Smothered By MSG: Shanghai Xiao Long Bao Restaurant

Yes, it does seem like they put THAT MUCH msg into every one of their dishes. How much is THAT MUCH? TOO MUCH.EXCESSIVE . Exhibit A: The hot and sour soup. My wife and I were not expecting much. We have been searching for the perfect bowl of hot and sour soup for the better part of 15 years now and we have never even come close to finding that perfect amalgamation of ┬ápure sourness, straight spiciness, just-right thickness, and satisfying toothsomeness of ingredients. Having a fair amount of experience with the genre, I knew to ask for our order … Continue reading Smothered By MSG: Shanghai Xiao Long Bao Restaurant

A (Partial) Introduction to Guizhou Cuisine: Yummy Mammy

Ever since I found out that there is a whole new world of regional Asian restaurants in the Burnaby/Vancouver border waiting for me to explore, I have insisted on staying for dinner in Burnaby every Saturday after picking my daughter up from Mandarin school. This Saturday we decided to try out cuisine from the Guizhou region of China at Yummy Mammy. I have to admit that I do not have a lot of experience with Guizhou cuisine. I know that Guizhou is a region inhabited by the indigenous Miao people and that there are a lot of sour flavours in … Continue reading A (Partial) Introduction to Guizhou Cuisine: Yummy Mammy

MSG Plaza Part 1: Jubilant Restaurant

For some inexplicable reason, out of the countless restaurants in Richmond we intended to try out but have yet to visit, my wife and I decided to visit two restaurants that were not previously on our culinary radar located in the same plaza on the same day. Our meals at the two restaurants were comprised of dishes that repeatedly set off MSG-induced alarm bells in my wife’s digestive and nervous systems. The worse MSG offender of the two was the restaurant we visited for lunch: Jubilant Restaurant. As I’ve mentioned in other posts, I am not opposed to the use … Continue reading MSG Plaza Part 1: Jubilant Restaurant


Big Chef – As I mentioned in my Michigan Noodle Restaurant post a few days ago, I got cold feet the first time that I planned on visiting Big Chef. But after reading the positive review of the restaurant that commenter Crispy Lechon pointed me to (along with a few other equally positive reviews), I decided to finally give the place a try. I visited the restaurant for lunch on a Sunday, since it was the only day and time-slot of the week that all four members of my family was available to travel all the way to Richmond for … Continue reading A Big YES

London: Wagamama

I first heard about Wagamama ramen in the mid-to-late 90’s, when it was a rapidly expanding chain of Japanese-themed restaurants in London. It was sort of a cutting edge concept back then. It served ramen, which was a much lesser-known genre of Japanese cuisine when compared to either sushi sushi or teriyaki. The restaurant also popularized a few concepts that at the time were virtually unheard of in Western casual dining chains. Its tables were exclusively communal, and its servers used wireless pda’s (think palm pilot) to send orders to the kitchen. The combination of these ‘fresh’ ideas gave the … Continue reading London: Wagamama

Fairly Good, But I’ll Go Broke If I Become A Regular

Hoi Tong – I would’ve never thought that a typical Chinese dinner (for two adults and two children) comprising of typical dishes involving non-exotic ingredients in a restaurant barely larger than a typical hole-in-the-wall joint and located in an nondescript strip mall in Richmond would cost me $170 after taxes and tips. There were no bowls of shark’s fins soup, no abalone, no fish maws, no lobster, no crab, no prawns, and not even a scallop in any of our dishes. What we had were two meat dishes, one veggie, one fried rice, and one soup. The soup alone costs … Continue reading Fairly Good, But I’ll Go Broke If I Become A Regular

Taipei: Food From The Center Of Taiwan

There is a class of restaurants in Taiwan where the owner tries to impose his/her own philosophies, ideologies, world views, and personality on the diners who visit his/her restaurant. The owner is usually charismatic, often spewing out his or her own personal words of wisdom (sometimes personal words of culinary wisdom) to anyone that enters the restaurant. If the owner is often absent from the restaurant, her (or his) words of wisdom will most likely be plastered all over the walls, tables, dining utensils, or any other object in the restaurant that words can fit on. “Tumu” Puli restaurant happens … Continue reading Taipei: Food From The Center Of Taiwan