Address: 4741 Willingdon Avenue, Burnaby, BC V5G 3H5
Hours: 11 AM to midnight
It was very smart of the owner to open a student-friendly restaurant nearby a high school and a college. 😛
From its name, one would expect this restaurant to be (primarily) a beef noodle house, but it turned out to be a Taiwanese bubble tea restaurant. In other words, they offer a wide range of entree combos (i.e. choice of protein + rice + side veggies). On paper, the combos are decently priced at $10.25 to $14. Funnily we didn’t order any beef noodles because we found other dishes to be more appetizing (they even advertised them more).
Green onion lamb combo ($11.50)
Our first thought of this was: “it’s a bit small…” Not only was the overall portion size small, the meat to onion/green onion ratio was around 1:4. On the bright(er) side, the lamb was tasty and tender. The sauce was nice and peppery.
As for the side dishes:
Mustard green – Pretty standard affair. It’s always nice to have some green vegetables.
Radish/carrot/tofu skin mix – These appeared to have been stewed together. We enjoyed it because enough flavour penetrated into the daikon radish.
Address: Parker Place, 1190-4380 No 3 Road, Richmond, Richmond, BC V6X 2C2
Last night, the Molangs checked out yet another new restaurant in Richmond – Xiang Yuan Qiao Yunnan Cross Bridge Rice Noodle. Whew~ what a long restaurant name!
It was around 7:30 PM, and the place was packed. Luckily, we only waited 10 minutes for a table for two. The restaurant interior is bright, clean, and has a little bit of cartoon-ish flair.
I wish I took a picture of the menu. It was 2/3 noodle items. The noodles were separated into two categories:
“Regular” noodles (around $8 – $10)
“Premium” noodles (around $12.75)
**I’m calling them “regular” and “premium” because I don’t remember the official categories names on the menu. 😛
Both the “regular” and “premium” noodles share the same broth; which is presumably the Chinese pork-boned based clear soup. The only choice of noodle type is rice noodle. From what I could tell, the “regular” noodles come in fewer default toppings, and the overall portion size is just… regular; whereas, the “premium” noodles come with fancier toppings + a giant bowl. The only choice you have to make is what type of meat you want, and the selection is huge: fish, pork, beef, chicken, assorted meat/fish balls, and luncheon meat, etc. We kinda skipped all the regular ones, and gunned for the premium ones 😛 I’ll get to those in a second, but first let’s look at some of the foods we discovered.
Marinated Cumber – $4.95
Simple and refreshing starter. It was spicy with a hint of sweetness. It was also a good complement of the hot noodles we were about to eat.
Sauces & condiments – free!
Yup, there was a sauce station where you could grab your own sauces/condiments: black vinegar, chili sauce, green onions, garlic, cilantro, and sesame oil, etc.
“Premium” Lamb/Pork Belly Noodles – $12.75 each
As seen in the photos, came with the same toppings except for the choice of meat. Our soups were served in a boiling hot ceramic bowl. The idea was to put every ingredient into the soup while it was still boiling (kinda like hotpot). I couldn’t help but to peak at other tables, and I noticed another key difference between the “regular” and “premium” noodles. The “regular” ones lacked the presentation/wow factor, as the soup noodles were served with everything premixed. 😀
Pot Belly Mini Hotpot is a newly opened restaurant in Richmond. They picked an interesting location because one of their direct competitors (I would presume) is just around the corner. Perhaps they’re trying to siphon off some customers since the other mini hot pot place is almost always fully booked.
Ordering is pretty straightforward, as you go through a list, and circle your preferences. Hotpots are $13.99 each.
We went doing lunch hours, and every order of hotpot comes with a free drink. The drink can be either iced black tea or green tea. Milk tea or fruit juices would cost an extra dollar.
They also offer side dishes (~$6.00) like fried chicken nuggets, Taiwanese fishcakes, and stinky tofu, etc., but we were mostly interested in hotpot at the time.
Our cooking apparatus looks cute. The pots were heated up by some kind of oil-jelly. They seem more cost-friendly than gas/electric stoves.
The Molangs stopped by Menya on a weeknight, since it is conveniently located near the Broadway & Cambie SkyTrain station.
Menya offers a variety of noodle dishes at very affordable prices (almost everything is under $10). We decided to go for traditional soup noodles.
Menya Shoyu Ramen – $7.95
Shoyu = soy sauce. The broth of this ramen was a mixture of chicken & vegetable broth, bonito, and soy sauce. As seen in the photograph, the soup looked (and tasted) clear. Unfortunately, it wasn’t served very hot. On the flip side, they gave us a good variety of toppings: cha-shu (pork), mixed vegetables, soft boiled egg, fish cakes, seaweed, and bamboo shoots. It’s hard to go wrong with this kind of classic ramen.
Nagasaki Chanpon – $9.50
Even more so than the shoyu ramen, this one had even more going on! It came with a tonkotsu (pork) broth, so it had a thicker/richer texture and taste. Toppings include: sliced pork, fried egg strips, fish cakes, mixed veggies, and mixed seafood (squid, shrimp, and imitation crab meat). The toppings weren’t “premium” (the shrimps were the size of a nickel), but we appreciated the variety and generous portions. We were glad that they put a lot of vegetables because the heavy soup and cabbage/zucchini make an addicting combination!
The chanpon had thicker noodles than the shoyu ramen, but both were cooked perfectly (what is the Japanese equivalent of al dente?). Continue reading →