5300 Number 3 Rd, Richmond BC V6X 2X9
If you saw my previous post on HK BBQ Master, you would know that I was already in Richmond. I’m not a fan of coming onto this side of the bridge because it’s a bit far from home and I’m slightly fearful of the driving that’s happening. However, when I do come, I don’t miss the opportunity to capitalize on eating all the amazing food. Richmond, in my humble opinion, is the mecca of the Lower Mainland for Asian cuisine. And it’s cheap. Enter R & H Chinese Food, a stall in the Lansdowne Centre food court.
Now I’ve had my share of eating at hoity-toity, 5-star, fine-dining restaurants – absolutely. But am I above eating in a food court? Absolutely not. In fact, my favourite eating experience of all time was in Singapore, where I frequented open-air hawker centres for $5-$7 meals. To me, this was similar aside from the Canadian price point and… the walls.
This stall made me nostalgic for those same hawker centres because I could see two ladies carefully hand-making dumplings in the window next to the cash register. This was not only a direct and explicit indicator of authenticity, but it was just cool to see that your food wasn’t coming out of a plastic Gordon Food Service bag. The menu wasn’t extensive either, which tells me that perhaps the few items they serve are done well.
I love beef noodle soup, almost to an unhealthy amount. I also love steamed buns (aka xiao long bao or as I like to call it: soup dumplings). We ordered both along with some grilled buns and eagerly waited for the cashier to hit the bell. Soon enough, we received the first two dishes but the grilled buns would be another 5 minutes.
After my first bite of xiao long bao, I uttered “oh my god, this is so good…” which was immediately followed by “how do they get the soup in these?” My analytical mind would only allow me to fully enjoy the steamed pork buns momentarily before it kicked into gear and wondered about the mechanics. I was also making a very conscious effort not to drip any of the soup onto myself or the table. These things were juicy, and you need to approach eating them with some sort of method.
- Let cool and plop the entire bun into your mouth, keep your lips sealed as to not let any of the soup seep out (it’s the best part)
- Bite a small corner, suck some of the soup out, bite a bit more, suck the soup as you go
- Ravenously bite the bun in half, let the soup squirt into not only your face but the face of your dining companion, drop the remaining half onto the table out of shock
I’m sure there are more ways to eat them, the choice is yours but remember they drip (or squirt).
The beef noodle soup was rich and chock full of brisket pieces, which didn’t have too many fatty parts and were tender to chew. They also loaded the broth with a ton of greens (think: green onions, cilantro, bok choy). It wasn’t murky and didn’t have a pool of grease sitting at the top – unusual for this type of soup, as well as being from a food court. I was already impressed.
The bell rang again so I rushed up to the counter to grab the juicy grilled buns. They were beautifully crispy golden at the bottom with a sprinkling of white and black sesame seeds on top for accent – it was a food photog’s dream and certainly worthy of #foodporn status. These buns were filled with hot, well-seasoned pork. The actual dough was thick enough to give it substance and held a crunch. I dripped some vinegar onto a bite and added more green onions. It was an explosion of flavor – every quintessential component of a bun was present.
Honestly, Lansdowne Centre is not worth visiting for your shopping needs – there are better malls. But I would go back just for the food at R & H. The buns were dripping, the soup was dripping, my mouth was dripping. Bring some napkins.
- Steamed Mini Pork Buns (Xiao Long Bao) $ 7.99
- Spicy Beef Noodle Soup $8.39
- Grilled Juicy Pork Buns $7.99
Beats: Drip – Cardi B feat. Migos