Delicious Cuisine (一品怪廚) – Taiwanese Restaurant

Restaurant: Delicious Cuisine (一品怪廚)
Cuisine: Taiwanese/Chinese/Dim Sum
Last visited: March 30, 2011
Location: Richmond, BC (Richmond Central)
Address: Unit 100 – 7911 Alderbridge Way
Price Range: $10-20, 20-30

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

Food: 4.5 (out of what I tried)
Service: n/a
Ambiance: 4
Overall: 4
Additional comments:

  • Authentic Taiwanese cuisine
  • Taiwanese family owned/operated
  • Sister restaurant to Zephyr Tea House
  • Sister restaurant to Tri-Pot
  • Taiwanese owned/operated
  • English/Chinese menus
  • Very popular to Chinese locals
  • Hidden gem for Taiwanese
  • Award winning menu items
  • Reasonably priced
  • Good for groups
  • Casual, but nice clean interior
  • Dim sum/lunch/dinner
  • Mon-Sun: 11:30am-2:30pm, 5:30pm-9:30pm
  • Closed Tuesdays

**Recommendations: Sweet Crystal Egg, Lemon Beef, Chicken with 3 Spice, Deep Fried Shrimp with Salted Egg Yolk, Stir-Fried Crab with Egg and Shrimp, Taiwanese Steamed Sandwich (Koah Pau), Stir-Fried Beef with Kimchi (haven’t tried, but it’s popular)… worth a try is the Taiwanese Wuyutsu and Bamboo Shoot Salad with Mayonnaise 

Delicious Cuisine. The word “delicious” in any restaurant name just draws back cringe worthy memories of my dining experience at Delicious Inn in Hong Kong. Yes, that’s the restaurant where I decided to eat bugs at (video included – see here if you dare). Anyways, that’s definitely not what this restaurant is about, and thank goodness because it’s not something I really care to relive. *Shudder*

Taiwan is famous for their food and it is quickly becoming a foodie destination. I predict that Taiwanese food will be an up and coming trend in Vancouver although it may take a while for it to really make a name for itself. On this occasion I was on a Tourism Richmond tour of Richmond’s hidden gems and this was a stop I was looking forward to most.

Besides the food at bubble tea cafes and some home cooked Taiwanese dinners on a few occasions, I can’t say I’m too familiar with how or what to order when I’m dining Taiwanese.  Taiwanese is not the same as Cantonese and the styles are very different even if the dishes may share the same names. It often also incorporates some Szechuan and Shanghainese  influences, but when I’m recommended to come here by Taiwanese people and Taiwanese customers are the primary diners, I feel like I found a winner!

It’s a restaurant that totally flies under the radar. It’s actually the sister restaurant to bubble tea cafe Zephyr Tea House and their on the go snack shop Tri-Pot, which are both literally next door. The food is different at all three establishments with a few cross overs, but it is all Taiwanese. Delicious Inn offers the fancier atmosphere and is more appropriate for an authentic Taiwanese dinner or even special occasion.

It is very popular to Taiwanese locals and the food is authentic for Metro Vancouver standards. Pearl Castle received Diner’s Choice Award for Best Taiwanese at the Chinese Restaurant Awards, which I think is bunk. Don’t get me wrong, the food and drinks are good there, but it’s barely a fair representation of what Taiwanese food really is. It is a cuisine that’s famous for their street food, but there is much more to its culture and food scene than what cafes will offer. Nonetheless after this experience, I feel like I barely knew what it was…

You can feel my excitement when I walked in and saw this table of glorious Taiwanese appetizers. I recognized almost nothing which got me even more excited and wide-eyed. This is definitely my style of dining. Let the person of that culture do the ordering while I do the trying and learning.

I’m actually incredibly happy with this dining experience because I would have never considering ordering half the dishes I tried. I don’t have much to compare to, but I’m definitely curious enough to make plans to come back myself and it’s increased my interest in Taiwanese food even more.

Note: The restaurant is a member of Tourism Richmond and there are more options available in Richmond and Metro Vancouver. If you have more suggestions, please feel free to leave a comment. Due to the nature of the event the dishes may not be a proper representation of a regular day, although they are all still available to all customers.

On the table:

**Sweet Crystal Egg 6/6

  • $5 (Picture not representable of portion size, normally served with 3 eggs cut in half)
  • This is one of their award winning dishes from the Chinese Restaurant Awards.
  • These were amazing! It’s the Taiwanese version of the Chinese Soy Sauce Tea Leaf Egg.
  • It’s a cross between the Soy Sauce Tea Leaf Egg and the Japanese eggs they serve with ramen. They’re a must try!
  • It’s served cold and it’s sweet and savoury with a honey like flavour.
  • It’s boiled in a soy sauce broth sweetened with sugar, spiced with Star Anise, and infused with tea.
  • It  just absorbs into the white part so it’s nice and savoury with an aromatic sweet licorice hinder.
  • The yolk is an ultra creamy gel that just coats your teeth. It’s not runny, and it’s not preserved, but it’s really the texture of chilled gel. It’s awesome!
  • It’s a very time consuming process to make these and it requires boiling, cold shocking, refrigerating and all types of cooking surgery.
  • It’s a wonderfully rich appetizer and it’s hard not to eat them all.
  • These are available upon request at their sister restaurant Zephyr Tea House too.

