Nikkoffee on No.3 Road and Anderson Road in Richmond

Updated 11 Oct 2014; This restaurant is closed.

ChowtimesNoWord32x32Disclosure: One of the drink is complementary.

It is our last cake meet before the spring break. Polly and I have wanted to visit Nikkoffee which opened since December 2010 since we resumed our cake meet recently. From it’s website, it’s opening time should be very early, 7:00 AM or 8:00 AM. However, on a couple of times that we wanted to visit this place, it was not open despite it’s already 10:00 AM.

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We did not plan to come to Nikkoffee on this day. We actually went to What8ever Cafe first around 11:30 AM as it’s website indicated that’s the opening hour. When we were there, the server inside the cafe told us they will not be ready until 12:30PM. What’s wrong with these places. If they do not plan to open that early, they should have update their website so that people don’t get disappointed.  Well, we decided to go to Costco first for some groceries shopping and give Nikkoffee another shot since it will be past 12:00 PM by then and this time, it’s open. Nikkoffee is located on No. 3 Road and Anderson Road, just across the Richmond City Hall. Parking is available at the rear of the building.

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Nikoffee is decorated with white picket fence laced with artificial flower vines. It has a romantic atmosphere.

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You can click on the menu to have a larger view.

Nikkoffee serves Asian flavour infused … (more…)

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Simply French Cafe on West 10th Avenue and Alma in Vancouver

Polly and I had the opportunity to meet again after a long break. We last met for cake meet before the school year ended in late June 2010. Life has been busy and Polly has some change to her work schedule. Hopefully the cake meet can continue.

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We wanted to go to Cocoa Nymph Chocolate for the Vancouver Hot Chocolate Festival initially. When we were there, we found out that other than hot chocolate, Cocoa Nymph Chocolate only offers chocolate. We wanted to have a bite. So, we look around to see if there is place we can go to. Just across the Cocoa Nymph, we saw this Simply French Cafe which looks like a place that suits us.

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Simply French Cafe offers croissant, salads, soup, sandwiches, muffins, biscotti and other cookies. It seems like a place for us to have a small bite and chit chat over coffee.

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Simply French Cafe is a neighbourhood cafe. The customers include seniors and younger women with a book to read or notebook surfing the internet. It has a rustic look with two simple chandeliers which add elegance to it. At the back of the cafe, (more…)

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Cake-Ya in Port Moody: But Ya … Ya Dun Have To Drive That Far

Cake-Ya had been long on our list of places to visit. Actually, it was more on Suanne’s list because truthfully, I am indifferent to desserts and sweet stuff.

This would have been a perfect place for her cake meet but since this place is over 1.5 hours drive from Richmond and back, that pretty much rules out this place for her cake meets. So who do you think she looks at to accompany her there?

We would not have gone to this place recently if not because we had to drive Nanzaro to Port Coquitlam for his scholarship interview. Nanzaro is trying to snag a precious spot for a six week scholarship training in Ontario this summer. He seems confident he will get it and if he does and if we can figure out something for Arkensen, Suanne and I will have our summer vacation this year!

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The name of this place Suanne wanted to go to is called Cake-Ya. Simply put, this place can be sort of called Cake House … sort of because “ya” means house in Japanese.

Jenny (My Secret Eden) was the one who alerted us to Cake Ya in this post on Kurumba in Port Moody. We would not have found it on our own not only because it is located in Port Moody, but it is on Clarke Street which is not a main route that many would take at all. Even when we had the address, we missed this place because the signage is so small.

Cake-Ya-Menu

I thought this place would have been bigger but it’s just a small two person bakery type of operation with an open kitchen in full sight.

The whole place is sparsely decorated with a small counter for retail sales. What they offer is simply all you see above. What they are famous for is the Cream Caramel and a few other cakes — all of them Japanese style.

The two Japanese ladies who worked there were polite and friendly. They told us that they don’t really sell a lot of their food in the store but people do come here for them. Most of what they make is sold all over the city. When we told her that we are from Richmond, she told us we can get them from Izumiya … and for the same price too.

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The above is what they are famous for. In English they call this Caramel Cream.

