Negative Space Chinese Cuisine


Restaurant: Negative Space Chinese Restaurant

Cuisine: Chinese/Asian
Last visited: October 15, 09
Area: Richmond, BC
#1030-8888 Odlin Crescent
Price Range: $10-20

1: Poor 2: OK 3: Good 4: Very good 5: Excellent 6: Tres Excellent!!

Food: 3.5
Service: 3
Ambiance: 4

Overall: 3.5
Additional comments:
  • Traditional Cantonese dishes served Taiwanese style
  • Homestyle/Home cooked
  • Trendy/Contemporary decor and plating
  • Affordable food/set lunch specials
  • Quick sit down lunches
  • Open late
  • Set meals available for lunch or dinner
  • Takes Visa/MC!!!


** Recommendation: Need to try more, because I bet there’s better than what we ordered. Steamed Egg Custard appetizer is really good though! Garlic steamed pumpkin is a hit too.

Finally a place that may actually stay even though it has a random/weird name. It’s probably the only restaurant of this style in Richmond that accepts Visa and Mastercard too!

This unit has experienced a rotation of restaurants and I actually think this one may stick around. They serve home cooked Taiwanese-Canton dishes at affordable prices. The items are quite traditional and their portions aren’t overwhelming, but not tapas style either. It’s a perfect place for lunch or late night dining because the meals are just enough for one person. By their menu selection, decor and plating it’s obvious that they are aiming for a younger demographic who would appreciate it, however at lunch time it was full of people 45+.

On the table:

    • Green Onion Chicken Thigh 4/6
      • This was a set meal. It came with a set appetizer, your choice of main, a bowl of rice, side of veggies and soup of the day. I don’t remember the price but it’s probably around $10-12.

 

  • The chicken was a pretty small chicken, but they give at least 10 pieces, if not more. Since it’s so small it was easy to marinade and absorbed the flavours of the sauces well. The chicken is quite tender and tasty however the sauce tastes exactly like that soy sauce they use on steamed fish at Chinese restaurants. If you like that sauce, you’ll love this dish. They garnish it with a generous amount of raw scallions too – so it was served just like the steamed fish, except instead of fish it was chicken.

 

  • Pumpkin Tomato Soup 1.5/6
  • I think the soup was the most disappointing part of the experience. It was cooked with chicken, pumpkin, tomatoes, and dried dragon eye’s meat aka “longan” (it’s a Chinese fruit).
  • We had chicken bones in our soup, but not meat. It was a clear based soup and overall it was bland and watered down. I didn’t expect a slow cooked on the stove all day soup, but I expected more than this. Hardly any tomatoes, no pumpkin pieces or anything.
  • **Steamed Egg Custard 4.5/6
  • Eggs + water + salt mixed together and steamed.
      • This was the appetizer, I’m pretty sure it’s standard but it could change on occasion. It’s the easiest recipe ever, but it’s really good and way better than it sounds. There’s many variations of this and some places add other ingredients to it (like crab, ground pork, ham, mushrooms, green onions, shrimp etc.), but the one here is a plain one…which is still good.
      • This is a savoury dish, not a dessert custard. It’s really smooth and soft, almost like a silky tofu except more flavourful because it’s made of eggs. I love the texture of it, nice and light and it adapts to any flavour. A very neutral dish that can be eaten on its own.
    • Pork Belly with Preserved Veggies 3/6
    • Braised pork belly with preserved Mui Choy (mustard cabbage).
    • I have to state that I am not a fan of pork belly. With that being said I still tried it and will rate it based on the opinions of those who do like it. I’m also familiar with this dish because it’s a traditional dish that Chinese mom’s make at home, so I am able to compare.

 

  • Pork belly is really fatty already but this one was very fatty. The pork belly is braised in this dish and the pieces were cut a bit smaller which made it really tender and easier for them to cook. The little meat that was on the pork belly shred apart easily almost like how beef brisket would. The meat part, the lean part, I liked.
  • The fattiness of the pork made for an oily sauce which to some degree it is expected, but it was too oily for me.

 

 

  • It’s braised with a preserved mustard cabbage, which I really like. It’s really salty and pickled – salty, sweet and tangy. The thing is they overcooked it during the braising process and it got way too mushy! It’s supposed to have a slightly crunchy texture and this dish was definitely missing that. Everything was just too soft and there was no texture.
  • The sauce is salty, but it’s an intended saltiness. They also use star anise in the sauce so it’s gives the dish a sweet licorice flavour. It’s really good and the perfect spice for this dish. I think they also use cardamom seeds in this dish, which is not traditionally used, but it worked and went really well with the dish.
  • The dish itself when made well is 4/6 and if I liked pork belly maybe even higher.

 

    • **Garlic Steamed Pumpkin 4.5/6
      • This was hot, fresh and made upon order. I had to wait 15min. for it and I’d probably wait for it again.
      • It was a simple dish with really tender wedges of pumpkin which was basically Kaboocha squash – the Japanese squash $7.25

 

  • It was topped with deep fried minced garlic which gave the pumpkin this nuttiness. I loved the contracts of deep fried garlic and creamy pumpkin. The minced garlic and steamed green onion gave it a slight crunchiness and a nice garlic/onion-y salty flavour. Really delicate dish that holds great taste.

 

 

  • My only complaint is the sauce. It was waaay too oily. It’s the same sweet soy sauce they used in the green onion chicken – and the same one they use at Chinese restaurants when you order steamed fish. They used way too much oil though and it masked the flavour of the soy sauce. They also add spicy red chili peppers that gave a very mild spiciness…just don’t eat them because they are really hot!
  • I would have preferred a different sauce with this dish because this type of soy sauce is really better with fish.
  • $7.25 – expensive, but it takes time to prepare and it’s made upon order.

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