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Took a quick family trip to Asia for Chinese New Years…and still currently missing this.

Until next year!

 

A fellow food blogger recommended House of Nanking for dinner with great reviews. We decided to visit on our last night which was a Thursday evening. We got there at approximately 9pm to a line up of people outside. For a Chinese restaurant, I didn’t see many Chinese patrons which made me wonder. But with so many people lining up on a late Thursday evening I knew I had to try.

It was an indecisive battle with so many choices so the owner came by and said “I will make my favorites for you.” With only three of us she explained that three dishes would be enough since the portions are large.

Goji Berry Tea

As soon as we sat down we were served with Goji Berry Tea. It was a nice blend with a hint of sweetness. I also saw many others order the Blossom Tea (a tea flower that blossoms in the cup as it steeps)

Popular tilapia fish soup

This was my favourite of the night. It isn’t on the regular menu but if you ask they will have it. They deep fry a tilapia fish and then boiled it for the white soup base and then add noodles, mushrooms and wonton to complete the soup. I loved the flavour. There were hints of basil and the stock had a rich fish taste. It came with a whole fish so it was definitely hard to finish.

Popular Beef Tenderloin Stir-fry

The beef was very tender and had a sweet and salty flavour. Goes so well with steaming hot white rice.

Chinese Veggie Stir-fry with black bean fish

This dish was a bit oily but the overall taste was great. They stir-fried the veggies with black bean fish so there was lots flavours and texture.

The restaurant is quick and inexpensive with great portions. If I had another night I would have gone back for dinner again and tried the tiger prawns with mushrooms. All the dishes were flavourful and consistent. Definitely worth the wait if you want traditional Chinese with a hint of fusion.

House of Nanking on Urbanspoon

 

During my trip in Asia, eating was on the very top of the list for me. I love trying new cuisines and tasting different flavours especially in a new environment where foods can taste so different. The first stop was in Seoul, Korea where kimchi was served almost every meal, then off to Beijing – the home of Peking Duck, then I made my way down China through Fuzhou where seafood is so fresh. Did late night dim sum in Guangzhou then finally to Hong Kong where there is an abundance of hybrid cuisines. Here are some highlights below!

korean BBQ near Insadong, Seoul

Dumpling, Rice Cake soup for Breakfast! (Seoul)

They call this “The Crouching Tiger” – Bacon, Cheddar Cheese (Seoul, Myeong Dong)

Fried Tonkatsu Curry from CoCo Curry (Myeong Dong, Seoul)

Waffle with frozen Yogurt and raspberry Sauce (subway station, Seoul)

Late night sweet and spicy chicken (Jong-na 3, Seoul)

Quick Lunch : White cream omelette on rice , spicy rice dish (Insadong, Seoul)

The Best Best Samgyetang from: Tosokchon Samgyetang (Seoul)

Delicious steamed Dumpling from namdaemun market, Seoul

Tonkatsu, Rice omelette Meal (Seoul Station)

Blueberry cake from my fav bakery in Korea : Paris Baguette Cafe!

Egg and Bacon sandwich – Paris Baguette Bakery

Best Peking Duck from: Da Dong Roast Duck (Beijing, China)

Traditional Zha Jiang Mian (Beijing, China)

Fried scorpions on the famous wangfujing street in Beijing, China! *and no I didn’t eat this! =)

Bird Nest Egg Tarts (Shangri-La Hotel, Fuzhou)

Taro French Fries in Sweet Chilly Sauce (Fuzhou, China)

Fresh Seafood Hotpot (Fuzhou, China)

Big Deep Fried Puff with sugar (Guangzhou, China)

Famous Hong Kong Iced Milk Tea

Strawberry Tart from Simply Life Cafe (Hong Kong)

Sweet potato French Toast with Red Bean and Ice Cream (Hong Kong)

Big Breakfast – Simply Life Cafe (Hong Kong)

Thai crab curry from Wang Chun Chun (Hong Kong)

 

Phnom Penh— Had a chance to visit one of my beloved eateries this weekend in Chinatown. Rated as one of the top Cambodian and Vietnamese restaurants in Vancouver no doubt that this place is always packed and busy. I was lucky enough to arrive right before the dinner rush and was given a table right away. Reservations are definitely recommended for large groups since the waits can be lengthy.

Lemon Soda

This Lemon Soda is what I drink every time I’m at  Phnom Penh. This citrus soda has the ability to increase my appetite and expand my waist line.  Tastes like a traditional lemonade with extra zing.

Papaya Salad

This salad is very fresh and refreshing. The quantity is large and its provides a good balance to all the other flavorful dishes.

Deep Fried Chicken Wings

This would have to be the most popular dish at the restaurant. If you take a quick look at all the tables you will see chicken wings.  The wings are fried to perfection and comes with an appetizing pepper, lemon dipping sauce. This dish is a must! I recommending ordering the large size .

