JB Malaysian Cuisine on Kingsway and Royal Oak, Burnaby

Updated 13th Oct 2014; This restaurant is closed.

We are getting increasingly more emails from our readers recommending restaurants. Since we do not eat out everyday, it is getting harder to follow every recommendation.

However, there is one that came from Audrey that got my attention. It was the mention of Hokkien Mee with Jee Yow Jar. Jee Yow Jar is the Cantonese word for fried pork fat. That sure got my attention!


It is a Malaysian restaurant and for me I will find it hard not to check it out. Moreover this restaurant is just walking distance from my office.

Well, the sad news is that this new restaurant takes over the place vacated by Miki Ramen where we once held a chowtimes event. See what I mean? For every new restaurant that opens, it mostly mean that it is the closure of another.

JB Malaysian Cuisine is located on Kingsway by Royal Oak. For those of you who are familiar with the stalls in the Crystal Mall Food Court, it is the same people who is behind the Triple One Malaysian stall. Yeah, they closed the stall in Crystal Mall and re-opened as JB Malaysian Cuisine.

The word JB refers to the southern city of Johor Baru which borders Singapore. JB is popular with day trippers from Singapore because everything is cheaper there. Singaporeans will go over to JB to eat and shop. They will throng the supermarkets in JB and will buy all sort of things … like toilet papers, cooking oil, etc. Just like we Vancouverites go over to Bellingham for the same thing.

Malaysians always call Singaporeans as Kiasu (scared to lose out), Kiasi (scared to die) and Kia-jingfu (scared of the government). For being Kiasu, they will … (more…)

Continue ReadingJB Malaysian Cuisine on Kingsway and Royal Oak, Burnaby

Mui Garden in Richmond: Food Was Good But Tips Not Necessary

I just want to start off by saying that “nobody is perfect”. We all make mistakes from time to time. What is important is how one deals with the situation when a mistake is made. Don’t ever lie to cover a mistake. It makes things worse. Mistakes, once realized, must be fixed as fast as possible. More about that later …

A couple of weeks ago, the whole family went out to dinner at the Mui Garden in Richmond. I wanted to go there because I ordered the wrong dish during the visit to the other Mui Garden on Victoria and 43rd in Vancouver. In that post, I complained that Curry Chicken which they are supposed to be famous for was terrible. It seems that they have different curry dishes and we got the wrong one. Yeah, there was a barrage of comments on that post telling us (again and again and again!) saying “Hey Ben, you got the wrong curry chicken!”.


The O-C (obsessive compulsive) Ben just gotta go and check the deal curry dishes out or else he keeps thinking about it day in day out. Arkensen is more than happy that dad suggested Mui Garden when I told him “yes, it is in Richmond” and “yes, it is like a HK Style Cafe”. He knows that HK Style Cafe means they have salted fish and chicken fried rice.

The Mui Garden in Richmond had been here forever. They are located on a street called Firbridge Way which no one, including Richmondites, knows the name of. To many, it is just that little side street which connects No 3 Road with Minoru Blvd behind the London Drugs building. It is hidden from the main thoroughfare but yet many people knows of Mui Garden and where it is.

Parking here seems limited but there is a roof top parking above the single storey structure that the restaurant is on. You need to drive round the back and up the ramp. We did not even realize it until we saw that inconspicuous words on the awning.


The dining area is big and it is split into two separate sections. One of the sections is on the upper level overlooking the rest of the restaurant.

There is nothing remarkable about the restaurant. Very typical Chinese restaurant with booth seats and smaller square tables.

The restaurant was … (more…)

Continue ReadingMui Garden in Richmond: Food Was Good But Tips Not Necessary

Mamak Cafe Event

Updated: 4th July 2012; This restaurant had closed according to Urbanspoon.com.

The response was beyond everyone’s expectation.

When we put up an event for chowtimes readers, we thought it would be great if we could get 20 people to attend so that we can fill up the small dining area in Mamak Cafe. The response trickled in hour after hour and when we surpassed 20 people I sent an email to Charles asking him if I should stop accepting more. He wrote back saying “the more the better, the entire place can take 120 people”.

Charles is the man behind Mamak Cafe. He opened this new Malaysian eatery in Gastown and ran it with his wife, Julie. They were the same people who used to operate another Malaysian restaurant called Jonker Street in Yaletown.

