Last night I signed into Twitter and discovered a barrage of “Congrats!” messages. Why? Because Tourism Richmond won the Vancouver Social Media Award for best social media campaign! I can’t take any credit for this win – allllllll props go to the team at Tourism Richmond and their partners for pulling together the beast that is 365 Days of Dining.
The trophies they handed out were adorable little social media creatures. Brittany’s, however, just happened to fall apart in her hands on stage! Made for a good laugh, apparently, and the little guy is all bandaged up now. Again, a huge congrats to everyone who has made 365 what it is, to the other winners last night at the #SMA2013, and to all the nominees (Canada Line and Translink, holla!).
Well now, coming off such an amazing win, isn’t this the perfect time to tell you that I lost my pictures for today’s post! It’s a long and boring story as to how that happened, but they’re lost. Gone-zo. Outta here. Each one is wearing a collar with tags, so if you come across them wandering sadly around, please call me immediately.
The good news: Google was invented for exactly this crisis. I have a few exterior shots outside, and various other bloggers are going to help us see the inside + the food I ate, so we’re all going to be ok.
Yesterday I dined solo in a big Chinese restaurant – definitely a first. So many restaurants in Richmond are geared towards family-style dining, which is something I LOVE. What it also means, however, is that it can be tricky to find places with portions for just one person instead of six. This is especially true now that I’m 296 days in, and have eaten at so many restaurants. I often have friends to dine with, but just as often I’m on my own.
It’s part of the Top Gun group of restaurants, which include Garden City Hot Pot, Richmond Sushi, Top Gun Hot Pot, and Kingsway Sushi. They offer a loyalty card program, with up to 40% in savings for Gold Card holders.
I arrived at 5:30pm, just as they were opening for dinner. From the get-go, I confused the heck out of my server, who was lovely but truly perplexed by this Lone White Girl Dining. Before I was seated, he asked if I’d like to see a menu first (just so I’d know what I was getting myself into) but I said “no thank you!” and took my seat by the window.
The menu was exactly what I expected: plenty of seafood, pork, hot pot, noodle, and rice dishes, but what’s unique about J&C is that they also have a Japanese chef and sushi menu. I imagine this feature is most popular at dim sum, when people who love Chinese and Japanese food can have both their beloved har gow AND sashimi.
I decided to get a ginger chicken hot pot ($17.80), rice ($1.50), stir-fried gai choy with garlic (mustard greens, $15.80), and a Peter Roll ($6.95). Of course, this was enough food for two or three people, but it was still a reasonable amount for me to have at the table, and my roommates got to enjoy the leftovers.
The ginger chicken hot pot was good, though I found the chicken to be slightly overcooked. There were slices of pork liver in there too, so I gave them another taste (we have a history). Nope, still not friends. I’ll keep trying, though. My favourite part of the hot pot was the sauce, which was flavoured with onions, fresh slices of ginger, and green onions. It was incredible with the rice.
The gai choy was nice – crisp, with just the right amount of garlic. My favourite stir-fried Chinese greens are still pea tips, which unfortunately also happen to be the most expensive!
The Peter Roll was excellent, one of the prettiest rolls I’ve seen all year. It was filled with prawn tempura and cucumber, and topped with thin slices of avocado and tobiko. The roe had been pressed on, rather than sprinkled, making it look like a jewel. I enjoyed this roll very, very much – thanks Peter, whoever you are!
My meal was simple, healthy, and filling. Dining alone in a massive Chinese restaurant wasn’t so bad, even if I did throw the staff off a little (the sushi chef popped his head out of the kitchen just to have a peek at me). They were all very friendly, and while the menu still wasn’t entirely conducive to a solo meal, it still worked out. Too bad my photos didn’t….
Congrats again to the team at Tourism Richmond on their win last night, and welcome to the family you little #SMA2013 creature!
Cash and cards accepted
Vegetarian options available
Very popular for dim sum