Rhino’s Kitchen at Lansdowne Mall, Richmond

Updated 3rd Oct 2014; This restaurant is closed.

Nanzaro told me that there is a new Hong Kong style restaurant in Lansdowne Mall. He saw that in a flyer while I’m not around town. But he cannot remember the name of the restaurant. I could not search any information about the restaurant since I do not know the name. However, Nanzaro said it’s part of the Top Gun group. So, I checked the Top Gun group website and still there is no information of any Hong Kong style restaurant. My guess is that the new restaurant must be at the old California Cafe location.

Rhino's-Kitchen-Lansdowne-Mall-Richmond-1

My guess is right on the dot. We went there on Saturday around noon and there was a line. The boys did not want to wait. So, we came back on Sunday just after their opening hour, 11:00am. We reached Rhino’s Kitchen at 11:15am and the manager told us there is a 20 minutes wait. Well, this time we waited.

Rhino's-Kitchen-Lansdowne-Mall-Richmond-Menu-3

Nanzaro is right about Rhino’s Kitchen belongs to the Top Gun Group. The above poster was displayed at the door. You can click on it to have a larger view. Being part of the Top Gun Group, I think the card holder will enjoy some kind of discount. Anyway, I’m not a card holder, so I do not know what is the discount like.

Rhino's-Kitchen-Lansdowne-Mall-Richmond-6

We waited for almost 30 minutes before we got a table. The restaurant is really busy. Apparently, it has just opened for a week. I overheard the manager chatting with a customer that the staff is not experienced enough to handle the crowd.

The partitions in the restaurant make it feel a bit cramp but it did create a bit of privacy instead a big open space. The wall is decorated with pictures of rhinos. I wonder what is behind the name Rhino. Anyone has any idea?

Rhino's-Kitchen-Lansdowne-Mall-Richmond-3

Unlike most Chinese restaurant which will serve hot tea without asking, here the server will ask if you want hot tea or ice water before serving. It’s a good practice so that we dont have to end up with two extra cup of hot tea which my boys dont drink. They always ask for ice water.

Rhino's-Kitchen-Lansdowne-Mall-Richmond-Menu-2Rhino's-Kitchen-Lansdowne-Mall-Richmond-Menu-1

Rhino’s Kitchen has the typical Hong Kong style food. On top of that they also have the Build Your Own Noodle Combo for $7.25. You can click on the menu to have a larger view.

Rhino's-Kitchen-Lansdowne-Mall-Richmond-Menu-5

The above is the order sheet for the Build Your Own Noodle Combo and Rice/Spaghetti combo. You can click on it to have a large view.

Rhino's-Kitchen-Lansdowne-Mall-Richmond-7

Arkensen ordered an item from the Rice/Spaghetti Combo. He ordered the Baked Pork Chop Rice for $8.25. The combo came with … (more…)

Continue ReadingRhino’s Kitchen at Lansdowne Mall, Richmond

Hollywood Steak House on Leslie Road, revisited

It’s always a nightmare to find a parking spot in any eatery in Richmond during the weekend. I was rounding from one restaurant to another and finally found a parking spot at Hollywood Steak House. We had blogged about Hollywood Steak House in 2007. It’s time for a revisit.

Hollywood-Steak-House-Richmond-10

Hollywood Steak House is located on Leslie Road, a side road from the ever busy No. 3 Rd. I’m surprised that there were ample parking spots here.

Hollywood-Steak-House-Richmond-2

This place looks nicer that what I remembered. Even the chairs have covers. There are 2 flat screen TVs too.

Hollywood-Steak-House-Richmond-1

Since this is a Hong Kong style cafe, we had hot and ice milk tea for our drinks which come with the our meal order. There is $1 extra charge for the cold drinks.

Hollywood-Steak-House-Richmond-3

Nanzaro got the more expensive dish. The above Shrimp Paste Rice Noodle is $9.95. We could smell … (more…)

Continue ReadingHollywood Steak House on Leslie Road, revisited

Flo Tea Room in Richmond

When Marian, Emily, Lorna and me had a meet up at the Yuemicka Noodle House which ended up to celebrate Marian’s birthday, we vouched to get together again for the next birthday among us. September is Emily’s birthday. I tried to organize a lunch since mid September but we just cant have a date that suit all. After several dates being postponed, Marian finally suggested that we get together first without the birthday girl and organized another meet up for Emily’s birthday. So, Marian, Lorna and me met up at Flo Tea Room in Richmond.

