Yesterday I learned several things:

I have a new baby cousin.  Welcome to the world, Sadie Louise!

The Oval has a beautiful new café, complete with cookies I will be eating far too regularly.

My new cycling gloves work well in the rain.  Very well indeed.

Finally, my hand-eye coordination is apparently very poor, and affects my ability to order food.

I discovered this yesterday while having lunch at Chef Hung Taiwanese Beef Noodle restaurant in Aberdeen Centre.  At first I was craving Korean, but decided to give fresh noodles a try instead; this Chef Hung restaurant is one of many across Canada, the US, China, and Taiwan, where it was founded.  They obviously specialize in beef noodle soups, but have plenty of Taiwanese snacks, side dishes, and bubble tea as well.

Their signature dish is Champion Beef Shank with Noodle in Spicy Soup, but I opted for the Urbanspoon-recommended Champion Beef Shank with Noodle in Tomato Soup, because it looked better.  Or at least that’s what I thought I ordered.

I was given a paper menu and pencil, and ticked off tomato soup ($10.95).  Of the noodle choices, I opted for the flat ones made in-house daily.

Because I can so rarely find vegetables than aren’t fried or deep-fried, I also got the steamed Shanghai Bok Choy ($4.95).  To drink, I ordered a Taiwanese Ginger Tea with Grass Jelly ($4.20 + $0.50) from the “Healthy Drinks” menu, then off I went to digestive and immune-system heaven.

It didn’t take long for my huge bowl of soup to arrive, but it took a few minutes to notice it didn’t have any tomato in it.  My chest puffed with indignation; they had given me the wrong soup!  I ordered the tomato, and here I was with some sort of beef.  The injustice, the INJUSTICE!

I’m kidding.  Of course I wasn’t upset.  I know that mistakes happen in restaurants, and in the grand scheme of things, beef instead of tomato doesn’t matter a bit.  Then I decided to look at the order form, which had been taped to the table with my bill, and discovered that I’d accidentally ticked off “Beef Brisket with Noodle in Clear Soup.”  So it was my fault anyways.  Aye yai yai.

Once I got over the personal embarrassment of failing to properly tick a box, I focused on enjoying my new order.  The broth wasn’t clear, but rather a pale brown, and was light yet rich in flavour.  The flat, somewhat irregular homemade noodles were firm, and fattened up as they sat in the broth.  They were simple and delicious, and I could have happily made my meal of just these two things.  The meltingly-tender brisket and strips of thinly-sliced beef were just an added bonus.

The Shanghai Bok Shoy were drizzled with hoisin sauce and a sprinkle of fried onions.  They were green, crunchy, healthy, and fresh – just what I wanted.

My drink was a disappointment, however; it was like ginger beer, which I love, but this one was overwhelmingly strong.  To counteract the heat, there was a ton of sugar added, making it simultaneously too sweet and spicy.  The sugar seemed to defeat the ‘healthy’ aspect of it, and the grass jelly came in large chunks, just like at Flo Tea Room, making it rather tricky to get without a spoon.

Since the service wasn’t extraordinary, I wouldn’t head to Chef Hung’s for a warm and inviting atmosphere.  It is a good place to grab some homemade, comforting noodle soup while shopping, however.  And now we know what the Beef Brisket with Noodle in Clear Soup looks like!  We should really be thankful for my lack of coordination.

After soup, it was gym time.  I headed over to The Oval, and after working out, decided to explore the facility’s new “O Café.”  It’s located to the left of the main desk, and is sleek and modern – quite an upgrade from their former, more casual digs on the second floor.

It’s bright and spacious, with plenty of delectable-looking sandwiches, salads, and baked goods on display.

There were enough energy bars to power up the entire Canadian Olympic Team, as well as a number of hot entrees.

They’re serving 49th Parallel, which coffee-drinkers can’t seem to get enough of.  Coffee still doesn’t agree with me, but that doesn’t mean I can’t admire their charming blue mugs!

I got myself a peanut butter cookie, because it looked too thick and chewy to leave there by itself.  I’ll have to pop in later for a sandwich and let you know how they are.

One more thing to note – The Oval now has a box out for donations to the food bank, so don’t forget to pack some cans of soup and boxes of pasta into your gym bag!

So yes, my Tuesday was full of learning, which is really all you can hope for in a day.  Still, if anyone has successfully managed to order the Beef Shank with Noodle in Tomato Soup, I’d love to hear your thoughts on it….


Chef Hung Taiwanese Beef Noodle Restaurant

4151 Hazelbridge Way, Richmond BC


Cash and cards accepted

Vegetarian (though probably very few vegan) options available