Bánh Mì Très Bon

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Bánh Mì Très Bon was one of the earlier restaurants to open up when Central at Garden City opened up. I heard great things about this new Vietnamese spot, but my heart always fell to Pho 37 when I had a pho craving so it wasn’t until recently that I tried it. The restaurant is very busy during peak hours on the weekends, so try to come a bit earlier. The seating is not the comfiest as the restaurant is pretty small, but the service is extremely friendly and attentive. I especially loved their wooden board menu which is super hipster! The interior is also well decorated and gives you a cute homey feel.

 

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Pho Tai Bo Vien

I decided to go for the Pho Tai Bo Vien or pho noodle soup with beef tenderloin and meatballs. The best part about the pho is it comes with a huge bone marrow as well! They will ask you if you’re okay with it and can take it out if you don’t want it. The broth itself is quite clear and light but there is a slight kick to it from the jalapenos which are already in the soup. You can add bean sprouts, basil and lime to your broth which are in this super cute boat! It should also be noted that their beef is grass fed and hormone free and they do not use any MSG. As the broth was more on the lighter side, I personally preferred Pho37’s pho because I enjoy deeper flavours.

 

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Lemongrass Chicken Vermicelli Bowl

S got the Lemongrass Chicken Vermicelli Bowl which comes with spring rolls. S noted that the bowl was quite delicious but that it was a bit difficult to mix everything together especially after adding the fish sauce as the bowl was too small and the ingredients were spilling out.

Overall, I enjoyed the food we had but thought the items were priced slightly higher. But then again, the service and ambiance is nicer than many pho shops so you probably pay the extra price for that. Hope to return to try their other items!

Pros:
– Quality ingredients and well presented dishes
– Friendly service and cute ambiance

Cons:
– Menu is slightly more expensive

Price Range: $15-20 per person

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

Food: 3.5 Service: 3.5 Ambiance: 3.5 Parking: Free parking at complex Overall: 3.5

 

Bánh Mi Très Bon Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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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

Kizami Japanese Cuisine

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Salmon Oshi

Kizami opened up earlier last year in a tiny strip mall on Leslie Road. Parking can be quite difficult here during peak hours and I would recommend making reservations as the restaurant itself is quite small. The restaurant seems to be Chinese run but the quality of the fish is quite fresh. This comes at a premium price though and they seem to enjoy upselling whenever possible.

To start, we tried the Salmon Oshi. I thought the rice was a bit too dense and although a lot of salmon was provided, it didn’t really have that melt in your mouth texture like Miku’s. For $13, I much rather go to Yui’s which is the closest I’ve had to Miku’s salmon oshi.

 

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Sakura Roll

They don’t really offer any classic traditional rolls, but rather all creative rolls. We tried their Sakura Roll which features spicy tuna, cucumber, and topped with chopped scallop and tobiko. Not bad, but for $13, this is a bit pricey given I could get something similar for around $8 at most sushi joints.

 

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Dungeness Roll

Another roll we tried was the Dungeness Roll which features real crab, salmon, asparagus, avocado, and topped with tobiko. The roll was well constructed but again quite pricey at $13. This is a pretty common roll you can find elsewhere, but I guess they use real crab so it increases the prices.

 

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Yakitori

Kizami has a large robata menu which I quite enjoyed. The Yakitori was glazed with a sweet soy sauce. Each order comes with 2 skewers, so these came to around $2.50 each which is comparable to the ones at Zakusshi. I just wished they had more of a char flavour.

 

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Enoki Beef

The Enoki Beef was one of my favourite. The enoki was wrapped with tender beef and was full of flavour and juicy. Each skewer came with 3 beef wraps. Each skewer was around $3.50.

 

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Chicken Wings

The Chicken Wings were quite tasty as well but interesting how they stressed them out. It made them much easier to eat as the bones easily fell off. Skin was grilled to crispy. Each skewer had two wings and came to $3 per skewer.

 

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Beef Tongue

Last but not least, the Beef Tongue was thinly sliced and lightly salted and flavoured with a sweet soy. Topped with a squeeze of lemon, these were chewy and flavourful. Keep in mind that one order comes with 4 skewers for Beef Tongue and therefore one order is $9.

 

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Sake Clam

Moving on to some appetizer dishes were the Sake Clams. The clams were sweet and plump in a milky sake broth. We were upselled to add uni (sea urchin) on our dish, but it literally was just a dollop of uni and when mixed with the broth, it just melted. I’d much rather just order uni as sashimi or with sushi as I thought this was a bit waste and pricey.

 

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Mentaiko Tofu

I think the Mentaiko Tofu was off their daily special menu and the mentaiko was topped on smooth tofu along with some creamy mayo and seaweed. Not bad but I thought the tofu itself could be a bit more seasoned.

