Café Gloucester

Restaurant: Café Gloucester
Cuisine: Chinese/Asian/Fusion
Last visited: January 12, 2010
Area: Vancouver, BC (South Cambie)
Address: 3338 Cambie Street
Price range: $10 or less / $10-20

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

Food: 4
Service: 3
Ambiance: 2
Overall: 4
Additional comments:

  • Typical Hong Kong café menu
  • Some fancier items like sizzling plates and 3 course meals
  • Some creative dishes
  • Small selection of Japanese donburi/ramen
  • Cheap for what you are getting
  • Extensive menu
  • Individual meals $10 or less
  • Set 3 course menus around $20-22
  • Daily specials around $13
  • Spacious, brightly lit
  • Great for snacks
  • Offers some Asian fusion dishes
  • Some Western plates w/Chinese influence
  • Dine-In/Take-out
  • Extra $.50 or $2 for take-out
  • Some desserts: ice cream/jello/cheesecakes
  • Open late, attracts late night diners, all ages
  • Accepts Visa

Recommendation: Tahitian Pork Chop on Rice, Seafood Bread Box

It’s one of those casual late night default kind of places, but it’s not a 24 hour Hong Kong diner either. I wouldn’t make the trek out there just for the food, but I was craving Chinese and was in the area I wouldn’t mind going. It’s almost like a classy version of #9 Restaurant serving up typical Hong Kong café dishes. It’s very typical Chinese (Cantonese) dining and attracts all ages.

The menu is more creative than I remember it being and they told me that they were releasing a new menu in a couple months. The items are typical Hong Kong café items with some inspirations from other cuisines like Japanese, Shanghai and Malaysian. Since the restaurant caters to Chinese (Cantonese) most of these dishes are made with that kind of Chinese twist. I’m impressed with what they had to offer – I mean it’s not gourmet, but for most items at $7-8 with a drink included… I can’t say they do a bad job. Nonetheless the dishes were quite tasty and it exceeded my expectations. They also call them “mini sets” but there’s nothing mini about them…pretty big portions.

On the table

Taiwan Seafood & Mushroom Bread Box5/6

  • $7.95 + drink included (Cold drink + $1, Jumbo + $1.50)
  • It looks pretty good huh? I really like this dish and I used to always order it back when Honolulu Café was open in Richmond. It’s rare to come across, but when it’s on the menu I like to order it.
  • It’s basically half a loaf of Taiwanese bread (white bread) and they fill it with seafood and a cream sauce that tastes like the base for their cream soups. It’s more of a cream soup than sauce they fill it with. Then they bake the entire thing until the ‘bread box’ is nicely toasted on the outside.
  • Chinese style cream soups are less rich than the Western ones. There’s no cheese in it, but it’s still milk, flour, and some butter (although not as much as Western versions).

  • There’s actually a lot of seafood in here and I was surprised. Mind you it was all frozen, but everything tasted pretty good except for the shrimps.

  • It had 1 mussel, 2 shrimp, 2 pieces of cod, 2 artificial crab sticks, 1 squid, 1 octopus, 1 scallop and some button mushrooms and chopped onions. I kept finding more and more seafood as I got further into the box… it was great!
  • If you’ve never had Taiwanese bread it’s fantastic! It’s really soft and a bit sweet. Taiwanese bread is completely different than American white bread… it’s better!
  • The bread box holds all the ingredients really well and it’s toasted on the outside but still really soft on the inside. This is a way better version of the Western soup in a bread bowl. I just wish they used fresh seafood and cooked the seafood in the broth… but this is going gourmet and double the price I was paying, so I can’t ding them.

Szechuan Spare Ribs Rice Cake Soup2/6

  • $7.50 + drink included (Cold drink + $1, Jumbo + $1.50)
  • This soup and noodle bowl didn’t really do anything for me. I love these rice cakes too! Rice cakes are a Shanghainese thing and they taste like rice noodles but they’re patties. They’re chewy, firm, but not hard, and sticky yet slippery at the same time… does that makes sense?

  • I don’t find that rice cakes go well with soup though. It’s a heartier noodle so I prefer it to be served in a more traditional way – in a sautéed dish with lots of sauce like at Taiwanese Cuisine or Chen’s Shanghai Kitchen.

  • They give quite a lot of spare ribs, it’s just they’re really small and don’t have much meat, although the meat it did have was tender. They’re not quality pieces either, quite fatty – but Chinese people like this. I think they cook the spare ribs separately and toss it in the soup so the flavour of both is mediocre.
  • The soup was just a regular pork based broth, but it was a bit too watered down. It’s the standard soup base they would use for all their noodles with added chili oil. It was spicy broth, but one dimensional in flavour.

