New Spicy Chili Restaurant on No. 3 Road, Richmond

When Ben is around town, he will bring me to Szechuan restaurant as he knows that the chances of me going to one with the boys will be very minimal. The boys will always protest but daddy will overrule them. The funny thing is they usually enjoy the meal most of the time.

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We went to New Spicy Chili Restaurant in Richmond. I’m not sure if there is a change of management or just a change of the English name. This restaurant was known to be Golden Spring Szechuan Restaurant. However, the Chinese name remains the same.

Parking is not easy in this strip mall. There is a parking attendant that directs the traffic here.

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This restaurant is always busy. The seating in this restaurant is pretty tight.

We do like the menu here which has color photos of the dishes. The servers here mostly speak Mandarin.

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For appetizer, Ben ordered the Sliced Beef and Beef Tripe with Special Spicy Sauce. This is a cold dish and costs $13.99. It is garnished with cilantro and crushed peanuts. Although my boys do not like vegetable, they do like cilantro. They enjoy this dish very much. (more…)

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Dry Hotpot from PWG Chinese Food at President Plaza, Richmond

Since I came back from my Beijing/Xi An vacation last year, I crave for the “Ma La Xiang Goa”; literary translated to Numbing Spicy Fragrance Pot. This dish is very popular in Beijing.

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Then I came across Fmed’s post on Wise Monkeys about this foodcourt stall in President Plaza in Richmond which sells a similar dry hotpot dish. The PWG Chinese Food was up on my list of places to go since.

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When Ben was working from Vancouver, I managed to get him to the President Plaza foodcourt to try the above dish. The dry hotpot came in a heated little stove to keep it warm. There are two versions of such dry hotpot dish on the menu, chicken and pork intestine. I opted for the chicken dry hotpot. This dish which comes with a bowl of steam rice costs $9. (more…)

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Appetizers for Lunch

Of late, this is what I am so addicted to.

But I am not gonna tell you where I had this. I want to see if any of you can make a good guess.

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This is called Pork Slices in Garlic Spicy Sauce. Or at least I think this is what it is called. I had this so many times, I am not sure anymore.

The waitress already know me and she knows that I order this ALL THE TIME. What I am sure is that it is called #7. Every time I walked in, I just smiled at her and just say “#7 and 1 bowl of rice”.

For some reason they don’t … (more…)

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Szechuan Delicious Restaurant on No 3 Road, Richmond

This is a new Sichuan restaurant just opened in Richmond.

In my world, this location is unique. To me this location is an restaurant incubator of sorts. Over the years, this location had spawned off many successful restaurants. Just to name a few, this location is where the  Danny’s Wun Tun, Chen’s Shanghai, Shanghai Wonderful and Shanghai River had their early humbler days.

At the same mention, this location is also the site of two unsuccessful restaurants for the past two years or so. Firstly, it was Da Hong Yun and then a month ago, Shanghai JJ also closed.

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We noticed that the Shanghai JJ signboard was no longer there when we drove by in the morning of March 20th. In its place is a new signboard that says Szechuan Delicious Restaurant. So we planned to have dinner there since we like Sichuan restaurant and we did not want to go back again and again to our favourite Sichuan restaurants and not blog about it.

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In case you are curious, our favourite Sichuan Richmond restaurants that we had been going back to are:

Yeah, I can’t think of any Sichuan restaurants that we had never visited yet. I think there are but I can’t think of any. Any idea? You can click on the Sichuan category on the side panel to view all the Sichuan restaurants we had blogged about.

We did not realize until we got there. Apparently it was their first day of business and that meant that we were their first dinner customers. We went early and they were still busy setting up. Wow, think about it. If this restaurant turns out to be a superstar restaurant one day, we can lay claim to being their first dinner customer ever. 🙂

The place looked … (more…)

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Grand View Szechuan Restaurant on Fraser and East 26th, Vancouver

It had been a long while.

Ever since Whitney and Ken moved from Richmond, we hardly met up any more. Their family and our family were closed to one another and were our go-to people when we need help. You know, people who can trust to look after our toddler boys when Suanne and I went out for a movie … and not having to pay them for baby sitting. Sharing hand-me-down for the boys when they were young enough not to care about wearing “experienced” clothings. Oh, one more thing we shared every year is to buy one copy of Ufile and then we pass it along just to save a few bucks. Yeah, we even remember who paid the previous year so that we know who is to pay the next. Too bad they left city Richmond for rural Langley. We don’t meet as much any more.

