MYST Asian Fusion – ChineseBites Media Event

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NOTE: All food and beverages were complimentary, but all opinions are based on my own personal experience.

Two weeks ago, MYST Asian Fusion opened in Burnaby. The parking lot in the front can get filled up quickly during peak hours, but free street parking is available along Kingsway. The restaurant features a variety of Asian inspired dishes and has modern decor that even lights up at night giving a lounge feel. We were invited by ChineseBites to check out some of their dishes.

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Calpis Butterfly Pea Flower and Strawberry Lemon Butterfly Pea Flower

There is a long list of drinks available, including your typical bubble tea. They also have a few versions of the Butterfly Pea Flower, which has become a popular drink on many bubble tea shop menus.

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Green Apple Slush

Their Slushies are also super cute, with marshmallows and chocolate eyes. Liquor is also available for drinks, including my favourite Taiwanese fruit beers!

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Steamed Sticky Rice Dumplings

Onto food, we tried the Steamed Sticky Rice Dumplings which are common at Shanghainese restaurants. Because there is rice inside, I find that this dish tends to be on the dry side.

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Assorted Deep Fried Basket

The Assorted Deep Fried Basket was filled with deep fried squid, pork blood, and chicken. A great dish to share.

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MYST Deluxe Marinated Pork with Rice

This dish was definitely a deluxe take on the classic Taiwanese marinated pork on rice. It was topped with lots of Taiwanese sausage and a sunny side egg. Mix it all together, and this was delicious and full of flavour!

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Marinated 3 Item Combo (Seaweed, Dried Tofu, Pork Ear String)

The Marinated 3 Item Combo is common among Taiwanese cuisine. Not my favourite though as I am not a huge fan of pork ear.

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Chives, Shrimp & Pork Dumplings

The dumplings were simple but very tasty and flavourful. The chili soy sauce on the side was addicting!

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MYST Beef Noodle Soup

The MYST Beef Noodle Soup is filled with shank, tripe, and tendon.

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TaiNan Style Egg Noodle Soup

A very different noodle compared to the above, the TaiNan Style Egg Noodle Soup is less flavourful but a great option if you want a more clear broth.

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Fried Chicken in Chili Pepper

The Fried Chicken were large in size and deep fried to a golden brown while the meat remained moist. Yummy!

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Preserved Cabbage with Shredded Pork Fried Rice Cake

A simple dish, but very tasty, with the rice cakes being just the right amount of chew. Not too oily either.

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Delicious Sandwiches

A classic favourite for kids, these sandwichese were filled with tomato, egg, ham, and cucumber.

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Skewers

  • Pork intestine $2.25/each
  • Lamb $2.25/each
  • Pork $2.25/each
  • Chicken $2.25/each
  • Fish cake $3.50/each
  • Chicken gizzard $2.25/each

When I say MYST has a large variety of dishes, I’m not kidding because they even have skewers! You don’t need to go to the night market to get your fix of these. However, I did find that they lack the char that the night market ones have.

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House Special Spicy Lamb Hot Pot

My favourite of the night was the House Special Spicy Lamb Hot Pot. It was filled with tender slices of lamb, imitation crab, and a variety of vegetables. The broth was spicy and very flavourful! This is served with rice and a few side dishes.

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MYST Jelly

For dessert, we tried the MYST Jelly which is tasted like wintermelon and brown sugar. Slightly too sweet for some as wintermelon can often be. The texture was also a bit odd as it seemed like too much gelatin was put in it.

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MYST Taiyaki

The MYST Taiyaki comes in a waffle bowl, with matcha ice cream, red beans, mochi balls, and a red bean filled taiyaki. The mochi balls are melon flavoured which was interesting! Not bad, but I found the mochi to be more hard than chewy.

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Strawberry Shaved Snowflake

The Strawberry Shaved Snowflake is definitely picture worthy. They are smart to use a bowl shaped like this to maximize the effect of the dry ice. As for the dessert itself though, I didn’t like the artificial strawberry flavour. Perhaps the mango version would be better.

