Tim Ho Wan 添好運 – Singapore

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Tim Ho Wan is a famous dim sum restaurant because it was awarded a Michelin star. As we walked around Plaza Singapura, I noticed the restaurant and suggested we give it a try! Since getting a Michelin star in their Hong Kong locations, they have opened up several locations outside of Hong Kong, including in Singapore. I don’t believe this location has a Michelin star though.

 

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Bean Curd Skin Roll with Shrimp

We started off with the Bean Curd Skin Roll with Shrimp which was crispy and not too greasy. Each bite had shrimp and had a nice chew.

 

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Steamed Rice Roll with BBQ Pork

The Steamed Rice Roll with BBQ Pork featured a thin and smooth rice rolls and was packed with flavourful pork.

 

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Poached Fresh Seasonal Vegetables

Of course, we had to get some vegetable so we just got the Poached Fresh Seasonal Vegetables. Nothing special as they were just poached and dressed with soy sauce.

 

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Pan Fried Turnip Cake

The Pan Fried Turnip Cake was crispy on the outside. No complaints!

 

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Baked BBQ Pork Buns

And last but not least was the star of Tim Ho Wan and also a must order! The Baked BBQ Pork Buns were definitely one of the best I’ve had. The bun was a bit sweet on the exterior and extremely crispy and soft inside. It was filled with a sweet and savoury mixture of BBQ pork. Really enjoyed it and highly suggest ordering this.

Overall, Tim Ho Wan did not disappoint. I thought the other menu items were good but nothing too special. Probably because we are pretty spoiled back at home in Richmond and Vancouver. However, the Baked BBQ Pork Buns were definitely a star. Pricing is also great given it’s a Michelin restaurant! I will have to try the original one in Hong Kong but for now this will do!

 

 

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Baiyulan Shanghai Cuisine

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Baiyulan is the new Chen’s Shanghai Kitchen after the old location was being used for redevelopment. The new location is quite spacious and even has a patio during the summer. I have to say it’s a bit odd to eat Chinese food on a patio though! The menu seems to be pretty much the same. During peak hours, there is a short wait as it seems to be quite popular.

 

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Xiao Long Bao

To start, we had the Xiao Long Bao with one order consisting of 6 dumplings. The skin was fairly thin and the inside was pretty juicy. Although I still much prefer the ones from Yuan’s Garden as they have the most soup. Still, these are fairly priced and pretty good.

 

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Beef Wrap

We also tried the Beef Wrap but this was pretty disappointing. The dough was very pale and white but the main issue was there wasn’t enough hoisin sauce so the wrap was rather dry.

 

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Pan Fried Shanghai Noodles

Last but not least, we had the Pan Fried Shanghai Noodles which is a staple dish we order at Shanghainese restaurants. The dish was large with the noodles being chewy and not overly oily. It was very flavourful and the amount of ingredients in the dish was just right.

Overall, Baiyulan is a great option for Shanghainese food in Richmond. Not my favourite one but it’s up on the list when I’m thinking of a spot to go to. Service was actually not bad and they were pretty responsive.

Pros:
– Decent eats at reasonable prices
– Service is pretty quick

Cons:
– Good but nothing to rave about

Price Range: $15-20 per person

1: Terrible 2: Poor 3: Average 4: Good 5: Excellent

Food: 3.5 Service: 3.5 Ambiance: 3 Parking: Free parking in complex Overall: 3.5

 

Baiyulan Shanghai Cuisine Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Matsuzushi

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I’m sure by now you have hear about the $25 omakase at Matsuzushi. Given the rising prices in the city, $25 for an omakase is definitely hard to come by. I’m guessing the main reason for the low price is due to the location. Located in Port Moody, just down the streets from where the breweries are located, Matsuzushi is run by just a husband and wife team. Decor is minimal if not barely any, and service is on the slower side as only the husband prepares the sushi while the wife serves the food.

 

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Try to make reservations in advance if possible, although the restaurant was pretty empty when we visited. However, if you want to sit at the bar to get the full omakase experience, then you should call in advance and let them know. The chef will have some fish cut ahead of time while he is not too busy so it makes things quicker given he’s a one man show. If you sit at the bar, then he will serve you each nigiri one piece at a time and also brush the soy sauce for you. If you sit at the tables away from the bar, then he will serve the sushi all at once or in two parts in a tray and you’ll need to dip your sushi in soy sauce yourself.

