I am so lucky. Not only did I get to have my parents here for Christmas, but now I have some of my best friends visiting Richmond for New Years! Lauren is one of my Italy Six ladies, and she and her boyfriend David just moved from New York to Los Angeles. They were back east for the holidays, but decided to pop into B.C. on their way home. IT IS SO NICE TO HAVE THEM HERE.
Neither Lauren nor David have been to B.C., so naturally I took them up to Prince Rupert and back once they arrived. I kid. We’re all in post-holiday mode, so we’ve been taking it pretty easy. That included a meal at Neptune Wonton Noodle House.
It’s in the shopping plaza right at No. 3 and Ackroyd (same area as Dinesty), and is a fairly decent size, though nothing on the scale of the big dim sum restaurants. It serves casual lunches, dinners, and late night food, and is reasonably priced.
We ordered the shrimp wonton noodle ($5.75), a Chinese donut ($2), the curry beef tendon and brisket ($9.98), the sautéed pea tips with garlic, and fried noodles with chicken – the last two chosen simply because they looked good on someone else’s table! They seemed to be priced as a combo for $10.99.
The bowl of shrimp wontons with noodles arrived first. From a pragmatic perspective, one thing I always find difficult about this dish (in any restaurant) is the mass of tangled noodles resting below the broth. I find it impossible to separate them and transfer them to bowls without splashing broth everywhere and noodles all over the table. Any advice? Sometimes there’s a server who sees me struggling and snips them off with a pair of scissors, but otherwise it’s just noodle and broth madness. Madness I tell you!
The curry beef tendon and brisket (which we ate with rice) was much spicier than I’d expected it to be, but really flavourful. The brisket fell apart, and I think this was the first time I’d ever knowingly eaten tendon.
I’ve certainly seen it before, but didn’t know what it was. It’s connective tissue which, if raw, is extremely tough. If cooked for a long time at a low temperature, however, it becomes soft and gelatinous – like fat, but strangely without all the fat. I don’t love the texture, but I know plenty of people who do.
The Chinese donut was crunchy and satisfying – we didn’t have congee, but I dipped it in the wonton noodle broth.
The fried noodles with chicken had been another dish paraded past us that we decided we’d needed. Besides being a bit on the oily side, the noodles were simple, still had bite to them, and flavourful. The chicken was good, but I’d have been just as happy with only noodles.
Today I’m showing Lauren and David more around Richmond, then we’re celebrating a quiet New Years with friends. Which reminds me – it’s the end of the year! I began this year in a very different place than I am now, and am stunned when I think of all that’s happened in the last 365 days. I’ve been reflecting on some of the food I’ve eaten, and you can find some of my favourite Top threes, fives, and tens in the post before this one. There’s also the Huffington Post BC article I wrote on my Top Ten Richmond food finds so far – click here to see what’s number one!
Happy New Year’s Eve, everyone. Whether you’re ringing in the new year quietly or partying like wild animals, stay safe, eat well, and I’ll see you in 2013!
Vegetarian options available