Butter Beef

Another popular dish. Thinly sliced beef seared on the side and topped with a vinegary sauce, dry garlic and lots of cilantro for great flavor. Very unique and tasty.

Shui Chou Fried Rice

This fried rice dish was very flavorful and was not too greasy. The portion was also very large.

Hot and Sour Fish Soup

This soup is very addictive. It comes with pieces of fish, pineapples, tomatoes and is topped with sprouts, cilantro and dried garlic. The flavor is very intense and once you start you can’t really stop. The vinegar taste might be overwhelming for some. However once you are used to the taste it becomes very addictive.

I would also suggest Lu Lac with egg#35 and dry mix noodles #6. Great value and great food. This place never disappoints.

Phnom Penh on Urbanspoon

 

Shanghai River— Recently went to a birthday dinner at Shanghai River. It was a busy Sunday night and all of the tables were full. I’ve been to this restaurant before but couldn’t recall exactly what I had eaten. Consequently I knew not to expect too much since it didn’t make an impression the first time around.

The overall ambiance of the restaurant is great. The decor and furnishings are classy and they manage to keep the place quite clean for being so busy (even the bathroom! And you know how bathrooms at Chinese places are).

There were only 3 dishes that stood out to me the whole night….

Xiao Long Bao

The skin had good texture but the filling was a little too salty for me. It was good but I definitely have had better.

My fav as always: Peking Duck

The duck skin was nice and crispy and had a little meat which is something that I like! You can’t really go wrong with Peking Duck!

Deep Fried Fish with Sweet and Sour Fruit Sauce!

This Fish is something to talk about. It was my first time having fish prepared this way but I really liked it. The sauce wasn’t too overwhelming. It had the right amount of sweetness and the fruits were a plus! Even though the fish was fried, it was still moist and soft on the inside!

Overall, Shanghai River is good but not the most traditional Shanghai restaurant. For the atmosphere and general quality of the food it is worth going.

Shanghai River on Urbanspoon

 

Gingeri–We decided to grab a nice Chinese dinner before sending my mother off to the airport for her nice long trip. We couldn’t really think of any particular places and stumbled across Gingeri at Lansdowne Shopping Center in Richmond.

There was a really good special going on that night for 4 people ($150 set menu) and this is what we got:

Lobster Fruit Salad

It was surprisingly delicious. The fruits tasted fresh and the pieces of lobster were big. Very refreshing on a hot summer day.

Shark Fin Soup

I’ve had shark fin soup on many occasions but never ever had a whole slab! I was very impressed.

Eggplant Minced Pork Stir-fried Crab

This is one of their specialties and it was indeed tasty. It wasn’t too spicy and it had just the right amount of eggplants. Very unique and prefer this over ginger onion crab!

Superior Soy Sauce Fish

For this dish they used superior soy sauce to cook the fish instead of regular soy sauce. The waiter emphasized this fact but I couldn’t really taste the difference.

The set also came with Special Curd Ham Fried Rice and Chinese dessert.

Gingeri Chinese Cuisine on Urbanspoon

 

Phnom Penh—I can finally say “I have tasted Phnom Penh!” I have heard of so many great things about this place and read a lot of good reviews, so it’s very surprising it took me this long to try it!

4 other couples embarked on this eating adventure with me and I am so glad that they did. Including my partner in crime and I, there were 10 of us. This was a perfect number for sharing.

We tried making reservations for a large table but the place was packed and they wouldn’t take down our names. Over the phone they said that it would be 1 ½ hour wait so we would just have to head down and line up.

Fortunately, we got there just in time for a large group clearing and were seated not long after. However, the place was still really packed.

We were seated at a long table so we decided to double each order. That way everyone would have a good amount and we wouldn’t have to pass dishes back and forth.

Phnom Penh Dry Egg Noodle

This egg noodle dish had no broth but still very tasty. It comes with a variety of toppings and a special sauce. So just mix, stir and enjoy!

Special Beef Rice Dish

The beef was so tender and the sauce was delish! Egg on rice is always a bonus for me! The portion was good so great for sharing. I will definitely order this again.

Hot and Sour Soup with Fish

Can I say addictive? This soup has a hint of spiciness with sourness and sweetness. It sounds weird but very appetizing. This soup is one of those things that you just can’t stop drinking. Never really had soup like this before. Loves it!

Butter Beef

I am usually not a huge fan of raw beef but this was an exception. The thinly sliced beef was topped with a vinegary sauce and cilantro. It had a distinctive taste which makes you forget that the beef is semi-raw.

