I’m not much of a mall person.  Never have been, never will.  This stems from the fact that I’m an extremely reluctant shopper, and tend to wear clothes until they fall off me rather than buy new ones.  Put me in a grocery store, however, and I can wander around spending money ‘til they close and they kick me out.

Needless to say, when people started suggesting I explore the Aberdeen Centre food court, I was suspicious.  First of all – MALL – and second of all, aren’t food courts just for places for joints like New York Fries, Taco del Mar, and A&W?  All places I’d be thrown under a train if I actually reviewed?  Wrong, Anderson, you are SO WRONG.

The Aberdeen Centre food court was suggested because it’s filled with Japanese, Chinese, and Korean stalls I’d never heard of, and that for the most part actually cook your food to order, rather than grabbing it from under a heat lamp.  What a revelation!  I’m learning so many new things every day.

This (gloriously persistent) sun meant I was again in the mood for something on the lighter side, so I started at 8 Juice, a place I’m thrilled to have discovered.  They offer fresh fruit juices, milkshakes, smoothies, and slushes, with combinations like watermelon juice + coconut jelly, banana strawberry smoothie + mango jelly, apple + carrot juice, papaya milkshake + red beans, apple + beet juice, and even avocado milkshakes.  You can go with one of their pre-set drinks, or choose your own combination.

As a HUGE fan of fruit and vegetables, and with a now heightened awareness of the need to keep up my vitamin intake, I wanted to jump over the counter and hug each and every one of the busy staff.  I held off, and ordered a blueberry mango juice instead.  It cost $3.68, I loved it, and there’s absolutely no doubt I’ll be back to this place again.

Food-wise, I wanted a noodle-y bowl of soup, rather than something fried.  I chose Lung Kee Congee and Noodles, and ordered the Dumpling Noodle Soup; it had thread-like wheat noodles, prawn/mushroom/pork dumplings, slightly bitter greens (which I believe were choy sum?), and broth.  It was a big bowl, and it only cost $4.95.

The broth was good (I didn’t add anything to it) and the noodles were barely cooked – perfectly toothsome.  I soooo appreciated the greens, and in combination with my mango/blueberry juice felt healthier than a triathlete.  A lazy one…

The dumplings were ok, though the prawns were overcooked and a bit tough.  Still, for $4.95, this was an inexpensive and light alternative to the deep-fried fast-food I usually associate with mall food.  If I was in the area and needed something quick, I would definitely pop in for a bowl of soup at Lung Kee, and I’m actually looking forward to trying the other vendors.  Who’d have thought – me?  Returning to a mall!

And now, here’s the recipe for garlic scape pesto (as promised yesterday), care of Arlene at Galloways and The Sharing Farm.  This is my slightly adapted version, as I love fresh basil far too much to leave it out completely.  I also added a handful of fresh, peppery arugula; that’s part of the beauty of pesto – adjust it at will, and as long as the ingredients are good, you can’t go wrong!

Garlic Scape Pesto:

1/2 cup chopped garlic scapes

1/2 cup fresh basil leaves

Handful of fresh arugula

1/3 cup walnuts (mine was a very brimming third of a cup)

1/4 – 1/2 cup parmesan cheese

1/2 teaspoon salt (may need to add more, depending on taste)

Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

3/4 cup olive oil

Blend all ingredients in a food processor or blender and adjust seasonings to taste.  Transfer to a jar or tupperware container, and store in the fridge.  For the vegans out there, simply leave out the parmesan cheese, add more walnuts, toss in a few teaspoons of nutritional yeast, and you’ll have pesto too!  It’s great with pasta and quinoa, or as friends and I discovered last evening at our dusky picnic, with fresh bread, tortilla chips, and goat cheese.

We also snacked on blue goat gouda with the Steveston honey I got from Galloways.  The combination was sticky and salty and sweet and amazing.

Finally, a word to the wise –  do not consume large quantities of garlic scape pesto before heading to a business meeting.  They don’t call ‘em garlic scapes for nothing!


 Aberdeen Centre

4151 Hazelbridge Way