In Japanese, this is called purin. I think perhaps that the name purin is sort of translated from the English word … (more…)

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Bubble Fruity on Saba Road, Richmond

I asked Suanne to write this post. She refused.

I don’t want to write a post about a dessert place. I don’t know how to write about desserts. Dessert places are a girl thing. Guys hang around in these places just because we want to keep the girls happy. Tell me, you have never caught a group of guys going for desserts have you? It’s always the girls. And if you happen to see a guy there, it is always with a girl.

Like me.

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A couple of weeks ago, I wrote about the only dessert place we know of in Richmond. It was in this post about the 100% Healthy Desserts. Cathy who writes on the blog Yum-Yum in My Tum-Tum told us about this other place called Bubble Fruity on Saba Road.

So with that, Suanne made sure that we went at the slightest hint of heat. We drove to Saba Road. It is a quiet stretch of road right off the middle of the busiest area in Richmond. I know, it is kind of weird. On No 3 Road, you risk life and limbs crossing the road there but the moment you turn into Saba Road, you can jaywalk across the street anytime.

The biggest problem of this location is the lack parking … no, I mean the lack of free parking. The city Richmond had learned from Vancouver the ridiculous habit of gouging folks like us through street pay parking. There are plenty of parking spots along Saba Road and yet no one wants to park there. It is $2.50 an hour and it is in effect until 9PM, seven days a week!

Richmondites are mostly stingy people. We don’t believe in pay parking.

You could try to park in the Richmond Public Market and walk over. But when we where there, it was already 7:30PM. I remember that the Richmond Public Market closes their parkade at 8PM.

Without any choice, we had to park on the street.

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The inside of Bubble Fruity is small. Anyway, dessert shops like these need not a lot of space to operate. It is bright, clean and neat. The chairs and tables are definitely from IKEA.

I was surprised to see that they have a CRA award plaque hanging behind the counter. They apparently won the CRA award for Best Dessert. Looks like we are in the right place.

This little dessert place is manned by a husband and wife team. The man who works the front was helpful and friendly especially when we could not decide what we wanted. He even brought Suanne a printout of the menu when he saw Suanne taking notes from the menu on the table.

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The menu above is clickable to display a larger image.

Bubble Fruity serves mainly Hongkong style desserts. Most of the desserts are $4 with some off the menu specials at $6. Those are posted on the windows and walls. They also serve light food like sandwiches and noodles too.

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Suanne had the Durian Flavour Sago Cream ($4). This is served with basil seeds and sago. If you love durians … (more…)

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100% Healthy Dessert on New Westminster Hwy, Richmond – Revisited

Updated: 3rd Nov 2014; This restaurant is closed.

It was really hot the past couple of days, isn’t it? All of the sudden it really felt like summer. For the first time this year, I sweated!

Suanne had been complaining non-stop about the weather and she had been warning me not to go near her. She just wanted to sit near the fan watching TV all day long. If I so much try to sit near her, or accidentally block the fan she will show me the irritated look like she is going to kill me. She only reserves that kind of look for me. I don’t think anyone had seen that look before. She is in a foul mood to say the least.

So when I said, let’s go out for some ice cold dessert … whoa … she brightens up instantly. She knows it is rare that I would suggest going out for sweet dessert. It is not my thing — too feminine. Sweet desserts are for girls. As the saying goes … Real men eat steak, real girls eat sweet desserts. Something like that.

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Since we already had dinner, I thought we go and get something light. Bubble Tea houses would be one choice but it’s too fatteningly sweet. We first went to the Richmond Public Market to get some Ice Kacang. See picture below if you don’t know what Ice Kacang is like.

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Ice Kacang

As we drove into the parkade, we saw the sign that they close at 8PM and that left us just 20 minutes to eat and leave. Too little time to really enjoy it. So we opted for Plan B.

Just across the street from the Richmond Public Market, I remember there was a place called 100% Healthy Dessert. We had been there before (see previous report here).

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The dessert shop is small. The place is almost pleasant. While the place is nice, I think they should have at least cover the back room and kitchen with some curtains or something. Then it will look nicer.