Since Charles were confident, Suanne and I went on accepting requests. We began to get concern when the numbers went past 30. I wrote to Charles again and this time no response. I guess he was busy and not an email kind of person. I was concerned because the Mamak cafe is not a very big operation and I was worried that they may not be able to handle such a large group. We had organized an event in a small ramen place with 25 people before and it was quite chaotic when the kitchen was not able to handle the group fast enough and the quality of food suffered.

When the count passed 40, we desperately needed Charles to respond. He was not aware that we are reaching 50 requests and that is when Charles said we better stop at 50. Even though we posted the message that registration closed on chowtimes, at the end we had over 70 requests which we had to put some on standby.

We realized that this is not a simple event even with a dozen people. So, Suanne and I went a week before to meet Charles and his team of volunteers to sort out the logistics, the menu, the program. It became a full fledged project – I was not expecting that!


Thank goodness we had Ada and her friends helping with all the heavy lifting. That makes my work so much more lighter. I am just amazed with Ada … she totally surprised me what she did for the event. For her it had to be top quality work. She even thoughtfully put up a sign outside the restaurant to welcome the guests! I like the red chilli. 🙂

The sign was needed actually and Ada had the hindsight to make it on her own. You see, Mamak Cafe is located in a place that you would least expect to find a Malaysian restaurant. Mamak Cafe is located inside a pub called Pub 340.


The week prior to the event, Charles were still deciding how to setup the dining area. Because of the large number of people, Charles had no choice but to take over part of the pub for the event. There was also the issue of having enough tables and chairs conducive for a sit down meal. I was worried (I worry about everything!) but Charles was cool.

When I showed up early on the day of the event, the place was all set. I was quite pleased with it considering that this is actually a pub.


Needless to say, Charles and Julie was super busy that morning. He was the main man whipping up all the food for 50 people. And it is no joke too that each of the menu items are individually and laboriously prepared.

That included flipping the roti canai dough above, grilling the satays, boiling the bak kut teh, cooking the rendang, simmering the curry chicken, preparing the acar, making the prawns sambal, steaming the coconut rice, frying the mee goreng, and pulling the teh tarik. It is not easy especially he had to do that for 50 people.

Charles was handling it very well under pressure. I popped into the kitchen once and see if I could help but seeing the kitchen hard at work, I thought I better stay out and let the man do his thing.



Ada even prepared a nice write-up of the event and the dishes of the courses of the event. I expected something word-processed and printed off a laser printer.

My jaws dropped when I saw the output … fully desktop published and printed in full color. Yeah … next time chowtimes have an event, I am going to see if I could get Ada to do this sort of stuff for me. LOL!

I think one of the reason for the good response was that it was a good deal given by Charles and Julie to chowtimes readers. Charles created a menu specifically for the event which he charges only $12. The menu are spread over 4 courses and includes: (more…)

Continue ReadingMamak Cafe Event

Penang Delight Cafe: “Got-got-got. Everything Also Got.”

Suanne and I don’t normally return to the “crime scene”.

Once we write about a restaurant, we hardly go back for a second visit. There are simply too many other restaurants out there for us to visit and write about. What more, all you readers out there has this insatiable appetite for more new posts on restaurants.

But this time I am gonna make an exception. We re-visited Penang Delight with Ron and Nancy again to try dishes we missed the first time we were here.

You see, we were very “mm-gum-yuen” from our previous visit (see post here). We were there on the first day of business and the restaurant was completely overwhelmed with the reception they had. Almost everything we wanted to order on their menu, they ran out of it.

Assam Laksa –> sorry!
Pan Mee –> sorry!
Penang Char Koay Teow –> sorry!
Bah Kut Teh –> sorry!
Loh Mein –> sorry!

So yeah, our heart is so “mm-song” already. You know the feeling right? It is like unrequited love.

Something like that.


Oh … for those of you who wants to know what the words “mm-gum-yuen” mean, well, there is no good translation for it. Maybe there is but I can’t find a good English word for it. It is something like feeling unsatisfied but not in a negative way. It is more like unsatisfied in an emo way.

Something like that.

So we made a vow to return to Penang Delight. That list of dishes they ran out of the first day of business rose to the top of our bucket list. In Malaysia, we have a Manglish expression for it.

“Die-die also must eat!”

So, yeah-lah … we all die-die also must eat. We die-die also must go back.

