La Chocolaterie

Yesterday was a funny day.  I decided to look into Valentine’s Day chocolate options, lost track of time, and ended up with an unusual dinner.  Let’s talk about the chocolate first.

With Valentine’s Day tomorrow, I figured it would be a good idea to explore some of Richmond’s love-inspired goodies, so if your Valentine has a sweet tooth you’ll know where to go.  Or, if you look at this more transparently, it was just a great excuse for me to buy and eat chocolate.

Ritter Sport chocolate bars at Galloway's

I worked out at The Oval, then cycled to Galloway’s to check out their candy setup.  Not only did they have a fine selection of Ritter Sport bars, they also had several bars for sale that quite literally would require two arms to lift.  Yes, these Callebaut bars weigh 5kg each.

5kg chocolate bars

Nothing says love like “here’s 1/12 of your body weight in chocolate.”  Seriously, NOTHING, not even jewelry.  If you’d prefer something your love can pick up with just one hand, make sugar cookies and decorate them with these adorable heart sprinkles, or give them some Hershey’s kisses.  Either way, Galloway’s has you covered!

heart sprinkles

Another obvious chocolate destination is right across the street – La Chocolaterie in Izumiya Market.

Coconama at La Chocolaterie

Their Coconama truffles are smooth and stupidly good; this month’s flavours are dark chocolate cinnamon and taro, the latter of which has been especially popular during the Chinese New Year.

cinnamon dark chocolate truffles from Coconama

They have large and small red velvet boxes for Valentine’s Day, and of course all their bars.  They also now have various kinds of chocolate bark – I bought some dark chocolate hazelnut, and didn’t wait long before busting into the bag.

Coconama truffles

I also got the blue cheese chocolate truffle, a taro truffle, and am now in possession of a bar of coffee dark chocolate for my next late night of writing.  I can’t drink coffee, but I can certainly eat it.

Coconama truffles

If your Valentine prefers baked goods over chocolate, then pick up some heart-shaped sugar cookies at the Broadmoor Bakery.

Valentine heart cookies from Broadmoor Bakery

Or, if they like savoury treats, they have cheese cookies also conveniently shaped liked hearts.

cheese cookies from Broadmoor Bakery

I didn’t have a chance to make it to Steveston, but I imagine the Sweet Spot, Sinfully the Best, Bell’s Bakeshop, Steveston Bakery, Outpost Mini Donuts, and Papi’s Market all have some sweet Valentine’s Day scores.  Dang, looking at that list, I wish I HAD made it down.

I biked around in search of sweets for far too long, not leaving much time to get dinner before I was meeting up with a friend.  My plan was to get a vegetarian meal at Veggie Bunch, a meatless buffet restaurant on Buswell.  “Vegetables,” I thought, “I want VEGETABLES!”  I cycled to Veggie Bunch, and discovered they’re closed for two days.  ARGH.  I made my way back the plaza south of Brighouse, and in a terribly ironic twist, ended up with the exact opposite of a vegetarian meal.

Broiled Chicken King

Yao Sun Loong Kong, aka “Broiled Chicken King,” looked liked a BBQ joint, so I wandered in, figuring I’d get a small amount of meat, rice, and some vegetables next door at Cucina Manila.  The shop was small and modest, specializing in various sizes of fresh chickens, eggs, and a case of cooked chicken and BBQ pork.

Broiled Chicken King interior

I approached the case, pointed to the chicken, and asked for just enough for one.  The woman spoke no English, and unfortunately, this time my attempts at signing “just enough for me” proved wildly ineffective.  She motioned ‘did I want it chopped up?’ and I said yes, so she grabbed the entire soya chicken and took the knife to it.  All of it.  When she passed me the heavy bag, I didn’t have the heart (or the words, literally) to say I didn’t need the whole thing.

Broiled Chicken King

That’s how I ended up with two huge containers filled with chicken, no rice, and no one to eat it with.  My ambitions for a vegetarian dinner turned into $18 worth of meat, and I couldn’t help but laugh.

soya chicken from Broiled Chicken King

I got a side of vegetable-based stew from Cucina Manila, and ate it, picnic style, while shaking my head.  How was the chicken?  Pretty good.  I especially liked the gingery, green onion sauce that came with it.  Of course, I couldn’t eat the entire thing, and since neither of my roommates were home I gave the rest to a homeless man.  He seemed pretty pleased, so I guess it all worked out in the end.

chocolate from Coconama

I didn’t share any of my chocolate, though.


Yao Sun Loong Kong Chicken Ltd.

6340 No. 3 Road, Richmond BC


Cash only

Not vegetarian friendly!  And best to pickup dinner there for a group.