Golden Harvest Seafood Restaurant on Main and 32nd Ave, Vancouver: Spot Prawns for Da Lang

It’s Spot Prawn season.

All the excitement on Spot Prawns had been going on for the past few years and each time the season comes around this time of the year, I had never quite bothered with what the deal is. Maybe it was because I was quite put off with all the publicity generated by the media and all.

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But this year, I’ll try to learn a bit more.

Here is what little I learned over the last few days about Spot Prawns:

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Sing Yee Chinese Restaurant on Sexsmith Road, Richmond: Not Too Shabby

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.

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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.

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The restaurant is well staffed. It is … (more…)

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Butcher’s Best in the Richmond Centre

One of the things that Suanne and I like to do is to go for walks. Actually, I like to go for a run but Suanne, she refuses to run. She is a walker not a runner, she said.

She would always ask me to just run ahead but it’s no shiok (defined here) running alone. I am just too chatty to enjoy running alone. So I am forced to walk.

But when she walks, she is very atas (defined here) with me. She is always “si beh actsy” because she walks fast-fast. And I hate walking fast. Either I run or I stroll.

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Our favourite walk is around the Steveston area. We would usually drive to the Britannia Heritage Shipyard, park there and then walk west ward to the Garry Point Park. And if we want to we would turn north and walk along the Richmond Dykes.

That route is just perfect. It is not monotonous. We even walk past Steveston Village just in case we want to grab a bite. Or even to buy fresh fish from the docks. Or just people watching. Actually more of tourist watching than people watching.

Oh as you can see from the pictures above, they were taken two months ago. Just goes to show how far back my blogging had been these days.

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After the walk, we decided to go get some food for our lunchner (lunchner is just another name for dinch). The boys were not at home that weekend. It was one of those lazy slow weekends when we decided to take it easy and eat simply. No sit down dinner. Just buy something simple and eat at home in front of the TV.

We don’t go to the Richmond Centre a lot these days. During pre-chowtimes days, we hang out a lot here. We would have lunch quite a bit at the food court.

This time we are back because we wanted to blog about two things … (more…)

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Sun Cheong Loong (HK Style) BBQ Restaurant in Richmond

Updated: 10th Oct 2014; This restaurant is closed.

Remember the Siu Yook (Roast) poll we put up not too long ago? That was an interesting post (see here). It tells a lot how the two Siu Yook shops (HK BBQ Master and Parker Place) in Richmond were the overwhelming favourite.

However the poll brings to fore another Richmond Siu Yook shop which we had never cared to check out. We knew of this place and had passed by it many times but we never had the urge to check it out. I guess it is because Parker Place and HK BBQ Master is just nearby and both places were excellent and more importantly consistently good.

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Sun Cheung Loong is located in the same strip mall as Enjoy Cafe 1+1. This is on the Westminster Highway just a little east of No 3 Road in Richmond.

Nanzaro wanted Salted Fish and Chicken Fried Rice in Enjoy Cafe. It had been some time since he had it and he was harping about wanting it to his mum. Hehehe … he knows he can influence his mum but he also knows that dad is harder to move. Much harder.

Nanzaro was so insistent that he said, “just give me the money, I’ll go eat by myself and meet you later, OK?”

He was expecting No-K from me. Instead I fished out twenty bucks and said “keep the change”. End of story. Stunned him a bit. I am sure he could eat by himself if he really wanted to but I guess he is still not at that stage where he will really abandon his family and eat on his own. Not yet.

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Their main dishes are on a large poster on the window. Click on the image above to show it larger. It is mostly combinations of siu yook, chicken, duck, BBQ pork and a few side dishes. It did … (more…)

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Sun Sui Wah: Alaskan King Crab Dinner

Suanne and I was thinking that if there is just one dinner we organize this year for readers of chowtimes, it should be one for the Alaskan King Crab. This is because in order to properly savour the Alaskan King Crab, you need at least 6 people. And more is better. A proper sized Alaskan King Crab would be about 8lbs and up. Anything smaller than that will mean little flesh in skinny legs and claws.

We came to learn that not a lot of people had tried the Alaskan King Crab before. This is despite that proximity to the fishing grounds of these prized crabs. The reason is simple. At off peak season, these crabs could cost $30 and beyond per pound and with a 10lb crab, you are looking at some serious dollars.

It is in late February to mid March every year that the prices of the Alaskan King Crab gets to a more affordable level. The season is short. Just 2-3 weeks and then prices will inch up again.

So we put the word out for this dinner and the response was very good.

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There are many many Chinese restaurants that will serve Alaskan King Crab. You can easily get almost 2 dozen ads in the Chinese newspapers during the peak season. Each of them will try to outdo one another. Some by offering lower prices. Others by seeking different and novel ways of making it. It is bewildering exercise trying to decide which to go to.

We decided that for this chowtimes Alaskan King Crab dinner, we go to a place that is considered by some the granddaddy the Alaskan King Crab feast. Sun Sui Wah claims that they are the pioneer having perfected the preparation of the Alaskan King Crab. How far true their claims are, I have no idea. But for a moment, let’s give them the benefit of the doubt if not for the reason that no one is challenging them to this claim.

Secondly, I thought that we would not go wrong if the good folks at the Chinese Restaurant Awards selected Sun Sui Wah to win the award for best Alaskan King Crab two years in a row, in 2010 and in 2011.

So how wrong could that get right?

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Sun Sui Wah is famous. Sometimes I feel that tourists knows more about Sun Sui Wah than Vancouverites. I remember seeing their big floor to ceiling ads walking out of the arrival hall in the YVR airport. It is so big, you can’t miss it. It is effective in forming an impression that Sun Sui Wah is the place to go to for great Cantonese style dinners.

And rightly so too. They had been part of the Chinese restaurant landscape for close to three decades now. They were certainly the king of the hill in the earlier days when Chinese cuisine is in its infancy in Vancouver. They were poised to meet the demands of the waves of newcomers from Hong Kong who were leaving the island in droves fearing the worse about the return to China control.

We tried to time our dinner. We were planning to have the dinner at the weekend when we expected the price of the Alaskan King Crab is the lowest. So we went a week before my own theoretical sweet spot to work out the menu with Sun Sui Wah.

That week prior to the actual dinner, their price was $16.80 per pound. Because of the erratic nature of the prices, they understandably could not confirm the prices for the following week. Unfortunately for us, the price of $16.80 per pound remained the same.

The Alaskan King Crab price in Sun Sui Wah is definitely one of the most expensive around town. I guess they can command a premium for the price because of their reputation and visibility.

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We had a total of 30 people attending the AKC dinner. We could not even …

(more…)

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Shun Feng Village Seafood Restaurant on No 3 Road, Richmond

As I was sitting here writing this post, I was just thinking that whatever happened to Grayelf, TS and JS. I always see these ladies everywhere there is a mention of food. It had been one whole week already since I saw their comments. I wonder what is up with them.

Anyway. It was a Saturday a few weeks ago. I woke up at 8:00 AM and was just lazing around. We decided not to go anywhere for breakfast but instead chooses to stay in and catch up with reading. And then out of the blue I got an email from Grayelf saying that they are on the way to Shun Feng and asked if we want to join them in 45 minutes.

Of course we would! Especially when the restaurant is in Richmond … and no bridges too. So it was a mad scramble for Suanne and I to get ready. We are Asian. Asians need to take a bath and change our home clothes and put on street clothes and all that before we go out, you see.

He he he … I did not respond to Grayelf but instead chooses to just turn up and surprise them. I actually wanted to feign ignorance, pretend to bump into them and telling them what a coincidence to meet them there. I guess I need more acting lessons because as much as I tried they did not catch on to my act.

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Suanne and I had never been to Shun Feng before. Yeah, this is one of the restaurants that intimidates us. They have a five foot tall shark fin at the entrance of the restaurant. A small bowl of sharkfin soup costs $68.00 each. So you can imagine that the big sharkfin (if it is real) would have cost a few grand.

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I thought I took a picture of the inside of the restaurant but I cant find it. Oh well, you just have imagine how it looked like based on my description.

It was busy. Getting the attention of the waitress was a challenge. They are like one of those who are so busy that they had perfected the art of avoiding eye contact with you. Somehow they can sense you are going to ask something from them without even looking at you. You know what I mean? They have this uncanny ability to sense you are asking for the bill … in which case you ALWAYS get their attention the first time.

When we got there at 10:00AM, the place was already half-full. By the time we left the place was packed. It is amazing how dim sum restaurants are always full of customers on weekends. If ever there is dim sum restaurant which is half full, their food must be awful and to be avoided. Can you think of any that fails to draw full house every weekend? I can’t think of any but am sure there are.

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The restaurant was big. From the entrance it looked really fancy but when I got inside it was pretty much a normal dim sum restaurant. The decor is simple. There is no chandelier. Classy restaurants must have chandelier. So I was kind of surprised they don’t have it.

Alright, no chandelier is OK because they have logo chopsticks. Now, that is … (more…)

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Results of Poll: Vancouverites’ Favourite Roast Pork

I had just closed the poll of your favourite Siu Yook (Roast Pork) shops in Vancouver. There were a total of 121 voters and each voter was allowed to select more than one of their favourite shops.

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It seems like the HK BBQ Master won outright with 71 people out of 121 people voting for it. In terms of percentage, 58% of the voters like this CRA Award Winning restaurant although this restaurant actually won the award for BBQ Pork and not Roast Pork.

My personal favourite Roast Pork shop, Parker Place, came in second with 47 votes (39%). It was running neck and neck with HK BBQ Master right up to two days ago when it pulled ahead.

Of course this is a non-scientific just-for-fun poll. I am sure there are a lot more good Roast Pork shops that you like and which I did not list. That is why the third highest category was the “Not List” category.

Here, I have put side-by-side the pictures of the Roast Pork from HK BBQ Master and Parker Place. Here it is … (more…)

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[CRA 2011] Sauteed Buddha Feast from Dynasty Seafood Restaurant

This meal sure was a memorable meal. And totally unexpected too.

We dined with a superstar and other famous people … sort of. We were star-struck!

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Suanne and I invited MadameYak and MisterYak to join us for dinner. We wanted to go check out another CRA 2011 award winning dish and since MadameYak so good at making conversations, we thought it would be great going out with them to this place.

I had never heard of Dynasty Seafood Restaurant before, not until they won an award from the CRA. They are located on West Broadway by Willow Street. From Broadway, you will likely not notice this restaurant at all. They are visible once you peer into Willow.

This restaurant has a great view of downtown Vancouver. Some of the window tables has a grandstand view of the bright lights across False Creek to the highrises in Yaletown. It’s quite a sight.

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There are no street level entrance. Maybe that is why not many people knows about this place. Maybe it is just us only. They have an underground parking in the building and so that helps a lot because parking in this part of the city is not cheap.

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It seems like a lot of famous people dine here. At least it was when we were there.

Our very own figure skating champion was there dining there. Gosh … don’t you think Suanne had a nice pose with Patrick Chan? Suanne almost looked like Patrick’s skating partner. Look at the pose … left feet forward in sync some more!

I am … (more…)

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[CRA 2011] BBQ Pork from HK BBQ Master

The question of who has the best Roast Pork (Siu Yook) in town will never be settled. The thing is, different people have different preferences. Whatever the preference is, a lot of people are certainly passionate about their favourite Roast Pork.

Although this post is about the award winning BBQ Pork from HK BBQ Master, I like to take this opportunity to get your views about their Roast Pork. Personally, I am not a big fan of BBQ Pork.

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The HK BBQ Master is a really small restaurant and located oddly in a covered car park. Although it is small for a restaurant, it is big considering all the big time Chinese BBQ shops do not even offer a sit down area. Yeah, most Chinese BBQ shops are to-go kind of places.

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HK BBQ Master is located at the ground floor car park of the Real Canadian Superstore on No 3 Road. The Superstore is not normally a destination that you would associate with great food but yet this one does.

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Let’s face it. This tiny place is extremely popular. There is always a constant stream of customers even at off peak meal times. We thought we be smart and go at 3:30 PM but … (more…)

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[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!

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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 … (more…)

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