 

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As noted, you can also order a la carte. But given you can get 11 pieces plus a hand roll for $25, the deal for omakase is much better. Of course, the chef’s choice of fish will change daily, so you might not get what you want. I also like how you can order rolls and other appetizers here and all are quite reasonably priced.

 

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I can’t quite remember what all the type of fish we got were as the chef did not really explain what we got as he placed it down on our plate. However, if you ask, he will tell you. I just didn’t really bother asking as he seemed quite busy.

 

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Tuna

The Tuna was among my favourites. It was fresh and had a melt in your mouth texture.

 

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Hamachi (Yellowtail Tuna) 

 

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Ebi (Shrimp)

 

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Ika (Squid)

 

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Heart Clam

The Heart Clam was one I’ve never tried before. Very interesting and has a very strong seafood taste.

 

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The rice to fish portion was just right and I thought they were very well constructed.

 

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Mantis Shrimp

I’ve also never had Mantis Shrimp for sushi before so this was very interesting. The shrimp was very chewy and reminded me of dried squid. I think I much prefer having this fully cooked and flavoured like at Hong Kong restaurants.

 

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Heart Clam

For some reason, we got a Heart Clam again and this ended our omakase with only 9 pieces instead of 11. Either I forgot to take a picture, but I’m pretty sure he just missed two pieces. My friend had ordered a la carte, while the other two of us ordered omakase, so I think he got confused with which number we were at given he serves piece by piece and he was trying to make sure my a la carte friend had something to eat every time. We probably could have said something, but I was actually pretty full already and didn’t want to make a fuss. If one of your diners are going to order a la carte, I would suggest sitting at the table so the chance of him missing a piece is lower since he will present all the sushi at once at he table.

 

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Negitoro Hand Roll

To finish, he handed us over a Negitoro Hand Roll which was absolutely delicious! The toro was very fresh and the seaweed was very crispy.

Overall, I was really pleased with the quality of sushi at Matsuzushi. The omakse also includes a bowl of miso soup. Although I wished we had toro and uni like I saw other diners had, it really depends daily so hard to guess what ingredients you’ll get. However, given the whole set is only $25, it’s really hard to beat this price given the quality. Service is also a bit slow, but the chef is very friendly despite his lack of English. It’s quite a drive out if you don’t live nearby, but worth checking out at least once or if you happen to be in the area.

Pros:
– Good deal for $25 omakase
– Fish taste fresh and nigiri are well constructed

Cons:
– Service is slow

Price Range: $25 per person for omakse

1: Terrible 2: Poor 3: Average 4: Good 5: Excellent

Food: 4.5 Service: 2.5 Ambiance: 2.5 Parking: Meter parking along the street Overall: 4

 

Matsuzushi Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

 

Happy Tree House BBQ 木屋碳烤

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Shredded Potatoes

I always drive by Happy Tree House BBQ and noticed there are always so many diners here. Finally, I gave it a try and I would highly recommend making reservations in advance as the place fills up quick! I even noticed people getting delivery which I wonder if it still tastes as good!

Anyways, to start, J suggested we get the Shredded Potatoes. I was a bit hesitant what was so special about these at first, but they were addicting! the potato is shredded so has this crunchy al dente texture and is covered in a spicy chili oil. Highly recommend getting this dish as a starter if you like spicy.

 

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Squid Tentacles

Moving on, the Squid Tentacles were quite a large plate and were also smothered in a spicy sauce. The tentacles were all cooked to tender and not tough at all.

 

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Lamb Kebab (original)

The Lamb Kebabs are what they are famous for. They have original and spicy, but even the original skewers are topped with lots of Chinese spices. The spices remind me of the ones you can get at the night market but stronger. The lamb were tender and you get quite a lot of meat on each skewer. For $1.50 each, these are a great deal compared to the night market. Similar to other skewer restaurants, the minimum order for most skewers are 5 skewers, so it’s best to have a large group when dining here.