Flo-Tea-Room-Richmond-1

Flo Tea Room has two locations; one on Granville St and this Richmond location is a new addition. This location used to be Ginger and Garlic Malaysian Restaurant & Grill. The original Flo Tea Room on Granville St. is a Taiwanese place with bubble tea. So, I thought the new Flo Tea Room in Richmond will be the same.

Flo-Tea-Room-Richmond-4

The Flo Tea Room in Richmond looks nicer than the old Ginger and Garlic. It must have been renovated when Flo Tea Room took over the restaurant.

Flo-Tea-Room-Richmond-Menu-1Flo-Tea-Room-Richmond-Menu-2Flo-Tea-Room-Richmond-Menu-3Flo-Tea-Room-Richmond-Menu-4

We were quite surprise to find that the menu is more like HongKong style with the addition of some Taiwanese snacks and bubble tea. You can click on the menu to have a larger view. The menu is elaborate, range from snacks, salad, soup, vegetarian, hot pot, set meals, western, special eastern and noodle soup.

Flo-Tea-Room-Richmond-8Flo-Tea-Room-Richmond-9

We ordered two drinks to try. The one on the right is Mango Slush with crystal jelly for $4.50. It is quite sweet. The one on the right is Taro Milk Tea with crystal jelly for $4.25. We did not even get to try the taro milk tea as we were very full at the end. I took the drink home and tried it later. I found the taste was kind of artificial.

Flo-Tea-Room-Richmond-7

For appetizer, we ordered the Roti Canai for $5.25. Roti canai is a Malaysian street food. The roti canai here is not as flaky and crispy. It came with a very mild curry sauce.

Flo-Tea-Room-Richmond-5

The roti canai came with a drink. Marian opted for a Coffee Tea Mix (Yin Yeong). It has pretty strong flavour.

Flo-Tea-Room-Richmond-10

For the main course, we opted for a special of the day called Duck with Pamelo Skin. The dish which came with steamed rice and steamed bok choy … (more…)

Continue ReadingFlo Tea Room in Richmond

U Good Restaurant on Union Square, Richmond: No Longer Just Hot Pot

Updated 9th Oct 2014; This restaurant is closed.

We had always thought that U Good is a hot pot restaurant. That is why we had never quite had the desire to give them a second glance unless we want to go for hot pot.

Yeah, they started off as a hot pot restaurant and indeed they are known to be one. The other thing that we did not take a closer look was that, this being a hot pot restaurant, their windows are often misted up. So we could not even take a look as we drive past.

U-Good-Restaurant-Richmond-15

I don’t know when this happened but U Good had stealthily changed their name by dropping the words “Hot Pot” from their sign. I knew they were closed for a bit sometime last year. Maybe that was when it happened.

That day when we visited, Suanne and I were unsure of where we wanted to go for dinner since the boys were away again for their extra curricula activities. We thought we just go to the Union Square in Richmond and walk around to see if there is anything that will pique our interest. There are quite a few restaurants in Union Square that we have never blogged about before anyway.

We were not interested in having hot pot but we happened to park right in front of the restaurant. What we saw was … wow, this is not a hot pot restaurant only. As a matter of fact, they are now a HK Style Cafe AND a Hot Pot restaurant. We were not aware of that transformation and so I am thinking here that there could be a number of people who are not aware of another HK Style Cafe in their midst.

The restaurant is quite big. If I am not mistaken, they had expanded to take up two shop lots. It is like a two-in-one place. On one side is still set up as a hot pot place with built in burners and sprinkler systems. On the other side it is like what you see in a HK Style Cafe — booth tables and all.

When we were there, there were more customers having hot pot than there were on the HK Style Cafe side.

U-Good-Restaurant-Menu-1U-Good-Restaurant-Menu-2U-Good-Restaurant-Menu-3

This is not a AYCE (all you can eat) hot pot restaurant. Click on the menu pages above and you will see what I mean. The hot pot is individual plate orders and they serve the plates in a nice gold multi-tier serving platters.

We did not have the hot pot but they do look like a higher end, better quality kind of hot pot. The soup base is $5.00 to $10.00. The meats are mostly in the $4.00 to $5.00 range. There are also more expensive (“current price”) meats on the menu too like … (more…)

Continue ReadingU Good Restaurant on Union Square, Richmond: No Longer Just Hot Pot

New Mitzie’s Restaurant in Chinatown: In Search For National Dishes

Dashed!

