Pho Han Vietnamese Restaurant

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I’ve been trying to convince S that good food sometimes comes in the dingiest looking restaurants. So that’s when I tried to convince S that Pho Han might be one of them after reading some of the positive reviews on Zomato. Pho Han is located on Garden City in the same mall as Capstone and Manzo. It’s on the very corner, so you usually only see a sign pointing into the mall, but not the actual store front.

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The outside already looks pretty dingy looking, but the inside is quite the same. It fits less than 20 diners at a time and is run by husband and wife. We were seated on the side next to the windows and there were bars on the windows for security. S described that it felt like he was in a prison… Anyways, first thing I noticed was that the prices had increased from what I had saw online. Previously, a small pho was only $5.99, but it was now $6.50, so quite comparable to other pho spots.

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House Special Beef Noodle Soup

I chose the House Special Beef Noodle Soup and it came with rare sliced sirloin beef which were presented laying on the side of the dish. For some reason, that didn’t feel really appetizing to me, even though I eat rare beef. The bowl also came with beef flank, brisket, tendon, meatballs and tripe. The bean sprouts that came with the noodles were old and wilted. The soup itself was okay, but not mind blowing. There is definitely better pho around Richmond.

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Grilled Lemongrass Pork Chop on Rice

S got the Grilled Lemongrass Pork Chop on Rice, which S complained throughout dinner. The pork chop was dry and most of it was inedible since it was either fat or too chewy. The dish also came with shredded pork, fried egg, and vegetables on rice. To be honest, the plate looked pretty sad and I felt like my parents could do a better job. S obviously was unhappy with the dish.

Overall, I guess S proved me right with Pho Han that it was dingy looking and also had poorly executed food. They also completely forgot our order of spring rolls, but we didn’t want to give it a try anyways after having our food. Service is also basically non-existent and we had to go up to pay since we weren’t able to get the attention of anyone. Still, I have yet to prove to S that there are spots with poor ambiance but delicious food.

Pros:
– 10% off on Mondays
– Pho is somewhat cheaper than other spots

Cons:
– Poor ambiance and service
– Pho is average and pork chop was poor

Price Range: $10-15

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

Food: 2 Service: 1 Ambiance: 1 Parking: 3 Overall: 2

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Kintaro Ramen

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Miso Ramen – medium broth and fat Cha-shu

After a sunny afternoon of biking at Stanley Park, K and I were hungry for food. Since we were on Denman, we began walking towards Robson and of course we came across Kintaro. I’ve been to Kintaro years ago, when it first got all hyped up with the long lines. This was before I started this blog, so of course I had to document it this time. Luckily, it was an odd time to have dinner as it was a bit too early, so we quickly got a seat. Soon after though, there began to form small lines. Definitely still not as crazy as years ago, since there are several other ramen shops in the neighbourhood now. Anyways, I decided to get the Miso Ramen. For the broth, you can choose heavy, medium, or light. As for the Cha-shu (bbq pork), you can choose fat or lean. I chose the medium broth and of course the fat cha-shu. My bowl came and it was a deep yellow broth. A spoon of the broth told me it was going to be a satisfying meal. Their broth is so rich and flavourful! The ramen is chewy and the cha-shu had just the right amount of fat and meat. A good portion of noodles, topped with bean sprouts, green onions, and corn. You only get one slice of cha-shu though, which is similar to many of the other ramen shops. However, the price at Kintaro is always very reasonable.

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Cold Ramen

K went for the Cold Ramen. I’ve never actually tried this one, but it looked very colourful! Since it was such a hot day, it was probably actually a good idea to get this dish rather than the boiling hot bowl I had. It came with a variety of veggies and kelp. She had the cha-shu on the side, so I had them. The cha-shu in her bowl was definitely not as good as mine. It was much more rough and also had no fat on it. I guess it would’ve worked well with her noodles, but definitely not with mine. She had a light sauce to go with her noodles. She said she was quite satisfied with her noodles.

