Continental Shopping Centre

Photo credit: Tara Lee

It’s a sunny day in Richmond, and Continental Shopping Centre (3779 Sexsmith Road) is bustling with people out to dine with friends and family, as well as stocking up on groceries and baked goods. This large open-air complex is a microcosm of Richmond, BC, due to its wide variety of restaurants, cafes, butchers, grocers, and other specialty food shops.

Establishments here include Pho Ho, which serves up a mean bowl of pho do bien, which comes with prawns, crab meat, and squid; Landmark Fresh Meat & BBQ, where roast pork, barbecued pork, and barbecued duck tantalize passers by in the window; Sushi House, whose menu features the Sound Trap Roll with fried eel and cream cheese; Hot Pot Legend, where you can gorge to your stomach’s content on all-you-can eat hot pot; New Asia Deli Restaurant for awesome banh mi; and Mega Bakery for steamed bao and matcha red bean cake.

Pho Ho

Pho Ho (Photo credit: Tara Lee)

The best part is that this is just the beginning of a long list of fantastic options at this strip mall! Here are five more places well worth checking out:

Pearl Castle Café

Taiwanese bubble tea (BBT) cafes are incredibly popular in Richmond, and for good reason since they offer reasonably priced bites, an impressive variety of drink selections, and modern, trendy décor. Over the years, Pearl Castle Café (4 locations) has won multiple Chinese Restaurant Awards, including Diners’ Choice for Best Taiwanese Restaurant/BBT Cafe (2012) and Diners’ Choice for Best Three Cup Chicken (2015). The café has developed a loyal following due to its fun, lively vibe and its well-executed menu items, such as kimchi shredded pork fried rice, addictive fried chicken nuggets (they’ll be instantly gobbled up), and Taiwanese sausage.

Pearl Castle Cafe

The kimchi shredded pork fried rice at Pearl Castle Cafe (Photo credit: Lindsay Anderson).

Sweet offerings include bean curd with red bean and the quintessential Taiwanese BBT snack, buttered thick toast with condensed milk. Of course, you can’t leave without having one of their beverages, like the classic milk tea with grass jelly. Because this location is open until 1am, it’s ideal for late night cravings.

Pearl Castle Cafe

Photo credit: Lindsay Anderson

Dinesty Dumpling House

Dinesty

Xiao long bao from Dinesty (Photo Credit: Lindsay Anderson)

Dinesty, which specializes in Northern Chinese cuisine, is a go-to restaurant for a dumpling feast. Their Continental location is different in that it’s not a restaurant, but a production facility, as well as a retail outlet that sells their handmade dumplings for home consumption. Not only can you take a peek and see how the dumplings are made, but you can also buy all sorts of goodies for cooking/warming up in your steamer. Items for sale include pork soup dumplings (xiao long bao), crab meat and pork soup dumplings, green vegetable and egg dumplings, steamed fish dumplings, and shrimp and pork wontons. With steamed pork buns, salty sesame seed cake, and Chinese doughnuts also for sale, you have everything you need for hosting an amazingly delicious dim sum party.

Dinesty

Vegetable and egg dumplings at Dinesty (Photo credit: Lindsay Anderson)

Yuu’s Japanese Tapas

Yuu's

Photo Credit: Lindsay Anderson

For inventive contemporary Japanese cooking, this cozy restaurant with friendly staff is a great pick. Start with one of their delicious (and often creative) tapas, like Japanese poutine with super crunchy fries, mayo, a sweet/savoury sauce, nori strips, and bonito flakes; or takoyaki (octopus balls) with okonomiyaki sauce.

Yuu's

Photo credit: Tara Lee

The menu also features Japanese curry, a ground beef and onion patty with deep fried panko-coated prawns. The curry sauce itself is another interesting combo of sweet and salty, whose flavours can be further heightened with the addition of raisins and pickled ginger, served alongside the dish. They also specialize in ramen, with unique versions, like kimchi seafood ramen in tomato tonkotsu broth and grilled beef ramen in black pepper garlic broth.

 

Uncle Lu

Uncle Lu

Photo credit: Tara Lee

If you have a thing for braised pork hock, you’ve got to dine at Uncle Lu, another standout Taiwanese BBT café. The place, adorned by hanging red lanterns and gold-accents, has a laid back atmosphere for low-key meals. The sliced pork hock is perfectly tender, has a generous amount of fat, and is served with spicy garlic sauce. Meanwhile, their three cup chicken (san bei ji) distinguishes itself by the heat from red chili flakes, as well as its crisp exterior. Try some of their marinated items, like spicy pork ear or pork intestine, or one of their noodle soups, such as spicy beef noodle soup. The drink list includes favourites like taro slush and malt milk tea.

 

Gyo-O Japanese Restaurant

Gyo-O

Photo credit: Lindsay Anderson

Brought to you by the successful Gyoza King group (G-Men Ramen Shop, Gyoza King in Vancouver), Gyo-O boasts funky rustic decor and a menu that focuses on rice bowls (donburi) and udon noodle selections.

 

Rice options include a special seafood don, chock full of goodies, like tuna, salmon, ikura (salmon roe), squid, prawn, octopus, fish cake, shime saba (pickled mackerel), surf clam, and a fried egg. A popular tempura donburi selection is the unagi tempura don with deep fried tempura eel with a soft poached egg. While the udon soup items, like takoyaki (octopus balls) udon soup, are wonderful belly-warmers, the bukkake udon also comes highly recommended. They’re served with broth on the side, so that you can control the amount of soup and really enjoy the texture and flavour of the noodles. Choose the deep fried chicken bukkake udon for some crispy contrast.

Gyo-O

Photo credit: Lindsay Anderson