Double Double Restaurant – Richmond

I came here on a Wednesday night for dinner with my parents at 7 p.m. and the restaurant was quite busy. It is located inside Empire Center. The restaurant is more commonly known by its Chinese name – 老油條大牌檔.

Ambiance – 5/10. The restaurant is pretty decent sized so they do have many tables. However, this place is very busy every time I come here. Not really a nice place to sit and chat. Turnaround time is pretty fast because most people eat and go. In fact, many people do takeout from here.

Food – 7/10. The quality of the food is moderate but I still gave it a decent rating because there is  a good variety of items on their menu. They serve chinese donut, congee and rice roll all day which is only available in a few restaurants in Richmond, if any.

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We ordered the lobster chow mein. The lobster was fresh but the chow mein was just moderate. However, not bad given the price ($24.99).

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We also ordered Chinese lettuce in fermented bean curd sauce and aged soya sauce veal brisket. These two dishes were also decent. Proportions are quite large given the price.

My two favourite dishes of the evening were the aged soy (soya sauce) chicken wing with fried egg on rice and the chicken and parsley rice roll.  The chicken wings were very flavourful, fully absorbing the soya sauce. The egg was cooked over easy and the running egg yolk and soya sauce mixed very well with the rice. The chicken and parsley rice roll was served hot with soya sauce. The rice rolls were full of ingredients and you could taste the chicken, parsley and Chinese mushroom in each bite. Highly recommended!

Service – 3/10. This restaurant has poor service. There are only three servers serving this busy restaurant and only ONE of them takes orders. Expect to wait at least 5-10 minutes before you get your order in. If you need water or extra utensils, good luck. You probably have to wave them down three times in order to get it, IF you’re lucky they remember.

Good to Know! – Cash only like other restaurants in Richmond. It can be difficult to find parking in this mall. Try using the covered parking lot if the main lot is full. If you are ordering take out, I would recommend ordering ahead of time and come back to pick up your take out. Line is long for take out too.

Overall – Probably just going to do take out next time because the service is just non-existent…

Ancora Waterfront Dining & Patio – Vancouver

After reading several good reviews on this restaurant on Yelp and Zomato, I decided to bring my cousin from Hong Kong to try this out on Friday night. Ancora is located where C Restaurant used to be. The restaurant serves Nikkei cuisine (fusion between Japanese and Peruvian food). We made reservations online the day before.

Ambiance – 10/10. We came here when the sun was setting and the view was breathtaking! Granville Island is just right across the waters and you can also see the Granville Bridge just up top. We had a window seat so we had a great view during the course of dinner.

Food – 7/10. I had really high expectations for the food given the reviews and I think the positive reviews are a little overrated. For the price I paid ($120 including tips), I have had better quality food elsewhere.

The server provided us with bread to start (wheat and white). The bread was soft and slightly heated. I personally did not really like the bread because I like my bread crispy and even with the butter, the bread tasted bland.

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We ordered the appetizer size of the lobster risotto to share. The lobster risotto came with many pieces of lobster. The lobster was cooked just right and tasted very fresh. The sauce was creamy but not too thick. The risotto was served with fried brussel sprouts which I found was an interesting combination.

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My cousin ordered the sablefish which many people recommended. The sablefish was very good. The fish was juicy but not too oily.

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I ordered the grilled beef tenderloin and the braised short ribs. The tenderloin was very tender (melts in your mouth). However, the grill marks left a very strong “grill” taste on the tenderloin which made it taste bitter. The bitterness totally overpowered the taste of the beef. The braised short ribs were very tender as well. However, I did not really like the red onion jam that it came with. My dish also came with fried bussel sprouts which I felt was a little of a brussel sprout over-dose for me that night as I am not particularly a big fan of it. I find it very filling and leaves a bitter aftertaste. Nonetheless, I really enjoyed the potato fondant as it tasted very creamy and smooth.

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We were pretty full after our entrees so we skipped out on dessert. The server served us free Peruvian shortbread cookies with our bill. The shortbread cookies paired nicely with the buttercream on top. I really enjoyed it.

