Cafe D’Lite on West Broadway

Updated: 23rd Dec 2014; This restaurant is likely closed as it’s no longer in Urbanspoon.com now.

How was it? How did you like all the snow the past week? LOL!

I’ve never seen so much snow falling in the Vancouver area for as along as I can remember.

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To think of it, it all came even before the official start of winter. Here in Richmond we had almost 2 feet of snow in all. Try walking in the snow and the snow will reach up to your knee.

There is this something about snow … it’s mesmerizing to watch it falling. While it is still powdery and fresh, it’s beautiful until it starts to turn in a slushy mess … or …

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… you try to drive out to the streets. The city of Richmond did not bother to plow the side road until the day of Christmas which made it quite a challenge to get to the main streets. I think the worse is over now because yesterday many parts had turned into puddles of water. Suanne and I ventured out on an errand Vancouver downtown and ended up having lunch out.

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We went to one Malaysian restaurant we had always heard about but never tried before. As a matter of fact, Cafe D’Lite has been on our To-Visit list the past three years or so. It’s just because it was really out of the way for us. Cafe D’Lite located in 3144 West Broadway. Actually it is just next door to the famous Notte’s Bon Ton Pastry. (more…)

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Chilli Padi on Fraser St, Vancouver

Updated: 27th June 2012: This restaurant has closed according to Urbanspoon.com

We met up with Angie (of Sea Salt With Food) again for a Sunday lunch. We wanted to go for Indonesian and choose the Sweet Chili Cafe but it was closed on Sunday. Being already hungry and all set for hot and spicy South East Asian food, we went to the next place we can think of.

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A short drive to 41st and Fraser brought us to Chilli Padi. Chilli Padi is a Malay restaurant and located in the old location of Kedah House (another Malaysian restaurant). I describe Chilli Padi as a Malay restaurant as opposed to a Malaysian restaurant because it serves Malay food. Malaysian food encompasses a wider cuisine that includes Chinese and Indian cuisine.

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Not knowing really what to expect, I was quite surprised how nice and clean Chilli Padi looked compared to Kedah House when it was here. The decor is quite Malay with rustic wooden panels. The place is quite smallish though … smallish but with a cozy feel to it. Most of their customers, we can see, are obviously very Malaysian … Chinese Malaysians and Malay Malaysians.

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We started off by ordering a very popular soup found in Malay hawker stalls. It is actually a more Thai soup than it is Malay. It is a hot and sour soup but what characterize this soup the most is … (more…)

Continue ReadingChilli Padi on Fraser St, Vancouver

Tamarind Hill Malaysian Cuisine in New Westminster

Suanne and I consider Ed and Christina from Doesn’t Tazte Like Chicken as people with sharp mouth. No, I am not saying that they talks a lot. That is a literal translation from the Cantonese expression “Tsim Tsui”. They know food very well alright.

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We had been meeting over dinners once every few weeks. It was our turn to select the location and this time, Suanne and I picked the Tamarind Hill Malaysian Cuisine located in New Westminster. The choice was a hands down choice for us as we know Malaysian food very well.

Tamarind Hill is located on 628 6th Ave. It is located right in front of the Royal City Center’s 7th St parkade entrance. There are lots of street parking but I warn you to be careful about trying to park at the Royal City Center and walking over to the restaurant. We tried to park at the parkade and noticed that there was a guy sitting in a car watching for non-customers parking in the parkade. Never wanting to take a chance, we drove out and parked in the street. Be warned.

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We were all surprised to see how popular Tamarind Hill was on the Saturday night. It was unbelievably packed that night. Moreover, most of their customers were white which is unexpected for us to learn how popular Malaysian food is. We love the place. See above … they do have the coolest looking waiting area, don’t you think?

The dining room is really tight though with chairs and tables packed close one to another. We were so close to our neighboring table we could smell their food … and I am sure they can do ours too.

