Crystal Mall Food Court in Burnaby

When I am in an adventurous mood for authentic Chinese food, there are two places I would go to often — the Crystal Mall Food Court in Burnaby and the Richmond Public Market. Here are two places where you will find food as it is prepared in China. These are also the places I used to call “MSG city” because I usually go away feeling thirsty after eating there.


Crystal Mall is just a short walk from my place of work. So, I go to the food court when I eat alone and can’t think of anything specific to eat. There are also other very good restaurants in Crystal Mall. For one, there is Abdul’s BBQ. A friend at work swears that is where you can get the best shawarma in Vancouver. My favourite Sichuan restaurant is also located there which serves the most amazing cumin lamb on rice. There is also the Top Gun Hot Pot which is one of the more well known hot pot places in Vancouver.

It was just a couple of weeks ago. Actually it was just a couple of days before the 8GTCC Hunan dinner. That was when the 8GTCC team members had a final meeting with Alvin Garden. After a very fruitful meeting, we decided to go to the Crystal Mall Food Court for dinner and continue with our discussion.

At the Crystal Mall Food Court, it was hard to decide what to get. There are so many choices to choose from. Dylan suggested that we try the noodles from the Huaxi Noodles Specialist.

I got the one with beef tendon to share between Suanne and I. I love beef tendon. I just love the texture and this is just perfect.

When I was young my mom told me that beef tendon is the penis of the cow. I don’t know why she told me that but it really scared me off eating it until I found out it was not true. Hmmm … maybe I’ll try telling this to Arkensen and Nanzaro and see if they believe me.

To me this noodles is perfectly done in every sense … from the tendon to the broth to the noodles. But I do think this is not the type of noodles for everybody. It does not have that appetizing look and for some the film of oil floating on top will put them off.


Today I want to tell you about a blogger unlike all that you know. Dylan is a member of the 8GTCC team and he is the only one in the team that reads and writes Chinese. The amazing thing is this — he is Caucasian!

He loves Chinese food and is very knowledgeable about the cuisine and culture. So he is a great resource when we want access to Chinese materials for our research. He has a blog where he translates Chinese literature to English. Of late, he had started another blog and this time on food!!!

That blog is called … (more…)

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Where Can We Find Shaobing in Vancouver?

This is a continuation quest for a reader, Michelle who wrote to me to find restaurants which serve Shaobing. I contacted a few of my Taiwanese friends and two of them recommended me to this place which sells traditional Taiwanese Shaobing. So, I made it a point to check out this place during my ladies meet day with Polly.


My Taiwanese friend, Emily told me that Shaobing stuffed with Chinese donut is a very typical breakfast item.


The place that my friends recommended is located on the second floor of President Plaza in Richmond, next to T&T Supermarket and across Aberdeen Center.


It is a stall at a small foodcourt. The stall name is Yung Ho Soy Drink. Apparently, this name is quite famous in Taiwan.


Yung Ho Soy Drink serves various types of shaobing, sweet and savory. Click on the images above to have a clearer view.

Without a doubt, I wanted to try … (more…)

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Frappe Bliss in Aberdeen Center (And What Happened To Chowtimes)

We might as well just post about Frappe Bliss since it was while we were in the Aberdeen Center we first learned that had been suspended.


Food courts in shopping malls all around Metro Vancouver is so boring.  They all look alike with the same stalls selling the same stuff.  I find that all food courts are dominated by the same group of restaurants.

I find Aberdeen’s food court is different and a class above all other food courts around.  The layout is very pleasing and they have lots of tables.  It is bright and for an Asian food court, it is clean and well maintained.  The best thing about this place is the selection of food and it is well represented by some of the bigger names in Asian restaurants like Jang Mo Jib and Cafe D’lite just to name a couple.


Having gone through the long cold winter, do you find that it’s kind of overly warm and hot this spring?  We do.  We wanted to just get out of the house and go out and look for a nice icy cold drink to cool down.  Usually we’ll just go to Timmy Ho’s for an Iced Cap but it is just too heavy for us.

The ideal would be an “ice plate” like the ones we had in Well Tea.  We thought the best place to look for one is in Aberdeen since we also wanted to go grab some small plates and place mats from Daiso.  The closest we got to an Ice Plate was Frappe Bliss.


You have a choice … make your own ($2.36 Frappe with 71 cents per topping) or get one of their nine concoctions.  We had the one called the Peanuts Iceberg which is $3.80.


Was it good?  It was awful … pretty tasteless.  It was also very light — I say it was very airy and had hardly anything in it.  I find it intriguing how they managed to make it so fine and that it did not melt much at all despite that.   Yucks.

Aberdeen’s Food Court has Wifi.  I must add that it was painfully slow.  It actually felt like those days when we had the 9600 baud rate modems!  We got connected and found suspended.

If you want to read more about our saga … click below:


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Lai Leung Kee Delicatessen in Empire Centre

I bet this posting will put some people off. 🙂 But who cares .. what I am blogging here is a delicacy to people in China. I am adventurous when it comes to food. I’ll try anything … well, almost anything.

We chanced upon this place in the Empire Centre, the strip mall along No 3 Rd where Hon’s is.


Parking is always a challenge at this strip mall. Many people comes here to either go for their meals at Hon’s or do their chinese grocery shopping at the Empire Supermarket.


Lai Leung Kee Delicatessen is located in food court in the mall across from Hon’s. It is a very little known food court. This shop sells really exotic chinese food and for a very low price.

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Crystal Mall’s Food Court

Govern a family as you would cook a small fish — very gently.
~ Chinese Proverb

We went to the Food Court in Crystal Mall for lunch on Saturday because the boys wanted Char Koay Teow. The Crystall Mall is a Chinese Mall located along Kingsway with Willingdon in Burnaby. It was always crowded when we go there during the weekend — it was just as crowded today. In Canadian standards, the parking was hard to get.

Arkensen does not normally like spicy food but he says that he only makes an exception for char koay teow. The char koay teow was good — we find that it is one of the best we could find in Vancouver. We ALWAYS order char koay teow when we eat at this food court. The char koay teow from the Curry King stall costs $5.50.


Nanzaro wanted Shashimi and opted for the tuna shashimi from the Ebi King stall. The dish consists of 5 pieces of average slices and costs $4.95. It did not look particularly fresh but Marc did gobble them all down in quick time. I guess he must have liked them.

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Richmond Public Market (1)

Note: The latest post about the Richmond Public Market is of February 2011 and is found on this link.

Suanne and I had a break from the boys today. Not knowing where to go for lunch, we ended up in the Richmond Public Market. The Public Market is located along the Westminster Highway and is another great place for authentic and cheap Chinese food. The food court, located at the upper level, are always very busy.


Because of the many food stalls in the public market, we are naming this blog the Richmond Public Market. Here is the first of the series:

Xin Jiang Delicious Food


Suanne went to the Xin Jiang Delicious Food. Xin Jiang is a remote province in north western China and is the province with a large muslim community. We just learnt that the people in Xin Jiang prefer to refer themselves as the Chinese Turkestan. That is why you see that there’s a Halal symbol on the signboard above. Suanne opted for a dish we have never tried before. It is called the Xin Jiang Flak Crystal and is serve is rectangular pieces. The owner told us that it is made from mung bean powder. Mung bean is better known as green beans or “kacang hijau” in Malay. The Flak Crystal is perhaps prepared the same way like the transparent noodle such as Tung Fun (Cantonese) but that it’s made into a cake and cut into pieces for cooking.


The dish is very spicy and we felt it is also a thad too salty for our taste. The price is $7.25 for a large serving. (more…)

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