  • The dish also had Chinese fungus (those black jelly-like clouds), celery, snow peas and some chopped cilantro that was also tossed in at the end.
  • It didn’t taste bad, but I just wouldn’t order it again. I’ve never seen it anywhere else.

Baked Tahitian Style Pork Chop with Rice5/6

  • $7.25 + drink included (Cold drink + $1, Jumbo + $1.50)
  • I liked this! Kudos to creativity! It’s one of their specialties because I haven’t seen it anywhere else either.
  • It’s almost like an Asian, or this case Tahitian, casserole. It’s a huge piece of breaded pork chop served on top of fried white rice with a rich and creamy coconut curry sauce. There are also some scrambled eggs in the mix, but not much. It tastes like and reminds me of Baked Portuguese Chicken on Rice – that is a common dish offered at Hong Kong style cafes.

  • The twist to the dish and what made it “Tahitian” was because it had honeydew, cantaloupe and raisins in it! I was very surprised and I don’t even like these fruits but I liked it in this dish! They sauté them so they get very sweet, tender and juicy! It’s almost the texture of sautéed zucchini so think of it as adding sweet ‘vegetables’ to the dish. (Or warm up to the idea by thinking of pineapple fried rice).
  • The cream sauce was savoury for sure, but also sweet from the coconut milk so the sautéed fruits and raisins just complemented with another level of sweetness. (It’s also not spicy)
  • I could have used more raisins though. I could also use some toasted coconut on top, which would have been great! I also missed a little bit of crunch and some onions would have been nice.

  • On top was a HUGE piece of breaded and deep fried boneless pork chop or cutlet. It was actually really good, but it got soggy underneath the sauce.
  • They baked the whole thing with a little bit of cheese on top so it had a lovely gratin topping.
  • This dish is rich and heavy, but it’s really good especially if you like that savoury and sweet chemistry.

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8 Comments

  • Sherman says:

    I love Gloucester! They make surprisingly decent prime rib too. However, as you remarked, those rice cakes in soup are… disappointing. Predictably, they'll be too soft and mushy. Best when stir fried… like the ones at Shanghai River!

  • Follow Me Foodie says:

    Lol! Btw Sherman, did you get stalked by the staff from taking food photos? I was watched like a hawk…I simply explained and they let me do my thing….still watching quite closely though…but other than that I was treated no differently.

  • nicole says:

    Okay I really have to try this place, esp after your review! That seafood+mushroom bread box looks soooo good! I love bread bowl type dishes, but I agree, Taiwainese bread quality is wayyy better. That Tahitian style pork chop and rice dish looks and sounds good too, esp with the addition of fruits in the dish. I usually don't like fruit in my "savoury" foods either but sometimes when it's done right, it adds a whole new level of flavour! Kind of like Thai pineapple fried rice.

  • Follow Me Foodie says:

    Lol! I compared the dish to pineapple fried rice as well!! Yeah the bread bowl is pretty good…I just wish the seafood wasn't frozen! The concept is great though and it would be good with some cheese on top too…but that's just me…

    btw nicole I'm SO surprised you haven't been here yet! Put it on our very long list of to-do's!! 🙂

  • Lucy says:

    The seafood bread box looks so delicious! I love the presentation. My friend goes here quite often and your post makes me want to try this restaurant even more.

  • Cafe Gloucester says:

    Awesome blog.

    But I recall, Cafe Gloucester is more of a HK style cafe than a Taiwanese restaurant… Not sure why it is placed under the ‘Taiwanese cuisine’.

    Also, Taiwanese cuisine is not limited to ‘bubble-tea’ style restaurants. Judging by the restaurants/cafes that are put under the ‘Taiwanese’ category, it does not seem like you have tried any good Taiwanese place. Or perhaps the Taiwanese places are not really worth blogging about compared to other Westcoast restaurants or social lounges..?

    I am sure that your blog is a very popular one. Just thought that I would point out that bubble tea style restaurants are not considered a fair representation of Taiwanese food. If you would like to experience the ‘real’ Taiwanese cuisine, ‘Sunway’ in Richmond is a decent place for hawker style Taiwanese food.

  • Mijune says:

    @Cafe Gloucester – Welcome! Thank you for the compliment! Oh yes, I know this isn’t’ an authentic Taiwanese restaurant, but I put it under that category just because of the first item I ordered: Taiwan Seafood & Mushroom Bread Box – it just makes it easier to find if people want to see it. No worries, I definitely know this is not the real deal 🙂 You do make a good point, I haven’t explored much into Taiwanese cuisine, but I can’t wait to! I know bubble tea places aren’t a fair representation, but I have to put them in a suitable category and they do happen to fall into Taiwanese… I will work on diversifying that category though.

    Thank you so much for your suggestion and I can’t wait to try it out! What would you recommend?

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