Ok, when is someone going to suggest a restaurant that’s just one big salad bar?  A place called “Kale Palace” or something of the like?  I’m a girl who’s eaten way too much food over the past three days.  I enjoyed two separate Thanksgiving dinners, and yesterday it was turkey + turkey-related leftovers for breakfast, snack, lunch, and snack.

The stuffing in the fridge creates a three-way magnet between the spoon, container, and my mouth.  It’s stronger than my willpower.  Then there’s the turkey bunwiches (not sandwiches, they must be made specifically with buns), and the leftover pie.  Ahhhh, pie.  I just might cry when that’s gone.  Taking anything out of the fridge is like an advanced game of Jenga; while maneuvering for the cranberry sauce, you must remain acutely aware of the potatoes and broccoli on either side, lest you end up with a mix of everything on the floor.  MY LIFE IS SO INTENSE RIGHT NOW.

If you need a break from your world full of turkey, I suggest a trip to Alleluia Cafe.  I’ve wandered past it a number of times, and decided to finally cross it off my list.

Alleluia is a modern HK-style restaurant, with a menu as eclectic as they come.  The service was efficient, and while I struggled a little with the menu at first (it’s enormous) I consulted a few food blogs and decided to get something “baked.”  On HK-style menus there’s always plenty of rice, pasta, seafood, and meat entrees that get finished in the oven before coming to the table.  Most of these dishes are western-style, the kind which, up until my spaghetti bolognese at Good Food, I’d generally avoided.  Now I’ve come to realize they’re as true to HK cafes as anything Asian, and I’m more interested in trying them.

Based on a suggestion from Suanne of Chow Times, I went with the Baked Chicken in Portuguese Style on Rice, for $7.25.  That was mainly because she’d described it as “very rich in coconut flavour,” and I was sold.  I also ordered the malay roti with chocolate paste because, well, obviously.

The meal came with a bowl of soup and tea.  I went for my tried and true favourite – an iced HK milk tea.

When I think of Portuguese cuisine, baked dishes with creamy, coconut-y sauce don’t first come to mind, but Google did lead me to a few similar recipes for Portuguese-African chicken that were coconut-milk based.  The histories of cuisine and colonization are so fascinating, and I’m surprised there aren’t more books written on the subject.  I would suggest this one if you’re interested in food history.

But I digress.  The baked chicken dish arrived and was huge – the picture doesn’t do it justice.  The flavours weren’t complex, but I have to say I really liked it.  That’s because one of my favourite things of all time is white rice + any kind of creamy, coconut-y sauce.  I find it so comforting.

The chicken was decent – relatively moist – and there were also chunks of potato and onion.  I would have been fine if they’d skipped those though, because the sauce was the main show.

The roti with chocolate paste was not stellar, however.  The bread wasn’t flaky – a little tough, in fact – and as for the “chocolate paste,” it was just chocolate syrup!   Straight out of the Nestle Quick bottle, I swear.

The hilarious thing is that I still ate some of it, because even a mediocre roti is tasty, and bottled chocolate sauce is still chocolate sauce.  Sort of.

Alleluia Cafe is not a place to go for culinary fireworks, but if you can pick the right dish on the menu, you’ll end up with a satisfying and inexpensive meal.  The challenge is that because the menu is so huge, you could easily end up with a dud.  I’d therefore suggest looking at food blogs to see what other people have ordered, and choose dishes from the recommendations that appeal to you.

In the meantime, to all of you enjoying Thanksgiving leftovers, I wish you many a safe visit to the fridge.



Alleluia Cafe

8131 Westminster Highway, Richmond BC

Cash only

Vegetarian options available, though the menu is meat-heavy