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Hakka Style Sweet Rice Cake

Lastly, we tried the Hakka Style Sweet Rice Cake, but most of us were not a fan of it. Perhaps it was the dates inside which gave a bitter aftertaste. It also tasted like there was alcohol in it, which many of us were not fond of.

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Overall, there are hits and misses at MYST Asian Fusion, but the good thing is they have such a large variety of choices so there is something for everyone. They also open from 7:30 am for breakfast until 1am from Sunday to Thursday and until 2am from Friday to Saturday.

Myst Asian Fusion Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Ken’s Chinese Restaurant – ChineseBites Media Event

NOTE: As part of the ChineseBites media event, all food was free, but all opinions are based on my own personal experience.

Last month, I was invited by ChineseBites to do a tasting at Ken’s Chinese Restaurant. The restaurant has been around for many years and serves traditional Chinese dishes as well as some HK style cafe dishes.

Fish Soup with Winter Melon & Dried Scallop 瑤柱冬瓜粒魚湯

Chinese dinners always start with soup, and we got to sample the Fish Soup with Winter Melon & Dried Scallop. Flavourful with lots of ingredients and great for a cold rainy night.

Ken’s Specialty Chicken 南軒走地雞

Ken’s Specialty Chicken was tender with a nice layer of jelly under the skin.

Lobster with Konnyaku in Hot Pot 芋絲龍蝦煲

One of their signature dishes is the Lobster with Konnyaku in Hot Pot. This was very flavourful with the lobster cooked just right and the konnyaku noodles soaking up the delicious broth. A must order!

Crab with Garlic & Spicy XO Sauce XO 金蒜炒蟹

We got to sample two of their signature crab dishes. The first was the Crab with Garlic & Spicy XO Sauce. The sauce is more of a dry sauce and great if you love spicy flavours. I could eat the whole dish if I didn’t have to share!

Golden Dungeness Crab 金沙蟹

The Golden Dungeness Crab was one of my favourites as I love crab or lobster that is coated with a salty egg yolk batter. Very flavourful but some found it to be too filling because of the egg yolk. I loved it though!

Braised Fatty Layer Pork 杭州東玻肉

The Braised Fatty Layer Pork seems like a must order at ChineseBites events, and this one didn’t disappoint. A good layer of fat to meat ratio but I did find that this one felt more oily than others I’ve had.

Pan Fried Chicken Fillet with Spicy Thai Sauce 泰汁煎雞扒

The Pan Fried Chicken Fillet with Spicy Thai Sauce was quite average for me as I didn’t find it too special. The chicken was quite tenderized, but nothing too special with the sauce as it tasted like store bought Thai sweet chili sauce.

Malaysian Style Fried Rice 馬拉臘味炒飯

I actually quite enjoyed the Malaysian Style Fried Rice as it had a bit of a kick to it. Good amount of ingredients in the rice.

Black Pepper Diced Beef Tenderloin 七彩黑椒牛柳粒

I was pleasantly surprised with the Black Pepper Diced Beef Tenderloin as I find that this dish can be easily overdone. This was however delicious with the beef extremely tender and cooked to a nice medium to medium rare. The colourful peppers also made the dish visually appetizing and tasted great.

Baked Seafood on Rice 焗海鮮飯

Lastly, we had the Baked Seafood on Rice. This was quite average with a nice layer of white cream sauce and melted cheese. Nothing too special compared to your typical HK style cafes.

Overall, there were some hits and misses, but I would highly recommend trying their crab and lobster dishes. A great casual Chinese restaurant for families but ambiance is rather dated. Reasonable prices and some great dishes though.

Ken's Chinese Restaurant Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Lin Chinese Cuisine and Tea House – ChineseBites Media Event

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NOTE: As part of the ChineseBites media event, all food and beverages were free, but all opinions are based on my own experience.

Lin Chinese Cuisine and Tea House is just a few blocks down from my office on West Broadway and we usually order take out here during busy season. From my previous experience, it wasn’t exactly the greatest, so I was curious to see what there was to offer during the ChineseBites media event.

