Tim Hortons on No. 3 Road

It sure was a scorcher the past few days here in Vancouver. I guess I shouldn’t complain because it’s still less than 30 Celsius. By this time tomorrow, am gonna be in Vegas which hit 47 Celsius!! Gosh! I sure picked a lousy time to be in Vegas. What more, am gonna drive thru the Death Valley from Vegas to Yosemite. I am having second thoughts of that right now.

Back to Vancouver, it’s so freaking hot, we decided to pop over to Timmy Ho for a cup of our favourite iced cap. We went to the one on No 3 Road in Richmond. As you can see below, the Skytrain Canada line construction had reached the Aberdeen station now. Traffic had been a nightmare nowadays here.

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Did you know that there are more Tim Hortons’ outlets in Canada than Mickey D? Yup, kind of hard to believe it but it’s true. I believe that McD still had more outlets here in BC but in the east, Timmy Ho reign supreme.

We simply love Timmy Ho’s Iced Cap … more than the other iced cappuccino from other places like Starbucks, and Second Cup. This came in three sizes.

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They had a new iced cap on the menu. The Iced Cap Supreme is available in four flavours: Butter Caramel, French Vanilla, Hazelnut and new Strawberry Shortcake. I chose the Butter Caramel.

I remember reading in the papers comparing Tim Hortons’ Iced Cap with Starbuck’s Frap, Dairy Queen’s Chillate and 7-Eleven’s Slurpucino … and Tim Hortons’ won hands down in number of calories. I can’t recall exactly what it was but it seems something like 1000 … give or take 500.🙂

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Golden Award Cafe & Restaurant in Richmond

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Old Country Buffet in Bellingham

With the strong Canadian Dollar these days, everything in the US seems like a bargain. Just a couple of weeks ago, we found cheap airfares from Bellingham to Las Vegas (and Reno). We tried booking tickets from the website but to our dismay, they wanted to charge something like $60 in total for convenience fees. However, if we were to buy the tickets from the ticketing counter in the Bellingham airport, we will save the $60 bucks. So, being so stingy that we are, we decided to take a short drive down Bellingham to get the tickets and at the same time pop by our favourite buffet … the Old Country Buffet at the Bellis Fair Mall.

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We had eaten here countless times the past few years. We like this place a lot. It’s clean, efficient and the food is quite OK. Arkensen and Nanzaro loves this place because they can eat all the fries, fried chicken and spaghetti they want. I know … they still haven’t gotten the idea of going for the right stuff yet.

If I recall correctly, it was much cheaper the last few times we were here. Now, they have what they call “Saturday and Sunday, Dinner Whole Day”. That means that they charge the full dinner price no matter what time you’re there. Arkensen and Nanzaro has to pay full adult price … and that adds up to almost CAD$50 including tips.

Here are some of the stuff Suanne and I had between the two of us …

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Suanne and I always try to grab a plate from different stations and share between the two of us. That way, we get to try a smaller bit of everything.

From the “Meat” station, we had the carved roast beef which was really tender and succulent. There is also ham, baked chicken, corn beef hash and fried fish cutlet.

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From the “Entree” station, we had the fried chicken. We love their fried chicken — they were large, and very crispy. We also had some baked fish.

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From the “Vegetables” station, we tried some spaghetti, fried shrimp, macaroni and cheese, sweet potatoes, and some cheesy spinach.

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Dinesty Chinese Restaurant in Richmond

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

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

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

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

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California Cafe in Lansdowne Mall

This restaurant had been replaced by Rhino’s Kitchen.

You know, we realize that many of our readers like recipes. Just wanted to let everyone know that we will be blogging more on dining out and travel rather than recipes. Hey, it’s summer now … time for Suanne to stay out of the kitchen more, right? There’s gonna be another travel series starting in mid-July where we’re sharing our trip to North California and Nevada — it’s gonna cover Las Vegas, Yosemite, San Francisco, Lake Tahoe and Reno. It’s gonna be a great summer.

So, here is one very old posting which we had never gotten down to blogging. And more aptly, this is about the CALIFORNIA Cafe (!) in Richmond’s Lansdowne Mall. Trust me, despite the name, this cafe had nothing to do with California whatsoever!

The California Cafe, located in the eastern side of the mall, is another HK-style cafe. We are beginning to see a trend in the names of such cafes in Richmond … they are named (quite arbitrarily) after places.

California Cafe in Lansdowne Mall

Again … HK-Style cafes to us are categorized by the Milk Tea which is included in the price of entrees. In the California Cafe, the Milk Tea glasses were large — much larger than the ones we normally get elsewhere. We simply love places like this because they are so value for money.

Most dish generally costs anywhere from $6 to $8 in most places.

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I ordered the Roasted Lamb Leg on Rice because it sounded so good. It came with generous (thick and large) slices of lamb with gravy covering the entire plate. This was really good and worth the $6.95 price. Nice and hearty meal.

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The California Cafe surely had a more varied menu compared to other HK-Style Cafes. On top of the run of the mill dishes, they have more uncommon ingredients. Suanne ordered the Roasted Duck and Preserved Vegetable Fried Rice. This also costs $6.95.

