Panini’s @ Neptune Bistro

I don’t know how long Neptune Bistro has been opened, probably because it’s in that back corner of Coppersmith Place Mall that I never pay attention to, although I shop frequently at the Kin’s Farm that just a few feet across the parking lot from it. (And Coppersmith Mall – I didn’t actually know it had a name – I thought it was just Ironwood Mall’s other side… I guess not!)

Anyway, I wanted to check this place out so I dragged NF here with me. (NF didn’t realize there was a cafe at the back of Coppersmith, either.) On the menu are panini’s, donairs, salads, sandwiches, wraps coffee, soup, hot entrees like tandoori chicken and pasta, various pastries… lots to choose from. There are also things like sandwich/soup deals for something like $6.99. 

The service is pretty nice, neighbourhoody. We ordered, took a seat inside (there are two tables outside) our sandwiches came in about 10 minutes.

 

NF ordered the chicken turino panini, and a coffee:

Chicken panini

Chicken panini

 

And I had the roasted veggie panini, with an Americano:

veggie panini

veggie panini

 

The ciabatta they used had a thin crispy crust and very soft fluffy crumb, it was pretty good, light bread. They didn’t use a panini press though, seems like the bread is just toasted. The veggie panini I liked- I think it was like this pepper relish that dressed it and that tasted really good. The portion sizes aren’t huge, but just good for me, though larger appetites may need something more.

This is a nice spacious spot and pretty cozy. There is free wireless access and a big screen TV with several couches in front of it, but the TV wasn’t on. It was lunch time so it was obvious that a lot of customers were from surrounding offices.

I’d definitely come back to try out their other menu items. For a fast, good, casual lunch spot, the selection and quality sure beats the other similar choices in the mall (Tim Hortons, McD’s etc). At least they’ll have decent coffee!

 

Neptune Bistro

Coppersmith Place Mall

#100 – 11331 Coppersmith Way, Richmond
604.277.6647

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An entry I don’t want to make: Gogo Tea Cafe

I have been M.I.A. for a bit. I’ve just been lazy – it’s not that stuff at the food-front has been boring, I have been stuffing myself and gaining the pounds and eating out – so I am terribly backlogged for posts! ;D

Anyway, I don’t really like to blog about restaurants I don’t like, so this post has actually been sitting in my drafts for a while now. It is a bit mean to give bad reviews, though at the same time wouldn’t it be cruel to not spread the word about places that are not worth dining at?

Anyway, so here it is, Gogo Tea Cafe – a tea house in Richmond that have waitresses in Cosplay. If you live under a rock, then it doesn’t really matter that you don’t know what Cosplay is – this would just be another tea house with waitresses in funky uniforms. Unfortunately, it is worse if you are into Cosplay, because this would just be another tea house with waitresses in funky uniforms. And not Cosplay. Whatever. When it first opened it was like the “have you been there yet?” “we have to check it out” type of it place. Trendy? Not really. Oh they try. But I expected more from a so called  “maid” cafe.

I will say though, it’s nice that the cafe is upstairs (though the view is not all that spectacular), and the place looks pretty slick:
Gogo tea

Unfortunately, there is a very bad stench from their bathroom, and unfortunately, their bathrooms are located right at their entrance, conveniently killing whatever appetite you have as you walk in.

Again, I will say this: their menu is quite big, and varied, so there are endless choices: fried snacks, noodles, hotpots, sizzling hot plates, all kinds of meat. Not bad. Typical tea house stuff.