This time round, it was my turn to make the reservation. Some more, Ron and Nancy made me call Penang Delight to make sure they have all the dishes we missed the last time. So, I called them … twice! I need to make sure.

I wanted to call twice because the first time I called them, they sounded very busy and did not want to chat.

Ben: Assam Laksa got or not?
Penang Delight: Got-got-got

Ben: Pan Mee got or not?
Penang Delight: Got-got-got

Ben: Penang Char Koay Teow got or not?
Penang Delight: Got-got-got

Ben: Wha about Bah Kut Teh, got or not?
Penang Delight: Got-got-got

Ben: Loh Mein? Got or not?
Penang Delight: Got-got-got … everything also got.

I did not trust them and so I called the second time a day later just to see if they will give me the same “got-got-got” answer.


Wah-lau! Got style!

I was totally surprised to see the sign above when we got there. Although I did not tell them that I am Ben of chowtimes when I made the reservation, I think they were expecting this Ben. I think they were monitoring the comments made on the Penang Delight post where I did mention we are going.

Just in case that maybe Penang Delight might be mentioning names on every table that is reserved. Nope. All the other reserved tables have the normal “Reserved” sign. Ah … this table is special, you reckon? LOL!

Yeah, Penang Delight did realize that it was “chowtimes” who brought them quite a number of referrals.

And this makes me worried a bit because I realize that when I say “it’s nice”, the word nice gets magnified a bit. I better be more careful with what I say! Better still, ignore what I say on this blog and just be entertained by the stories. Deal?


Wah-lau! Got free snack some more!

As we were getting settled, the manager came over and gave us some Heong Peah which I once blogged about. He said his friend from Malaysia brought some over and wanted us to have it.

These stuff is precious. It is something we can’t get here. Super flaky and will disintegrate on the first bite. There is a technique to eat it but I’ll explain next time.


There was a long string of discussion on Pan Mee on the first Penang Delight post (which BTW generated a whopping 133 comments). So, the first order of business that day has got to be the Pan Mee.

The Penang Pan Mee is $9. I can’t believe it had been a long time since I had this and have forgotten about this dish. The strange thing is all the Malaysian restaurants had failed to offer this even though it is not a difficult dish to make.

My mum makes this at home a lot. She uses the “mit” (tearing) method which is by far the best way to make the doughy “noodles”. However, the “mit” type is labourious to make. So, most restaurants will make it using …


Continue ReadingPenang Delight Cafe: “Got-got-got. Everything Also Got.”

Mui Garden: Excellent Hainanese Chicken But The Curry Chicken Is Supposed To Be Good?

I am sitting here trying to figure out if MUI Garden should be categorized as a HK Style Cafe or not. Which brings to an interesting point – what characteristics defines a HK Style Cafe?

The brand is reportedly from Hong Kong but they are known more for their Malaysian dishes. Yet at  the same time you can’t really call them a Malaysian restaurant, not when you scan their menu.


There are four Mui Garden locations with two in Vancouver, one in Richmond and the other in Burnaby. The main one is located on Victoria Drive and 43rd Avenue in Vancouver. This is the first of the four Mui Gardens.

On their website, Mui Garden also claim that they were an established restaurant in Hong Kong prior to opening in Vancouver. I tried googling this but I can’t find anything with Mui Garden in Hong Kong at all. Does anyone from Hong Kong knows about their original operations in Hong Kong?

Anyway, Mui Garden is well known for their two Malaysian dishes: the Hainanese Chicken Rice and Malaysian Curry Chicken. These are the two dishes we wanted to try.


Mui Garden had been in the local restaurant scene for a long time having started in 1992. They do brand themselves as a HK Style Cafe according to their website. After almost 20 years, they are still going strong but it does seems like they are in the dire need to rebrand themselves.

The restaurant was running at capacity for lunch the day we were there. There is even a short wait for tables for people who came after. Most of the customers looked like they are regulars and they are from the neighborhood.

How can I tell?

A few weeks ago, Suanne and I had dinner with Grayelf, JS and TS. We had an interesting conversation about “home clothes”. It simply dawned on me that the concept of “home clothes” is quite foreign in the western world. You see, for Asians, we have clothes which we wear at home and those that we wear when we go out. The shabbier worn-out ones are for home. When we go out, we take a shower and out on go-out clothes. The further we go, well, the better we dress. So if it is to the restaurant around the corner from our home, it is simpler than say, we go all the way out to Vancouver.

