Timmy Kitchen

Restaurant: Timmy Kitchen
Cuisine: Chinese/Seafood
Last visited: September 17, 2010
Location: Richmond, BC (Steveston Village)
Address: Unit 100 – 3791 Bayview Street
Price Range: $10-20

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

Food: 1.5
Service: 3.5
Ambiance: 2
Overall: 1.5
Additional comments:

  • Somewhat Canadian Chinese food
  • Family owned/operated
  • Hidden location
  • Tends to be greasy
  • Fresh Chinese style seafood
  • In house seafood tanks
  • Very casual
  • Good for group dining
  • Decent portions
  • Patio seating
  • Dine in/Take out
  • Accepts Visa/MC
  • Free delivery after 4pm for $25+
  • 10% off pickup for $20+
  • Wed-Mon 11am-10pm
  • Closed Tuesday

**Recommendations: to go somewhere else.

Timmy Kitchen is the only Chinese restaurant in Steveston Village and it’s hidden away under Cimona Cafe. I barely noticed it and it’s one of those places I always considered a tourist trap. I would never go to Steveston to have Chinese food, but on this occasion we did due to convenience. I was very hesitant when I found out this was where dinner was going to be as not one Chinese person I know has ever been here. I expected to walk into a room of Westerners, but to my surprise it was full… and full of Chinese locals!

I think it’s only busy because it’s the only Chinese restaurant in Steveston Village and  maybe also because of the price. However it’s not even cheap for Chinese, just cheaper compared to the other restaurants in the area. Throw Timmy Kitchen in central Richmond and I’d like to see how business holds up. I would rather go to #9 Restaurant or the Richmond Public Market food court for a massive portion of 3 items on rice and tea of soup for $4.

Looking at the menu choices I could tell it was catered for a Western clientele. It was Canadian Chinese style cuisine with Beef Broccoli, Deep Fried Wonton, and Spring Rolls jumping out at me. Sure they can be good, but when it tastes like Canadian Chinese food… it’s a no go for me. In a way it was very home cooked food, but not in a good way. More in a way that if I order the same dish on another occasion, it may taste different. Overall most of it was bland and greasy and everything came out at once which isn’t a good sign.

Dinner ended and I had to leave early, but everyone else went for Steveston Pizza Co. for a satisfying dinner #2, and I made myself feel better by heading to Bella Gelateria. (That’s not the only reason I left dinner early!)

On the table:

Tofu & Sweet Corn Soup – 1/6

  • Small: $5.99 Regular: $6.99 Large: $9.99
  • No go. The soup is also known as Egg Drop Corn Soup and this one tasted like corn starch and water. The corn was frozen and there was some tofu and egg in it, but it was gluey in texture and bland in flavour.
  • This soup comes vegetarian or non-vegetarian as “crab meat & sweet corn” or “chicken & sweet corn”, which means that it’s the same corn starch and water base for all three versions. The tofu, crab, or chicken gets tossed in last minute and that would explain why the broth has no flavour.

Special Garlic Chicken – 2/6

  • Half $12.99 Whole $23.99
  • It’s a steamed chicken but the meat was a bit dry. Some places can do it awesome when the meat is almost slippery smooth, but just not here. The flavour was alright, and it’s not obvious in garlic taste so additional sauce is still required.

  • Steamed chicken will always come with this ginger and green onion oil sauce. It’s one of my favourite Chinese condiments, but this one is not good so don’t let it represent what it should taste like. This one was much too salty and just not really how ginger and green onion sauce tastes like. It’s home made, but the ratio was off.

Sauteed Fillet with Broccoli – 2/6

  • $11.99
  • It’s sauteed frozen boneless cod fillets on top of sauteed broccoli. The sauce tastes like corn starch and water and the entire dish is bland. Pass. Well I ate the broccoli, but I like broccoli and it wasn’t greasy and I had to eat something. My dad who makes great instant noodles could do a better job.

Beef with Kai Lai (Gai Lan) in Satay Sauce – 1.5/6

  • $12.99
  • The satay sauce isn’t all that flavourful and satay sauce from a jar has more flavour. This one tastes like the sauce on Beef Broccoli, but they put some curry powder in it, which was unexpected but not bad.
  • The beef was inconsistent. Some pieces I gnawed on until I sucked all the juice and flavour from it and then spat it out like an old person would, and other (very small) pieces were alright. It was maybe 50% tough and 50% alright… not tender, but alright. The Kai Lan or Chinese broccoli was tender yet crunchy and I ate that, but it had no sauce.

Steamed Oysters with Black Bean Saucen/a

  • Market price.
  • The one thing that was apparently pretty good I didn’t get to try. I’m not really a fan of cooked oysters, but I LOVE them raw. I shared 70 raw oysters with one friend as an appetizer at the old So.cial at Le Magasin once.
  • These were very fresh and HUGE! One was almost the size of a papaya… or an 8 year old girl’s foot! It was big!  They looked really meaty, fresh and delicious. The people that had them weren’t raving about them, but they also didn’t say much about them either.

Pork Chop with Mayonnaise – 1/6

  • $9.99
  • This was deep fried pork chops with a sweet mayonnaise sauce and diced avocado. The pork chops were so battered and deep fried and the quality of the pork chops were very fatty. They were very chewy and tough and I couldn’t tell if I was chewing pork, fat, or batter – although I think it was the latter 2.
  • I was so excited to see this creative avocado twist since they usually use walnuts with this dish. However the avocado wasn’t ripe at all and actually very hard and crunchy. I would have liked avocado and walnuts and I think the avocado concept could work if executed properly.
  • The sauce is a sweet mayonnaise sauce and it tastes like condensed milk almost. It’s a delicious sweet and savoury sauce and calling it “mayonnaise” doesn’t give it enough credit.  A lot of Chinese restaurants of this style will make this dish, so the “mayonnaise sauce” is not exclusive to here.