**Lemon Beef 5/6

  • $8 (Picture not representable of portion size)
  • This was another cold appetizer and it’s one of their signature items.
  • It was a really garlicky lemon pepper beef that was quite tangy, well marinated and very tender.
  • It was very aromatic and just perfectly seasoned with a nice zing of fresh lemon and a nice heat, but it’s not spicy.

Salted Pork3.5/6

  • Around $6-7 (Picture not representable of portion size)
  • This is a room temperature appetizer and I’ve never had it before.
  • This reminded me of Chinese roasted suckling pork, but the meat seemed like pork jowl (cheek).
  • The meat is cured and savoury and has a nice resistance and spring in the chew.
  • There’s 5 spice powder in the seasoning and it’s not a juicy pork, but it has a dry texture that I assume is intentional.

**Taiwanese Wuyutsu (Flathead mullet) – 4/6

  • $8 This is a special order available upon request. (Picture not representable of portion size)
  • Let’s bring out the AC Slater! What the heck is a “Flathead Mullet”?
  • I think it’s worth a try because I’ve never seen it offered anywhere else and it’s very traditional.
  • It’s a thin slice of Flathead mullet (cured roe), green onion, and Chinese radish (daikon).
  • It’s a nice salty one biter served room temperature.
  • It’s a very strong fishy and salty flavour with a slight spicy crunch of raw onion and crisp radish to cut through the cured richness.
  • It kind of has a slightly bitter aftertaste when eaten together and the Flathead mullet gets a bit stuck in your teeth with its moist jerky like texture.
  • The Flathead mullet is quite indulgent and it’s supposed to be very greasy, although you can’t really tell because it doesn’t taste oily.

**Bamboo Shoot Salad with Mayonnaise 3.5/6

  • $7.50 ($4.75 at sister restaurant Zephyr Tea House next door, but perhaps portion size varies)
  • This is another very typical cold Taiwanese appetizer.
  • I really liked it and it’s a good simple starter. It’s not a must try, but I think it’s worth a try because it’s a rare find on a menu.
  • It’s fresh bamboo and it’s crunchy and naturally sweet and refreshing.
  • It consists of a lot of water and it’s similar to sugar cane, but not as sweet and it’s quite juicy.
  • It has a non-offensive flavour and it’s quite neutral and almost like a sweeter juicier turnip.
  • The mayo gives it a creamy richness and slight sweetness.

Taiwanese Style Sausage 3/6

  • $4.5o ($5.25 at sister restaurant Zephyr Tea House next door, but perhaps portion size varies)
  • It’s only a 3/6 because this is an item I just don’t really care for.
  • It’s better than the one at Pearl Castle – see here, although I’m not a Taiwanese sausage connoisseur.
  • They’re cured, quite soft and tender and it tastes like a sweet Maple and garlicky “gourmet” SPAM.
  • I like them better than the Cantonese style sausages, but if I’m going to eat it, I prefer it pan fried and crispy.
  • They serve it authentically with thin slices of crunchy garlic to cut through the grease. They don’t taste greasy though, but they’re also not healthy.

Five Spice Squid 3/6

  • Around $7 (Picture not representable of portion size)
  • A room temperature appetizer.
  • The squid pieces were quite large and it was quite good, but it’s not my favourite dish to order.
  • The squid was tender and generously sauced with a home made sweet Thai chili like sauce made with garlic, green onion, ginger, and chili paste.
  • The sauce was sweet at first and then the heat follows, but it’s a flavourful and aromatic spicy, not a hot spicy.

Kung Fu Tea

  • This is a house special tea available upon request.
  • I found it very strong and I think it’s an oolong tea. The leaves were really intense and the flavour quite bitter.
  • It’s a good palate cleanser after all the various flavours experienced from the appetizers.

**Chicken with 3 Spice 5/6

  • $10 Large: $19 (The picture looks weird and I forgot to take it in the clay pot it’s served in)
  • This is the staple Taiwanese dish and apparently the item to order to “judge” how good a Taiwanese restaurant really is.
  • It should be called “3 cup” chicken not “3 spice” because it’s made with 1 cup soy sauce, 1 cup wine, and 1 cup sesame oil.
  • It’s bone in dark meat chicken and it’s made with sweet and savoury soy bean paste and it’s almost coated in a syrupy rich sauce.
  • It’s incredibly aromatic with minced ginger, garlic and fresh basil leaves in a sweet honey-like, ginger and garlic sauce.
  • The chicken is tender and it’s not spicy, but there is a warm heat.
  • The scent of basil and sesame create an incredible aroma to this well marinated and flavoured chicken dish.