 

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Chicken Gristle, Premium Beef  Skewers

We had a variety of skewers and I lost track of taking pictures, but here are the Chicken Gristle and Premium Beef Skewers. I definitely prefer the lamb over the beef as the lamb is more moist. The Chicken Gristle were very crunchy and enjoyable. Again, these skewers are topped with a Chinese spice. They are not spicy like chili oil, but for those who don’t regularly eat spicy food, then this may be a bit spicy. I found almost all their skewers were spicy even if it did not say “spicy” on the menu so they definitely cater to those who love spice.

 

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Spicy Fish Balls Pot

I suggested we get the Spicy Fish Balls Pot as I love fish balls! Wow, the amount of fish balls you get was a bit shocking for me, especially since we only had 4 girls. The fish balls are quite tiny though, so not too filling. The fish balls are soaked in a spicy chili oil. Delicious!

 

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Hand Made Noodle in Lamb Meat Soup

To counter some of the spice, we ordered the Hand Made Noodle in Lamb Meat Soup which is a must try! The noodles were bouncy and the soup was rich and flavourful.

 

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Spicy Talipa

On another visit, we had a much larger group so in addition to ordering the usual, we also tried the Spicy Talipa. This is a huge pot with a large fish topped with lots of chilies! You can pay extra to get other toppings and we added quail eggs to ours. The dish comes with a whole fish so still has bone in the middle, so it’s actually not that much if you have a large group. Other dishes we tried during my second visit included Yam Chips which were nice to fight the heat and Saury Fish which were slightly salty and a nice snack on the side.

Overall, I enjoyed Happy Tree House BBQ but their dishes are a bit on the pricier side. Further, if you’re not a fan of spice, then this is definitely not for you as few dishes are non-spicy. I wish they had the options for non-spicy but I guess that’s not their target market. They also play really loud live Mandarin Pop concerts on their screens so it’s hard to have a conversation without screaming a bit. Nice music, but hard to have a conversation.

Pros:
– Well executed dishes for those who enjoy spice
– Large variety of choices for skewers

Cons:
– Music is too loud

Price Range: $30-$50 per person

1: Terrible 2: Poor 3: Average 4: Good 5: Excellent

Food: 3.5 Service: 3 Ambiance: 3 Parking: Free parking in complex Overall: 3.5

 

Happy Tree House BBQ Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

The Meat Up 聚点串吧

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Northern Chinese style skewers have become quite popular recently with various restaurants around Metro Vancouver focusing on this cuisine. One that caught my eyes while driving down Granville was The Meat Up.

 

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The interior is pretty basic but has fun comic type of art. The servers here mostly speak Mandarin, but basic English is okay. They will give you a order sheet and you can fill it out yourself then hand it over to the server.

 

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The restaurant specializes in skewers and you can choose from lamb, beef, chicken, pork, seafood, and vegetables. Most of the skewers require a minimum order of 5 skewers, so it’s best to come with a larger group to be able to try a variety of dishes.

 

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There are also a variety of appetizers as well as carb dishes to fill up on. They also have an alcohol license, so you can order beer, cocktails, and soju. I think one of the more interesting drinks is the beer tower, which I don’t see too many places having it in Vancouver. Great to share if you have a large group.

 

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Sweet Potato

To start, we ordered a variety of appetizers. This included the Sweet Potato which was warm and indeed very sweet. However, for $4, I thought this was quite pricey.

 

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Seaweed Salad

The Seaweed Salad was not exactly what I imagined it to be. This was definitely more of a Northern China style dish as it was acidic and spicy. Very appetizing!

 

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Salt and Pepper Chicken

The Salt and Pepper Chicken was also quite expensive for the portion size at $6.95. The chicken was quite moist and the batter wasn’t greasy though. Rather, the batter was quite pale in colour and just dusted with a slightly spicy powder.

 

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Eggplant

One of my favourite grilled vegetables was the Eggplant as it reminded me of the Taiwanese eggplants topped with a spicy savoury sauce. Again, the eggplant was not cheap at a price of $4.95, but it tasted great!

 

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Traditional Lamb Skewer

Moving onto the skewers, we had to try their signature Traditional Lamb Skewer. These were $1.50 each which is fairly priced. Especially given how expensive skewers are at the night market, these were much higher quality and tasted better than the ones at the night market. I liked how these weren’t too spicy as well. They have a spicy one if you enjoy spicy and they also have spicy powder on the side if you need to add a kick. I much preferred these compared to the ones at Happy Tree because most of Happy Tree’s skewers were already quite spicy.

