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By Tourism Richmond

The charming elegance of the interiors of Richmond’s Bánh Mì Très Bon (1840-4720 McClelland Road) makes any diner feel like they have been transported to a Parisian café. In the display case are a variety of brightly coloured macarons and an assortment of small cakes. If they turn to the menu on the wall, though, they’ll see classic Vietnamese dishes, like pho, bánh mì, and bánh bot loc (shrimp and pork tapioca dumplings).

Bánh Mì Très Bon, RichmondThis combination of Vietnamese cuisine and French pâtisserie items represents chef/owner Lan Do’s cultural and culinary influences, as well as the colonial history of Vietnam itself. Do, who is of Chinese descent, was born in Vietnam into a family with a passion for food and the restaurant industry. “I’ve had a love of food since childhood because my mom and dad are pretty adventurous eaters. I was never afraid to try anything,” she explains. Her grandparents on her father’s side ran a Chinese bao business while the food she ate at home melded both Chinese and Vietnamese cooking. As a child venturing out to eat with her father, she sampled French dishes like pâté and baguettes with rich butter.

Lan and her family moved to Richmond in 1980 when she was eight years old, but she never forgot her Vietnamese roots, even as she built a successful marketing and business consultancy business in the high tech industry. It was always her dream to open a Vietnamese restaurant, a dream that she finally set in motion when her son and daughter were grown up.In 2016, after quitting her job, Do embarked on a three-month trip to Vietnam during which she thoroughly researched and sampled its cuisine. “I went from the south to the north of Vietnam. I really went into the rural areas and tasted the food there. I think that’s where the food is still intact since the recipes are still the same,” she says. In Hoi An, she discovered the most amazing bánh mì at places like Madam Khanh, The Bánh Mì Queen. She also met the fourth-generation baker of the baguettes sourced by many bánh mì shops in the city.

In addition, Do was so intent on honing her Vietnamese cooking that she trained at The Saigon Professional Chefs’ Guild (World Association of Chefs’ Societies) in Ho Chi Minh City, tirelessly working with three of the country’s top chefs in private lessons that ran from 7am to 6pm, 6 days a week. With their mentorship, she refined the recipe for her pho, as well as learned certain secrets, like how to make the crispiest spring rolls by coating them in a starchy flour before deep frying them.

She returned to open Bánh Mì Très Bon with her husband Doanh Do in a new retail complex in Richmond. For her, the location for her new restaurant was a given. “It had to be in Richmond. I grew up in Richmond. It’s my hometown. I want to contribute as much as I can to the community where I grew up,” she insists. She also saw an opportunity in a dining landscape that lacked an establishment that specialized in bánh mì.

Her concept was culturally two-pronged and unique in a marketplace that usually associates Vietnamese cuisine with non-descript pho joints. “The concept is simple. I wanted to introduce Vietnamese cuisine and incorporate French flair,” says Do. The French elements can be seen in the pastries and desserts, the aesthetics of the room, as well as the plating of the Vietnamese dishes.

In terms of the ingredients, Do aimed to differentiate Bánh Mì Très Bon by sourcing as local, sustainable, and organic as possible. For example, her meat comes from a farm in Chilliwack who delivers the freshest of product to her. This exacting sourcing drives up her costs but Do wants to serve only nutritious food that she would feed her own family.

Besides the French pastries and Vietnamese ham, all components of the restaurant’s dishes are made in-house, including the baguettes that are baked daily. When Do was designing her bánh mì selections, she focused on highlighting basic high quality ingredients, such as in a veggie version with grilled tofu, Portobello mushrooms, and eggplant, and in their popular breakfast sandwich with two fried eggs.

The restaurant’s pho is another labour of love, which involves simmering beef bones for twelve to fifteen hours, allowing the natural flavours to deepen and infuse the broth. Instead of using MSG as a flavour shortcut, Do relies on a balanced use of spices and other ingredients, such as onion, ginger, shallots, star anise, cinnamon, and cardamom. While other cooks will incorporate dried tangerine peel and black peppercorns, Do feels they overpower the subtle notes of the broth. The menu is fairly small in order to ensure the consistent quality of every dish served, such as grilled lemongrass chicken on rice with egg, or butter garlic chicken wings. However, Do, both at home and at the restaurant, is constantly engaged in research and development, fine tuning new recipes, which are labour-intensive and offered as specials to her customers. Recent creations were a northern Vietnamese soup with duck, bamboo shoots, and vermicelli, as well as a turmeric seafood noodle soup, which hails from central Vietnam.

Many of these are local street food dishes that no one else in the Lower Mainland is currently serving. “It’s so exciting to bring them out one at a time,” says Do. And judging by the contented faces of those around her enjoying bowls of noodle soups and bites of freshly made bánh mì, her customers share in Do’s enthusiasm.

Check out this recipe from Bánh Mì Très Bon for Tiger Prawn Pomelo Salad.

Bánh Mì Très Bon
1840-4720 McClelland Road
Richmond
604-273-4422

By: Lan Do, Executive Chef and Owner of Bánh Mì Très Bon

INGREDIENTS
(6 portions)

White or red Pomelo – (1 medium)
(in the restaurant, they order their pomelo from Vietnam)
Green Papaya, julienned (1/2 medium)
Carrots, peeled and julienned or shredded  (2 jumbo),
Basil leaves,chopped into fine strips (1 cup)
Roasted peanuts, finely chopped (1/2 cup)
Large or jumbo shrimp, peeled and deveined, cut in half & boiled (1/2 pound)

DRESSING
White sugar (100 grams)
Fish sauce (50ml)
Garlic, minced (20 grams)
Lime juice (40 grams, approximately 2 limes)
Red chili peppers, minced (2)

DIRECTIONS

  1. Peel pomelo and remove all the skins, break the pomelo flesh into small pieces.
  2. Toss pomelo, shredded green papaya, carrots, prawns and basil into bowl
  3. Make dressing: Add lime juice and fish sauce to sugar, whisk well until dissolved.  Add minced garlic and mince red chili peppers.
  4. Dress salad.
  5. Sprinkle chopped peanuts on top of salad.

By Kristi Alexandra

Spicy, creamy, fishy, meaty. Throw in cabbage, leafy greens, eggs, wontons, mushrooms, ginger, thin-sliced meats and whatever else your heart (and tastebuds) may desire. There’s no shortage of customizations when it comes to hot pot, the meal you go out for and yet cook yourself.

Made through a Chinese cooking method of preparing your food at the dining table, hot pot is an interactive meal made for group dinners on cool days. While a simmering soup base (spicy, creamy or vegetable, depending on the restaurant) is kept boiling, ingredients are thrown into a pot and cooked at the table.

We found Metro Vancouver’s top 5 Hot Pot spots so you can cook and chow down at the same time.

Pearl Hot Pot

7154 Sperling Ave, Burnaby

Step right up and sit down for a group session at Pearl Hot Pot. Set right in the centre of the restaurant is bar seating, where each foodie has their very own pot and burner. The standard meal selections (lamb, vegetarian, seafood and more) each come with an iced green or fruit tea, along with a heaping plate of vegetables and a single prawn, along with your chosen Hot Pot dish—from ginseng chicken to assorted mushrooms ($14.95 – $23.95), and finished off with ice cream. If Pearl Hot Pot had a mantra, it would be “fresh and filling.”

Little Sheep Mongolian Hot Pot

Multiple locations: find Burnaby, Coquitlam, Richmond and Vancouver here.

This chain restaurant makes hot pot as authentic to its roots as possible. Legend goes that the original hot pot was created after Mongolian warriors turned their helmets upside down and boiled water over a fire, throwing in their foodstuffs. While you won’t find any used headgear here, you’ll find a consistent way of choosing your meal. First, select one of three soup case options: original, spicy, or half & half. Then, throw in your choice of finely shaved meats, crisp vegetables, seafood and handmade noodles. Each meal comes with a salty, smoky plum juice, but blended fresh watermelon and an assortment of beer and wine is also on the menu. While this spot can be rather pricey, most meals end with a voucher $5 or more off your next visit—or snag a spot before 4:30 pm for their daily $10.99 lunch special.

Hot Pot in Vancouver
Hot Pot in Vancouver

Lion Hot Pot Ltd.

1356 Marine Dr, North Vancouver

The old idiom “the lion’s share” applies at Lion Hot Pot Ltd. At this North Vancouver eatery, portions are fit for the king of the jungle, and the service is speedy. The main pot combos ($14.95 – $19.95) include wintermelon juice, tea and dessert with your meal. All Chinese-style noodles, soup bases and sauces are made in-house and MSG-free, and each diner has their own personal pot and burner so you won’t have to share, after all.

Hotpot Palace

168-7911 Alderbridge Way, Richmond

Asian-pacific flavours made with local ingredients? That sounds like a win to us! Hotpot Palace meshes locavore values with Asian sensibilities. You’ll find Canadian lobster and west coast dungeness crab, and local, organic greens alongside Wagyu beef, Japanese Matsusaka pork and imported live fish. Individual meals start at $43, so it’s best to buddy up and come with a troupe for their hot pot sets, which include meats and toppings for groups of six to 10. Hotpot Palace provides nine different broth styles from Macau-style pork bone broth to Sukiyaki and half-and-half.

Landmark Hot Pot House

4023 Cambie St, Vancouver

If you’re craving fancy and yet innovative, look no further than Landmark Hot Pot House. The restaurant serves up classic Hong Kong fare, with fresh, live seafood like locally-sourced geoduck clams and gossamer. This hot spot even offers valet parking! Unlike some other spots, you won’t be able to snag a hot pot combo—each set of ingredients must be ordered separately, allowing for personal customization. This spot is for hot pot experts and nightowls: Landmark opens at 5 pm and serves up a late-night menu fit for those getting over their jet lag (or their really late night before).

By Brittany Tiplady

There’s nothing better than community coming together for a great cause. Especially when the gathering involves local BC seafood, freshly caught, and sold right at the docks. Every year, since its inception in 2011, Fisherman Helping Kids with Cancer raises funds for children suffering with cancer at BC Children’s Hospital, attracting thousands of hungry customers from both local areas and often, folks south of the border.

Steveston Herring Sale
Image courtesy of Fishermen Helping Kids with Cancer

The annual herring sale has raised more than $550,000 in seven years, with one hundred per cent of the proceeds going to the cause. Not a cent is kept by the fishermen themselves, and the cost of the event is generously covered by the BC commercial fishing industry.

This year, the Fisherman Helping Kids with Cancer event is taking place on December 1 at the Steveston Harbour Authority (12740 Trites Road), from 8 am to 4 pm. And, if you happen to be in Victoria, the event is happening there as well! Check it out at FAS Seafoods (27 Erie Street) from 7 am to 4 pm.

Based on sales from previous years, weather permitting, nearly 65 tonnes of herring are expected to be unloaded and sold at the December event. Last year, FHKWC raised $106,598.

Not familiar with herring? Herring are a small, fin fish, similar to a sardine, with a blue green hue. Herring are packed flavour (surprisingly, these little guys aren’t too funky to fishy in flavour!) with heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids: essential fats that help power your brain. Most of the herring sold at the event is caught off of  Nanaimo/Qualicum areas (that’s off the coast of Vancouver Island, in the Strait of Georgia).

Fishermen Helping Kids with Cancer
Image courtesy of Fishermen Helping Kids with Cancer

According to the FHKWC website,  “once caught, the herring are loaded into the hold of the seiner which contains clear ocean water, salt and ice. The herring is kept a degree or two above freezing for the twelve hour journey to Steveston. The herring sold at [their] events are between 24 and 48 hours old – fresh and perfect for eating!”

Fishermen Helping Kids with Cancer are passionate about their cause: in the last year they’ve supplied BC Children’s with 35 iPds so that each child receiving treatment in oncology wing has an iPad to play with. They’ve also supplied BC Children’s with various video game consoles, Vitamixes, books, toys, snacks, and so much more.

Give your support for Fishermen Helping Kids with Cancer and BC Children’s Hospital on December 1 in Steveston and take home some fresh BC herring in return.

By Catherine Dunwoody

Modern and fresh French cuisine, in Richmond–you better believe it. We sat down with Origo Club’s David Pan to learn about his journey from Taiwan to Coquitlam to Burnaby, and a career in culinary.

Where were you born?
David Pan: Born in Taiwan and raised in Coquitlam since 8 years old.

What was food like in your growing up household?
DP: Classic Chinese cuisine from north and south regions. Comfort food, healthy and light in seasoning and oil. Quality ingredients.

Did you cook at home during your childhood?
DP: Yes, assisting my mother for simple preps like washing, cutting and tasting.

Image courtesy of Origo Club

Where did you study culinary and when?
DP: 2002 at Malaspina University College in Nanaimo, now known as Vancouver Island University. Then I finished my apprenticeship and Red Seal at Vancouver Community College.

Most rewarding experience in your earlier days? Any mentors?
DP: Washing dishes together with Master Chef Bruno Marti at his restaurant La Belle Au Berge. Cooking and learning with many famous chefs in Europe. Chef John Lewis’ guidance through my apprenticeship. Now he’s an instructor in VCC.

Signature dish?
DP: Seafood. Sablefish with mushroom broth.

What style of cuisine do you serve at the restaurant?
DP: French Cuisine  – classic nouvelle

Image courtesy of Origo Club

What are your biggest challenges as a chef?
DP: Stay focus and sharp even with long hours.

Any advice for young people who aspire to be chefs or restaurateurs?
DP:  Keep ingredients simple and honest, to showcase themselves. Try and learn techniques from different countries and utilize them in French cuisine. Travel and see the world with passion!

Origo Club
No.110 – 6888 River Rd
Richmond, BC
www.origoclub.ca

By Ian Lai, Executive Director of the Richmond Food Security Society

INGREDIENTS

Onion, diced (1 large)
Leek, whites only (1/2)
Garlic, minced (1 clove)
Flour (2 Tbsp)
Potatoes, diced (2 cups)
Sunchokes, diced (1 cup)
Sprig of thyme
Butter (4 Tbsp)
Homogenized milk (1 litre)
Salt and pepper

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Sweat onions, leek and garlic in butter on medium heat until translucent
  2. Add potatoes, sunchokes and thyme
  3. Cook for 5 minutes over low heat, stirring occasionally
  4. Add flour to coat everything
  5. Add milk
  6. Bring to a simmer stirring occasionally
  7. Cook until vegetables are soft
  8. Blend using a food processor or an immersion blender until smooth
  9. Season and taste

Enjoy with a slice of crusty baguette


Richmond Chef and Educator Aims to Make Healthy Food Accessible

By Tourism Richmond

It’s a sunlit autumn morning, and Ian Lai has just returned from Tomsett Elementary School in Richmond, helping to set up growing towers for the students there. He’s been at work since 7am, busily writing grant proposals and coordinating food-related projects across the city.

Ian Lai | Photo credit: Tara Lee
Ian Lai | Photo credit: Tara Lee

Lai, the new executive director of the Richmond Food Security Society, exudes a deep and abiding passion for equitable access to food and food-related knowledge in order to promote informed and empowered eating choices.

“The reason I’m here is that I’ve had tremendously positive food contacts and connections in my life,” he explains. Lai’s journey to this new position has been a long one that began in South Africa where he was born and grew up. His parents ran a fish ‘n’ chip shop, instilling in him a love of food and cooking. After immigrating to Canada, Lai worked from the late 1970s onwards as a chef in hotel and restaurant kitchens, including Hy’s Steakhouse and the US Consulate General in Vancouver. During that time, he developed a keen interest in sustainability and farm-to-table eating.

Lai wanted to do more than cook for the privileged; he wanted to mentor the next generation of chefs and teach kids, like his daughter and her peers, about healthy, fresh food. After a handful of years teaching at Vancouver’s Dubrulle Culinary School, Lai became part owner in 2004 of a new cooking school called Northwest Culinary Academy, as well as the founding director in 2006 of the non-profit Terra Nova Schoolyard Project (now Richmond Schoolyard Society). The Project aimed to assist elementary students in learning about growing food.

For the next dozen years, Lai has made it his life’s mission to effect positive change related to food, getting involved in building innovative school curriculum and working for the Greater Vancouver Food Bank to really “understand what poverty was.”

This vast experience as well as his residence in Richmond made Lai an eminently suitable choice for the role of executive director at the Richmond Food Security Society. Lai assumed the position in June of this year, after joining the organization in February.

The Society headquarters is situated in picturesque Paulik Neighbourhood Park. Lai walks past a community garden and a bee hive in the Park, talking about the challenge of getting people energized about food security: “The idea of food security, people don’t get it. When you say ‘food security,’ they say ‘like police?’ But no, it’s about making sure that everyone gets to eat what they want and when they want to eat it. That they eat healthy. That they can get resources and have workshops where they can learn about food.”

Richmond Food Security Society | Photo Credit: Tara Lee

In short, for Lai, “food security is about education.” As executive director, Lai will help to oversee the wealth of programs that the Society currently spearheads, such as numerous community gardens, the Get Rooted Youth Program that provides multidisciplinary workshops to high-school students, and the Richmond Community Seed Library that allows its members to ‘check out’ seeds from its collection.

He also has ambitious to diversify and further democratize the educational programs that the Society offers. They just wrapped up a Local Eating Challenge fundraiser last month, but Lai feels that consuming solely local food was logistically difficult for those without a vehicle. He plants to revamp next year’s Challenge, making it “more dynamic and more inclusive,” as well as “more educational.” He envisions an extended fundraiser that is collaborative and consists of multiple events. An afternoon tea in Paulik Park, for example, might be one such event.

Lai prides himself on building relationships with the many organizations and communities that make up the fabric of Richmond’s food landscape. The Society is working with the Gulf of Georgia Cannery to offer free public workshops on a variety of topics, such as healthy lunches and snacks, and ways to cook salmon. Lai is also helping Vancouver Coastal Health, in partnership with a variety of other organizations, like UBC Land and Food Systems, in creating a Food Asset Map that shows where people can grow, buy, and learn about food. He’s also working on plans for the garden plots on the Garden City Lands.

Richmond Food Security Society
Richmond Food Security Society

All these current and future initiatives will, hopefully, make Richmondites more aware of the food they consume. Lai explains that food security concerns everyone, not just the elite. It’s as simple as saying, “I understand how I’m an active participant. I eat food. I’m involved in the food system.”

Lai feels that through education, people in the city may have a greater appreciation for their food systems and the importance of preserving agricultural land. “Richmond has a rich agricultural history. Not a lot of people understand that history,” he says. He believes one of Richmond’s specific questions is: “How do we manage to secure space for the next generation of growers?”

Lai is tireless in his new role becomes he believes so fervently in making food accessible to everyone. “It’s the coolest job in the world,” he declares. Seeing young and old, rich and poor, get excited about food makes his work more than worthwhile.

By Jaclyn Jularbal

Take yourself on a tasty adventure with Richmond’s self-guided Dumpling Trail.  With each location just a short walking distance from each other, the Trail makes it easy to experience new flavours that are sure to make their way onto your favourites list. Each restaurant has been hand-selected by Tourism Richmond to ensure a great experience, so travel as a group or take your best foodie friend with you and experience all of Richmond’s top dumpling hotspots.

The Dumpling Trail is designed to take you on an exciting culinary adventure. Where to begin? Try one of these sure-fire places:

Empire Seafood Restaurant
200 – 5951 No. 3 Road
Tel: 604.249.0080

Avid dim sum lovers look no further. Empire Seafood Restaurant has all the staples, including an elegant white tablecloth and round-table environment to enjoy good dumplings over conversations with your whole family. The quality of each bite is top-notch, with all dumplings handmade and packed with flavour.

Minced pork & dried shrimp dumplings from Empire Seafood Restaurant
Minced pork & dried shrimp dumplings from Empire Seafood Restaurant

What to order?

  • Deep fried duck and taro pastries
  • Steamed shrimp dumplings
  • Deep fried minced pork and dried shrimp dumplings
  • Bonus: Try the flaky egg tarts!

Note from Tourism Richmond: Try their signature xiao long bao.

Taro & duck dumplings from Empire Seafood Restaurant
Taro & duck dumplings from Empire Seafood Restaurant

Su Hang Restaurant
100 – 8291 Ackroyd Road
Tel: 604.278.7787

For a more intimate atmosphere, try the upscale dining experience at Su Hang. With a window that looks right into the kitchen, you can watch as the dumpling chef works diligently away at creating each tasty morsel from scratch. With quick and friendly service, make sure you come hungry and prepared to eat.

Pan-fried veggie dumplings from Su Hang Restaurant
Pan-fried veggie dumplings from Su Hang Restaurant

What to order?

  • Steamed veggie dumplings
  • Pan fried shrimp and chives dumplings
  • Steamed bun with pork filling
  • Bonus: The sweet Sesame Dumplings & Rice Glue in Wine!
Sesame dumplings & rice glue in wine from Su Hang Restaurant
Sesame dumplings & rice glue in wine from Su Hang Restaurant

Samsoonie
140 – 8211 Westminster Highway
Tel: 778.297.7798

Tucked away in an unsuspecting corner lies this gem – an eatery that exists partly because of how good their handmade Korean dumplings are. You see, Samsoonie has been making dumplings – or mandu – for 8 years, and they’ve been so successful as a supplier that they decided to open up a restaurant. You can taste the heart and soul that goes into each piece.

Deep-fried wontons from Samsoonie
Deep-fried wontons from Samsoonie

What to order?

  • Boiled dumplings
  • Pan fried dumplings
  • Deep fried wontons
  • Bonus: Kimchi!

R&H Chinese Food
5300 No. 3 Road, Lansdowne Centre Food Court
Tel: 778.297.5668

Now this place is a real treat. Located in Lansdowne shopping mall, it’s not only a more quick-and-casual option but it’s also a great learning experience. Watch as they make dumplings right in front of you and enjoy the authentic experience, almost like you’re in someone’s kitchen. Head in for a quick bite or stay awhile and try them all – it’s up to you.

Dumplings in progress at R&H Chinese Food
Dumplings in progress at R&H Chinese Food

What to order?

  • Steamed juice pork buns
  • Boiled pork dumplings with chives
  • Grilled beef dumplings
  • Bonus: Take some frozen dumplings home with you!

Note from Tourism Richmond: Try their signature xiao long bao.

Steamed juicy pork buns from R&H Chinese Food
Steamed juicy pork buns from R&H Chinese Food

Golden Sichuan Restaurant
170 – 3631 No. 3 Road
Tel: 604.288.9058

Feeling spicy? Hop over to Golden Sichuan Restaurant and tantalize your taste buds with dumplings that have bite. The combination of chillies and the soft texture of their dumpling will leave you craving this handmade goodness for days.

Sichuan wonton with chilli oil from Golden Sichuan Restaurant
Sichuan wonton with chilli oil from Golden Sichuan Restaurant

What to order?

  • Spicy dumplings
  • Sichuan wonton with chilli oil
  • Boiled pork and Chinese cabbage dumplings
  • Bonus: Sichuan-style everything!
Spicy dumplings from Golden Sichuan Restaurant
Spicy dumplings from Golden Sichuan Restaurant

To learn more about dumplings styles, and for a complete map of each location, visit the Dumpling Trail website.

By Kristi Alexandra

When the weather cools and our palate warms up, sending Metro Vancouverites on the search for soups, stews and steaming bowls of noodles. Welcome to ramen season!

Traditionally, ramen is a Japanese noodle dish served up in a meat or fish-based broth, flavoured by shoyu or miso, and topped with accoutrements such as sliced meat, eggs, dried seaweed and more. There’s no one-way to do ramen, as evidenced by the ramen variations that represent different regions of Japan—from the mild-tasting, cloudy ramen of Kagoshima to the miso-style ramen of Sapporo. So, perhaps there’s really no tradition at all.

In fact, a great ramen experience is all about choice and customization. One can choose to have their noodles thick or thin, chewy or soft; their broth with a pork-bone base (tonkotsu), or with fish or miso; then topped off with dressings to their heart’s content. We’ve rounded up a few places in Metro Vancouver that you’ll be able to slurp up a rockin’ bowl of ramen.

Yaguchiya Ramen

4679 Kingsway, Burnaby

Burnaby’s Yaguchiya Ramen restaurant is one of three iekei ramen spots by the franchise. The other two are—you guessed it—in Japan. According to the restaurant, iekei is a type of ramen originating from Yokohama, and is the “perfect balance of the popular Tonkotsu style from Kyushu in the West, and Shoyu style from Tokyo in the East.” The unpretentious eatery boasts big flavours, doling out bowls of Shoyu Ramen (served with spinach, dried seaweed, sliced pork belly, and green onions) and featuring its house bowl, the Yaguchiya special ramen (a boiled egg, spinach, leeks, seaweed and more). The noodle spot offers up grated garlic, grated ginger, vinegar and chili bean paste to add to your broth, creating the perfectly customizable ramen.

Yuu Japanese Tapas

#1118 – 3779 Sexsmith Road, Richmond

If you’re looking for innovation with your ramen, look no further. Yuu Japanese Tapas is the home of the beer ramen: a bonito-flake broth served cold and in a beer glass, topped off with an egg-white and gelatin foam. The Richmond tapas spot doesn’t just do it for the novelty, though: Yuu serves up more than 20 other ramen bowls, including the spicy “hell fire” ramen and a new rich black pepper garlic broth topped with grilled beef.

Beer Ramen | Image courtesy of Yuu Japanese Tapas

The Ramen Butcher

233 East Georgia St., Vancouver

Ambiance is key at this trendy Chinatown eatery. The Ramen Butcher doles out popular tonkotsu ramen flavours directly from Japan, but with a twist. From the orange miso ramen (a pork broth with rich miso marinated ground pork) to the black garlic ramen (another tonkotsu broth with roasted garlic oil) to the straight up vegetarian, there’s a ramen here for experienced noodle slurpers and newbies alike. Not sure what you like? Try a “ramen flight” during happy hour, where you can snag a pair of half-portions in any given flavour (red, black, green and orange) for $10.

Ramen Hachi

120 – 88 Carnarvon Street, New Westminster

No bells or whistles are needed at this soup spot. Hachi Ramen is located just underneath New Westminster SkyTrain Station and is the perfect place to sit down (and slurp down) with a simple, traditional bowl of noodles. They serve up the staples: shoyu, tonkotsu, and even a vegan ramen. Sides such as gyozas and chicken karaage round out the humble menu, making this the perfect pit-stop for Japanese comfort food.

Full Ramen

15925 Fraser Hwy #103, Surrey

Get full at Full Ramen. If you’re sitting south of the Fraser but still have a craving for ramen, you’ll find all you need at this Fraser Highway ramenerie. The spot has been pegged as “small and cozy,” and its menu could be charged with the same. No surprises here: this spot serves up a couple variations of tonkotsu-style ramen, with sides such as gyoza to fill the tummy.

Ramen at Kamamarui Ramen & Don | Image by Kartika Wisjnu-Lim via Facebook

Kamamarui Ramen & Don

6514 Royal Oak Ave, Burnaby

A little fusion can be found at this modern-style eatery in South Burnaby. Kamamarui is known for their Korean-style ramen, along with their “bombs” which are rice balls seasoned with seaweed and teriyaki sauce, not unlike risotto balls. If you’re feeling adventurous, try out the spot’s basil ramen, and if you’re looking for a classic fix, the Tonkotsu ramen and bomb combo ($10.50) will keep you satiated.

By Brittany Tiplady

For West Coast Canadian 90s kids, donuts serve up some serious childhood nostalgia. Tim Hortons trips before hockey, Long John’s served with elementary school hot lunches, boxes of Krispy Kreme at a birthday party. You get the jist. Today, donuts are somewhat of a cultural currency. The beloved pastry continues to be elevated and topped with unique, showstopping ingredients that are as delicious in real life as it looks on Instagram. Hungry yet? Browse the list below to find some local favourites to indulge in.

Doppio Zero Pizza

1655 Como Lake, Avenue, Coquitlam

Because, you can never eat too many carbs in our opinion, after dinner try the Graffe. It’s an Italian made-to-order style doughnut drizzled with hot caramel.

Outpost Mini Donut Company

110-12240 Second Avenue, Richmond

Image courtesy of Outpost Mini Donut Company

Located in the heart of Steveston’s idyllic village, Outpost Mini Donut Company lives up to its name, serving up gourmet mini donuts; delightfully fresh and coated in sugar or topped with vanilla bean or maple icing. Classic and seasonal flavours include salted caramel, blueberry, lemon, boston cream, and coconut.

The Victor

Parq Vancouver, 39 Smithe Street, Vancouver

Parq is one of Vancouver’s hottest spots right now for a classy, elegant night out. But that doesn’t mean you can’t have some fun with your food. At the end of your meal at The Victor, order the Crème Brûlée Doughnuts: a sensationally sweet treat, topped with cotton candy, to cap off the night. 

Cartems

Downtown: 534 West Pender, Vancouver
Mount Pleasant: 2190 Main Street, Vancouver
Kitsilano: 3040 West Broadway, Vancouver

The Earl Grey Donut at Cartems

Oh, Cartems! How you’ve grown. What was once a tiny donut shop in the Downtown Eastside, is now a booming company, pioneering the donut and coffee shop culture in Vancouver. Their inclusive lineup of goodies is stunning: almost all flavours come in a gluten free and/or vegan option so everyone can enjoy! Cartems releases new seasonal donuts or feature donuts regularly but their core lineup is just as exciting! A must try: The Earl Grey Donut (available in a gluten free and vegan option as well); bursting with the classic Earl Grey flavour in an Earl Grey glaze and topped with rose petals.

Lucky’s Donuts

Mount Pleasant: 2902 Main Street, Vancouver
Kitsilano: 2198 W 4th Avenue, Vancouver
Downtown: 689 Thurlow Street, Vancouver

Another Vancouver staple that keeps on expanding! This donut shop, paired alongside 49th Parallel Cafe is always bustling; expect a lineup at any time of day, and one that’s worth the wait. There are many fan favourites at Lucky’s but the Lemon Meringue Bismarck is one of the stars. Bite into a torched meringue, pillowy donut and sweet lemon filling.

Lee’s Doughnuts

1689 Johnston Street, Vancouver

Lee’s has been serving up classic donuts, notably their honey dip recipe, since 1979! Next time you’re exploring Granville Island stop by and try a Vancouver classic.

Cloud 9 Specialty Bakery

1025 Royal Avenue, New Westminster

Hey gluten-free readers, we’ve got you covered! Cloud 9 Bakery is just a 10 minute walk from the New Westminster SkyTrain station. Cloud 9 serves up a vast selection of g-free goodies, but Saturday’s are not to be missed. Donut Saturday’s at Cloud 9 feature cinnamon sugar donut holes, a freshly baked selection of vanilla and chocolate donuts with a variety of icings and glaze. Check out our in-depth feature on Cloud 9 here.

Honey Doughnuts & Goodies

4373 Gallant Avenue, Deep Cove, North Vancouver

Deep Cove’s coveted cafe is the spot for a pre or post hike treat. On your next visit to Quarry Rock, stop into Honey’s for one of their famous donuts (before prepared for a line!) and live like the Deep Cove locals do.

Black Tiger Coffee

110-19255 Fraser Hwy, Surrey

Image courtesy of Black Tiger Coffee

Black Tiger Coffee is new to Cloverdale, but has already garnered quite the Instagram following largely due to to their mouth-watering donut selection! Check out feature on Black Tiger Coffee to learn more about their menu.

 

 

What says autumn more than pumpkins? Their round, orange brightness instills thoughts of harvest moons, delicious pie filled with warm spice, the aroma of melon on Halloween night as the gourd becomes a glowing face, and that old classic scene of Linus awaiting his special reward every year. (Poor Linus.)

Heading out to the pumpkin patch to pick the perfect future Jack O’ Lantern, is one of those special traditions that kids of all ages look forward to. When heading out to a local farm to pick out your family’s pumpkins here are some helpful tips:

  1. Don’t pick your pumpkins too early in the season. If you pick them too soon they will be piles of mush long before you can take a knife to them or they will just be too soft to carve.
  2. Try to head to the pumpkin patch during “non-peak” times like mid-afternoon during the week to avoid crowds if you can.
  3. Don’t always go for the perfectly round. Sometimes the flawed, lopsided or puckered pumpkins make for carved faces with the most character.
  4. Don’t get carried away by picking out the biggest or the most pumpkins you can carry unless you think you can handle carving all of them, or want to use them to cook. Little ones can tire quickly of cleaning pumpkin guts and some of the fun of carving your pumpkins will be lost.
  5. Have fun. Put on your boots and old jeans. Let the kids get dirty as they wander the muddy fields finding that “perfect” one. Bring a bag to carry pumpkins and to protect the trunk of your car. Don’t forget your camera either!

Many communities in Metro Vancouver have patches to pick the perfect pumpkins from. Add a corn maze, a hayride or farm animals, and you have a great outing for the whole family. Here are few locations to get you started:

Rondriso Farms Pumpkin Patch
8390 172nd Street, Surrey
Features: Purchase from the yard, or take a haywagon ride down to the field. 10:00am to 6:00pm on weekends, holidays and professional days, and 3:00pm to 6:00pm on weekdays throughout October.

Bose Farm Pumpkin Patch
64th and 156th street, Surrey
Features: Across the street from the corn maze. Open Saturdays and Sundays throughout the month of October, 12:00pm to 4:00pm. Cash only. From mini gourds to giant pumpkins.

Richmond Country Farms
12900 Steveston Highway, Surrey
Features: Open daily, check website for opening dates. Hay wagon rides to the pumpkin patch, professional entertainment, pumpkin picking music, animal farm, and admission includes a child sized pumpkin and a Spartan apple.

Krause Berry Farm
6179 248 St, Langley
Features: Open Wednesday to Sunday. There’s a market with freshly baked pies, jams and homemade fudge and, while you’re visiting the farm, you can pop into the Estate Winery.

Aldor Acres
8301 252 St, Langley
Features: Open daily mid September through October. Visit the petting zoo, take a tractor-pulled hayride to the pumpkin patch to choose from over 15 different pumpkin varieties.

By VisitRichmondBC.ca

Just as the Richmond Night Market billed it, it has been an amazing summer. However, with the shift into autumn, sadly the night market will be closing for the season on October 8, 2018.

On a positive note, it means that there’s still time to visit the vibrantly bustling Market, browse its many retail stalls, and, of course, feast on the wide array of food items offered by its numerous vendors. With such dizzying selection, it’s always a good idea to go in with an eating game plan. Here are ten items for sipping and filling your belly, some classic night market fare and others newly emerging favourites.

Fresh Seafood

The theme for this year’s Night Market was “Seafood Heaven”, and indeed it has been. Besides the many vendors incorporating seafood in their dishes, the market has a special booth devoted to its seafood festival. Richmond’s unique coastal location makes it particular suited for celebrating the bounty of the sea. Attendees can choose from all sorts of fresh seafood options, including snow crab, king crab, lobster, mussels, and shrimp. Prepare to get crackin’ and dig in.

Black Truffle Pork Gyoza


There is a plethora of dumplings to be gorged on at the market, ranging from traditional Chinese har gow to the more innovative versions to be found at Dumpling Master. Chef Fung has created three types of gyoza: vegan green spinach, red kimchee beef, and black truffle pork. They’re not only flavourful, but also visually appealing with vibrantly hued wrappers. Top them with additional ingredients, like bonito flakes and sesame seeds, for additional texture and taste.

