Golden Award Cafe & Restaurant in Richmond

Please note that the Golden Award Cafe had already been closed. In it’s place is now the Silver Tower Cafe.

There are dozens of Asian restaurants along Alexandra Road in Richmond. We had barely tried 10% of them. For sure, we hated the uncertainty of going into restaurants that had chandeliers on high ceilings or rows of Mercedes and Audis parked outside. Then there are those that had not a single English word visible from the outside — you see, we are illiterate.

But we found one that is more like our kind of restaurant. Well, to us it’s a HK-Style restaurant, well, because of the ubiquitous iced milk tea … but with a slight twist. The Golden Award Cafe and Restaurant is located in the Connaught Plaza on Alexandra and Kwatlen.

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Although they have the HK style menu where you pay a price for an entree which comes together with a drink, we like their “combo” menu. For a fixed price, you get to select a number of dishes (for the Cantonese, it’s like “chow choy” style … know what I mean?). We ordered the 2 dish combo which comes with two selection, soup and rice (no drinks included here). The kicker is that it costs only $13.99!! That is enough to feed the three of us.

The soup was not great but is flavourful. Well, what can one expect from free soup.

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The first dish we selected was the Pork Chop in Honey and Rock Salt. This one is awesome — the sweet sticky gravy is a bit spicy. I don’t know why they name this “rock salt” because it is not even a bit salty at all. The dish is large and we had a tough time finishing this off between the three of us. You should try this one, you will like it I’m sure.

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Dinesty Chinese Restaurant in Richmond

This is a new restaurant. If my memory serves me correctly, this place had just opened for about 2-3 months now. I really think they have an odd name — Dinesty. I guess the name is a play on the words Dine and Dinasty but somehow I keep thinking they are made up of the words Dine and Sty! Nevertheless, this restaurant is a really classy place.

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Dinesty is a modern and clean Chinese eatery. I believe they are more of a Taiwanese style restaurant — I could be wrong. We were surprised how busy it was when we were there at slightly past lunch time on a weekend. We had to wait for 20 minutes before we had a table assigned.

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One sign of a good restaurant is their attention to details. The plates and chopsticks were logo’d. I like it because they care about their image.

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Here is why I thought this is a Taiwanese restaurant โ€ฆ spicy beef noodles. This must have been one of the best spicy beef noodles I ever had. The bowl is large and had big chunks of beef. For a place like this, $8.95 is quite cheap.

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Evergreen Garden Chinese Restaurant in Richmond

Update 11-Dec-2008: This restaurant had closed down. In it’s place is the Szechuan Harvest Moon Cuisine.

I think this place is new. I am sure that there was a Chinese restaurant in this location before but we had never walked in. Anyway, I am talking about the Empire Square along the No 3 Road. It’s in the same strip mall as Hon’s. Oh, talking about No 3 Rd, wouldn’t you all say that it’s a complete mess with the Canada Line construction?

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It was just three of us that day. We decided to try someplace new. It’s kind of hard convincing Nanzaro to try a new restaurant. As long as they make Salted Fish Fried Rice or Pho, he’s OK. Well, the Evergreen Garden Chinese Restaurant is NOT one of those places. Nanzaro was sulking throughout. On well, it’s MY turn to choose the place to eat today … and I pay too, so I get more rights to choose right? ๐Ÿ™‚

We were there just after 5 pm. and the place was still quiet then. It was pretty spacious with lots of tables that extended even to the back.

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They initially gave us the menu in Chinese and we had to ask them for one in English. For a moment we thought we are in one of those all-Chinese restaurant where they not only do not have menu in English, the waitresses does not even speak English. With our poor Mandarin and all, we would have walked out.

Well, well … we certainly liked the way their menu is laid out. Their popular Set Dinner Combo menu is priced by the number of “dishes” you order. Since there were just the three of us … well, two and a half … we went for the 2-dish combo which costs $24.80. The 4-dish combo ($45+) would have been too much for us.

