Exploring Richmond, British Colombia
Incredible Asian Food
By: Susan Cohn - Aug 05, 2016
DELICIOUS RICHMOND, BRITISH COLUMBIA: A FOODIE’S TOWN WITH AN ACTUAL FOOD STREET.
In the late 1980s, the Canadian Pacific Coast city of Richmond, British Columbia, known to most as the location of Vancouver International Airport, welcomed a wave of new residents, mostly from Hong Kong, Taiwan, and Mainland China. By 2013, Richmond had an immigrant population of 60%, with 50% of residents identifying as Chinese. The town is now known as a flourishing center of Asian culture, and this includes regional cuisines. Everyone seems to eat out, and it’s easy to see why: Great food choices can be found all around. Here are with some standouts…
HAINANESE CHICKEN AT PRATA-MAN.
One of the national dishes of Singapore, Hainanese Chicken, served cold and paired with chicken oil rice and a light, hot, clear flavorful broth, can be found at Prata-Man. The picture book definition of ‘hole in the wall,’ Prata-Man is hidden at the end of a small plaza on Garden City Way. 9060 Capstan Way, Richmond, B.C., Canada. 604-278-1348.
XIAO LONG BAO AT R&H CHINESE FOOD.
Pork soup dumplings. Yum. These are the standout dish at R&H Chinese Food, a compact food court stand at the sprawling Lansdowne Centre. Xiao Long Bao dumplings consists of a wheat flour wrapper filled with minced pork and aspic, seasoned with salt, sugar, white pepper, rice wine soy and ginger. Prepared before your eyes and served in a bamboo steamer basket. 5300 No. 3 Road. Richmond, BC, Canada. (778) 297-5668.
BBQ MEATS AT HK B.B.Q MASTER.
Set in a tiny storefront beneath a large supermarket, HK B.B.Q Master has only 20 seats and there is a long wait for Chef Eric Leung’s roast pork, bbq pork (also known as Char Siu), soy chicken and soy duck. And this is the only place to try the Chef’s cooking. As the restaurant sign proudly announces – “We have no branch.” 4651 No. 3 Road, #145, Richmond, BC, Canada. 604-272-6568.
PINEAPPLE BUNS AT LIDO RESTAURANT.
Lido Restaurant specializes in pineapple buns, baking them throughout the day so they’re always fresh, warm and super crispy. The traditional version contains no pineapple; The name originated from the fact that its sugary top crust resembles the skin of a pineapple. 150 – 4231 Hazelbridge Way, Richmond, BC, Canada. 604-231-0055.
BAHN MI AT LAI TASTE.
Lai Taste, an unassuming Vietnamese food stall, offers dozens of items, including noodle soups and lemongrass dishes, but the must-have is the foot-long bahn mi (deep fried fish sandwich). The buns are unbelievably light and crispy and the fish melts in your mouth. What’s as amazing is the price…under five dollars. Parker Place Food Court. 2035-4380 Hazelbridge Way, Richmond, BC, Canada.
SAVE ROOM FOR DESSERT AT THE BBT BUBBLE TEA SHOP.
Mango, mango, mango. Sure, BBT Bubble Tea Shop has lots of other toppings, but opt for the full mango: a super bubble waffle, mango ice cream, mango drizzle and mango cheesecake pieces for the ultimate mango dessert. Tucked away on the ground level just off a large shopping parkade. 4651 No. 3 Road, #105, Richmond, BC, Canada. 604-285-8833.
RICHMOND’S FOOD STREET: TAKE A WALK ON ALEXANDRA ROAD.
Hungry but have no particular destination in mind? Then head for Richmond’s Alexandra Road, known as "Wai Sek Kai" or "Food Street", where 200 restaurants are packed into three short city blocks. Cantonese, Szechuan, Shanghainese, Northern Chinese, Thai, Vietnamese, Korean, and Malaysian eateries are tucked away side-by-side in a charming hodge-podge of strip malls. One elegant choice is Vivacity Restaurant, which features classic Chinese dishes in a white-table cloth setting. 110-8351 Alexandra Road. Richmond, BC, Canada. 604-279-1513.
GO WHERE THE LOCALS GO.
Richmond food maven Stephanie Yuen said, “Once dubbed as the 'mini Asia' and boasting 400+ Asian restaurants of different sizes and styles, Richmond is indeed the culinary mecca. You'll find a wondrous gathering of authentic Asian restaurants, from the tongue-burning chili-red hotpots of Szechuan to hand-crafted shrimp dumplings of Canton; traditional Kaiseki of Japan to steaming beef Pho of Vietnam; cumin lamb skewer of Xian to spicy chicken satay of Malaysia; all conveniently within a 20-minutes driving radius. The only problem is perhaps having to decide what to eat and where to go. My advice? Allow yourself a couple more days and go where the locals go!”
There is a peculiar pleasure in riding out into the unknown. A pleasure which no second journey on the same trail ever affords. Edith Durham.
Susan Cohn is a member of the North American Travel JournalistsM Association, Bay Area Travel Writers, and the International Food, Wine & Travel Writers Association. She may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. More of her stories may be found at