Barbecued Lamb Skewers

Chef James of Xin Jiang Man BBQ has developed a cult following for his expertly grilled skewers, as well as exuberant showmanship. Although he offers a variety of choices (eg chicken, beef), by far the most sought after are his lamb ones, seasoned with freshly ground cumin straight from Xianjiang, China, and chili pepper. The meat has wonderful texture, and the spices lend it an earthy heat.

Seafood Okonomi Poutine

For the ultimate East meets West mash-up, make sure to visit Okonomi Bites for their highly original Japanese rendition of this classic Québécois comfort food. You’ll find crisp fries and cheese curds, but also battered seafood, green onion, and drizzled mayo. Who knew that poutine could become even more of a guilty pleasure? The deep fried pork version is also highly addictive.

Deep Fried Crab Claws

A highlight of your final night market visits is sure to be the deep fried crab claws at Mr. Crabzy. A staple of dim sum menus, these delicacies are already a crowd pleaser. Crab claws, stuffed with shrimp paste, are breaded and deep fried until golden and crisp. Drizzled with mayo and topped with tobiko, they’re ready for decadent gobbling.

Brazilian Pastries

Part of the enjoyment of the Night Market is the sheer multicultural breadth of the eating bonanza. Whatafood specializes in Brazilian cuisine, with pão de queijo (cheese puffs) as well as a selection of pastéis, pastries that are stuffed and deep-fried. Whether filled with chicken, beef, smoked pork, or cheese, they’re simply delicious.

Pineapple Juice

With all the eating, you might get thirsty, especially for a drink that transports you somewhere warm and summery. The Tropical Bar takes whole pineapples and watermelons and uses them as drink containers for your slurping delight. It’s refreshing and fun, especially with the whimsical straws and decorations that accompany them.

Illuminated Juice in a Light Bulb

For another drinking twist, head to Rainbulb where you can order a brightly coloured fruit juice that comes in a cup that looks like a light bulb. Sip from the rainbow, with pink (grapefruit), orange (orange and mango), yellow (citrus lime), blue (melon), and purple (strawberry and raspberry) options. Plus, your beverage could help you navigate the market after sunset.

Japanese Crêpes

If you’re looking for something to satisfy your sweet tooth, Japanese Crêpe Sasuke offers different and original renditions of traditional French crêpes. It’s made-to-order, with fresh fruit wrapped inside, like bananas and strawberries, as well as other toppings, like green tea ice cream, whipped cream, and Nutella. The crêpe has a light, delicate texture, contrasting nicely with the other more substantial ingredients.

Strawberry-filled Mochi

Asomi Mochi handcrafts their own mochi enrobing fresh strawberries. The mochi comes in a selection of flavours (regular, matcha, chocolate, and purple yam) making these dessert treats not only aesthetically striking, but also palate-pleasing. In addition, they’re gluten-free and vegan, making them a great choice for a range of eaters.

With October 8, 2018 fast approaching, it’s time to make a beeline for the Richmond Night Market and eat these items and more until you leave stuffed and happy.

Further information can be found on-line.

(All photos courtesy of the Richmond Night Market)

By VisitRichmondBC.ca

We’re at Britannia Shipyards National Historic Site, situated on the picturesque Steveston waterfront in Richmond. For today the year is 1914, and our guide for the afternoon is John Thomas, a humble fisherman, full of passion for the local area, its history, and its food culture and industries.We’re about to head out on the Steveston Heritage Experience, an interactive walking tour, of four of Steveston’s key historic sites, that uniquely combines storytelling, history and interactive performance. Did we mention the food? Carefully chosen food and beverage tastings will be served, offering a taste of life in the early 1900s and some favourite treats of today. It’s the perfect way to travel back in time while keeping your taste buds fully entertained.Steveston - shipyards2Our knowledgeable fisherman guide, John Thomas, played by Richmond-resident Andrew Wade, begins the tour at the Shipyards, launching into an in-depth look at the fishing and canning industry that was the backbone of the Steveston economy for so many years. A running theme of the Experience is salmon and the way it brought together diverse people who tirelessly worked to catch and prepare the fish for consumption.

At the Shipyards, Thomas takes us to an Indigenous bunkhouse, the charming Murakami House (a Japanese home from 1929), and the Chinese bunkhouse, which housed up to a hundred men in its crammed quarters. The tour doesn’t shy from presenting the hardships faced by these labourers in order to give a true sense of early twentieth century life in Steveston. At the bunkhouse, we’re given our first literal taste of the area’s history, with samples of rice, topped with smoked salmon lox, to mimic the diets of the workers after a hard day’s toil.

This confluence of history and immediate experience continues throughout the tour. Shortly after exploring the bunkhouse, we board a shuttle that takes us to the Steveston Interurban Tram (nicknamed “the sockeye special”) which efficiently connected the area with New Westminster and Chilliwack. After climbing the steps of tram car 1220, we’re transformed into passengers on the heritage train who are listening rapt, as Thomas regales us with his daily life in Steveston and some historical moments of the area. We later munch on Gary’s Kettle Corn and sip on Phillips’ vintage craft sodas, chatting and contemplating the speed of life in the 1900s.

Next, we’re a short stroll from the Tram to the Steveston Museum, housed in the former Northern Crown Bank, and the adjacent Japanese Fisherman’s Benevolent Society Building, which ran the Japanese Fishermen’s Hospital and the Japanese School. Thomas talks to us about the evolution of Steveston’s Nikkei community who faced racism, union pressures, and eventual internment during World War II. Our sips of sake from Richmond’s own YK3 Sake Brewery allow deep absorption of this fascinating history. We are free to try three different samples: the Junmai, which is dry, with a smooth finish; Nigori, a rich, milk old-fashioned sake; and another sake sweetened with blueberries and cranberries.

The grand finale of the experience takes place at the very impressive Gulf of Georgia Cannery, which earned the nickname “monster cannery” for being the largest cannery in the province at the time. It’s here that Thomas really comes to life, drawing upon his fishing background to walk us through the assembly line, from spearing and flinging the fish onto the dock with a pointed peugh, to the sealing of the cans of salmon after they had gone through various stages of processing, like butchering and sliming. Thomas’ insider perspective gives us a greater appreciation for the work that went into fishing and canning in his day.

Sadly, our time with Thomas comes to an end. He bids us farewell and then leaves us to fill and warm our bellies with a serving of delicious seafood chowder–packed with clams, cod, sockeye salmon, halibut, corn, and celery–from nearby Pajo’s Fish & Chips. The soup is paired with Britannia Brewing Co.’s Adrift Hop blonde ale, which is complementary to the Steveston feast.

Overall, the Steveston Heritage Experience is a dynamic and delicious tour taking you back in time to uncover the authentic stories and food that are part of the fabric of Steveston’s history, culture, and economy. Thomas energetically (and often comically) weaves together an informative tour that showcases the vibrancy of Steveston, both past and present.

The tour runs for approximately four hours and tickets cost $80 CAD per person. The inaugural experience takes place October 6, 2018, with a series of dates scheduled into 2019. Further information and tickets can be found here: https://www.eventbrite.ca/e/steveston-heritage-experience-tickets-49311557195

Book your tickets today.

By Alexis Baran

Every October as the air gets cooler, the colours become warmer and brighter and vast lakes of ruby-red cranberries start a colourful patchwork in the farmlands of Richmond and the Fraser Valley. Despite the variety of crops BC cultivates, cranberries are one of just a few that are actually native to the land; when European explorers landed in Canada, they were traded with Indigenous peoples and valued as an effective way to prevent scurvy. Uniquely “wet harvested” by flooding the fields they grow in, cranberries are tart treats packed with vitamin C, vitamin E, and fibre; they are a bright shake-up to many desserts, sweets, and beverages.

Cranberries are BC’s largest crop according to Agriculture and Agri-Foods Canada, and most of North America can say they’ve delved into a glass of BC cranberries at some point; approximately 60% of our harvests are grown for Ocean Spray, a Massachusetts-based grower cooperative that distributes across the continent.

Cranberries---Anne-Hung---Flickr
Image by Ann Hung

Cranberries in Richmond

You can experience Richmond cranberries at Maybog Farms, who received the “Minister’s Award of Excellence” from the Government of BC in 2008 for their contribution to the province’s farming industry as a long-established cranberry farming family. The May family sells their cranberries, as well as a variety of their fresh-grown produce, out of their market, The Fowl Farmer, in the autumn. Harvesting cranberries is serious business and requires a large amount of machinery and workers, please respect the farmers and, if you would like to view the harvest, to do so from afar in a safe location.

The Richmond Nature Park is celebrating Thanksgiving with their 26th annual Cranberry Sale and are offering hands-on cranberry cooking and baking. Enjoy a nature walk to search for and learn about these unique bog berries. Proceeds from the sale will enable the Richmond Nature Park Society to continue to offer educational programs that teach children about the Nature Park bog, its unique habitat for plants and animals, and its place in the Richmond community.

Richmond Nature Park
11851 Westminster Highway (Richmond)
604.276.4300
Saturday, October 6th

Cranberries in the Fraser Valley

Each Thanksgiving weekend, the historic village of Fort Langley holds a cranberry festival. Over 150 years ago local Indigenous peoples used them for food, dyes, and medicine; at the fort cranberries would be traded to the western immigrants for HBC blankets, beads, and other items. In 1858, cranberries were actually worth more in trade than salmon.

The festival hosts a full day of cran-tastic activities; the whole family can begin with a pancake breakfast before exploring cooking demos, live entertainment, and perusing the crafts, foods, and wares of over 70 local vendors.

Fort Langley Cranberry Festival
23433 Mavis Ave
604.888.8835
Saturday, October 6th

If you’d prefer your cranberries by the glass, the Fort Wine Co. in Langley can pour you 100% BC-grown fruit wines and dessert wines made with cranberries, strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, and other juicy bushels. For something a little different try their Ghost of the Bogs White Cranberry wine, made from cranberries picked during a small window of time before they turn red.

Fort Wine Co.
26151 – 84th Avenue (Langley)
604.857.1101

 

By VisitRichmondBC.com

Around this time every year, Richmond grocery stores and bakeries are filled with towers of small, round cakes in fancy boxes and festive packaging. This is because we’re approaching the Mid-Autumn Festival, one of the most important annual festivals in Chinese culture, right after Chinese New Year.

Celebrated among people from China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Singapore, Malaysia, Vietnam, Korea and Japan, the Mid-Autumn Festival is typically celebrated on the 15th day of the eighth Chinese lunar month every year. This year, it lands on September 24.

What is the Mid-Autumn Festival?

The Mid-Autumn Festival is always celebrated on a day that coincides with a full moon. Ancient Chinese emperors worshipped the sun in the spring and moon in autumn, as they believed that the practice would bring them a plentiful harvest the next year. The practice entailed placing a large table in the middle of the yard under the moon, where offerings such as apples, plums, grapes and incense were offered to the moon. Moon cakes and pomelos were the most essential offerings, though. The pomelo’s skin is sometimes sliced and opened up into a lotus shape when offered as a sacrifice.

Strawberry cheese moon cake from Saint Germain Bakery |image courtesy of Saint Germain Bakery
Strawberry cheese moon cake from Saint Germain Bakery |image courtesy of Saint Germain Bakery

What’s the tradition and connection with moon cakes?

In Chinese culture, roundness symbolizes completeness and togetherness. A full moon symbolizes prosperity and reunion for the whole family. Round moon cakes complement the harvest moon in the night sky at the Mid-Autumn Festival.

The Mid-Autumn Festival is a special occasion for family reunions. When the full moon rises, families get together to watch the full moon, light up lanterns and eat moon cakes. They’re usually eaten in small wedges during the Festival and nowadays people present moon cakes to relatives and friends to demonstrate that they wish them a long and happy life.

Image courtesy of VisitRichmondBc.com
Image courtesy of VisitRichmondBc.com

What are the tastiest kinds of moon cake?

A typical moon cake is a round-shaped pastry with a thin-crust skin enveloping a sweet, dense filling of paste such as sweet bean, lotus seed, taro or a mixture of nuts and seeds. A favourite is a whole salted egg yolk placed in the centre of a moon cake, which also symbolizes the full moon. Moon cakes can also be savoury with fillings such as ham, pork floss, and seafood (abalone and seaweed).

Where to get moon cakes in Richmond

There are a wide range of beautifully wrapped, packaged moon cakes for sale nearly one month prior to the actual festival day. You can find great selections of moon cakes in local Asian supermarkets and bakeries. Some Chinese restaurants also make their own.

Here are a few recommendations:

Kam Do Bakery – 6211 No. 3 Rd., Richmond
Kirin Restaurant – 7900 Westminster Hwy, Richmond
Kuo Hua – 4551 No 3 Rd. #120, Richmond
La Patisserie – 6360 No 3 Rd., Richmond
Maple Castella Bakery – 8700 McKim Way, Richmond
Maxim’s Bakery – 6060 Minoru Blvd., Richmond
Neptune Seafood Restaurant – 8171 Ackroyd Rd #110, Richmond
Pine House Bread and Cake Shop – 4380 No 3 Rd., Richmond
Saint Germain Bakery – Aberdeen Centre · 4151 Hazelbridge Way, Richmond
T&T Supermarket/Osaka Supermarket – 3700 No. 3 Rd., #1000

Where to celebrate Mid-Autumn Festival in Richmond

Richmond has several celebratory Mid-Autumn events taking place on Saturday, September 22 or Sunday, September 23, click here for more information.

 

By Joyce Chua, Vancouver Foodie Tours

If you don’t mind a light jacket and a slight chance of needing to move inside while a shower passes through, there’s still time to soak up British Columbia’s stunning vistas outside with a cold beer in hand this year. For the sunny days still to come, take note of these five local beer staples – easy-drinking, crowd-pleasing, ultra-refreshing – that you can find almost anywhere.

33 Acres of Sunshine

33 Acres Brewing, Vancouver

This French Blanchè beer is inspired by the sun.  Fruity, orange-like, with a slightly sweet aftertaste, you’ll easily spot it on the shelves from its minimalist white label.

Destiny IPA

Fuggles and Warlock, Richmond

Let’s say you’re the kind of person who picks beer by the label. You might already be familiar with Fuggles and Warlock for their whimsical illustrated labels and quirky names. The Destiny IPA has the hoppiness that West Coast’ers love, with a bitter kick that comes from seven kinds of hops.

Red Truck Classic Lager

Red Truck Brewing, Vancouver

Light and easy drinking, the Red Truck Classic Lager is a quick pick for a backyard barbeque. The grassy aroma, slight malty-slightly sweet notes are kind of what you’d expect from a lager, and that’s kind of the point.

Red Racer Northwest Pale Ale

Central City Brewers + Distillers, Surrey

Affectionately known as a “big, bold, pale ale,” Red Racer’s Northwest Pale Ale is malty, light, and hoppier than most in the category. It’s an ideal pairing for pub foods like burgers, pizza, and mac and cheese, so you’ll find it by the pint at many local bars and taprooms.

The Bright Side Saison

Dageraad Brewing, Burnaby

The quirkiest of this list is Dageraad’s tart table saison. Traditional saisons were brewed in the cooler winter months, stored, and saved for summer. The Bright Side Saison is finished with lemon zest and lemon juice, giving this refreshingly light beer a gentle tartness.

 

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Vancouver Foodie Tours is a locally-owned walking food tour company that believes that eating and drinking is the best way to experience a city. They are Vancouver’s #1 Rated Tour TripAdvisor and a Forbes Top 9 Food Tour in the World. Learn more about Vancouver Foodie Tours at www.foodietours.ca.

By Kristi Alexandra

While most noodle lovers equate ramen to a warm bowl of comfort, Yuu Japanese Tapas presents its noodles in a way more familiar to college kids—cold, foamy and in a beer glass. Teetotalers need not worry, though. There’s not a drop of actual beer (or any alcohol at all) here.

The Richmond eatery—which boasts a full menu of tapas such as takoyaki and deep fried tentacles in sriracha mayo along with housemade drinks like the “shot slush”—is more concerned with innovation than authenticity.

Owner Julia Kubotani along with masterchef (and her uncle) Sam Chan blend fusion tastes and a warm environment for an experience that has adventure-seekers and ramen-lovers alike coming in for the novelty, and staying for the tastebud-tantalizing fare.

“For me, personally, I like to eat and I love variety,” says Kubotani, who first opened Yuu in 2010. “I don’t like to eat the same food over and over again, that’s why I created beer ramen.”

Beer Ramen at Yuu Japanese Tapas, Richmond, BC, Canada

The adventurous dish in question is a cold bonito-flake broth served with thin ramen noodles in a beer glass, and topped off with an egg-white and gelatin foam. You can order the meal with a side of vegetable tempura or chicken karaage for $14.95.

Kubotani’s philosophy on eating is to enjoy to a well-rounded experience.

“Food has to be good, but it has to be fun, too,” she tells WestCoastFood. “As you can see from our menu, we have some conventional ramens as well as new creations. I don’t know if you can find that in other places. We were inspired by putting different elements together.”

The elements Kubotani and Chan blended this summer were an ice-cold beer (inspired by Vancouver’s record hot summer) and the ever-reliable comfort food, ramen. The secret sauce? A killer broth, made fresh daily by masterchef Chan.

“The key of ramen comes from the broth,” Kubotani reveals, “the bonito broth is way more simple but we do it every day. It’s made with lots of bones and meat and vegetables. I think beer ramen is just a way of bringing people over to see it and talk about it. Once they come in and look at the menu, they’re like ‘oh, i want this and this, too.’”

Along with Chan, her aim was to give her clientele a taste of different regions of Japan, and to show off their family’s innovative culinary spirit. Since 2010, the restaurant has expanded to include more seating, suitable to host large parties. Sticking to the script and keeping a “traditional” menu? That just doesn’t satisfy this restaurateur’s hunger.

“I like to see people enjoy and sharing and being together,” Kubotani says.

Well, cheers to that!

Yuu Japanese Tapas
#1118 – 3779 Sexsmith Road, Richmond
www.yuutapas.com

By Ariane Fleischmann

About eight years ago, Stephen Sandve took a walk down Main Street in Vancouver on Car Free Day. There, he came across a booth that housed a bee hive. The woman running it happily shared her knowledge with Sandve as the bees buzzed about their hive.

Sandve went home that day on a mission: to learn all he could about bee-keeping. After joining a bee club in Richmond and diving deep into YouTube, he took the plunge one year later and bought the equipment he’d need to set up his own hive in his backyard. He sourced his first bees from a local apiary. By the end of summer, Sandve had already expanded his hobby to three hives as his bee population expanded. EastVan Bees was in business.

“It was totally a hobby,” says Sandve. “As my hives grew, I needed placed to put them because you can only have a maximum of two hives per residential property by law. I hit up friends to put bees in their backyards.”

East Van Bees
Image courtesy of East Van Bees

Up until 2016, Sandve still worked another full-time job. But a cancer diagnosis changed everything. After six months away from his desk job to undergo treatment and recovery, Sandve was faced with a decision: His old job was no longer an option, so he could either search for a new one or take a leap and pursue bee-keeping full time. “You only live once–cancer showed me that–so I went for the bee-keeping,” he says.

With more and more hives needed every year, Sandve decided to start the Host a Hive program. Interested parties can apply to host a bee hive in their backyard, which Sandve sets up, cares for, and harvests. The 2018 season is fully booked, but for locals interested in hosting in the future, Sandve says the requirement is a suitable backyard, somewhere bees and humans can co-exist. Hosts and backyards are vetted by Sandve, who says most hosts do it for a love of bees. About 80 percent of their hives are located in East Vancouver, but they also have some in other parts of Vancouver, as well as Richmond and Burnaby.

Almost immediately after the first harvest, many years ago, Sandve noticed something delicious about neighbourhood hives: each one tasted different. “It’s because whatever is in that neighbourhood, the bees are collecting,” he explains. “Some neighbourhoods have really nice streets lined with linden trees, or they’re near a ravine with lots of blackberries, or there’s a predominant [plant] in that area the bees like. Bees will travel to get nectar, but they don’t want to go any further than they have to, so they stay in the neighbourhood.” As a result, hives located even just a few blocks from one another may taste different.

“Urban honey you can go from a really nice floral, sweet honey, to a dark, almost molasses-caramel-smoky flavour.” This variance led Sandve to label his neighbourhood honeys so that you know where each batch comes from.

EastVan Bees also has a farm in Richmond. Because the honey harvested there doesn’t have the distinct neighbourhood flavours of their Host a Hive honeys, Sandve uses it for their spicy chilli-infused honeys and creamed honeys. They also use their honey for a number of other products, including lip balm, candles and–in true Vancouver fashion–beard oil.

For visitors and locals, the best places to find EastVan Bees products are at their stockists in Vancouver, North Vancouver, Kimberley, and Hagensborg. They also regularly sell at markets in Vancouver, where you can also check out other tasty food, drink, and goods. Want to consume EastVan Bees honey in beverage format? East Van Brewing hosts a hive at their brewery and uses the harvested honey in their Humble Hive English Brown Ale.

Image courtesy of East Van Brewing Co.

Sandve says he has no grand plans for expansion. For him, the bees always come first. “You never know… it’s agriculture: one year, we could get nothing, and the next we could get three tonnes of honey,” he says about his harvests. “That, for us, is not what we’re all about. I do it because I love bee-keeping and I love bees. Selling the honey and the candles and all the rest of it helps support me to continue bee-keeping.”

East Van Bees
www.eastvanbees.com

By Tourism Richmond

End August with a joyous and delicious bang during the fourth annual Richmond World Festival. Last year’s two-day festival attracted over 40,000 people (per day!), and this year promises to be bigger and better. The highly-anticipated event takes place August 31 (4pm to 10pm) and September 1, 2018 (11am to 10pm), at Minoru Park in Richmond, and offers an abundance of top-notch entertainment, family-friendly activities, and exciting international eating opportunities.Richmond World Festival

The two-day festival, headlined by Canadian music stars Lights and Magic!, celebrates the diversity of Richmond through globally-themed programming, pavilions, and displays. Attendees can look forward to an artisan market selling unique cultural crafts, as well as a Global Village area with an Indigenous dance workshop, a roster of other cultural performances, and fun “how to” craft workshops (e.g. Japanese bookbinding). Meanwhile, the Bamboo Theatre will wow audiences with Chinese opera displays and demos, while the Africa Zone will feature vibrant artists and vendors. And, those who get hot can find a cool escape at the Antarctica Zone in Minoru Arena.

Younger attendees will love Kids World, with face painting and zany balloon making, while adults will be engaged by the media art displays that are part of “Your Digital Carnival.” Words will also play a prominent role in the festival with readings at the World of Poetry, and the Imagination Stage at the Richmond Public Library. Plus, performers, such as Desi Sub Culture, Elijah Woods x Jamie Fine, and Kimmortal, will be appearing on the Main and Minoru Stages to get the crowds energized and dancing.Richmond World Festival

With all this activity, attendees are bound to work up an appetite for global eats. A particular highlight is the event’s food program that really showcases the impressive cultural breadth of Richmond’s culinary landscape. The eating begins with the FEASTival of Flavours, a bringing together of over fifty local food trucks promising to be a huge and delicious draw. The festival within the larger festival offers a list of food that is mouth-watering and spans the globe, from Belgium waffles (Beljam’s Waffles) to west coast sockeye salmon burgers (Wheelhouse Seafoods).

Some trucks to look out for are It’s All About Grill, a Richmond Night Market favourite, with their barbecued meat skewers, like juicy lamb shoulder and garlic chicken; Jamaican Mi Juicy with their spicy Jamaican jerk chicken caesar wraps and refreshing tropical smoothies; and Kampong, a family-run business that lovingly prepares Malaysian dishes (eg chicken satays and chicken curry) like their grandmother used to make them. Other food trucks reflect a melding of culinary traditions, such as El Cartel with their Korean/Latin American/Tex-Mex menu that features bulgogi short rib tacos and bulgogi short rib fries, and, of course, the ever popular Japadog, with their Eastern spins on a North American classic. Quintessential comfort food can be found at trucks like Reel Mac and Cheese, Russet Shack, and Wings.Richmond World Festival

The copious eating can be washed down with refreshing drinks from food vendors like Benny’s Tea, Lenny’s Lemonade, and Juicy Green Express (bubble tea). Sweets from trucks like Cannoli King and Slavic Rolls will be the perfect finish to the delectable gorging. FEASTival will be a multicultural chowing down zone, with other food trucks in attendance including the Original Hurricane Potato, Sajetarian (Middle Eastern), Brazilian Roots, and Mr. Bannock.

Once guests are done at FEASTival, they can wander (or waddle) to the Culinary Stage, presented by Tourism Richmond, where top local chefs will be demonstrating their craft. Chefs with Richmond connections include Betty Hung (August 31, 6:45pm-7:15pm), a resident of the city, soon-to-be cookbook author (French Pastry 101), and co-owner of Beaucoup Bakery, where she began as an intern before ascending to head pastry chef. She bought the business with her brother Jacky Hung from Jackie Kai Ellis in 2017.Richmond World Festival

The dynamic duo Dominique and Cindy Duby (September 1, 5:45pm-6:25pm) from Richmond’s Wild Sweets will also be taking to the stage, demonstrating the extraordinary talent and science behind their chocolate and confection making. This couple is not to be missed, as they are masters at what they do, winning numerous accolades, including being ranked as one of the “25 Best Chocolatiers in the World.”

Richmond’s Banh Mi Tres Bon has generated substantial buzz for their innovative and high quality renditions of Vietnamese culinary staples. Chef and owner Lan Do (August 31, 5:30pm-6:10pm), will be demonstrating her knowledge regarding the technique, ingredients, and evolution of Vietnamese cuisine.Richmond World Festival

Chef Mike Manlulu (September 1, 4:45pm-5:25pm) from Steveston’s Britannia Brewing Co. will be talking about and showing attendees how to create west coast dishes that incorporates local produce and seafood. He’ll be part of a roster of well-known chefs presenting that includes Mark Singson, runner-up on Top Chef Season 6, Gurj Dhaliwal winner of the 2007 Superstar Chef Challenge on Food Network Canada, and Drew Munro from Drew’s Catering & Events.

These culinary demos, along with the other programming, promise to make 2018’s Richmond World Festival a massive hit. For two jam-packed days, Minoru Park will be the site of plenty of good eating, cultural sharing, and star-studded musical performances. In short, Richmond offers the ultimate global staycation for the upcoming long weekend!

By Brittany Tiplady

Our beloved BC salmon season is here and whether it’s baked, grilled, smoked, or served raw, BCers love their salmon (and preferably, of course, Ocean Wise). As the summer continues to be heated (this BC heat wave sure is intense), cooking in-doors becomes less of an option and outdoor BBQs, waterfront patios, and AC-clad restaurants reign supreme. Check out this helpful list of local Metro Vancouver restaurants and small-scale shops who are serving up fresh BC salmon to enjoy this season.

Vancouver’s North Shore

The Salmon House
A truly stunning and coveted spot serving Indigenous West Coast fare for over 40 years. The Salmon House On The Hill is not for any old dinner, this iconic North Shore haunt is perfect for anniversaries, birthdays, and really, celebrations of any kind. Bonus: the window-wrapped dining room bares the breathtaking view of the Vancouver and Burrard Inlet. As the name might suggest, there are plenty of salmon dishes to enjoy at The Salmon House, but a notable item is the alder grilled salmon trio (Chinook, Coho, and Sockeye Salmon); $41. When dining at The Salmon House, however, one most definitely cannot forget the seafood tower for two, including two price variations ($80 and $100), boasting a grilled, chilled, and bouillabaisse component.
Location: 2229 Folkestone Way, West Vancouver

The Salmon Shop
If you’re picking up some fresh fish for home, pop into the Lonsdale Quay for your loot. The Salmon Shop, a finalist for “Best Fresh Seafood in the Best of the North Shore 2012” is a retail fish shop “specializing in a great variety of BC smoked salmon, fresh local fish, prawns and shrimp.
Location: Lonsdale Quay Market, 123 Carrie Cates Court, North Vancouver, open 7 days a week.

Vancouver

Vancouver Aquarium
The Vancouver Aquarium launched the Ocean Wise® sustainable seafood conservation program in 2005, and in 2016 welcomed the acclaimed Ned Bell as the executive chef. Bell is at the helm of the Aquarium’s restaurant and cafes, creating unique and exciting dishes with sustainability at the forefront. Try the wild salmon blueberry salad; $13.50, or the wild salmon, kale and spinach salad; $13.50 at the Upstream Cafe.
Location: 845 Avison Way, Vancouver, open 7 days a week.

Salmon n’ Bannock
A must for Vancourites, Fraser Valley dwellers, and tourists alike, try Vancouver’s only Indigenous restaurant, Salmon n’ Bannock: specializing in wild fish, free range game meat and of course bannock, freshly baked daily. The folks at Salmon n’ Bannock use traditional ingredients prepared and presented in a modern fashion. “In the spirit of First Nations’ traditions, [their] intention is to provide a gathering place where the focus is on the people and the food.” The menu is abundant but an obvious choice is a family style meal of wild sockeye, including bannock, garden salad (organic greens) and roasted potatoes; $25, and for gluten-free guests, check out their selection of sandwiches on gluten-free bannock: the barbecue salmon salad with tomato and organic greens sandwich, $10, is calling our name!
Location: 1128 W Broadway #7, Vancouver; open Monday-Saturday.

Shizen Ya

Shizen Ya
It’s common knowledge that Vancouver has an overwhelming number of sushi restaurants and nooks to choose from, but one of our highest recommendations is Shizen Ya. This organic eatery serves their sushi and dishes with brown rice, organic greens and no additives, accompanied by Ocean Wise fish. Score! Their selection of seafood is so fresh (we’re talkin’ decadent, bright coloured sashimi that feels like butter), you’ll be a religious regular after one visit. Try their spicy (or regular) salmon rolls ($2.95/$4.95), the Wild Sockeye Salmon Nigiri Sashimi, or the Ocean Quartet Sashimi Salad also featuring the Wild Sockeye Salmon Nigiri Sashimi, $13.95.
Location: 965 Hornby St., Vancouver, or 1102 W.Broadway, Vancouver. Open 7 days a week.

The Fish Counter
Whether you’re grabbing some fish n’ chips to go, dining in for a quick bite, or shopping for groceries the Fish Counter–a Main Street staple–has you covered and you better believe their fish is local and abundant in seasonal variety! Head in for pink salmon caught in Dixon Entrance off Haida Gwaii, Humpback Shrimp caught in Prince Rupert, Mussels grown by Sawmill Bay off Read Island, or BC Spot Prawns caught by Gregg Best on Cowichan Bay. What’s even better is that the Fish Counter is entirely  Ocean Wise, so you can purchase your goodies in good conscience.
Location: 3825 Main Street, Vancouver. Open 5 days a week, closed Tuesday and Wednesday.

Fresh Ideas Start Here

Fresh Ideas Start Here
Helmed by the fabulous Jenice Yu, f.i.s.h. is a beloved fish shop that serves their loyal customers only the finest, local products. Yu’s mission is to elevate and promote the abundance of healthy fish that we have in BC oceans. Her passion came to life when she opened her first f.i.s.h. store in South Burnaby on Market Crossing. She now has a second location in Kitsilano, a thriving wholesale business, and nearly every influential chef in Vancouver on speed dial: everybody wants in on Yu’s fresh, Ocean Wise, beautiful seafood. Check out our feature on Jenice published earlier this year. If you’re in the mood for breakfast foods, Fresh Ideas Starts Here has a mouth-watering recipe for a Shmoked Wild BC Salmon Frittata. Get cookin’!
Location: Fresh Ideas Start Here, 2959 W Broadway, Vancouver. Fresh Ideas Start Here, #180 -7515 Market Crossing, Burnaby. Open 7 days a week.

Richmond

The River Rock Casino: Tramonto and Curve
Both restaurants at the River Rock are rockin’ an Ocean Wise menu jam packed with seafood options! At Tramonto, the River Rock’s more upscale dining spot, try the salmon scallop ceviche with strawberry, Compressed rhubarb, fresh mint, citrus oil, baby celery greens; $20, or the grilled ora king salmon with nori arancini wonton, baby bok choy, salmon roe, wasabi emulsion for $38.
Location: 8811 River Road, Richmond.

Surrey

Dublin Crossing
Who says pub food can’t be sustainable? Not the Dublin Crossing! This Cloverdale hotspot presents an all Ocean Wise menu! Next time you’re at the Dublin for a pint and some live entertainment, try the gluten sensitive mango chipotle salmon with Vancouver Island Lois Lake steelhead, mild chipotle seasoning, mango avocado salsa, seasonal vegetables and brown rice; $21.95.
Location: 18789 Fraser Highway, #101, Surrey,

 

 

 

By Brittany Tiplady

For the love of garlic! We’re so fortunate to live in a province that is abundant with beautiful fresh produce year round. Gear up for garlic month happening in August with this list of Metro Vancouver restaurants that have added some garlicky features to their menu, as well as a list of Farmer’s Markets so you can support local and grab your garlic to-go.

Richmond Garlic Festival

You won’t want to miss the 10th annual Richmond Garlic Festival happening August 19. Chefs from various restaurants in Richmond and Vancouver will be volunteering to present festival-goers with a grand selection of garlic-based eats including garlic ice cream. Of course the festival’s supporter, The Sharing Farm, will be selling their famous own-grown garlic as well.

Dates: Sunday, August 19
Time: 10 am- 3 pm; visit their website for more details!
Location: 2771 Westminster Hwy, Richmond, BC

Kulinarya Filipino Eatery

It’s never too early to get your garlic fix! Check out the new item on the Kulinarya menu: breakfast items featuring a garlic fried rice called a Silog.

Locations: 114 -2922 Glen Dr, Coquitlam or, 1134 Commercial Dr, Vancouver.

The Fat Cow & Oyster Bar

Dubbed as “Langley’s growing little secret” The Fat Cow & Oyster Bar is a lovable contemporary suburban restaurant serving locally sourced and ethically raised product as well as sustainable seafood. Currently on the menu is the fried cauliflower with confit garlic and preserved lemons dressing topped with crispy garlic.

Location: #4 20178 96th Ave, Langley

Fortitude

Chef Romy Prasad’s elegant Fort Langley haunt is producing beautiful, high quality plates with a focus on local produce. Don’t miss the vegetable risotto with asparagus, snow peas, confit peppers, carrots, lemon garlic and the option to add prawns or scallops.

Location: 190, 9220 Glover Road, Fort Langley

Blue Heron Creamery


For our vegan pals, this is for you! Blue Heron Creamery produces beautiful plant-based, cultured, aged “cheeses” that could fool any dairy-lover. Add some Blue Heron locally made vegan products, especially the to your next cheese board we guarantee you’ll be the favourite person at the dinner party. In light of garlic season, we recommend herb & garlic cumulus cheese.

Location: 2410 Main St., Vancouver, note that their store front is only open on Saturdays from 12 PM to 5 PM. You can also find Blue Heron Creamery products on the menu at Heirloom’s new West Vancouver Ambleside location.