This is more like a youngster hangout. Most customers here are really young (and LOUD!) young people. Maybe it was just when we were there. There were this group of youngsters that were laughing their lungs out the whole time. Hard to ignore them. I thought they could have been a bit more considerate that this is a restaurant and there are other customers.

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We find that 100% Healthy Dessert have really creative desserts on their menu.

Suanne ordered the Aloe Vera de Honeydew ($5.25) which is just perfect for… (more…)

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Alegria Cafe & Giftware in Steveston Village, Richmond

It’s been a while since Polly and I get together due to changes to her work schedule. She finally got some time off on Friday and we resumed our ladies’ meet. But it will not be long as the summer school holiday is approaching soon. Once the kids are off school, so will be our ladies meet ends.

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We decided to meet at Alegria Cafe & Giftware at 12211 First Avenue in Steveston Village. This cafe is opened daily from 8 am to 4 pm.

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This is a neighbourhood cafe. Once you step inside the cafe, you can smell the aroma of food being cooked. Alegria Cafe serves panini, soup and baked goods. It is a self service cafe where you help yourself with the coffee and cutleries and there are also bins for used dishes. By 10:30 am, this place gets quite busy.

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As the name suggests, this is not only a cafe but a giftware store. There are paintings, artworks and jewelry on sales. The artworks are hanged all over the walls as decorations too.

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Even the chairs are painted with lovely motives.

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Polly and I had their Algeria Organic Coffee which comes in (more…)

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Panaderia Latina Bakery Near Joyce Skytrain Station, Vancouver

Often when we mention anything about Bo Laksa King, we get emails and comments suggesting that we should check out the Latina bakery next door. We did and we were quite pleased that we did.

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The Panaderia Latina Bakery is located just next door Bo Laksa King. If you go to Bo’s the next time, I would suggest you also drop by next door to check it out. You will not be disappointed.

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Actually, I think you will be awed. The above is just a small section of what Panaderia has to offer. We were totally overwhelmed with all that they have. Pastries we had never seen before and every single one of them looked so delicious.

For a moment, we were quite uncertain how to go about it without asking stupid questions like “what is this?”. It is perhaps the same feeling like my Mexican friends asking the dim sum lady the same question.

The Panaderia is very South American. They are actually Chilean. And they are very friendly Chilean too. So we were glad they entertained our questions although most of the answers were totally lost in translations.

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The young lady who attended to us told us that they had been running the bakery for the past 5 years having taken over from the previous owner.

One surprising thing I learned is that in the Chilean culture, these pastries are taken during our dinner time at about 6PM! This reminds us of how it was in Spain when we vacationed there last year. For the Chileans, their meal times are as follows:

  • Breakfast: very light consisting of toast and coffee
  • Lunch: Main meal of the day from 1PM to 3PM
  • Afternoon Tea: Pastries and sandwiches from 6PM to 7PM
  • Dinner: After 9PM

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They make very elaborate cakes too. If you can ignore the reflection on the glass display above, you will find that the cakes are beautifully made.

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With the help of the young girl, we had bought some to go. She was so sweet to even write down the names of each and every items we had when she saw that we were struggling with trying to remember them. We could get some of the names wrong below because we relied on our own assumptions when matching the written list with the pictures.

Each of them is very cheap too. The prices ranges from $1.75 to $3.00.

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We couldn’t resist going home to eat them. So we stayed and ate a piece.

The above is called Cone Dulce de Leche (milk caramel) and custard.  It is unbelievably … (more…)

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ABC Country Restaurant on No 3 Road and Capstan Way, Richmond

Running out of idea for cake meet, Polly and I went to ABC Country Restaurant in Richmond. We know that diner style restaurant like Denny’s and ABC Country will have a dessert menu.

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The ABC Country Restaurant in Richmond is located on No 3 Road and Capstan Way, in between Canadian Tire and Yaohan Mall. There are plenty of parking here.

ABC Country was established in 1972 in Cranbrook and now has over 30 franchises in British Columbia and Alberta.

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The interior is dim, coupled with dark coloured furniture and decors. Surprisingly, they are webkinz toys distributor too. The cabinet at the far end in the above photo are filled with webkinz toys. Kids will love this place.