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Service – 9.5/10. When we arrived, we were quickly greeted by the host who took our jackets for us. Our server came over promptly to take our order and made sure our waters were filled. Our food was served very quickly (within an hour). The only slight complaint was they forgot our bread refill and we had to ask for it again. When we left, the host even helped us put on our jackets.

Good to Know! – Reservations can be made easily online. There are meter parking on one side of Beach Road but the other side is free! It is then a quick 3 minute walk down to the restaurant. I would definitely recommend coming here during sunset so you can see the spectacular view. Don’t forget to ask for a window seat!

Overall – Food was good but probably not good enough for me to come back given the price range.

 

Bob’s Submarine Sandwich – Richmond

I came here for breakfast with my coworkers on Good Friday. This place is known for cheap but good quality all-day breakfast and sandwiches. We were going shopping at Richmond Center so we decided to grab a quick bite here. We got here around 10:45 a.m. and there were still a few tables available.

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Ambiance – 5/10. Their selling point is not their ambiance. This restaurant has around 12 tables for you to grab a quick bite. Most people eat and leave. I also notice a lot of people do take out.

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Food – 8/10. For the price that you are paying, the food is pretty good. The three of us each ordered the two egg breakfast which comes with two eggs, bacon or sausage or ham, and toast or hashbrown. That only costs $4.50. The sausage and bacon are very crispy. The hashbrown has a very creamy potato taste which I find different than hashbrowns from other restaurants. I tried their famous Super sub sandwich (double steak, double cheese, mushrooms, salamai and capicollo) before. It taste very good but just slightly on the greasy side.

Service – 7/10. You have to go up to the counter to order and pick up your food. The condiments and utensils are also self served. The owners (husband and wife) are pretty nice people but usually too busy to chat.

Good to Know! – They accept credit cards. There are many parking spots in the mall. However, many of them are 30 minutes only.

Overall – Good alternative to Ihop or Denny’s for breakfast. They don’t serve waffles or pancakes unfortunately!

 

Fogg N’ Suds – Richmond

I have been eating out almost everyday in the last two weeks…This can’t be any good for my wallet 😦 I came here with my church cell group on a Monday night at 7:30 p.m. The restaurant was not too busy.

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Ambiance – 9/10.  For a restaurant & bar, Fogg N’ Suds is considered pretty quiet. They have many TVs here so it is a great place to watch a game with friends. The seats are also very comfy. I particularly like their booths.

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Food – 8/10.  Prices are quite decent compared to other restaurants and bars in Richmond. Menu options are alright.

When I come here, I usually order their seafood penne. They were out of seafood last night so I ordered their mushroom burger instead. The burger was decent; my only complaint was the patty was a little too salty.

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My friends ordered the smoked alfredo chicken pizza and the chipotle chicken penne which also looked very good.

If you are feeling hungry, you should consider ordering the Fogg n’ suds burger ($18). My friend actually finished it. It looks very delicious!

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Service – 7.5/10. I have been here couple of times before and I find their service to be so so. The servers look after a few tables so sometimes you have to wait a while before they get to you. It was not busy yesterday but we still had to wait to put in our order. Food was served relatively quickly last night.

Good to Know! – This restaurant is located inside the Holiday Inn on Cambie Road. There is free gated parking if the spots near the entrance are filled up. Nothing in their dessert menu really catches my eyes unfortunately…

Overall – It is a good place to grab dinner with friends if you want a few drinks.

Ramen Izakaya Okawari – Richmond

Finally had a chance to go out for lunch on a work day! My coworker and I came here at 1 p.m. on Wednesday and the restaurant was not too busy.

Ambiance – 7/10. No fancy decor in this restaurant. However, the seats are quite comfortable. The last few times I came here it was not too busy so I was able to sit for a bit and chat with friends.

Food – 8/10.  They have a special lunch menu which came with many options. Prices are reasonable given the proportions.

I ordered the teriyaki combo which came with a salad, miso soup, chicken teriyaki and dynamite roll. Everything was quite decent. I was surprised at how large the dynamite roll was. I only managed to finish 50% of the combo.