Bao Down Gastropub + Raw Bar

It’s “Pacific Rim cuisine with Filipino flair.” If you find Bao’s abundant menu is overwhelming, we suggest ordering the Bao Chicka Bao Bao: garlic and lemongrass fried chicken, daikon, crisp garlic, fish sauce glaze, carrot, garlic scape mayo.

Location: 115 West 2nd, Vancouver

Gyoza Bar


Downtown Vancouver’s contemporary Japanese spot has released a new summer lunch menu that features some garlic goodness! Check out the delightful teppan bistro fillet steak: 50z of tender sliced steak, sous-vide egg, fragrant garlic rice, shiitake mushrooms, corn, and kimchi, finished with sweet soy reduction.

Location: 622 W Pender St, Vancouver

Burdock & Co


This beloved Main Street haunt, boasts a beautiful seasonal menu full of farm to table freshness. This season, check out the spring green risotto with watercress, pickled garlic scapes, peas, and pecorino, and/or the pizzichi farro pasta with dandelion, anchovy, preserved lemon and black garlic.

Location: 2702 Main St, Vancouver

If you’re wanting to experiment with garlic at home, head on over to the nearest farmer’s market to grab fresh, locally grown garlic and garlic scapes.
Here’s Vancouver’s local markets, but you can see more markets here.

Downtown Farmers Market
Thursdays at šxʷƛ̓exən Xwtl’a7shn Square (QET Plaza)

Riley Park
Saturdays at 30th Avenue & Ontario Street

Trout Lake
Saturdays at Lakewood Dr. & E 13th Ave.

West End
Saturdays at 1100 Comox St btw. Bute & Thurlow

Kitsilano
Sundays at the Kitsilano Community Centre

Mount Pleasant
Sundays at Dude Chilling Park

By Jaclyn Jularbal

The Steveston Fisherman’s Wharf in Richmond boasts an amazing view of the Fraser River and it’s also home to some of the best fish and chips around. Whether you’re a cod, halibut, or even a prawn fan – the deliciously deep-fried choice is up to you. In rain or shine, for here or to go, the wharf is open year-round to serve you up some world-famous eats.

Pajo’s
12351 3 Ave, Richmond, BC

One of the most recognizable, long-standing places along the wharf is Pajo’s.
Having been around for over 30 years, its yellow banner and unique dock-style entranceway has been a staple in Steveston for decades. Don’t let the lineup of people fool you, the cooks and counter clerks are speedy and the food is worth the wait. Ask anyone in line and they’ll be able to attest that what they’re waiting for is fish-and-chip perfection. Pajo’s crisp and golden fish has just the right amount of crunch; couple that with their home-style tartar sauce or sour lemon zest and the combination will leave your mouth watering for more.

Pajos | image by Sandra Steier
Pajos | Image by Sandra Steier

Now, a favourite thing about Pajo’s is that they offer the option for grilled fish and chips. If you’re not in the mood for deep-fried but you’re still a fish-fanatic, you can have your favourite fish served grilled on top of a basket of hot Pajo’s fries. With one, two, and three-piece combos, Pajo’s leaves you with lots of options based on your hunger and craving level.

The view by Pajo’s is also one-of-a-kind. Because its located on a dock, down and away from the wharf, Pajo’s location is exclusive and allows you to eat your meal directly on the Fraser River; creating the perfect ambience for a relaxing afternoon lunch.

Sockeye City Grill
108-3800 Bayview St, Steveston, BC

Further down the Wharf is the rock star patio belonging to Sockeye City Grill.  Whether you eat inside or wait at the take-out window, there are fresh fish options for everyone.

Image courtesy of Sockeye City Grill
Image courtesy of Sockeye City Grill

One of the best things about Sockeye City Grill is that they have prawns n’ chips!  Deep-fried prawns paired with tasty restaurant-style fries is a great take on an old summer staple – and an absolutely perfect choice for prawn-lovers.

Sockeye City Grill’s Take-Out Prawns n’ Chips | Image by Daryl Hayward
Sockeye City Grill’s Take-Out Prawns n’ Chips | Image by Daryl Hayward

Sockeye City Grill also has some cool side add-ons, like extra fish or oyster pieces, and a creamy seafood chowder.  Eat inside, eat on the patio, or eat on a bench along the wharf – the Sockeye City Grill experience is up to you.

The waterfront atmosphere of Fisherman’s Wharf really revs up the appetite –

so if you’re craving battered fish, grilled fish, or even prawns on a heaping portion of fries with homemade tartar sauces, head over to Steveston on the southwest tip of Richmond.

By VisitRichmondBC.com

It’s time to get out your chopsticks with the recent announcement of the Diners’ Choice Awards for the 2018 Chinese Restaurant Awards. And, once again, Richmond has come out on top, with twelve of the twenty-one winners forming part of the city’s vibrant dining landscape.

Now in its tenth year, the successful Chinese Restaurant Awards aims to recognize excellence in both Chinese and Taiwanese cuisine in Metro Vancouver. The Diners’ Choice Awards were tallied from 35,219 on-line and WeChat votes from the public over the course of four weeks.

The results showcase what the Lower Mainland has to offer in terms of exemplary Chinese and Taiwanese dining. Here are the twelve Richmond restaurants that the discerning voting-public thinks you need to try:

 

Best Shanghainese Stir Fry Egg White
Suhang Restaurant (100-8291 Ackroyd Road, Richmond)

Best Shanghainese Stir Fry Egg White

This popular Richmond establishment has won one of the four new dish categories. Suhang Restaurant offers a refined dining experience, specializing in Shanghainese dim sum items (eg xiao long bao) and dishes that highlight the flavours of Jiangnam, located south of the Yangtze River. The restaurant’s winning dish is a classic and expertly executed combination of broccoli, egg white, shrimp, and egg yolk.

Best New Restaurant (opened less than one year)
Geng Shi Ji (1211-8338 Capstan Way, Richmond)

Best New Restaurant

The winner of best new restaurant is the Richmond outpost of an established restaurant franchise from Hunan, China. The kitchen aims to showcase classic and reinvented dishes from a variety of Chinese regional cuisines. Recommended dishes include egg wrap with pork meatballs, crab with rice cakes, sour cabbage fish soup, and spicy beef shank.

Best Dim Sum Restaurant
Chef Tony Seafood Restaurant (101-4600 Number 3 Road, Richmond)

Best Dim Sum

With elevated items like black truffle siu mai and steamed buns filled with salty egg yolk lava, Chef Tony Seafood Restaurant was bound to be crowned the winner of best dim sum. The establishment prides itself on its stellar dim sum experience, from the dazzling room, to the attentive service, to the inventive and delicately crafted dishes.

Best Cantonese Restaurant
Fortune Terrace Chinese Cuisine (130-6200 River Road, Richmond)

Best Cantonese Restaurant

Located just across the street from the iconic Olympic Oval, Fortune Terrace Chinese Cuisine is the epitome of upscale Cantonese dining, with elegant interiors and a menu that evidences refined technique and top quality ingredients. Diners come for the chef specialty dim sum items, like truffle chicken, as well as opulent dinner dishes, such as braised sea cucumber with sliced abalone and greens.

Best Shanghainese Restaurant
Z&Y Shanghai Cuisine (1010-4711 McClelland Road, Richmond)

Best Shanghainese Restaurant

Under the same ownership as Yuan’s Shanghai Serendipity Cuisine (180-4260 Number 3 Road, Richmond), Z&Y Shanghai Cuisine invites with modern décor and flavourful Shanghainese cooking. Expect classic dishes like xiao long bao, tea-smoked duck, stir-fried rice cakes, and slow braised pork hock. The large room is ideal for convivial sharing of food with friends and family.

Best Sichuan/Hunan Restaurant
Happy Tree House BBQ (105-8171 Alexander Road, Richmond)

Best Sichuan/Hunan Restaurant

It’s all about the skewers at the two locations of Happy Tree House BBQ (one in Vancouver and one in Richmond). There’s a wide selection of proteins, from the crowd favourite lamb to more exotic choices like chicken gizzards. The meat already comes generously spiced, but flavour addicts can amp things up with ground cumin and chili.

Best Taiwanese Restaurant/BBT Café
Memory Corner (6900 Number 3 Road, Richmond)

Best Taiwanese Restaurant/BBT Café

If you’re wanting rustic, authentic Taiwanese cuisine, Memory Corner is the restaurant to visit. This establishment is a tribute to family roots in the restaurant business, lovingly celebrated with dishes like lamb noodle soup, Taiwanese deep-fried crispy chicken, and three-cup chicken.

Best Hot Pot Restaurant
Boiling Point (130-4800 Number 3 Road, Richmond)

Best Hot Pot Restaurant

With four locations in the Lower Mainland, Boiling Point began originally in California and has since spread globally. The menu at the Richmond restaurant features the chain’s signature hot soups, including their Japanese miso soup, lamb soup, and Taiwanese spicy soup. They all come chockfull of ingredients, with the option to include add-ins like lobster fish balls.

Best Hong Kong-Style Café
Copa Café (105-6200 River Road)

Best Hong Kong-Style Café

The enduring appeal of Hong Kong cafes is exemplified in the success of Copa Café, a chain with three locations in the Lower Mainland. The restaurant provides East meets West classic dishes, such as baked pork chop on rice, a clubhouse sandwich, and seafood and pineapple fried rice.

Best BBQ Shop
HK BBQ Master (145-4651 Number Three Road, Richmond)

Best BBQ Shop

By this point, HK BBQ Master has reached cult-like status on Canada’s west coast, with people driving especially to Richmond to purchase chef Eric Leung’s barbecue perfection in items like barbecued pork, roast pork, and barbecued spareribs. The slow-cooked meat is tender and intensely flavourful.

Best Bakery Shop
Maxim’s Bakery (Richmond Centre, 6551 Number Three Road, Richmond)

Best Bakery Shop

The Richmond location of this beloved Chinese bakery chain sees considerable traffic from customers craving their layered fruit and cream cakes, coconut buns, and pineapple buns. Snack on an egg tart as you window shop around Richmond Centre.

Best Fantuan Delivery
Me + Crêpe (128-8531 Alexandra Road, Richmond)

Best Fantuan Delivery

This restaurant, with locations in Richmond, Vancouver, and Burnaby, specializes in inventive Asian-style crêpes, with original fillings, like egg, Chinese donut, and soybean paste; and sliced duck with cucumber, green onion, and soybean paste. Who knew that the classic French dish could become even better?

by Catherine Dunwoody

No excuses – our West Coast palette is refined, so waxy chocolate bunnies, rock-hard jellybeans and Peeps (what are those even made of anyway?) are just plain unacceptable. We can do better. And we do! Here, three of BC’s best chocolate makers show us what’s new for Easter 2018.

Wild Sweets By Dominique and Cindy Duby’s Spring limited edition chocolate art collection screams “spring!” with the use of fruits, origin cocoa bean-to-bar chocolate and a palette of spring-like pastel colours. Sophisticated flavours include cassis caramels, pistachio praline and cherry caramel ganache, and a liquid strawberry caramel with dulce de leche. Almost too pretty to eat. Almost. Shop at their online boutique or at Wild Sweets’ own retail store The Atelier Chocolate Lab Gallery in Richmond.

Image courtesy of Wild Sweets By Dominique and Cindy Duby

Shop at their online boutique or at Wild Sweets’ own retail store The Atelier Chocolate Lab Gallery in Richmond, BC.

Purdys Chocolatier is about as old-school and iconic as you get. Founded in 1907 in Vancouver, they have a long history of providing the West Coast with melt-in-your-mouth Easter chocolate. But that doesn’t mean the brand isn’t constantly reinventing its collection and bringing out new products non-stop. New this year is the “Bunny Bag”, a cute tote filled with a mouth-watering selection of their most popular Easter chocolates including Bunny Lollies, a Wooly Lamb, lots of mini foiled eggs & bunnies and that decadent Fudge Egg. And a little bunny told us that the popular Peanut Butter eggs are now available in mini. Visit Purdys stores or shop online.

Image courtesy of Purdys Chocolatier

Thomas Haas Chocolates & Pâtisserie from Vancouver’s North Shore has a delightful way of combining charming classic styles like the laughing bunny, with world-class quality chocolate. This Easter the line up includes a variety of whimsical chocolate-sculpted characters including an Easter Bunny, a hen and chicks, with a mother hen and her chicks filled with chocolate creations, Easter Eggs filled with chocolate surprises, and a flower pot with handcrafted chocolate blooms. Easter also sees the return of the signature Easter Stollen, a seasonal bread made with almonds, pistachios and kirsch-soaked organic cherries. Visit the Kitsilano or North Shore shops, or online.

Thomas Haas Chocolates & Pâtisserie | Image by Amy Ho

Mink Chocolates, winners of the 2014 International Chocolate Salon’s best chocolate in the world, have an Easter treat for everyone in the family. Kids will love Kollie the Flop-Eared Bunny (milk chocolate) and her buddy Levi (dark chocolate), while parents will appreciate Easter eggs filled with lime ganache or hazelnut. And for those who don’t quite buy into the bunny, you can pick up a gift box filled with strawberry caramel bunny bonbons and Mink’s stunning bonbon art series, where each bonbon is a tiny piece of art.  Visit Mink at their South Surrey or Vancouver locations or online.

Image courtesy of Mink Chocolates

By Catherine Dunwoody

If being elbow-deep in the freshest, tastiest seafood around is your kind of feast, then The Captain’s Boil is your new go-to eatery. And with so many options of flavor, spice, and sides, it’s a crowd-pleaser for everyone in the family.

With numerous west coast locations, including Richmond, Coquitlam, Vancouver’s North Shore (coming soon), and Vancouver, this Canadian chain restaurant offers a classic Cajun-inspired seafood boil that you customize to suit your tastes perfectly.

 The Captain's Boil Lobster
Image Courtesy of The Captain’s Boil

Start with choosing from a variety of freshly caught fish and shellfish, then add sides and sauces from a lengthy menu of options. You’ll be given a plastic bib and gloves to protect your clothes and hands from the delicious mess, and you wont find cutlery on the table either. Shellfish crackers are provided and the fun begins.

Try the Cajun crawfish with a side of okra, or the king crab legs with lotus root, or lobster with corn on the cob. Select your sauce, from mild to smokin’ hot, from lemon pepper to garlic. You get the idea. Mix it up, share with your tablemates, and get set for perhaps the most fun you’ve ever had at a meal.

Eat in, or take the feast to your dining room table.

For locations and hours, visit:

The Captain’s Boil
thecaptainsboil.com

By VisitRichmondBC.com

The ushering in of the Year of the Dog was on February 16, and was a joyous and festive time for the Chinese community in the Lower Mainland characterized by time spent with family and friends and, of course, by copious delicious feasting.

Who doesn’t love a good hearty meal? Chinese New Year an opportunity for everyone to partake in holiday eating, most especially dishes that will, hopefully, improve success in the coming lunar year. Richmond, as a confluence of various Chinese cuisines, offers many culinary opportunities for celebrating Year of the Dog well into 2018. Here are 8 luck-magnet dishes that will appeal to your palate and your fortunes throughout the year:

Whole Fish

A particularly significant dish for Chinese New Year consists of a whole fish; its associations with unity and good fortune make it a centerpiece item. A whole steamed rock cod at Shiang Garden Seafood Restaurant (2200-4540 Number 3 Road, Richmond) is a seemingly simple, yet lovely dish that really highlights the freshness and subtle flavour of the fish.

Spring Rolls

Because spring rolls resemble gold bars, they are a popular food item for encouraging wealth in your life – plus their deep fried crispiness makes them undeniably enjoyable to eat. While these tasty snacks can be found on most dim sum menus, chef May Chau at Golden Paramount (8071 Park Road, Richmond) has created an inventive version you have to try that has juicy shredded daikon filling.

Daikon spring rolls | Image by Tara Lee
Daikon spring rolls from Golden Paramount | Image by Tara Lee

Dumplings

Dumplings signal wealth in Chinese traditions, and the more of them you eat, the more prosperous you’ll be. In other words, you have full license to gorge on dumplings during the New Year festivities! Richmond has an almost endless selection of dumplings, as evidenced by its Dumpling Trail self-guided itineraries. A classic type is shui jiao, water boiled dumplings filled with ingredients like pork, prawns, shiitake mushroom, and chives. Especially good shui jiao can be gobbled at Golden Sichuan (170-3631 Number 3 Road, Richmond). These dumplings are definitely hearty and very addictive.

Dumplings at Golden Sichuan | Image by Dee de los Santos
Dumplings at Golden Sichuan | Image by Dee de los Santos

Rice Cakes

Another dish aimed to bolster happiness in the New Year consists of Shangainese savoury chewy pan-fried rice cakes or nian gao. A sweet pudding-type version of nian gao is also available at establishments like Saint Germain Bakery (Aberdeen Centre, 1428-4151 Hazelbridge Way, Richmond). In Mandarin, the name nian gao is a homonym for “higher” or “taller” year, making this item particularly lucky. You’ll find them at most Shanghainese restaurants in Richmond, such as at Shanghai Wonderful (Best Western Plus Abercorn Inn, 9260 Bridgeport Road, Richmond), which serves a rendition with spinach, chopped cabbage, and shredded pork.

Rice Cakes at Shanghai Wonderful | Image by Tara Lee
Rice Cakes at Shanghai Wonderful | Image by Tara Lee

Oysters

A dish that appears frequently on Chinese New Year menus consists of braised dried oysters with Chinese mushrooms and sea moss, with a particularly impressive version found at Fisherman’s Terrace (Aberdeen Centre, 3580-4151 Hazelbridge Way, Richmond). The item is a showcase of lucky ingredients. Dried oysters are said to aid in bolstering business, while the name for sea moss (fat choy) is a homonym for “good fortune.”

Oysters at Fisherman's Terrace | Image by Lindsay Anderson
Oysters at Fisherman’s Terrace | Image by Lindsay Anderson

Lobster

A feast isn’t complete without a plate of lobster, which symbolizes abundance and prosperity, especially with its red lucky colour. Hoi Tong (8191 Westminster Highway, Richmond) offers wok-tossed double lobsters in a consommé sauce, served atop springy egg noodles. Flavours are kept simple in order to showcase the natural sweetness and texture of the seafood.

Lobster at Hoi Tong | Image by Sherman Chan
Lobster at Hoi Tong | Image by Sherman Chan

Pomelo and Other Fruits

The spherical shape of pomelos and other citrus fruits, like oranges, signal wholeness and prosperity. The name for pomelo, you, also sounds similar to “to have” or “you,” which gives it further prosperity associations. Wild Sweets (2145-12191 Hammersmith Way, Richmond), run by world acclaimed science-based chocolatiers Dominque and Cindy Duby, released a limited edition 2018 “Year of the Dog Chocolate Art Collection” that features these prosperous fruits. The chocolates have fillings such as pomelo caramel ganache and ginger lemon honey nut cream, and kumquat orange caramel ganache and citrus honey nut cream.

Image courtesy of Wild Sweets

Noodles

At any Chinese New Year’s banquet, diners anticipate noodles to appear as one of the final courses, signaling a celebration of long life. Richmond has a plethora of places for getting your noodle fix, with the hand-pulled noodles at the unassuming Xi’an Cuisine (2370-8260 Westminster Highway, Richmond) at the Richmond Public Market being a very satisfying frontrunner choice. Have them in soup or stir-fried, or go for the noodles in spicy peanut sauce, if you want a saucier version. The non-uniform shape and size of the noodles are part of their rustic charm.

Noodles at Xi’an Cuisine | Image by Michael Kwan
Noodles at Xi’an Cuisine | Image by Michael Kwan

Happy eating and happy Year of the Dog!

By Catherine Dunwoody

Spoil your sweetheart and yourself with one of these sumptuous treats just in time for Cupid’s big day. Remember nothing says “I Love You” more than chocolate. Or cake. Or pastries. You get the idea.

Every Community in Metro Vancouver is whipping up something special this year; have a look at our picks from each:

Fieldstone Bakery
Surrey

Their Heart Shaped Cake for 2, ($16) is a chocolate cake filled with hazelnut mousseline and topped with a chocolate mirror glaze. Available from February 9th –18th at the store, but pre-orders are always recommended.

Chez Christophe
Burnaby

A new Velour dessert has red velvet sponge, lemon yogurt mousse, pistachio ganache, pistachio beet chocolate crunch, and raspberry jam. Available February 9th – 14th.

Chez Christophe
Image courtesy of Chez Christophe

Cakes N Sweets
Coquitlam

Valentines High Tea features buttermilk scones with Devonshire cream and jam, cucumber and lemon aioli finger sandwiches, red pepper and cream cheese croissant, three cheese quiche, chocolate dipped strawberries, chocolate ganache cups, a macaron, and a mini red velvet cupcake. At $22, be sure and call to reserve in advance.

Thierry
Vancouver

How about his & her Romeo and Juliet cakes? With ingredients like pistachio jaconde, chocolate mousse studded with Kirsch-infused cherries, and pistachio buttercream you can’t go wrong. $22 each and available for in-store pick-up only on February 14th.

Theirry chocolates
Image courtesy of Theirry

Temper Pastry
Vancouver’s North Shore

We love the classic chocolate heart showpieces – filled with creamy caramel.

caramel hearts from Temper
Image courtesy of Temper Pastry

Blacksmith Bakery
Langley

As a part of their sensory “I Do Éclair” line, the bakery is presenting a raspberry champagne meringue éclair. While you’re there, grab some cinnamon heart meringues, Valentine’s cookie necklaces and raspberry white chocolate heart Vienna donuts.

Blacksmith Bakery eclair
Image courtesy of Blacksmith Bakery

Wild Sweets
Richmond

Try the Gianduja & Fruits Heart Collection, from $8.25. Think sweet and melty chocolate with soft orange, lavender, and caramel ganache.

Pink Ribbon Bakery
New Westminster

Grab a “babe cake” – a sweet little cupcake topped with a celebrity babe and a cute message, just for Valentine’s day – $3 each! They also have handmade chocolates and assorted cakes.

 Pink Ribbon Bakery Babe Cakes
Image courtesy of Pink Ribbon Bakery

By Catherine Dunwoody

It’s February – have you made your Valentine’s Day reservations yet? Celebrate your most beloved loved one with a special evening for two at one of these restaurants across Metro Vancouver. Champagne optional (but not really – bubbly is pretty much essential).

My Shanti

Surrey

Considered to be one of the best restaurants for Indian cuisine in the lower mainland, this Vij’s owned eatery has an exotic, dreamy vibe that is sure to set hearts aflame. Plus, spicy food helps.

Interior of My Shanti in Surrey
Interior of My Shanti in Surrey | Image Courtesy of My Shanti

Wild Rice

New Westminster, in River Market

Order the share table for two, $60, with $5 from every meal donated to Ocean Wise. Nibble on sautéed prawns, organic Angus beef carpaccio, seared sablefish and more. A sexy sharesie meal indeed.

Share table at Wild Rice
Share table at Wild Rice | Image courtesy of Wild Rice

Horizons

Burnaby
The view is absolutely spectacular in the gardens of Burnaby Mountain Park. Book soon to reserve a table early in the evening before sunset.

Globe@YVR

Richmond

Their interactive pop-up chocolate bar, $40, includes a hand-rolled truffle station, house-made cakes and candies, and even a liquid nitrogen sundae station. Live music and a special cocktail list will make it a fabulous night out.

Globe@YVR | Image courtesy of the Fairmont Vancouver Airport

H Tasting Lounge at the Westin Bayshore

Vancouver

For $120 per couple, indulge in multi courses including local oysters with caviar, aburi sashimi, beef wellington and dark chocolate fondue. Additional wine pairings are $55 extra and they are so worth it.

Image courtesy of H Tasting Lounge

The Lobby Restaurant at the Pinnacle Hotel at the Pier

North Shore

Special for Valentine’s Day, The Lobby Restaurant is offering a five-course dinner, $69 per person, that includes delicious choices like lobster bisque, duck confit, panna cotta and more.

The Fat Cow

Langley

Try a 4 course aphrodisiac dinner for $69 per guest, that includes raw oysters to start (naturally), plus choices of mains including pan roasted salmon and flourless chocolate cake for dessert.

The Fat Cow
Image courtesy of The Fat Cow

Carnivores Rio Brazil Steakhouse

Coquitlam

Why not make your V-Day a carnivore carnival? Meat lovers can share a Rio-style meal with a great glass of red. Who says bubbly and oysters are for everyone, anyways?

Carnivores Rio Brazil Steakhouse
Image Courtesy of Carnivores Rio Brazil Steakhouse

By Kristi Alexandra

Winter’s far from over, but the Christmas rush has many of our local craft breweries drying up their stores of limited release selections. If you’ve got a hankering to bring back the holiday season with a few sips of the suds just north of the Fraser, here’s where you can still pour some pints in New Westminster and Richmond.

Steel and Oak

1319 3rd Ave, New Westminster

This Third Street brewery is still going strong with its limited release, Windrose. This four-grain porter will bring you back to Christmas morning by the fire with the rich taste of chocolate, caramel and toffee fit for overindulging.

Sadly, you won’t find it on tap but there are still a few cases of the Zusammen Cardamom Fig Stout floating around Metro Vancouver liquor store shelves. This spicy beverage was brewed by the women of Steel and Oak along with Head Brewer Eric. Partial proceeds from this beer goes to support WAVAW (Women Against Violence Against Women)’s Rape Crisis Centre. Cheers to that!

Instead of reminiscing, you could move onto to the future with their latest: Simple Things. This fluffy German Pilsner is “crisp, clean, with notes of honey, graham cracker, biscuit, and a refreshing and lengthy bitterness.”

Brittania Brewing

250-12240 Second Ave, Richmond

This Steveston-based brewery has beer flowing as fast as the river it sits on – so don’t miss a pour of The Sirens Chai Saison. Made up of ingredients one knows to relish in their mulled wine recipe, this farmhouse ale combines a local chai-tea blend including rooibos, orange, star anise, clove and pepper. Bottoms up!

The Sirens Chai Saison | Britannia Brewing
The Sirens Chai Saison | Image courtesy of Britannia Brewing

Fuggles & Warlock

103 – 11220 Horseshoe Way, Richmond

There’s nothing that really ushers in the excitement of spring like a fresh plum blossom, which is perhaps what the Fuggles & Warlock Kiwami Plum Sour aims to do. This tart kettle sour made with fresh plums is light and sweet, with prickles lactic acidity for the tongue. Spring’s not here yet – but a sip of this beer will transport you a few months into the future.

Want more winter craft beer? Check out the seasonal winter beer in Vancouver’s North Shore, Surrey & Coquitlam, and Vancouver.

By VisitRichmondBC.com

The arrival of 2018 heralds the chance to start afresh and to seek out new dining adventures in Metro Vancouver. Richmond, as an exciting nexus of so many different culinary traditions, is constantly evolving as a dining destination.

In the last six months, many new restaurants have launched, adding their menus to the breadth of options available in the city. Here are five establishments to kick-start your 2018 dining adventures.

I Love Fish

132-4200 No. 3 Road

I Love Fish
I Love Fish | Image by Tara Lee

In the last few years, a host of different hot pot restaurants have emerged in Richmond, offering their take on this delicious and interactive dining experience. I Love Fish one of the most recent entrants that specializes in (you guessed it) fish hot pot, Chongqing style. The room is a colourful space with a graffitied pop art aesthetic and servers are helpful and attentive. When you arrive, you’ll be presented with a laminated menu for checking off your desired broth, as well as add-in ingredients. All soups come with slices of cod, but can be customized with different flavours, such as curry, tomato, or soy.

I Love Fish Richmond BC Canada
I Love Fish | Image by Tara Lee

The hot and spicy version comes particularly recommended, though you should be prepared: even the mild broth is a real tongue burner. There are a range of ingredients to cook in the bubbling broth, including seafood balls (such as crab, shrimp), yam slices, rice noodles, tofu knots, and beef tripe.

Ichigo Ichie Ramen

150-11060 No. 5 Road

Ichigo Ichie Ramen Richmond BC Canada
Ichigo Mayu ramen | Image by Ichigo Ichie Ramen

The ramen craze continues with the opening of this new establishment. Located in East Richmond just off Highway 99, Ichigo Ichie Ramen exudes a hip vibe, with a stone-tiled accent wall, funky pendant lights, and an overall brightly inviting look.

Ordering works through a paper sheet for customizing your bowl of ramen. Choose between shoyu, shio, miso, vegetable, and mayu (spicy) ramen with garlic black oil. You also get to choose between chicken or pork chasiu, as well as pork, chicken, or vegetable broth. Additional ingredients include pork belly, nori, sweet corn, and a seasoned egg.

The menu offers a variety of rice bowls (such as spicy cod roe), as well as small plates, such as gyoza and chicken karaage. In sum, this is a great new spot for a quick and lip-smacking meal.

Ginger Indian Cuisine

490-9100 Blundell Road

Ginger Indian korma at Ginger Indian Cuisine
Ginger Indian korma at Ginger Indian Cuisine | Image by Tourism Richmond

The popular Ginger Indian Cuisine (140-3031 Beckham Place) has opened a new location, making their consistently standout Indian cuisine available to even more hungry diners. Interiors are modern, with plenty of comfortable booth seating. Regulars to the original restaurant (and newbies) can look forward to classic northern Indian dishes, such as butter chicken, lamb rogan josh, chicken or lamb korma, and spinach paneer. Of course, these rich dishes require sharing with friends and family, in addition to sides of saffron pilau rice and naan (garlic, whole wheat, paneer-stuffed).

New to the second location are items like grilled ground lamb sheesh kababs, calamari coated in chick pea batter and deep fried, and chicken wings marinated with ginger, garlic, and spices. Sip from a fragrant cup of chai in between bites of such Indian culinary bounty, and all feels right with the world.

Mr. Black Restaurant

2790-4151 Hazelbridge Way

Guykatsu at Mr. Black Richmond BC Canada
Guykatsu at Mr. Black | Image by Under Table Studio

 

In Aberdeen Centre, a new restaurant has taken the place of the former Guu Richmond. Mr. Black Restaurant boasts a sleek dark-hued décor and overall vibe, with a menu that distinctively focuses on Japanese katsu (deep fried cutlets) and other deep-fried specialties. Items include wagyu beef and foie gras korokke (croquettes), battered fried chicken, and both seafood (eg halibut) and pork katsu.

Their specialty is gyukatsu, deep fried wagyu beef cutlet that arrives ready for grilling to your liking at the table. Some of the items are coated in charcoal breadcrumbs, giving them a “black” appearance. While all this deep-frying may seem overwhelming, the restaurant aims for a crisp texture and light flavour. Fruit salad with lemon yogurt dressing, and green salad with fruit vinaigrette are available to balance out the indulgence.

Chiu Chow Cuisine

1080-8580 Alexandra Road

Chiu Chow Cuisine Richmond BC
Braised egg tofu | Image provided by Chiu Chow Cuisine

The extensive menu at this recently opened restaurant features many quintessential Chiu Chow items, like fried oyster omelette, braised duck, braised egg and tofu, cold crab, and steamed chicken in bean paste. Be sure to order the Chiu Chow-style wide rice noodle soup with seaweed and fish balls for a comforting, wintry dish. End your meal with sugar-coasted deep fried taro bars, a popular regional snack.

Ultimately, 2018 promises to be a fabulous eating year in Richmond. There’s no time like the present in getting started on your New Year’s solution to try new places and new cuisines!

 

By VisitRichmondBC.com

Dine Out Vancouver has started its 16th season, and we’ve compiled every single participating restaurant in Richmond – there are 18 in total, and we’ve even included what you should eat at each of them.

$20 Menu

 

The Flying Beaver Bar & Grill

Watch float planes land and take off at this unique bar & grill located on the north arm of the Fraser River, as you enjoy your Dine Out meal here! Offering both a dinner and lunch menu (both $20 each), we’d pick the clam chowder, the hoisin ginger sockeye salmon and a chocolate brownie to warm ourselves up during the cold days.

The Flying Beaver Bar & Grill

Monkey 9 Brewpub

Richmond’s newest brewpub joins the Dine Out Vancouver with a menu developed by Chef Kevin Connaghan. The newly renovated, open concept kitchen with a woodstone pizza oven basically tells diners that they can’t miss the pizza. Start with the beet & goat feta salad, followed by their special spicy kimchi and pork belly pizza, and top it off with a homestyle carrot cake (or a boozy Irish coffee!).

$30 Menu

 

The Boathouse Restaurant – Richmond

Known for amazing seafood dishes and a great cocktail selection, The Boathouse Restaurant in Richmond doesn’t disappoint. The Boathouse Restaurant offers both a dinner and lunch menu (both priced at $30), and our top picks include the seafood chowder, the pacific cod & chips, and… we gotta go for the mocha ice cream pie here!

Catch Kitchen + Bar

Located just above Blue Canoe Waterfront Restaurant in Steveston, this restaurant is not to be missed. Enjoy a wide array of west coast fare here, including the stuffed mushroom caps, the surf & turf, and the sticky toffee pudding – it’s seriously one of the best.

CAVU Kitchen Bar – Hilton Vancouver Airport Hotel

Offering both dinner and lunch menus (please note, lunch menu is priced at $18), guests can enjoy fresh, flavourful food and drinks in a cool, laid-back atmosphere. Our top choices here include the mussels, the hoisin braised pork belly and of course, the red velvet cupcake jar.

Harold’s Bistro & Bar – Sheraton Vancouver Airport

Named after one of their most loyal patrons, Harold Cross, this restaurant has a charm all its own. Enjoy the shrimp swirl pop, the chicken curry and a delicious white chocolate mousse cake during their dinner service – offered from 5pm to 9pm during Dine Out Vancouver.

Little Mexico Cantina

Situated in beautiful Steveston, Little Mexico Cantina offers authentic Mexican food at an affordable price. Take a trip around Mexico with their themed Dine Out Vancouver menu – visit Mexico City by diving into a bowl of tortilla soup. Taste Sonora through their beef fajitas and top it off with churros with chocolate from Vera Cruz.

Moxie’s Grill & Bar

Known for their laid-back atmosphere and delicious plates of comfort food, Moxie’s won’t disappoint, no matter what you order. We’d pick the spicy tuna roll, the rustic Italian pulled short ribs and the sticky toffee pudding.

Shady Island Seafood Bar & Grill

Reach out and touch the Fraser River from Shady Island Seafood Bar & Grill, right on the waterfront in historic Steveston. Known best for their fresh seafood, our top picks here include the seafood chowder cup, the signature dish – the Fisherman’s Pot, and the strawberry champagne cheesecake – an ever-popular dessert.

The Shoestring Cafe

A new addition to Dine Out Vancouver, the Shoestring Café is a hidden gem in east Richmond. The value here can’t be beaten. Start your meal off with the grilled marinated quail, the grilled lobster tail and scallop risotto and finish it off with a chocolate soufflé with vanilla ice cream. Delish!

Yokohama Teppanyaki Japanese Restaurant

Artful, entertaining and delicious – it’s always a show at Yokohama Teppanyaki! Featuring both dinner and lunch menus (lunch menu priced at $19.95), this eatery also offers a vegetarian dine out menu. Get your surf and turf on with their three entrée menu options, and get ready to be wowed by the chef’s skills at the hot grill.