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The restaurant was bustling when we arrived around 6:30pm and had a good amount of traffic the whole time. Ambiance is quite average.

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Marinated Gluten Curds 美味烤麩

We started off with some cold appetizers. First up were the Marinated Gluten Curds. These were served cold and consisted of bean curds and black fungus. The flavours were quite good and not overly salty.

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Smoked Fish 美味熏魚

Another appetizer was the Smoked Fish. This again was very flavourful and I liked how it was still relatively moist inside.

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Shanghai Vegetables with Pressed Tofu 馬蘭頭

The last cold appetizer was the Shanghai Vegetables with Pressed Tofu. The server told us that this is a very popular Shanghainese dish. I thought this would go quite well with rice.

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Xiao Long Bao 小籠湯包

Next up were the table’s favourite Xiao Long Bao. You can watch the chef make these fresh behind the glass. These were rather small and left us wanting more. Soup was delicious and the wrapper was thin.

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Chef’s Special Supreme Hotpot Soup 全家福

The Chef’s Special Supreme Hot Pot Soup is apparently a great dish to eat with your whole family since each ingredient has a meaning of the family being united and together. The pot was filled with huge meatballs which were extremely juicy, as well as potstickers, noodles, and various other dumpling like items. Great to have during the cold winter season.

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Green Onion Halibut 蔥烤銀鱈魚

The Green Onion Halibut had a delicious sauce. The only complaint I had were the amount of bones in it since I’m not fond of picking the bones out in my fish. Otherwise, a very tasty dish.

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Braised Pork Ribs 無錫排骨

Another favourite was the Braised Pork Ribs which is in a sugary syrup sauce. If you love sweet dishes, this is great for you. It didn’t taste very healthy but the meat was so tender it just fell off the bones. Yum!

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Honey Prawns 蜜汁大蝦

My favourite of the night were the Honey Prawns. Again, this is a rather sweet dish, but I loved it. The prawns were huge ad lightly battered and then deep fried. They were then covered generously in a honey sauce.

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Tea Smoked Duck 樟茶鴨

The Tea Smoked Duck was served with little Chinese buns on the side. However, since the duck still had bones in it, it was rather hard to eat along with the buns. As well, I found the duck to be on the salty side. Still, the skin was crispy.

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Shanghai Vegetable Rice Cake 齊菜年糕

A filling dish was the Shanghai Vegetable Rice Cake. I believe the veggies were the same that was used in the cold appetizer. The rice cakes had a nice chew but were still very soft. Quite good.

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Shanghai Spicy Tofu Hot Pot with Seafood 上海辣子豆腐煲

Another favourite of mine was the Shanghai Spicy Tofu Hot Pot with Seafood. This actually reminded me of a Sze Chuan dish instead. The prawns were large and the soup was flavourful with some heat. I could eat this with rice all day.

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Eight Treasure Sweet Sticky Rice 八寶飯

To wrap up our dinner, we were served the Eight Treasure Sweet Sticky Rice, which seems to be the given dessert at any Shanghainese retaurant. It was filled with red bean paste and various candied items (apparently 8 items). It was alright, but I found it rather sweet and I guess I’m just not a fan of this dish in general.

Overall, I was quite impressed with the items I tried at Lin Chinese Cuisine this time around. I didn’t know the chef is Shanghainese, so apparently their top items are actually the Shanghainese dishes. I feel like I’ve been getting the more Cantonese style dishes here which do not seem to live up to the prior. Will definitely be giving these items another try again during my busy season coming up!

Lin Chinese Cuisine Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Icy Bar 利源冰店 – ChineseBites Media Event

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NOTE: As part of the ChineseBites media event, all food and beverages were free, but all opinions are based on my own experience.

I attended another ChineseBites event a few weeks ago and this time it was at Icy Bar, located on Kingsway near Boundary. They also have locations on Kingsways and Knight, Parker Place, Crystal Mall, and the Richmond Night Market. I’m sure you have seen everyone holding those mango desserts if you’ve been to the night market!

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The interior is simple and nothing too fancy. Their menu is basically only Taiwanese bubble tea drinks and desserts. Some interesting notes are that their mochi are made from scratch, pancakes are made fresh everyday and their fruits are fresh cut everyday.

