Showing posts with label Taiwanese. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Taiwanese. Show all posts

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Mini luncheon at Pearl Castle Richmond Centre

Fellow foodie, Merh and I got together one weekend for lunch at Pearl Castle, the Richmond Centre location.  I've visited this location and the one on Sexsmith several times, but mainly only for bubble tea and light snacks, never for a full meal.   I have to say it is a go-to spot in Richmond for bbt, and when you absolutely can't decide what to eat.  

The restaurant was completely full at lunch time with the line up of people spilling out of the restaurant.  I didn't think it could ever be that hectic! The wait was around 20 minutes before we were seated.

We were starving and I wanted a fun lunch, meaning little nutrients but good tasting and not boring.
Such components on that day would include Taiwanese-style fried chicken, and anything hot to thaw us from this freezing cold weather.  Whether it was due to hunger or ambition, over-ordering is something common to us and this was just another occasion.  For us girls, 1 set of entree and one appetizer to share would've sufficed, but, of course, that's not how we roll.  I wanted fried chicken, so we got both the wings and nuggets.  We wanted something warm, so we each got a hot pot set.  After the second plate of appie arrived, we realized we had, once again, overdone ourselves.  

Was it necessary? no.  Did we regret it? kinda.  Was it satisfying? absolutely!

Crispy fried chicken nuggets $5.75 with skin on and a load of seasoning.  You'll never eat KFC popcorn chicken again.  They are crispy and majorly addictive. I could not get enough of them and want some more, like right now......

Fried chicken wings, 6 pieces for $5.50.  These wings were pretty big and meaty (except for maybe one), but I still preferred the seasoning on the nuggets.  

As an attempt to balance her meal, Merh ordered ginseng chicken hotpot ($8.95).   The portion was large for the price.  Like I mentioned, the two of us could've shared this and be moderately full.  The ginseng broth was mild, and herby.  It tasted "healthy" and had a lot of chicken and mushrooms.  It came with a side of thick chili sauce to give more flavour to the chicken.  

I really enjoyed my kimchi seafood hotpot ($8.95), which was big enough to last me a couple more days.  There was a generous amount of seafood; shrimp, fish, fishcakes, and vegetables.  It was vibrant both visually and in flavours.  Though it was really high in sodium, and possibly MSG-filled, it was great comfort dish due to its fiery broth.  It also came with a side of satay sauce for extra oil and sodium. I happily ate most of it.  Both hotpot sets came with jellies! I felt like a kid eating it.

For some reason, for maybe that day in particular, I found the service to be pretty fast.  Or maybe I didn't notice that they were slow because we were caught up in conversations.  Us hungry girls didn't complain about our hunger while waiting for food, though. Their bbt is good, but imo, Estea at Aberdeen Centre food court reigns supreme.

Pearl Castle 圓香茶坊 (Richmond Centre) on Urbanspoon

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Fried chicken and noodle soup at Liu's Taiwanese Restaurant

As a fried chicken lover, I have to thank my friend Renee for introducing me to Liu's over 7 years ago.  After getting hooked on their fried chicken legs like crack, I've been coming to Liu's almost every trip to Vancouver since.  

This past January, before I headed off for Thailand, my sister and I stopped by Liu's for the first time in almost 2 years.  Located on Capstan Way in Richmond, I could hardly recognize the new face of Liu's Taiwanese restaurant as I walked in.  Since it has been renovated from last summer, the new Liu's now looks nothing like the old, but more like a fully decked out karaoke lounge with  modern designs, multi colour lighting on wall panels, and flat screen tv's.  According to my observant sister, it always looks like it's night time in there now.  Though staring at the still lights and the wavy walls make me dizzy, I still find it to be a refreshing change.  When we looked at the menu, (even though I already knew what I would be getting), we expected the price to go up to compensate for the reno.


Nonetheless, the price stayed about the same as I remembered.  The only combo I ever get, fried chicken legs + noodle soup + jasmine tea for $8.50 still stands.  Yes!  Still, I couldn't help but wonder if their fried chicken are still just as good..fingers crossed!

After I got my jasmine tea, I wondered why I didn't come back here for so long.  I've tried searching for a comparably delicious jasmine tea elsewhere, but I haven't found anywhere that makes them just as good or better than Liu's.  It is not too sweet, very fragrant, refreshing, and good with or without whipped cream. I took T to Liu's for the first time not too long ago and he loved it so much that he would go back there just to pick up the jasmine tea.