My coworker ordered the Maki A combo which came with a miso soup, dynamite roll and California roll. Proportions were large!

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Service – 9.5/10. The restaurant was not busy so the servers were quite attentive to our needs.

Good to Know! – They do accept credit card! There are lots of parking in this mall but it can be quite busy because there are lots of shops here. You have to pay for tea which I thought was a little unusual…

Overall –  I will come back but likely for their ramen and rice bowls which are pretty good!

Gyo-O – Richmond

I came here with my cousin on a Tuesday night. We got here at 7:45 p.m. and we had to wait 15 minutes for a table for 6. Every time my cousin visits from Hong Kong, she insists on coming here for their uni. Unfortunately, they were sold out the night we came here!

Ambiance – 7/10. This restaurant is very tiny (sits about 50 people). In that sense, you really feel like you are dining at one of the restaurants in Japan. The wooden seats are not very comfortable. There are no places to put your purse and coat. Therefore, turnaround time is usually quite fast. The only things I do like is their decor (Japanese characters written on wooden blocks and the painted picture of the rising sun on their walls).

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Food – 9/10. Prices and proportions here are similar to other Japanese restaurants that serve a la carte.

For appetizers, we started off with takoyaki, salmon carpaccio and scallop carpaccio. The seafood was fresh and paired nicely with the dressing.

For entrees, we ordered the seafood miso  ramen, salmon ikura don and unagi don.  The unagi don is served in broth in a heated bowl. We found this one a little too salty, especially towards the end. The ramen and don were fresh and tasty.

We also ordered the bukkake udon with egg and fried tempura. The sauce is served on the side which allows you to taste the real texture of the udon. I would recommend this during the summer when you do not want to eat udon in soup or if you like your udon more al dente.

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My favourite is the deep fried chicken with egg. You have to mix in the egg with the rice at the beginning. If you tried to eat the rice on its own, I find it too dry. Their fried chicken is very good. Deep fried just right and very juicy. If you prefer more sauce, I would recommend ordering the chicken nanban don which comes with tartar sauce.

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I also really like their desserts here which are inexpensive compared to other items on their menu. I had the soya milk pudding while my cousin had the red bean pudding. The soya milk pudding is very smooth and creamy.

Service – 8.5/10. Japanese servers work at this restaurant but they speak pretty fluent English (with strong Japanese accent). There are only two servers so you do have to wait a little to place orders or ask for things. All our food was served in an hour.

Good to Know! – This place is cash only! However, there is a TD bank 5 minutes away in case you need to get some cash from the ATM.

Overall – I will come back here for my fried chicken fix!

Earls Kitchen + Bar – Richmond

Came here on a Sunday night with a bunch of girlfriends at 7 p.m. We were seated at the bar tables as the booths were too small for us. Can’t believe it’s been more than 5 years since I was last here!

Ambiance – 9/10.  They have renovated the place since I was last here. The decor looks very modern and but quite cozy. As the restaurant was not busy, we spent three hours there just chatting away. The only reason why I took off one point was because of their lighting. I think the light was on auto timing and was a little irritating how it kept adjusting throughout the night.

Food – 8/10. The presentation of the food is quite good and the menu options are decent. Quality of the food is comparable to other mid-range franchise restaurants like Moxie’s. However, I thought the prices were more reasonable; some of the items on the menu were in the low tens.

Here are the items we had that evening:

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Grilled chicken caesar

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Warm kale salad

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Clam chowder and salad

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Cream of tomato soup and sandwich

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I had the 6 oz. CAB Steak Frites. The fries were bite size as they were long and skinny. The steak was cooked the way I ordered it. The only complaint I had was the size of the steak. It looked so tiny next to the mountain of fries…

Service – 9.5/10. Our server was attentive to our needs and made sure our water or drinks were filled. Food was also served quite quickly. Not much to complain about!

Good to Know! – Lots of parking in Lansdowne Mall so if you are hanging out with a friend who hates looking for parking, this is a great place!

Overall – Pretty decent restaurant. I will be sure to come here more often.