Pho 99 (Coquitlam Town Centre)

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I’ve been to Pho 99 in Richmond, but this time we went to the one in Coquitlam, It’s a lot larger and was filled with people at around 5pm.

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Fried Spring Roll

The Fried Spring Rolls were served sizzling hot and were fried until golden brown. These were quite good!

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#14 – House Special – Noodle soup with eye round steak, well-done flank, fatty brisket, soft tendon & beef tripe

I always get the House Special at Pho restaurants since I want everything in my noodles! I got a small #14, which was quite a huge portion compared to other pho restaurants. The tripe was also cooked so it was tender, and not tough. Soup wasn’t bad!

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#3 For the Beginners – Noodle soup with brisket & well-done flank

J got #3 under the For the Beginners section. It was filled with mostly well-done flank and brisket.

Overall, Pho 99 seems more popular in Coquitlam than Richmond. Service was friendly and quick. And the place doesn’t seem as dirty as most Pho restaurants  – always a plus!

Pho 99 Vietnamese Noodle House on Urbanspoon

Gyo-O 魚王

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Gyo-O is a cute little restaurant in the mall on Capstan. I’ve gone here years ago, but hadn’t gone back since. They are famous for their noodles and donburis.

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Inside, the place is nicely decorated with lots of wood and paintings.

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Deep Fried Chicken Soup UdonDeep Fried Chicken in Soup Udon

I had originally ordered the Deep Fried Chicken Bukkake Udon, but unfortunately they brought me a Deep Fried Chicken Soup Udon. I was actually pretty annoyed since our server actually came back to confirm our orders and I specifically pointed it out to her on the menu. I wanted to try their Bukkake Udon because I don’t see many places with this. It’s supposed to be served with only the udon and then you pour this sauce over it, and the noodles are supposed to be extra chewy. Anyways, the soup udon was not bad. I found it a little salty, but the udon was cooked al dante. It also came with lots of deep fried chicken which was great dipped in the soup so it didn’t feel too oily.

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Seafood Tempura Bukkake Udon w/Egg (NO EGG) – Prawn, Salmon, Squid, Unagi, Fishcake, Vegetables Tempura with Half Boiled Egg on Dry Udon

J got the Seafood Tempura Bukkake Udon without the egg. The sauce was pretty much something similar to soy sauce, so it was actually way too salty.

Overall, Gyo-O was alright. I felt a little disappointed just because I didn’t get what I had ordered specifically although I tried J’s and it was a little too salty for my liking. They also have a lot of other donburis that look pretty good. Their menu is quite large, so there are always lots to try.

Gyo-O 魚王 on Urbanspoon

Pho Queen

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I wanted pho the other day but I felt like I’ve been going to same places in Richmond, so I decided to urbanspoon what other pho places there were in Richmond. I ended up finding Pho Queen, which I’ve actually passed by multiple times but haven’t tried.

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Cooked Bean Sprouts

The place was pretty much empty when we got there since it was an odd 3-4 p.m. time on a weekday. I believe the place is Vietnamese owned since the lady started speaking some language I couldn’t understand to me. Service here is definitely not that great. She was kind of rude actually, just throwing menus at me and all… Anyways, we were given cooked bean sprouts, which I always enjoy since I don’t like them raw.

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Pho Tai – Rare Steak Noodle Soup

J got a large Pho Tai, which is basically noodles with rare steak in it. It had tons of cilantro and green onions and was quite a large bowl for only $7.

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Pho Queen Dac Biet – Pho Queen Special Beef Noodle Soup

For myself, I got a small Pho Queen Dac Biet, which is their special. I always like to try the specials during my first visit, since they include all the different ingredients. This one had rare steak, tendons, meatballs, and tripe. It was also topped with lots of cilantro, which I did not like. The tripe was also not cut well, so it was a huge piece and extremely difficult to chew on. The other items were decent however. I also found that the soup wasn’t that rich in beef flavour. I love the broths that are rich in flavour since you can tell they made the broth for many hours. This one seemed like it might’ve had some MSG in it. The portion for a small was still decent though.

Overall, Pho Queen is decent for their prices. I would still opt for Thai Son which has better service and quality.

Pho Queen 皇后越南餐廳 on Urbanspoon

Bubble Waffle

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I was told that the Bubble Waffle that used to have their own store is now in the food court of Aberdeen Centre, so I decided to go check it out. The place was packed and had a variety of food to choose from. There were of course bubble waffles, their signature make your own noodles combo, and some surprisingly items like hurricane potato fries and rice rolls!

