Deer Garden Signatures (Soup Noodle Restaurant)

Restaurant: Deer Garden Signatures
Cuisine: Chinese/Bubble Tea/Noodle Shop/Asian fusion/Malaysian
Last visited: October 1, 2010
Location: Richmond, BC (Richmond Central)
Address: Unit 2015 – 8580 Alexandra Road (2nd floor)
Price Range: $10 0r less

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

Food: 4 (based on few items I tried)
Service: 2
Ambiance: 3
Overall: 4
Additional comments:

  • Chinese owned/operated
  • Specializes in Chinese soup noodle bowls
  • Some Hong Kong style cafe items
  • Extensive menu (huge menu)
  • NO MSG
  • All home made soups
  • Customized noodle bowls
  • Bubble tea available
  • Busy/line-ups
  • Popular to Richmond Chinese locals
  • Bang for buck, good value
  • Casual/Quick
  • Budget friendly/Cheap eats
  • Mini combos available from 5pm to close
  • Mini set meals from 3-6pm, 9pm to close
  • Dine In/Take Out
  • Lunch/Dinner (Opens at 11am)
  • Free parking
  • Cash only

**Recommendations: Most popular for noodle soup bowls, but I also haven’t tried enough (the mini hot pots are supposed to be good too)

The restaurant is almost impossible to find unless you frequent the area or someone told you about it. It’s located on the second level of a parking lot beside one other restaurant called Dessert House (featuring Asian desserts). Despite the hidden location, the word about Deer Garden Signatures is spreading fast because there’s often line-ups during lunch and dinner. All the customers are Chinese Richmond locals so it’s really a “within the community” kind of place that is becoming a popular favourite.

lf you’ve never been to one of these Chinese noodle places, also known as “Che Jai Mien”, you might be overwhelmed by the menu and the ingredients. But if you’re looking for a “Chinese Cart Noodle” experience than here it is.  They also have a selection of Hong Kong style cafe items such as rice bowls, sandwiches, mini hot pots, small snacks and set meals. It’s one of those Chinese places that serve everything under one roof and it reminds me of Cafe Gloucester.To order noodle soup bowls you pretty much write the order yourself and hand the sheet off to the server. There’s step by step instructions in English and Chinese. You select your choice of home made soup broth, noodles, and 2 toppings with coffee and tea for only$7.50 and the portion is huge. It’s really a bang for your buck and the quality is not bad either. It’s not the best soup noodles ever, but the value is there and it’s a casual place that’s good for picky eaters, group or individual dining.

On the table:


Peanut Sauce & Chili Soup
4/6

  • Noodle combos with your choice of soup, noodles, and 2 toppings. Coffee and tea is included. $7.50 +$1 for cold drinks, +$2 for specialty drinks
  • Soup base: Peanut Sauce & Chili Soup
  • Noodles: Korean style sweet potatoes crystal noodle
  • 2 toppings: Vietnamese style pork, fish puffs
  • It wouldn’t be fair to compare it to the authentic “tan tan noodles” also known as peanut chili noodles from Shanghai restaurants since this was not a Shanghai place. However, it was still good for a knock off version of the real deal. See tan tan noodles from Shanghai River here.
  • The broth was very nutty and quite creamy, but not too thick. There was a slight kick at the end from chili oil and some chili flakes, but it could have been spicier. It wasn’t too greasy or rich and it had little bits of peanuts in it.

  • I chose the Korean style sweet potatoes crystal noodles which were nice and chewy. I normally have this in Jap Chee (korean stir-fried noodles) and I wasn’t expecting this as a noodle option.
  • The portion is large and bowl is piping hot. It also comes with free mushrooms, Chinese Napa cabbage (siu choy), bean curd skins, green onions and cilantro as toppings. However they tend to overcook in the broth.

  • I ordered the fish puffs as one of my toppings and they were delicious! I would order them again. It was a very soft, light and fluffy fish ball that was wrapped in tofu skins. It was juicy and tender and almost like tofu. It was a highlight for me.


Watercress and Almonds 2.5/6

  • Noodle combos with your choice of soup, noodles, and 2 toppings. Coffee and tea is included. $7.50 +$1 for cold drinks, +$2 for specialty drinks
  • Soup base: Watercress and Almonds
  • Noodles: Flat rice noodles
  • 2 toppings: Sliced beef brisket, chicken balls
  • This wasn’t as flavourful as the peanut chili soup. I heard the Chaochou style dried fish and minced pork fish soup was better.
  • There are no actual almonds in the soup, but they use Chinese almonds to brew the soup. They’re not as flavourful and I don’t really like them. They taste like slightly bitter almonds with a crunchy texture that crumbles apart. I had none in the soup, but it does give it that foggy colour and slight creaminess.
  • The soup itself was very fishy tasting and too fishy for me. There’s no MSG and they say it’s all natural though and they make the stock every morning, so it does taste fresh. It actually tastes quite healthy too, it’s very clear tasting and not greasy, oily or too salty. There’s also a mustard flavour from the boiled watercress and that’s quite apparent.

