Golden Dynasty Seafood Restaurant in Richmond

This restaurant had been replaced by another new restaurant, updated 18 Oct 2008

This is about the first meal we had in 2008. It is a dim sum breakfast we had with the families of Polly & Vincent and Wai Bing and KC. This dim sum breakfast is actually the continuation of our New year Eve celebration together. The previous day we went to Wai Bing’s house to usher in the new year. We had a simple and great home cooked meal, chatted till past midnight, went home to sleep and then met up again for dim sum the next morning.

Between New Year Eve and New Year Day, gosh, we must have chatted for 14 hours in all (Wai Bing, Polly, you do the math … is that right?). I did not realize we had so much to talk about. Over bottles of Guiness Stouts, We talked about normal stuff … you know, like … what you would do if you win the Super-7 (Wai Bing would buy an entire townhouse complex and give each one of us an unit, hurray!), educating the ladies on benefits of investing on a HDTV for the house, plans for next year … and other normal stuff.

Sorry … I digressed.

IMG_2988

The Golden Dynasty Seafood Restaurant is where we went to. Although Suanne and I know of this place, we had never been in these before. It is located on a strip mall on 8360 Granville Ave in Richmond. It is where Rogers is, if you know the neighborhood.

One thing you will undoubtedly find … parking is very limited. I guess this is what happens when a certain business (this restaurant) dominates the business on this small area. Almost all the parking lots are all marked for specific businesses. If you can’t find parking right up front, drive over to the back of the strip mall. There are plenty there.

IMG_2931

Golden Dynasty is a one of the larger and busiest dim sum restaurants in Richmond. They are big and can cater to wedding dinners too. The place was absolutely packed when we were there but we had no problem getting a table since Wai Bing had already made the reservation before hand.

IMG_2935

I think the popularity of this place is due to its price. Their dim sums are categorized as small, medium or big but they all costs the same, $2.30. The quality is not bad too. There are specials which costs a bit more (see menu above).

IMG_2937

I like dim sum restaurants where they cart around the dim sum to your table for selection. It’s good to be able to see what you’re ordering, especially for us who do not read Chinese. We had two or three servings of each dim sum … below.

The Steamed Prawn Rice Rolls was very smooth. Best eaten when steamy hot.

IMG_2939

This is some kind of Deep Fried Wonton. Continue reading

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!

IMG_2788

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.

IMG_2774

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!

IMG_2781

The Tom Yum Kung Soup is the next on the combo. Continue reading

Tong Kung Chiu Chow Restaurant in Richmond

This restaurant had been replaced with a new restaurant, updated on 11th Oct 2008

When Suanne and I started blogging on chowtimes, we just did it because, well, it was an in-thing to have a blog. One thing led to another, today we have over 700 entries. We are still amazed at how the site had grown and that people actually find the blog interesting enough to return to the site. We still have not quite figured it out why chowtimes readers comes back.

What really kept us going is that we found that there are actually quite a few loyal followings of the site. I think it was sometime in October or so, I volunteered to organize a Chinese banquet for readers of chowtimes. Frankly, Suanne and I were pleasantly surprised to find that there are actually people who were interested — and that too, from readers who we don’t know.

In all, 9 people attended. Of everyone, LotusRapper, who came with his lovely wife, is the only person I had ever met. I had not met Ed from ededition.com but had been following his blog for sometime already. Then there was this gregarious Tiffanie who owns a chain of ice cream parlours — yummy, Suanne and I is going to check it out someday. Joseph, a true foodie, was also there. And the charming couple, Cissy & Henry … people Suanne and I would want to be like when we “grow up”. Two (Jennifer and Gigi) of my favourite bloggers could not make it.

IMG_2735

The choice of going to Tong Kung Chiu Chow Restaurant boils down to one thing … snakes. More about that later.

One thing about Chinese banquets, you really need a lot of people. For the uninitiated, many formal Chinese restaurants offers 8-10 course dinners. These are mainly for weddings or celebrations. The menus are a fixed price for a table of 10. Most of the good menus will start from $180. I had seen one menu that costs $998!!

Selection for the restaurant was quick and easy. For us, the criteria was simple, we wanted to not spend not more than $200 and it had to be a Chinese Banquet. We gathered the menus from a few restaurants and selection was made within a week. For some of us, it was the “Snake and Shark’s Fin Soup” that led us to choosing Tong Kung.

Tong Kung have three standard menus that costs $168, $198 and $238. We chose the $198 menu which has 10 courses on it.

IMG_2737

Tong Kung is a Chiu Chow (Teochew) cuisine restaurant. It is located on Park Road in Richmond, just a ear shot away from the Richmond City Hall. We decided to meet early, at 5:30PM. We were the only people there then but it soon filled up very fast. We told ourselves that since there are so many people, we can’t be wrong choosing this restaurant.