I was super stoked when my combo arrived and immediately dove in to find that the chicken were still just as crispy, and covered with delicious sweet sauce.  I love how the cook slightly separated the meat off the bone so that they are better marinated, cooks faster, and easier to eat.  The noodles were thinner and flatter than udon noodles.  It came with bok choi, pickled vegetables, had had a light broth that would otherwise be bland on its own.  Yet, it was comforting and paired amazingly well with the fried chicken.  I prefer this over rice any day, especially during a cold rainy day in Vancouver.  

My sister tried out something new which  I believe was the kung pow chicken.  The chicken was tender and well seasoned, but there were way too many peanuts.  I've tried other dishes on the menu before and none of them really stuck except for the fried chicken.  So if you love fried chicken as much as I do, check out Liu's if you haven't already.  They are consistently tasty and good for value. 

Liu's Taiwanese Restaurant on Urbanspoon

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Taipei binging trip day 4 (my pants don't fit!)

Dan Shui/Tam Sui

After a quick recovery from all day shopping and all night food hopping from the previous day, we geared up and set off to a new adventure.  Ivy brought us to Dan Shui (Tamsui) district, which is located by and named after Dan Shui River.  The area is also very popular among locals and tourists for historical attractions, picturesque riverside, and, of course, food shops!  By now, we knew better to wear loose fitting clothes and comfy shoes.  This place was even more packed than the night market, if that was possible..  Once again, stay close and don't lose each other in the crowd!!

Red bean and custard cake shop. How cute is the sign!!
They're not stinging out on the filling at all!

Local specialty: A-gei
Agei = Tofo skin wrapped glass noodles topped with fish paste served with spicy sauce.
Local specialty: Steel/iron eggs
Homemade preserved plums
Shop that makes mango jelly with creamy liquid inside. Neat!
Exploding rice cracker shop
Different seasoning on exploding rice crackers
Rice crackers come flying out of this little machine!
Dan Shui riverside
As we were nibbling on snacks and enjoying the scenery, we suddenly heard a nice traditional melody being played.  We stopped to listen and wondered if it was a CD player, even contemplating to buy a copy as a souvenir.  There was a large crowd gathering around the music ten so I got up on the bench to have a better look. What I saw was a middle age blind woman singing live music and playing on the piano.  We, amongst other visitors, were mesmerized by her beautiful voice and couldn't help but stop and listen to her music.  Here's a short clip of her performance, she should be on TV!


Traditional Taiwanese peanut ice cream wrap
Thin crepe, shaved peanut brilltles, ice cream, and CILANTRO!
Surprisingly AWESOME!
Deep fried shredded taro wrapped durian, if you don't mind the smell!
A-Gei and Dan Shui fish balls filled with meat on Zhenli St.
A-Gei tastes like Thai sukiyaki! Spicy, savory, with a little bit of bean curd pungency.
A romantic stroll watching sunset

Lovers' Bridge
Late night dessert at "Shui Gui Bo"
After a long trip back from Dan Shui and a quick rest, we were off the a famous dessert shop around Beitou area which had just reopened after Chinese New Year holidays.  We arrived the dessert shop Shui Gui Bo to face yet another long line up, which by now we were already used to.   We had just spent the last 2 days walking amongst the crowds of thousands of people and waiting in line with at least 20 people everywhere we went.  The dessert shop was decorated with antique display reminiscent of the traditional country lifestyle.
A cute old school local front door display

Oh look, more lineup!
It's not really a surprise anymore, and not good without either!
Chicken in ginseng broth from next door
Various dessert toppings such as red bean, grass jelly, glutenous rice dumplins, barley
Glutenous rice balls simmering in a pot of brown sugar broth
Another tsua bing dessert with a variety of toppings
Tsua Bing = Shaved ice dessert. 
Giant glutenous rice balls that were simmering were tossed in a mixture of ground peanuts, sugar and sesame
While we were in Taiwan, Ivy introduced us to the term "Q Q", a slang which describes the texture of rice balls, or dumplings.  When something is described as "Q Q", it means that it has the right bounciness and chewiness, not too hard and too soft; just perfect.  When I tried the multi-coloured glutenous rice balls, my first response was "Q.....Q!!".  It was perfectly cooked and delicious that I was glad there was a term to describe it to the very tee. The shaved ice dessert also comes with a crackling twist.  Pop rocks are sprinkled on top before consuming and you get a nice fizz and pop in your mouth after taking a spoonful of the dessert. The bowls were huge, massive, actually.  Unless you are hungry or really ambitious, you're probably better off splitting the treat with someone.  It was a late night snack we feasted on right before we went to sleep.  Another yummy chapter added along with the weight we gained from this trip.