First up, chocolate, and mango milk tea. They come with the set lunches, which is good. Unfortunately, the latter tastes just like this instant bubble tea powder mix I bought once at some Taiwanese tea house:
Tea

Tomato rice with an egg on top:
Tomato rice

Vegetable hot pot. There are quite a few things in here, which is good I guess. Although, this is not vegetarian – their choice of soup base is either chicken or pork, or beef. They did not have a vegetable soup.
Vegetable pot

Rest of the hotpot sides: more of what’s already in the hotpot – tofu, mushrooms, cabbage etc. There was also a bowl of white rice. Soy and spicy sauces for dipping, as well as minced ginger and green onions. And I guess it is pretty thoughtful of them to give you a little lychee jelly snack as a dessert:
Veggie sides

Herb Chicken hot pot. They’re not skimping on the chicken, I guess:
Herb Chicken Hot pot

The sides, same kind of stuff, but with (ugh) SPAM:
Herb Chicken sides

I will say I always like little heated pots you get all to yourself for a meal. One of their stoves didn’t really work though, so the pot of stuff never boiled up or even stayed warm. (We ended up just switching the pots mid-meal, nobody bothered to replace the stove.) Neither the drinks nor the food was great enough to have me going back ever again. It was also very empty for a weekend lunch. Despite this, the service was slow and rather unattentive.

Ugh. And I am so done with this post.

Gogo Tea Cafe

2170- 8188 McKim Way, Richmond

604 244 7336

Tropika @ Aberdeen – Been there, done that? Maybe not!

I’ve eaten at Tropika many many times. I went there often when they were next to the Bread Garden mall on Lansdowne Rd, years ago. After they moved into Aberdeen I haven’t eaten there much, nor was I a big fan. It’s not that it’s bad – certainly for the bigger, “chain” Thai/Malay places it is one of the better ones in the city, but I always like smaller hole-in-the-wall Thai/Malay places better. (Plus I always find myself comparing it to Wong Jun Jun in Hong Kong and that makes me slightly depressed that I’m not there XD )

 

It’s definitely not an uncomfortable restaurant to sit in. High ceilings, leafy, spacious… (and never too busy). Frankly I prefer the old Richmond Tropika more. It was always super dark in there but it felt cozy and like a classy Thai place… Aberdeen is very well lit and there are pretty much windows all around.


 

Recently we went for lunch and it was the same old same old – we always kind of order more or less the same stuff when we dine here, such as roti canai:

 

A gado gado (bean sprouts salad with fried tofu and cucumbers and peanut sauce) for me:

Some chicken and pork satays: which are always nicely grilled and pretty delicious – I like their dipping sauces in general.

 

Some boring fried rice that the rice-lovers must always get *yawn*:

 

Except this time I discovered something I really liked on the menu – their Char Bee Hoon 星洲炒米粉 (not the HK style one which is called Singapore Noodle). Maybe I have tried this a long time ago, I don’t remember. Just not in recent memory. This is basically just fried vermicelli with some mixed seafood (squid, shrimp) and julienned cucumber. It’s only very slightly spicy but all the flavours were really well balanced- delicious!

 

And I also tried their meat and vegetable soup, and there was tons of stuff in it – fish, pork, baby corn, peppers, cabbage, bokchoi, shrimp, broccoli, straw mushrooms… The soup itself was pretty good too. 

 

 

Most of the time I go to Tropika and I leave satisfied (especially when I have some of their tasty drinks) but I wouldn’t say super impressed. This time, however, I left pretty happy and thinking I would go back again soon, and definitely not order the same old stuff. 

 

Tropika at Aberdeen

Unit 1830, Aberdeen Centre
4151 Hazelbridge Way

新東記火鍋 Sun Tung Kee Hot Pot

Like soo many Chinese restaurants in Vancouver,  the name 新東記 (Sun Tung Kee) was transplanted from a hot pot restaurant of the same name in 尖沙咀 (Tsim Sha Tsui), Hong Kong. For most of these “transplanted” restaurants, the same name is supposed to evoke some sense of home and supposed-authenticity; there is of course rarely ever any relationship between the two restaurants.

My family has been coming to Sun Tung Kee for years – it’s somehow the go-to hotpot place of family gatherings. (It doesn’t change. It’s one of those loyalty things with family dining, and being the youngest I don’t get any say.)

Anyhoo. I don’t mind this place. Note this is not the other place down the street people call Sabo. The service here is quite attentive, the restaurant is spacious, and the portions aren’t bad. 