So the clothes that the customers wear in Mui Garden are the ones we would wear if we were going to the restaurant around the block. Hehehe … what say you? Is that how you would tell if the customers were from the neighborhood?

Service was quick and efficient but really nothing remarkable. They are well staffed and most of the waitresses looked like they are lifelong employees. How can I tell? I’ll let you figure that out.

The restaurant is obviously showing its age and pretty seasoned. I am not surprised that Mui Garden is no longer a destination restaurant drawing new customers. They are on cruise mode. They have steady, regular customers and they have made a name for themselves based on two main dishes.


I don’t recall that they have a combo menu like the ones you see in all HK Style Cafes. I am talking about the ones that has a main, drink and soup for a low price. I did not notice because we were here for their two main dishes.

Other than the two main dishes, the rest of the menu are unexciting. You may click on the menu above to show larger. Take a look at the first page above, items #20 to #22. Yeah, they have that too.

What they touting was their “Authentic Malaysian Curry”. They are called out right under the logo of the restaurant. You can see that everywhere – on the menu, on the sandwich board outside and on their website. You can’t miss it coming here. I just can’t wait to try it again (last time we were here was way before chowtimes days).


One of their two signature dishes is the Hainanese Chicken. This is $10.50 for a half-bird which is … (more…)

Continue ReadingMui Garden: Excellent Hainanese Chicken But The Curry Chicken Is Supposed To Be Good?

Malaysian Hut Restaurant on 108 Ave and 148 St, Surrey

We would normally have not contemplated on travelling so far for food knowing that there are so many great places around. But we did. We went from Richmond to the Guildford area in Surrey in search of the Malaysian Hut Restaurant last week.

It is not that we had never been to Malaysian Hut before. We were there almost 5 years ago and did blog about them in one of the earliest blog posts (see link here). The reason why we made that trek to Surrey was because of the comments made on the Penang Delight post. That post drew an amazing 108 comments! Many of the comments urged us to go check out the Malaysian Hut Restaurant again.

And so we did.


The Malaysian Hut Restaurant is located on 108th Avenue and 148th St in Surrey. With an address like that it should be easy to find. However, spotting this from the street is not as easy. We drove past this place because we were looking out for a place that looked like a restaurant. Instead, it is located in a block of industrial building.


The Malaysian Hut Restaurant sure looked much better today compared to what we remembered the last time we were here. It looked like they had just recently painted the inside a bright orange and this gives the place a nice warm glow. There are a few faux Malaysian decor of wood carvings which looked more Thai than it is Malaysian but we had gotten used to it. Many Malaysian restaurants just put up decorations from South East Asia and passing it off as Malaysian because most people would not know better anyway.

The restaurant seats about 30 people max. It has been operating here for 12 years already. It does say a lot about the longevity of the restaurant isn’t it? I read somewhere recently that restaurants lasts about 10 years on the average in Vancouver. I was surprised when I first heard it because 10 years is not a long time to put ones heart and soul into running a restaurant.

As we walked in, we could smell the aroma of belacan. That is a good sign! To us it is aromatic but I do understand why some who are not familiar with Malaysian cooking would describe it as pungent odor and not aromatic. LOL!

It was very quiet on a Saturday afternoon when we were there. We were the only customers until much later when another group came in.


You may click on menu page above to show a larger image.

Malaysian Hut Restaurant menu is not very big. The items are mostly general Malaysian dishes that you find other restaurants with a few rarer items such as Gado-Gado, Pulut Panggang, and Penang Ha Mee.

Check out the Specialty Orders section on the third page above. There are four items that require one day advance order and that includes Bah Kut Teh, Sambal Belacan Kangkung, Popiah and Sambal Brinjal. I can understand that Popiah part (because of the number of ingredients that need to be made fresh) but the other dishes are quite common on other restaurant’s common menu.

The owner of the restaurant is from Miri, Sarawak in East Malaysia. This restaurant is a Chinese Malaysian restaurant like most Malaysian restaurants are in Metro Vancouver with the exception of Kedah House and Seri Malaysia.

The prices are reasonable. Most of them are below $10 a dish.