Yokohama Teppanyaki Japanese Restaurant | Image by Laura Zhu

$40 Menu

 

The American Grille – Vancouver Airport Marriott

Enjoy Executive Chef Danilo Ibarra’s delicious cuisine at American Grille, where seafood dishes are your best bet. Our top picks from this year’s Dine Out Vancouver menu include the tuna tataki, the seared ling cod and… can we have all three desserts please?

The American Grille

Blue Canoe Waterfront Restaurant

Executive Chef Daryle Nagata takes fresh seafood to a whole new level, infusing it with Asian influences. Our top picks here include the signature seafood chowder, the baked wild BC salmon and the warm apple tart a la mode… though you really can’t go wrong with either dessert.

Blue Canoe Waterfront Restaurant

Carver’s Steakhouse

Known for their steak, Carver’s Steakhouse has been feeding Richmondites for a long time. You can’t go wrong with the spicy beef bites, the 10 ounce New York Peppercorn strip loin, and the chocolate eruption cheesecake.

Chop Steakhouse & Bar

This upscale restaurant definitely has a resort vibe to it, and a wine menu that’s hard to beat. Offering both dinner and lunch menus (lunch is $20 for the set), you can’t leave Chop Steakhouse without trying the steak. Our top picks include the crab cakes, the prime rib and the warm apple crumble to finish things off. Yum!

The Keg Steakhouse + Bar – Richmond South

Located south of Steveston Highway on No. 5 Road in Richmond, The Richmond Keg Steakhouse + Bar is the preferred dining destination for locals as well as visitors. Start your meal off with the wild mushroom soup, followed by any of the steak options (tip: the top sirloin is 12 ounces!), and finish it off with your choice of a chocolatey, mocha pie or a thick and creamy cheesecake.

Red Star Restaurant

If you’ve ever wanted to try a 10-course Chinese banquet meal, Red Star Restaurant’s Dine Out Vancouver dinner menu lets you do just that – with a very affordable price tag. Our top picks are the hot & sour soup, the two-course Peking duck (best bang for your buck here!), and you won’t be disappointed by the Chef’s dessert of the day!

Tramonto at River Rock Casino Resort

Enjoy Executive Chef Eric Pless’ newest creations at Tramonto, found on the third floor of the east hotel tower in River Rock Casino Resort. Start off with the spiced winter squash Veloute, followed by the braised bison brisket and finish your meal off with their toffee bread pudding!

Dine Out Vancouver starts from January 19 until February 4, 2018. Book your table early and come hungry!

By Brittany Tiplady

We have Europe to thank for the invention of olive oil and balsamic tasting bars. Now, olive oil specialty shops are popping up around Metro Vancouver and making quite the impression on curious foodies.

Artisanal olive oil shops don’t just have bottles of beautiful oils (and most also have a large selection of vinegars) on display, olive oil tastings bars present an interactive and educational experience. Customers can peruse the lineup of fustis, special stainless-steel jars that store olive oil and balsamics, and learn about the flavours, origins, and make of each oil and vinegar. Tasting olive oils offers a sensory experience for the consumer, bringing the flavour profile we usually read on a label right to your palate.

Vancouver Olive Oil Company
Vancouver Olive Oil Company

“Smaller boutique shops get people talking about traceability when it comes to olive oil. Shops like ours educate customers on who you are supporting, and the freshness of the oils; I fell in love with the business concept because of this education. I really enjoy it,” says Vancouver Olive Oil Company owner, Michael-Ann Dodds.

“We started educating the public on extra virgin olive oil and what to look for. When an oil has been made, you should be looking for a harvest date or a crushed date, and consuming the oil within a year of that time.”

Vancouver Olive Oil Company is the first olive oil tasting shop in British Columbia and since, the trend has continued to flourish throughout Vancouver and the Fraser Valley, fueling the farm-to-table food movement right down to the condiment.

Check out the list of artisanal olive oil specialty shops in Metro Vancouver:

The Vancouver Olive Oil Company
A family owned business and the first shop of its kind in the province. This Kitsilano staple has a vast selection of artisanal oils and vinegars to sample and purchase. My personal favourite: the wild mushroom and sage olive oil.
2571 West Broadway, Vancouver. Open Tuesday-Sunday.

vooc.ca

Coastal Olive Oils
A South Delta gem that offers a full tasting room with a bevvy of flavours and varieties to sample and purchase.
1315 56 St Unit 121, Delta (Tsawwassen). Open seven days a week.

www.coastaloliveoils.ca

Heringers Meats
This Steveston staple is not just a butcher shop. Heringers offers a generous selection of artisanal olive oils to complete your shopping list in our place. No lineup of fustis for sampling here, but premium products available all the same.
190, 12251 No 1 Rd, Richmond. Open Tuesday to Saturday.
heringersmeats.com

Kimm Brickman-Pineau and Glenn Pineau of All Of Oils | Image courtesy of All Of Oils, Surrey
Kimm Brickman-Pineau and Glenn Pineau of All Of Oils | Image courtesy of All Of Oils, Surrey

All of Oils-Wholesome Oils and Vinegars
This shop is at the helm of artisanal olive oil shops in the Fraser Valley.  Check out their various locations for extra virgin olive oils, flavoured olive oils, speciality oils, balsamic vinegars, and flavoured vinegars.  Added bonus: you’ll  find many certified organic, gluten free, and kosher products on the shelves.
South Surrey location-#160-2940 King George Blvd.
Langley location-20450 Douglas Crescent.
Abbotsford location-#102A-2649 Trethewey St.
All locations open seven days a week.

Olives on Tap
Since opening in 2012, Olives on tap is the North Shores pioneer of artisanal olive oils and tastings, providing guests with a wealth of knowledge on their selection of premium extra virgin oils and vinegars.

928 16th St W, North Vancouver. Open Tuesday to Sunday.

olivesontap.com

Rain City Olives
Olive oil, like everything in 2017, is now available online. Rain City Olives is an e-commerce shop based in Vancouver that offers naturally fused and infused olive oil from all over the world. Shop online or find Rain City Olives at a local seasonal market.
raincityolives.ca

By VisitRichmondBC.ca

Let’s face it, while cooking a big turkey with all the fixin’s for family and friends can be incredibly rewarding, sometimes it’s much less stressful to go out to eat and let someone else do the work for you.

Many restaurants are closed on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day but, fortunately, many establishments in Richmond can come to your discerning palate’s rescue. Not only will they be open, but they also offer mouth-watering alternatives to the traditional Christmas meal.

Here are five places where you can dine out on December 24th and 25th:

Yuan’s Chuan Chuan Xiang

Christmas often involves a bringing together of loved ones over good food. Hot pot adds an interactive dimension to the get-together that can be very enjoyable–and delicious. Yuan’s Chuan Chuan Xiang (Aberdeen Centre, 2792-4151 Hazelbridge Way) is the Richmond location of a chain that hails from Chengdu in China’s Sichuan province, where they’re known for their spicy take on hot pot.

While there are many hot pot establishments in town, Yuan’s specializes in “chuan chuan,” an iteration that uses bamboo sticks for skewering many of their ingredients before they’re cooked in hot broth. Depending on how fiery you want it, you can opt for a spicy or non-spicy version (or a split pot with both) of the restorative pork broth, which comes with mushrooms, ginger, dried goji berries, dried red dates, green onion, tomato, and cucumber. The restaurant adds a mixture of dried chili peppers, garlic, longan skin, fermented bean paste, star anise, and Sichuan peppercorns to transform the base broth into a tongue scalding experience.

The fun of hot pot is the sheer range of ingredients you can choose from, in this case selections such as beef tripe, pork belly, black fungus, quail eggs, and lotus root. You can also choose to partake in the sauce bar (such as mashed garlic, sesame oil) for heightening the flavours of your hot pot items.

Mega Sushi

Blue Ocean roll at Mega Sushi | Image by Lindsay Anderson

Here on the west coast, sushi has become a go-to option for many during the Christmas season. It’s a crowd pleaser, great for group ordering, and a welcome contrast to conventional holiday eating. Fortunately, Richmond’s dining landscape features some of the finest sushi on Canada’s West Coast, spanning traditional restaurants with exactingly crafted nigiri, to more casual establishments that showcase creative rolls and dishes.

Veggie udon at Mega Sushi | Image by Lindsay Anderson

Mega Sushi (3131 Chatham Street) in Steveston falls within the latter category, with a menu that is particularly playful when it comes to their specialty rolls. The Blue Ocean roll features red tuna, hamachi, salmon, radish sprouts, and avocado, all in a soy wrap, topped with tobiko. The “Sexy” roll is packed with crowd-pleasing ingredients like avocado, imitation crab, tuna, salmon, ebi, and tamago, wrapped in thinly sliced cucumber. Not just a sushi joint, the rest of the menu includes donburi, udon noodle soups, and various teriyaki options.

Suhang Restaurant

Santa himself would probably be craving dumplings at Suhang Restaurant (100-8291 Ackroyd Road) after his long night of delivering toys. This destination for top-notch Shanghainese cuisine offers some of the finest xiao long bao in Richmond. The generously sized dumplings boast fragrantly sweet broth, a thin wrapper, and substantial pork filling. (In short, these are highly satisfying.) Other dumplings on the menu include wontons in chili and peanut sauce, shrimp and chive dumplings, pan-fried pork and shrimp dumplings, and steamed veggie dumplings.

Dumplings at Suhang | Image by Dee De Los Santos

Other Shanghainese specialties are also available, from more rustic dishes like pan-fried rice cakes with pickled vegetables and pork, to more elevated dinner fare such as braised sea cucumber with seafood. One of their show-stoppers, which requires pre-ordering, is their beggar’s chicken, which consists of a whole chicken stuffed with sticky rice, water chestnuts, egg yolks, and edamame before being encased in lotus leaves and bread dough and then baked. The result is tender, juicy, and bursting with flavour. It’s a culinary centerpiece for the holidays.

Silkway Halal Cuisine

Focused on Chinese Muslim cooking, Silkway Halal Cuisine (110-8188 Saba Road) offers many dishes that originate from Xinjiang in northwestern China, home to a substantial Turkish Uyghur population. The room itself is elegantly inviting, with dark wood Chinese décor, many traditional framed pictures, and red accents.

Silkway cuisine | Image by Tara Lee

The halal menu excels when it comes to their lamb dishes, such as fried diced lamb coated in chili powder and whole and ground cumin; lamb soup; and fried sliced lamb with diced Xianjiang naan.

Lamb with naan at Silkway | Image by Carolyn B Heller

The bread, iconic of the Uyghur people, can be tried as part of the restaurant’s Chinese beef or lamb burgers. The rest of the offerings are extensive, with items like braised chicken, Xinjiang style; boiled sliced beef in hot chili oil; sautéed shredded potato with green chiles; and handmade fish and chive dumplings.

Double Double Restaurant

With all the rich holiday eating that inevitably happens, you may start to crave the classic comforting staples. In Richmond, this includes a cosseting bowl of steaming congee on a wintry December day. Double Double Restaurant (128-4600 Number 3 Road) does a particularly good version, with over a dozen different ingredient combinations. They include watercress and fish balls; fresh oysters; dried scallops and gingko; crispy minced beef; and sweet corn. Preserved egg and salted pork is a classic option, with the saltiness of these add-ins contrasting the more neutral taste of the congee. Double Double’s congee has a creamy texture, with pronounced pork broth flavour. The finishing fried peanuts on top add crunchy nuttiness to your spoonfuls of rice porridge.

Congee at Double Double | Image by Tara Lee

The congee comes in individual portions, or in larger bowls if you feel like sharing. Definitely order the youtiao (doughnuts) as well, since they’re a lovely accompaniment, especially when dipped in the congee. The menu features a range of other items, such as BBQ pork and mushroom rice rolls, dried scallop and egg white fried rice, and salt and pepper squid tentacles.

Youtiao at Double Double | Image by Tara Lee

Overall, each of these five Richmond restaurants, with their unique non-turkey creations, will give you a Christmas meal to remember.

By VisitRichmondBC.com

These five spots for Taiwanese beef noodle soup showcase how one seemingly simple comfort dish can be interpreted in a variety of ways by chefs around Richmond. Regardless of the version you choose, you’ll leave very satisfied.

Joy’s Taiwanese Food
Parker Place, 4380 No 3 Road, Richmond BC

Soup at Joy’s | Image by Tara Lee

At first glance, the food court at Parker Place doesn’t seem like the place to find mind-blowing eating experiences. Vendor stalls are basic, with the kind of efficient service and plating you’d expect of mall dining.

However, a stall like Joy’s Taiwanese Food with its elevated beef noodle soup embodies much of the spirit of Richmond eating: unassuming cooking that is affordable and deliciously authentic.

The menu includes all sorts of Taiwanese classics like marinated tripe. Being an island nation, Taiwanese cuisine represents a confluence of culinary influences, as well as resourcefulness due to limited ingredients. Its food is superficially simple and rustic while being incredibly complex in flavour.

Case in point is Taiwanese beef noodle soup (niu rou mian); it’s Sichuan in origin and purported to have been brought to Taiwan during China’s Civil War. At Joy’s, the first spoonful of the broth, the litmus test of the dish, is revelatory, evidencing a deep leveraging of ingredients, like star anise, garlic, ginger, soy, bean paste, peppercorns, and garlic. The soup has a beefy cloudiness to it, which gives a pleasurable unctuousness. Meanwhile, the noodles have a good chew, and the beef shank is wonderfully tender.

The many other customers you’ll see hunched over bowls of noodle soup nearby, attests to the popularity of this dish. It’s the ultimate in comfort food, with standout versions to be found all around Richmond.

Chef Hung Taiwanese Beef Noodle
Aberdeen Centre, 2800-4151 Hazelbridge Way, Richmond BC

Soup by Chef Hung | Image by Michael Kwan

The “king of Taiwanese beef noodle,” Chef Hung Ching-Lung has extended his empire to a location in Richmond’s Aberdeen Centre. His signature beef noodles have won numerous awards, including the Taipei International Beef Noodle Awards and, more locally, Best Noodle House at the Vancouver Magazine Restaurant Awards. For pure consistency and breadth of options, Chef Hung definitely pulls ahead of the competition.

The menu allows patrons to customize their noodle soup, with a variety of broths (regular, clear, tomato, fire chili), noodles (flat noodle, thin noodle, rice noodle, vermicelli), and beef options (beef shank, brisket, tendon, tripe, sliced fatty beef). If you want to feel more virtuous, there’s also a version with five kinds of vegetables. Each iteration of Taiwan’s unofficial national dish is deeply enjoyable here, whether you want to go for the protein works, max the thickness of your noodles, or add a bit of contrasting tomato acidity to your beef broth.

Strike
Two locations:
Aberdeen Centre, 3260-4151 Hazelbridge Way, Richmond, BC
120-4751 Garden City Road, Richmond, BC

Soup at Strike | Image by Michael Kwan

If you’re in the mood (and have the stomach room) for a beef noodle soup showdown, you can wander over to Strike, located in the food court of Aberdeen Centre, for comparison. While the stall has a limited menu for expedient chowing down, the full restaurant on Garden City Road has more extensive options (like Taiwanese three cup chicken or octopus pancake). And of course, there are plenty of bubble tea options, like passion fruit black tea, for refreshing sips.

Strike’s beef noodle soup can’t be customized, but what you get is phenomenal. After all, who needs choices when the chefs have crafted the ultimate bowl? The sliced beef shank is tender and flavourful, while the abundant noodles are perfectly al dente. The broth also doesn’t stint on taste, with a dark flavour profile that embodies the robust nature of homestyle Taiwanese cooking.

Newton Beef Noodle House
150-8191 Saba Road, Richmond BC

Soup at Newton | Image by Tara Lee

With “beef noodle” in their restaurant name, Newton is intent on winning the stomachs of niu rou mian devotees. And indeed they are, one bowl-full at a time. Once you enter, you’ll be greeted by sleek dark interiors and by staff who are helpful and quick on their feet.

While the menu is primarily noodle focused, you can also order appetizers, like deep fried squid tentacles and as rice dishes. Non-soup noodle selections include homemade sesame sauce on noodles, as well as cumin beef stir-fried noodles. A range of teas, slushies, and fresh juices round out the offerings.

As for the beef noodle soup, customers can choose from the regular or spicy broth, as well as versions that include various combinations of beef shank, brisket, tendon, and tripe. Thin, thick, green bean, and rice noodles are available, depending on your carb preference. What arrives in front of you will not disappoint: the broth has an intense savoury, sweet, spicy, and slightly aromatic quality to it – all offset by the pickled mustard greens. The braised beef shank is toothsome and the noodles springy.

Pearl Castle Café
Two locations:
1128-3779 Sexsmith Road, Richmond, BC
Richmond Centre, 1782-6060 Minoru Boulevard, Richmond, BC

Soup at Pearl Castle | Image by Michael Kwan

This hip Taiwanese establishment began over two decades ago as a food court stand at Parker Place before morphing into a fixture of Richmond’s vibrant eating scene. Their winning formula (evidenced by four consecutive wins as Best Taiwanese Café for the Chinese Restaurant Awards Diners’Choice Awards) boils down to the modern décor, lively vibe, and impressively diverse menu. Snacks like fried chicken nuggets are addictively good, while the beef noodle soup is satisfying.

Versions here include house special beef noodle soup, tomato beef noodle soup, and, for those wanting real heat, extreme spicy beef noodle soup. Noodle selections consist of thin or thick noodles and vermicelli. With Pearl Castle open late on Fridays and Saturdays, it’s the perfect spot for a late night snack, especially if you’re craving a piping hot, generously portioned bowl of niu rou mian before braving the cold weather again.

Photos by Michele Mateus
Words by Alexis Baran

In southern Richmond, there’s a salty maritime breeze where the Fraser River meets the Pacific Ocean. The wood keys of the boardwalk play warm, hollow rhythms underfoot, and seagulls screech and coo on salt-bleached perches. A favourite spot to fly a kite or spend an afternoon with the family, seaside Steveston is a neighbourhood of marine wildlife, cozy shops, and some of the freshest seafood around.

Start your day back in 1894 at the Gulf of Georgia Cannery. The building that was once one of the largest producers of canned salmon in BC is now a museum. It still holds much of the original equipment and displays historic photos of the BC fishing industry.

Steveston Village

Since 1989, visitors have been able to stroll along the pier in Steveston and see for themselves which Pacific seafood is in season at Fisherman’s Wharf. While the busiest time of year is spot prawn season in April and May, there are often fishing vessels set up early in the day with their latest catch year-round.

Steveston’s waterside restaurants take full advantage of their direct access to the freshest local seafood, whether you’re in the mood for some fish & chips on the go or are looking to wine and dine in style.

Located on stilts that allow the water to flow underneath, Blue Canoe is coastal fine-casual dining at its tastiest.

Share a heaping of salty favorites like Dungeness crab, oysters, Atlantic lobster, shrimp, mussels, salmon, and an assortment of sauces to complement.

Not to be limited by the ocean shores, there are always meals for those who prefer land-roamers and vegetarian options as well.

Places visited:

Gulf of Georgia Cannery
12138 Fourth Ave.
Richmond, BC
gulfofgeorgiacannery.org

Steveston Fisherman’s Wharf
3820 Bayview St.
Richmond, BC

Blue Canoe Restaurant
3866 Bayview St. #140
Richmond, BC
bluecanoerestaurant.com

By Winnie Tam

When Steveston Bakery opened in 1989, the road wasn’t yet paved and there were barely any other businesses nearby.

Today, Steveston is one of Richmond’s most beloved and bustling neighbourhoods, with lots to see and eat for locals and tourists alike. And while the surroundings of Steveston Bakery have changed dramatically, husband-and-wife owners Hemant and Bimla Rao’s commitment to quality in their food and baked goods hasn’t budged one bit. The lineups that appear daily in their bakery are the best proof.

Image courtesy of Steveston Bakery

The shop is the kind of friendly neighbourhood place that every town dreams of. Since moving from Fiji to Canada in the early 80s, the couple has established a regular fan base for their bakery; in fact, some patrons have been visiting nearly every day since it opened (yes, it’s open seven days a week). Hemant jokes that some people call his bakery Steveston’s “second community centre.”

All-day breakfast | Image courtesy of Steveston Bakery

It’s no wonder. Every day, Hemant and his bakers serve up a dizzying assortment of goodies, all made fresh in the bakery. There are different flavours of muffins and scones, turnovers, cookies, buns, bread loaves, cheesecakes, croissants, bagels and much more. Customers can also enjoy all-day breakfast and lunch, with daily specials for each, and a vegetarian and a meat-based soup option every day. Like their baked goods, the Raos buy their groceries fresh daily and make all the food and soups, including the soup stock, in-house from scratch.

One of customers’ favourites is the sourdough bread loaf. If you go there on a Saturday, you can get it for just 99 cents – the same price it was when Steveston Bakery opened 28 years ago.

Don’t be intimidated by the lineup – service is friendly and speedy and it’s definitely worth the short wait.

Opening hours: 7 am-6 pm Monday to Saturday; 8 am-5 pm Sundays and holidays.

Steveston Bakery
12231 No. 1 Rd
Richmond, BC
stevestonbakery.com

By Tara Lee

Hot pot takes on many different forms within China and across Asia, including countries like Japan, Thailand, and Vietnam. In the past year, Richmond has seen the opening of many new restaurants that offer a spicy kick. Chongqing and Chengdu are styles of hot put and cities in southwestern China that share cultural roots in Sichuan cooking. Chongqing is known as the birthplace of hot pot and a visit to either city necessitates a hot pot eating experience.

If you’re looking to get a taste of this southwestern Chinese style of hot pot, Richmond has much to offer you. Two establishments worth visiting are To Hot (130-8171 Ackroyd Road) and Yuan’s Chuang Chuang Xiang (Aberdeen Centre, 4151 Hazelbridge Way). They’re both innovative in their own ways, modern in their décor, and definitely lip-smacking in flavour profiles. Armed with an open palate – and an empty stomach, I decided to pay a visit to each.

To Hot

Situated in a strip mall on Ackroyd Road, To Hot, which bills itself as a Chongqing style hot pot restaurant, greets customers with a bright red awning and red signage. I went alone, but cost, portion, and fun-wise, it makes more sense to go with at least one other person, or even a small group.

The interior is inviting, with high ceilings, lacquered wood booths and bench seating, and modern accents. The servers do their best to overcome any language barrier and explain printed Chinese instructions.

You’ll be presented with a card and a sheet upon arrival before being shown to a table.

The sheet is self-explanatory if you can read Chinese. If not – let the servers help you pick your broth and any proteins you want to add. Broth selections include original Chongqing style, pork rib soup, and duck with pickled vegetable soup (ranging from $9.95-$32.95, with the option of having two flavours with no additional charge). Proteins include Wagyu beef, oysters, spot prawns, and spicy pork ribs (ranging from $7.95 to $29.95). The sheet also allows you to order a variety of side dishes, like lamb fried rice ($5.95) and green onion pancakes ($6.95), as well as drinks.

The next step is a bit tricky if you’re visiting the restaurant for the first time (and I was). I knew that I had to do something with the card, but I wasn’t entirely sure what. My helpful server, seeing my confusion, ushered me over to the end of the room, to a refrigerated section full of all sorts of prepared ingredients for supplementing the order sheet.

I saw various types of mushrooms, vegetables, as well as noodles, seafood (even sea cucumber), and organ meat (such as pork liver). It all looked incredibly fresh and carefully presented.

Basically, what you do here is load a tray with the items you desire and then take them to a swiping station, located to the side. You place your tray on the station and the screen will tally up how much they’ll cost. If you’re happy with your order, you swipe your card. Ta-da! It’s all very high tech and impressive. Items can add up though, so make your selections carefully.

You then take your tray back to your table and wait for your server to bring your massive pot of broth, and your protein selections, all beautifully sliced and plated. Your server will also turn on the element to get your soup bubbling.

Sliced lamb

I had ordered a split pot, with half traditional Chongqing spicy broth and half chicken soup. As I waited for the broth to reach a boiling state, I took a look and tasted each side.

The spicy broth was eye watering, tongue-burning hot, and was full of dried chili peppers, ginger, green onion, Sichuan peppercorns, and chili oil. I would not recommend drinking this, but rather would suggest that you allow its spicy heat to penetrate your ingredients. I went for mild and was practically swooning from the heat (yikes).

The other side reminded me of home-made chicken soup I had as a child. It had intense chicken flavour, as well as some herbal notes. It included pieces of bone-in black or Silkie chicken, which is prized for its medicinal properties, as well as dried red dates, dried goji berries, ginger, green onion, barley, and medicinal roots. All in all, the broth is intended to increase energy, flush toxins, and increase blood circulation. If you are nursing the beginnings of a cold – this is definitely worth a shot to help clear it away!

And then, it’s a matter of putting your ingredients in and waiting until they reach a satisfactory doneness.

A bowl of handmade noodles taken from the spicy broth.

For $2.50, you can also have access to their extensive sauce bar, which allows you to choose and mix together everything from peanuts to mushroom sauce to minced chives. Edamame beans, fruit, and vermicelli salad are also at the bar. With these toppings and side dishes, your meal will be truly complete! I left stuffed, but curious to see what other Sichuan hot pot spots had in store for me.


Yuan’s Chuan Chuan Xiang

The second hot pot contender is found at the end of a long corridor on the second floor of Aberdeen Centre. Yuan’s Chuan Chuan Xiang is the Richmond location of a chain hailing from Chengdu, Sichuan Province in China, and was founded in 1996. It’s a more intimate space, with booth and table seating, plenty of windows, and an overall chic design aesthetic. Photos of Chengdu can be found throughout the restaurant, highlighting the chain’s origins.

The “chuan chuan xiang” in the restaurant’s name refers to a version of hot pot that puts ingredients on bamboo skewers which are then traditionally cooked in hot spicy oil. I had never tried such a concept, so needless to say, I was really intrigued.

Service here is friendly and very attentive. There’s no fancy computer system at this restaurant, just a sheet for checking off what you want. Broth selections are more limited, with only spicy and non-spicy possible ($9.90 for one flavor or $13.90 for a double flavour pot) and both are pork-based.

The heating element.

You can then choose from a host of items such as red pepper powder, wide sweet potato vermicelli, black fungus, duck gizzard, and baby cuttlefish (ranging anywhere from $1.99 to $22.90). The main attractions are the “sticks” ($0.90 per stick or $3.99 for 5), which include chicken skin, kelp, duck tongue, rice cakes, and “numbing spicy beef.” Other side dishes like fried rice with egg and xiao long bao are also available ($1.59-$2.99). Like at To Hot, it’s easy to get carried away with the ordering. The individual sticks, though, are a fairly affordable way to try a bunch of different things.

Once you place your order, you won’t have to wait long before your pot of soup arrives, as well as your platter of sticks. The pork broth’s flavor is intensified with ingredients such as tomato, cucumber, green onion, dried red dates, dried goji berries, ginger, and mushrooms.

If you’re having the spicy version, your server will bring a packet of premade spicy mixture, imported from Chengdu, and add it to your broth (or one side of the pot). The contents of the package are similar to what was in the spicy broth at To Hot and includes dried chili peppers, peppercorns, star anise, garlic, longan skin, and fermented bean paste. The result is a potently spicy broth.

Like any hot pot experience, the key is timing – knowing when to put ingredients into the broth. For instance, harder vegetables, like yam, are going to take longer than seafood items, like shrimp. The beauty though of the sticks is that you can very efficiently add and remove your food without fishing around for them.

The occasional pieces do fall off the skewers, but for the most part they stay on quite well. I’d also think about what items you want to place in the spicy broth, as more porous ingredients, like tofu will soak up more of the flavour (and heat), while other ones, like quail eggs, won’t.

Quail eggs and tofu puffs.

The sauce/seasoning bar ($2.45) has a good selection of options, like oyster sauce, mashed garlic, crushed peanuts, sesame oil, and chopped green onion and coriander.

After you remove your food from the skewers, you can dip them in your individualized sauce or drizzle it over top.

The Verdict…

Both places offer excellent and unique hot pot experiences. I really liked the sticks at Yuan’s since I hate losing ingredients in the broth. Both places also use high quality and fresh products. However, I thought the computer system and help-yourself-section at To Hot were really creative and added an extra dimension of fun. Plus, their broth had the slight edge in terms of depth of flavour, and there was more broth selection. Whichever one you choose, just remember – both places take it seriously when it comes to their spicy broth base!

By VisitRichmondBC.com

Who doesn’t want to consume their weight in baked goods? This list of delicious, must-visit bakeries will make you want to throw out your diet, even if just for one day. Go ahead and indulge – try out these six bakeries – three Asian bakeries and three European/North American ones, all located in sunny Richmond, BC.

Chinese Bakeries

Lido Restaurant
4231 Hazelbridge Way

Apparently, pineapple buns are a really big deal around here. Ask just about anyone who has lived in Richmond for any substantial period of time and, assuming that this person is reasonably up to snuff on Hong Kong style bakeries, they’ll tell you that Lido is king of the pineapple bun. Trays of these buns are brought out every 15 minutes, all day long. Bite into a deliciously fresh, hot bun with a slab of butter in the middle and you’ll see what we’re talking about. Bring cash, as Lido is a cash-only establishment.

Pineapple buns at Lido

Kam Do Bakery
6211 No. 3 Road

Conveniently located just across the street from the Brighouse Canada Line SkyTrain station, Kam Do is the one stop shop for many commuters to grab a quick bite to eat. Instead of displaying their baked goods behind a glass counter, the majority of products at Kam Do are on self-serve shelves; grab a tray and a pair of tongs, and load up on an endless variety of sweet and savoury buns. Top tip: bring cash and, as with most bakeries – getting six or more items will save you the tax on baked goods!

New Town Bakery
6360 No. 3 Road

Located just steps away from the Brighouse Canada Line train station is a more hidden, hole-in-the-wall style bakery that serves more than baked goods: they also serve steamed baos, or steamed buns. With three locations in Metro Vancouver (Surrey, Vancouver’s Chinatown and Richmond), New Town Bakery offers thirteen different varieties of steamed baos, which hungry customers will often order by the dozen. Our top pick here would be the vegetable bao (pictured), but you really can’t go wrong with any choice here!

Vegetarian bao at New Town Bakery

European/North American Bakeries

The Diplomat Bakery
6168 London Road

When you walk into this traditional European bakery, you’ll be intoxicated by the aroma of freshly baked pastries, cakes and cookies as well as freshly-brewed coffee. Pastry chef and co-owner Gerald Stenson honed his pastry skills through years of working all over the world, giving him a wealth of knowledge about different cultures, cuisines and pastry-making techniques and flavours. Customers come for their favourite cakes such as the tiramisu, triple chocolate mousse cake, and the titular favourite, the Diplomat Cake (regular or chocolate flaky puff pastry, vanilla butter cream, vanilla sponge cake). One forkful of their cakes and you will be an immediate Diplomat Bakery convert!

Tiramisu cake at The Diplomat Bakery | Image by Mark Stenson

Damien’s Belgian Waffles
3891 Chatham Street

Owned and operated by husband-and-wife team Philippe Leroux and Miho, the specialty at this shop are Liege waffles. Originating from the town of Liege, these waffles are a popular street snack throughout Belgium. Damien’s waffles have chunks of pearl sugar baked right in it and are made with real butter and honey. In addition to the original flavour, they also offer caramel, matcha, yuzu (Japanese citrus), banana chocolate, dark chocolate, milk chocolate and cinnamon. Enjoy one of their all-day breakfast waffles with whipped cream, strawberries and maple syrup, or try one of their savoury ones!

Waffles at Damien’s Belgian Waffles

Steveston Bakery
12251 No. 1 Road

A Steveston village institution, Steveston Bakery has been serving customers their delicious baked goods since 1989. While you have to try their breads and cakes, (their carrot cake is a must!), they also serve soups, salads and sandwiches made with fresh bread for lunch. Owned and operated by a husband-and-wife team, both Hermant and Bimia Rao were born in Fiji and wanted to share their love for breads, homemade soups and desserts at their shop. Be sure to try one of their hot-from-the-oven pies!

Steveston Bakery

By Kristi Alexandra

Is there anything sweeter than the fruits of your own labour? U-pick berry farms in the Lower Mainland would attest there isn’t.

While abundant rain at the end of a long winter had many farms opening their picking seasons a little late this year, the results are still oh-so-sweet. With a shortened growing season, farmers are seeing strawberries and blueberries as a bounty of fresh-picked treats. We visited a few farms to find out where you can gather a basket of your own before the season’s over.

Please note that availability of berries is subject to weather and crops may end early, or be extended. It’s best to contact the individual farms to determine availability of your favourite berries.

Krause Berry Farms
6179-248th Street, Langley

U-pick, a winery, fresh-made waffles, and a kids’ farm – is there anything this farm doesn’t have? Set on 200 acres of well-groomed farmland, Krause Berry Farms uses all of its berries in farm-to-table (and from field-to-glass) style. There’s always something to pick from late May to mid-October in the fields, from ever-bearing strawberries getting their second-wind starting in late July to pumpkins and autumn harvests. Open every day 8:30am to 5pm.

CanWest Farms
13051 Blundell Road, Richmond

With families in mind, CanWest hosts U-pick blueberries for five weeks between mid-July and late August. At just $1.50 per pound, you can pick a year’s worth of berries to store. Open from 10 am to 6 pm.

Krause Berry Farms in Langley – yes, they also make wine!

Birak Farm
4200 No 6 Road, Richmond

Fruit stands are no longer just a roadside attraction whilst vacationing in BC’s Okanagan Valley – this Richmond-based fruit stand has a legacy of its own. For 30 years, Birak Berry Farms has been growing six different varieties of strawberries: Albion, Totem, Hood, Tillamook, Honey Owe and Pugent. Open seven days a week from dawn to dusk.

Surrey Farms
5180 – 152 Street, Surrey

This little Surrey-based farm is famous among locals for its sweet strawberries. “The season is slowing down but the U-pickers seem to be very happy,” they told WestCoast Food. Here, strawberries can last until mid-September, with blueberries usually staying strong into September. U-pick opens mid-June to mid-October from 9 am to 6 pm.

Didar Berry Farm’s abundant blueberries

Maan Farms
790 McKenzie Road, Abbotsford

Open from 9 am to 6 pm every day, this 80-acre farm currently boasts late harvest strawberries and seasonal blueberries. A $2 admission fee is refundable when you pick more than 5 lbs of berries.

Willems Berry Farm
33736 Vye Road, Abbotsford

Running since 1983, Willems Berry Farm is a family-run farm with strawberries, raspberries and blueberries abound, when in season. Picking typically opens at 9 am on the weekends, but hours can vary, so it’s best to call ahead at 604-864-1149.

Didar Berry Farm
5580 104th Street, Ladner

Blueberry season for this family-farm is short but sweet. It opened in mid-July for u-picking and its last day of the season is August 19. Owner Aujlay Didar dubs his fruits “nature’s candy” and is happy to drive visiting pickers through his 80+ rows of berries in a golf cart to find the sweetest treasures.

Formosa Nursery Organic Farm
12617 – 203rd Street, Maple Ridge

If you want to save your money, do the dirty work yourself. Formosa Nursery offers blueberries at $5 per pound, ready-picked, or just $3 per pound when you u-pick. There are just 2 weeks left in the u-pick season, so there’s a limited amount of time to collect your bounty and get some exercise in. Open from 8 am to 8 pm daily.

