Imagine you arrived at a restaurant where the exterior was all wrapped up so you couldn’t see the inside, and all you could see was the LED marquee sign by the door. Then, as you were led into the restaurant the interior décor made you feel like you entered a night club, and you started thinking to yourself, what the heck did I get myself into?!
That’s kind of how I felt when I went to 0755 Restaurant and Lounge in Richmond. As part of the Chopstick Fest preview, a few of us were invited to sample the menu of this restaurant. Frankly I didn’t know what to expect even by the time we were seated inside.
According to the menu, 0755 is an area code in Shenzhen. It symbolizes that the restaurant menu is inspired by the food culture of this city in Southern China.
And we were all pleasantly surprised. We tried a number of savoury items and there were many high points. Some of my favourites were:
Sour Jellyfish Head – Jellyfish head is actually the edge of a piece of jellyfish, so it has a crunchier texture that regular jellyfish. Because it didn’t have much flavour on its own, it really took up the black vinegar and chili pepper in the marinade. It’s quite refreshing and the sourness helped whet your appetite.
Garlic Steamed Scallop – This is one of my favourite ways to prepare fresh scallops. It reminds me of my visit back to Hong Kong where we had a big seafood feast in Tuen Mun. The fresh scallops would be steamed on the half shell with a garlic sauce. If you are a garlic fan, you would really enjoy the prominent garlic flavour. It’s light, but luxurious at the same time.
Braised Spot Prawns – I usually prefer lighter sauces for spot prawns so I could taste their natural sweetness, but this dish really surprised me.
I found myself really enjoy the tingly, numbing sensation from the szechuan peppercorns, as well as the heat from the chili peppers. Spot prawns themselves had great, firm texture.
Steamed Garlic Loofah – Loofah is also known as Chinese okra, bigger in size, minus the slimy texture inside an okra. The loofah was steamed, but the texture remained slightly crunchy, which was nice. It’s light but flavourful, and minced garlic here had minimal odour. I could totally finish this whole plate by myself!
Lobster Noodles – I love e-fu noodles! The lobster pieces were tossed in a soy based sauce, with lots of green onions and ginger. Lobster meat texture was firm with a nice crunch. The e-fu noodles soaked up all the sauces and it’s really good.
Pepper Steamed Mandarinfish – This was one silky fish! With the amount of pepper on top I thought it would be super spicy, but it had just right amount of heat (for me, anyway) without overpowering the fish.
0755 Stir-fried Rice with Preserved Ham – When this first arrived at our table I thought it’s sticky rice, but it’s just regular rice. They probably used quite a bit of oil to make this fried rice, because the grains were not clumped together. You can taste each grain. But then, it was really good. There’s some umami flavours from the preserved ham. I don’t eat much rice for dinner, but I went for seconds.
And then, there were desserts. The two ice cream toasts were addictive. There are basically thick toast box that’s hollowed out, and then re-stuffed with some toast cubes. The Caramel Ice Cream Toast was lighter in flavour, but sweeter with the caramel. The Matcha & Vanilla Cream Toast had more layers of flavour with the matcha ice cream and berry sauce. The toast cubes were sweetened and crispy. Each of these toast boxes was very big and definitely meant for sharing.
The most memorable dessert was the Coconut Pudding. Not because it came with a sparkler, but because of how delicious it was! There’s a layer of pudding made with coconut milk, then a thick layer of pudding made with fresh coconut water out of the coconut. It was light, it was refreshing. And once you finish all the pudding, there’s still a generous layer of coconut meat that came off nicely from the shell. We could not stop eating it!
Honestly I had doubts about the restaurant going in, but I left feeling satisfied from the dinner. There were some misses, especially the appetizers, but mains were surprisingly good. And desserts were excellent. Drinks were a bit too sweet for my liking. Here’s everything we tried. Chopstick Fest is on now until Oct 30, 2016. Learn more at www.chopstickfest.com.
0755 Restaurant & Lounge
2188-3779 Sexsmith Road, Richmond
Disclosure: The meal was provided to me complimentary of the restaurant. However, the views and opinions expressed in this post are purely my own.