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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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.
8. Sautéed Black Bean Sole with Pickled Cabbage at 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
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
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!