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Lychee Slush, Fresh Taro Milkshake, Mango Slush

We all started off with some drinks. I had the Fresh Taro Milkshake and this was very smooth and creamy, but the taro flavour was quite light. Their bubble teas are quite large and you can also let them know if you want it less sweet.

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Traditional Eight Mix Icy 八寶冰

We started off with two varieties of Traditional Eight Mix Icy. You can customize your shaved ice with a variety of toppings. Pictured above was fresh mango, strawberries, lychee, pineapple, watermelon, melon, rainbow jelly, popping pearls and a scoop of green tea ice cream. Eight toppings go for $10.00, four toppings for $6.75 and three toppings with coconut milk cup for $5.50. Ice cream is extra and can range from an additional $2-4 depending on the flavour.

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This customized mix icy has fresh mangoes, red bean, green bean, kidney bean, taro, peanuts, mochi balls, green tea mochi balls, mango mochi balls, almond jelly, grass jelly, chendol, basil seeds, and topped with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. The shaved ice are huge, so you can share with friends. Minimum charge per person is only $3.50, so quite affordable.

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Strawberry Mango Ice Cream Icy 芒果草莓雪糕冰

You can also order their icys with topping that are pre-set. These are their most popular combinations. We tried the Strawberry Mango Ice Cream Icy topped with a scoop of vanilla ice cream and a mango sauce drizzle. You sure get a ton of fruits!

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Mango Ice Cream Mochi Icy芒果雪糕冰

The Mango Ice Cream Mochi Icy was one of my favourites since you get fresh mangoes, mango mochi balls, original mochi balls, a scoop of vanilla ice cream and mango sauce on top. Their mangoes are fresh and sweet. I also love their homemade mochi balls.

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Pancake Series 班戟

The Pancake Series come in four choices for flavours: taro, durian, mango, and strawberry.

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These pillowy pancakes are filled with fresh cream and the respective fruits. I tried the durian pancake and it was definitely very creamy and strong in durian flavour. The taste lingered in my palette for quite some time…

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Black Rice with Coconut Milk 椰汁黑糯米

The Black Rice with Coconut Milk was slightly sweet and very coconuty in flavour. The black rice gave this dessert a nice chew.

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Tea Egg茶葉蛋

One of their very few savoury items is the Tea Egg, which is a very common snack in Taiwan and Asia. The cracked appearance comes from pre-boiled egg which is cracked and boiled again in tea and other sauces.

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The yolk is fully cooked and firm and I liked the star anise and tea flavour.

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Chocolate Honey Toast 巧克力金磚

Back to some sweets, we had the Chocolate Honey Toast. The toast is cut into the cubes and topped with vanilla ice cream and chocolate sauce. Surprisingly, this wasn’t too sweet and the toast was crunchy.

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Plant Pudding 盆栽布丁

The Plant Puddings were both pretty to look at and tasted great. There are five flavours to choose from: Original, durian, mango, Oreo, and tiramisu. My favourite was the tiramisu as the ingredients like the cream and coffee just naturally went well together. If you like durian though, you will find this the durian plant pudding quite satisfying as there are chunks of durian in the dessert.

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Red Bean Green Tea Ice Cream on Thick Toast 红豆抹茶冰淇淋

Another thick toast was the Red Bean Green Tea Ice Cream on Thick Toast. Green tea and red bean naturally go well together, so this was quite good. The toast also kept its firmness and the dessert was not overly sweet.

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Tofu Pudding豆腐花 

To finish off our night, we got to sample the Tofu Pudding with a variety of toppings (same toppings as shaved ice). Even though I piled a lot of toppings on top, the tofu pudding wasn’t too sweet, which I liked.

Overall, Icy Bar has a large variety of desserts and there is something for both the hot and cold days. My favourites of the night were their shaved ice and tofu pudding. Great spot to chill with friends and share some desserts.

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Fraser Court Seafood Restaurant – ChineseBites Media Event

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NOTE: As part of the ChineseBites media event, all food and beverages were free, but all opinions are based on my own experience.

