Taiwanese Cuisine aka Chopsticks & quot;

Marinated Beef wrapped in Pancake

Restaurant: Taiwanese Cuisine (In Chinese it’s called “Chopsticks”)
Cuisine: Taiwanese/Shanghainese/Chinese/Asian

Last visited: October 15, 09
Area: Richmond, BC
#1118-3779 Sexsmith Rd
Price Range: $10-20

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

Food: 2
Service: 3
Ambiance: 3.5

Overall: 2.5

Additional comments:
  • Taiwanese/Shanghainese/Chinese dishes
  • Stick to ordering Taiwanese dishes
  • Comfortable, clean setting
  • Taiwanese owned/operated
  • Some really cheap items
  • Extensive menu
  • Clay pot specialties
  • Good for large groups
  • Some handmade noodles
  • Some dim sum items
  • Some lunch/dinner specials
  • Some bubble tea flavoured drinks, but no pearls

** Recommendation: Fried rice cake, clay pots ( I didn’t order any, but if I were to go back I would, everyone had them on the table)

The food is alright, but it’s nothing to rave about or really to complain about. Given that this was a Taiwanese restaurant they had a large selection of Shanghainese items so I thought it could have been an unexpected specialty of theirs. They even had a handful of Cantonese items so it’s more Asian than Taiwanese specific. We were craving Shanghainese food so we ended up ordering Shanghai dishes. Next time I would stick to ordering Taiwanese dishes, it’s definitely not the place for authentic Shanghainese cuisine.

Depending on what you order, your meal can be really really cheap. The first time I went we ended up spending $12+ taxes and tip between 6 people and we ordered liberally. Two years later I am here again and this time we ordered about 4 dishes between 3 people and the bill was $22! You really can’t beat that and we had a couple leftovers.

On the table:

  • Steamed Pork Dumplings or “Xiao Long Bao” 2/6
    • A thin dumpling stuffed with juicy pork and soup 8pcs for $5.95
    • This is an authentic Shanghainese dish and it was definitely better at a Shanghai restaurant. The dough for the dumpling was made in house but it wasn’t as thin as the authentic ones. This takes an experienced master – to be able to keep the wrapping thin yet strong enough to hold the hot soup from the steamed pork filling inside.
    • There was hardly any soup in these and they were a bit smaller than usual. The flavour was ok but they should have held much more soup.
    • It’s served with vinegar for dipping, but there was no ginger in the vinegar and there should have been.
  • Marinated Beef wrapped in pancake 1/6
  • Slices of beef wrapped in a scallion pancake with raw green onion and cucumber $4.95
    • This is a Shanghainese/Taiwanese dim sum item or appetizer, but again it wasn’t done well here. It was bland, the beef was too fatty and too much tendon giving it a weird crunchy elastic texture. The scallion pancake also wasn’t flaky enough. I think it was the frozen kind that you fry up and serve.

 

  • The beef they used wasn’t well marinated, it was dry. This type of beef is quite popular in Cantonese dishes, but I don’t like it to begin with so it was hard for me to appreciate this. Regardless, it was still too dry. I prefer when they use a shredded type of braised beef and a saucier marinade. It tastes so much better than the way they make it here.
  • The one at Chen’s Shanghai Kitchen is better
  • Fried Chive Pancake 3/6

 

  • 2 fried chive pancakes or “Asian style pita pockets” stuffed with sauteed chives, black wood ear mushrooms, glass vermicelli noodles, and a little scrambled egg. It was only $3.95 for 2
      • I actually thought this was going to be the scallion pancake that was wrapped around the beef roll, but it wasn’t. The English translation didn’t do it justice so I was lucky enough to have someone that could read Chinese do the ordering with me.

 

  • The pancake was like a pita pocket except much more dough-like than bread like. It’s handmade and it has a crispy exterior and very soft interior. It could have been a bit thinner though, it was a bit too thick and made this dish extra filling.

 

 

  • The filling wasn’t crunchy, but nicely sauteed. It was a bit bland though and they could have used some more soy sauce or salt to give it flavour. They were stuffed decently and were very fresh and hot. Everything is really minced up so you can’t really tell what you’re eating, the chive flavour stands out the most for sure.

 

  • Fried Rice Cake 3/6
  • It’s pan fried rice cakes with pork, bamboo shoots, Taiwanese cabbage, Shiitake mushrooms and preserved pickled vegetable (which is the stems of a Chinese mustard green). It was only $6.95 for a huge portion!
    • This is typically a Shanghainese dish, except they made it very Taiwanese/Cantonese here. It wasn’t authentic Shanghainese, but it was still good. This means it’s a lot less oily and saucy than the traditional Shanghainese version. They also use more veggies and different kinds.

 

  • I love theses rice cakes. They’re really chewy and kind of sticky. It goes great with the crunchy veggies and juicy plump mushrooms. The flavour is good, and it’s wasn’t that salty. It has a little pickle-ish/tangy flavour from the preserved mustard stems. I just wish that the pork wasn’t so fatty. That’s really typical of this dish though, the pork they use is always so fatty no matter where you go.

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4 Comments

  • (( Ms. K )) says:

    I always want to try those pancakes.
    Can't wait till I actually get to eat some.

  • Mijune says:

    The fried chive pancakes were actually quite good and cheap too, i just wish a bit saltier

  • Sherman says:

    Okay, I could be completely wrong here, but to me at least, the food looks not too good. The pancake roll seems to lack filling, particularly beef. I guess I should file this away as only try if nothing else is available?

  • Mijune says:

    No, you're right Sherman…the pancake roll was a major disappointment. It's definitely a last minute decision…no need to trek out to try it.

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