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Hong Kong Rice Roll Combo – Rice rolls, fish balls, shiu-mai, all mixed with a mixture of sauces

K and I shared some items. We got the Hong Kong Rice Roll Combo because it reminds us of the ones we can get in Hong Kong. I have to say the quality of the rice rolls are nothing special at all, but it’s the fact that you get a bunch of your favourite food all mixed in a tasty sauce in a bowl. I didn’t find the fish balls to be that great, but the Shiu-Mai were pretty good. It was all mixed in a peanut and sweet sauce. Yum! This item, however, took quite a while to be ready. I think I waited 15-20 minutes for it.

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Make Your Own Noodle Combo – Oil Noodles in Minced Pork Fish Soup with Fried Shrimp Ball and Fish Ball with Shrimp

We also got the Make Your Own Noodle Combo. We chose oil noodles, and a minced pork fish soup base. I felt like the soup base was full of MSG, but it was quite flavourful. It was filled with tons of cabbage which were tasty soaked in the soup. We chose to add two toppings, so it ended up for only $4.95, which is an extremely good deal for the portion you get. It is definitely enough for 1 person if you are not a big eater. We chose the Fried Shrimp Ball, which was alright, but I really liked the Fish Ball with Shrimp! It was basically a outer layer which was made of fish, and it was filled with shrimp inside. They looked like little dumplings which were pretty cool!

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Cold Lemon Ribena

Lastly, for my drink, I got the Cold Lemon Ribena, which was fizzy and delicious. I love ribena and lemon tea, so it was the perfect match!

Bubble Waffle Cafe on Urbanspoon

Chef Hung

Looking for food on Christmas is always a headache! Pretty much every restaurant is closed on Christmas Day…well except for Asian restaurants! And so we headed over to Aberdeen, and the parking lot was just a mess. Aberdeen Centre is the only mall open on Christmas in Richmond I think…so I guess everyone just crowds there. After long waits stuck in traffic in the parking lot, I met up with K, JW, and JZ for some Taiwanese food at Chef Hung.

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Pan-fried Crispy Pancake with Green Onion

I didn’t try these, but they looked nicely pan-fried. At least they weren’t burnt!

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Braised Beef Shank & Tripe with Thin Noodle in Soup

I’ve tried their noodles a few times before, and their Champion Beef Shank is always popular. This time I chose the Braised Beef Shank & Tripe. As always, the soup broth was tasty and wasn’t overwhelming in flavours. The soup is supposed to be MSG-free. The tripe is basically the cow’s stomach, and had great texture. It wasn’t too tough which is always good.

Overall, not bad! I always seem to go back whenever I want Taiwanese noodles. It also won 2012’s Vancouver Restaurant Award for being the Best Noodle House, so I guess that says something. Worth giving it a try.

Chef Hung Taiwanese Beef Noodle 洪師傅牛肉麵 on Urbanspoon

Deer Garden Signatures 鹿園魚湯米線

Everyone got home super late the other night, so we were all starving. Problem was…no one wanted to cook. So off we went to grab some quick food. Mom decided that we go to Deer Garden. She seems to love those noodles. The place is always packed though! We probably waited around 15 minutes before getting a seat for dinner.

Hot Lemon Ribena

They are famous for their “Make Your Own Noodle Combo” type of menu, which is similar to many other Chinese restaurants out there these days. However, they also offer other types of HK style food. I shared two noodle bowls with my sister and mom since I had just ate some dim sum an hour earlier. This is the Hot Lemon Ribena that my sister ordered that comes with your noodles. All noodle combos, and many of the HK style combos come with a hot drink free of charge as well. I found the lemon ribena to be quite sour, and would much prefer it cold, but that would be an additional charge.

Original Fish Soup + Sliced Beef Brisket + Fish Puffs + Rice Noodles

For the Noodle Combos, you choose your soup base, 2 toppings, noodles, and a hot drink for $8.50. Mom got the Rice Noodles in the Original Fish Soup, with Sliced Beef Briskets and Fish Puffs. The soup had no MSG according to their menu, and I would believe so, as I wasn’t thirsty after drinking the soup. It was strong in fish flavour, but other than that, I found it a little bland. The beef brisket was extremely tender, and I liked the rice noodles as they had a great texture. Mom also got the Hot Ovaltine with her combo.

Desert Wings with Ginger

She also added a $1.75 to get 3 Desert Wings added to her combo. I didn’t eat them, since I was still sick, but I’ve had them before and they are quite delicious.