Overall, Kintaro is always a good spot to grab some ramen, especially after hitting up Stanley Park. I find that their ramen are much more reasonably priced, compared to some of the other nearby shops. Small shop with limited seating, but people eat ramen quite quickly, so the line usually moves quickly.

Kintaro Ramen 金太郞 on Urbanspoon

Shang Noodle House

BBQ Pork with Ramen in Pork Broth

Spicy “Tan Tan” Ramen with Crushed Peanuts

Shang Noodle House has actually been open for a while, although it is still fairly new. I believe they opened around the start of this year. I remember watching all the shops underneath the Paloma apartments renovate and Shang Noodle House was one of them. I finally decided to give it a try since it was close to home. The shop has a very modern vibe and is extremely clean and service was very well. Really enjoyed the BBQ Pork with Ramen in Pork Broth, as the broth was very tasty. Overall, I was very satisfied with the food and would definitely recommend giving it a try if you’re looking for noodles. They also serve snacks that you can share, as well as bubble teas and desserts!

Shang Noodle House 尚麵館 on Urbanspoon

Pho Tai Hoa

I actually never even knew Pho Tai Hoa existed to be honest, until my friend  brought me there. We wanted to go to Pho Hoa, which is on Alexandra, but of course parking was limited and we had to go somewhere else. So we ended up at Pho Tai Hoa, which is in the mall near Capstan Way. I never even realized this place at the corner! Well, now I know another Pho place to go to! The decor inside was really interesting. It had a lot of cruise ship decor, with painted sky walls, cruise ship railings, and wooden plank floors. I wonder if this was just the decor left from the previous restaurant or they designed it. Kind of weird actually…But okay, let’s get to the food. I usually get the House Special at Pho places, so I got a small Pho Dac Biet. I like getting House Specials since it usually includes an assortment of ingredients, from tripe, beef balls, beef tendon, to beef flank. It was alright, nothing too special about it, and the size was normal. Soup did taste a little different, but it wasn’t something that I extremely liked or disliked. Not bad I guess, but I will have to try their other food to get a better taste of this place. There were probably only 4 other tables occupied though, but then again, it was a weekday and a little early. Maybe I’ll give it another try!

Pho Tai Hoa on Urbanspoon

Sunway Restaurant

Assam Red Milk Tea with Agar Aloe

Taiwanese Road Side Fried Noodle

Special Deep-Fried Tofu

Mayo Dried Pork Egg Roll

Three Spice Chicken

Popcorn Chicken

Second visit to Sunway Restaurant now! Sunway is a very small Taiwanese restaurant located in Empire Center in Richmond. I believe it is a small family owned business. The whole atmosphere makes you feel like you’re at home. The restaurant it extremely small and they probably only make one round of business during dinner hours, so be sure to go early to grab a seat! Tried their Assam Red Milk Tea this time, and it was so good! They use a special red tea that is called “Assam”, which I really like the taste of! The Agar Aloe was a good addition to it and having it hot was great on a chilly day. The Taiwanese Road Side Fried Noodle was just okay. I expected more from it as it had the words ‘road side’ in the name, but it was definitely lacking some flavour. Quite bland for my taste, and I don’t even eat very feisty food usually! Next, we got the Special Deep Fried Tofu which was so delicious! The sauce made it extra tasty, but after my second tofu, I found the spiciness of the chili sauce starting to kick in! Good regardless though! Next up was the Mayo Dried Pork Egg Roll. I really enjoyed this! It reminded me of those Taiwanese beef rolls, but it had dried pork and egg inside instead. The mayo on top was a great complement to it. We also decided to try the Three Spice Chicken, which I felt was made and tasted a little differently than the ones I have tried elsewhere. They had a lot of vegetables with it, but I found it not to be as flavourful. Lastly, I had to get the Popcorn Chicken again! I swear that I looked around and every single table had this dish. It was pretty much why I wanted to come back. Their popcorn chicken is made so differently that it is to die for. I find that it is not as oily as others, and the fried coating tastes so different from other restaurants! I don’t know what it is, but I would definitely get that again. Delicious meal! And pricing is quite reasonable. I find it a better deal than other bubble tea places like Pearl Castle. Only downside is that seats are limited so go early!

