Teahut Garden Cafe in Richmond

Updated on 12 April 2010: This restaurant has closed according to Urbanspoon.

This is another place that we had been to so long ago that I had no idea exactly how long ago it was. However, it know it is a weekend lunchtime. We had problems finding parking space along Alexandra Rd and the only reason we stopped by the Vanezia Place is because there were lots of parking.

We stumbled upon this place quite by accident. If not for the fact we drove upstairs to park, we would never have thought there is a small eatery there. It’s so small that it just had 8 small tables but with windows all round with a second floor view, this place must have been the only restaurant along Alexandra with that has a view. But what really drew us in is the prices of on their menu which was posted outside.

Dishes ranges from $5 to $7 while 10oz steaks range from $10 to $12. I think they have the cheapest food in all of Alexandra Rd.

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It’s a Hongkong Style Cafe … all meals came with a choice of hot or cold beverages. If you opt for pop, there will be additional $1 charge. Strange. I thought that pops are dirt cheap and yet they charge extra *shrugs*. No problems for us because we simply love milk tea and the family does not fancy pops.

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I ordered the Szechuan Seafood Udon in Spicy Soup which cost only $5.95. For that price, I am impressed that it came with a generous serving of mushroom, onion, green peppers, artificial crab meat, prawns, fish and squid. Despite the “spicy” name, it only had a teeny weeny hint of spiciness.

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Lan’s Restaurant on West Broadway

Updated 4Jun2009: Closed (source from Urbanspoon)

Here is one more really, really old post. We were here for dinner on one of the Vancouver fireworks night. Oh … that must have been late August or was it July. Anyway, it was really old.

We have a fixed ritual every year. We love to go to the fireworks, not so much for the fireworks but we simply love to set ourselves down next to the waters and just wait hours for the firework to start. This one time, we decided to check out places in and around Broadway and Granville. One does not need to go far as there are lots of great eateries that caters to all kinds of tastes and budget.

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I did not feel like spending much for food those days because we had just gotten back from a long (and expensive) vacation. 🙂 From the outside, we know this place serves pretty affordable meals. If I recall correctly, this is a Vietnamese restaurant (not pho … but Vietnamese).

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Since there were only three of us (Arkensen was away camping), we ordered a Dinner Combo for 2. It costs only $26.80.

The combo comes with a Soup of the day which is a Hot and Sour Tofu Mushroom soup, the thick version.

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The appetizer is a Crispy Shrimp Dumpling serves with vermicelli on the side. The Shrimp Dumpling skin is made of yam where the outside is fried to crispy and the inside is creamy and soft with shrimp filling.

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E-Canteen in Richmond

Updated: 26th Feb 2011: This restaurant has closed and replaced by Enjoy Cafe 1+1.

We’ve been to this place … oh … three months ago and had not gotten down to blog about it. I am going to just take these old blog entries and clear them out of the way the next few days.

I don’t know about you but the name e-Canteen just have no class to it. Before we first visited this place, we had always known about them but never going in … well, because we could not make out what this place is like since they are located on the second floor. Not until someone (honey, was it Polly who told us?) said it was a Hongkong-Style Cafe that we went to check it out.

This is located in 8171 Westminster Highway in Richmond.

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Seems like in a past like this place had been a karaoke joint or something like that. There are individual rooms around the side and there’s a bar counter, which they do not use to serve drinks.

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Like other HK-Style Cafes, you order a main dish and that comes with some extras. Here, the extras are soup and rice in bowl. We had cream soup which was surprising very good.

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We also chose Vegetable Tomato Soup (known as Loh Sung Tong in Cantonese).

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Altanta Trip: PF Chang

I sort of gate crashed into a team dinner when I was in Atlanta. I had no qualms doing that since I had never been to PF Chang before … and more importantly, someone else is picking up the tabs for this dinner.

PF Chang’s China Bistro is another American chain restaurant. The one we went to was just walking distance from our office. It’s in the newly renovated Cumberland Mall. Despite it’s name it’s more aptly described as an American Chinese bistro … i.e. it tried to look Chinese but it’s really catered for the American tastes. He he he … you know what the initials P.F. stands for? It’s named after the founder of the chain … Paul Fleming! Enough said! 🙂

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Although this PF Chang is called a China Bistro, it’s more like a more upscale restaurant. The service was prompt and pretty good. I actually have a bit of a culture shock here … seeing how pretentious this place is trying to be chinese. Starting the many lanterns on the ceiling and the candles in the table. Why … if I am not mistaken, you never have a candle on the chinese table because you only light candles in a funeral for the dead! 🙂

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Started with a drink and chose something unique from the drinks menu. It’s called the Asian Persuasion which is basically vodka shaken with fresh brewed organic green tea. Yucks! It was an awful combination — at least to me anyway.

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Well, I was seated at the far side of where the ordering action was and did not managed to get a say on what to order. I thought I better keep quiet since I am a gate crasher this time. But … those guys, all southerners (no Asians) were having problems ordering because I think they eat Chinese only perhaps once every decade or so. (more…)

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Tandoori Kona Restaurant in Richmond

We found this little gem of a place quite by accident a couple of months ago. It had been sometime since we had East Indian food. We initially wanted to go and try the Himalayan Restaurant at the intersection of Cambie and the No 5 Road. Instead we were drawn to the Tandoori Kona restaurant by the Lunch Special sign that had put out.

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There were no one in the restaurant when we visited. Being such a minor strip mall in Richmond, we had not expected this. While it was no lavish in decor but it was quite impressive.

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Again, in such an unassuming place from the outside, the place is very clean.

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The Lunch Special meal combo came with freshly baked and warm naan. It was some of the best naan we had.

