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PHOTO CREDIT: TARA LEE

After travelling to other cities with a less multicultural food scene, I often find myself returning home and craving the amazing variety of Richmond restaurants. Delta Shopping Centre (4011-4131 No 5 Road) offers a global culinary tour, where you’ll find turon (banana spring rolls) at Edsa Mart Filipino Specialty Grocery, just a few steps away from Best Tandoori Chicken & Meat Shop that specializes in marinated meat and kebabs (perfect for the barbecue season). This kind of wonderful cultural juxtaposition is what Richmondites enjoy on a daily basis.

Here are four more delicious reasons to visit this vibrant Richmond strip mall:

Lotus Pho Restaurant

Photo Credit: Lindsay Anderson

PHOTO CREDIT: LINDSAY ANDERSON

Dominating the plaza is the red awning and sizeable patio of Lotus, billed playfully as “the place for PHO lovers.” Find a spot outside or be seated in the modern and welcoming interiors of the restaurant. The menu features a plethora of options, starting with appetizers, like the very addictive fried salt and pepper chicken wings served with jalapeños, onions, bell peppers, and cilantro. Other starters include a salad roll, stuffed with pork, shrimp, vermicelli, lettuce, and bean sprouts served with creamy peanut sauce; as well as grilled minced beef wrapped in betel leaves and served with house made fish sauce.

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FRIED CHICKEN WINGS, SPRING ROLLS, AND VEGGIE SALAD ROLL; PHOTO CREDIT: LINDSAY ANDERSON

Make sure, though, to save room for the main eating event! Pho fans will love the eighteen versions of regular pho (including a kid’s one), each offering a different meat combination. Go for the pho dac biet, with beef steak, brisket, flank, tendon, and tripe, if you want the works. The menu also tempts with specialty pho, like hot and sour seafood noodle soup; as well as banh mi; a wide selection of vermicelli noodle bowls (eg grilled steak slices with a fried spring roll); and rice plates with grilled lemongrass-marinated meat (eg grilled pork chop). Lotus caters to hungry diners with discerning palates.

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BUN BO HUE (SPICY NOODLE SOUP WITH THICK VERMICELLI; PHOTO CREDIT: LINDSAY ANDERSON

Red Rooster Broasted Chicken

Even though any time is a good time for fried chicken, summer days call for a picnic with this unbeatable comfort food. The halal broasted chicken is a specialty here, cooked in a way that combines pressure cooking with deep-frying.

Red Rooster

PHOTO CREDIT: TARA LEE

The result is a juicy interior and a crisp outside, all without the greasiness of traditional deep-frying. The flavour of the chicken is especially intense because it’s marinated for twelve hours, and dredged in a mixture of flour, chili powder, coriander seeds, black cardamom, cinnamon, and cumin.

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PHOTO CREDIT: LINDSAY ANDERSON

Besides fried chicken, the menu also has a selection of unique pizzas, such as one with butter chicken; various burgers (eg fish, chicken, and beef); chicken wings; as well as sides of pakoras, samosas, salads, poutine, onion rings, and fries. Talk about a finger lickin’ good selection! And, if you visit on a Friday, you can order the aromatic chicken biryani.

Little Ongpin Restaurant

When you’re yearning for hearty, traditional Filipino cuisine, Little Ongpin is the place to go. The space is nondescript, but the service is incredibly friendly and the food is cooked with obvious and considerable love. Portions are generous and made for sharing family-style. In other words, come hungry!

The kitchen expertly cooks many favourite Filipino dishes, starting with appetizers such as lumpia (spring rolls) and sinuglaw (vinegary tuna chunks with grilled pork belly). Soups include vermicelli in mussel soup, as well as beef lauya (tender beef chunks in sweet potato soup).

Mains pack a flavour punch, with dishes like a richly satisfying kare-kare (beef tripe, oxtail, and veggies in peanut sauce), deep fried pork hock, ginataang hipon (sautéed shrimp in coconut milk), and palabok (rice noodles with shrimp and boiled egg). Chargrilled platters (e.g. chicken skewers) and sizzling plates (e.g. squid) round out the offerings.

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PALABOK AND KARE-KARE; PHOTO CREDIT: LINDSAY ANDERSON

And, on a hot summer’s day, don’t leave without cooling down with an order of halo halo, a towering dessert concoction of ice cream, taro paste, jello, leche flan, shaved ice, condensed milk, candied coconut slices, candied fruit, and beans.

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PHOTO CREDIT: LINDAY ANDERSON

Himalaya Sweets and Restaurant

This destination for Indian fare is known especially for its lunch and dinner buffet where you can gorge on snacks (e.g. samosas), your favourite curries with rice and naan, and an array of Indian sweets. Expect crowd-pleasing dishes like butter chicken, aloo gobi (potato and cauliflower), and aloo matar (potato and peas), in addition to delectable desserts, such as gulab jamun (doughnut holes soaked in syrup).

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PHOTO CREDIT: LINDSAY ANDERSON

If you want your food made-to-order, you can, alternatively, go for the à la carte menu, with starters like chicken pakoras and aloo tikki (spiced potato patties with curried chickpeas), and mains such as palak paneer (spinach and homemade cheese cooked with onions, ginger, and garlic), lamb masala, and beef vindaloo. Make sure to stock up on a box of sweets for enjoying at home with a steaming cup of chai.

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PHOTO CREDIT: LINDSAY ANDERSON

All in all, Delta Shopping Centre definitely provides the ultimate global eating experience right here in Richmond.