The Roti Canai is $4. It was delightfully authentic, flaky and crispy as what a good roti canai is meant to be. However, it was also disappointingly … (more…)

Continue ReadingMalaysian Hut Restaurant on 108 Ave and 148 St, Surrey

Penang Delight Cafe on Rupert and 22nd Avenue, Vancouver

I am excited over the opening of the newest Malaysian restaurant in Vancouver. This restaurant could very well turn out to be the best Malaysian restaurant. From what I experienced two days ago, I think they have what it takes to be successful in the long run.

Just last week, Ron and Nancy emailed us about the impending opening of this restaurant in their neighborhood. Knowing that we from Malaysia, they asked us if we would like try it. Of course, we would. We would not pass on an opportunity like that.


The Penang Delight Cafe is located on Rupert and 22nd Avenue in Vancouver. As a matter of fact, they are located just next door to Kimura.

From the outside, I like the look of the restaurant. The lighted sign outside made sure it caught our attention. One thing that struck me was two opposing information on their signboard. On the right side, they have a tag line that says “Fine Malaysian Cuisine” but yet on the left side, there is a logo in the image of a hawker stall. I thought it was kind of funny.

I was just thinking what is with the word “Delight”. It seems like the Malaysian restaurants in Vancouver likes to use that word. I know of two other Malaysian with that word: Hawkers Delight, Cafe D’Lite and Orchid Delight.


I did not know that but apparently they were opened officially for the first day the day we were there. It was absolutely packed and there was a line up at the door.

Even though we had reservation, we had to wait 20 minutes before we had a table ready for us. So while waiting, we looked at their menu. That was when I overheard the waitresses saying they ran out of some dishes. I think they did not anticipate the volume of business on their first day.

And that is NOT good for us.

The restaurant is clean but seating are tight. This is not a big restaurant. We think it seats about 30 people, max. The manager (picture above, behind the counter) flashed his peace sign when I took the picture. He was friendly and obviously excited with the reception that they are having. When he saw me taking that shot, he came over and asked me if I am from a Chinese newspaper. I just smiled and did not say anything. Anyway, Suanne and I always had a problem explaining to people that we are bloggers because we don’t know how to say it in Chinese.

The walls are decorated with black and white photos of scenery and food from Malaysia. The manager told us that those are his pictures.


Ron and Nancy left all the ordering to me. I gladly took that responsibility. 🙂

I wanted more time to look over the menu carefully. So I decided to first order drinks.

I love their drinks. It is exactly the same way as it is served in Malaysia, right down to the Kopi-O cups. Gosh, those cups with the green flower design are from my dad’s era! The design had never changed after 50 years and it is still the same. The manager told me that he imported them from Malaysia. I like it because he wants to give it a real authentic feel.

I decided to order four different types of popular hot drinks. They are all $1.50 each and not big cups. This is the typical size served in Malaysia.

First of all I ordered Milo (we as kids call them Mee-Lok, not My-Lo). The manager said that he also ships the Milo in their 1.5kg tins from Malaysia. You can get Milo in Vancouver but it is not the same. The version in Malaysia is more creamier and more chocolaty. Thumbs up. When I was young, I always have a glass of hot Milo before I go to bed. My mum was always complaining that our consumption of Milo is so high that we can easily empty the 1.5kg tin in less than a week. I know … some of you readers in Malaysia is gonna laugh at me for getting so excited over Milo. 🙂

I also ordered the Ipoh White Coffee. You will love this uniquely Malaysia coffee. The beans are roasted with … (more…)

Continue ReadingPenang Delight Cafe on Rupert and 22nd Avenue, Vancouver

Pacific Plaza Food Court, Richmond

I can’t remember who now now but someone told us that there is a stall in the Pacific Plaza Food Court that serves good laksa … one that would give Bo’s Laksa the run for the money. That is an interesting comment because Bo’s Laksa to us is currently the king of laksa. To dethrone him would not be easy … but yeah, I am hoping that someday someone will serve laksa better than his … with cockles.

With RAW cockles!

I was away on work last week. It was a grueling three days of workshop that I had to facilitate and by the end of it I was just totally exhausted. I mean, I ate well but I can tell you that Atlanta is a culinary wasteland. I had lots of steaks. I had lots of fried chicken and collard greens. But at the end of it, I really crave Asian food. So, at the Atlanta airport, I was already discussing with Suanne over the phone where we are going out for food the moment I land at YVR.

