Every day, I’m grateful to have the dream job: eating and writing about the amazing, diverse food in Richmond. I and the entire team at 365 Days of Dining thank you for continuing to follow us on our gastronomical adventures. Hopefully our eating accounts did and will inspire you to embark on your own!
With 2015 coming to a close, it’s time to reflect on the dumplings eaten, the noodles slurped and the many other dishes sampled throughout the year. Honestly, everything we tried was outstanding, but 10 particularly noteworthy dishes stood out from the dining pack.
Best of 2015: Golden Paramount’s steamed crab dumplings. (PHOTO: TARA LEE)
1. Steamed Crab Dumplings at Golden Paramount
Whenever a friend asks me for a dim sum recommendation, I end up raving about Golden Paramount and the incredible talent of dim sum chef May Chau, who I had the honour of interviewing this year. The steamed crab dumplings (above, $4.98) look deceptively simple, but showcase a paper-thin, translucent wrapper and finely minced Chinese mushrooms, bamboo shoots, pork, crab meat, shrimp and cilantro. You can taste the artistry with each bite.
Location: 8071 Park Rd.
Best of 2015: Three Cup Chicken at Delicious Cuisine. (PHOTO: TARA LEE)
2. Three Cup Chicken (san bei ji) at Delicious Cuisine
This classic Taiwanese dish is wonderfully hearty, especially on a cozy sweater sort of day. I tried many versions around town, but the one at Delicious Cuisine truly lives up to the restaurant’s name. The chicken is moist and coated with a caramelized sauce of soy, sesame oil and rice wine. Eaten with white rice, the dish (small, pictured above $12.50/large $23.95) will slake any discerning appetite.
Location: 100-7911 Alderbridge Way
Best of 2015: Bansilgog breakfast plate at Kumare. (PHOTO: CAROLYN B. HELLER)
3. Bangsilog Breakfast Plate at Kumare Restaurant
Who wants cereal for breakfast when you can have a home-style Filipino breakfast platter. In our breakfast round-up, we discovered Kumare’s bangsilog combo (above, $9), which comes with fried boneless milkfish, a fried egg, a heaping portion of garlicky rice, and chopped tomatoes and onion. Bonus: coffee or tea is also included.
Location: 8130 Park Rd.
Best of 2015: Fried diced lamb at Silkway Halal Cuisine. (PHOTO: TARA LEE)
4. Fried Diced Lamb at Silkway Halal Cuisine
Beware: it’s hard to stop eating this dish of fried diced lamb (above, $15.95) from this destination for Hui (Muslim Chinese) cuisine. It’s basically like popcorn lamb, coated in whole and ground cumin and chili powder, and deep-fried until perfectly crisp. The meat itself stays juicy. I’m salivating just remembering them (which I discovered while writing “Lamb Dishes to try during Year of the Sheep“). Make sure to try it before the Year of the Lamb ends February 8.
Location: 110-8188 Saba Rd.
Best of 2015: Ribeye Beef Teppan Rice at Teppan Kitchen. (PHOTO: GASTROFORK)
5. Grade“A” Ribeye Beef Teppan Rice at Teppan Kitchen
In a recent visit (a.k.a. gorge fest) to Aberdeen Centre’s food court, we rediscovered Teppan Kitchen, which features Japanese iron griddle cooking. The rib eye version comes with slices of beef, corn, green onion, rice and egg (above, $8.95 with miso soup), which you then mix together until the ingredients are cooked, and your rice is crispy on the bottom. If the dish gives you a hankering for more teppan, visit Pepper Lunch (150-5951 Number 3 Rd.), whose first Canadian location took Richmond by storm earlier this year.
Location: Aberdeen Centre, 4151 Hazelbridge Way
Best of 2015: Turnip cakes at Shanghai Wonderful. (PHOTO: TARA LEE)
6. Turnip Cake at Shanghai Wonderful
Devotees of Shanghai Wonderful cheered when it reopened this year at a new location in the Best Western Plus Abercorn Inn. When I reviewed it, I particularly adored the turnip cake (above, $5.95) available for dim sum. An exterior of rich flaky pastry gives way to shredded vinegary radish, chicken and dried pork. It’s a decadent mid-day treat.
Location: Best Western Plus Albercorn Inn, 9260 Bridgeport Rd.
Best of 2015: Vancity’s Taco at Phat Buddha Tacos. (PHOTO: TARAL LEE)
7. Vancity’s Taco at Phat Buddha Tacos
In my visit to the Richmond Night Market, I feasted on my usual favourites, such as the rotato, takoyaki, deep fried squid, and pan-fried pork buns. While the new spicy crawfish transported me back to a trip to New Orleans, I was really impressed by Vancity’s Taco (pictured above, $7) at the Phat Buddha Tacos stand. It consisted of seared soy salmon, fresh kale and spinach, bacon and bonito flakes. It was a refreshing contrast to a lot of the other deep-fried goodies that I sampled.
Location: The Richmond Night Market (3063-8700 McKim Way)
Best of 2015: Sautéed black bean sole with pickled cabbage at Hakkasan Bistro. (PHOTO: TARA LEE)
8. Sautéed Black Bean Sole with Pickled Cabbage at Hakkasan Bistro
As pretty much the only restaurant in town that serves Hakka Chinese dishes, I have a soft spot in my foodie heart for Hakkasan Bistro. I had the chance to revisit the restaurant this year and chat with one of its owners, Yvonne Wong. The wok-sautéed fillet of sole in black bean sauce (above, $10.95 as part of a lunch combo; $22 à la carte) is rustic fare quintessential of Hakka cooking. Red and green peppers, onion, and crunchy, zingy pickled cabbage add flavour and textural contrast to the fish.
Best of 2015: Beef satay at John 3:16 Malaysian Delights. (PHOTO: TARA LEE)
9. Beef Satays at John 3:16 Malaysian Delights
This restaurant reviewed this year sticks in my mind, not only because of its unique name, but also because of its great home-style Malaysian offerings, like the mamak mee goreng (fried noodles). The beef satays (above, $6.95) are worth a visit alone; they were tender, with a slightly sweet, spicy marinade. After being dipped in the accompanying peanut sauce, they disappeared rapidly.
Location: 170-8151 Anderson Rd.
Best of 2015: Godzilla Bite at Mega Sushi. (PHOTO: TARA LEE)
10. The Godzilla Bite at Mega Sushi
In my search for Richmond’s best sushi, I was won over by the skilled technique at Sushi Hachi (1278-8888 Odlin Cres.) and Kiriri Japanese Cuisine & Sushi Bar (190-8780 Blundell Rd.). The most memorable sushi to be found, however, was the Godzilla Bite (above, $13.95) at Mega Sushi for its sheer inventiveness and aesthetic wow factor. The creation has chopped scallop, salmon and tuna atop deep-fried seaweed and rice. Tobiko (flying fish roe) and alfalfa sprouts complete the dish. Tempura crunch with whisky is set alight in the centre of the dish for added drama!
Location: 100-3131 Chatham St.
More Top Eats where that came from:
*Stay tuned for Part 2, our sweet ‘best of 2015’ list next week!