 

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Honey Chicken Wings, Grilled Rice Cakes

The Honey Chicken Wings come with two on a skewer. These were moist with crispy edges on the skin. On the very right, we tried the Grilled Rice Cakes which none of us were a fan of. These were essentially like Korean rice cakes but put on the grill. The outside became a bit hard and plastic-like but the inside was chewy like mochi.

 

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Traditional Lamb, BBQ Pork Skewers

We ordered more Traditional Lamb skewers (bottom) and also tried the BBQ Pork Skewers. The BBQ Pork (top) was glazed in a sweet sauce and tender to chew.

 

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Chicken Gristle, Black Pepper Beef, Honey Pork Belly Skewers

The Chicken Gristle (bottom) were soft cartilage and dusted with some light spice. Loved the crunchy texture! The Black Pepper Beef (middle) was also enjoyable as the beef was tender and the black pepper flavour was strong but not overbearing. Lastly, the Honey Pork Belly Skewers (top) were sweet with a good ratio of fat to meat. Highly recommend getting the pork belly!

 

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Honey Pork Belly (left), Mantou Bread

On the right, we ordered the Mantou Bread as we were curious how these would taste grilled. I actually really enjoyed these! The Mantou was a bit sweet and salty, but it worked. Sort of like garlic bread with the grill marks. This was a great snack in between all the meat.

 

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Beef Ball

One more skewer we tried were the Beef Balls which I didn’t find any special. Each skewer had two half sliced beef balls and were topped with spicy powder. Would skip this next time.

 

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Signature Fried Rice

Lastly, we tried the Signature Fried Rice, which again, was quite expensive at $7.95 for this tiny bowl. However, the flavour of the Fried Rice was actually really good and everyone really enjoyed it.

Overall, we all enjoyed the food at Meat Up. The skewers and food in general were not too oily or greasy but still had that nice char. This is a great spot if you don’t like spicy skewers, as most of their skewers are dusted lightly with spice. Most of the skewers were under $2 a skewer so quite reasonable. Great spot to have drinks and skewers without having to pay the hefty price at the night market.

Pros:
– Skewers are not too oily or salty
– Skewers are reasonably priced

Cons:
– Many of the appetizers and non-skewer dishes are pricey for the portion sizes

Price Range: $20-30 per person

1: Terrible 2: Poor 3: Average 4: Good 5: Excellent

Food: 3.5 Service: 3 Ambiance: 3 Parking: Free parking in complex or street Overall: 3.5

 

The Meat Up Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

 

Too Two Chinese Sauerkraut Fish 太二

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This sauerkraut fish dish from Sichuan has been popping up all over Richmond and Too Two Chinese Sauerkruat Fish is one of the famous restaurants which specialize in this dish. I believe this is a chain from China so it was no surprise that the restaurant was extremely busy. Be sure to make reservations in advance as you may still need to wait a little.

 

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The interior is actually quite modern and trendy with black walls and funny cartoons and Chinese words across the walls. Couch seating makes it great for large groups, but also a bit awkward to sit depending on how tall you are. I found it difficult to eat as the table was a bit too high for me given the seats were low and I’m not that tall.

 

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When you are waiting for a seat, you’ll find their “homemade pickled sauerkraut” at the entrance. This is used to make their fish soup which is really delicious!

 

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Many had complained that the menu was all in Chinese, but they seem to have added English on their menu now, so it was no problem to order. If you can read Chinese though, you will find that the names of the dishes are quite hilarious. The prices are definitely not cheap here, but if you have a group of 4 or more, then sharing isn’t too bad.

 

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Shredded Chicken

There are quite a few starters and snacks to choose from. We chose the Shredded Chicken which is perfect if you love spicy. The chicken was tender and served cold but the numbing spice was what caught me off guard. This is definitely the Sichuan style numbing spice so many of us who cannot take too much spice found it too much to take.

 

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House Made Sticky Rice Cake

If you can’t take much spice, then you should definitely order the House Made Sticky Rice Cake as a snack to cool off the numbing. Regardless, this should be a must order as they are absolutely delicious! It’s like deep fried mochi topped with some sweet powder and you can then dip it in the brown sugar sauce. So chewy and perfect for any mochi lovers!