[googlemaps https://maps.google.ca/maps?f=q&source=embed&hl=en&geocode=&q=Pacific+Plaza+Dental+Centre,+8888+ODLIN+CRES,+Richmond,+British+Columbia+V6X+3Z8&sll=49.891235,-97.15369&sspn=49.555967,114.169922&ie=UTF8&hq=Pacific+Plaza&hnear=Pacific+Plaza,+8888+ODLIN+CRES,+Richmond,+Greater+Vancouver+Regional+District,+British+Columbia+V6X+3Z8&layer=c&cbll=49.184669,-123.126747&panoid=hJxl6pn6IEx2Huw91xj0jw&cbp=13,140.31,,0,-5.37&ll=49.184178,-123.125992&spn=0,0.051498&z=14&output=svembed&w=600&h=400]

There is no better place than to go to a food court. We decided to go to the Pacific Plaza to check out the laksa there hoping that maybe, just maybe the laksa there would be even better than Bo’s laksa.

The Pacific Plaza is a mall that many people know it’s there but not know what the name is. It is located on Cambie Road and Odlin Crescent. It is also the building where the very good Sushi Hachi is.


The Pacific Plaza is not exactly a shopping mall. There are many small businesses here catering undoubtedly to the Chinese community. There is a few odd religious operations here too. Suanne and I don’t normally have a reason to come here at all.

Most people will never know that there is a food court here. See the lady standing on the second floor? Well, that is the entrance to the food court. From afar you would think it is just another office.


Yeah … just one little sign.


The food court is not too big. It is definitely the quietest of all food courts we have seen in Richmond. Even the food court in the Empire Center is busier. The customers there seems to be people who works in the area. This is so slow here that everyone … customers and operators were all fixated on the Chinese serials showing on the TV. It was showing an old Canto TV series called “Chern Ching” (translated as Love Of The Family) … the only one series I had watched from start to finish eons ago.

Only five stalls were opened — all of which were pretty interesting. All the stalls that are opened have a large offering with lots of signs pasted on the stalls. We counted about 5 other empty stalls.

But we like it. Like the FC in the Empire Center, we like slow, quiet food courts like this. The food offering seems pretty good too as you will see later. You don’t really need a lot of stalls in a food court to be good. All you need is just a few good stalls.


Gee Taste Good is the name of the stall that we were coming for the laksa. They describe themselves as South East Asian Specialty.

This was more than expected. There are a lot of Malaysian food served here, not just laksa. And they are in pictures too. It seems like this stall had been featured several times in the print media before which they proudly show.

As much as we wanted to try other dishes too, we decided to stay the course and go for the laksa.


This is it … the laksa that is supposed to as good as Bo’s laksa. You can order this either with chicken or with prawns. We asked for chicken as chicken is the most common meat served with laksa anyway in Malaysia.

We asked that this be made extra spicy. Depending on the ingredient ordered, it is between $5.50 and $6.00 a bowl.

So, how was it? (more…)

Continue ReadingPacific Plaza Food Court, Richmond

Kelong Singapore Restaurant on No. 3 Road, Richmond

Updated: 9th Dec 2010: This restaurant has been closed.

Minoo had initially planned to visit 2 temples on the same day, i.e. a Sikh temple followed by a Chinese temple. But, we ran out of time after the Sikh temple. So, we gathered again the next day for the field trip to the International Chinese Temple.

The International Chinese Temple is located on Steveston Highway. There is a beautiful Chinese garden in the compound of the temple. When we were there, there was a group of photographers of some photography group from Oregon taking photos in the garden.


We intended to have lunch at the vegetarian restaurant in the temple. Unfortunately, the vegetarian restaurant was closed for renovation for 2 months. So, we quickly came up with a plan B and ended up at Kelong Singapore Restaurant on No. 3 Road.


The restaurant was not too busy on a weekday during our visit. Tables were decorated with batik cloth to reflect it’s South East Asian identity.


For starters, we had roti canai which comes with a curry sauce. The roti canai was flaky as it should be but it was relatively small.


Another starter we had was satay. We had various kind of satay, i.e. chicken, beef, and pork. The satay were served with peanut sauce which came with a small saucer. More sauce would be nice.


Since most of the members of this group have not try Singaporean food before, we ordered quite a lot to try. Their lunch special … (more…)

Continue ReadingKelong Singapore Restaurant on No. 3 Road, Richmond

Kurumba Cuisines of Asia on St Johns Street, Port Moody

I don’t normally travel that far just to check out a restaurant as you know. There are a lot more places that we have never try before within 20 minutes drive from home. OK, maybe I would take a long drive if it is just Suanne and I. With the boys, it is not that easy. They will grumble and complain the moment we drive over the bridge … any bridge. As long as we keep within the boundary of the island that is Richmond, they are fine.