I know very little about Chiu Chow cuisine. Here are MY perceptions … Chiu Chow cuisine is really big on seafood, maybe because the region is along the coast of south east China. It is generally bland and devoid of spiciness, unlike other Chinese cuisines that have stronger flavours and spices. I would say that it is very close to Cantonese cuisine.

IMG_2740

The Cold Crab was the first dish and an excellent choice for starters. The way the Chiu Chow prepare the cold crab is that they steam it first and then served it chilled. I have no idea why they do that and what it does to the flavour … anyone knows?

Seems like crabs are big in Chiu Chow cuisine. We loved it. For me, I put aside the eating utensils and just used my hands. Using hands is OK because this does not have sticky gravy, sauce and stuff all over it. Don’t know about you all, but eating with my hands is the ONLY way to handle crabs.

IMG_2743

The roe is purportedly the best part of the Cold Crab. Continue reading

Lido Restaurant in Richmond

We found a gem of a place during the Christmas holidays last year. Nanzaro and Arkensen had to do Tag Day duties at the mall at 9:00AM in the morning. Normally, we would eat out for lunch or dinner but since the boys will not be done until after 1:00PM, we decided to go out for breakfast for a change.

We did not want to go to Kam Do or the #9 Restaurant. So we drove around for a bit and came upon the small strip mall between the Aberdeen Mall and Parker Place along Hazelbridge Way.

IMG_1967

The Lido Restaurant is a HK-Style Restaurant. Unless you already know this place, chances are that you will likely drive past without really realizing it’s there. Since we first went to Lido, we had been returning to this restaurant a couple of times already. We like it that much.

IMG_1968

The first time we were there, there were hardly any people since it was about 7:30AM in the morning. But on other days, the place was absolutely packed with people having to wait outside the door for a table. The turn around time for a table was fast though.

In these place, you really need to be more assertive and don’t wait for them to ask you. You really got to leave your name with them and make sure they hear you correct or you will be in for a long. long wait.

Forget about ambiance, it is the food that matters here. Menus were pasted all over the place. Those were the specials — too bad Suanne and I can’t read them. Oh, we don’t even bother asking them about it because they are so busy, they really don’t have the patience for a chat. That’s service for you in such Chinese restaurants. Once you can look past that, you’ll be alright.

Being a HK-Style Cafe, Lido serves Cantonese food … like the one below.

IMG_1973

They have some of the best rice noodle roll (chee cheong fun) that we had ever tried. Though I could not see them making it in the kitchen, I really think they make it on site. Continue reading

Paterson Restaurant in Richmond

Updated on 1st Oct 2008, this restaurant had been replaced by another new restaurant.

Once in a while, we chance on a nondescript restaurant … you know, ones that looked so unassuming from the outside that chances you will never give it a second glance? The other day, our boys wanted to go to e-Canteen for a HK-Style lunch. We got to the entrance to e-Canteen before we changed our mind. We decided that we don’t want another HK-Style meal (yeah, we’re really fickle-minded when it comes to food!).

We looked across the parking lot seeking for another place for lunch. This was in the strip mall right across the road from the Richmond Public Market.

IMG_2399

For the outside, the Paterson Restaurant does look very much like a small and quaint place for a casual meal. We decided to check out the many hand written poster-menu on the window and peered inside. It was alright, the prices looked really cheap and they have a bit of a unique dishes that is not run-of-the-mill stuff we had come to expect from places that looked like this.

IMG_2391

We were there early and were the only customer in the restaurant. This looked very much like a family run business as we see children seated at one corner of the restaurant having a meal and doing homework.

There are nothing much to the decor really — with low-maintenance and efficient glass top tables and wooden chairs. I have not seen such chairs for a long time — such designs were really common in coffee shops in South East Asia.

Despite this, what really surprised us was the food they serve. They have on their menu specials such as Congee with a choice of Chinese Donut or steamed rice roll or chowmein with soya sauce for only $3.99. I can’t think of anywhere we can find such a meal for under $4 nowadays.

They also have on their menu (which we gather is their specialty) 2.5 lb crab dishes for only $14.99. Since it was really early in the morning, we took a raincheck and told ourselves we will come back to Paterson to try their crab someday … soon.

IMG_2389

See this one … it is called the Oyster Rice in Soup. Continue reading

Han Ju Tofu Hot Pot in Richmond revisited

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

We had been to Han Ju Tofu Hotpot a few times before. As a matter of fact, we had blogged about it sometime last year (see here). Since we had some photos from our last visit and that we like it so much, we thought … sure … let’s just share it one more time.

IMG_1916

I was confused. I had always thought that Han Ju is a Korean restaurant. Maybe it is because of the name “Han Ju” which for some reason sounded like a Korean name to me. Han Ju is in fact a Taiwanese restaurant.

I know there are two Han Ju’s … one in Richmond and the other in Crystal Mall in Burnaby. We went to the one in Richmond (8328 Capstan Way).

IMG_1905

For those of you not familiar with Chinese food, you would probably not have guessed that the above is actually pig ear. In Taiwanese cuisine, it is common for them to serve appetizers in morsels of marinated food.