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We had regular coffees for $2.50. The good thing eating in a diner like this is that the refill is free.

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We decided to get something savory first before we indulge in dessert. We ordered the Potato Skins for $8.99.  They are served with salsa and sour cream.

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The Potato Skins is stuffed with cheddar and mozarella and topped with smoked sausage and green onions. This is quite filing for both of us.

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Our first dessert item is Banana Caramel Chimi which is $6.99. It is creamy cheesecake layered with chunks of  banana and butter caramel inside a flaky pastry tortilla. This is served with premium ice-cream and some hot fudge topped with crushed peanuts. We believed the tortilla is deep fried as it is quite crispy. The banana enhanced the richness of the cheese. We enjoyed this one. Our next dessert is their signature … (more…)

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Ebisu Japanese Restaurant on No 3 Rd and Ackroyd Rd, Richmond

Polly and I went to the Ebisu Japanese Restaurant for lunch during the Olympic weeks as we do not want to go to Vancouver with all the restricted parking. It’s kind of hard to find new dessert places too. Recommendations are most welcome. The only requirement is that it must open for breakfast or lunch at least.

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The Ebisu Japanese Restaurant in Richmond is located in the Ackroyd Mall. There are two other Ebisu in Vancouver, Ebisu on Robson and another at West Broadway.

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What brought me to Ebisu in Richmond is the above advertisement. I wanted to try their Izakaya items. But, unfortunately, the above are only available at dinner time. What a bummer.

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Luckily, they have the lunch special going during our visits. It’s $2.88 per item, minimum order of 3 per person. Polly and I opted for the lunch special since they are light tapas.

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Ebisu has clean lines and spacious setting. We were there at 11:30 am when they just open for lunch and I managed to take a photo without the crowd. It was quite full during lunch time. Most of them look like office workers. Service is prompt but not rush.

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We ordered the miso soup for 50cents extra. The miso soup has generous amount of tofu and green onions. Just right for the rainy winter day when we were there.

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We started off with Sesame Seaweed for appetizer. Love the crunchiness of the seaweed and the mild sesame flavour.

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Next, we had the Chikuwa Cheese which is fish cake filled with cheese and deep fried. The melting cheese adds richness to the lightly crunchy fish cake. You have to eat this immediately when served.

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The Prawn and Vegetable Tempura came with … (more…)

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True Confections on Denman, Vancouver

Suanne likes desserts. She likes all kinds of desserts. It does not matter if it is cakes or pastries or ice-cream or cookies … even Asian type desserts like red bean soup. It does not take a lot to get her to go out to have dessert.

She goes for her dessert fix with Polly every Friday. The problem is she has to go according to Polly’s schedule which is only a couple of hours in at noon. The thing is also most of the better dessert places are opened at night.

After the ramen dinner at Benkei, I suggested that we go to True Confections on Denman since we are already around the area. True Confections is one of the places Suanne often says she wanted to eat in.

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There are three True Confections dessert restaurants in Metro Vancouver. The other two restaurants are on West Broadway and North Vancouver.

True Confections is known for their cakes which they say is completely made in the restaurant. They also made sure that they do not have fillers, preservatives but uses only fresh ingredients. So yeah, they take their cakes very seriously.

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Specifically, they are known for their very tall cakes. Some of their more popular ones looks like it is 9-10 inches tall. The ones you see above are not the taller ones, but you get the idea.

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The restaurant was empty on the Friday night we were there. It was the Olympics which drew everyone away to the Olympic zones. We asked the waiter about it and he said it had been very quiet ever since the Olympics started. They had even extended the restaurant in anticipation of more Olympic traffic — but all in vain. I feel for them. If there is anything we could do to help rally people to come to places like this, we would … we should.

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There are cakes, premium chocolate cakes, cheesecakes and stuff like pies and tarts. I knew what Suanne wants … cheesecake. We also cannot ignore their tall PREMIUM chocolates cakes too — they look too good to resist.

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We got the simple Fresh Fruit Cheesecake which costs $8.25. They call this a Montreal-style cheesecake. We were  not sure what that means actually. We did observe that is … (more…)

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