Last weekend, Suanne and I went to check out a new and exciting little restaurant that had just recently hit town. Let’s see how many of you can guess which restaurant I am talking about. Here are some clues for you:

  • It serves an ethnic cuisine that is rare in Vancouver. There are two other restaurants that covers this ethnic cuisine but they are nowhere near what this restaurant does.
  • It is small and family owned. Limited seats. At max, only 18 at an incredible squeeze.
  • They don’t have a signboard outside the restaurant. When asked why, they said they cannot keep up and dare not let anyone know more about them until they deal with the overwhelming demand.

We thought we be smart and go and have lunch at 2:30PM and guess what … the restaurant was packed with people waiting for a table even at that hour. There was no way we will get a table for the next 1.5 hours.

We wanted to try their national dish which is a bean-based dish but like I said “dashed!”. We made all the way there and thought we would be OK at 2:30PM for lunch. Now I know why my friend was raving about this new little place. The people were really nice people and was apologetic that they are unable to seat us. Before we left, we looked at the sweet lady and vowed “We shall return!”.

Let’s see if anyone of you can make a right guess which restaurant I was talking about above. Any guess?

New-Mitzies-Restaurant-1

OK, here is another clue. The small new restaurant I was talking about is quite near this place above.

Since we were already in the neighborhood, Suanne and I needed to come up with a Plan B. We figured that since we could not try that national dish in the small new restaurant, we go instead to try another national dish.

It just so happen that it was the Burmese Water Festival that day and the national dish of Burma (Myanmar) is Mohinga. We remember Grayelf telling us that Mitzie’s have good Mohinga on their menu.

With disappointment in our hearts, we walked over to Mitzie’s instead. But really, it was a good and interesting alternative. We like trying new exotic dishes.

New-Mitzies-Restaurant-2

The New Mitzie’s Restaurant is the name of this restaurant. Being just a “teenager” in Vancouver, my knowledge of such old establishments goes only so far. I am guessing the “New” in their name was a result of a change of ownership at some point. Yeah, I love learning and reading of the historical backgrounds of these restaurants.

Does anyone know the origin of that name Mitzie’s?

Anyway, the New Mitzie’s is basically a Hong Kong Style Cafe. The interior is dated. Sitting there Suanne and I did feel like … (more…)

Continue ReadingNew Mitzie’s Restaurant in Chinatown: In Search For National Dishes

My Lunch: Cattle Cafe on Kingsway, Burnaby

Let’s see … 47 hours more to go before the project I am working on goes live. Whew. There was lot of last minute issues that we still have. Very busy since 5AM this morning. Helping the team keep calm and focus their attention to the most crucial ones is what I am gonna do. At this stage a few balls will be dropped but the team worked their butts off already. They are all committed to give their 101% and that is I can ask for. Time to let go and let the team weave their magic. All they need is for me to let them do their job … and to trust them to pull through. Am swinging into the “protect the team” mode.

20110329-121618

I just shot off a “48 Hours: The Readiness for RE030 Cutover” email as an update to management. Complex delivery with 8 teams to coordinate. Time to chill for the next hour or so. I can’t go far from my desk and so just went to Cattle Cafe. This place is just 2 minutes walk away.

20110329-122729

This places sways busy during … (more…)

Continue ReadingMy Lunch: Cattle Cafe on Kingsway, Burnaby

Kam’s Bakery on Main and East 8th Ave, Vancouver

For some reason, this HK Style Cafe and bakery flew under the radar for a long time. A lot of people know of this place Kam’s Bakery and Restaurant on Main but strangely there are very little reviews of them on the internet … and none on Urbanspoon.

I was reminded of this place by a few remarks left by LotusRapper.

Kams-Bakery-Vancouver-18

Kam’s Bakery and Restaurant is located on Main Street near the intersection with East 8th Avenue in Vancouver. Maybe one of the reasons why people do not really take the effort to go into this restaurant is that it is located at a section of Main Street where people just zip through.

Kams-Bakery-Vancouver-17

Maybe it is because of the … (more…)

Continue ReadingKam’s Bakery on Main and East 8th Ave, Vancouver

Enjoy Cafe 1+1 on Westminster Highway, Richmond

Things did look very bleak in my little world today. There were just bad news all around.

It was all over the news. Most of you know that Lumiere and db Bistro Moderne is closing in a couple of weeks. It was all over the news … the papers, the internet, the radio and even the TV.

I do subscribe to notification from Urbanspoon about restaurant closures and of late I see quite a lot of that. It had been busier than usual for us having us to update our old posts of restaurants that is now closed. Yeah, it had also been quite a shock for us to learn that one of our friend’s restaurant is also closed.

Well, to make it bleaker, a number of friends of mine who I had the privilege to work with over the years were suddenly let go. Frankly, I was quite shocked and had been left scrambling getting new key project resources up to speed.