When Ken and Whitney told us they are making their way to Vancouver and asked if we wanted to meet for dinner, we readily agreed. Although I am truly the better food expert, I left it to Whitney to suggest where they wanted to meet.

Whitney was hooked on Sichuan food the last time we met and I brought her to the S&W Pepperhouse in Burnaby’s Crystal Mall. So she suggested that we go to the Grand View Szechuan Restaurant on Fraser and E26th because she wanted Ken to try Sichuan food too. Moreover she has a coupon from the Entertainment Book.

Honestly, the Grand View Szechuan restaurant is not one of the restos Suanne and I would place high on our to-try list even though the reviews on Urbanspoon were quite good (88% likes). I sort of sense why they have 88% likes. Anyway, I have this (right or wrong) notion that any great restaurant does not need to promote themselves through the Entertainment Book or Daily Deals websites like Groupons.

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We got there before 5:00 PM on a Sunday and the doors were not open for business yet. So we waited a while before they finally opened the doors at 15 minutes past. There was nothing much around this stretch of the street anyway. It was either wait in the car or just hang around.

Seems like they only open for dinners on Sundays. At other days they are opened for Lunch and for Dinner.

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The dining area is OK. A bit cluttered. Not a problem at all … am just saying.

Service was good. The waitress spoke perfect English. The first thing she asked if we wanted any … (more…)

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Moutai Plus Szechuan Cuisine on Park Road, Richmond

Minoo, Marian, Lorna and I volunteered in the Activate! Wellness Fair 55+ at the Minoru Place on March 16th, 2011. The Activate Fair is to promote programs for the 55+ to keep our seniors active in the community and stay healthy.

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Our booth is to to showcase the seniors community kitchen.

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Besides the seniors community kitchen, we also display information on the multicultural community kitchens. We were able to get some people to sign up for the programs during the fair.

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Marian, Lorna and I volunteered until lunch time and we decided to go for lunch together. Marian wanted something spicy and we ended up at Moutai Plus Szechuan Cuisine on Park Road. When I told Lorna about this Szechuan place called Moutai Plus at Park Road, she was puzzled as she is not aware of a restaurant called Moutai Plus here. Apparently, she has always known this restaurant as “Dumpling Shop” as indicated in their Chinese name.

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The interior is made up of … (more…)

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The Place on Granville, Vancouver

It had been a while.

After 5 years of blogging we find that the local Asian restaurant scene had changed a lot. Suanne and I don’t normally go back to restaurants we had blogged about before. Instead we wanted to try new places and seek new dishes.

However, we realized that a lot of our earlier blog posts are already dated. Some of which are no longer relevant. So we thought it might be a good idea to make visits back to some of them that we remember as very good ones.

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So what better place to go to but The Place. In Chinese, this restaurant is called 老地方 which mean the old place — a place you go back to for old time sake.

We were here and blogged about The Place in this post three years ago.  The Place is located on Granville Street in the south end of Vancouver.

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Yeah, the above was what we had three years ago. We particularly like the Family Hot Pot (center) which had a nice name in Chinese. It is called Chien Gar Fook which means …

(more…)

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Szechuan House: I Wonder What They Do With So Much Leftover Chili

It had been a long while since we had Sichuan food. The last time was at Mr Zhang. It was a good meal at Mr Zhang and we enjoyed it a lot. A few people did go after I published that post but some ended up very disappointed with Mr Zhang. There you go … taste are so subjective, isn’t it?

Anyway, in that post on Mr Zhang, Alleycat left a comment recommending a Sichuan restaurant called the Szechuan House Restaurant. Alleycat, who came from Sichuan, vouched that it is authentic compared to many other Sichuan restaurants in Vancouver.

That, coming from a Sichuanese, I had to check out.

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The Szechuan House Restaurant is located on Imperial at the intersection with Sussex in Burnaby. This is on a small strip mall of seven businesses only with nothing else but residential units within that whole block.

Because of the relative quietness of this area, parking is readily available on the street.

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Szechuan House is very much a hole-in-the-wall. It is a simple no-frills setup.

As we walked past the other tables, we noticed that everyone had the Boiled Sliced Fish just like what Lissa said she had. So we already know one of the dishes we wanted to order.

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Service? Well, it did not get to a good start. I did not want to go over the menu and instead wanted to ask the waitress about the menu on the board. I mean, I am sure those dishes are worth ordering and all.

So I asked the jeh-jeh what those dishes are and if she could translate that to me explaining that I can’t read Chinese. She just said they are specials!