The Marinated Pig Ear has an unique combination of gelatinous and crunchy texture.

IMG_1907

Most of Taiwanese appetizers are served cold. Continue reading

Cascade Pizza in Bellingham, WA

Ever since we had started blogging two years ago, we had never met up with any fellow bloggers. That is not until around the (US) Thanksgiving last year. We had been in contact with Jennifer from Pie Is The New Toast for some time and had agreed to meet up if we are in the Bellingham area. Actually, Jennifer had already blogged on our meet-up here.

Suanne and I went spent a day in the US during Black Friday for shopping. We had been there shopping almost every Black Friday but do find it is somewhat subdued this year. After 10 hours of walking around malls, our feet were killing us.

IMG_1898

The Cascade Pizza is an Italian restaurant located on Meridian Street. If you know where Bellis Fair Mall is, you’ll easily find this place. Bellis Fair is on the intersection of I-5 and Meridian. So, you just drive south bound along Meridian for 1.5 miles after the I-5 intersection.

The Cascade Pizza is one of Jennifer’s favourite restaurant. What we like about this place is that the quality of the food is good and the price really reasonable. It was a great choice of restaurant, Jennifer.

IMG_1904

The Garlic Bread looked absolutely delicious. Continue reading

Horseshoe Cafe in Bellingham, WA

I am so behind in blogging these days. On the next few days I am going to blog on the places we visited about two months ago. Here is one entry from one of our shopping jaunts to Bellingham.

We had not warmed up to the idea to pay for a Nexus pass. It seems to be a lot of money of which we are not sure if we will use it all year round. So, instead, we would normally drive across the border at an unearthly time, before 6AM usually, just to beat the border lineups. We would have breakfast after we cross the border.

IMG_1895

We just randomly picked a breakfast joint along Holly St and went to The Horseshoe Ranch Room Cafe. We had originally wanted to go to The Old Town Cafe which we knew was voted the best breakfast eatery in Whatcom County but they were closed.

IMG_1886

The Ranch Room is just a simple 24-hour eatery. We noticed that we are about the one out-of-towners around. This caters a lot for the locals. We like that because we know such places will serve a really mean breakfast … breakfasts in Vancouver in comparison to the US, is so puny.

I guess there are not a lot of BC shoppers that venture to this part of Bellingham. Most BC shoppers will flock to the east of I-5 where all the big boxes are.

IMG_1888

The coffee in the Ranch Room is not good — Continue reading

Kingford Seafood Restaurant in Richmond

Updated: 25 Nov 2010: This restaurant had been replaced by HML Seafood Restaurant.

Kingford Seafood Restaurant is located on 5890 No.3 Road, Richmond. You cant miss this restaurant as it’s huge glass windows allow one to see through to the chandeliers decorated interiors.

IMG_2731

The South Arm Community Kitchen celebrated the end of 2007 session with a Dim Sum lunch at Kingford Seafood Restaurant. We were there around 11:30 am and there was not many customers at that time. I like the ambiance of the restaurant, warmly lighted. This restaurant can accommodate 30 tables.

IMG_2701

The dim sum dishes in Kingford Seafood Restaurant are categorized by size, $2.98 for small, $3.98 for medium and $4.68 for large. Special is priced at $5.38. Quite pricey in my opinion.

We ordered quite a lot of dim sum (some in double portions) as we expected more company but some people did not turn up. We ended up with some left over to take away. Here are the dim sums we ordered:

IMG_2705

Steamed Prawn Dumplings (medium), springy and delicate …

IMG_2704

… Red Bean Paste Pancake (small), a sweet dessert …

IMG_2718

… Mixed Mushrooms E-Fu Noodle with Teriyaki Sauce for $10.88 as filler, …

IMG_2729

and more desserts to cleanse the palate at the end. The desserts are some red bean custard and some kind of jelly with young shredded coconut in it.

Click on the link to see more Dim Sum.

Continue reading

New York: Tick Tock Diner and Grill

This was my last meal in New York City. Looking back, it had been a really eventful vacation for me, especially so, when I had not really finished planning for this until I was on the plane. If there is one thing I gained most from my job, it’s the experience in traveling.

So, for this last lunch before I head off to the Newark Airport, it was nothing fancy. I just chose a diner close to the Penn Station where I am due to catch a airport shuttle bus. One last thing, I wanted to try … it’s that illusive Egg Cream … this time with chocolate syrup.

The place I went to is the Tick Tock Diner and Grille.

IMG_1168

I had Egg Cream in Katz but it was with vanilla syrup. I later read that the real deal with Egg Cream is with chocolate syrup. I like it a lot but I do also think that this is very very fattening. It’s a fizzy drink. Despite its name, there is no eggs nor cream … it is made milk. carbonated soda water and of course, chocolate syrup.

IMG_1169

The Tick Tock Diner seems like just any diner you find. It’s located in a very very busy section of midtown. I like the service. Continue reading