 

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Sauerkraut Fish (3-4 people portion)

And onto the main course which is what we came here for! I actually found it interesting that some people complained online that there were not enough choices for main courses and that everything was too spicy. But shouldn’t they have known this restaurant specializes in this spicy fish so you shouldn’t expect many other dishes? Anyways, you can choose different portions based on the number of people you have from (1-2, 3-4, and 4+ people). We noticed many tables of 2 ordered the 3-4 portion and tables of 4 got the Feaster (4+) portion. Guess it technically isn’t too hard to finish since it’s mostly just fish and soup. The whole fish is put in the soup along with skin, but it’s not hard to pull the fish apart from the bones. I believe the fish they use here is tilapia and the fish is extremely moist and tender. As for the soup, I was worried it would be too spicy, but wow, this was delicious and I could actually drink the soup. It is not really numbing and the sourness from the sauerkraut is very interesting. Definitely flavours I have not tried before but I enjoyed. If you can’t eat too much spice, then just make sure not to eat the seeds of the pepper as those are what give the spice. You can also add toppings in your soup for an additional $3.99 for each topping. We chose the Wide Starch Noodle and Frozen Tofu which I both highly recommend. The Wide Starch Noodle is this wide thinly sliced clear noodle which gives a nice chew. The Frozen Tofu soaks up the sauerkraut soup so is very flavourful. This 3-4 portion size was $59.99 and after adding the different toppings, it comes to almost $70. So definitely not cheap and I’m not sure how it compares to other restaurants which also specialize in this dish. But I really enjoyed it!

 

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Fruit Cube Pudding

To cool the spice off, we ended our meal with some dessert. There are two to choose from and we tried both. First is the Fruit Cube Pudding which features a brown sugar syrup base. There are these clear jelly like cubes in the bowl which are very refreshing along with the watermelon and honeydew. I’ve never tried something like this before but I enjoyed it!

 

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Coco Milk Cube Pudding

The Coco Milk Cube Pudding is essentially the exact same as the above except they use a coconut milk base instead of the brown sugar. Both are very refreshing and delicious to end your spicy meal with!

Overall, I really enjoyed trying this new Sichuan dish and will have to try other restaurants to see how they compare. Definitely come with a Chinese speaking friend as it will be much easier to order. Again, price is not cheap and you’ll end up paying around $40 a person, but definitely worth trying this dish if you haven’t had it before!

Pros:
– Sauerkraut fish is delicious!
– Other snacks and side dishes were well executed

Cons:
– Dishes are not cheap

Price Range: $40-50 per person

1: Terrible 2: Poor 3: Average 4: Good 5: Excellent

Food: 4 Service: 3 Ambiance: 3.5 Parking: Free parking in complex Overall: 4

 

Chinese Sauerkraut Fish Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Yuan’s Garden Restaurant

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Jelly Pork

Yuan’s Garden opened up earlier this year in a tiny strip mall on Alexandra. It was previously called Shanghai Morning but looks like they renamed after the move. The interior is much nicer and seating is much more comfy compared to before.

To start, we had the Jelly Pork which which was served cold with a good ratio of jelly and meat. I liked how it wasn’t too salty.

 

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Chicken in Wine Sauce

Next up, we had the Chicken in Wine Sauce which again is served cold. The skin had a nice jelly like layer and the wine flavour was apparent in the chicken.

 

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Xiao Long Bao

My favourite were the Xiao Long Bao. These XLBs are so big and they are filled with so much soup! These are probably one of my favourite XLBs in Richmond. A must order!

 

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Shanghai Style Deep Braised Cabbage with Shredded Pork

The Shanghai Style Deep Braised Cabbage with Shredded Pork doesn’t look very appetizing but it’s a very tasty dish with a savoury broth. The saltiness is mainly from the Chinese shredded pork. A great veggie dish to pair with some of the oilier Shanghainese food.

 

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Sauteed Prawns

The Sauteed Prawns were paired with green peas and a fancy carrot carved into a rooster. We thought that was a funny addition given they don’t really focus on presentation here. Shrimp were moist and bouncy and coated in a nice consommé.