Don’t expect chunky duck meat on this dish at this price. The Duck Meat were shredded. This fried rice is rather greasy, I must say but it does taste great. Oh, the serving here is huge … actually more than enough for two of us.

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Nanzaro ordered the Malaysian Fried Rice Noodle. We thought this is the Penang Fried Kuay Teow but it was not. It is just rice noodles fried with curry powder. Like the other two dishes, the serving is huge. $6.95 too.

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Arkensen did not order any as he already had a burger at the Hyack Parade. He taxed on everyone instead. Overall, this place is great value for money. Definitely a place we want to come again, especially when we’re hungry.

Oh, BTW … Happy Canada Day!!

California Hong Kong Cafe on Urbanspoon

Kyung Bok Palace in Richmond

The Caring Place Community Kitchen celebrated the end of another great session by dining out. We would love to take a break from laboring in the kitchen.

Minnie was asked to bring us to a Korean Restaurant. Minnie, thank you for being our Korean culinary guide again. She brought us to Kyung Bok Palace which located at the Lansdowne Mall in Richmond. I love this bright red signage on the dark wall of the restaurant because it stands out very clearly although I cant read the Korean language.

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Kyung Bok Palace also has patio seatings and it’s just great for their all you can eat BBQ which is only served in the summer evenings.

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One good thing about Kyung Bok Palace is there is a sample of the dishes served in the restaurant displayed outside the restaurant. These displays are common in the Asian countries. This is a good way to advertise and bring customers in as many will not dare to try new food which they have no idea how the food looks like. The pricing displays along with the model dishes also helps as one can expect how much the food costs.

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All Korean restaurants serve side dishes like these which include soy bean sprouts, braised potatoes, kimchee and other vegetables. You can ask for refill for these side dishes.

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Liberty Bakery on Main Street, Vancouver

Updated: 12th Jan 2015; This restaurant is closed according to Urbanspoon.com.

LotusRapper recommended Liberty Bakery to us. Liberty Bakery is located at the corner of Main St and E. 21st Ave. You will not miss this bright orange building. There are street parkings and two parking spots at the rear of the bakery.

Liberty Bakery is an European style bakery with a Swedish chef. It is just perfect for Polly and me because it opens early, i.e. 8 am.

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The interior decoration is simple and rustic. The furnitures are made of wood and painted colourfully. The decoration theme seems to focus on crows as there were quite a few crows posters on the walls.

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There is even a wooden crow on the display window. Hmm, to the Asians, crow brings bad luck. I wonder what crows means to other ethnic society?

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Liberty Bakery serves pastries….

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BonQuLa Fusion Restaurant and Cafe in Richmond

Updated: 4th Oct 2010: This restaurant is closed via Vancouver Sushi.

The Gilmore Park Church community kitchen opted to eat out on the last day of our meeting before the summer break. Lorna suggested to eat at BonQuLa Fusion Restaurant and Cafe at the Olympia Centre in Richmond.

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The restaurant is located at #165-8460 Alexandra Road; the strip mall across Toys’R’Us in Lansdowne Mall. This is a very new fusion restaurant, less than a month old. The owner of the restaurant is an ex-member of the Gilmore Park Church community kitchen.

The chef of BonQuLa is the daughter of the owner, her name is Kaori Kuruyama. Chef Kaori was a piano teacher in Japan, but she changed her career after she came to Canada. She studied French cuisine at the Culinary Arts in Vancouver Community College. She is creating her own fusion food with her Japanese inheritage and her French cooking skills.

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The word ‘Bon’ means ‘Ordinary’, the word ‘Qu’ means ‘Eat’ and the word ‘La’ means ‘Enjoy’. The owner named the restaurant BonQuLa because they want the customer to enjoy their food comfortably.

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What stands out to us is the menu which is made of handcrafted paper. A simple but unique menu.

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We did not place specific orders but asked the chef to recommend some of their signature dishes. Like many Japanese restaurants, we were served hot green tea. However, they did not place a teapot on the table for us to help ourselves. They served the tea to us instead.

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First came the bread baskets like most western restaurants. The difference is they served soft and sweet bread instead of crusty bread. The bread basket has a variety of sweet bread like chocolate bread, walnut bread and sweet potato bread. I like these breads. I understand from Kaori that bread baking is her passion and she enjoys seeing her customer enjoying her bread before a meal.

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Next is a Green Field Salad. The salad is accompanied with homemade potato chips. The salad is mainly made of lettuces with fresh blueberries, walnuts and dried cranberries and some other dried fruits.

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Evergreen Garden Chinese Restaurant in Richmond

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Ganache Patisserie in Downtown Vancouver

Ganache Patisserie is a cake shop which specializes in chocolates, pastries and wedding cakes. It is located at 1262 Homer Street in downtown Vancouver.

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There are street parkings all around and this place is easy to find. Ganache specializes mainly on wedding cakes but there are three small tables for people to sit in to enjoy the single serving cakes with coffee and tea.

There are quite a number of displays of multi-tiers cakes in the shop. They are simply pleasing to the eyes. One will also noticed the French influence as there are a number of the cakes with the Eiffel tower garnishing. Here are a few of them:

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