Then my boss just had to travel across continental USA for a meeting with me and one other colleague who are the only two in Vancouver who reports to him. And of course you can guess what I had in my mind. I was thinking that perhaps he was coming up to serve “T” notices. Well, nothing of that sort happened but the timing just sucks.

So yeah, it had been tough for me, both mentally and physically. Not having a lot of fun these days. I just felt that all the bad economic news down south is slowly catching up to us here in Canada.

Enjoy-Cafe-1n1-Richmond-1

Last week, I also learned about the closure of a restaurant that I never thought would be affected. I always thought that it is the expensive restaurants that will be affected more. Restaurants like e-Canteen which serves huge meals with low prices and free beverage will continue to draw in customers.

Not so.

I read in Gastrofork (here) that e-Canteen is no more. In it’s place is a new restaurant named oddly the Enjoy Cafe 1+1. As odd as it may seem, it does have a ring to it.

Frankly, Suanne and I did not quite like e-Canteen but we do go there many times. As a matter of fact we even have two blog posts about them here and here. The reason we go there more than we like is simply because Nanzaro and Arkensen likes it, not to mention it is in Richmond.

For those of you who are not familiar with Richmond, Enjoy Cafe is located on the second floor of the strip mall along the Westminster Highway a little east of No 3 Road.

Enjoy-Cafe-1n1-Richmond-2

The place looks pretty much the same. Suanne said that they have exactly the same light metallic chairs. I thought that the fabric on the booth seats were just replaced. Other than that it does look the same but a tad cleaner and shinier.

Suanne claims that the servers and workers are new. I was not sure. I thought some of the faces were like I had seen them before … not sure where. Anyway, one thing I noticed about the servers that are new is that they all wore purple.

Service was spotty. It was obvious that they were a bit overwhelmed with the Saturday lunch crowd. I am quite surprised how busy they are even though it is new. I guess low prices and huge servings always draws in customers no matter how the food is.

You know, we had food and drinks for the table next to us delivered to our table not once … not twice …  but three times. I think they got the table number mixed up. Perhaps they entered our table number for the customer next to us. I was kind of slow – not in my usual quick to capitalize on the situation. If only they deliver our neighbor’s food to our table again, I told my boys that we are going to quickly take a spoonful and ask question later.

Like Dee of Gastrofork, we also wondered why the “1+1” name. So I asked the waiter but we were like “gai toong ngag gong” (like a chicken speaking to a duck). He can’t understand me nor can I understand him. The only thing I picked up was … (more…)

Continue ReadingEnjoy Cafe 1+1 on Westminster Highway, Richmond

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!”.

Mui-Garden-Richmond-10

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.

Mui-Garden-Richmond-1

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

New Town Bakery and Restaurant in Chinatown, Vancouver

It seems that calling this restaurant sketchy and dodgy did not deter some of us from showing up for this impromptu chowdown.

I made sure that I set the expectations clearly up front with those who responded to my call to join Suanne and I for lunch in the New Town Restaurant in Chinatown. I did not want people to look at me funny for choosing a place like this. I am saying this because I was once here some years ago when I saw needles in the washroom. We also came here after our lunch at Maxim’s to buy some buns and we noticed that some of their customers were down and out (if you know what I mean). So that formed an impression in me that this is not exactly a family restaurant.

To me I am no snob when it comes to food. I will go where there is something to learn about even if the food is nothing great. Sorry you gotta take this blog as it is – warts and all. I don’t usually got to fancy schmancy places.

New-Town-Bakery-Restaurant-Chinatown-3

New-Town-Bakery-Restaurant-Chinatown-1New-Town-Bakery-Restaurant-Chinatown-2

I am just fascinated with the New Town Bakery and Restaurant because it is a restaurant before my time. Being someone who are relatively new to Canada, I don’t know the background of all these historic restaurants.

You know, as much as I spend a couple of hours everyday hacking away at writing a blog post, I spend equally as long, if not more, reading and digesting your comments. Indeed chowtimes had turned somewhat into a forum of sort.

I always enjoy reading your comments about the history (and gossips) behind these restaurants. Some of you would comment publicly and some would write emails to us in private. Sometimes we get juicy gossip about some restaurants … about gang affiliations and bosses who are hamsap and wives who gambled away the family fortunes and stuff like that. Some things just cannot be published on a blog. If I do, maybe the triads will send someone to take care of chowtimes. LOL!

So yeah, I was determined to go to New Town and accompanied with people who had a big part of their lives living in Chinatown. In all there were eight of us who showed up and I had such a great time.