Pan Fried Salmon with Soy Sauce – 3/6

  • Market Price.
  • Salmon is good this year and being located right by the dock means that this salmon is fresh. It was the better dish of the night and it wasn’t even that good, but just better than everything else. It was lightly battered and “pan-fried”, but basically deep fried. The skin was very crispy though and the salmon was moist and perfectly cooked.
  • The sauce was a sweet soy sauce and it was very basic. They topped it with some sauteed sweet onions and overall it looked super home cooked, like something I could make at home. It was good though and I did eat more than a couple pieces.

Tangerine Chicken in Szechuan Style – 1.5/6

  • $12.99
  • This was deep fried, bone in crispy chicken in a szechuan style sauce that was more sweet than it was spicy. The sauce tastes like very watered down bottled sweet Thai chili sauce thickened with some corn starch and maybe some added soy sauce. It was honey like in texture, but rather bland in flavour so it was deceiving.
  • They had sauteed the sauce with some ginger, garlic, green onions and some pickled radish, but it did nothing in terms of adding flavour.
  • I didn’t know the chicken would be deep fried again… like everything else. The chicken had a crispy skin, but the meat was a bit dry again.

Miced Pork & Eggplant with Chili Sauce – 2.5/6

  • About $11.99
  • This is usually one of my favorite dishes. They approached it with home cooked execution, but they doubled the oil so it was swimming in grease and it tasted oily. I didn’t even need to reapply my lip gloss afterward. The ground pork was quite chunky, rather than crumbly like how most restaurants would serve it. It was slightly sweet and very mildly spicy and I think they used some of that sweet Thai chili sauce again. I like the versions at Red Fusion Cuisine and Shanghai River better.
  • The eggplant was nice and tender and there was a  decent amount and they didn’t overcook them to a shrivel.

Sauteed Lobster & Crab2.5/6

  • Seasonal special – Buy 1 lobster for $19.99 and get 1 crab FREE!
  • An enticing deal, but not even worth it because I just don’t want to come back to this place even for this deal. It wasn’t good enough either.
  • They put the lobster and crab on one plate and it was a bit on the greasy side. Our table was debating if the lobster was frozen though. The lobster was deep fried before they wok tossed it and you can see a bit of the batter on some of the pieces… which makes me think frozen lobster. For a seafood restaurant AND it being lobster fest right now… major no no if it was indeed frozen. Sorry Knoor, but “frozen” is a bad word when it comes to seafood.


Timmy Kitchen on Urbanspoon


  • KimHo says:

    For some reason, I have that odd feeling you are in a bashing mode: in the last couple of weeks, a lot of the places you have visited have really low “scores”!

    I think this falls into that niche market of (1) people who do not know better, (2) people might know but choose to ignore it or (3) location. Because of this, they can charge a little bit more and people will be OK with it. As for me, I don’t go to Chinese restaurants that often so I won’t have gone anyway, not to mention, if I go to Steveston, I would go for fish and chips instead! 😉

  • Mijune says:

    lol I didn’t even realize until you and my other friend mentioned!! It’s just the order I organized my posts! I didn’t have THAT many bad meals in a row.

    lol no I would definitely go for seafood… but not Chinese seafood in Steveston. 🙁

  • Mijune says:

    ALSO – I had 3 Austin ones in a row and those were the only not great places I went to in Austin so I was only going to put them up if I had “time” for them… and I did and thought it was suitable to post them during Austin Dining Week :S

  • Elaine says:

    Always wondered about this place. Now no more curiously LMAO. Hate Westernized Chinese food…

  • Mijune says:

    lol me too!!! I would rather hit the food court. I had HIGH hopes!! So many locals!! I guess Kim is right with his reasons though.

  • Bow says:

    Love Cantonese style oysters, nice pics,too bad it wasn’t enjoyable. A really good Cantonese restaurant routinely uses frozen seafood; good places can make frozen seafood taste terrific. The free range chicken should have tasted better(Dai Tung makes a good one). I don’t think Timmy’s is a Cantonese restaurant considering your description of your food…probably a Szechuan or northern cook but desperately trying to make CANTONESE ! One buys hot and sour soup from a Shanghai or a Szechuan place, not from a Cantonese one; Cantonese cooks butcher hot and sour soup. Chil Lee’s(n. Van) is Szechuan and he butchers Chicken chow mein(Cantonese). Conceptually, the cooks at Timmy’s follow the thaw, deep fry and cover with a bad sauce style/

  • ^_^ says:

    Used to be my aunt’s favorite choice for casual family meals 15-20 years ago, because she worked nearby. We have not been there for the past 10 years or so. It was changing hands like every couple of years. Some economy thrives on continuous influx of business entrepreneurs.

  • Mijune says:

    Bow – very nicely put. I think you’re right actually… I know they speak Cantonese but everyone eating inside was like CHINA Chinese… not really Cantonese Chinese…so perhaps they like that style of food. good call! … although the food is still not good.

    ^_^ – phew…. 15-20 years ago… it may have been a gem, but I really don’t think so anymore… so disappointing. I think your aunt would think so too.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.