Looking at my blog, you’ve probably noticed that I eat in Richmond A LOT! The reason behind this is because I’m a local Richmonder, plus I’m super lazy! The weather has been so depressing that my partner and I don’t really want to go out in the cold rain. We are also low on monetary funds, so going out to eat multiple times in a week really puts a dent in our bank accounts. First world problems of a food blogger. So many places to eat, so many different things to try. This is where my partner and I usually butt heads because I’m known for having champagne taste on a beer budget.
Anyways, one day after attending a job fair I was walking around Aberdeen Mall looking for a place to have breakfast. Since it was early morning and super cold, I really thought Congee would be a good idea, but nothing was opened at that time. So I opted for ramen, which I had to wait till lunch. After a while, you kind of gets sick of eating Pho all the time. I don’t really have a problem with Pho, but I feel Ramen gives me more options. I settled on Yuu Japanese Tapas located in Continental Center.
The theme of the restaurant was simple with a lot of bamboo decor, as well as spacious. The first thing that caught my eye was the drink menu. A lot of non-alcoholic cocktails and desserts that food photographers would love. The price of the dishes caught me off guard. I’m used to seeing bowls of ramen being priced around $8 to $9 dollars, so when I saw bowls of ramen going for $12 I was baffled. I didn’t want to look like an asshole by getting up and leaving, so I stayed.
Yuu Japanese Tapas offers a lunch set menu in which you get a bowl of ramen, a free drink, and appetizer. The lunch set menu ranges from $14-$16. I ordered the Tonkatsu Ramen, with a side of Passion fruit soda and Potatoe Croquette. The bowl of ramen was a decent size which I liked. I’ve been to ramen houses where the bowls are massive and I’m unable to finish most of it.
The best part about the Tonkatsu Ramen was the meat. It was very soft and buttery. The pork melts in your mouth. The broth was exceptional and soothing after walking out in the cold. The only thing I didn’t like was my appetizer. I wasn’t sure if it was potato or taro root, but the inside was flavored with curry spice. I feel like curry spice and Japanese mayo does not work well together. I’ll be going to Yuu’s again for the ramen, as soon as I have the budget for it.
One of my favorite places to have breakfast in Richmond is Tai Hing Congee house located on Park.Rd. Early mornings at Tai Hing are always packed with customers indulging in piping hot bowls of congee and tea. This place feels like visiting your grandma’s house, which is probably why they have a ton of customers. Not to mention their delicious food and bargain prices.
Tai Hing Congee house offers a combo of One bowl of congee with sides that include: chinese doughnut fritters wrapped in rice roll, fried noodles, or pan-fried rice cake. Usually ranging from $6-$10. They also serve other dishes such as noodle and wonton soups.
Doughnut fritters wrapped in rice roll are a great side with congee. They also give this with a side of hoisin and peanut sauce.
My breakfast: Mushroom and Chicken Congee with doughnut fritters wrapped in rice roll.
Let me tell you a story about how I came across Xi An Cuisine.
I was working for Sears long back when it was still running in Richmond Center and a cousin of mine was working all the way on the other side of the mall at the Bay. I would always go visit her on my breaks and the funny thing is that we didn’t know we related till she started digging into my family tree(typical Indian thing to do, lol!) Anyway, she recommended I go to Richmond Public Market to try fresh hand-made noodles which I’ve seen on Anthony Bourdain’s No Reservations. My cousin ordered the ‘Spicy Cold Noodle’ and the lamb skewers. First time I had Spicy Cold Noodle, I just remember my lips burning from the chili oil, yet I kept eating it because it was so good! It was so good that I brought my boyfriend to Xi An when we first started dating. Now seven years later, my boyfriend and I still go to Xi An for a plate of Spicy Cold Noodle. I guess it has now become a ritual of ours, plus Mr.Duan( I think that’s his name) sees us on the regular so he always knows what we want. Is it weird that we have him on speed dial?
Spicy Cold Noodle: $9.00
A crowd favorite. This dish doubles as a main and a salad, yet it’s still filling.
Fried Noodle with lamb: $9.75
One of my favorites! Mr.Duan’s noodles always have a buttery yet firm texture with delicious chunks of lamb meat. Great if your not in the mood for noodle soup.
Lamb Noodle Soup: $9.00
Check out Xi An Cuisine’s ‘Lamb Noodle Soup’ featured in one of my vlogs. Great dish on a winter day if you are looking for something else besides Pho. Made with a simple broth with braised chunks of lamb and cabbage.