 

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Stir-Fried Beef with Honey Sauce

Another crowd pleaser was the Stir-Fried Beef with Honey Sauce which is served with fluffy mantou buns. The beef is flavourful and sweet and great to scoop into the buns.

 

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Deep Fried Mini Buns

A favourite of mine since a child are the Deep Fried Mini Buns paired with condensed milk. Probably not very healthy, but the pillowy soft interior with crunchy exterior is absolutely delicious!

 

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Shanghai Style Pork Meatball

Another favourite dish of mine that night were the Shanghai Style Pork Meatballs. There are three meatballs served in one dish, but they are huge! The pork meat is mixed with water chestnuts for a nice crunch. The meatballs are big but they are moist in the center and soaked in this savoury sauce. A must order as well!

Overall, I highly recommend Yuan’s Garden for Shanghai food in Richmond. Service is mediocre as expected in most of the Chinese restaurants and I found the crowd to be quite loud during dinner time. Parking is also quite limited in this strip mall, but quality of food and pricing is great here!

Pros:
– Quality of food is great
– Prices are quite reasonable

Cons:
– Ambiance can be quite loud
– Don’t expect much service

Price Range: $20-30 per person

1: Terrible 2: Poor 3: Average 4: Good 5: Excellent

Food: 4 Service: 2.5 Ambiance: 2.5 Parking: Free parking in strip mall Overall: 4

 

Yuan’s Garden Restaurant Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

 

Fortune Terrace Chinese Cuisine

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Fortune Terrace Special Assorted Cold Platter

Fortune Terrace opened up a few years ago in the Olympic Oval area. It is known for having higher prices but fancy presentation. We came here for a family friend gathering for dinner. The interior is grand and spacious with large screens perfect for hosting wedding events. First up, we had the Fortune Terrace Special Assorted Cold Platter. There were four items to share including the jelly fish in Sichuan style, Nanjing salt duck, pork belly, and smoked salmon wrapped lettuce. The pork belly was crispy on the outside, with a good proportion of fat to meat ratio. Another favourite of mine was the jelly fish which was slightly spicy and flavoured nicely with sesame oil. This is a great platter to share if you have a table of 10.

 

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Fortune Terrace Peking Duck Three Ways

Of course at large dinners, Peking Duck is a must. At Foturne Terrace, you can get Peking Duck Three Ways for $88. This comes with the peking duck wrap, soup, and lettuce wrap. I didn’t take a picture of the soup, but essentially, they use the bones to boil a hot soup. As for the peking duck wrap, I thought the amount of meat they were able to skin out wasn’t too much. I guess it was a small duck? The duck itself was good but nothing out of the ordinary or to rave about.

 

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Peking Duck Lettuce Wrap

Next up was the Peking Duck Lettuce Wrap. The seasoning was flavourful and not overly salty. A great and refreshing dish for the summer!

 

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Pea Tips with Braised Mushrooms

As for our veggie dish, we had the Pea Tips with Braised Mushrooms which I really enjoyed. Who doesn’t love pea tips?! The mushroom itself was large but extremely tender and juicy. The dish had a savoury consommé which complemented the vegetables very well.

 

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Whole Scallops & Dried Scallops Fried Rice

Of course we had to get their signature Whole Scallops & Dried Scallops Fried Rice which is shaped in a pyramid! Presentation was amazing, but the dish itself was quite good. There were plenty of large scallops mixed with dried scallops and the rice was cooked perfectly so it wasn’t mushy.

 

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To finish, we were given red bean soup and also a beautiful platter of fruits consisting of watermelon and cantaloupe melon balls. Seriously, the presentation is amazing here!

Overall, the food at Fortune Terrace was good, but the prices were quite steep.  feel like I can get similar quality of food at other restaurants were a cheaper price. Of course, the service here is good and the presentation is outstanding. The ambiance is also quite nice given the restaurant is newer. Would like to come back to try the food during dim sum hours.

Pros:
– Presentation of dishes is really nice
– Decor and service is great

Cons:
– Prices are slightly higher than other restaurants with similar quality of food

Price Range: $30-50 per person

1: Terrible 2: Poor 3: Average 4: Good 5: Excellent

Food: 3.5 Service: 4 Ambiance: 4 Parking: Free parking in underground garage Overall: 3.5

 

Fortune Terrace Chinese Cuisine Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato