Hungry locals and visitors know that Richmond offers a hot and heaping buffet of authentic great-value food courts. From the polished and expansive options at Aberdeen Centre and CF Richmond Centre to the hawker-style counters at Parker Place and President Plaza, you could easily spend a few days discovering great dishes here.
But if you’re still searching, why not unfurl your restless appetite at Yaohan Centre? A five-minute walk from Aberdeen Canada Line Station, the chatty food court here has a kaleidoscopic array of counters. From Chinese to Korean to Malaysian dishes, the trick is to gather several shareable plates and dive in with a few friends at your table.
Keep in mind that some stands only accept cash and weekend lunchtimes can be particularly busy here. Also, don’t miss the large supermarket located near the food court. It has an excellent array of freshly prepared hot food plus shelves of authentic ingredients for those keen to prepare their own Asian dishes at home.
GOLDEN RICE BOWL
There’s fierce competition between the three Chinese combo stands arrayed alongside each other here, each with friendly servers inviting you to order as soon as you glance in their direction. You can’t go wrong at any of them—especially if your stomach is growling and you have $10.99 (two items plus rice) or $12.99 (three items plus rice) to spare.
Golden Rice Bowl (and the stands flanking it on either side) offers 20 or so trays of glistening, fresh-prepared choices ranging from pepper beef to deep-fried tofu to panko-crusted fish.
Don’t miss: the wallet-friendly combos, which are a good option if you’re in a hurry and you only have time to order from one of the counters at Yaohan Centre. Golden Rice Bowl’s heaping combos also come with a cup of Chinese tea or soup.
A tasty combo at Golden Rice Bowl. | Photo: John Lee
The juicy Hainanese chicken and rice set meal is popular at Curry House—just look for the green-hued stand with the jaunty-looking rooster sign. But Malaysian curry fans also love the hearty, nicely spiced meat curries here: the beef brisket version is a rich, tasty top-seller that is an ideal fortifier on chilly winter days.
Don’t miss: the spicy laksa is a deliciously brothy bowl of chicken and fried tofu chunks swimming with noodles and crunchy beansprouts. Topped with half a boiled egg, it’s a standout dish at Yaohan Centre.
Delicious laksa from Curry House. | Photo: John Lee
GREAT GRAIN FOOD
A relatively recent arrival at the Yaohan Centre food court, this slick, contemporary-looking counter has quickly gained a following. The expansive menu combines favourites from northwest China, southern China, and beyond––which means it’s easy to find something you’ll fall in love with. From wontons to hearty Chinese burgers and from heaping congee bowls to a highly popular spicy sour pork noodle dish, consider ordering several dishes to share at your table.
Don’t miss: a traditional northern Chinese street food snack, green onion pancake is a belly-warming wedge of comfort food goodness, with a toasted sesame-seed crust and a gooey, sharp-onion filling.
COUNTRYSIDE CHINESE NOODLE RESTAURANT
A popular mom and pop counter with a fancy-free, home-style approach, the illuminated wall menu at Countryside Chinese Noodle Restaurant is written in Chinese characters—but there are lots of handy photos of the dishes to peruse. For such a small stand, there is a surprisingly large array of options, from braised pork with rice to duck egg with pumpkin. Give yourself plenty of time to check out your choices…then order a couple of unfamiliar dishes to dive into.
Don’t miss: the pork, beef, or vegetable dai bao buns. Next to the register, you’ll often spot some large bamboo steamers filled with these giant buns. These soft, warm treats are almost bursting with fillings and are a delicious addition to any Yaohan visit (or a great take-home treat).
Dai bao buns from Countryside Chinese Noodle Restaurant. | Photo: John Lee
DATANG BBQ EXPRESS
The battle over Richmond’s best Chinese barbecue counters continues at Datang BBQ Express, where several brawny men work behind the counter to chop and prepare the glistening cuts of duck, pork, and chicken that are housed in the steam-streaked, glass-enclosed display case. There are several options for hungry carnivores here, with crunchy-skinned roast pork and shiny, velvet-soft duck among the stand’s irresistible choices. Not sure which meat to try? Combo dishes are also available.
Don’t miss: the duck and roasted pork combo. Served on a bed of rice with sliced bok choy—although your tin foil dish will be topped with so much meat that burrowing down to the rice takes a while—this is a good dish to share among friends.
Duck and pork combo from Datang BBQ Express. | Photo: John Lee
FOOK PO TONG
Yaohan has several colourful desserts and bubble tea counters. But this traditional-looking stand—complete with a seating area of carved wooden tables—lures lots of curious visitors. There’s a vast array of desserts at Fook Po Tong, including jelly-based choices ranging from green bean with kelp to almond with white jelly fungus. Many dishes claim medicinal or health-giving properties and, if it’s your first time, you can peruse the panels of photos and English-language descriptions to make your selection.
Don’t miss: the papaya and white jelly fungus, which is a good entry-level dessert for newbies. Served hot or cold (our server said it’s often preferred hot), it’s a subtly sweet and filling bowl that’s swimming with fruit and opaque jelly chunks.
Papaya and white jelly fungus from Fook Po Tong. | Photo: John Lee
Last Updated on November 5, 2022 by Tourism Richmond