By BC Association of Farmers Markets

The BC growing season is in full swing, and you can experience the palette of summer with a trip to some of the 145+ BC farmers’ markets. Whether you’re headed here on a weekend with family or friends, or taking the summer to explore Canada’s West Coast, here’s everything you need to build a farmers’ market visit into your summer travels across the province.

Nat Bailey Stadium Farmers’ Market in Vancouver

Step 1: Know your BC farmers’ markets

With over 145 BC farmers’ markets across the province, you’re sure to discover more than a few that you’ll love to return to year after year. This helpful BC Farmers’ Market Finder tool will help you make the tough choices (popsicles in White Rock, or honey in Richmond?) and you might be surprised to see how easy it is to access more than one farmers’ market closer to home. Here’s a tip: BC farmers’ markets are a smart place to stock up on the freshest summer ingredients. Not only is the food fresh and local, you can get great advice from the farmers who grew it! Ask for tips on produce varieties, preparation, storage, preserving, and recipes.

Step 2: Bring your appetite

High summer is prime time for taste, no matter which region you visit in BC. Nectarines, plums and peaches are all must-buys at farmers’ markets from the Vancouver area to the Thompson-Okanagan, and cherry fans can sample their fill fresh from the Kootenay/Rockies. If you’re looking for blueberries, head to Langley, Richmond, and the Fraser Valley – farmers from Richmond to Agassiz supply 97% of Canada’s highbush blueberries. On Vancouver Island and the Gulf Islands, look for wild crafted delicacies like seaweed and blackberries, along with delicious cheeses from the Cowichan Valley. And if you need a reminder that farmers’ markets are a perfect place to find locally produced baked goods and handmade treasures, check out the farmers’ markets even further north – Prince George’s award-winning year-round farmers’ market features outstanding baked goods and locally roasted coffee, while markets throughout the Cariboo/Chilcotin area offer locally sourced pasture-raised meat…including interesting products like llama!

Step 3: Put your money where your heart is

BC farmers’ markets are tasty and fun, but they also play a vital role in the local economy. Did you know that for the first time in 20 years, the number of farmers aged 35 and younger in BC is on the rise? But expensive land, and high start-up costs can be challenging for new farmers starting out – choosing to shop at BC farmers’ markets is one way to help these new farmers grow (and keep all farmers productive!) The BC Association of Farmers’ Markets runs the Farmers’ Market Nutrition Coupon Program , which helps increase access to fresh, local food for lower income families and seniors in BC.

Step 4: Take your time

BC farmers’ markets are the ideal place to connect with “slow food”: investing in local crops and taking the time to prepare food carefully. But while the approach is slow, the market isn’t. It’s no surprise that farmers’ markets are a hive of activity: on any given visit you might find live music, chef demos, family activities, new trends like wild harvested food and products, and artisanal food producers. With more evening farmers’ markets popping up across the province, you can enjoy exploring new foods under the stars.

Ready to tour BC farmers’ markets? Take your camera along for the ride and enter the BC Farmers’ Market Road Trip Contest: just share a photo of your farmers’ market adventures with the hashtag #BCFarmersMarketRoadtrip for a chance to win one of five weekly prize draws for a $50 BC farmers’ market shopping trip! This contest runs from July 17 to August 18, 2017. Follow BC Farmers’ Markets on Facebook and Instagram for details.

By Catherine Dunwoody

Bingsoo Korean shaved ice dessert may make you forget about traditional ice cream forever.

Ricecake bingsoo | Image provided by Snowy Village Canada

Also known as patbingsu or bingsu, this treat traditionally uses water as its icy main ingredient, however Snowy Village Canada uses 100% Canadian milk which is frozen and shaved to create a snowy consistency. Red bean paste is the traditional topping, however fresh fruit like strawberries, jelly, Oreo cookies, roasted grain powder and other toppings give it a modern texture that is suited to Canadian tastes.

Green tea bingsoo | Image provided by Snowy Village Canada

Snowy Village opened its first location in Richmond back in 2015, then a second in downtown Vancouver, and a third in Coquitlam.  Surrey and Langley locations are planned for this summer.

Cheesy mochy | Image provided by Snowy Village Canada

As well as bingsoo, the shops serve croissant taiyaki (which is like a filled, press-grilled sandwich), healthy smoothies, great coffee and a variety of savoury and cheesy snacks.

snowyvillages.ca

By Catherine Dunwoody

How cool is it (literally) that this most delicious and special day happens to fall on our very own Canada Day, July 1st? Vancouver and its diverse surrounding communities certainly know how to celebrate two things at once, and the proof is in the cone.

Celebrate Canada’s 150th birthday by toasting with one of these super special flavours, and some for a very limited time only. Here’s what they are and where to find them.

“Canadian Maple Bacon” | Image courtesy of Welcome Parlour Ice Cream

Flavour: Canadian Maple Bacon

Where to get it: Welcome Parlour Ice Cream, Vancouver’s North Shore

The scoop: This shop just opened this past spring in a 1909 heritage building, and this special flavour is only available for 1 day. Made with caramelized bacon and real maple syrup. Patriotic and proud!

Flavour: Roasted Strawberry

Where to get it: Rain or Shine, Vancouver

The scoop: Brought back for another summer, this fave 4th Avenue shop roasts local strawberries, adds a dash of balsamic vinegar, and mixes into the creamiest of ice creams to create summer in a cup. Or cone. You get the idea.

“Canada 150” | Image courtesy of Spiritual Ingredients

Flavour: Canada 150

Where to get it: Spiritual Ingredients, White Rock

The scoop: Trendy and from Thailand, “rolled gelato” is all the rage. The folks at Spiritual got the machine sent from the source, taught themselves how to make it, and serve theirs like a sundae. Blueberries and maple syrup are mixed into the actual gelato, which is then topped with fresh blueberries, maple syrup, and whipped cream. Multi-cultural cool – just like Canada.

Flavour: Birthday Cake

Where to get it: The Ice Cream Parlour at Burnaby Village Museum

The scoop: Celebratory indeed. Ice cream with chunks of birthday cake, sprinkles just in time for Canada’s big day.

 Flavour: Melon Bingsoo

Where to get it: Snowy Villages, Richmond

The scoop: This Korean shaved ice dessert is a refreshing treat on a hot summer day. Think balls of honeydew melon atop shaved ice, sprinkled with slivered toasted almonds, whip cream and served in a melon bowl.

Flavour: Creamsicle frozen yogurt

Where to get it: Menchie’s, New Westminster

The scoop: The classic combination of orange popsicle with vanilla ice cream has been around for decades. Top this froyo with anything from sour gummi worms to animal crackers to fresh fruit depending on your tastes and enjoy.

Flavour: Saffron

Where to get it: Urban Gate, Coquitlam

The scoop: Who says ice cream can’t come in unusual flavours? This saffron infused treat has that gorgeous yellow colour you would expect and a subtle flavour. Give it a go.

Flavour: Moose Tracks

Where to get it: Ritual Ice Cream, Langley

The scoop: Can it get a more Canuck-style name? Vanilla ice cream swirled with fudge and peanut butter cup chunks makes for one tasty treat, that’s all we know.

Header image by Lenee Son

By Catherine Dunwoody

A few months ago we shared the news that one of Metro Vancouver’s most sought after catering companies had opened a restaurant in Richmond. At that time, Boy With A Knife Catering was only open for lunch – but due to popular demand for their fabulous fare – they are now open for dinner.

The 55-person restaurant also has a licensed patio open until 10 pm Monday-Friday, so we know where you’ll find us this spring and summer. Chef Brandon Dac and owner, Sean Fay are the talented team behind the recently overhauled menu, and here are some favourites.

The hoke poke bowl and ham hock ragu are brand new and ridiculously delish. Plus, their burger options go deep, like the Stinky Pete (beef patty, garlic + thyme sautéed mushrooms, crumbled blue cheese, beer braised onions, butter lettuce, garlic mayo), or the tuna bacon club (rare seared albacore tuna, bacon, red onion relish, arugula + tarragon aioli), the CFC (fried chicken, curry cream, shaved white cabbage, corn relish) or the forager burger

(portobello, shitake, black bean + quinoa patty, red onion relish, cheddar cheese, lettuce, red onion + miso mayo).

Happy hour anyone? From 3-6pm they have some tasty additions to their menu. Be sure to try the fully loaded nachos, wings, or lettuce wraps – perfect sharesies with a cold drink and your crew.

Visit Boy With A Knife Grill and Deli for happy hour, and now dinner too. Enjoy great deals and specials daily.

Boy With A Knife
7 – 3331 Viking Way
604.278.0543 (deli & grill)
604-278-0769 (catering)
boywithaknife.ca

By VisitRichmondBC.com

When it comes to Asian food, you’ll find a broad spectrum of spicy dishes depending on the region and climate. Some spicy dishes are consumed in warmer climates to cool you down through perspiration, and some use chilis to prevent food spoilage. Various areas of Asia will use a different type of spice – for instance, you’ll find a different type of heat from a dish from India versus a dish from Thailand or Korea. Some cultures are steeped in heat, and today we’ll take a closer look at Szechuan – or Sichuan – cuisine.

Best known for their bold flavours from the liberal use of garlic and chili peppers as well as the unique flavour of the infamous Szechuan peppers, these four restaurants in Richmond get Szechuan cuisine right.

Golden Sichuan – heat scale: 7
3631 No. 3 Road, Richmond

Pork on bamboo at Golden Sichuan

Golden Sichuan is a great place to experience the heat of Szechuan cuisine, coupled with a few other non-spicy items, such as the visually stunning dish pictured above. This restaurant uses prickly ash, pepper, garlic, ginger and fermented soybeans to ensure diners get an authentic taste of Szechuan cuisine. Our top dishes here include their sizzling beef in chili oil, ginger beef, stir fried pea shoots and of course, their water-boiled barramundi covered in spicy, red peppers.

To Hot Hot Pot – heat scale: 8
130 – 8171 Ackroyd Road, Richmond

Split pot at To Hot Pot | Image by Tara Lee

For an entirely different experience, try To Hot Hot Pot. Situated in a strip mall on Ackroyd Road, the restaurant bills itself as a Chongqing style hot pot restaurant and they take their fiery flavours seriously. Our top tip here: split the hot pot into two to enjoy maximum flavor. The broths available here include the original Chongqing style soup, pork rib soup, and duck with pickled vegetables. Choose your proteins, ranging from Wagyu beef, oysters, spot prawns and spicy pork ribs and accompanying vegetables from the refrigerated section in the back of the restaurant. To Hot is a definitely group dining experience – it allows diners to maximize the cost and portions of the generous heaps of protein.

Szechuan Delicious – heat scale: 10
6610 No. 3 Road, Richmond

Water-boiled fish at Szechuan Delicious

Warning: Szechuan Delicious isn’t for the faint of heart! This small hole-in-the-wall restaurant doesn’t hold back on the liberal – and we mean liberal – use of peppercorns and chilis in their dishes. If you’re new to Szechuan cuisine, we suggest trying out some of the other restaurants on this list first! Must-try dishes include their water-boiled fish, spicy wok-fried green beans, the mapo tofu and their extremely spicy dan dan noodles (pictured at the top of this article).

Bushuair – heat level: off the charts
121 – 4600 No. 3 Road, Richmond

Fern noodle soup at Bushuair

Finally, we get to the spiciest restaurant of the bunch: Bushuair Restaurant. Located just south of Parker Place Mall on No. 3 Road, Bushuair Restaurant serves both Hunan and Szechuan cuisines – also known as some of China’s most chili-heavy culinary traditions. Most Hunan dishes contain the cuisine’s trinity of chilies (usually Tien Tsin peppers, which are approximately 6 to 30 times hotter than your Jalapeno peppers), garlic and shallots, and typically use more fresh ingredients, whereas Sichuan cuisine typically uses more dried and preserved foods. Due to the freshness, the spice level here is literally off the charts. Don’t be afraid to ask for water with your meal – or perhaps a glass of milk! Our favourite items here are the cumin beef, the spicy free range chicken and the fern root noodles (pictured above).

Take our advice: choose your bites carefully, pad them with something starchy, go slow, avoid the peppercorns and chilis, and you’ll be fine. The hardest part might just be convincing your friends to go along with you!

by Catherine Dunwoody

No excuses – our west coast palette is refined, so waxy chocolate bunnies, rock-hard jellybeans and Peeps (what are those even made of anyway?) are just plain unacceptable. We can do better. And we do! Here, three of BC’s best chocolate makers show us what’s new for Easter 2017.

Wild Sweets By Dominique and Cindy Duby in Richmond have new chocolate art collections with made in-house designs and from origin cocoa bean-to-bar chocolate. Sophisticated flavours include cassis caramels, pistachio praline and cherry caramel ganache, and a liquid strawberry caramel with dulce de leche. Almost too pretty to eat. Almost.

Image courtesy of Wild Sweets By Dominique and Cindy Duby

Shop at their online boutique or at Wild Sweets’ own retail store The Atelier Chocolate Lab Gallery in Richmond, BC.

Purdys Chocolatier is about as old-school and iconic as you get. Founded in 1907 in Vancouver, they have a long history of providing the West Coast with melt-in-your-mouth Easter chocolate. But that doesn’t mean the brand isn’t constantly reinventing its collection and bringing out new products non-stop. New this year is “hidden treats”, a cute and customizable tote that you can fill with your choice of chocolates and candy at any of the Purdys locations.  Plus, the tote has space to write names on it, because the Easter Bunny is clever like that. Visit Purdys stores or shop online.

Image courtesy of Purdys Chocolatier

Thomas Haas Chocolates & Pâtisserie from Vancouver’s North Shore has a delightful way of combining charming classic styles like the laughing bunny, with world-class quality chocolate. This Easter the line up includes “hen and chicks”, with a mother hen and her chicks filled with surprise chocolate creations, truffle eggs, and an Easter egg nest. Visit the Kitsilano or North Shore shops, or online.

By Winnie Tam

Attention coffee and dessert lovers! There’s a unique game in town that promises to change your perceptions of what a coffee shop is like.

Faebrew opened in Richmond in August 2016. The first thing you’ll notice about Faebrew that’s different from other coffee shops is that there’s no menu. That’s because owner Vincent Wong says Faebrew exists to make customers happy, so he’s ready to make whatever they are in the mood for drinking, however weird or outlandish it may be.

To illustrate, he’s made coffees that are fruity, coffees that are highly acidic, ones that represent depression…even one with a raw egg in it. And if you don’t like what’s presented to you, you don’t get charged for it, even though Vincent says he’s yet to encounter an unhappy customer.

The name Faebrew comes from faeries, and the idea that each coffee served is magical and is a faerie’s brew. To further play off this theme, the handles of the cups used at Faebrew resemble fairy wings. Each cup is unique and locally made.

Other than having no menu, Faebrew is “drink-in” only. To Vincent, it’s important that the shop cultivates a sense of community and provides a comfortable gathering place for people to connect. Simply put, Faebrew is a bar without alcohol.

That’s also why closing time is more a suggestion only. Although the hours posted are 10 am to 11 pm daily, if a customer feels like staying, Vincent says he wouldn’t ask him or her to leave. (By the way, the latest he’s stayed is 4 am.)

The beans at Faebrew are custom roasted and come from all over the world, including Colombia, Brazil, Jamaica, Panama, Kenya, USA and Guatemala. And if coffee isn’t your thing, Faebrew also offers teas.

Desserts at Faebrew are as delightful as the beverages. You can choose from lemon tarts, tiramisu, macaroons and more. (Vincent loves getting new flavour ideas from customers and is currently considering adding black sesame and matcha macaroons to the line-up.) He sources the desserts from local renowned pastry chefs and works closely with them to come up with new creations.

The starting price for a cup of coffee is $12.50, and desserts are in the range of $10 to $15. You can also place special orders. For example, with advanced reservation, Vincent can bring in and make you the infamous kopi luwak, termed the world’s rarest coffee and made with coffee beans that have been digested by an Indonesian cat-like animal called the civet, for $40 a cup. Some people know it as the “civet cat poop” coffee.

So, if you’ve always had a unique coffee craving that can’t be met anywhere, or, if you’re simply a coffee or dessert aficionado, go and check out Faebrew. Just make sure you clear off your schedule for the day – chances are you’ll probably want to stay for a while.

Faebrew
140-4328 No. 3 Road
Richmond BC
faebrew.com
@faebrew

By Jennifer Foden

Have you ever passed by the honey stand at the farmers’ market and wondered why there are so many different colours of the sweet stuff?

“Bees make honey by collecting nectar from flowers,” says Karin Giesbrecht of Lulu Island Honey, a family-owned beekeeping company from Richmond. “Different nectar sources mean different flavours, colours and aromas.” Crystallization also affects the colour (crystals cause honey to appear lighter), as well as the temperature outside (understandably, as there are different flowers in bloom in each climate and season.)

The USDA classifies honey into seven colour categories: water white, extra white, white, extra light amber, light amber, amber and dark amber. Typically, honey that’s lighter in colour is milder in smell and taste; darker honey is stronger.

Because there are so many different types of flowers all over the world that bees can collect nectar from, there are hundreds of varieties of honey.

Image courtesy of Lulu Island Honey

Lulu Island Honey’s hives are in Abbotsford and Richmond, BC. “Canada’s pristine open spaces and northern climate offer perfect conditions for honey production,” says Giesbrecht. Visitors to BC (and Lulu Island Honey) can expect to taste everything from a light clover honey to a darker wildflower variety. “Our current batch has a lot of blackberry in it,” says Giesbrecht.

Want to learn more?
Watch this video for a look at local honey production. You can also find information at www.bcbeekeepers.com

By VisitRichmondBC

Traveling to the Greater Vancouver area? Be sure to stop at these five places in Richmond to grab a bite to eat, or a refreshing drink before taking off to your final destination.

Prata-Man Singaporean Cuisine
9060 Capstan Way

Prata man |Image courtesy of Tourism Richmond

For absolutely traditional Hainanese Chicken, Prata-Man is the place to go. The definition of ‘hole-in-the-wall,’ Prata-Man is hidden at the end of a small plaza on Garden City Way. The specialty here is Hainanese chicken, which is essentially a deboned, poached chicken served cold, with a bowl of clear, gingery broth and a bowl of chicken-oil rice. Enjoy this with a side of their skewered meats (chicken, pork or beef) and some house-made roti and curry to round out the meal.

Flying Beaver Bar & Grill
4760 Inglis Drive

View from the Flying Beaver Bar & Grill | image by Lindsay Anderson

The Flying Beaver Bar & Grill is a bustling bar located in the Harbour Air seaplane terminal. What makes this place unique is the view from the floor-to-ceiling windows. Patrons can watch seaplanes take off and land right on the middle arm of the Fraser River, while enjoying a range of food and drink specials. Not sure what you should eat? The halibut tacos with blackened halibut, mango salsa, chipotle aioli and coleslaw are a crowd favourite. If you’re a fan of wings, on Wednesdays after 4:30 p.m., you can get them for 60 cents each , along with $5 drink specials including sleeves of Sleeman honey brown lager and the sunset cocktail, consisting of raspberry-infused vodka and 7-Up.
mjg.ca/flying-beaver

Lulu Island Winery
16880 Westminster Highway

Lulu Island Wine | Image by Lindsay Anderson

Lulu Island Winery is the newest and largest winery in Richmond producing many quality wines including red and white table wines, fruit wines, and Canada’s very own ice wines. All of Lulu Island’s quality wines are produced on site, using only the best grapes. With the latest equipment in the art of wine making and over 30 years of experience in crafting fine wines, Lulu Island Winery is a stop not to be missed in Richmond. Stop by Lulu Island Winery for a free wine tasting of up to five of their delicious table, fruit and ice wines, or book a tour for your group, starting with a visit to their vineyard right in Richmond.
luluislandwinery.com

Milltown Bar & Grill
101 – 9191 Bentley Street

Image courtesy of Milltown Bar & Grill

Milltown Bar & Grill offers superb views of the Fraser River, and Vancouver International Airport. Regulars come here for their fantastic selection of beer and food. Not content with serving just regular pub fare, Milltown Bar & Grill’s menu matches the rustic wood décor (the site was formerly a wood mill), with accessible, West Coast options that range from loaded barge nachos (small $14.50; large $19), margherita pizza ($14.25), to a maple salmon salad with maple glazed salmon, strawberries, roasted almonds, goat cheese and mixed greens with honey apple vinaigrette ($16).
milltownbar.com

Fuggles & Warlock Craftworks
11220 Horseshoe Way

Image courtesy of Fuggles & Warlock Craftworks

Fuggles and Warlock is Richmond’s craft brewery known for “keeping beer weird.” Pushing the traditional styles of beer to the limit by adding a west coast flair to their ales, Fuggles and Warlock has some adventurous brews aimed toward adventurous palettes. This full production brewery is tucked away in an industrial office lot and has a full tasting room open to the public, complete with hot menu items to accompany the beer flights.
fuggleswarlock.com

By Tara Lee and Tourism Richmond

From elegant décor, gorgeous views and impeccable service, there’s definitely a restaurant or two that fits any budget for a romantic date night meal in Richmond. Here are four date-night-worthy restaurants that you may not have tried yet.

Pier 73 Restaurant

Located in the Pacific Gateway Hotel (3500 Cessna Drive), Pier 73 Restaurant is waterfront dining at its very best. The Fraser River, Mount Baker, the Cascade Mountain Range and the North Shore Mountains are within easy view of the restaurant, day or night. Executive chef Morgan Lechner and executive sous chef Edison Antejos are known to feature fresh, local ingredients in all of their menu items.

In fact, Pier 73’s made the whole month of February known as the ‘month of luuuuv,’ during which they’ll be serving dishes for sharing, inspired by the romance of Valentine’s Day. For them, ‘luv’ entails ordering a bottle of wine for two, as well as some share plates. To take things over the top, the restaurant suggests feeding your sweetie by hand if you want to go over-the-top-romantic!

Pier 73 | Image courtesy of Tourism Richmond

On the menu for the ‘month of luuuuv’ are dishes that encompass the best of west coast dining: chilled prawns with lemon pepper aioli and cocktail sauce; BC ling cod with Kalamata olives, pico de gallo (salsa fresca), watercress and extra virgin oil; and a 6 oz. flat iron steak with radish, watercress and a red wine sauce.  Don’t forget to order dessert, like a warm chocolate fondant or blueberry pear crisp. You’ll be feeling the food ‘luv’ in no time!

gudrun Tasting Room

Likely one of the coolest places in Steveston, gudrun tasting room (150 – 3500 Moncton Street) makes for a fine date night spot, any day of the week. Chef Paul Finlay crafts a different menu each night, with sandwiches, soups, salads and more substantial mains (e.g. slow cooked pork with puy lentils, celery root, Cipollini onions and pork jus).

What makes gudrun unique though, is their well-curated wine and beer list, as well as their selection of cheeses. The wine and beer lists include local pours like the Philips’ Longboat Chocolate Porter and the Kettle Valley 2011 Gewurztraminer.

gundrun Tasting Room | Image by Lauren Kramer

The restaurant also periodically holds very popular Dinner Club events that involve six or seven course meals ($70-75 per person, plus beverages, tax, and gratuity). Guests are seated together at long tables, allowing for much conversation and conviviality.

Sushi Hachi

Arguably one of the best kept secrets as well as best sushi restaurants in Richmond, Sushi Hachi (8888 Odlin Crescent) is a tiny restaurant hidden in plain sight. With its entrance facing Cambie street, this 20-seat sushi restaurant is only open five days a week, Tuesday through Saturday from 5pm to 9pm. Sushi Hachi is definitely a date night worthy restaurant.

Run by a husband and wife team, Sushi Hachi serves the freshest (and tastiest) sushi and sashimi plates in Richmond. Our top picks for a satisfying dinner include the Chef’s Choice sashimi (10 pieces) and Chef’s Choice sushi (10 pieces plus 1 roll), both available for $25 each. The Chef’s Choice options are served omakase-style – piece by piece – a luxurious experience at a steal. Don’t forget to ask what the daily specials are: whether they’re fresh oysters or live uni, you’ll be able to find some exquisite dishes here!

Oysters at Sushi Hatchi | Image courtesy of Tourism Richmond

Sugarholic

Despite its name, Sugarholic (4151 Hazelbridge Way, inside Aberdeen Centre) doesn’t just serve sugary desserts and dishes. They also offer lunch sets and dinner specials, along with an impressive drink and dessert menu to go with your savoury dishes. Drawing on flavours from both East and West, Sugarholic’s extensive tea menu includes Chinese Rose and Red Date Longan Tea, as well as more traditional teas such as Earl Grey.

Sugarholic | Image by Lauren Kramer

Enjoy house-made desserts, such as their Ferrero Rocher chocolate cake, in their powder-blue dining room with white accents and sparkling chandeliers. Feeling fancier? Afternoon tea service is available any time of day and starts at $13.95 for the 4-piece dessert set with the choice of any herbal tea. One and two-tier dessert sets are also available at $29.95 and $49.95.

Wherever you go for date night, these places will definitely not disappoint!

With a backyard of clean rivers and lakes, the Pacific Ocean, and rich fertile land, the farmers, chefs, brewers, distillers, fishers, and producers are able to bring their diverse traditions, cultures, and creativity to the plates, cups, and glasses of Canada’s west coast. The taste is hyper local, from Vancouver to the Fraser Valley.

Featured in this video: The Vancouver Aquarium, The Liberty Distillery, Fraser Valley Cider Company, Cherry Lane Farms, Burnaby Village Museum, Bella Gelateria, Crazy Cows, Steveston Seafood House, Campbells Gold, Central City Brewers and Distillers, Fuggles & Warlock Craftworks, Trading Post Brewing, Steel & Oak Brewing, Vij’s

By Catherine Dunwoody

Vancouver International Airport just opened a new restaurant much to the delight of travelers – Lift Bar & Grill. Yep, the same company as the original luxurious Coal Harbour location in downtown Vancouver. If you’re in the international terminal, you can’t miss this gorgeous new eatery, wrapped around YVR’s iconic aquarium.

Image courtesy of Lift Bar & Grill

As we all know restaurant design is crucial, the blend of warm oak, steely blues and charcoal pairs well with the Oceanwise-certified seafood-dominated menu. Executive Chef Soojin Park has moved over from the downtown location, and brings her talents as a chef at Toronto’s famed Pan-Asian restaurant, Rain, and in-the-trenches experience on the Food Network series, Made to Order.

Image courtesy of Lift Bar & Grill

Plenty of sushi and sashimi appears on the menu, plus trendy tuna poke, and lobster mac and cheese. Carnivores will love the wild boar pork belly and vegetarian pad Thai will please the herbivores in the crowd. Brunch? Tuck into the braised beef hash or smoked salmon omelet before grabbing that long international flight. Knowing what the in-flight food options are on most flights, you’ll be glad you did.

By VisitRichmondBC.com

It’s baaaack! Dine Out Vancouver returns next week on January 20 for 17 days full of culinary delights. This year, fourteen Richmond restaurants are participating in this yearly event, offering both lunch and dinner menus ranging anywhere from $15 to $40 for three-course meals. For simplicity’s sake, we’ve sorted the restaurants by neighbourhood.

Steveston

Catch Kitchen and Bar
Catch Kitchen and Bar offers the best view of Steveston’s historic harbour as well as a fun, fresh and upscale menu. Choose from in-house prepared crab cakes to a Peppercorn New York steak to satiate your west coast fare craving.

Dinner menu pricing: $30 for three courses. Gluten-free and vegetarian options available.

Shady Island Seafood Bar & Grill
Reach out and touch the Fraser River from Shady Island Seafood Bar & Grill right in front of Fisherman’s Wharf. The must-eat items here are their seafood chowder, the ultra-filling Fisherman’s Pot filled to the brim with BC clams, mussels, scallops, calamari, prawns and crab, and of course, the tiramisu.

Dinner menu pricing: $30 for three courses. Vegetarian options available.

Yokohama Teppanyaki Japanese Restaurant
Teppanyaki isn’t just a dinner – it’s an art form. Yokohama Teppanyaki Japanese Restaurant serves up traditional Japanese teriyaki dishes as well as fresh seafood such as lobster tail and cod, cooked right in front of your eyes. Not a fan of being seated at a Teppanyaki table with a group of others? Not to worry – Yokohama Teppanyaki Japanese Restaurant also offers regular table seating as part of their Dine Out menus!

Lunch menu pricing: $19.95 for three courses. Dinner menu pricing: $30 for three courses. Vegetarian options available.

East Richmond

The Keg Steakhouse + Bar – Richmond South
Located just south of Steveston Highway on Number 5 Road, The Richmond Keg Steakhouse + Bar offers classic steak and seafood dishes grilled to perfection. Choose from their 12 oz prime rib, New York steak, The Keg Oscar platter, or the honey-glazed salmon for an ultimately satisfying meal in a family-friendly restaurant.

Dinner menu pricing: $40 for three courses.

Chop Steakhouse & Bar at the Signature Sandman Hotel Vancouver Airport
Serving up tender cuts of steak, prime rib and fresh seafood, along with an expansive and affordable wine list, Chop Steakhouse and Bar is your place to go for an upscale dinner experience. Be sure to try their Hunter Chicken in a rich mushroom sauce, or the Top Sirloin served with your choice of wasabi-infused mashed potatoes, baked potato, fries or vegetables from their Dine Out menu.

Dinner menu pricing: $30 for three courses. Vegetarian options available.

CHOP Steakhouse and Bar in East Richmond | Image by TR

Moxie’s Bar & Grill – Richmond
Moxie’s Bar & Grill offers upscale west coast fare in a casual, family-friendly restaurant. This year, their Dine Out menu focuses on an international taste, with Korean-fried cauliflower to a chipotle mango chicken and a sweet mini sticky toffee pudding.

Dinner menu pricing: $30 for three courses. Gluten-free and vegetarian options available.

Central Richmond

The American Grille – Marriott Vancouver Airport
The American Grille is one of the best-kept secrets in Richmond, when it comes to a restaurant with an open-grill kitchen. Serving favourite west coast fare and wild BC seafood, executive chef Danilo Ibarra makes it a point to showcase only the finest available ingredients in his dishes. Be sure to try the seafood crab cakes (lunch) or the lamb shank (served at dinner only)!

Lunch menu pricing: $20 for three courses. Dinner menu pricing: $30 for three courses.

The American Grille in Central Richmond | Image courtesy of The American Grille

Carver’s Steakhouse – Executive Airport Plaza Hotel Vancouver Airport
As the name would suggest, Carver’s Steakhouse serves only certified Angus beef from Canadian ranches for their steaks. Carver’s Steakhouse supports local farms and is an active participant in Vancouver Aquarium’s Ocean Wise program and as such, is able to serve fresh, local ingredients to diners in their casual, upscale restaurant.

Dinner menu: $40 for three courses. Vegetarian options available.

CAVU – Hilton Vancouver Airport Hotel
CAVU is your place to go to indulge in classic comfort foods with a gourmet twist. Executive chef Alex Hancock’s inclusion of pork belly into a traditional BLT sandwich is available for the lunch menu and it’s a definite must-order item for Dine Out diners! Pair it with a classic Old Fashioned and it’s sure to satiate any belly.

Lunch menu pricing: $15 for three courses. Dinner menu pricing: $30 for three courses. Gluten and vegetarian options available.

Harold’s Bistro & Bar at the Sheraton Vancouver Airport
Named after its most loyal patron, Mr. Harold Cross, Harold’s Bistro & Bar at the Sheraton Vancouver Airport is a Richmond treasure. Between the lively atmosphere and a fantastic menu featuring short rib ragout, crab cakes and duck breast, you’ll be left wondering if you’re at home or on the road!

Lunch menu pricing: $30 for three courses. Dinner menu pricing: $30 for three courses.

North Richmond

The Boathouse Restaurant – Richmond
This marina-side seafood restaurant is distinctively west coast. From fresh-shucked oysters to the best west coast seafood chowder you can get, The Boathouse Restaurant in Richmond offers a fresh and local menu and a great restaurant atmosphere for a casual lunch with friends, or a romantic evening.

Lunch menu pricing: $30 for three courses. Dinner menu pricing: $30 for three courses. Vegetarian and gluten free options available.

Curve Lounge at the River Rock Casino Resort
Situated in the lobby of the River Rock Casino Resort, Curve Lounge has access to the boardwalk and marina just beyond the resort grounds. It’s the perfect place to have a light dinner and some drinks right before taking in a show or visiting the casino. Be sure to try the double smoked pork belly appetizer – it’s a must eat dish here!

Dinner menu pricing: $30 for three courses. Vegetarian options available.

Tramonto at the River Rock Casino Resort
Nestled on the third floor of the east hotel tower, Tramonto is resort dining at its finest. Sous chef Omar Abdel Hadi provides an inventive menu using the best in local ingredients to give diners a taste of downtown Vancouver dining without leaving Richmond. Our top pick from the Dine Out menu is the slow baked steelhead dish – it’s just divine.

Dinner menu pricing: $40 for three courses. Vegetarian and gluten free options available.

Flying Beaver Bar & Grill
If you’re looking for more casual fare coupled with an amazing and unique view, Flying Beaver Bar & Grill is the place to go. Located right on the north arm of the Fraser River at the north end of the No. 2 Road bridge in Richmond, the Flying Beaver Bar & Grill lets you sit and watch the arrival and departure of Harbour Air seaplanes. Top picks from the Dine Out menu include the grilled pork chops and the lemon meringue pie – both deceptively simple, but oh-so-satisfying.

Dinner menu pricing: $20 for three courses. Vegetarian options available.

Flying Beaver Bar & Grill in North Richmond | Image by TR

Pier 73 Restaurant at the Pacific Gateway Hotel at Vancouver Airport
Pier 73 Restaurant offers fantastic views of the Fraser River and the North Shore mountains – but that’s just icing on the cake. Executive chef Morgan Lechner and sous chef Edison Antejos shares a passion for sustainable and local ingredients – and the menu definitely reflects this. This time around, the duo’s serving up slow-roasted lamb shoulder with in-house made ricotta gnocchi and Pier 73 chowder made with sustainable clam and Gelderman bacon. Delicious!

Dinner menu pricing: $30 for three courses.

Pier 73 in North Richmond | Image by TR

Be sure to book your table today at www.dineoutvancouver.com.

By VisitRichmondBC.com

Most restaurants are on lock-down during Christmas and we can’t really blame them. It is, after all, a time to celebrate with friends and family! Even so, Christmas remains the busiest day for the few restaurants that are open during this holiday. If you’re visiting Richmond during the holidays, be sure to try our top five restaurant picks in Richmond open during Christmas:

HK BBQ Master

HK BBQ Master | image by Tourism Richmond
HK BBQ Master | image by Tourism Richmond

If you’re looking to get a fill of Cantonese-style barbecue, HK BBQ Master (4651 No. 3 Road) is hands down one of the best places to get your fill of char siu, crispy skin roast pork, BBQ duck or BBQ chicken. It’s a tiny hole-in-the-wall type eatery with just 14 seats and they accept cash only for payment. So be warned: come early to snag seats, or buy the meats by the pound with a side of rice and take it to go for an enormously satisfying meal.