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Hon’s on No. 3 Road revisited

Updated: 8th Jan 2015; This restaurant is closed.

It is getting tougher to decide where to eat out these days. The boys are getting more assertive on where they want to go. About the only place that is neutral is Hon’s on the No 3 Road in Richmond. This is because they have something on the menu that will appeal to everyone. The price is right, the service is respectful, and the menu is extensive.

The only thing we gripe about is the lack parking. I don’t hang around the parking lot waiting for a spot. I will just drive directly to the roof top parking in the building across from Hon’s. There is always spots there.

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One of things Suanne normally will get from Hon’s is BBQ’d pork feet. They have the largest and meatiest pork feet we know of. Moreover, it is really cheap … about $3 for a pair. They are great for making Pickled Mustard and Tofu Soup.

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What I always like about Hons is their open kitchen. We normally would peek at what is being cooked to help decide what we want.

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Despite the popularity and crowd, we had hardly need to wait for tables. The turnaround is really quick … lots of seats available. It could be chaotic for those not used to these type of Chinese restaurants.

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This time I had Beef Tendon Dry Noodles. You get to choose the type of noodles … I got the wide egg noodle because I felt it absorbs the sauce better. The beef tendon was fabulous. It’s an acquired taste … not many people likes it but I love the soft texture.

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Summer Vacation 2007: Going Home … and West Lake Vietnamese Cuisine

Updated: 7th October 2010, this restaurant is closed according to Urbanspoon.

That’s it … our summer vacation. Hope you all enjoyed following this series as much as I had blogging about it. I think when I look back over the years, we will remember this particular vacation like no other vacations we ever had — this time we had documented it.

Looking back over the past month blogging about this vacation, it is amazing we managed to do everything we did. Some of them counts for one vacation alone to most but being able to do all these within two weeks were unbelievable to us.

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In case, just in case, you want to re-read our entire vacation, I have categorized them under the following links:

  • We started off in Las Vegas where we had some of the best buffet. We managed to visit the Hoover Dam and the Fremont Street Experience made a lasting impression on us.
  • We then drove past Death Valley on our way to the Yosemite National Park. One word describe the entire trip … jaw-dropping!
  • Next came our visit to the Bay Area during which the high-point was the day spent at the Great America theme park. Our boys enjoyed this the most.
  • San Francisco was absolutely marvelous. We all love SF and did all the sights we wanted — Alcatraz, Fishermans Wharf. Chinatown and rode the Cable Car. Oh … the sourdough bread too!
  • We then moved on to Reno and Lake Tahoe for the final leg of the trip.

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We landed in Bellingham, WA in late afternoon. As much as we enjoyed the trip, it was really good to be back home again. Before we headed home, we knew already what we wanted to have — Vietnamese noodles. Despite all the great food we had during the vacation, we simply miss good old Asian food.

This restaurant is located in the Empire Square strip mall on No 3 Road in Richmond. It’s on the same strip mall as Hon’s.

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It’s strange why we had never blogged about the Westlake Vietnamese Cuisine restaurant before. We had been coming here for lunch at least once a month and is our boys’ favourite place.

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What we particularly like about this restaurant is the low prices and that they have a free drink with any set ordered. Their menu is really like the many HK-Style cafes around Richmond except that it is with a Vietnamese twist.

We tried the Salted Lemon Soda — it is really good. You can sweeten it with the included sugar syrup if you like.

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San Francisco Vacation: Chinatown and Fortune Cookies

The mother of all Chinatowns in North America is undoubtedly the one in San Francisco. The Chinatown in San Francisco were first built by the Chinese immigrants who joined the gold rush in the mid 1800s. The gate at the entrance to Chinatown here is perhaps the most famous of all gates I know of.

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There is nothing much to this Chinatown. I guess once you have been to one Chinatown, all Chinatowns look the same. They practically have the same shops and restaurants.

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Believe it or not, fortune cookies is not a Chinese food … it is first invented in, of all places in the world, San Francisco. Many Americans actually thinks that fortune cookies are really Chinese.

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Our guide book showed the direction to a small place in an alley where they make fortune cookies. We went to look for it.

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Bay Area Vacation: Pho Hoa

It had been a long day at Great America where we only had hot dogs, M&Ms and chips to sustain us since breakfast. We were quite hungry by the time we got out of the theme park. We already knew where we’re gonna go for dinner that day. Where we were staying in, there seems to have a lot of Asian restaurants, in particular Korean. It had been quite a number of days since we had a full Asian meal and we really wanted rice and noodles.

Just a walk across the street from our hotel was Pho Hoa. We have already spotted that familiar name the day before. It was an unanimous choice for dinner. Besides fried rice, our boys are quite addicted to pho too.

We had been to a Pho Hoa in Richmond before. We don’t rate the pho in Richmond’s Pho Hoa as some of the best we tasted but since we’re on the road and have been missing real Asian food, this is just perfect.

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Pho Hoa is a franchise and have dozens of outlets throughout the US, Canada and Asia. They proudly pasted a big sign on their entrance about them being in the Top 400 Restaurants in America. I don’t know what the significance it is of this Top 400 rank … I guess it is a big deal here in the US.

We also found out that Pho Hoa first started in the neighboring city of San Jose. Wow … we are close to the epicenter of the Pho Hoa movement. This had gotta be good.

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Here they gave all of us iced water. The ice is different … not in cubes or tubes but in pebble size. Nanzaro calls these ice-cutes, not cubes.

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The bean sprouts were fresh and crunchy. You can see they are not fresh if the roots are brownish. We see some people putting these bean sprouts in their pho … yucks, we hate to do that. Instead, we just munch on them while waiting for the pho to be brought to the table. Oh, we don’t use the leafy vegetable and lime too.

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