all eat steamed rice with this alone.
I asked Suanne how come she can’t make jhup like this. What is the secret recipe? Anyone knows what makes this not so salty?
For some vegetables, we opted for something that has a name that appealed to us — Bay Foong Tong. That is Cantonese for Typhoon Shelter … a cooking style that makes famous the Typhoon Shelter Crab.
So on the poster, there is a Typhoon Shelter Eggplant ($11.80).
The eggplants were deep fried in light batter and stir fried with garlic chips, shallot and green peppers … the core ingredients of Typhoon Shelter cooking. You kn0w what we would love added on? It would be great if they fry some birds eye chilli in it for that extra kick.
We loved the fragrant garlic chips especially and there are lots of it. We even ate this with the rice alone (i.e. without jhup) and it was just as good.
I don’t know how this worked but they gave us free soup of the day. Since this is free, no questions asked. We did not even expect this at all.
The soup had pork and carrot. It looked dark in colour but actually there are not much flavour and was bland tasting.
We spied the table next to us. They ordered the Combo meal that we almost ordered. I stole that shot and Nanzaro was so worried I decided to take the shot so close to them. “Don’t do that Dad!”. He is chicken.
The dishes looked like a lot of food. The above two dishes were just like $24.00. I think the rice is extra but it included a soup. That is enough food to feed three people easily.
Sing Yee accepts credit cards.
Too bad there are no dessert for us. The free desserts are only if we ordered combos.
But anyway, this place is not too shabby. This is certainly a restaurant worth coming back again. Too bad they don’t serve Da Lang though.
This Post Has 23 Comments
We ate here when they first opened (we ate late November/early December) — and haven’t been back since. Food looks good — might have to go back one of these days.
the sauce for the fish is sweet because of sugar and water!
Hi Edwina: We figured that much but it’s just that Suanne never quite get the right combination/portion to make it like how it is made in restaurants. Do you know? Ben
It seems like the soy sauce is made with soy sauce cooked with some sugar and water to tone down the saltiness; Lee Kum Kee’s also has some flavor enhancers and caramel color in their soy sauce. The hot oil is added before serving to make the fish look pretty and freshly cooked.
I too would like those garlic chips with rice, but I would also be very happy eating several bowls of rice with the garnish and soy sauce from the steamed fish too! It looks like you got a great deal with the fish; it looks very fresh.
When we have steamed fish like that in Canto restaurants, I’ve been known to pass on the fish altogether and go after the julienned scallions & ginger with lots of sauce/jhup and heap them onto my rice bowl 🙂
Yeah, just like me LR. I too can just eat the scallions and ginger with rice. LOL! Ben
I like the fact that you are not telling them that you are a food blogger. You can’t tell me that when a restaurant knows you’ll be writing and posting pictures, they aren’t going to, say, give you slightly larger portions, free dessert or extra attentive service. I know that when I go to Golden Great Wall I’m not going to get fancy carved vegetables….I prefer reading your reviews knowing that I’d likely be treated the same.
Going fwd you can be assured that Suanne and I will be as low key as possible. It is not that we strut ourselves around with a big camera and all but I think we can play tourist (some restaurants do ask us where we are from!). Actually, we think that Asian/Chinese restaurants are generally not that savvy about internet and blogging. And most of the waiters and waitresses too don’t really care as much who we are. For Asian restaurants, they think more about the printed media rather than blogs. And that suits us fine.
I know it is hard for people to believe us but the proof will be in the pudding. As a matter of fact, I just replied to three invites today saying that chowtimes do not accept invites going fwd. One of them even offered to put us up in a hotel for three days in May and drive us (and other foodies) around for meals. Sounds interesting but seriously, Suanne and I do not need those things.
There was another invite which came from a small family restaurant. Newly opened and sounds like they have put all their heart and soul into making it work. They needed a leg up from chowtimes. We like to help people like them but we had to turn them down saying that we will make a visit unannounced some day. It is hard being chowtimes to tell the truth. 🙂 Don’t trust what I say … just observe and see if we will really do what we say we will do.
if only u branched out and did a mystery shopper adventure with the restaurants that are offering u free food for blog!
maybe just show up at the restaurant without any notice or if anything, 30 minutes notice. kinda like iron chef… or iron chow!