But this one is different.

Earlier this month, Mike wrote to us about this restaurant that he likes a lot. He was telling us about the owner chef who specializes on Sri Lankan food and named a few dishes that he had tried that sounded very interesting.


This time, we did not tell the boys where we are going. They kept asking. I kept telling them it’s a secret. When they saw me driving along Stevestons Highway and then onto Highway 99, they knew it is not good. They knew it is not going to be anywhere in Richmond. Then I turned onto Highway 91 and that very instant both of them knew something is not right. We are going somewhere far far away. LOL!

They even timed the journey and told me that I took away 45 minutes of their life cooped up in the car. *shrug*

Kurumba is located on St Johns Street in Port Moody. We had never blogged about any restaurant in Port Moody before. We even had to create a new “Vancouver Restaurants > Port Moody” category just for this post.


The inside of the restaurant is very clean and neat. It is an average sized restaurant — maybe seats 40 or so. We made reservation thinking that this restaurant might be very popular but it seems like reservation was totally unnecessary. At 5:30PM, we were the only customers. There was a table that had a reserved sign prearranged for 12 people though which I thought is a positive sign.

Service was really good. They have three front staff who were really friendly and helpful. The more senior one, we initially mistook for the owner because she was boldly asking us about the camera and straight away asked if we were journalists. We said no and that we just like taking pictures of the food we eat. Often an employee will not ask so point blankly but an owner would.

It turned out that the senior lady is just in charge of the dining area. I thought that for a restaurant this quiet, they are over staffed.

We learned a few things. Since Mike said that this is a Sri Lankan restaurant, I assumed that the name Kurumba came from the name of the largest city in Sri Lanka, Colombo. Wrong. It is named after a kind of coconut common in Sri Lanka.


This is going to be confusing, I know. I am kind of confused myself. Mike says that this is a Sri Lankan restaurant and that the chef is Chinese who lived for a long time in Sri Lanka. When I asked the senior lady about the chef, she said that the chef was a Malaysian and the mum of the chef is from Indonesia. See what I mean when I say I am confused.

It kind of figured because the signage outside the restaurant (see 1st picture above) says “Kurumba Restaurant — Cuisines of Asia”.

The restaurant had been in operation for three years already and yet they are relatively unknown. There is no word of this restaurant on Urbanspoon but at least on Dinehere.ca there are quite a number of entries. Anyway, when you look for restaurant reviews what do you normally use? I mean aside from blogs. I find that I trust dinehere.ca more than Urbanspoon. Urbanspoon is too lop sided if you know what I mean. Yelp? I don’t even check them anymore. Both Urbanspoon and Yelp, I find, prey on reviewers vanity by giving them incentive to review more to get a higher rank. Anyway, I digressed.

I find it kind of puzzling why this restaurant had flew under the radar for so long because the food here is more than decent. It was pretty good.


When we read the menu, it made more sense. Most of the menu items are Sri Lankan and Malaysian dishes, albeit Chinese Malaysian dishes.

The Sri Lankan dishes are easily identified. Most of the have the word “Sri Lankan …” on it. 🙂

Then there is dishes with words like sambal, roti canai amidst other Chinese Malaysian dishes.

The menu speaks of spiciness in a lot of the dishes too. The thing is that they did not indicate if the dishes are spicy nor did they ask us how spicy we want it — just like in Asia, they don’t ask you. They will make it as spicy as it is meant to be. And oh boy … it is spicy. Both Suanne and I broke sweat eating here which is rare because we grew up eating chilli every day.


The Char Ho Fun is their most popular dish. Even Mike was telling us that he saw many people ordering the few times he was there.

We ordered the seafood version which is $12. It is available with beef or chicken version which is a dollar cheaper.

Fantastico … made just like the way we remember it in Malaysia. This is not spicy of course and is common to Chinese Malaysian. In KL this is popularly known as Cantonese Fried Noodles or Gong Fu Chow but this one has more sauce.

The sauce is what makes this dish great. It is a thick … (more…)

Continue ReadingKurumba Cuisines of Asia on St Johns Street, Port Moody