The Set Dinner Combo menu has a very wide selection of dishes. We counted about 77 in all. The Combo also include all-you-can-eat rice, soup of the day and dessert. The soup of the day was winter melon and pork soup with some herbs and barley. It was absolutely delicious.

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Taiwan Beef Noodle King in Richmond

PLEASE NOTE THAT THIS PLACE HAD NOW CLOSED

Helen had always mentioned how good the Taiwanese restaurant right next door to Ellie is. When we blogged about Ellie, Lauren also recommended that we tried this place. We finally made it to the Taiwan Beef Noodle King restaurant.

We normally would shy away from such places because they looked like a Chinese language only place — I can’t read Chinese and Suanne can barely pick up some odd common Chinese characters. We decided to brave it this time.

This restaurant is located in the strip mall on Cambie and Sexsmith in Richmond. Specifically, the address is 3779 Cambie.

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It is pretty common in Taiwanese restaurants to offer “side dishes”. We normally treat this as appetizers but for some reason the menus usually describes this as side dishes. Side dishes normally costs $3-$5 for a small plate.

Pardon our literal translations … we ordered what we translate to as the Big Intestines. I think most Caucasians will balk at eating stuff like this but we simply like it. It is chewy and great as a munching snack. For $3 a plate, it’s a steal.

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Nanzaro is growing up to be young man now and he is beginning to insist that he gets a dish on his own. It does not matter if he can finish the entire dish but he wants his own and not share it with his mum. He ordered what we called the Taiwanese Sausage Rice for him. I know he loves simply rice dishes with lots of meat and a little gravy.

The rice came topped with minced pork … which is a very popular dish in Taiwan. Lots of sausages and came also with half a hard boiled egg. $6 only for this dish … cheap right?

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London Series: Roast Duck at Four Seasons, Bayswater

Before I left for this trip to London, I asked for recommendation from the readers of chowtimes. One of the comments left was from Eileen who recommended that I should try the roast duck from Four Seasons Restaurant in Bayswater. I replied that I didn’t think I would want to travel all the way to London to taste chinese food … well, I went anyway, no regrets whatsoever.

I had read a lot of reviews of Four Seasons — almost all of them commented about the long queues everyday and that they serves the best roast duck in London.

Finding Fours Seasons was much more easier than I thought. I took the tube to the Bayswater station, got out of the station and there it was … literally right in front of the station entrance.

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I would have expected that there are a lot more Roast Ducks and other BBQ Meat on display. Perhaps it was because I was there at about 4pm way before the dinner crowd starts coming in. I read so much about the long queues that I played it safe to come this early.

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This is the best condiments that I have seen in any BBQ Meat restaurant. It’s such a simple idea that I am surprised not many restaurant had thought of doing it. The moment I sat down, they came by with a pot of Chinese tea and the plate of three types of chillis.

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I cannot recall this completely. I think this is not free soup and that I ordered this. It was great. Actually, I was pretty dehydrated because I had only a small bottle of drinking water the whole day. This was a really welcome bowl of soup.

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London Series: Chicken Tikka Masala from Sipson Tandoori

I was so intrigued. When I first heard that the national food of England is Chicken Tikka Masala, I thought that someone was pulling my legs. In a few days I was in London, some people (mainly Indian taxi drivers) told me the same thing too. Here is what I learned the past few days — let me know if I get this correct.

Masala is an Indian term that refers to a mixture of many ground spices. What does the word Masala mean? Spices? And Chicken Tikka Masala is really invented in Great Britain. So, I figure since I am in London I must simply try the national dish. ๐Ÿ™‚

I had blogged on the Sipson Tandoori the last time I was in London here. I vivid remembered making an unkind remark about the “pretty dumb” paper bags the delivery came with. I had the tendency sometimes to be brash, I admit. He he he … the paper bags I guess will always be there but at least this time, the curry did not leak all over the place.