**Deep Fried Shrimp with Salted Egg Yolk6/6

  • $18 (Picture not representable of portion size)
  • This is one of my favourite dishes in general and I love the Cantonese version of it as well – see Sauteed Pumpkin and Prawn with Salted Egg.
  • The prawns were nicely seasoned, juicy, tender, and crunchy with a salty garlicky crust and the shells were so crispy they were edible.
  • The topping is salty and it’s made with salty egg yolk, minced garlic, and perhaps a hint of curry. It was very Malaysian in flavour and incredibly aromatic and delicious.
  • The topping and prawns have a powdery texture from the salted egg yolk and I think there’s also some dried shrimp pan fried into it and it’s very fishy in flavour.
  • There’s lots of crispy garlic involved and there’s a slight heat that follows, but it’s not too spicy.
  • For me, this is on par with Phnom Penh Chicken Wings, although completely different and intended for Asian tastes and seafood lovers.

**Stir Fried Crab with Egg and Shrimp 6/6

  • $5.25/person. This is a special order available upon request. (Picture not representable of portion size)
  • It’s not on the menu, but available upon request. It’s for special occasions considering the expensive ingredients.
  • This is called “Do Rei Mi” and it includes three elements with a 3:2:1 ratio of shrimp, egg yolk and crab meat.
  • There’s 2 ways to eat it. The first is how it’s served (original flavour), and the second is with the side of white vinegar it’s served with.
  • It’s almost like a hot seafood crab salad and it’s feathery and light in texture with a slight crispiness from being stir fried.
  • The prawn was juicy and tender with a nice crunch and it was topped on a seafood medley of ingredients.
  • It was a stir fried crumbly moist mixture of flaky crab meat, eggs, dried scallops, sweet onion, shallots and carrots.
  • The added white vinegar just lightens up the whole thing and neutralizes all the flavours. It just took the edge off which was mild to begin with. It was the oddest change, but it worked and I liked it!

Kiwi Green Tea Palate Cleanser – $4.25 This was a sample and it’s available to go or as a bubble tea next door at their sister restaurant Zephyr Tea House. It was a delicious, light, refreshing and icy slushy of fresh pureed kiwis and a hint of real green tea.

**Taiwanese Steamed Sandwich (Koah-Pau)6/6

  • $4.25
  • I’d say this is another must try and it’s pretty authentic. Taiwanese is popular for their street food and cheap food, and this is a great example of why.
  • It’s pretty filling and could easily be a lunch for one person with a relatively normal to small appetite.
  • It almost puts all other modern Asian pork belly “sliders” to shame… although also not really fair to compare. Regardless, I prefer this one.
  • It’s a melt in your mouth delicious hot sandwich… I hear a food truck calling its name already.
  • It’s creamy, tender, juicy pork belly that’s topped with peanut powder, pickled Chinese cabbage and fresh cilantro.
  • The bun is not made in house, but it’s a super soft, fluffy, light and moist mantou bun.
  • The peanut powder is mixed with sugar and that’s the ingredient that makes it’s very authentic.
  • The pork ends up tasting like a nutty caramelized pork and the crunch of the pickled cabbage helps cut the grease from the savoury pork belly.
  • The touch of sweetness from the peanut powder is that little something that makes it so unique.
  • It was absolutely delicious and a Cantonese person would have added Hoisin sauce to it and some green onions so it was like a Peking duck sandwich.
  • If you’re vegetarian, 4 Stones Vegetarian offers vegetarian versions called Taiwanese Cut Buns.

Rice Dumpling (Zong Zi)3.5/6

  • $4.95
  • There’s a million versions of these all over China and I’m not too familiar with the Taiwanese version.
  • It’s sticky rice steamed in a bamboo leaf and the inside is stuffed with savoury shredded pork, big pieces of sweet Shiitake mushrooms and a salted egg yolk.
  • It’s very moist, sticky and saucy and also very filling, but the flavour was good and it was decently stuffed.
  • It’s drizzled with a sweet and spicy sauce which tasted more sweet and this was definitely a Taiwanese thing.