New-Town-Bakery-Restaurant-Chinatown-6

Here is where I need you old timers to help me describing the history of New Town, OK? Let me know if I get this correct:

This could be confusing. There are four bakery or restaurant with the name New Town. This one in Chinatown which is 30 years old now is directly affiliated with the New Town bakeries in Richmond and in Surrey.

There is also another New Town on Cambie and 19th called the Original New Town Bakery (which is just a bakery and no restaurant). The Original New Town was the one which has its beginnings in 1948 (making it twice as old). I think the owner of the original New Town sold the restaurant and name about 30 years ago and then had regrets and restarted his bakery business with the Original New Town Bakery.

Is that correct? Yes? No? Anyway, I know who knows … Buddha Girl. So I am gonna reserve the box below for her comment. 🙂

[Box reserved for Buddha Girl to provide history of New Town … would you be kind enough to repeat the history? Pretty please? Thanks!]

New-Town-Bakery-Restaurant-Chinatown-7New-Town-Bakery-Restaurant-Chinatown-8

Not sure how it goes though. New Town is Chinese and yet it is Filipino. You can see evidence of this on the door with the Mabuhay word. Some of their food in the bakery too has Filipino names although they are Chinese Filipino food.

See the pix on the right? Hey it is half off after 6:00 PM! Too bad it is out of the way for me or else this would be a great place to pick up something for the next days breakfasts on the way back from the office.

New-Town-Bakery-Restaurant-Chinatown-9New-Town-Bakery-Restaurant-Chinatown-10

Hey don’t sneer at New Town. They had won CRA awards before – awards as in plural OK? Their Apple Tarts are legendary.

Don’t play-play!

New-Town-Bakery-Restaurant-Chinatown-11

We were not sure if they would even take reservations for a place like this but when we called, they apparently do take reservations. For once, I thought I had to go early to “chuup” a table big enough for eight of us. No, we did not have to. The table was there waiting for us when we showed up.

Yeah, most of the people who showed up doesn’t know one another. Apparently when we showed up some of the party were already there and they were waiting for Suanne and I in different sections of the restaurant. Everyone settled down very quickly and we all started to chat like we were old friends – instantaneously. LOL!

It’s amazing how food unites people.

The dining area was relatively busy but the bakery area was extremely busy with people coming in for take outs. Service was very fast and good and friendly. It does help to have Thomas who knows the restaurant workers personally. The “jeh-jehs” (elder sista) and “ah-sohs” (aunties) seems to treat Thomas like their darling. It’s good to be loved.

Let’s face it. New Town is really a dive of a place. It does show its age at all fronts but to me it also shows its charm in many ways.

New-Town-Bakery-Restaurant-Chinatown-4New-Town-Bakery-Restaurant-Chinatown-5New-Town-Bakery-Restaurant-Chinatown-15New-Town-Bakery-Restaurant-Chinatown-16New-Town-Bakery-Restaurant-Chinatown-12New-Town-Bakery-Restaurant-Chinatown-13New-Town-Bakery-Restaurant-Chinatown-17

I just wonder if there is anything they don’t have here. It is bewildering how many menus they have and I wonder if these are all coordinated at all.

There is a long list of Special Set Menu on the sandwich board outside. We also have the (orange color) menu for Special Mini Set. And then there is the specials of the day on the table holder.

And there is also the main menu (the landscape picture on bottom right). Take a look at the number and see how many items there are (click if want to show it larger).

It’s amazing isn’t it?

Thomas was raving about their Braised Lamb and Beancurd Stick. We wanted to try it but it’s a special that is only available when they make it the day before. Our timing was off. So we did not get to try it.

Dashed!

New-Town-Bakery-Restaurant-Chinatown-14

I don’t know if I heard Thomas wrong or if he was pulling my legs. I thought I heard him say that the aluminium pot makes tea more smooth.

I have never heard of that before. *shrug*

New-Town-Bakery-Restaurant-Chinatown-18

Nice and strong. Their Hong Kong style milk tea is good stuff … up to snuff. Just look at the smoothness and richness. We took a while to decide what we wanted.

Since we have numbers, I was a bit bolder and said we will order drinks and some pastries first and real food later. Yeah, normally I am a bit more timid if it was just Suanne and I. We would try to order everything all at once and not hog the table for too long since this restaurant is quite a busy place.

“Bo Chup” (don’t care) because we have the numbers.

New-Town-Bakery-Restaurant-Chinatown-19

The best Apple Tarts on the planet according to … (more…)

Continue ReadingNew Town Bakery and Restaurant in Chinatown, Vancouver