I was fortunate enough to be invited by ChineseBites to test 11 dishes at Fraser Court Seafood Restaurant along with a few other food bloggers. Fraser Court is pretty popular and I always hear my parents talking about their dinners here with their friends, but I, myself, had not been. It’s located on Fraser St. so not particularly an area that I would make my way out to with my friends. More like a place for family dinners. There is tons of parking in the back, which is always a plus in Vancouver. Oh, and they have a ballroom type of room that is separated out where people turn on the disco ball and start dancing and singing… Yes, live Chinese karaoke goes on during dinner time…

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Fraser Court Deluxe Appetizer Platter 紅日大拼盤

Anyways, our first dish that arrived was the Fraser Court Deluxe Appetizer Platter. A very typical dish that is served at weddings and special events. It consisted of jelly fish, jellied pork hock, honey garlic spareribs, and beef shank. Most of it was pretty mediocre, but I did enjoy the spareribs.

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Whole Winter Melon with Seafood 八寶冬瓜盅

Next up was the impressive-looking Whole Winter Melon with Seafood. This one had loads of ingredients, including duck, lotus seeds, Chinese ham, pork, snow fungus, peanuts, crab meat, fish maw, dried scallop and lots more…

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The servers split this up for us and every spoonful was loaded with ingredients. The soup was very tasty.

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Lobster in Supreme Soy Sauce 頭抽龍蝦

Next up was the Lobster in Supreme Soy Sauce. I quite enjoyed the sauce since it was a mix of salty and sweet.

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Chef’s Secret Recipe Jumbo Crab 招牌秘製大蟹

The Chef’s Secret Recipe Jumbo Crab is supposed to have the “secret recipe sauce,” but I honestly thought it tasted quite like the same sauce used for the lobster. I was a little disappointed with how skinny the crab legs were so it was quite difficult to get the meat out. Nevertheless, still pretty good!

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Sauteed Three Kinds of Seafoods with Black Fungus & Greens 金瓜雲耳炒三鮮

The Sauteed Three Kinds of Seafoods with Black Fungus and Greens had shrimp, scallops, and cuttlefish. The snap peas were cooked so they remained crunchy and this was a flavourful dish overall.

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Roasted House Specialty Chicken 秘製生焗走地雞

The Roasted House Specialty Chicken seemed to be a favourite among the table. The chicken was moist, but most importantly, the skin was extremely crispy! I also found that it had a bit of alcohol flavour to it.

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Clams & Whole Tilapia Fish Chiu Chow Style 潮式大蜆鰂魚煲

The Clams & Whole Tilapia Fish Chiu Chow Style was not my favourite since I’m not a huge fan of whole fish cooked Chinese style in general. The fish was quite moist though.

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Scallops & Egg Tofu with Eggplants in Spicy Garlic Hot Pot 漁香三子煲

One of my favourites was the Scallops & Egg Tofu with Eggplants in a Spicy Garlic Hot Pot. I LOVE egg tofu, and this one didn’t disappoint. The tofu was soft and silky with the outer layer being crispy. I also quite liked the spicy sauce, although I found it to taste like Thai sweet chili sauce…

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Sliced Tender Beef with Mushrooms 醬燒肥牛粒

The Sliced Tender Beef with Mushrooms were average, as the beef wasn’t very tender.

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Halibut Belly with Shallots & Green Onions 京蔥頭抽哈利拔頭腩

The Halibut Belly with Shallots & Green Onions tasted quite like the lobster and crab. This is pretty appetizing since it’s flavourful and fried. Not bad!

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Baked Tapioca Pudding 西米焗布甸

To finish our large meal, we had Baked Tapioca Pudding for dessert. One of my favourite desserts at Chinese restaurants since I don’t like red bean soup. The top crust was crunchy and sweet and the tapioca was cooked to just right. Yummy!

Overall, I was quite satisfied with Fraser Court’s dishes. If you don’t mind the live karaoke from your fellow diners, then this would definitely be a great place for family or larger gatherings.

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