Hi Neige: The best thing to do is NEVER to go to places that sends us invite. That is why you don’t see a lot of posts where restaurants is already well covered elsewhere in the media or the blogospshere. We like to cover smaller, less known places and restaurants. Ben
Do some of the Asian restaurants in Vancouver-area, post blog reviews of their restaurants from Vancouver Asian food bloggers(like at front of the restaurant)? Have you seen a Chowtimes post posted at a restaurant?
Yeah, I have come across only one. It is Tang Thai. Ben
Sandi we only carve vegetable birds if its a big table because we don’t re-use the carved vegetable birds, thus, you don’t see the vegetable bird on every table. Like most restaurant you have to request a special item, like the carved vegetables (Which takes couple of hours to carve out the shape) to be used for your group menu.
P.S. We will improve Golden Great Wall and make you cry out of joy next time you eat at our restaurant!
Did Ben request the carved vegetables or do you do that for all large groups? Is there an extra charge for them? I don’t mean to single you out – I would just like to see what an average party might be able to expect at your restaurant.
Ben did not request that carved vegetable. Our chef volunteer his time to carve that vegetable showpiece. Like all garnishes they are free and we don’t charge them. We only do fancy carved vegetables for big tables because we do not add the price of the manual labor and cost of the products to the menu. Thus, we do fancy free showpieces to big table because it more economical then a table of 2 people. We just do a simple flower carving for small tables and big carving for big tables. All our garnishes are free and if you like a special showpiece for your big table, we’re happy to do it for you.
Some customers hate our carved birds and said our plated dishes was ugly. We can’t predict who would like a better presentation and who would just eat the food and get out. I am a waiter/chef a customer has to request a special item and we would gladly do it for them. I just knew Ben would like our showpieces, compare to a stranger who might not like it.
Canido complaint is a troll comment, I’ve responded to the same thing over and over again. His main problem is with the Groupon company and not with us. I can tell you we did not treat him disrespectful, unless he find our server saying “have a nice day” is disrespectful then that his problem.
I had said to customers “Good bye and have a nice day” and the customer had found that offensive. I’ve seen bad service in all industry but I do not vent my anger at them because they are human being who makes mistakes. All I can do is promise to do a better job in the future.
P.S. I still challenge people to do a good deed.
doug, I am guessing that you work for Golden Great Wall. I use to love eating there but I have stopped visiting after I used Groupons for my meal. I was treated disrespectfully by staff when I told them that I had groupons and was forced to order from the dinner menu during lunch time (which was not stated on the terms of condition in Groupon).
As I normally dine at golden great wall, I knew the approximate size of the dishes that I order. However, I was disappointed because the restaurant basically cut the serving portion in HALF when you had a groupon. Thus it was not really a “saving” by using a groupon as I only received 1/2 the normal dinner portion. My last meal at golden great wall was a major disappointment in many ways.
Canido I can complain about hospital service, Tax service, mail man service, Canucks failure and hopefully success but I don’t. You should use your energy in doing a good deed like host a charity event. I am doing a fundraiser dinner at Golden Great Wall. I challenge you to do a good deed.
Canido – valid complaint. Doug, poor response.
That’s a bit of a troll there, Doug ……
I hope to convert a troll to a fairy one day, that is my goal!
Learn to take constructive criticism Doug, and don’t complain about the canucks, they are going to win the cup this year.
Yeah… I will learn to try but its too easy to respond to trolls though… Go Canucks Go!
>> there are not much flavour and was bland tasting
It’s quite clear you are not Chinese, and if you are, you are not Cantonese. Their “day soup” is by far the best I ever get, not just in Vancouver, but outside Hong Kong. It’s exactly how home-made broth should be made, without MSG, cooked at least over 2 hours.
Their roasted pigeon is also good. Better than Sun Sui Wah in my opinion. And another one you haven’t mentioned is their Stewed Milk with Ginger. Excellent. Not too sweet.