  • I ordered this once with flat rice noodles which is always tasty with any Chinese soup.
  • Again the portion is large and it’s very hot. It also comes with the free mushrooms, Chinese Napa cabbage (siu choy), bean curd skins, green onions and cilantro as toppings.

  • The slices beef brisket was quite thin, but super tender. It was falling apart, but not necessarily flavourful. The flavour doesn’t get brewed into the soup, it’s just kind of prepared beforehand and added on top.


Tomatoes & Pumpkins Fish Soup?

  • $7.50
  • I think this was the “Tomatoes & Pumpkins Fish Soup”, but it wasn’t even my order. It just came out on the same tray as our order so I couldn’t resist taking a photo. I know, I have no shame…

Thai Tom Yum Goong Soup?

  • $7.50
  • Again, it just came out on the same tray as our order so I couldn’t resist taking a photo.
  • I asked, and I think this was the Thai Tom Yum Goong Soup, or it could have been the Szechuan Spicy Soup. I wish this one was mine, it looked good.

Desert Wings with Ginger – 3/6

  • Side order $1.50
  • Yes, “desert wings”… it’s only authentic when there’s a spelling mistake right?
  • The wings are pretty good. Quite juicy and oily as expected, but still crispy with a light batter. I couldn’t taste or see the ginger, but I could taste white pepper and some salt.
  • Best chicken wings in Richmond thus far are the ones from Wo Fung Dessert in Aberdeen Mall.


Pan Fried Pork Chop in Maggi Sauce2/6

  • Side order $1.50
  • It was pretty small, but it was only $1.50. It tastes like $0.75 though… :p
  • It was super greasy and very oily. There was some white pepper along with the salty Maggi sauce, which I always like.
  • The quality obviously isn’t top notch, but they didn’t overcook it so it wasn’t that bad either.


Vanilla Slush 4/6

  • $4.95 (Add pearls/grass jelly/coconut jelly/mango jelly +$.50)
  • It was smaller than a regular take-out bubble tea and I found it expensive for the size.
  • It was very good, but overpriced.
  • It tastes like a vanilla milkshake with blended ice. I bet they put ice cream in it. The “vanilla milkshake” “smoothie” and “slush” are all available on the menu and their supposed to be different, but my guess is that they’re the same with some minor variations on ice cream/ice/milk ratios.

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11 Comments

  • Rachelle says:

    Actualllyyyyy…I think the desert wings are actually meant to be desert wings. 😛 Cus the name in Chinese is means “sandstorm chicken wings” and sandstorm –> desert? haha. I guess that means the private kitchen that used to be on this floor closed down eh.

  • Mijune says:

    Rachelle – lol really?!?! I had no idea! Okay then you’re totally right! It was a literal translation I guess! I also didn’t know there was a private kitchen operating here before… wow thanks for all the insider info 🙂

  • Mijune says:

    Actually “Dessert Wings” wouldn’t sound right either lol…

  • Bow says:

    Love Asian soups, be it Shanghai, pho, brisket, tom yum…etc…however no all soups have a good stock. Am not a fan of Korean yam noodles(they are too limpid). I reiterate the Chongqin(Jervis & Robson) has best value Tan Tan noodles with a plate of fried pork chops, but the Wonderful Shanghai has the best tasting Tan Tan noodles. The Shanghai soup of pickled cabbage and shredded pork is a fav also. I don’t enjoy Western pureed soups because they aren’t a meal in a bowl or you can’t taste the ingredients(unless you go for fine dining) because they add flour or cornstarch, cream, etc. , etc.

  • Mijune says:

    Bow – Try the soups at Burgoo! Although it isn’t the hearty noodle ones… but I like them! My post is coming this month for it… I just have so many other posts before it lol.

  • Derek says:

    Ate here after we closed up tonight. I had the chaochou style, lots of flavor lots of garlic, 4/6? My brother had the Thai Tom yum, he said it was “alright” 3/6. Also got the wings, loved them, got mango slush for 2$ extra. Overall if I just got noodles with 1$ cold drink I bought it was great value.

  • Mijune says:

    Derek – Yeah it’s not bad huh? Better than Hon’s! I thought the value was there as well. I would go back to try the other soups. Alright next time I’m trying the chaochou because 4/6 is still a “very good” 😉 Thanks for commenting Derek!

  • Nathan Chan says:

    Parking here is a real pain. I’ve resorted to parking at Lansdowne as Alexandria often doesn’t have pay parking available during meal times and the mall lot is usually full.

  • Mijune says:

    @Nathan Chan I know right?! So annoying! Just too many businesses on that one street and the lots suck! I hate the idea of paying for parking in Richmond too though.

  • Nathan Chan says:

    And it’s $2.50 an hour T.T

    Spend a couple hours (normal for dinner), and it’s more expensive than the gas it takes to drive there.

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