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We got there a bit early and got ourselves drinks while waiting for Ed and Christina. Suanne ordered the non-alcoholic Mango Colada ($3.75). No rum in this one but I am sure Suanne would love it with a little rum … except that “officially” she does not drink alcoholic stuff. (more…)

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Seri Malaysia on East Hastings, Vancouver

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

Ease, who recommended The Blackberry Bistro to us earlier, told us of another Malaysian restaurant that we should try out. The problem for us is that it is located in the far north eastern side of Vancouver while we live in the south side of Richmond. In short, it meant that it is a long 22 km drive to this restaurant. But we did take that long drive.

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Seri Malaysia is a Malay owned restaurant which is a rarity in Vancouver. As far as we know, this is the only other Malay owned Malaysian restaurant other than The Kedah House. Most other Malaysian restaurants we know are operated by Chinese cooks.

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The place is very typical Malay … very laid back. They are so laid back that even though we were the only customers in the restaurant and that there were two dirty tables with plates left uncollected, they remained left uncollected for the duration of our meal there.

Don’t expect too much from the decor … forget about having any ambiance at all. This is a plain practical place better known for the food, and only the food. The table is covered in clear plastic sheet over plastic lace coverings. Their menu was simple but have enough to satisfy any cravings you may have.

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Oh, one thing I had always wanted to discuss with you all and that is the cutleries used in a Malaysian dining table. For Malaysian (and I believe it goes too for all of South East Asia and even East Asia), the main cutleries used is a fork and spoon. Western tables have fork and knife. I believe the basic difference is that Asian meals involve food that is cut into bite sizes while western meals leaves big pieces of meat and such on the plate (i.e. steak, chicken breasts, etc). Also, Asian meals always have rice and it’s easier to pick up rice with a spoon than a fork.

I don’t know the details, but I recall there was an incident a few years ago in Toronto (?) where a Filipino kid was chastised by her teacher for using fork and spoon. That became a huge issue among the Filipino community. Any of you remember that?

Given a choice and if I am not eating stuff like steak, I prefer the fork and spoon. He he he … old habit die hard!

One more thing … they serve lots of cold water. You will need that because Malay food is very spicy.

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Let’s get back to food. We ordered the Roti Canai … (more…)

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Blackberry Bistro in Richmond’s London Landing

Updated: 30th Dec 2010: this restaurant is closed according to Urbanspoon.

George and Ease recently invited us for dinner. It had been a very long while since we had met up. It must have been something like over three years. We had utmost respect for them and remembered so well how they had supported us in times of need.

A few years ago Arkensen was in hospital. Suanne and I took turns to stay with him in the hospital every night. There was that one day Arkensen had a rough patch and I stayed with him right through lunch and dinner time. Just then when it was late and I don’t expect anyone anymore, George showed up despite his busy schedule. Seeing that I had no eaten yet, George went out scouring for dinner for me. I will never forget that act of selflessness from him.

Ease told us she had been reading our blog all these while. So when Ease contacted Suanne suggested we meet up for dinner, we immediately agreed. We went to this new place call the Blackberry Bistro.

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The Blackberry Bistro is described as a Pan Asian restaurant but to us it is more than that. It is located at the so called “new Shaunessy of Richmond” which I think is more aptly called London Landing. I had been through this place many times before when I was training for the Half Marathon and had always noticed the name Blackberry … this place used to be overrun with blackberries but of late a lot of the industrial buildings had been torn down to make this a new waterfront residential area.

For those who are are familiar with this southern Richmond neighborhood, I want you to know that it’s on 6011 Dyke Road. It is very near where the London Farm and the starting point of the London Landing dykes.

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We had expected a very Asian setting but were quite impressed with the setup. The restaurant had a decidedly modern setting with high ceilings which is lends to it a sense of spaciousness and grandness. This restaurant sure put in a lot of planning and thought into it.