Sunway Restaurant 三味食堂 on Urbanspoon

Lao Shan Dong Homemade Noodle House

Boiled Seasonal Vegetable

Braised Beef Flank with Noodle In Soup (Small)

Braised Beef Flank And Tendon with Noodle In Spicy Soup (Large)

After a early shopping trip at Metrotown, my friend brought be to a Taiwanese Noodle House nearby that was claimed to be really good. Apparently, it’s supposed to be the best Taiwanese noodles in Vancouver! To be honest, I think it wasn’t THAT amazing, but I have to say, the noodles are really good. You can tell that they’re handmade, and not like the ones you get at bubble tea places. The vegetables were a dish that I actually hadn’t had before. I’m not sure if it’s some typical Taiwanese dish, but it tasted really good. They had like bits of onion and garlic chips as well as a special sauce in it. Quite different from the Cantonese style dishes I’m used to. The size of a small was already very big, and when my friend’s large came, I was in shock. It was huge! That would probably be enough for two. The soup base was very good, and they say that there isn’t any MSG, which I trust, as I wasn’t thirsty afterwards. They have a lot of seasoned radish type of things on top which gave it a nice crunch while eating the noodles. Overall, pretty good, but I don’t know if it’s the BEST.

Lao Shan Dong Homemade Noodle House 老山東麵莊 on Urbanspoon

Deer Garden

Salted Jelly Fish in Chili Sauce

House Special Desert Wings and Vegetables in Fish Soup (in back)


Probably the most random food you can order at Deer Garden, but that’s cause we had all ate lunch or weren’t that hungry at the time…  Deer Garden is famous for their “Make your own noodles”, just like Bubble Waffle Cafe, but it’s supposed to be much better! I always hear people raving about how good their noodles are. Unfortunately, I still haven’t tried them yet, but I will do so soon! Got some appies instead this time and I have to say their desert wings are really delicious! Almost as good as the ones at the Aberdeen food court. I haven’t gone there in a long ti me, but I hope they still exist! Food is good, and service is great here. It’s always packed during lunch or dinner hours though, so be sure to go early to grab a spot!

Deer Garden Signatures 鹿園魚湯米線 on Urbanspoon

Bubble Waffle House

Ramen in Hot and Sour Soup with Sliced Beef and Beef Ball

Ramen in Satay Sauce with Vietnamese Ham and Cuttlefish Ball


Bubble Waffe Cafe
has been opened for a while now, but I never got a chance to try it since it’s usually very packed by dinner time. This time, I went a little earlier than dinner time, and got a seat very quickly. Their main specialty seemed to be their “Make Your Own Noodles”. Basically, when you are seated, they don’t give you a menu, but instead, you each get a small piece of paper with a pencil. From there, you choose what type of soup base you want, what type of noodles, 2 toppings on top of the cabbage and mushrooms which are included, and a hot drink. This comes to around a little less than $8. You can however add extra toppings, side dishes, drinks and desserts for a very cheap price. I decided to add egg balls to my bowl of noodles, but oddly enough, they gave me two bags of them. The lady said one was for free! I wish she had told me earlier though, since I really just wanted to try a little, and I was way too full at the end to even finish the other bag. I didn’t get a picture of the egg balls, but I have to say they weren’t the best. I found them a little too soggy, even though they were just fresh out of the kitchen. Noodles were also only decent, but it is a huge bowl for the price. I think I’ve had better noodles elsewhere though. Also thought their egg balls would be really good, since the restaurant name seems to be named after them, but they were a disappointment.

Bubble Waffle Cafe on Urbanspoon