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Got a question for you, Rukya. How many pieces does people normally order the papadam? When I ordered ONE piece, the person who took my order sounded so surprised. I mean, the papadam is such a large piece that one is more than enough for me. Guess what, when they delivered to me, they game me four pieces. Hey, I have no complain. I must say that Sipson’s papadam is simply one of the best I had tried … they are so crispy and flavourful … and they tastes just as good the next morning. 50p per piece but they charge me only for 1 piece — nice!

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You know, most curries looked and tastes the same to me. So I really can’t figure out what Chicken Tikka Masala is. It looked and tastes like Butter Chicken but am sure it is not. Rukya, can you tell us about Chicken Tikka Masala? (more…)

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London Series: Grapes Tandoori on Uxbridge Road

I think RR must be waiting for this blog entry. ๐Ÿ™‚

In a previous trip to London, I had an Indian dinner delivered from Sipson Tandoori. RR. whose late father founded the Sipson restaurant, found my posting on the internet. We got in touch and exchanged a few emails and she invited me to try the other restaurant also started by her father, the Grapes Tandoori. I did go to the Grapes Tandoori on the first night I was in London.

Getting from my hotel to the Grapes Tandoori, although not really far, still requires a a taxi ride. I really hate taking taxis in London. They have this minicab services which does not use meters and charges arbitrary. Well, for the short taxi ride of 5km, it costs me 14 Pounds. Sigh … the disadvantage for being a visible foreigner …

Locating Grapes Tandoori was easy. It was right on the rather busy Uxbridge Rd. The taxi driver did bring me to the wrong Grapes, the Grapes Pub which obviously did not resemble anything like an Indian restaurant.

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I got in early and there were only one other customer. Man, I must say that the service was attentive to say the least. I have never seen so many waiters in a restaurant, very unlike in Canada where a restaurant of this size would perhaps have 3-4 people max. Kind of unnerving, if you ask me. Because there were just two customers, the waiters were milling around my table and I do feel so … watched.

Started with a drink. Wanted a cocktail but I guess either it’s not big in England or they don’t have it in Indian restaurants. Anyone can tell me why?

Ordered the Sherry and Port which costs 2.50 GBP. I don’t really know what it is and when I asked the waiter about it, he told me he does not know either because he had never tried it before. I asked for recommendation but he could not either. Oh well, I just went ahead and ordered it.

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The waiters came by with a platter of condiments. I was really curious what it was but I guess I ran into some communication problem. ๐Ÿ™‚ So, what I found out was that they were not spicy and one of them is onions. They do tastes good though.

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Tomokazu Japanese Restaurant, West Broadway

Polly, me and the kids celebrated the arrival of spring at Tomokazu Japanese Restaurant on West Broadway, just next to Toy-r-us. Coincidentally, that day was Polly’s family landing anniversary. We also took this opportunity to celebrate the birthdays of our kids which fall in March. There are four March birthday kids in the group.

Tomokazu serves all you can eat; $9.95 for lunch, $21.95 for dinner and $11.95 for late-night. They also have regular menu which goes by the item you order. Check out their website for more details.

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We were there very early, just before 11:30 am; their opening time. We were sitted at a Japanese style table where we have to remove our shoes and sat on benches around a square table.

As usual we were served green tea and the condiments like wasabi.

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We ordered the Miso Soup, Goma-Ae (Sesame Spinach) and Ebi Sunomono Salad (Prawn Salad) as a starter.

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Come along are the Beef and Chicken Teriyaki.

There is a limit of two orders per person for Sashimi. The boys love Sashimi and we ordered all that we can. Apparently, the kids do not quite like the Tuna Sashimi. They preferred the Salmon Sashimi.

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Lai Leung Kee Delicatessen in Empire Centre

I bet this posting will put some people off. ๐Ÿ™‚ 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.

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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.

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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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