Having only moved to British Columbia a few years ago, I never experienced Vancouver without the Canada Line. In addition to it taking less then 30 minutes to go from the airport to downtown Vancouver, it also made it so easy to get around within Richmond. One of the most convenient stops along the line is Aberdeen, home to Aberdeen Centre and I would argue one of the best food courts in the province and probably the country!
With the Asian community in Richmond accounting for over 60% of the city’s population, it would stand to reason that one of the largest and busiest malls in Richmond would have a food court that reflects the majority of its inhabitants. If you’re looking for something authentic, chances are you’ll find it here! I set out to find some of the best dishes the Aberdeen Food Court had to offer.
Wu Fung Dessert
Don’t let the name fool you. Whether the sun is out or it’s a rainy day, their soup is the perfect choice and very reasonable! For $5.50, you have the choice of two items in your soup ($6.50 for 3 items, $7.50 for 4 items). I opted for the rice noodles with curry fish balls and a fried egg, but the list truly had something for everyone! The broth was very flavourful, the noodles were fresh and perfect for slurping. I could have eaten 20 of those curry fish balls but I would have taken my fried egg a little more on the runny side. Overall, it was a great bowl of soup and the price was perfect.
When it comes to chicken wings, I have trouble saying “no,” especially when I saw an order come out just as I was ordering. They definitely passed the crispy eye test but thankfully I was smart enough to resist and let them cool down for a moment before taking a bite. The chicken wings were fantastic, they were very crispy, the seasoning was just right (strong hint of ginger) and cooked perfectly so the meat was tender and juicy. I opted for an order of the “middle” wings which was $6.75 for eight pieces which is perfect for sharing.
Saboten is a chain of Japanese restaurants that has been around for almost 50 years. They have over 500 locations around the world and they’ve been in Richmond since 2012. They are known for their tonkatsu (or sometimes referred to as Katsu) which is a Japanese dish consisting of a breaded, deep-fried pork cutlet. The secret homemade bread crumbs coated the pork loin nicely and it wasn’t at all greasy from being fried. It also held up well and was a terrific complement to the sweet curry sauce it was paired with. As for the soup, I love a good bowl of miso, but I found it to be on the salty side. The cabbage and pickled cucumber added some nice texture and freshness to the dish. For $7.95, it was another solid deal.
Ever since being introduced to the Beef Rolls at Peaceful Noodles, I’m always on the lookout to try another beef roll, so I had to give the ones at Shanghai Shanghai a try. I will go on record to say they are unlike anything I’ve had before but not in a bad way! Whereas the ones I’ve had in the past have been deep-fried, that wasn’t the case here. The beef rolls were rolled in roti and stuffed with sliced cucumber, beef brisket and hoisin sauce. They were not at all what I was expecting, but they were very good. The cucumber added the right amount of freshness to the meat and roti. My only comment would have been that rolling it with roti made it very “bready” and it was a bit on the thick side. With a small salad or soup, this would be a perfect side and probably save a couple of rolls for an afternoon snack. It was 4 rolls for $6.50.
Cho Cho Tofu Hotpot Cafe
So, I keep seeing “Stinky Tofu” at the night markets and I keep wondering how stinky it really is. So I decided to take the plunge. To answer my own question, stinky tofu is very stinky! Basically it’s a fermented tofu that has a very strong and distinct odour. I couldn’t put my finger on exactly how it smelled, but I would say it’s a mix of smelly socks and the farm. Now with all that said, it’s not as bad as it sounds! It came fried with a drizzle of a sweet sauce and hot sauce. The hot sauce is pretty vital to masking the “stinkyness” and leaves a faint smell that is bearable to handle when eating it. I wouldn’t necessarily order this again for myself, but if it happened to be on the table, I’d definitely give it another shot! I ordered a half-order for $4.95 which came with 8 or 9 pieces.
A drink, must have a drink to wash all this food down! When I asked about the 8 Juice “House Special” consisted of and they told me it was mango, coconut milk, tapioca and pomelo, I was sold. If you’re curious if it’s made with fresh mango, the boxes piled high of mangoes is all you need to know you’re getting the real thing! I opted for the small size which was $4.80 and considering how much good “stuff” there was in it, I thought it was a great price. The drink itself was fantastic with fresh chunks of mango and pomelo. If I had one comment, I would have wanted my drink colder, but maybe that’s just a personal preference. They also can be found through their Facebook Page!
Bubble Waffle Cafe
There’s always room for dessert, especially if it’s something that you can share! Although their menu had a ton of options, the chocolate bubble waffles from Bubble Waffle Cafe were the perfect choice. They were made to order, came out hot and very chocolate-y. For $3.75, this would make for a perfect afternoon or evening snack as well!
As it turns out, the milk and green tea swirl ice cream at Mazazu Crepe comes with a little surprise in the form of corn flakes at the bottom! The ice cream itself was very rich and although the corn flakes were tough to get to, they were a treat once I got to them! I’m all for multi-purpose, so I used my waffle bubbles as a dipping device for the ice cream. The warm waffle with the ice cream, brilliant!
With 20 different restaurants to choose from at the Aberdeen Centre Food Court, the options are unlimited. It’s a unique experience with great food and it’s one of the best ways of getting to Asia without even having to step on a plane!
4151 Hazelbridge Way, Richmond, BC, Canada
Mon-Wed – 11:00am – 7:00pm
Thur-Sat – 11:00am – 9:00pm
Sun & Holiday – 11:00am – 7:00pm
About Our Guest Writer: Ethan Adeland is a freelance food and travel writer and the voice behind Feeding Ethan. He shares his honest adventures in the kitchen, behind the camera or iPhone and wherever his travels may take him. He has never turned down an opportunity to Instagram a sunset or his next meal.