Famous Chicken Wings

I have heard so many compliments regarding the wings at Phnom Penh. And it does live up to my standards. It had the right crispy texture and a great pepper, lemon sauce for dipping. Really no need to say more. =)

I will absolutely be returning to this hidden gem in Chinatown! I would like to try the jumbo prawns next time!

Phnom Penh on Urbanspoon

 

TOP Shanghai—-I have been to this place so many times that I have literally lost count. I would have to say it is one of the better Shanghai cuisine places in Richmond. The food is authentic and the prices are decent. This place is always packed, so reservations are highly recommended.  (Caution, the waitress has a tendency to scream over the phone).

My most recent visit was  a special one, since there was something extra (I will explain more later with picture evidence).

There were 6 of us that night, so we were able to order more dishes to try. Our Chinese skills are very rusty and limited, so were heavily relying on pictures throughout the restaurant to order. We managed to recall favourite dishes and found appetizing pictures to point to. (I would say, we did quite well!).

Xiao Long Bao–This is one of their specialties. This is a pork mixture wrapped in a thin layer of dough and then steamed. They also place a layer of daikon on the bottom to keep it moist and from sticking. It was very juicy and the pork was very moist. I liked how the dough was thin and not too chewy. (The juice is very hot, so don’t put the whole thing in your mouth at once. Take a bite from the top and let the steam escape. Once it’s cooled then slurp all the juices and then eat the rest.)

Dong Bao— This is another popular dish at the restaurant. It consist of braised pork belly in special sauce with vegetables. The pork belly is obviously delicious. The meat is so tender and juicy. This dish was great with rice! However, it is very fattening! So eat in moderation!

Spicy Diced Chicken–We saw a picture of this dish and we knew it would be delish. And it was. It wasn’t too spicy and it had the right amount of flavour.  The fried spinach was also very interesting and complemented the chicken well.

Shanghai Fried Rice Cakes—This dish had a very deep color and it looked flavorful but it really wasn’t. The rice cake had a great texture but there wasn’t much flavor. It was also a bit too oily for me and not enough meat. I’ve had better else where, but it was definitely decent.

Fried Fish— This fish was very unique. The batter had a seaweed coating, hence the green tint. The batter was great and the fish was soft. I highly recommend this dish if you like fish n’ chips.

Pork/Veggie/Beancurd Soup—The waitress recommended this soup for us to try. It tasted mediocre and looked normal. I wasn’t expecting much but this soup had something extra! It comes with NIPPLES at no extra charge! As I was drinking my bowl I over heard the word “nipple” . I quickly looked over and was stunned. I had no idea what to say or think! I guess they don’t tamper with the meat and leave the natural essence of it.  (Take a look at the picture. What else can it be?) lol! So if you like “pork nipples” then you know what to order!

We also ordered the Deep Fried Duck, Fried Buns and Rice. It was way more than enough. Overall, it was a great dinner. Great Food + Great Company= What else can you ask for?

Top Shanghai Cuisine on Urbanspoon

 

Deer Garden Before my cousin’s departure back to Hong Kong my mom decided to treat us for a King Crab feast. This was the 4th King Crab meal for my mom this year and it was sadly my 1st (King Crab season is almost ending..><). My moms favourite place for King Crab is Deer Garden. She enjoys how the crab is cooked four different ways and loves the extra baked rice in shell (which not many other places have). I’ve had King Crab from Deer Garden a few times before and I was highly satisfied each time.

There were only 5 of us that night but the smallest King Crab that they had was 10lbs. So we were allowed to devour 2lbs each (overdose!).

The first way that the King Crab is served is Steamed legs with Garlic and Green Onions. The crab legs are split in half and then steamed with garlic and green onions. The first bite was heavenly! The meat was juicy and fresh. The garlic and green onion sauce was very tasty but it didn’t overpower the freshness of the crab.

The second dish was Steamed legs with a Ginger, Garlic Sauce. The meat tasted as great as the first dish, however I personally preferred the garlic and green onion sauce more. Maybe it’s because I love the taste and smell of garlic.

The third dish was the body of the King Crab which was served Deep fried with salt garlic and pepper. I would have to say that this was my favourite of the night. There was so much meat in every single piece and the batter was scrumptious. It was deep-fried perfectly, with just the right amount of salt, garlic and pepper taste. I used the left over toppings to mix with rice and it was so good.

The fourth dish was the Baked Rice in Shell. What they do is scrap the insides of the King Crab’s head and then stir-fry it with rice and then bake it with a cheese sauce on top. YES, it tastes as good as it sounds. This is one of the specialty dishes that not all other restaurants serve when you order King Crab.

I think Deer Garden does an excellent job in blending the freshness of the crab with a distinctive flavor.  The freshness and texture of the crab isn’t overpowered by the essence of the dishes.

Deer Garden Restaurant on Urbanspoon

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