Open during Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. Closed on Wednesdays. Cash only restaurant.

Ichiro Japanese Restaurant

Sashimi platter at Ichiro Japanese Restaurant | image by Tourism Richmond
Sashimi platter at Ichiro Japanese Restaurant | image by Tourism Richmond

This top-notch Japanese restaurant will fulfill your sushi craving during the holidays! Open from 11:30am to 2pm for lunch service and again from 5pm to 9pm for dinner service, Ichiro Japanese Restaurant (110 – 12011 Second Avenue) offers authentic and artfully prepared sushi, combined with fresh west coast flavours and ingredients. Take a cue from those in-the-know and order the gomae – the perfect way to start your meal. Next, choose from an extensive menu of traditional entrees and sushi, plus house specialties like the Steveston roll: a combination of sweet shrimp, salmon and tuna.

Open during Christmas Eve. Closed on Christmas day. Credit cards, debit cards and cash accepted.

Szechuan Delicious

Water boiled fish at Szechuan Delicious | image by Tourism Richmond
Water boiled fish at Szechuan Delicious | image by Tourism Richmond

For those craving something deliciously spicy, we’ve got to warn you – Szechuan Delicious (6610 No. 3 Road) isn’t for the faint of heart! Szechuan cuisine is all about bold flavours and the liberal use of garlic and chili peppers, which often results in a mouth-numbing sensation that makes people come back for more. Must-try dishes include their water-boiled fish, spicy beef in chili oil, the mapo tofu and their extremely spicy dan dan noodles. Don’t be afraid to ask for water or tea to help with the spiciness level!

Open during Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. Closed on Tuesdays. Cash only restaurant.

LA Chicken

LA Chicken | image by Lindsay Anderson
LA Chicken | image by Lindsay Anderson

If you still crave poultry for Christmas, a party tray of fried chicken from LA Chicken (160 – 11780 Thorpe Road) is the perfect crowd pleaser. Available in 10 to 20+ pieces per tray, the fried chicken comes in either the original batter or the spicy variety. Locally owned and run by a husband and wife team, LA Chicken serves up some delicious, crispy, crazy good crunchy battered fried chicken that’s guaranteed to satiate any fried chicken craving you might have.

Open during Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.

Tsim Chai

Wonton beef noodle soup at Tsim Chai | image by Tourism Richmond
Wonton beef noodle soup at Tsim Chai | image by Tourism Richmond

The three magic words, “Wonton Noodle Soup” can instantly warm up a cold winter day. The thought of a steaming bowl of clear broth, thin egg noodles and little wrapped packets of minced pork and shrimp are enough to make even the laziest brave the elements to get a bowl of this delicious soup. Where better to get a bowl of comforting noodle soup than Tsim Chai (50 – 8251 Westminster Highway), where wontons reign supreme? Wonton noodle soup plus a piping hot bowl of their shredded pork congee may be exactly what you need to stay warm on a cold winter’s eve!

Open during Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. Cash only accepted for payment.

by Catherine Dunwoody

Health enthusiasts know the benefits of drinking green tea, especially matcha, due to the fact that the bright green stuff is rich in antioxidants, boosts memory and energy levels, plus detoxifies the body.

New Whisk Premium Matcha is the brainchild of Richmond, BC entrepreneur Kimmy Xiao, and this mother of two is pretty stoked about finding, and sharing, the highest quality out matcha out there.

Sourced in Kyoto, Japan, this organic tea is brought in for Xiao’s Whisk brand, then packaged right in Richmond before selling to us online or at select stores throughout the GVRD, including Pure Barre Studios.

Three different grades of matcha are available (including the esteemed Pinnacle Gold), plus a selection of accessories and beautifully packaged gift sets just in time for the holidays. Xiao states that “we want to bring this authentic artisanal matcha experience to people’s everyday life while promoting a healthy, active and balanced lifestyle.”

Image provided by Whisk Premium Matcha
Image provided by Whisk Premium Matcha

Since matcha gives us that kick in the pants that coffee does, but without the crash mid-day, all we can say is arigato – and give this gorgeous green stuff a try.

Find out more at www.whiskmatcha.ca

By VisitRichmondBC.com

As the colder months approach, most of us start to seek out more comfort foods to warm our bellies. We had the chance to talk to several Vancouver foodies to ask them what their favourite dishes were in Richmond, BC – check out what they had to say and get your fill today.

Nora Hamade, NomnomYVR

Nora Hamade
Nora Hamade

Nora Hamade, better known as NomnomYVR on Instagram, is known for her beautiful food photography. With a love for travel and a passion for her hobby – food photography – this Richmondite knows her Chinese comfort foods well. Here’s what her favourite food is:

“The beef noodle soup from Pearl Castle is one of my favourite spots to hit in Richmond! Tender bits of beef and chewy noodles… who doesn’t love that?!”

Get your fill at one of two Pearl Castle locations in Richmond:

Pearl Castle Café Richmond Centre
CF Richmond Centre
1782 – 6060 Minoru Boulevard
Richmond, BC V6Y 2A7
Tel: 604-279-0177

Pearl Castle Café Continental Plaza
Continental Centre
1128 – 3779 Sexsmith Road
Richmond, BC V6X 3Z9
Tel: 604-270-3939

Please note: both locations accept cash and debit cards for payment.

Lindsay Anderson, food blogger

Lindsay Anderson
Lindsay Anderson

Lindsay is a food and travel writer based out of Vancouver, but before that, she was the foodie blogger for 365 Days of Dining. Eating at 365 different restaurants over the course of a year, Lindsay definitely knows her Richmond restaurants. Here’s what her favourite Chinese comfort foods are:

“I’d say my comfort go-to’s are the pineapple bun, complete with a slice of salted butter – that’s non-negotiable – from Lido… or the bibimbap from Haroo. Or the tan tan noodles anywhere. Can’t get enough of them!”

Lido pineapple bun | image by Lindsay Anderson
Lido pineapple bun | image by Lindsay Anderson

Find them here:

Lido Restaurant
4231 Hazelbridge Way
Richmond, BC V6X 3L7
Tel: 604-231-0055

Haroo Restaurant
Venezia Place
2000 – 8580 Alexandra Road
Richmond, BC V6X 4B3
Tel: 604-284-5596

Xi’An Cuisine
Richmond Public Market, second floor food court
2370 – 8260 Westminster Highway
Richmond, BC V6X 1A7
Tel: 604-279-9727

Please note: all locations above accept cash only for payment.

Sherman Chan, Sherman’s Food Adventures

Sherman’s just a guy who loves food, hockey and softball. Game to eat almost anything from dives to fine dining, Sherman has visited over 200 (and counting) restaurants just in Richmond alone – and he’s written about every one of them on his blog, Sherman’s Food Adventures. Find out what his favourite Chinese comfort food is:

Tsim Chai wontons | image by Sherman Chan
Tsim Chai wontons | image by Sherman Chan

“Whenever I come back into town from holidays, I stop by in Richmond for some wonton soup at Tsim Chai. The warmth and aroma from the steaming hot soup wafts up into the air creating a sense of reassurance that I’m back in the GVRD. But that’s only one part, as the buttery wontons with sweet shrimp kissed by a touch of sesame oil helps soothe the soul. This is my comfort food that I generally crave anytime I’m away.”

Diana Chan, Foodology

Diana Chan
Diana Chan

Diana first began her blog, Foodology.ca, to keep in touch with friends through food adventures on both the west and east coasts. Since then, the blog’s taken on a life of its own and Diana’s blog has become a destination for local restaurant reviews and fast food. Having dined at over 100 Richmond restaurants, it’s fair to say she has a good handle on what the city has to offer. Here’s her favourite Chinese comfort food dish in Richmond:

“The preserved egg and pork congee from Tsim Chai has to be my pick. Congee has been my comfort food since I was a little kid. Whenever I’m feeling a little under the weather, my mother would make me a big bowl of congee. When it’s raining and I see congee on the menu, it’s hard for me to not order it!”

Tsim Chai Congee | image by Diana Chan
Tsim Chai Congee | image by Diana Chan

Visit Tsim Chai and get a bow full of wontons and noodles, or congee (or both!) here:

Tsim Chai

8251 Westminster Highway
Richmond, BC V6X 1A7
604-273-6288

Please note: Tsim Chai accepts cash only for payment.

Mijune Pak, Follow Me Foodie

Mijune Pak
Mijune Pak

You might know Mijune better as Follow Me Foodie on Instagram and Twitter. She’s also the founder and writer of FollowMeFoodie.com. While her Instagram account is drool-worthy enough, her blog offers a far more in-depth and honest look into the restaurants she’s dined at in Vancouver, and throughout the world. Here’s what she had to say about her favourite Chinese comfort foods in Richmond:

“This is a good question and I have two answers: Hong Kong BBQ Master and the xiao long bao at Chen’s Shanghai Kitchen. By now, Hong Kong BBQ Master shouldn’t be a secret and if it still is, a lot of people are missing out. I travel a lot for work and if it’s not in Hong Kong, then I look forward to BBQ pork and roast pig from HK BBQ Master. It rivals the local favourites in Hong Kong and it’s a quick, easy meal. I also crave Shanghai soup dumplings – it’s undeniably comforting just thinking of the hot, rich broth that bursts out of these dumplings. A lot of restaurants makes them to order and that alone reminds me of mom’s home cooking. My top pick is Chen’s in Richmond, but everyone has their favourites!”

HK BBQ Master | image by Mijune Pak
HK BBQ Master | image by Mijune Pak

Get your fill of both xiao long baos and Cantonese-style bbq here:

Hong Kong BBQ Master
4651 No. 3 Road (located inside the parking lot underneath the Superstore on No. 3 Road)
Richmond, BC V6X 2C4
604-272-6568

Chen’s Shanghai Kitchen
8095 Park Road
Richmond, BC V6Y 2Y8
604-304-8288

Please note: both restaurants accept cash only for payment.

By VisitRichmondBC.com

The thirst for locally made, small-batch brews has just been getting thirstier and Richmond is meeting the demand by serving up unique beers in various communities across the island city. Take a look at our top five places to get your craft beer drink on in Richmond, BC.

Fuggles and Warlock

Fuggles and Warlock is known for keeping beer weird and is the only craft brewery in Richmond’s with an onsite tasting lounge. Pushing the traditional styles of beer to the limit by adding West Coast flair to their ales, Fuggles and Warlock has some adventurous brews aimed toward adventurous palettes. This full production brewery is tucked away in an industrial office park just off Highway 99, making it the perfect place to stop for a pint on your way to Vancouver and the Fraser Valley. Be sure to check out their full tasting room and hot-food menu.

Image courtesy of @fuggleswarlock on Instagram
Image courtesy of @fuggleswarlock on Instagram

Our top picks at Fuggles & Warlock:

  • The Last Strawberry Wit, brewed with fresh strawberries from Abbotsford
  • Beam Me Up Espresso Milk Stout, brewed in collaboration with Salt Spring Coffee

Britannia Brewing Company

Located on the main waterfront stretch of Steveston Village, Britannia Brewing Company is Richmond’s newest craft beer destination with a full-service restaurant. Serving up catch-of-the-day fare such as fish & chips, ceviche, and poke bowls, Britannia Brewing rounds off its menu with bar snacks and a killer selection of juicy burgers. Finish off your meal with a flight of Britannia Brewing Company’s beers, all brewed in Richmond, BC.

Image courtesy of Britannia Brewing Co’s Facebook page
Image courtesy of Britannia Brewing Co’s Facebook page

Our top picks at Britannia Brewing Company:

  • Britannia Rye Porter
  • Britannia Adrift Hot Blonde

Hog Shack

Just a bit further down the street from Britannia Brewing is  Hog Shack, Richmond’s only American-style BBQ restaurant, serving up meaty plates of ribs, brisket, pulled pork and much more. They pair their meat with a thoughtful selection of craft beer from the lower mainland, so if you’re looking for a decent selection, and craving some seriously delicious double-smoked brisket ends, this is the place to go.

The beers on tap change on the regular, but some favourites of ours are as follows:

  • Driftwood Amber Ale
  • Howe Sound Lager

Jetside Bar at Fairmont Vancouver Airport Hotel

The Fairmont Vancouver Airport Hotel is just steps away from the international departures terminal at the Vancouver International Airport. It’s also home to Jetside Bar, the most popular lounge within the airport itself. Exclusive to the Fairmont hotels is the Fairmont Honey Lager, made with honey harvested from the hotels’ beehives and brewed by Whistler Brewing. Treat yourself to a flight of local craft beers that offer a taste of BC’s local craft brewing scene.

Our top picks at Jetside Bar:

  • Fairmont Honey Lager by Whistler Brewing
  • Driftwood “Fat Tug” IPA

FRESH Restaurant and Lounge at the Radisson Vancouver Airport Hotel

A quick walk north of the Canada Line Aberdeen Station takes you to the Radisson Vancouver Airport Hotel, where you’ll find FRESH Restaurant and Lounge. Serving up Korean street tacos to a low-fat umami turkey burger served with double cooked fries, you’ll find an extremely tasty menu featuring west coast fare with a twist. Not only that, you’ll also find the full lineup of Phillips beers from Victoria, making FRESH Restaurant and Lounge one of the best places to taste the lineup of beers outside of the company’s tasting room in Victoria.

Our top picks at FRESH Restaurant and Lounge:

  • Phillips Blue Buck Ale
  • Phillips Longboat Chocolate Porter

By Jaclyn Jularbal

Go for a drive into Richmond’s countryside and you’ll find this marvel located just a short distance from the highway. The Fowl Farmer is a family-owned and operated establishment that is the storefront for Mayview and Maybog Farms. Put a face to the people who make your food and drop in for something delicious; the May family are longtime cranberry and antibiotic-free poultry farmers who produce for big names like Ocean Spray and A&W.

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Meet the Mays

The best part about The Fowl Farmer is being able to ask questions. Get curious, chat and ask about poultry or cranberries or any of the other products you see. The May family’s been farming for over 30 years and they can tell you exactly what goes into the food you’re eating.

Fresh, Local Products

The Fowl Farmer is open year-round, with a wide variety of garden-fresh produce and an array of fresh and frozen meat items available – from homemade sausages and patties, to whole chickens and cutlets. With all the garden vegetables and antibiotic-free meat options you’ll be sure to please the palate of all the poultry lovers in your family.

You’ll also find other local artisan products stocked on the shelves, like spice mixes, jams, goat cheeses and balsamic vinegars. If you want an all-natural, Canadian-grown food selection then The Fowl Farmer is where you’ll find it.

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Cranberry Specialists

During cranberry season you’ll find The Fowl Farmer under a big sky, surrounded by lush red, and in the thick of fall you’ll find the store stocked with cranberries and cranberry-infused items alongside all of their other take-home-and-make meal options.

You’ll be sure to leave hungry so don’t forget to take home with you some:

  • Jalapeno Chicken Burgers
  • Homemade Italian Meatballs
  • Chicken Sausages
  • Fresh eggs
  • Breaded Strips
  • Cranberries

And of course one of their delicious homemade pies!

The Fowl Farmer
15539 Cambie Rd
Richmond, BC
thefowlfarmer.ca

by Catherine Dunwoody

Here’s some insider’s intel you’ll want to get in on. One of Vancouver’s most sought after catering companies has opened a restaurant in Richmond. Yep, located just on the other side of Knight Street near IKEA, in the business area, Boy With A Knife Catering is serving up lunch – and locals couldn’t be happier.

The 55-person full service restaurant has a licensed patio and a grab ‘n go deli serving soups and grilled sandwiches, espresso and pastries. If you’ve ever attended a wedding, corporate event, or party catered by these ‘boys’ – you know how skilled owners Chef Brandon Dac and Sean Fay are. I chatted with Sean recently about their new venture.

Chef Brandon Dac and Sean Fay | image courtesy of Boy With A Knife
Chef Brandon Dac and Sean Fay | image courtesy of Boy With A Knife

CD: Tell me about your background, for starters.

SF: The business came about pretty organically. Brandon was working for a catering company in the city and I was working a corporate job in finance. We both were feeling uninspired with what we were doing but one thing that we always enjoyed was throwing dinner parties for our friends. It was funny because Brandon knew food, and I knew service, so we naturally knew how to throw a pretty good party.

I think it was one day after a long day of work we were sitting in our kitchen when we both decided that we should start our own business. Boy With A Knife started in 2013 as a side project out of our kitchen, but as we got going the response to our food was really great. It didn’t take long until we took the leap, quit our full time jobs, and really focused on building BWAK into the business it is today.

Tuna nicious cups | image courtesy of Boy With A Knife
Tuna nicious cups | image courtesy of Boy With A Knife

CD: Is there a signature dish at the Grill we should know about?

SF: Chicken banh mi is great because it’s a simple burger, but nails all the components of a traditional Vietnamese banh mi sandwich. We make our own du cha (pickled daikon and carrot) with a Sriracha mayo and a lemongrass marinated chicken breast. Another great thing about our banh mi is that the patty is made with potato flour and starch so it is gluten free when used with a gluten free bun.

Chicken banh mi | image courtesy of Boy With A Knife
Chicken banh mi | image courtesy of Boy With A Knife

CD: Is there a hot food trend you are into theses days?

SF: Loving things that are small. Adorable one-biters are my go-to right now.

Visit Boy With A Knife Grill and Deli for happy hour at lunch time – deals and specials daily.

Image courtesy of Boy With A Knife
Image courtesy of Boy With A Knife

Boy With A Knife
7 – 3331 Viking Way
604.278.0543 (deli & grill)
604-278-0769 (catering)
www.boywithaknife.ca

by Winnie Tam

We were all asked this once: what do you want to be when you grow up? In addition to the usual answers of astronaut, doctor and marine biologist, young people in the Lower Mainland are increasingly considering an alternative profession – farmer.

The trend can be attributed to a variety of factors. Some are tired of the nine-to-five grind and want to look for a job that puts them more in touch with nature. Others are motivated by their heightened food literacy and concerns about the global food system. Then there are those who want to shed themselves of technological clutter and return to simpler vocations. Whatever the reason, the demand for knowledge is definitely there, as Kwantlen Polytechnic University runs a popular 10-month program – the Richmond Farm School – that teaches students the skills to engage in small-scale agriculture. Some of the students have gone on to purchase a rural or urban farm, adding an exciting supply of locally grown produce to the Lower Mainland.

Brendan Lench, recent graduate of the Richmond Farm School
Brendan Lench, recent graduate of the Richmond Farm School

Both in their 20s, Caroline Chiu and Brendan Lench are recent graduates of the program. They run a small farm called Golden Choy Farm together in Richmond. (“Choy” means vegetable in Chinese.) Their produce fills a need for Asian vegetables that are fresh and locally grown.

 Caroline Chiu, recent graduate of the Richmond Farm School
Caroline Chiu, recent graduate of the Richmond Farm School

I sat down with them to find out more about their alternative career choice and what they’ve learned so far.

Winnie Tam: What got you interested in farming?

Brendan Lench: For me, it’s the desire to interact intimately with the natural world, to be away from the hustle and bustle of the big city, and participate in a fundamental act: growing food. My family has been farming for generations and thus I have a fondness for rural life.

Caroline Chiu: I grew up in Hong Kong where I didn’t get to learn much about agriculture living in the city, so studying agriculture economics at UBC was very refreshing for me. Living in BC with nature as our playground made me want to connect with it in ways that are more than just a hobby. I decided to dig deeper into agriculture production by volunteering at a farm up in Pemberton, BC, to experience not only the day-to-day farm activities, but also the lifestyle of farmers and the values that they have to pursue this career. It was an enlightening experience and I thoroughly enjoyed the simplicity and fulfillment of doing honest work and providing the basic need of fresh food to customers.

Compared to our parents’ generation where staying in the same profession that they had studied was the norm, we’re privileged in this generation where we have the flexibility and the opportunities to explore different things, as opposed to just having a stable income; it is just as important for us to find a job that feeds our souls.

WT: What type of produce do you grow?

CC: Primarily vegetables used in East Asian cuisine, so bok choy, siu choy, yu choy, gai choy, gai lan, tong ho, ong choy, daikon radish, celtuce, scallions, onions, eggplant and bitter melon. We’re also trying to grow mushrooms: oyster, monkey head and king stropharia.

WT: How did you decide on what to grow?

CC: We felt that there was a niche to be filled, as the majority of Asian produce sold in the Lower Mainland is grown in a large-scale conventional manner or is imported. Even though there are plenty of grocery stores and supermarkets selling a variety of Asian vegetables and mushrooms, we realized that they were lacking at farmers’ markets, so we wanted to fill that gap and provide locally grown, chemical-free alternatives. As with mushrooms, it’s such a high-value crop, yet there is still a gap for mushrooms at farmers’ markets.

WT: What does a typical day on the farm look like for you?

BL: As this is our first year farming, we didn’t want to give up our current jobs and fully dive into farming, so we both have full-time jobs off the farm. We often have to squeeze farm work into any free off-hours in the early mornings, evenings and weekends. As the season has just begun, we do a lot of seeding in early spring and leave them in the hoop-house (a small greenhouse) for them to grow until they’re ready to go in the ground. Typically, Caroline gets up at the crack of dawn to check on our seedlings and water them as needed, and provide ventilation to the hoop-house. I head out in the evening again to check, and if the weather is cooler, to close the hoop-house to insulate the seedlings. Most Saturdays and Sundays are spent together preparing the land, and seeding or planting. As we move into summer time, the farm will get busy with weed management, more plantings and seeding, harvesting and going to farmers’ markets.

It might sound very tiring, but our full-time jobs include working in an office all day long, so having the alternative of being outside is great. There’s always something happening at the farm and the everyday tasks are always changing and unpredictable, so we’re being challenged everyday with new problems that need to be solved. Farming is dependent on so many uncontrollable factors such as pests and weather, so sometimes our crops could potentially be destroyed overnight with a sudden cold snap in the weather. It’s definitely a job where we just have to keep going, and not be deflated too easily.

On top of doing physical work at the farm, there is also a lot of paperwork and planning that happens on a daily basis. Like any self-owned businesses, we have to be experts in accounting, budget planning, machinery, soil health, plant nutrients, marketing, customer service etc. We wear many hats.

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WT: Where is your farm located? Do you allow people to visit?

CC: Our farm is situated on the picturesque westernmost border of Richmond near Gilbert Road and Dyke Road. The entire farm site is open to the public, so please come on by! This is the incubator farming site for farm school graduates, so you will find other farmers there as well. If you’re familiar with Richmond – we are right by the dyke, which is a popular place to walk or bicycle and enjoy the maritime scenery.

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Learn the latest with Caroline and Brendan by liking their farm’s Facebook page www.facebook.com/goldenchoyfarm. You can also support them by visiting them at various farmers’ markets across the Lower Mainland this season:

Steveston Farmers’ and Artisanal Market
Select dates from May 8 – October 16, 2016, 10am to 3pm

Mount Pleasant Farmers’ Market
Sundays June 12 – October 9, 2016 10am to 2pm

Main Street Farmers’ Market
Wednesdays June 30 – October 5, 2016, 2pm to 6pm

Kwantlen St. Farmers’ Market
Tuesdays May 31 – October 18 2016, 3pm to 7pm

By VisitRichmondBC.com

Feeling the heat this summer? Cool down with one of these five delectable treats found in Richmond, BC.

Screamers

The Screamer is a half drink, half dessert hybrid that combines flavoured slush with vanilla soft-serve ice cream on the bottom and top. Screamers are a local favourite available throughout the year at Danny’s Market (9040 Francis Rd.). You can also pick this treat up at Screamers Soft Serve in Steveston during the spring and summer months.

Mango Desserts

This juicy tropical fruit’s natural tartness and sweetness is a natural pick for Asian desserts. A great mango dessert should be juicy, fragrant, sweet and most importantly, it should send you on a tropical escape. Mango Yummy (6564 No. 3 Road) features a menu of mango-based desserts including drinks, shaved ice bowls, ice cream bowls and much more. Our top pick is the mango sago with pomelo, made with mango, pomelo, sago, coconut milk, cream, sugar and drizzled with condensed milk.

Mango sago at Mango Yummy | image by Sherman Chan
Mango sago at Mango Yummy | image by Sherman Chan

Taiwanese Shaved Ice

Unlike the shaved ice found in sno-cones, the Taiwanese version of shaved ice dessert features finely shaved paper-thin ribbons of ice that comes piled high in a bowl and topped with your choice of toppings. Restaurants like Icy Bar (4940 No. 3 Road) specialize in dessert bowls like this and while the topping choices can be overwhelming, their menu offers set choices to make ordering easy. We recommend the mango strawberry shaved ice. This bowl of shaved ice is served with fresh chopped strawberries and mangoes, topped with a scoop of fresh vanilla ice cream and drizzled with condensed milk to balance out the tart fruits.

Strawberry mango icy bowl at Icy Bar | image by Sherman Chan
Strawberry mango icy bowl at Icy Bar | image by Sherman Chan

Korean Bingsoo

Did you ever eat snow when you were a kid? Bingsoo is similar to that – except, far more delicious. At Snowy Village Dessert Café (8571 Alexandra Road), staff fill a metal bowl with a tower of creamy shaved iced milk that has the texture of fluffy snow. Your snowdrift-in-a-bowl is then covered with your choice of toppings – fresh mango, red bean, matcha or mixed with Oreos, and then crowned with a generous drizzle of condensed milk.

Injeolmi bingsoo at Snowy Village | image by Carolyn Heller
Injeolmi bingsoo at Snowy Village | image by Carolyn Heller

Portable Sundaes

We couldn’t leave out the most important ice cold dessert: ice cream! Above and beyond your usual scoop or two of chocolate, vanilla or strawberry ice cream in a cone, the team at Wild Sweets by Dominique and Cindy Duby has a new collection of ice cream and desserts called prêt-á-manger. These single-serving portable sundaes come in a variety of flavours including peanut banana, pistachio strawberry, hazelnut passion and many others. Get these at The Atelier at 214 – 12191 Hammersmith Way.

Pistachio parfait at Wild Sweets | image by Wild Sweets
Pistachio parfait at Wild Sweets | image by Wild Sweets

By Kathy Mak

The historic fishing village of Steveston is one of Richmond’s well-known attractions, drawing a significant number of day-trippers to explore its charming shops, cafes, restaurants, bakeries, Fisherman’s Wharf, and two National Historic Sites. And on certain Sundays between May to October, visitors who are enamored with outdoor markets can also enjoy the quaint Steveston Farmers & Artisan Market.

Now in its ninth year, the Steveston Farmers & Artisans Market is a thriving local marketplace with a diverse sampling of artisans, growers and producers from all over the Lower Mainland. Relative to other farmers markets in Metro Vancouver, it’s not the farm fresh produce that is the biggest draw here; but instead, visitors will step into an array of kiosks to find a good balance of handmade edible treats, handcrafted beverages, homespun pottery, and everything in between. Perhaps of interest to intrepid market goers, there are several vegetable stalls operated by a unique sharing farm program.

With plenty on offer at the Steveston Farmers & Artisans Market, here’s a handpicked sampling to pique your interest!

1 Steveston Market IMG_4849KMAK

The Farmers & Artisans Market is located in the parking lot of the Steveston Community Centre, a short 5 minute walk from all the top attractions at Steveston’s waterfront.

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The Sharing Farm in Richmond, run by volunteers, grows fruits and vegetables year-round to support neighbours in need, such as the Richmond Food Bank, Community Meals and other community groups.

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Discover a range of in-season, local and fresh produce from Richmond and the Fraser Valley. For example, garlic scapes (the stems and flower buds of the garlic plant) are harvested in the early summer to help the garlic mature. With their mild garlicky flavour and sweetness, they are popular in salads, pesto, vinaigrettes, and much more.

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Seasonal farm fresh summer berries are one of the highlights of the market.

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Maan Farms, in Abbotsford, is a leading provider of local produce. Their farm is a main attraction for visitors offering family activities, a country market and kitchen, corn maze, and berry u-picking. The farm is also an estate winery that crafts red grape wines as well as fruit table wines and fruit dessert wines.

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Located in Abbotsford, Campbell’s Gold is a honey farm and meadery producing honey and honey wine. Their bees collect honey from flowers in the Fraser Valley and other parts of B.C.

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Mead is a honey wine and perhaps the first alcoholic drink ever produced, made by fermenting honey in water. Campbell’s Gold is one of a handful of meaderies in British Columbia. In addition to producing mead, Campbell’s Gold also produces other honey wine varieties including Melomel, Pyment and Metheglin.

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Singletree Winery is one of the newest wineries in the Fraser Valley, based in Mt. Lehman, Abbotsford. Their wines are mainly produced from grapes grown at their Abbotsford vineyards. Wines varieties include: Siegerrbe, Sauvignon Blanc, Rose, Pinot Gris, Pinot Noir, Late Harvest, Kerner, Chardonnay and several blended wines.

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Be Right Back (BRB) is a small batch brewery and eatery in Richmond. Sample or pick up their beers at the Market or visit the brewery for a tour and tasting.

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Simply Delish Soup and Salad offers a line of easy-to-make artisan soups, salads, pilaffs and even breakfast cereals made from a combination of healthy beans, lentils, rice, quinoa, dried fruit, nuts, veggies, spices, etc. Available at select stores and farmers markets in Metro Vancouver, or at their own shop in the Fort Langley.

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Take time to sample food products and connect with the local folks that produce them.

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The open-air Farmers & Artisans Market also features a myriad of local artists, from potters to jewellery makers.

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Steveston was once one of the most vital fishing ports in the world. Before or after visiting the Farmers & Artisans Market, be sure to explore Steveston’s unique heritage sites: Gulf of Georgia Cannery National Historic Site was once the largest working cannery in B.C., and the Britannia Shipyards National Historic Site, an important BC maritime landmark.

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Seafood dominates the Steveston waterfront and is the perfect place to enjoy some food, particularly fish and chips!

Main Image: The Riverside Farm and the Golden Choy are proud graduates of the Richmond Farm School, which is designed for urban-focused agriculture. These students grow their own produce on “incubator” farmland, with half an acre each, for three years.

Steveston Farmers & Artisans Market
Steveston Community Centre parking lot
4111 Moncton Street, Richmond
Open from 10:00am to 3:00pm (rain or shine)

Visit on Sundays on the remaining dates in 2016 market season:

  • July 17, 31
  • August 7, 28
  • September 4, 18
  • October 2, 16

By VisitRichmondBC.com

If you feel like eating some of the best Asian food available but don’t have a car, don’t worry! You can hop on the Canada Line Skytrain, Metro Vancouver’s fully-automated rapid transit line that connects travelers to Richmond’s diverse culinary scene. Bring your appetites because this easy-to-navigate self-guided tour is bound to fill you up!

Richmond Brighouse Station

Located in the heart of Richmond city centre, Brighouse is the first stop on the Canada Line, and it’s also where our tour begins. Your self-guided food tour begins at Pepper Lunch (150-5951 No. 3 Road). With over 200 branches in Asia, this particular Pepper Lunch was the first one to open in Canada. To get there, head for a leisurely stroll north along No. 3 Road for about 1.5 blocks towards Westminster Highway. Located on the west side of the street, you’ll find Pepper Lunch tucked away beside a TD Canada Trust. Shake, stir, mix – it’s that easy to enjoy a sizzling hot teppan plate of steaks, pastas or curry rice. We recommend the beef pepper rice combo ($11.70), which comes with miso soup and your choice of drink. Definitely a stop worth checking out!

Beef Pepper Rice at Pepper Lunch | image by Tourism Richmond
Beef Pepper Rice at Pepper Lunch | image by Visit Richmond BC

Lansdowne Station

Taking the Canada Line one stop north, Lansdowne Station is the second stop on the rapid transit line. Located just in front of one of Richmond’s many excellent shopping destinations, Lansdowne Centre, this particular station is also the one closest to Alexandra Road, which locals refer to as ‘Food Street.’

Food Street | image by Tourism Richmond
Food Street | image by Visit Richmond BC

To get to Food Street, simply head north on No. 3 Road for two blocks, and turn right at Alexandra Road. Known for having over 200 Asian restaurants in a stretch of just three blocks, Alexandra Road has a restaurant for every taste. From dim sum to afternoon tea, to ramen and late night snacks, there’s a restaurant that serves every kind of Asian food imaginable here.

It’s easy to let your taste buds wander here on this three-block stretch, but here are our top two picks for Food Street for a complete meal. Our biggest tip: Bring cash! A lot of the restaurants on Food Street will only accept cash payments instead of debit or credit.

Vivacity Restaurant
110 – 8351 Alexandra Road

Vivacity Restaurant aims to give their diners an experience they won’t forget! Using only the freshest local ingredients, Vivacity offers a dazzling array of dishes for dim sum and dinner services. Featuring Chinese classics with a twist from the co-owner and chef, David Li, Vivacity promises to delight your taste buds. We recommend the char-siu bao, the oyster and century egg congee and their shrimp rice rolls for dim sum.

Bingsoo at Snowy Village Desserts | image by Tourism Richmond
Bingsoo at Snowy Village Desserts | image by Visit Richmond BC

Snowy Village Desserts
2000 – 8580 Alexandra Road

Snowy Village specializes in a photogenic sweet treat that has been dominating locals’ Instagram feeds and fueling their sugar cravings recently. Bingsoo, a Korean shaved ice dessert is the current ‘it’ dessert and a must-eat item. At Snowy Village, when you order a bingsoo, staff pile a metal bowl with a tower of creamy shaved ice that has the texture of fluffy snow. Your snowdrift-in-a-bowl is then crowned with your choice of toppings – mango, strawberry, blueberry, injelomi (sweet rice cake), matcha, oreo, chocolate or cheesecake. Bring a friend – a small size is enough to share for two people!

Aberdeen Station

The next stop on the Canada Line is Aberdeen Station, also known as the centre of Richmond’s thriving Golden Village. Richmond’s three Asian malls, Aberdeen Centre, Yaohan Centre and Parker Place Mall are all within easy walking distance from here.

Don’t be afraid to poke your head into the various strip malls found in the neighbourhood – you’ll find Lido Restaurant (4231 Hazelbridge Way) hidden away in a corner at Central Square, on the corner of Browngate Road and Hazelbridge. Try one of their famous pineapple buns – a delectable Chinese pastry without any actual pineapple – with a slab of butter… or double butter, if you dare.

Aberdeen Centre food court | image by Tourism Richmond
Aberdeen Centre food court | image by Visit Richmond BC

After indulging in one of Lido’s famous pineapple buns, walk off those calories at Aberdeen Centre (4151 Hazelbridge Way), Richmond’s largest Asian mall. Still feeling hungry? Head on up to the food court located on the third floor of the mall. Here, you’ll find a huge variety of food stalls serving everything from Chinese street-food snacks such as curry fish balls and bubble waffles, to Singaporean delights such as Hainanese Chicken Rice and Japanese dishes such as sushi and ramen. Wash it all down with a Hong Kong-style iced lemon tea. For more food options, you could also check out the two food courts at Parker Place and Yaohan Centre.

Bridgeport Station

Your tour of Richmond via the Canada Line ends at Bridgeport Station. Not to be mistaken with Brighouse Station where your tour began, this station is the connection point for all trains heading for the Vancouver International Airport or for folks heading to downtown Vancouver.