House Special Beef Noodle Soup 3.5/6

  • $6.95
  • This was quite good, but I wouldn’t come here and order it. For this sort of thing I would rather go to a Taiwanese noodle shop that specializes in this popular Taiwanese dish – see Wang’s Beef Noodle House.
  • It’s a spicy beef soup with a little sweet star anise licorice flavour and a bit of chili oil.
  • Relative to places that specialize in this, the broth fell flat although it wasn’t bland, just not as rich or dynamic as it should be.
  • It’s topped with pickled cabbage so the soup has a tangy flavour to it as well.
  • The heat catches up and when it’s in combination with the sharp tang it almost pinches your throat. It’s not hot though but it gradually gets spicier.
  • The noodles were too soft for me and I don’t think they’re home made here. I prefer the thicker noodles with it too.

  • The meat was quite tender and not very gelatinous and the tendons were broken down and soft.
  • They were actually relatively lean pieces and I prefer this kind of cut.
  • There was a decent amount of brisket and they were flavourful, well marinated and had absorbed the pickled flavours and spice coming from the soup.

Sour Plum Slush/Frappe Palate Cleanser – This was another sample and it’s available to go or as a bubble tea next door at their sister restaurant Zephyr Tea House. It was refreshing, but quite sour, a bit sweet and unusually smoky with a faint licorice flavour. It was similar to the cold drinks served along side Chinese hot pot. It cools the body after rich and hearty food.

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17 Comments

  • Bow says:

    Not very familiar w. this cuisine but this Taiwanese food looks different, and appealing(‘cos it’s different) ; but not a fan of bamboo shoots or of mayo. The pics look great(but I ain’t eating that sandwich). Thanks for the informative review.

  • Linda says:

    mmm taiwanese food 🙂 the crystal egg totally reminds me of this vietnamese dish called thit heo kho trung except the taiwanese version has a yolk that looks way more decadent – i can totally imagine how this tastes like based on your description alone 🙂

    when i first saw the mayo on the bamboo shoot salad, i thought they were fancy udon noodles lol the taiwanese sausage reminds me of the sausage i get from chinese butcher shops.. mm i like the combination of sweet and savory in meats! the chicken with 5 spice and the shrimp with the salted egg yolk looks really good, but then again, anything with ham dan is gooooooood!

    the stir fried crab with egg and shrimp seems like such a simple dish with so many complex flavors – everything needs to be cooked properly in order for the dish to succeed and by the sounds of it, i’m glad the execution of it was perfect 🙂 mm the steamed sandwich looks so yummy, it’s making my mouth water, even at this hour lol

    wow the zong is so saucy! i personally like the traditional ones served during the festival time and i like to add a bit of sugar to mine before eating it – i can’t seem to eat it any other way 🙂

  • Kevin says:

    Mijune, Taiwanese food has already up’d and came in Vancouver. well it’s still here, hasn’t left. Definitely nothing new in Vancouver IMO 🙂

    Everytime I go back, my grandmas always give me packages of the mullet thing, there’s sooo much of it in my fridge. Also, bamboo with mayo so satisfying on a hot summer day!

  • Mijune says:

    @Bow – wow I finally hit a cuisine that you’re unfamiliar with?!?! I have to pat myself on the back :)… the Taiwanese sandwich is very typical in Taiwan though… you should try it before you veto it 🙂 That’s why it was so appealing to me too, because everything was different!

    @Linda – lol about the mayo being noodles!! ahahah! I LOVE ham dan!! i used to eat it plain like a hard boiled egg when I was a kid and my mom would get so mad! I’m surprised you haven’t tried this place!

    @Kevin – I think nothing “new” if you are Taiwanese… :)… otherwise until it’s “massly accepted” and has a food truck lol… i think it still has LOTS of room to grow 🙂 Also there’s few non-bubble tea places… like even ramen has exceeded it. Bubble tea is widely accepted, but the food.. I don’t think quite yet imo… sorry for offending it if I did lol

  • Lucy says:

    It was so nice to finally meet you and dine with you Mijune! You are such a sweetheart.

    The deep fried shrimp with salted egg was to die for, we could not stop eat the crunchy bits. We tried to go back to Tri-Pot two weeks ago but they weren’t open till 4pm.

  • Mijune says:

    @Lucy – awww Lucy you are!!! It was so great to meet you too and finally put a face to the voice behind the wonderful blog!! I’m glad you liked the prawns too!! I love salty bits of deep fried anything 🙂 I’m surprised Tri-Pot isn’t an all day thing! Thanks for commenting Lucy!

  • Andres says:

    Hi, your blog is amazing! I found your blog when I was searching online for Jamaica’s Blue Mountains coffee as I am going there in a month and was looking to book a factory tour. You are so lucky to have Taiwanese food in BC. I live in Montreal and we can’t find any good Taiwanese food and looking at some of your pics in this post reminds me of my childhood when I was in Taiwan!

  • Mijune says:

    @Andres – WOW! I’m honoured!! Thanks Andres!!! If you click “locations” on my tabs up top and click “Canada” and then “Quebec” and then you can see all my posts for either “Quebec City” or “Montreal” 🙂

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