 

Hmmmm dipping condiments. 

The fish fillet slices… I think it’s cod. I can’t be sure. It was pretty good though.

 

 

Hot pot is not complete with fatty beef, right? They always order the fatty beef. Those dumplings have fish in them, I think.

 

Killing some shrimp in the fruit and veggie soup, and there’s some cod head on the bottom right there.
hotpot

 

As a default we also order that mushroom chicken rice that comes in the stone pot. It’s pretty good. I forgot to take a picture of it. Oh well. There’s always complimentary plum juice and tong shui dessert (this time it was red bean soup) afterwards.

 

Sun Tung Kee Hot Pot

1060-8580 Alexandra Road, Richmond (It’s at the eastern end of Alexandra, closer to Garden City)

More 金磨坊 (La Patisserie) goodness.

Very light, heavenly cream puffs from La Patisserie. They’re tinier, but much better than Beard Papa’s. (I’m not an expert, but this is according to a certain cream puff afficionado). 
cream puffs

Fluffy, fluffy swiss roll. Hmm hmm. They used to sell green-tea flavored ones, years ago. They don’t make them anymore (it was so long ago even one lady working there claimed they never make them, until she was corrected by the owner that it was before she started working there!)

swiss roll

Their pineapple bun? Not so great. The topping/crust was moist and bleh. Even though La Patisserie is my favorite bakery, I must be objective here. (GO TO HAPPY DATE!)

pineapple bun

Related post: La Patisserie

American Grille @ The Marriott Vancouver Airport

The American Grille is located at the Marriott in downtown Richmond. Went for a weekend brunch. Pretty typical hotel dining-fare: Nothing fancy, but not terrible. Their menu has decent choices and also quite a few healthy options (low cholesterol, low fat, low carb, vegetarian), which is nice.

Thai shrimp salad with mangos, good-sized shrimp, not actually spicy:

Spicy Shrimp and Mango Salad

Mediterranean vegetable sandwich on ciabatta. I liked this- the bread was not bad, and the basil pesto was delicious:

Roasted veggie sandwich

Service was attentive, as expected at a hotel. There weren’t too too many people, but it wasn’t empty either. Partially open kitchen style – always interesting to see the chef (and sous chef) cooking it up. I may come back for dinner if I were in the neighbourhood, although I must admit that particular neighbourhood has too many yummy choices!

American Grille
Vancouver Airport Marriott Hotel
7571 Westminster Highway, Richmond
604 276 2112

Coco Chilli 椰子屋

Tucked away in a little mall near the east end of Richmond’s “Food Street” (Alexandra Rd), Coco Chilli (椰子屋) is a charming little restaurant that is easy to just pass by (despite their very yellow sign). Malaysian? Indonesian? Thai? Vietnamese? They have a bit of everything, thus I file them under that umbrella term of “Southeast Asian”.

Lunch menu features a large selection of fried rice, rice noodle in soup, dry noodle, curries, with various meats, tofu, or seafood. There are also your typical snacks like spring rolls, fried scallops (no salad rolls though, too bad!), and some drinks like fresh mango slurpees (which is often on special for $2). The dinner menu is also quite extensive, but doesn’t feature the single portions or a lot of the noodle items that they have for  lunch. Dinner here is best enjoyed with a big group as their dishes are large and served family-style.

They make good 炒通菜 (fried Kang Kong, AKA water spinach, or ong choi). It is literally dripping in oil, but very tasty. Definitely a must try.

My favorite is their 香茅雞檬 (lemon grass chicken with dry rice vermicelli), pictured here with a seafood tofu noodle soup and some (*yawn*) fried rice. It is nothing extraordinary, but it’s tastey and a nice portion size, and the 檬 (dry vermicelli) is pretty good. 

cimg1140.jpg

Coco Chilli 椰子屋
Good for lunch, or big group dinners. Cash and debit only.
180-8611 Alexandra Rd, Richmond