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There is even sofa and fireplace in the eating area upstairs with plasma TV and all (and not playing HK variety shows!). We actually did not expect that there were so many customers but were quite surprised that they had a healthy mix of customers. This is perhaps the only place we had seen so far which serves decidedly authentic Asian food and had more than 50% of the customers who are white. I like that.

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The table setting was well thought out although I think they put in too much effort to making this good. Case in point … the manually wrap and bind the chopsticks and cutleries. The menu too is really cute … which for a moment I thought was a placemat!

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Their menu is very much South East Asian. We had the nice juicy Chicken satay for starters. (more…)

Continue ReadingBlackberry Bistro in Richmond’s London Landing

Coco Chilli in Richmond

Update 19-Jul-2008: Please note that Coco Chilli had now closed. In it’s place now is Pho 99. Click here to read the blog post for Pho 99.

Alexandra Road has a large concentration of restaurants in Richmond. That 1/2 mile stretch from Garden City and the No 4 Road is lined with restaurants. If there is one place we lunch out a lot on weekends, it is here. We go to Kam Do and Silver Tower quite a bit.

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Despite all the visits, we had never stepped into Coco Chilli before. We knew it was there, who would not have noticed the bright yellow facade. It does looked a bit teenager’ish to us and without taking a second glance we thought that it is a bubble tea house or something like that. We were wrong.

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I can’t really figure out what type of a restaurant Coco Chilli is. They have quite a bit of spicy and curry dishes. On one hand, I would say that they are a South East Asian restaurant but then it’s something about it that says that it is a cafe style restaurant.

Whatever it is, they have a very extensive menu. What we like best is that there are lots of pictures on them. Maybe it was bad timing but when we placed our order, all our top choices were not available. They apologized and told us that it is either that the ingredients had not arrived (oysters) or they had ran out of ingredients.

Surprisingly the restaurant is absolutely packed with people. This place must be popular. Despite their popularity, I must add that the bowl I was given had morsels of dried up food still sticking on it. Yucks!

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For drinks we ordered their Coconut Milk with Jelly. It was super rich but refreshing and extremely yummy. (more…)

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Ginger and Garlic Malaysian Restaurant & Grill in Richmond

Arkensen and Nanzaro made a huge protest when mum suggested to go to Ginger and Garlic Malaysian Restaurant. They are getting more and more assertive these days. Given a choice, they will go only to Kam Do or California Cafe … sigh, my boys … 🙂 Well, this week is mum’s week — mum gets to chose where to eat out. Tough luck, guys!

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The Ginger and Garlic Malaysian Restaurant is relatively new. This place used to be the Honolulu Cafe we used to like a lot. If not for the fact that name of the restaurant has the word “Malaysia” on it, frankly, I would not have known that this is a Malaysian restaurant. It’s just that Ginger and Garlic does not really figure much in Malaysian cuisine. It’s not that ginger and garlic is not used but names like belancan, turmeric, or sambal should have been more an apt name. *shrugs*

BTW this is located 7700 block on Westminster Highway in Richmond.

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We ordered the Malaysian Combo Dinner for 2. This one costs $28.80 which includes an appetizer platter, a soup and two main dishes. It started with what they call the Malaysian Platter which included shrimp cakes, spring rolls and roti canai. There are 2 dips included. For my boys, things are looking up … roti canai is their favourite. I can see they are getting a bit more pleased with mum’s choice!

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The Tom Yum Kung Soup is the next on the combo. (more…)

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Tropika in Richmond with ChubbyPanda

Updated: 7th Jan 2015; Tropika is closed in this location.

You know, ever since we started blogging over a year and a half ago, we had never ever met fellow bloggers. We know bloggers by their handles and had gotten to know a lot of them … except their real names and what they really look like.

Chubbypanda is a blogger from Anaheim and is one of our favourite blog sites. He and Cat came up to Vancouver a few weeks ago and we arranged to meet up over … what else … food. He is currently running his series on his visit to Canada.