Head over to the River Rock Casino Resort (8811 River Road) via the skybridge at the station to enjoy The Buffet at River Rock. Located above the casino floor, The Buffet treats guests to a spectacular view of the Fraser River. Offering everybody’s favourite dishes, it has become a popular dining spot for special occasions, resort guests and casino-goers.

Satay at the Richmond Night Market | image by Chung Chow for Tourism Richmond
Satay at the Richmond Night Market | image by Chung Chow for Visit Richmond BC

At night, walk over from the station to the Richmond Night Market (8351 River Road). Follow the bright signs and look for the tents – that’s where you’ll find one of Richmond’s Asian night markets with over 100 food stalls serving everything from Asian street food snacks to inventive desserts, such as the egg waffle parfait. Our top food stall picks at the night market include Chef James’ Meat Skewers, Ohana Poke (pictured at the top of this page), Hurricane Potatoes and Lao Er BBQ Squid. Admission is $3.75 and it’s open on weekends and holiday Mondays this summer through to October 10.

Canada Line in Richmond | image by Al Harvey for Tourism Richmond
Canada Line in Richmond | image by Al Harvey for Visit Richmond BC

By Jaclyn Jularbal

The Steveston Fisherman’s Wharf in Richmond boasts an amazing view of the Fraser River and it’s also home to some of the best fish and chips around. Whether you’re a cod, halibut, or even a prawn fan – the deliciously deep-fried choice is up to you. In rain or shine, for here or to go, the wharf is open year-round to serve you up some world-famous eats.

Pajo’s
12351 3 Ave, Richmond, BC

One of the most recognizable, long-standing places along the wharf is Pajo’s.
Having been around for over 30 years, its yellow banner and unique dock-style entranceway has been a staple in Steveston for decades. Don’t let the lineup of people fool you, the cooks and counter clerks are speedy and the food is worth the wait. Ask anyone in line and they’ll be able to attest that what they’re waiting for is fish-and-chip perfection. Pajo’s crisp and golden fish has just the right amount of crunch; couple that with their home-style tartar sauce or sour lemon zest and the combination will leave your mouth watering for more.

Pajos | image by Sandra Steier
Pajos | Image by Sandra Steier

Now, a favourite thing about Pajo’s is that they offer the option for grilled fish and chips. If you’re not in the mood for deep-fried but you’re still a fish-fanatic, you can have your favourite fish served grilled on top of a basket of hot Pajo’s fries. With one, two, and three-piece combos, Pajo’s leaves you with lots of options based on your hunger and craving level.

The view by Pajo’s is also one-of-a-kind. Because its located on a dock, down and away from the wharf, Pajo’s location is exclusive and allows you to eat your meal directly on the Fraser River; creating the perfect ambience for a relaxing afternoon lunch.

Sockeye City Grill
108-3800 Bayview St, Steveston, BC

Further down the Wharf is the rock star patio belonging to Sockeye City Grill.  Whether you eat inside or wait at the take-out window, there are fresh fish options for everyone.

Image courtesy of Sockeye City Grill
Image courtesy of Sockeye City Grill

One of the best things about Sockeye City Grill is that they have prawns n’ chips!  Deep-fried prawns paired with tasty restaurant-style fries is a great take on an old summer staple – and an absolutely perfect choice for prawn-lovers.

Sockeye City Grill’s Take-Out Prawns n’ Chips | Image by Daryl Hayward
Sockeye City Grill’s Take-Out Prawns n’ Chips | Image by Daryl Hayward

Sockeye City Grill also has some cool side add-ons, like extra fish or oyster pieces, and a creamy seafood chowder.  Eat inside, eat on the patio, or eat on a bench along the wharf – the Sockeye City Grill experience is up to you.

The waterfront atmosphere of Fisherman’s Wharf really revs up the appetite –

so if you’re craving battered fish, grilled fish, or even prawns on a heaping portion of fries with homemade tartar sauces, head over to Steveston on the southwest tip of Richmond.

By Tara Lee for VisitRichmondBC.com

Richmond, BC, is a food lover’s paradise with more than 800 restaurants in the city, and you can see for yourself why Richmond’s been visited by many food critics and has made a real name for itself as a foodie destination. Over 400 of the city’s restaurants serve Asian cuisine and Frommer’s notes that Richmond is “arguably the Asian food capital of North America.”

Whether you choose to dine at restaurants, cafes, food courts or at one of the night markets, you won’t be disappointed. To help you on your dining adventure here are my top 10 dishes in Richmond:

1. Steamed Crab Dumplings at Golden Paramount

1_ golden paramount _steamed crab dumplings

Whenever a friend asks me for a dim sum recommendation, I end up raving about Golden Paramount and the incredible talent of dim sum chef May Chau. The steamed crab dumplings ($4.98) look deceptively simple, but showcase a paper-thin, translucent wrapper and finely minced Chinese mushrooms, bamboo shoots, pork, crab meat, shrimp and cilantro. You can taste the artistry with each bite.

Location: 8071 Park Road

2. Three Cup Chicken (san bei ji) at Delicious Cuisine

2_three cup chicken_delicious cuisine

This classic Taiwanese dish is wonderfully hearty, especially on a cozy sweater sort of day. I tried many versions around town, but the one at Delicious Cuisine truly lives up to the restaurant’s name. The chicken is moist and coated with a caramelized sauce of soy, sesame oil and rice wine. Eaten with white rice, the dish ($12.50/large $23.95) will satisfy any discerning appetite.

Location: 100-7911 Alderbridge Way

3. Bangsilog Breakfast Plate at Kumare Restaurant

3_bangsilog-breakfast-plate_Kumare-Restaurant

Who wants cereal for breakfast when you can try a home-style Filipino breakfast platter! Kumare’s bangsilog combo ($9), which comes with fried boneless milkfish, a fried egg, a heaping portion of garlicky rice, and chopped tomatoes and onion. Bonus: coffee or tea is also included.

Location: 8130 Park Road

4. Fried Diced Lamb at Silkway Halal Cuisine

4_Silkway_Halal_Cuisine_033-670x446

Beware: it’s hard to stop eating this dish of fried diced lamb ($15.95) from this destination for Hui cuisine. It’s basically like popcorn lamb, coated in whole and ground cumin and chili powder, and deep-fried until perfectly crisp. The meat itself stays juicy.

Location: 110-8188 Saba Road

5. Grade “A” Ribeye Beef Teppan Rice at Teppan Kitchen

5_Beef Teppan Rice _ Teppan Kitchen

Teppan Kitchen in Aberdeen Centre’s food court features Japanese iron griddle cooking. The rib eye version comes with slices of beef, corn, green onion, rice and egg ($8.95 with miso soup), which you then mix together until the ingredients are cooked, and your rice is crispy on the bottom. If the dish gives you a hankering for more teppan, visit Pepper Lunch  (150-5951 Number 3 Road), whose first Canadian location took Richmond by storm earlier this year.

Location: Aberdeen Centre, 4151 Hazelbridge Way

6. Turnip Cake at Shanghai Wonderful

6_Shangahi-Wonderful-turnip-cake

At Shanghai Wonderful located in the Best Western Plus Abercorn Inn I adore the turnip cake ($5.95) available for dim sum. An exterior of rich flaky pastry gives way to shredded vinegary radish, chicken and dried pork. It’s a decadent mid-day treat.

Location: Best Western Plus Albercorn Inn, 9260 Bridgeport Road

7. Takoyaki at Richmond Night Markets

7_Takoyaki_night markets

If you are visiting Richmond in night market season, head to one of the two night markets. I enjoy the usual favourites, such as the rotato, deep fried squid, and pan-fried pork buns. Another addictive night market staple is Takoyaki (6 for around $5.75 pictured above). The jumbo Bakudanyaki is the ultimate snack, but not quite as good for sharing. The mini balls come with diced octopus in wheat flour batter, and are topped with Japanese mayo, as well as seaweed and bonito flakes. You can also find scallop and shrimp varieties at the night market if those are more your preference.

Location: The Richmond Night Market is at 3063-8700 McKim Way and Panda Night Market is at 12631 Vulcan Way.

8. Sautéed Black Bean Sole with Pickled Cabbage at Hakkasan Bistro

8_Black bean sole_Hakkasan Bistro

As pretty much the only restaurant in town that serves Hakka Chinese dishes, I have a soft spot in my foodie heart for Hakkasan Bistro. The wok-sautéed fillet of sole in black bean sauce ($10.95 as part of a lunch combo; $22 à la carte) is rustic fare quintessential of Hakka cooking. Red and green peppers, onion, and crunchy, zingy pickled cabbage add flavour and textural contrast to the fish.

Location: Unit 110 – 2188 No. 5 Road

9. The Godzilla Bite at Mega Sushi

9_Godzilla Bite_mega Sushi

The Godzilla Bite ($13.95) at Mega Sushi for its sheer inventiveness and aesthetic wow factor. The creation has chopped scallop, salmon and tuna atop deep-fried seaweed and rice. Tobiko (flying fish roe) and alfalfa sprouts complete the dish. Tempura crunch with whisky is set alight in the centre of the dish for added drama.

Location: 100-3131 Chatham Street

10. I Luv Strawberries at Well Tea

10_I luv Strawberries_well tea

I had to finish the list of with a sweet treat of fancy toast, which I found to be a major foodie trend of 2015. Fortunately, for toast fiends, Richmond boasts many cafes that serve towering Taiwanese thick toast. The I Luv Strawberries ($8.95) at Well Tea is a hollowed out loaf of sweet white bread, toasted and filled with strawberry jam, strawberry ice cream, fresh strawberries, an Oreo cookie, whipped cream and chocolate Pocky.

Location: 170-4811 Hazelbridge Way

As you can see there are lots of amazing dining experiences in Richmond, this is only 10 of the thousands of dishes out there. Plan your trip and create your own top 10 list!

By Joanne Sasvari

Photos by Joanne Sasvari

As long as Steve Easterbrook can remember, he’s been fascinated by birds and, in particular, chickens.

“It’s been a lifelong passion for me,” he says, remembering that when he was a young boy, he and a friend would visit a neighbor who raised chickens and game birds. “My friend and I became enchanted with poultry.”

It’s not surprising, then, that Easterbrook became an egg farmer. Perhaps the only surprising thing is it took him until he was in his 30s to do so. That’s when he founded Rabbit River Farms, an organic egg producer in Richmond BC. (The company name is a play on his surname: Easter = rabbit; brook = river.)

Steve Easterbrook, owner and farmer at Rabbit River Farms, with one of his chickens
Steve Easterbrook, owner and farmer at Rabbit River Farms, with one of his chickens

When Easterbrook started the farm in 1993, Rabbit River was the first certified organic egg producer in Canada – in fact, he had to write the country’s original guidelines for organic poultry production. He was later instrumental in convincing the BCSPCA to adopt the RSPCA’s UK guidelines for humane treatment of farm animals, and in 2001, Rabbit River became Canada’s first SPCA-certified farm.

“My motivation is that organics implies proper animal welfare, and I wanted to make it clear to consumers that animal welfare was a real priority,” he says.

Flats of organic eggs at Rabbit River farms
Flats of organic eggs at Rabbit River farms

Consumers, he notes, are poorly informed about labeling, certification and the differences between conventional farms and the kind of place he runs, so he’s made it something of a mission to get the word out.

Currently, some 90 per cent of Canada’s egg production comes from conventional industrial farms, where laying hens spend their entire lives crammed in small battery cages where they do nothing but pop out eggs until they die. And this in spite of the fact that chickens are smart, social creatures.

“They’re very gregarious,” Easterbrook says. “They’re clever and extremely social. If you elect to make a pet of a chicken, you’ll have a really great pet.”

In February 2016, the Egg Farmers of Canada announced that the entire Canadian egg industry would transition away from traditional battery cages. The goal is to have half the industry move to “enriched” or cage-free housing in eight years, and 100 per cent in 20 years.

At Rabbit River, they’re well ahead of the game.

Rabbit River delivery truck
Rabbit River delivery truck

On the Richmond property, a bright, airy 16,000-square-foot barn houses Easterbrook’s 6,700 hens. (There are no roosters.) The hens – fluffy, golden-brown Hy-Line chickens, known as prolific layers of high-quality brown eggs – roam freely, chirruping happily as they hop from feeding trough to nesting box to the scratch area on the floor.

By 11 a.m. each day, the hens finish laying their eggs. Then dozens of pop holes open in the barn and the hens head out to the six-acre pasture where they’ll root for bugs and peck among the grass until nightfall, when they return to the barn to sleep.

Chickens ventures outside to wander about the pasture at Rabbit River Farms, where they will spend most of the day
Chickens venture outside to wander about the pasture at Rabbit River Farms, where they will spend most of the day

“In summertime, as soon as you open the pop holes, they come out in a mass exodus like the subway in Japan at rush hour,” Easterbrook says.

While the chickens are outside, Blue the border collie keeps a wary eye on them and a warier one out for the predatory eagles that nest in the trees across from the property. As Easterbrook notes, “This is KFC for eagles.”

All of Easterbrook’s chickens are raised organically, which means everything from the soil to the feed has no synthetic chemicals, pesticides or antibiotics. The feed is a carefully balanced GMO-free organic grain mix; after all, each hen works hard laying 330 to 340 eggs a year. As Easterbrook says, “We have to manage their diet meticulously because they’re like a Olympic athlete.”

In addition to Easterbrook’s organic eggs, Rabbit River also sells free-run and free-range eggs from partner farms in the Lower Mainland.

Chickens inside the big barn at Rabbit River Farms
Chickens inside the big barn at Rabbit River Farms

The standards for free-run and free-range are looser in Canada than they are for organics, but in general, free-run chickens are cage-free but spend their lives in a barn, while free-range ones have access to outdoors. Neither is held to organic certification standards for chemicals, antibiotics or feed.

Rabbit River eggs are sold at supermarkets throughout B.C. as well as at a small farmgate stand at the farm’s River Road entrance. Customers can also pick up organic produce grown on the farm – and pay for it by an honour system, leaving cash in a box.

“It’s kind of fun for people to pull over and say, ‘Hey, somebody trusts us,’ ” Easterbrook says.

For him, Rabbit River is a return to his family roots. He’d already had a successful business career and was looking to start a hobby farm when someone suggested raising organic eggs and rekindled his love for chickens. Now his daughter’s joined him in the business, making this the fifth generation of the family to farm in Richmond.

“Our primary goal is to have a good quality of life for our laying hens and produce a truly organic egg,” Easterbrook says, adding, “It’s one thing to make a living, but it’s another when you feel good about what you’re doing.”

Rabbit River Farms is located at 17740 River Road, Richmond, BC. The farmgate store is open from 10 am to 4 pm daily in summer, and Friday through Sunday year round. Farm tours are available by appointment only. For more info, visit rabbitriverfarms.com.

By Visit Richmond BC

Chowing down at a food court in Richmond is somewhat different compared to the typical North American mall food court; you’ll find incredibly unique mom ‘n pop stalls serving tasty curries, warming noodle soups, creating mouth-watering dumplings, barbecuing meats – you name it, you’ll probably find it in Richmond. Each and every food court in Richmond has a hidden treasure waiting for you to discover it.

It can be slightly overwhelming on your first visit; there are so many options to choose from that you may not be able to decide. To help you out, here are some insider tips about two popular Asian malls and their food courts, including where to go for the best eats and how they compare to each other in the ultimate face-off!

Food options at Parker Place
Food options at Parker Place

The Contenders

Parker Place
Established in 1993, Parker Place Mall has become a shopping landmark in downtown Richmond. At this mall you can dine on the tastiest cuisine and shop for the trendiest fashion, the coolest toys and gadgets.

Yaohan Centre
Yaohan Centre is one of the earliest Asian Malls developed in Richmond. You’ll find over 80 stores selling fashion, health and beauty products, art and gifts; both the Osaka Asian supermarket and food court sell an array of dishes.

Yaohan Centre vs. Parker Place

The Mall: First Impressions
Easily accessible from the Canada Line’s Aberdeen Station, both malls are just a five minute walk in either direction (north for Yaohan, south for Parker Place). Both malls also have large parking lots offering free parking, making it easy to stop in for a quick bite.

Each mall has a few different entrances, but both food courts are easy to find. Parker Place has lots of Asian stores selling various items from rice cookers to fresh fish. Yaohan is home to Osaka Supermarket; if you have not been to an Asian supermarket before, this is a good one to look around and grab some cooking sauces, teas and candies.

Parker Place food court
Parker Place food court

The Food Court
Parker Place’s Food Court is long and narrow with food stalls on both sides and seating running down the centre. They have big tables, ideal for groups of friends and family and it is light and airy, making for a comfortable dining environment.

Yaohan Centre’s Food Court is quite spacious compared to Parker Place’s food court, with food stalls on three sides and plenty of seating in the middle. They have a nice path to walk around and view all food stalls.

The Food Stalls | Parker Place – Our Favourites:

Parker Place Meat & BBQ

While not formally in the food court, we would be remiss to leave this off the list of favourites. Found at unit 1020, Parker Place BBQ Meats is a small butcher shop selling freshly barbecued meats (chicken, duck and pork) as well as a variety of ready-to-go BBQ meals for under $10. Arguably serving up the best BBQ duck in Richmond, there are often long line ups so patience is necessary – we promise that the BBQ meats will be well worth the wait!

Lai Taste
This unassuming Vietnamese food stall offers tons of items including a huge selection of noodle soups and lemongrass dishes, but the star at this stall are the foot-long Vietnamese subs, or Bahn Mi, available for under $5, including tea. The buns are light and crispy and our top picks are the fried fish and pork sandwiches.

Joy’s Taiwanese Kitchen
For those looking for a traditional bowl of beef noodle soup and a side dish of onion pancakes, or some savoury beef wraps, Joy’s Taiwanese Kitchen serves up traditional Taiwanese fare in generous portion sizes. The value here is fantastic, with every dish available for under $10.

Honorable Mentions:

Shanghai Goodies
Has a good choice of noodle and rice dishes, desserts and Shanghai snacks. We recommend you try their Tan Tan noodles.

Rainbow Café
Visit this stall for sweet treats and bubble tea. It’s the best place for bubble waffles and a delicious treat made in-house, the dragon’s beard candy.

Food options at Yaohan Centre
Food options at Yaohan Centre

Yaohan Centre | Our Favourites:

Curry House
Curry House’s Laksa is one of the best in town. Not too spicy, not too creamy and with a good amount of noodles, chicken, egg and tofu puffs, this laksa is sure to fill any curry cravings you might have. They also serve up delicious Malaysian dishes for under $10, such as curries, Hainanese chicken, char kway teow and roti.

Wah Yuen Noodle House
This place offers almost every kind of congee, noodle, noodle soup, and noodle with meat combo possible. The wonton and BBQ pork noodle soup is always good – pair that with a Chinese donut or Chinese donut wrapped in rice noodle and you’ll have a very tasty lunch/dinner for under $10.

Chun Hing Cuisine, Golden Rice Bowl and Pak Tak
These three stalls are next to each other and offer a smorgasbord of Chinese dishes. You can choose from two or three dishes with rice or noodles from $6.99. They pile the plate so high, you’ll have enough to feed a family of four. All three stalls offer similar dishes, so take a look and see which one tickles your taste buds. Insider tip: go after 6pm and you’ll be able to get FOUR items plus rice or noodles for a mere $5.50.

Yaohan Centre food court
Yaohan Centre food court

Honorable Mentions:

Little Bean Tea Station
Serving bubble tea, shaved ice desserts and other sweet treats including Wheel Cake, which is filled with red bean or custard – your choice.

Datang BBQ
Head here for tasty BBQ meats, including duck, pork and quail. They have a variety of mix and match combos.

Our Verdict

Although both food courts serve up staple dishes and desserts you’d expect at a Chinese eatery, each have their own highlights. You won’t find barbecued meats as succulent as the ones at Parker Place Meats & BBQ serves up, but if you’re looking to feed a family, the three food stalls at Yaohan offering triple decker combos will beat any offering from Parker Place’s food court.

Having said that, we think both food courts are well managed. The stalls are diverse, with a lot of Asian cuisines represented. Each one has their own highlight and go-to dishes. Both are well worth a visit and both offer amazing value for their food. Our suggestion? Have lunch at Parker Place and dinner after 6pm at Yaohan to help stretch your travel budget.

By Visit Richmond BC

Looking for a quick getaway? 48 hours gives you time to explore some amazing cuisine in Richmond, the only problem is figuring out where to eat. Read on for a list of some of Tourism Richmond’s favourite places to help you make the most out of your culinary adventures.

Keep in mind, many Asian restaurants are accommodating to patrons who aren’t experienced in non-Western cuisine and do offer English menus or have photos of food items to help you with your selections. But remember to bring cash – some don’t accept credit or debit cards.

Day 1:

10:00am – Dim sum at Shanghai River

Shanghai River is the perfect place to start your day off right with delicious dim sum. Through glass windows, diners can watch the chefs hard at work, hand rolling their famous dumplings. The xiao long bao are clear standouts of the menu. This restaurant is a hotspot for locals, so be sure to make a reservation ahead of time.

7831 Westminster Highway
604-233-8885

12:00pm – Fisherman’s Wharf in historic Steveston Village

After eating to your heart’s content, make your way to historic Steveston Village to explore Fisherman’s Wharf. Once known as the salmon capital of the world, Steveston is home to Canada’s largest active fishing fleet with 600 boats. Don’t forget to bring your coolers – seafood lovers can buy fresh fish* from the docks, where local fishermen sell their daily catch right off their boat for great prices. Depending on the season, catches of the day can include fresh salmon, crab, black cod and sea urchin.

*Note for US travelers bringing seafood across borders: personal amounts of fish, shrimp, abalone and other seafood are allowed and can be fresh, frozen, dried, smoked, canned or cooked! Click here for more information and updates:  http://www.cbp.gov/travel/international-visitors/agricultural-items

Fishermans Wharf
Fishermans Wharf

1:00pm – Blue Canoe Waterfront Restaurant

On the pier, next to Fisherman’s Wharf, you’ll find one of the best patio restaurants in Steveston. Blue Canoe is an award-winning restaurant with a simple and fresh menu. Enjoy your lunch with an unobstructed view of the water and the boardwalk. This waterside location prides itself on using top quality seafood with locally sourced ingredients.

3866 Bayview Street
604-275-7811
www.bluecanoerestaurant.com

3:00pm – Dessert in Steveston

Steveston is a paradise for anyone with a sweet tooth. Take a walk through the historic village to explore all the delicious desserts that are offered. The Outpost Mini Donut Company serves delicious mini donuts in all sorts of flavours to satisfy every craving. We also recommend Sinfully the Best for artisan chocolates, Bell’s Bake Shop for cupcakes, Candy Dish for homemade fudge and Screamers Soft Serve & Treats for some delicious frozen treats.

Sinfully The Best
Sinfully The Best

5:00pm – Lulu Island Winery

Make your way to Lulu Island Winery, the largest winery in Richmond, producing a variety of red and white table wines, fruit wines and ice wines. The winery offers daily complimentary wine tastings of their award-winning wines and tours in different languages. Owner John Chang combines traditional Chinese wine-making with modern Western technology and equipment. All of Lulu Island’s wines go through a slow-cool fermentation process which brings out the natural flavours of the fruit.

16880 Westminster Highway
604-232-9839
www.luluislandwinery.com

7:00pm – Vivacity Restaurant

For dinner, we recommend Vivacity, a Southern Chinese restaurant located on Alexandra Road. The chefs here specialize in seafood and serve only organic fish. Owner Kitty Huang explains that the food is prepared in a healthy way, without sacrificing taste. We recommend the BBQ pork buns – they’re a local favourite! Vivacity offers a more intimate dining experience, with VIP rooms that seat up to 40 people. Reservations are highly recommended.

110 – 8351 Alexandra Road
604-279-1513
www.vivacityrestaurant.com

9:00pm – Walk down Food Street and taste something new

After dinner, grab some fresh air and go for a leisurely stroll to walk off your day of eating. Richmond is home to some of the most authentic Asian restaurants outside of Asia, and many of the best restaurants can be found on Alexandra Road, nicknamed “Food Street”. It’s quite amazing to see 200 plus restaurants packed into a stretch of just three city blocks. Don’t be afraid to peek in some of the amazing shops for dessert – our favourites include Leisure Tea & Coffee, Snowy Village Dessert Cafe and for something different, try The TRUE’STEA Restaurant, located next to the Four Points Sheraton.

Day 2:

10:00am – Dim Sum at Sun Sui Wah

For day 2 in Richmond, indulge in dim sum again! World-renowned Chinese restaurant, Sun Sui Wah is based on the motto of “warm hospitality, superb quality and value.” With locations in Hong Kong and Vancouver, this famous restaurant has been delighting patrons with delicious Cantonese cuisine and excellent service for over 30 years. Sun Sui Wah is especially famous for its roasted squab, a signature dish.

102 – 4940 No. 3 Road
604-273-8208
www.sunsuiwah.ca

12:00pm – Kam Do Bakery

Richmond is home to a variety of Asian bakeries, with selections of sweet and savoury baked goods. Kam Do is a Richmond staple, known as one of the best bakeries in the city with delicious pastries in a self-serve style. We recommend the coconut buns and the taro cakes. Kam Do is also a great place to purchase gifts or late-night snacks, including wife cakes (laopo bing), mochi and pastes. Like many other establishments in Richmond, Kam Do is cash only.

6211 No. 3 Road
604-231-9216

Kam Do
Kam Do

 12:30pm – New Town Bakery

New Town Bakery is another Asian bakery that you can’t miss! This bakery is family-owned and has been serving Chinese and Filipino baked goods for over 30 years. They are known for their award-winning Apple Tarts as well as their Chicken Deluxe steamed bun or Bola Bola. We recommend getting a box of their apple tarts to indulge in later.

4 – 6360 No. 3 Road
604-270-2889
www.newtownbakery.ca

1:00pm – Haroo Korean Restaurant

For authentic, home-style Korean food, Haroo Korean Restaurant is the place to go. Hidden away on the second level of a strip mall on Alexandra Road, this small eatery is run by a husband and wife team. For lunch, we recommend their spicy tofu soup or soonduboo served with rice, or the Korean seafood pancake called, “Haemul Pajeon.”

8580 Alexandra Road, second floor
604-284-5596

3:00pm – Sugarholic Café

Located on the ground level of Aberdeen Centre, Sugarholic Café is one of the newest additions to the afternoon tea scene in Richmond. The café is decorated in a luxurious European style, but it is still considered a fusion-style tea house. Afternoon tea service is offered all day, with tiered dessert sets available. Almost all of the desserts are made in-house. Highlights include the Ferrero Rocher Chocolate Cake and the Japanese Cheesecake. We highly recommend their dessert toast boxes, toast cubes filled with ice cream, fruit and other delightful sweets.

4151 Hazelbridge Way
604-285-6199

5:00pmAberdeen Centre

After your afternoon snack, it’s time to explore Aberdeen Centre. Aberdeen Centre is one of North America’s largest Asian shopping malls, with unique stores such as Candyland, an Asian candy store, and a world famous Chinese tea shop, Ten Fu Tea. And if you are still hungry, there is an 800-seat food court with incredible Asian food.

Aberdeen Centre Food Court
Aberdeen Centre Food Court

7:00pm – Suhang Restaurant

For dinner, we recommend Suhang Restaurant for authentic Shanghainese Cuisine. Known for their great service and affordable menu, Suhang also has some of the juiciest pork dumplings in town. Other recommendations at this restaurant include the marinated bean curd with special vegetables, drunken chicken, and shredded beef with chili and brown sauce.

100 – 8291 Ackroyd Road
604-278-7787

9:00pm – The BBT Shop

No trip to Richmond is complete without bubble tea! Hidden under the Superstore on one of the busiest roads in the city, The BBT Shop is famous for their decadent bubble waffle desserts with piles of delicious toppings, such as the Super Matcha, with strawberries, whipped cream, red bean and matcha ice cream. The BBT Shop has an extensive menu offering all kinds of drinks, including milk teas, specialty drinks such as the signature frozen hot chocolate, as well as fruit teas and slush.

105 – 4651 No. 3 Road
604-285-8833

While this is the end of the 48 hour food itinerary, it’s definitely not the end of the food exploration in Richmond. With over 800 restaurants in the island city, this list barely scratches the surface of what foodies can find here.

Find more about Richmond and dining at www.VisitRichmondBC.com

By Visit Richmond BC

Afternoon tea is a long-standing British tradition that has become an international food craze. Tea shops and eateries are now offering tea service all over the world and Richmond is no exception. With a diverse range of restaurants and cafés serving afternoon tea, here are three of our favourites in Richmond.

Sugarholic Café

Sugarholic Café at Aberdeen Centre is one of the newest additions to the afternoon tea scene in Richmond. Although the café is decorated in a luxurious European style, Sugarholic is considered a fusion-style tea house. Drawing on flavours from both East and West, the Taiwanese owners offer a variety of teas, including Chinese Rose and Red Date Longan Tea, as well as more traditional teas such as Earl Grey. Almost all of the desserts offered are made in-house. Highlights include the Ferrero Rocher chocolate cake, a triple chocolate cream and Japanese cheesecake. Afternoon tea service is available any time of day and starts at $13.95 for the 4-piece dessert set with the choice of any herbal tea. One and two-tier dessert sets are also available at $29.95 and $49.95.

Sugarholic Café
Sugarholic Café

L’Opéra Patisserie

Tucked away beside the Hilton on Minoru Boulevard is L’Opéra Patisserie, a small eatery with delectable pastries and afternoon tea service. The unique décor is reminiscent of a classic French tea parlour, with vintage chandeliers and gold and maroon brocaded wallpaper. Owner and head pastry chef, Janice Marta’s, attention to detail can be seen in each of her menu items which are all made in-house. From the decadent macarons to the beautifully layered croissants, the patisserie offers traditional and authentic French pastries. Marta’s creative touch and Asian influence can be seen in certain items such as the Matcha Opera and with the Cabana, which uses mango and coconut mousse. For $45, afternoon tea service includes seven savoury items, eight sweets and a pot of tea. Reservations are required a day in advance.

L’Opera Patisserie
L’Opera Patisserie

Globe@YVR

Globe@YVR is the Fairmont Vancouver Airport’s award-winning and signature restaurant. Diners are treated to a panoramic view of the Vancouver Airport’s domestic terminal along with their meals. Afternoon tea is a celebrated tradition at all of the Fairmont Hotel & Resorts, and the unique menus often change based on the season. Globe@YVR’s tea service features mini sandwiches, tasty pastries, fresh fruit with Devonshire cream, and house-made scones. Exclusive Fairmont tea offerings include Belgian Chocolate Rooibos, Versailles Lavender Earl Grey, Safari Masala Chai and many more. Prices for Afternoon Tea start at $75 for adults and $30 for children. Reservations are required.

Globe@YVR
Globe@YVR

Sugarholic Café
Aberdeen Centre (Ground floor)
1008-4151 Hazelbridge Way
Richmond, BC

L’Opéra Patisserie
5951 Minoru Boulevard
Richmond, BC

Globe@YVR
Vancouver International Airport

3111 Grant McConachie Way
Richmond, BC

by Kathy Mak

Winter may seem an unlikely time to visit an outdoor farmers market in Canada, but the milder climate in the Lower Mainland allows the markets and abundance of seasonal products to thrive. Deserving of more recognition, a winter market’s appeal lies not only in the quality and range of offerings, but also in knowing that it’s served by a passionate community of both food artisans/farmers and shopping foodies, all prepared to brave the elements in support of fresh local products. The charm of a winter market is in the smaller and manageable crowds. With shorter line ups, there’s time to sample and chit-chat with merchants. Live entertainment, food trucks and heating stations are also on hand to add some extra warmth.

To visit a winter market is to crave comfy and warming flavours. It’s easy to take inspiration for cozy dishes from the bounty of seasonal products that are locally grown and sourced, from healthy preserves and sturdy root vegetables to hearty ingredients. The vibrant Nat Bailey Winter Market is the largest of the outdoor winter markets in Metro Vancouver, operating on Saturdays from November to April on the perimeter of a popular baseball stadium. Although this market is located in Vancouver, you’ll take pleasure in the sensational range of regional products represented, including Burnaby, Richmond, Surrey, Langley, and Abbotsford.

On this or any Saturday, grab your down jacket and come sample the Valley’s most comforting flavours at the winter market!

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Lorne Stapleton worked in the retail meat market industry of Greater Vancouver for over four decades before launching his handcrafted sausage business, now called Stapleton Sausage, based in Surrey. He and his family (daughter Jennifer and son Michael pictured below) are committed to making sausages that are full of goodness and flavours; therefore, they use quality lean cuts (pork, poultry, lamb, beef and bison) and ingredients that are all local, natural, low in sodium, gluten free and contain no MSG, nitrates or other artificial preservatives. Stapleton sausages have been praised for being non-greasy and for their unique range of family inspired recipes. Choose from over sixteen flavours, such as Chipotle Cheddar, Duck Sausage with Blueberry, Sweet & Sour Pork with Pineapple, South African Boerewors, or Bison Andouille. These mouth-watering flavours and more are available at the winter market plus at select grocery stores throughout Metro Vancouver.

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The Langley Organic Growers is a collective of organic farmers where Julia Sandor is a member. She creates a range of certified organic sauerkraut products, called Biota, that are made with in-season cabbage, carrots, beets, horseradish, and herbs that are all grown on her farm in Abbottsford. These products are alive and naturally lacto-fermented, providing probiotic properties and other health benefits, as well as preserving many of the vitamins and minerals in the vegetables for use in the winter.

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Located in South Burnaby, Urban Digs Farm is the only farm in Metro Vancouver raising pigs in an urban environment. Their heritage breed of Berkshire and Tamworth pigs are nurtured organically in the pasture to be happier, tastier and nutritionally superior. Founded by Julia Smith and Ludo Ferrari, the farm is focused on ethical, sustainable meat products and whole animal butchery with custom cutting/smoking and organic products that include bacon, lard, ribs, steaks, roast, ground pork, chops, hocks to pepperoni. Urban Digs Farm products can be found at the winter markets or online. Visitors are welcome to their farm, opened on Saturdays (10-2) in the winter.

Cook Biota’s sauerkraut, Stapleton’s sausages and Urban Digs Farm’s ham hocks in wine, along with potatoes from Langley Organic Growers, and you’ll have the makings of a hearty Choucroute, a famous Alsatian dish.

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Beautifully handcrafted preserves are the specialty and passion of Genevieve Blanchet at Le Meadow’s Pantry, based in Burnaby and Vancouver. Inspired by a lifelong interest in wholesome living and preserving foods for off-season eating, she transforms local fruits into jewel-like jams, jellies and marmalades with French country flare. Her artisan preserves are made in small batches and copper pans to maintain the nutrition and vibrancy of the fruits. Hand-pressed lemon juice, pure cane sugar and honey are added in conservative amounts with no additional preservatives or colouring. Some of the preserves are combined with vodka, gin, vanilla extract, and bitters from local distilleries. The thick-cut marmalades, especially suited for winter enjoyment, include easy-to-love flavours such as Orange Vanilla Dream, Bitter Sweet Morning, Lemon and Vodka, Midnight Candy, and Grapefruit Smoked Sea Salt. Le Meadow’s Pantry preserves are found at the winter markets and variety of retail shops in Greater Vancouver, British Columbia and other parts of Canada.