 

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Eggplant

The marinated Eggplant was doused in lots of sweet and savoury sauce with a hint of spice and topped with lots of bonito flakes. The eggplant was cooked to soft and tender. Quite delicious!

 

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Chef’s Choice Sushi

Lastly, we ordered the Chef’s Choice Sushi which features 9 pieces for $28 which isn’t too bad given you get foie gras and wagyu beef topped with a quail egg and these along normally cost $7 each here. All of these nigiri were aburi-style so lightly torched. I’m personally not a huge fan of aburi nigiris unless they are done oshi-style as I much rather enjoy the fresh sashimi itself. If you like aburi nigiri though, then this is a pretty good choice given the quality of ingredients you get and reasonable price.

Overall, I thought Kizami offers some decent dishes if you’re not looking for traditional Japanese cuisine. However, it comes at a hefty price. I do appreciate that they have a good variety of sushi and robata items though and also a large drink menu.

Pros:
– Robata dishes are good
– Quality of ingredients are pretty good

Cons:
– Dishes are on the pricier side

Price Range: $30-$40 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

 

Kizami Japanese Cuisine 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

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

Sweet Memory

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Sweet Memory is the sister restaurant of Memory Corner and I’ve heard great things about this spot. The interior transports you to olden days in Taiwan as it is dimly lit, even on a sunny afternoon. They mainly offer Taiwanese desserts, but they also have a few savoury dishes. The decor is really interesting, with the wooden tables and benches, but to be honest, the seating is not the most comfortable.

 

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They even have a little food stall where there is actual food kept in there. Super cute! They give you free wintermelon tea in a silver pot, and the tea is extremely good! Free refills too.

 

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Homemade Brown Sugar Cake

To start, we ordered the Homemade Brown Sugar Cake which is sort of like a jelly but dusted with brown sugar. Not for everyone as the boys at our table did not enjoy it. However, I love these jelly type of desserts, so I found it quite tast. It also comes with these two cherry tomatoes which are filled with this plum type of filling. Quite interesting, but not my favourite.

 

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Jasmine Jelly with Three Coloured Taro and Yam Balls

My favourite was the Jasmine Jelly which is topped with condensed milk. You can choose a variety of toppings such as pearls and beans. We decided to go with the Three Coloured Taro and Yam Balls which are hidden under the jelly. The jelly was really refreshing and lightly flavoured with jasmine tea. They also have Coffee Jelly or Grass Jelly.

 

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Tofu Pudding with Pearl Barley

We also tried the Cold Tofu Pudding of which you can also customize with different toppings. This time, we got the Pearl Barley. The tofu pudding is not very sweet so I quite enjoyed it.

Overall, I quite enjoyed the desserts, but the guys actually didn’t enjoy them. They thought the desserts were too bland. If you enjoy desserts that aren’t too sweet, then you’ll enjoy these. We did have an issue with one of their drinks though. The guy both ordered a Mango Slushy and it was the worst mango slush I’ve had before. It was extremely diluted and tasted like mango water. However, we let the server know and they quickly said they could remove it from our bill. So in terms of service, they were pretty nice about fixing things for us.

Pros:
– Desserts are not too sweet
– Great variety of traditional Taiwansese desserts

Cons:
– Mango slush was not well executed

Price Range: $10-20 per person

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

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

 

Sweet Memory Dessert Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

 

CACAO 70 Dip Shop

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I’ve been wanting to try CACAO 70 for a while now, but the other locations were a bit out of the way for me. So when I heard the dip shop opened in Steveston Village in Richmond, I was excited to go check it out. The shop is quite small with only a few seats, so it’s more of a grab and go spot. Love the cute decor inside the store though! You can get waffles, drinks, and of course their famous dipped ice cream.

 

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There are a variety of melted chocolate or dips to choose from. The ice cream itself is a vanilla soft serve that comes from the machine. The ice cream is then inverted and dipped into your dip of choice. I found the dip to take a while to really harden though.

 

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Sesame Dipped Soft Serve

I chose the Sesame Dipped Soft Serve and like I said, I found the dip to take too long to harden. Even after getting my pictures, the dip didn’t really harden to a shell. You would need to wait quite a while if you wanted that texture. Instead, it’s a soft flexible shell. The sesame dip has a white chocolate base so I also found the dip to be too sweet for me. However, S didn’t seem to mind it. The ice cream itself was creamy but I wouldn’t say it’s anything to go crazy about.

Overall, the soft serve is decent and if you have a sweet tooth, then this is a nice option if you’re looking for something other than Timothy’s at Steveston Village.

Pros:
– Unique twist to traditional soft serve
– Soft serve is creamy and smooth

Cons:
– Some flavours are on the sweeter side

Price Range: $5-10 per person

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

Food: 3 Service: 3 Ambiance: 3 Parking: Free and paid parking in Steveston Village Overall: 3

 

CACAO 70 Dip Shop 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