I know they are specials … but what is it?

I think she did not know how to translate the dishes or she was not keen to do that. So we left it at that. She does have a glum look. So, yeah, the service is not good.

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So instead, we turned our attention to their menu instead. I can’t get any help from the waitress who I don’t like already.

Grudgingly I must say that their menu is very interesting. Just look at the first page where they lists the “New To The Menu” dishes. Don’t you want to order them all? I did!

And the on the 2nd page above, there is the “Chef’s Special” … and that too we want to order them all.

I hate the service but I love the menu. Actually, I meant I don’t like the waitress.

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This is it … the dish that every table ordered. When they served this, I can immediately see why this is such a hit.

This is their specialty and it is called the Szechuan style Boiled Sliced Fish on the menu. It is not cheap at all. This one is …

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Mr Zhang Szechuan Restaurant on Victoria and 40th Ave, Vancouver

Updated 21st Oct 2014; This restaurant has relocated to Crystal Mall.

If you are into hot and spicy food … and if you like Sichuan food, this is a restaurant that can stand up to all the other Sichuan restaurants in town.

I haven’t seen much written about them on the internet except for a brief take-out post on Parker Pages. That’s the beauty of it … being able to discover a place like this quite by accident.

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It was the day after the 1-inch snow “storm” when Suanne and I decided to take a drive and look for food that will warm the body. We did not have anything in mind but of late our focus had been on Victoria Drive. We had covered a lot of restaurants already in Richmond and it’s harder to mine the city for golden finds.

But Victoria Drive among all streets in Vancouver is still ripe for the picking. There are a lot of places we did not have the chance to check out yet. What we had in mind was some soupy food (like Pho, Taiwanese Beef Noodles or hot pot) or something spicy.

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As I was slowly driving past the intersection with 41st Ave, we caught a glimpse of pictures of the dishes outside of Mr Zhang Sichuan Restaurant. We parked our car right in front of the restaurant to get a closer look.

It looked good and appears worthy to check out.

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It was bright yellow inside. We are a bit dismayed to see that they have rectangular tables and booth tables instead of round tables. I mean, any authentic Sichuan restaurant worth its salt chili must have round tables. Well, at least one or two of it. But it is all smaller tables — mostly for four seats, some with six.

We went in as they were just opened for the day at 11 AM. It was freezing cold that we kept our jackets on for a good part of the meal before the whole restaurant warmed up.

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They have the posters above pasted on the wall in several locations in the restaurant. It is the same set of dishes that we saw outside by the window.

Go ahead, click on it so that you can see read this better. This is all in Chinese unfortunately.

This is obviously their specialties and their signature dishes. We know we need not look further than this poster menu for our choices for the day.

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The menu which is printed in thick plastic page (not paper!) is pretty impressive. Their prices are much cheaper than other more established Sichuan restaurant. Sichuan dishes in many restaurants are generally more expensive running easily into $15-$25 dishes. The prices in Mr Zhang is certainly much cheaper. Many dishes are below $10 and even the more expensive ones are $15-$16.

So yeah … we were impressed with their prices. You can click on the picture above (and below too) to blow it up bigger.

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They have more handwritten specials pasted on the wall. We can’t read it at all but we know some of you who could would like see what they are.

Can someone try to translate roughly what the items are?

I know it is sometimes frustrating to see the specials written in Chinese only. I don’t think it’s a conspiracy or anything like that to discriminate customers but still I think they should make the effort to translate them. Translating poetic Chinese dish names are sometimes not the easiest thing to do.

Perhaps what we as customers could do to encourage these restaurants to provide English translations is to ask them repeatedly why is it that they don’t provide English versions of their menu. Shall we collectively go about doing that?

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I like this restaurant. It is the small things that count. Not many restaurants will serve you free peanuts along with the tea. Their free peanuts is both sweet and salty which is quite pleasant. It is even crunchy as though it had just been fried.

The waitress, who constantly switches from speaking in Mandarin, Cantonese and English, told is that they give away free pickles for delivery only.

We asked her who is “Mr Zhang”. She pointed to the handsome picture of the man on the poster menu (the 4th picture).

Mr Zhang is the owner and the chef who had opened this new place about 1 year ago. She told us that Mr Zhang is a good chef and that he does not use MSG or chicken base for his cooking.

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The Stir Fried Pork Belly ($13) is one of Mr Zhang’s signature dishes.

It smells so good as it was brought to the table. We instantly knew it was … (more…)

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