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Did you know that it takes over 500 worker honey bees to gather 1 pound of honey? Liz Graham knows as she has owned a bee farm, Jane’s Honey Bees, for fifteen years. While she is based in Surrey, her bees (700 hives, each with 20-50,000 bees) forage for flowers throughout the Fraser Valley – Blueberries in Surrey, Raspberries in Abbotsford, Cranberries and Blackberries in Richmond, and wildflowers in South Surrey and South Langley. The pure local honey products from Jane’s Honey Bees are sold only at farmers markets.

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Winter Farmers Markets in Metro Vancouver

Nat Bailey Winter Market (Vancouver) – Saturday, 10-2 from Nov to April 17

Hastings Park Winter Market (Vancouver) – Sunday, 10-2 from November to May

Port Moody Winter Market (Port Moody) – Sunday, 10 am from November to April

Cannery Farmers’ Market (Steveston, Richmond) – Sunday, certain dates, 10-3 from October to April

Royal City Winter Market (New Westminster) – Saturday, 1st and 3rd, 11-3 from November to April

By Catherine Dunwoody

Gung hay fat choy! The Year of the Monkey begins on Monday, February 8, and why not celebrate in Richmond? Considering there are over 400 Asian restaurants in the area, finding the feast that suits you best should be easy.

Dumplings | Photo by 365 Days of Dining

Traditionally, families gather on Lunar New Year’s Eve (this year on Sunday, February 7) for a reunion dinner to kick things off. Numerous dishes are served, most of them having a symbolic meaning to inspire good luck and prosperity. Fish is served whole with the head and tail attached, marking the end and beginning of a new year. Noodles represent long life. Dumplings and spring rolls resemble ancient Chinese currency and gold bars. To really eat like a local, you simply can’t miss these important delicacies to bring in the New Year:

Chinese New Year Cake or Nian Gao

The literal translation means sticky cake in Chinese. Made from glutinous rice flour and eaten for good luck, and can served sweet or savoury plus hot or cold. Snap some up at Osaka Supermarket in Yaohan Centre, and the savoury versions at The Jade Seafood Restaurant and Su Hang Restaurant.

Glutinous Rice Balls in Soup (Tang Yuan)

Typically eaten with family members, as the round shape togetherness and is meant to bring happiness. Fillings range from sesame to sweet bean paste. Try these at Jade Seafood Restaurant and Su Hang Restaurant as well.

Credit: Whole Rock Cod at Chef Tony | Photo: 365 Days of Dining

Dumplings

Meant to resemble ancient Chinese currency, this is a must-eat during Lunar New Year celebrations. Bring on that increased wealth, right?

Get a group together and enjoy, as a number of restaurants in Richmond are offering special set menus for 4-10 people. Reservations are highly recommended. Here are a few highlights worth checking out.

Vivacity Restaurant • 8351 Alexandra Road

Located on “Food Street,” Vivacity Restaurant is a southern Chinese restaurant that specializes in seafood, in a cozy environment. Set menus for groups of 4, 6 and 10 with up to 11 courses. Special dishes include the abalone, which symbolizes good fortune for the New Year, and fresh, live lobster. From $188 – $888 for set menus.

vivacityrestaurant.com

The Jade Seafood Restaurant • 8511 Alexandra Road

An award-winning contemporary Chinese restaurant offers set menus for groups of 4, 6 and 10 people. Have an even larger group? Book one of their VIP rooms for large groups of 15+. Set menu prices for 10 people range from $539-$988, with up to 10 courses.

jaderestaurant.ca

Chef Tony Seafood Restaurant • 101-4600 No. 3 Road

For upscale Cantonese and a modern take on traditional dishes, here is where you want to be. Order the whole cod, and the word fish by the way, in Chinese is, “yu,” which also sounds like the word abundance.

cheftonycanada.com

Shiang Garden • 2200-4540 No. 3 Road

Known for their live seafood and excellent service, they are offering a variety of 10-course set meals ranging from $568 to $1288.

Lobster at Shiang Garden | Photo: Lindsay Anderson, 365 Days of Dining
Lobster at Shiang Garden | Photo: Lindsay Anderson, 365 Days of Dining

By Kathy Mak

There’s no denying it, eating counts as sightseeing, and when you have a sweet tooth, bakeries, pastry shops and other sweet stops are the attractions! You don’t have to go far in Vancouver to find every possible sugary delight, from award-winning ice cream, to-die-for pastries, and gourmet macarons to handcrafted chocolates. But, finding some of the unsung sweet treats further afield can be the real taste-adventure. Take this sweet-packed outing to discover a selection of local, laid-back gems in Burnaby, New Westminster, Richmond and Vancouver, all easily linked by convenient public transit and short walks.

Your self-guided, sweet tasting spree begins in downtown Vancouver with an early morning stop at Cartems Donuterie (534 West Pender). It’s hard enough to resist regular donuts, but resistance is futile when it comes to Cartems’ donuts as they are dreamy! (And, literally, Cartems was born out of a dream by the owner. ) All ingredients are fresh, locally sourced, and organic when possible. Not only do they offer a higher quality donut experience, they also have gluten-free, baked donuts, and the flavour combinations are off the charts! How could you not like a Canadian Whiskey Bacon donut? By the time you leave, you’ll be all smiles, just like their logo.

Public Transit: Take a short stroll to the Waterfront Station and catch the Skytrain on the Expo Line (direction: King George) or Millennium Line (direction VCC-Clark). In about 18 minutes, detrain at the Metrotown station. Tip: buy a Translink DayPass for greater convenience and flexibility.

Metropolis at Metrotown in Burnaby is British Columbia’s largest mall and second largest in Canada, with nearly 400 stores. If you can hold back from shopping, make your way through the mall to St. Germain Bakery (located near the Superstore). With their understated mall location, you probably wouldn’t guess that this is a renowned bakery. St. Germain has had a long history of culinary awards, including the International Culinary Olympics in Germany. Most recently, they received the 2015 Chinese Restaurant Awards for Best Bakery Shop in Metro Vancouver. For anyone unfamiliar with Chinese pastries, the top classic choices to try are the egg custard tarts and the coconut tarts. You may also want to try their signature chocolate cake or Fresh Mango cake. Then, there’s the Green Tea Rice cake or Mochi Rice cake for the more adventurous palate.

Public Transit: Tear yourself away from shopping and re-board the Skytrain on the Expo Line (direction King George) or Millennium Line (direction VCC-Clark). In about 11 minutes, disembark at the New Westminster Station.

Cloud 9 Specialty Bakery
Cloud 9 Specialty Bakery

The quaint municipality of New Westminster – also known as “The Royal City” – is historically important for being BC’s original capital city. From the Skytrain station, enjoy a brief 7-min. stroll to Royal Avenue and to the Cloud 9 Specialty Bakery (1025 Royal Avenue), voted the best bakery in the city for many years by the readers of the New West Record. You’ll soon see that Cloud 9 is in the most unlikely of locations for an artsy gluten-free bakery. But once inside, you’ll be in pastry heaven! Unpretentious yet innovative, Cloud 9 specializes in sinfully delicious gluten-free baked goods, from sweet to savoury, with some dairy-free choices. Their popular cupcakes, bars and cinnamon buns are among the favourites of locals! Be tempted by the crowd-pleasing peanut butter bar, a brownie base covered with peanut butter icing and a chocolate topping. And don’t leave without tasting their exquisite cinnamon buns, which they have mastered and may even currently be the only gluten-free cinnamon buns made by a bakery in Metro Vancouver out to the Fraser Valley. Cloud 9 is also the Canadian leader in gluten-free baking mixes, which are sold nationally in several grocery chains, as well as Costco. All this, started by four recreational hockey buddies!

Public Transit: After browsing through the River Market, re-board the Skytrain on the Expo or Millennium Lines (direction Waterfront), disembark at the next stop: 22nd Street Station. Catch the #410 bus to Richmond (approx. 50 minutes) and disembark at Aberdeen Centre in Richmond. Walk 5-min to the next sweet spot.

Excellent Tofu (4231 Hazelbridge Way) is a small, family-run dessert shop with a well-deserved reputation for making some of the best traditional, Chinese-style soy pudding in the region. Made fresh daily, you can choose from hot or cold silky-soft soy pudding with a choice of 25+ sweet toppings. A few of the more interesting flavours include black sesame paste, grass jelly, red beans & coconut milk, and the extra special bird’s nest soy pudding!

Public Transit: Peruse Aberdeen Centre before walking to the Aberdeen Station. Take the Skytrain on the Canada Line (direction Waterfront) and disembark in Downtown Vancouver at the Yaletown-Roundhouse Station (18 min.). Walk to Homer Street in stylish, historical Yaletown.

Cap the sweet day with a stop at XOXOLAT (1271 Homer Street), pronounced “sho-sho-la,” an extraordinary boutique shop of all things chocolate! You’ll be instantly enamoured by XOXOLAT’s extensive collection of single origin chocolate bars imported from around the world, which is known as the largest in Canada! Organic and Fair Trade chocolates are also in abundance, plus a line of blended chocolates that are hand-crafted by their chocolatier. As you get carried away by all the choices, try not to miss their “West Coast Breakfast” dark milk chocolate bar, showcasing maple caramelized bacon with a pinch of espresso! It’s bitingly good. And, be sure to save room to taste the cardamom crème brûlée white chocolate bar and the maple bacon caramel dark chocolate bar with a whiskey layer! Your sweet-tooth-satisfying outing is now complete! Sweet!

By Kathy Mak

Coffee, served hot or cold, is arguably the world’s most popular beverage. In the ranking of best coffee cities in the world, Vancouver has become one of the undisputed top ten leaders. The obsession with coffee, particularly independent coffee shops/roasters, is a big part of what defines the city’s foodie culture, as much as craft breweries, food trucks, farmers markets, boutique eateries, etc. And, the love affair with java extends throughout the Fraser Valley. To truly appreciate the local coffee scene, grab your travel mug and follow this itinerary to sip on some of the best coffee, and special accompaniments, at a batch of unique micro-roasters in Greater Vancouver.

As the saying goes, “life is too short to drink bad coffee.”  If you crave unique coffee flavours that are ethically sourced, then you may be part of a growing trend of coffee connoisseurs that support indie-owned coffee shops focused on craft brewing the finest organic, single origin and fair trade beans. But, not all shops roast their own coffee nor do all coffee roasters have a shop. From an abundance of excellent coffee shops in Vancouver and the Valley, here’s a small round-up of out-of-the-ordinary artisan coffee roasting houses/cafes steeped in local appeal that you can visit in North Vancouver, Fort Langley, White Rock, Richmond and Vancouver.

The road trip for your coffee tasting day begins early in North Vancouver at Moja Coffee (1412 Rupert Street). Doug and Andrew started Moja Coffee in 2003 and have stayed true to supporting single origin coffee from around the world, with the majority being organic. Their roasting operation sits behind their café. Be sure to indulge in a Thomas Haas chocolate croissant with your first caffeine pick-me-up of the day.

Point your coffee mug east, driving on the Trans-Canada highway #1 to Fort Langley, a charming village and home to the popular Fort Langley National Historic Site. Just off the main street in Gasoline Alley, you’ll discover Republica Coffee Roasters (9203 Glover Road). The owners’ (Hiro and Ricardo) mantra is to provide the freshest roast and any unsold coffee 72 hours after roasting is donated to the community. Although they focus on organic single estate coffees, their unique blends are only served at the coffee shop. And, while you’re there, perk up your coffee with a healthier shot of organic blue agave syrup in ten flavour options.

Continue your drive, crossing through Langley along highway 10 to Surrey. Arrive at the eye catching, landmark tepee of Holy Smoke Coffee (3418 King George Highway) before 11 am (closing time, M-F). For thirteen years, Al has been serving coffee with a smile at this extraordinary coffee drive-thru. He is dedicated to everything organic, from coffee beans (from Mexico and Guatemala), sugar, and milk to baked goods, which are sourced from Michael’s Artisan Bakery in South Surrey/White Rock. Don’t miss your chance to get a free 2-minute therapy session which is included with every $2 cup of joe! In the spirit of keeping things small, Al home roasts his organic beans on site in an adapted BBQ! And, if you’re lucky to be around on Saturday in the spring/summer, traditional Berliner Currywurst is cooked up for customers. With your coffee to go, take time to stroll along White Rock’s oceanfront promenade.

Turn north along highway 99 to Richmond and pop by Viva Java Roasting House (2900 Smith Street), a small one-man coffee operation. The owner champions organic coffee that he roasts daily on-site to offer about fourteen single origin coffees and three house blends. While this may not be a coffee shop to hang out, the coffee is well worth the visit along with the chance to meet the owner, Arti, for his larger-than-life personality.

Carry on highway 99 towards Vancouver’s city centre. In Gastown, drop by East Van Roasters (319 Carrall Street), the city’s only artisan bean-to-bar chocolate maker and coffee roaster. Owned and operated by the PHS Community Services Society, East Van Roasters provide training and employment to women recovering from homelessness and addiction. Organic single origin, fair trade cacao and coffee beans are all roasted on site. Along with espresso beverages, you can spoil yourself with hand-crafted chocolate drinks, truffles and bars.

Photo: Trees Organic Coffee
Photo: Trees Organic Coffee

Complete your coffee touring day at Trees Organic Coffee & Roasting House (450 Granville Street) in the heart of Downtown Vancouver. For over 20 years, Trees Organic has been sourcing and serving only 100% organic, single origin, naturally shade grown coffee bought at fair trade terms. Their coffee is fresh roasted daily, in small batches, on premise at their flagship Granville Street location. The owner, Doron, takes great pride in maintaining the distinct aromatic and flavour qualities of single origin coffee beans; therefore, coffee blends are not available. And because man does not live on coffee alone, pair your coffee with one of their popular cheesecakes, voted the best in Vancouver! If you’re on location for Thursday or Friday nights, then stick around for their free live music events.

With so many more coffee shops and roasters in and around Vancouver, as a welcome contrast to large coffee chains, there’s no shortage of good coffee options and you’ll soon discover that all roads lead to great coffee!

By Nikki Bayley

One of the annual thrills in the Vancouver foodie calendar is the opening of the Richmond Night Market for their summer season. Each year between mid-May to mid-October, night market aficionados hop on the Canada Line to Richmond’s Bridgeport Station to dive into delicious Asian street food and innovative desserts and to browse the stalls of the 200 or so vendors selling everything from toys and balloons to the latest must-have gizmo from Hong Kong.

It’s very easy to find the market from the station, there are plenty of signs but all you need to do is follow the hordes of eager food fans walking the 5 minutes or so across to the market grounds. To avoid the often long line-ups, the fastest way in is to buy a $20 Zoom pack (which gives seven express entry coupons that can be used throughout the season or split between friends on the night) or face the queues and pay the $2,75 entry –cash only.

Once you’re in –and have posed with the giant inflatable duck– it can feel overwhelming to pick where to start first. If there’s not a long line up at the Rotato “potato tornado” stall make a beeline there. Nothing says “Richmond Night Market” like taking a selfie with a potato that’s been twisted around a stick and then deep-fried. The garlic topping is my favourite.

Next up try takoyaki: creamy, spicy fried little balls of soft dough with octopus, sprinkled with bonito flakes and drizzled with a rich mayo and takoyaki sauce. Skip the giant takoyaki; they never seem to be as delicious as the mini-versions. You usually get six to a potion for around $5 but if you’re with friends it’s impossible to just get one– they are so tasty!

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Everyone loves eating food on sticks at the night market and some of the most tempting are the skewers from Chef James, one of the market’s most popular characters and known for the high quality of his ingredients. You can get five skewers for around $12 and I’d recommend the AAA beef, spicy lamb and the chicken, all incredibly succulent and juicy with just the right hit of spice and heat.

Squid is everywhere at the market; barbecued or fried you’ll see tentacles sizzling away wherever you look. One of the best at the market comes from the Lao Er BBQ squid stall as they marinate their squid in a spicy house-made sauce that keeps it tender and gives it a spicy lift.

Want to push your limits? Then give the deep fried “stink tofu” a whirl. Admittedly, this pungent Taiwanese snack isn’t for everyone but perhaps if you like strong-smelling blue cheeses then this could be a whole new treat. Just follow your nose to the Taiwan Traditional Snacks stall and put in an order. Crispy on the outside, creamy on the inside and super-stinky all over!

Bubble teas, slushies and shaved ice desserts are an essential part of the night market experience too. If you’ve never tried Asian desserts, prepare to become a life-long fan of these fresh, sweet, creamy fruity treats. Try Mango Yummy’s shaved ice special, topped off with vanilla ice cream, mocha balls and chunks of fresh mango.

Finally, take a break and enjoy watching a master at work at the Dragon Beard Candy stall, where you can see the delicate pulled sugar strand sweets made. It takes incredible skill to make these nut-stuffed candies and they really are best fresh.

Location: 8351 River Road, Richmond (a 5-minute walk from SkyTrain’s Bridgeport Station)

Season: Friday, May 15 to Monday, October 12, 2015

Opening Days and Hours: Friday and Saturday: 7 p.m. to midnight, Sundays and Statutory Holidays: 7 p.m. to 11 p.m.

Admission: $2.75 for regular admission. Free admission for children aged 10 and under and for seniors aged 60 and up.

Website: www.richmondnightmarket.com

 

By Kathy Mak

To truly experience an authentic slice of local life, you can’t get more local than the neighbourhood farmers markets. Whether you’re shopping or browsing, each of the numerous markets showcases genuinely local products and proprietors from all over the Valley. Immerse yourself in sampling seasonal and fresh fare, gourmet treats, and artisanal delights that have been prepared or produced with a regional spin.   Half the fun is being part of the market’s social scene and friendly atmosphere. Chat with other food enthusiasts and meet small-scale but passionate food artisans. You’re certain to enjoy the stories or inspirations behind their unique products. Without a doubt, you’ll be glad you sampled and supported local flavours!

On any given Wednesday to Sunday (May to October), there are numerous outdoor farmers markets in and around Vancouver communities. With so many choices, you may want to explore a market a day or connect some of the markets open on the same day. One route linking several of the more interesting and scenic communities on a Sunday begins in the charming neighbourhood of Kitsilano (Vancouver’s West Side). With a suggested start of 10 am, explore this neighbourhood market which is pleasantly set up outside the community centre.

Then travel south to the idyllic seaside village of White Rock (Canada-US border), arriving mid-day for their market in the town centre. After a stop to enjoy the views on the oceanfront promenade, travel west, by mid-afternoon, to the historic fishing village of Steveston in southern Richmond to end your day of local markets. The Steveston market, which closes at 4 pm, fills the quaint village streets adjacent to the Gulf of Georgia Cannery National Historic Site. While it’s possible and an adventure to connect these three markets by public transport, it is more time efficient and flexible to travel by car. Either way, you’ll enjoy and appreciate the local food scene much more after a fun day of fresh and friendly farmers markets!

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Find fresh and artisan food products at farmers markets, along with friendly locals. One of the more popular Farmers Markets is in the Vancouver neighbourhood of Kitsilano.
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Fresh and organic produce can be found at the Kitsilano Farmers Market.
3-Wild-Sea-Asparagus-is-locally-harvested-and-is-one-of-the-more-unique-items-found-at-a-farmers-market(Kathy-Mak)
Wild sea asparagus is locally harvested and is one of the more unique items found at a farmers market.
4-Meet-the-friendly-local-farmers-and-personalities-at-the-stalls-(Kathy-Mak)
Meet the friendly local farmers and personalities at the stalls.
5-Farmers-from-around-the-Fraser-Valley-gather-at-the-Kitsilano-Farmers-Market-(Kathy-Mak)
Farmers from around the Fraser Valley gather at the Kitsilano Farmers Market.
6-The-White-Rock-Farmers-Market-is-well-worth-the-journey-out-of-Vancouver-(Kathy-Mak)
The White Rock Farmers Market is well worth the journey out of Vancouver.
Rebel Pops makes 100% all natural gourmet ice-pops using the finest local organic and wild ingredients. Photo credit: Kathy Mak
Rebel Pops makes 100% all natural gourmet ice-pops using the finest local organic and wild ingredients.
8-Dragon-Mist-is-a-craft-distillery-producing-premium-quality-spirits-that-are-certified-gluten-free
Dragon Mist is a craft distillery producing premium quality spirits that are certified gluten-free.
9-Wild-Sweets-is-a-designer-chocolatier-and-vintage-chocolate-maker-found-at-the-White-Rock-and-Steveston-Farmers-Markets-(Kathy-Mak)
Wild Sweets is a designer chocolatier and vintage chocolate-maker found at the White Rock and Steveston Farmers Markets.

 

Kitsilano Farmers Market
Sunday: 10 am – 2 pm (Summer)

White Rock Farmers Market
Sunday: 10 am – 2 pm (Summer)

Steveston Farmers and Artisans Market
Sunday: 10 am – 4 pm (Summer); alternating Sundays

BC Association of Farmers’ Markets

Vancouver Farmers Markets

Photos by Barbara Tili, Vancouver Photowalks
Captions by Alexis Baran

RichmondNightMarket_2
Fresh fish marinated, basted, and barbecued whole is a seasonal favorite, including these red snapper.
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The lively murmur of a hungry crowd roams among sizzing, popping, clanking pans, and cashiers announcing the latest orders.
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The aroma of teriyaki meats and savoury steamed buns is an unmistakable staple of the night market.
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This onion flower is ready to be breaded and dunked into the deep-fryer for a crispy sharable treat.
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Salty-rich noodles and chewy fried squid are classic Asian street foods that are an absolute must-try.
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Food on a stick is the easiest way to enjoy a bite as you roam the booths for more.
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Wandering with an entire (mini) watermelon of drink is not just for the novelty, it saves a cup from the landfill. You won’t want to put it down once you start drinking it anyways.
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Wash it all down with a colourful beverage made fresh.
We’re not done yet! A bevy of sweet treats and pastries filled and/or topped with favorites such as custard, Nutella, sweet red bean, chocolate, strawberry and more are ready to thrill your sweet tooth.
We’re not done yet! A bevy of sweet treats and pastries filled and/or topped with favorites such as custard, Nutella, sweet red bean, chocolate, strawberry and more are ready to thrill your sweet tooth.

Vancouver Photowalks hosts guided photography tours in Vancouver and neighbouring communities.

By Visit Richmond BC

If you haven’t tried dim sum before, think of it as Chinese tapas – irresistible dumplings, noodles and fried snacks – that just happen to be the best way to start the day. Literally translated the expression “dim sum” means “touch the heart,” but to those who love Chinese food, what it really means is tender dumplings, fragrant soups, crispy spring rolls, pillowy steamed buns and savoury bites of braised meat. Dim sum is a parade of small plates usually served between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m., and a terrific way to explore one of the world’s great cuisines.

The tradition of dim sum originated in the ancient teahouses along the Silk Road in southern China’s Canton province. Travelers would stop for a refreshing cup of tea accompanied with savoury snacks. Back then, the tea was the main point of the meal and still is for many Chinese, which is why they don’t say they’re “going for dim sum,” they “go yum cha,” or “go drink tea.”

One of the best places in Canada to experience dim sum is in Richmond, especially in the city’s many Cantonese restaurants. But whatever region their cuisine hails from, most Chinese restaurants will serve some sort of dim sum, as do Richmond’s food courts and supermarkets.

What you need to know about dim sum (yum cha):

Go early, because the best dim sum restaurants get busy fast and at peak times lineups of more than an hour are not unusual. It is also best to go in groups of at least four so that everyone gets to taste as many nibbles as possible.

When you are seated, a server will bring you a pot of tea, which will typically be a simple jasmine tea unless you ask for something else, such as the sophisticated Iron Buddha, fragrant oolong or “pu-erh,” the dark, musky brew that is definitely an acquired taste. Remember that it is rude to have the spout of the teapot pointing at anyone at the table, and when the pot is empty, simply leave the lid askew and someone will refill it.

The server will also bring menus. The days of trundling steam carts are long over, and now guests order off the menu, which can easily run to a couple of hundred items. To make it simpler, many restaurants also hand out paper menus (in both Chinese and English) with boxes to tick off beside each item. Each diner should select two to three dishes to share among the table.

But what to choose? Perhaps the best place to start is with three of the most popular dim sum dishes: the delicate steamed shrimp dumplings called har gow; the savoury steamed pork dumplings called siu mai; and spring rolls, crispy fried packets filled with meat and vegetables. They will arrive with small saucers of hot sauce; savvy guests will also order the XO sauce, a spicy condiment made from dried seafood and chilis.

Other popular dishes include: steamed buns filled with barbecued pork; “sticky rice” steamed in lotus leaves; wide rice noodles wrapped around beef, shrimp or barbecued pork; braised sheets of tofu stuffed with a shrimp-pork filling; pot stickers that are steamed and then pan-fried; steamed beef meatballs; spare ribs in black bean sauce; deep-fried squid with salt and chili pepper; the savoury rice porridge called congee; and “Phoenix claws,” braised chicken feet that may appear intimidating, but are surprisingly delicious.

And don’t forget the sweets, such as mango pudding, egg tarts and deep-fried dumplings filled with red bean paste.

Other regional cuisines have their own dim sum specialties as well. At Szechuan restaurants, which are known for their lavish hand with hot spices, you may find wontons drizzled in chili sauce or spicy dan-dan noodles (darn-darn mien). Taiwanese restaurants favour exotic textures and flavours, such as fritters stuffed with dried, shredded pork (sarn-jin bao). And the new dim sum darling is the Shanghai dumpling (xiao long bao), a savoury little bundle of pork wrapped in delicate dough and steamed so that it creates its own broth inside.

Finally, when it comes time to pay, make sure you have cash — many Richmond restaurants don’t accept credit cards (and many don’t serve alcohol, either.)

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Where to dim sum:

Here are a few Richmond restaurants known for their exceptional dim sum.

Chef Tony Seafood Restaurant
#101 – 46100 No. 3 Rd. (Empire Mall), 604-279-0083
Website

Chef Tony He is building an empire including four restaurants in China and one in Los Angeles with exuberantly opulent decor and equally opulent cuisine. Book a private room, then feast on his signature dim sum, including siu mai topped with fragrant black truffle, sumptuous wild mushroom pastry and tender bitter melon noodle stuffed with shredded chicken.

Fisherman’s Terrace Seafood Restaurant
4151 Hazelbridge Way (Aberdeen Centre), 604-303-9739
Website

Just steps away from the Canada Line stop at Aberdeen Centre, this fine-dining Cantonese restaurant is a big, posh room with glittering crystal chandeliers, attentive servers and terrific dim sum, both classic and creative. If you feel daring, try the platter of cold meats, including jellyfish and beef shank.

Jade Seafood Restaurant
8511 Alexandra Road, 604-249-0082
Website

This is a grand restaurant, decorated in soothing greens and sparkling chandeliers, Jade is known for its exceptional dim sum, stellar seafood and the creativity of its chef, Tony Luk. He has a passion for high-quality ingredients and adds a modern touch to classic Cantonese fare: everything here is as fresh and flavourful as it can be. Dim sum here is an extravaganza that simply must be experienced.

Sea Harbour
150 – 8888 River Road, 604.232.0816
Website

Su Hang
100-8291 Ackroyd Road, 604.278.7787
Website

Dinesty Dumpling House
#160 – 8111 Ackroyd Road, 604-303-7772
Website
Note: It is ideal to have a Mandarin-speaking colleague when making reservations here.

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By Visit Richmond BC

Known locally as “Wai Sek Kai” or “Food Street,” Alexandra Road has been a dining destination created by locals for locals for as long as anyone can remember. Easily accessible by SkyTrain, Food Street is right in the heart of the Golden Village and runs from busy No. 3 Road to Garden City Road (between Lansdowne and Aberdeen malls.) It has evolved organically over the years, especially in the last decade, with new restaurateurs attracted by the success of their colleagues and new immigrants searching for a likely place to share the foods of their homeland.

Now nearly 200 eateries strong, cuisine ranges from humble noodle shops to grand Cantonese banquet rooms.

The street itself is a jumble of strip malls, each one a warren of eateries adorned with bright, colourful signs advertising hot pot or pho, dim sum or sushi. Interspersed among them are a handful of grand standalone restaurants and a single vacant field waiting for the next appetizing project. At peak hours, traffic slows to a crawl as hungry diners seek rare and precious parking spots. Wise diners leave the car at home and instead take the Canada Line and walk from either Aberdeen or Lansdowne station.

Hungry visitors will find just about every style of Asian and even some European cuisine along here, including Cantonese, Japanese, Hong Kong, Thai, Korean and more. The chefs here also engage in heated competition with each other; those who don’t offer great food, quality and value simply don’t survive on Food Street.

All that said, exploring Food Street can be intimidating for a first-time visitor. Where to start? (You could start the morning with some Dim Sum.) When to go? (Almost any time is good, from breakfast to late night, depending where you’re headed.) Do they serve booze? (They don’t always, so be prepared.) How to pay? (Bring cash, and expect to tip 10 to 15 per cent.) Perhaps most importantly, what to order?

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Where to go, what to eat:

Here are some favourite places to check out along Alexandra Road, a.k.a, Food Street.

Vivacity

8351 Alexandra Road, 604-279-1513

Known for their baked (not steamed) BBQ pork buns, this busy Alexandra Road mainstay features dim sum seven days a week during lunch service and other Cantonese specialties in a comfortable setting. Expect fresh flavours and high quality from favourites such as har gow and siu mei.

What else you need to know: Moderately priced. Cash and credit cards accepted. Open for lunch and dinner.

Claypot Hot Pot & BBQ

105 – 8291 Alexandra Rd., 604-284-5181

Hungry? Really hungry? Then you may want to check out this super popular all-you-can-eat hot pot joint. You order your broth (the brave can try the super spicy one) and then try a vast array of things to dip in it, ranging from thinly sliced strips of beef to all sorts of seafood, vegetables, tofu, noodles, dumplings and more. The house-made meatballs are especially fine, and the plum juice is a must. Be warned though: This place is popular and can be a real madhouse, especially on weekends and holidays.

What else you need to know: Moderately priced (about $20 a head plus cost of broth). All you can eat. Reservations essential. Credit cards accepted. Beer and wine available. Open for lunch and dinner.

Jade Seafood Restaurant

8511 Alexandra Rd., 604-249-0082

This is the grandest restaurant on Food Street, decorated in soothing greens and sparkling chandeliers, Jade is known for its exceptional dim sum, stellar seafood and the creativity of its chef, Tony Luk. He has a passion for high-quality ingredients and adds a modern touch to classic Cantonese fare: everything here is as fresh and flavourful as it can be. The dumplings stuffed with mushrooms are wonderfully tender and earthy, while the king crab with vegetables and the cold tea-smoked chicken can’t be missed. Dim sum is an extravaganza that simply must be experienced.

What else you need to know: Moderate to expensive. Credit cards accepted. Beer and wine available. Open for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

Jang Mo Jib Korean Restaurant

8320 Alexandra Rd., 604-233-0712

The name means “grandmother’s house,” and guests can expect all the traditional Korean dishes here, including claypot cooking, spicy soups and barbecued meats. Dishes to try include the classic pork neck soup, as well as “japchae,” bean thread noodles with veggies and meat, and “bibimbap,” rice topped with veggies, beef, chili paste and sometimes a raw egg, then mixed together thoroughly. A great place to experience a cuisine that is rapidly growing in popularity.

What else you need to know: Moderate prices. Credit cards accepted. Beer and wine available. Open lunch, dinner and late night.

Manzo Izakaya

2170 – 8391 Alexandra Rd., 604-276-2882

If you’ve never experienced Japanese izakaya, this is a good place to start. Izakayas are basically lively, fun bars that serve food, usually tapas-style small bites, to accompany the drinks. At the cozily modern Manzo, the specialty is robata, delicious grilled items, as well as sushi, sashimi and a wide range of creative nibbles from the kitchen. It’s all designed to complement a drinks list focused on beer and premium sake.

What else you need to know: Moderate prices. Credit cards accepted. Full bar. Open for dinner.

Point Zero Four Fusion Restaurant

8500 Alexandra Rd., 604-278-1213

It’s impossible to miss this casual, Beijing-style eatery – it has the brightest signage along Alexandra Road. Decor is simple, almost cafeteria-style, and the specialty here is all-you-can-eat hot pot, along with spicy, northern Chinese barbecue skewers. For those who like fiery foods, the chicken wings “bien tai” are a must – so hot, they come with a warning and a “fire extinguisher” side of frozen cherry tomatoes.

What else you need to know: Moderate prices. All you can eat. Cash only. Beer available. Open for lunch and dinner daily; late night Fridays and Saturdays.

Sun Sui Wah Seafood Restaurant

102 – 4940 No. 3 Rd., 604-273-8208

This popular, classic Cantonese restaurant specializes in dim sum and live seafood. The place is huge, bright and always busy, with efficient and helpful servers. Dim sum is probably the most popular meal here, and features all the usual favourites done exceptionally well. Diners who come for dinner must try the signature dish of roast squab – pigeon marinated in secret spices then roasted until it’s crispy on the outside, tender inside – though western diners should perhaps be warned that it arrives with the head still on. Guests also can’t go wrong with whatever is fresh and swimming in the restaurant tanks, whether it be shrimp, geoduck or Alaska king crab, best served with minced garlic.

What else you need to know: Moderate to expensive. Credit cards accepted. Full bar. Open for lunch and dinner.

Thai House Restaurant

4940 No. 3 Rd., 604-278-7373

This popular chain has locations throughout Vancouver and North Vancouver and offers a reliable selection of the usual Thai fare: noodle dishes such as pad thai, fragrant curries, eye-wateringly spicy soups and tantalizing appetizers such as the boneless stuffed chicken wings. All that, along with the cheerfully casual décor and reasonable prices, keeps the joint hopping.

What else you need to know: Moderately priced. Credit cards accepted. Full bar. Open for lunch and dinner.

The True’s Tea Restaurant

180 – 8400 Alexandra Rd., 604-207-8469

Looking for a late night bubble tea and electronic darts? Then this quirky joint is the place for you. It’s one of the biggest Taiwanese-style restos in the Lower Mainland, and features bubble tea, milky coffee, savoury waffles, noodles, hot pot and a huge list of other nibbles. It’s also just plain fun, with loud DJs, auto-majhong tables, TVs, Wi-Fi and more.

What else you need to know: Inexpensive. Credit cards accepted. No alcohol. Open lunch, dinner and late (until 2 a.m. nightly and 3 a.m. weekends).

Haroo Korean-Japanese Homestyle Cuisine

2000-8580 Alexandra Road 604-284-5596

Located on the second floor of small strip mall on Alexandra Road, this husband and wife operated eatery features authentic homestyle Korean dishes such as hot pots, bibimbap, seafood pancakes, tofu soup, and BBQ short ribs. The restaurant has a homey feel and diners can expect attentive service as well as a limited bar menu and free Wi-Fi.

What else you need to know: Moderately priced. Credit cards accepted. Limited bar menu. Open for lunch and dinner.

Also try:

Deer Garden Signatures

8580 Alexandra Road, 604-278-9229

Old Buddies Seafood Cuisine

8391 Alexandra Road 604-370-4833