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Dine Out Vancouver is back! Running from January 19 to February 4, more than 300 restaurants are offering prix fixe menus and more than 35 special events are planned over this 2-week period.

Ocean Wise Pop-up Cafe 2017 Dine Out

Vancouver Aquarium Pop-up Restaurant 2017 Dine Out

The 3-course dinner are priced at $20, $30 or $40. Some restaurants may charge extra for special menu items. Some restaurants are also offering a lunch menu, which could be at a cheaper price point. The menus are now live and reservations are open. Pretty excited about some of the participating restaurants this year. After perusing the menus, here are our suggestions, based on past experience (Dine Out or not) as well as menu attractiveness. I’ve included links to the menu to make it easier for you:

$20 Suggestions

$30 Suggestions

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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?!

0755 Restaurant & Lounge0755 Restaurant & Lounge

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.

0755

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.

Food

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.

Sour Jellyfish Head

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.

Garlic Steamed Scallop

Braised Spot Prawns – I usually prefer lighter sauces for spot prawns so I could taste their natural sweetness, but this dish really surprised me.

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If you follow me on Instagram, you would see in my IG Stories that yesterday I received a pretty neat surprise at lunch. Tourism Richmond delivered some freshly made dumplings from a number of Richmond restaurants. Why, you ask? There’s now a Dumpling Trail in Richmond!

Dumplings for Lunch

Dumplings for Lunch

The Dumpling Trail is a self-guided tour of 15 restaurants in Richmond that serve up a wide variety of dumplings.

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There have been a number of shaved ice shops popping up around Vancouver. One of them is Snowy Village in Central Richmond. It’s been a few months and there’s still lineup out the door. Finally one Friday I was determined to try Snowy Village, whatever and however long it takes!

Taking Mama Lam and Papa Lam with me, we waited for 30 minutes before we were seated. We had ample time to study the menu, Instagram photos, and what other customers were eating, and we ordered a few things to try.

Food

To start, the Taiyaki, the fish shaped waffle with filling. This is commonly found at night markets and I’ve seen them at Korean supermarkets as well as street carts. The texture of this Taiyaki is quite different from the other ones we’ve had around town because it uses croissant pastry. Other ones are more like Belgian waffle, crispy outside and fluffy inside. This Taiyaki is more like Leige waffle, more dense and chewy, and it had speckles of sugar on top. We went for the traditional red bean filling but the Taiyaki was rather thin so it didn’t hold a lot of filling inside. For that reason I think I prefer the fluffy kind, even though this one tasted really good and I quite liked the texture of the pastry.

Red Bean Taiyaki

As for the shaved ice, here they call it Bingsoo, a derivative of the Korean dessert (I think it stands for “iced water” in Korean). (more…)

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Mr. and I were planning a dinner with his friends one weekend, and we’re all craving Asian food. In Richmond. Endless options, I know. We narrowed it down to Taiwanese, and came to Memory Corner just steps away from Richmond Centre.

Food

Between the two of us, we shared a few things. First, the Taiwanese Deep Fried Crispy Chicken 鹽酥雞 is like a staple item for us whenever we go for Taiwanese food. This was a generous portion! It was crispy outside, and the meat was tender, moist inside. The breading was quite thin so it wasn’t all breading that we were eating. The Thai basil on top was not just a garnish; because it’s slightly fried, it actually added some aroma and subtle flavours to the chicken nuggets as well.

Taiwanese Deep Fried Crispy Chicken

LH told us that the Satay Lamb series at Memory Corner is really good. According to its website and signage at the restaurant, this is a 3rd-generation of a family restaurant that specializes in lamb cuisine. We had to order one of those dishes.

The Satay Lamb with Fried Noodles 沙茶羊肉炒麵 was very good!
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A new Chinese restaurant popped up in Central Richmond earlier last month — Home BBQ, serving Szechuan Chinese dishes such as grilled skewers and spicy chili hotpot 麻辣燙. Out of curiosity, we checked it out.

Food

What caught our eyes was one of their signature items named Barbecue Chilled Noodles ($4.99). If it’s barbecued, how can it be chilled?! We were intrigued.

Turns out it’s quite similar to the Shanghainese beef wrap, but instead of a pancake, it’s a big piece of noodle. And instead of sliced braised beef, it’s a mixture of ham and green onion. OK maybe they are not very similar but you get the idea. The flavour was not bad. The noodle itself, even though brushed with an egg wash, is quite bland but the green onion & ham combo made some good fillings. The green onions weren’t cooked through, so there’s still that punch you got from raw green onion. It may get a bit messy to eat as the little pieces of filling fell out of the wrap. That said, I’m still not sure how it’s chilled noodles – the server couldn’t explain to us.

Barbecue Chilled Noodles

Then, we ordered a while bunch of Grilled Skewers (more…)

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Just a couple weeks ago it was Moon Festival aka Mid Autumn Festival. To us, it’s an occasion for family gathering, so Mr. and I, along with our parents, went out for a big dinner at Parklane Chinese Restaurant.

Food

Parklane serves Chiu Chow cuisine 潮州, which is quite different from most Chinese restaurants in Richmond as most of them serve Shanghainese or Cantonese style cuisine. Chiu Chow cuisine is seafood based and the preparation and flavours are quite unique. To make ordering easier, we decided to go for one of its special set menu. First of all, Chilled Crab. As suggested by the name, the crab was served cold — a chilled, previously steamed crab. Why chilled, you ask? Chiu Chow area residents used to be fishermen, so when they were out fishing, they could be at sea for days or even weeks and months. So to preserve the seafood that they caught, they would steam everything then chill them, thus maintaining the fresh seafood taste while prolonging their shelf life.

Chilled Crab

The Chilled Crab 凍蟹 was nice, firm and meaty. It came with a ginger dark vinegar dipping sauce, which brought out the fresh seafood taste. I like that they pre-cracked the claws so it’s easier to peel.

Next, a tummy warming Pepper Pig Stomach Soup 咸菜胡椒豬肚湯. The white pepper flavour was very prominent, giving the soup the depth of flavours and the heat that made it a perfect fall/winter soup. The pig stomach was treated properly so there wasn’t any unpleasant taste to it. And the use of preserved vegetables added some salt and a hint of sourness to the soup. Everyone around the table really enjoyed this.

Pepper Pig Stomach Soup

Marinated Duck 滷水鴨 is also a signature Chiu Chow dish. (more…)

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