ChaoChou Style Dried Fish and Minced Pork Fish Soup + Chicken Balls + Beef Stomach + Udon

Sis got the Udon with the ChaoChou Style Dried Fish and Minced Pork Fish Soup, with Chicken Balls and Beef Stomach. I found that her soup base had much more flavor, even though it said the fish soup had no MSG on the menu. Her Chicken Balls, however were full of MSG. It was super salty and flavourful…totally MSG. All noodles also came with lots of cabbage, mushrooms, and bean curd.

Baked Pork Chop on Rice with Honey Tomatoes Bacon Sauce

Dad wanted to be adventurous and decided to get something other than their famous noodles. He chose the Baked Pork Chop on Rice with Honey Tomatoes Bacon Sauce instead. It was a large portion and he said it was extremely hot all throughout the dish. The amount of pork chop was also extremely generous. It was one large piece that reached from one side of the casserole dish to the other. However, he expected some bacon, and it took him a while to discover some bacon bits on the top of the sauce. He also said that he couldn’t really taste any honey, which he was expecting. All in all, he said it was not bad.

Overall, Deer Garden is a great place to get a decent meal if you’re looking for noodle combos, or HK style combos. The prices are quite average, but you are looking to be waiting around during busy lunch and dinner times. The food never seems to disappoint too much, but you won’t be expecting any superior service at this busy restaurant.

Deer Garden Signatures 鹿園魚湯米線 on Urbanspoon

Sapporo Ramen Shogun

Gyoza

Miso Soup

Bibimbap

ChaShu Miso Ramen

It’s my last day interning at the office so M and H decided to take me out for lunch. And now I’m back in the office blogging, instead of working… All is good 🙂

Anyways, I took out my wisdom teeth last week, so I’m still stuck with eating soft food. At least I’ve moved away from drinking soups and congees all day! H decided we should get ramen since it’s something that I could eat. H and I both agreed that Denman had lots of great ramen places, but it was kind of far from our office, so H brought us to Sapporo Ramen Shogun instead. It’s a tiny little shop with wooden decor and cool Japanese cartoon decorations. It seemed pretty busy during the lunch hour as well.

We were seated quickly and service was prompt. Got our orders in, and food came within 5 minutes. We ordered Gyozas to share, and I thought these were quite good. Quite flavourful, and they weren’t burnt! Not bad! M got the Bibimbap, which I believe came with the Miso Soup and the side dish with what I believe were veggies. I didn’t try, but he said it was pretty good. H and I both got the ChaShu Miso Ramen. It was quite large in size and had lots of ChaShu pieces. The ChaShu pieces were not as tender as some I’ve had, but they were not bad. I liked the ramen noodles though, as they were soft but still had a chew to it. The broth could have been more rich in flavour, but it was alright. Wasn’t bland or anything, but could have been more flavourful.

Overall, a decent place to grab a quick lunch if you’re craving ramen in downtown. I wouldn’t say it is as great as the ones at Denman, but you won’t need to line up forever to get some food. Thanks M and H again! It’s been a pleasure working at the office 🙂

Sapporo Ramen Shogun on Urbanspoon

Benkei Ramen

Shio Ramen

Miso Ramen

Shrimp Gyozas

I was craving some ramen the other day, and we were headed towards the downtown area so I quickly urbanspooned what was around, and of course the typical Kintaro and Santouka come up. I spotted Benkei Ramen, which had pretty good ratings, so I was down to try something new.

The exterior is really Japanese with the wooden decor and upon entering, we found ourselves with a bunch of Japanese customers. I always think that if you find lots of Japanese people in a Japanese restaurant, it must be good. Same goes to other cuisines. The employees were also all Japanese, and after looking at the website now, I learned that it is also owned by a Japanese man who has many restaurants in Japan.

I had the Miso Ramen, which came with bamboo shoots, bean sprouts, green onions, and Chashu. It had a seafood broth, pork base soup, and their special miso, which was very delicious. I didn’t think this was the best ramen I’ve had, but it’s honestly not bad. I also tried a Shrimp Gyoza, which was something different since I usually get pork. It definitely had a shrimp in it, but I thought it tasted quite simliar in taste to the pork ones.

Benkei is a great place to go for ramen if you’re in the downtown area, although it is quite far down the shopping area. It’s also surrounded by both Kintaro and Santouka, but those places always have huge line ups, so if you can’t wait, then Benkei is a great place to go.

Benkei Ramen (Robson) on Urbanspoon