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Since Chubbypanda wanted to try Malaysian food, I recommended that we meet up in Tropika for dinner. Tropika is one of a handful of fine Malaysian restaurants in the Vancouver area. I know they have three restaurants here. The one we went to is located at the Aberdeen Mall in Richmond. BTW, Suanne had once blogged about this place here.

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The restaurant is bright with the floor to ceiling glass wall looking out from the Aberdeen Mall on two sides of the restaurant. Although they advertised themselves as a Malaysian/Thai restaurant, I really think that they are more Malaysian than Thai and the reason is that Thai food is more recognizable here in Vancouver than Malaysian.

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Ordering was left to me … and I guess I did not make a great impression for the choices I made! Really, I am not familiar with their menu and ended up with a very odd combination. Anyway, first boo-boo was the Fried Hokkien Noodles. Well, I thought it is supposed to be the ones with the same name that we find in KL but this turned out to me more of Chow Mein to me.

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San Francisco Vacation: Melaka Restaurant in San Bruno

Updated: 9th Jan 2015; This restaurant is closed according to Urbanspoon.com.

This buffet is unplanned … honest … cross my heart and hope to die!

We were staying in San Bruno, thereabouts. Each day driving between our hotel and the Caltrain station we can’t help but notice a restaurant called Melaka Restaurant. That word could only mean one thing in the world … it’s the name of one of the oldest city in Malaysia … and that means that it’s a Malaysian restaurant. We simply gotta check it out.

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We found out that it’s a buffet place. And what really made us stay for dinner is the irresistable price … it’s only about $8 or so per person. I can spot a Malaysian anywhere … from the way they dress, their hair style and especially the way they speak.

You know … Malaysians have their own unique English … pretty much a mix of English, Malay and Chinese … we call it Manglish. I have loaded such a song on youtube here — it is not exactly a Manglish song but more Singlish but it’s close.

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I so miss the humble noodles. The mussels were just so-so.

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Red Palms Malaysian Pondok in Richmond

Updated: 20th March 2011 as notified by Crispy Lechon; This restaurant is closed and replaced by Jazz Cafe (Japanese izakaya/robata).

Suanne and I stumbled into this new Malaysian restaurant in Richmond. It had just been opened for 10 days only. For us, it is like striking gold. Woweee, another Malaysian restaurant!!

The Red Palms Malaysian Pondok is such a long name I think. If they had shortened it to just the catchy Malaysian Pondok it would have been better. It is located in the small strip mall just across the Richmond Public Market on Westminster Highway.

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Surprisingly, the restaurant is pretty packed when we were there. We went early but within 30 minutes, the place was full of customers. The service was quite slow and it took a while before our food came. I can see that they were trying their best to be attentive but for some reason they forgot to serve us drinks until we asked for it.

The interior is pretty basic but is very clean. The chairs, lightings and blinds are made of rattan.

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Things looked somewhat familiar until we began to realize that the entire restaurant is basically made from items bought from IKEA, not that there is anything wrong with it. The cutleries, plates, mugs, tables and even the cashier tables are from IKEA.

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They have a very unique way of showing their curry dishes in the menu. Each meat type had a fixed price … it’s something like $9 for beef, $15 for fish, etc. You get to choose 9 (I think) different ways to cook the curry and spices. It ranges from Rendang to Coconut Curry and even Tomato Curry!

We decided on having Fish Head cooked with Masak Kari Laut (Seafood Curry Sauce) which costs $15. They ran out of Fish Head and we decided instead of getting just the Fish which costs the same. They said that the fish used is called “Yee Gau” — don’t know what it is.

Actually we were a bit disappointed with the way the dish looked as we had always had Fish Curry with lots of curry gravy — this is rich and thick. Nevertheless, it tastes OK although it does not look very good. My main complain, there is hardly any meat in this. For $15, we should have tried something else.

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