Sing Yee Chinese Restaurant 勝意食館

Restaurant: Sing Yee Chinese Restaurant 勝意食館
Cuisine: Chinese/Congee/Noodle
Last visited: February 5, 2012
Location: Richmond, BC (Richmond Central)
Address: 2118-3779 Sexsmith Road
Train: Aberdeen Station Northbound
Price Range: $10-20 ($13-16 mains for dinner, $10 or less for lunch)

1: Poor 2: OK 3: Good 4: Very good 5: Excellent 6: FMF Must Try!

Food: 3.5-4
Service: 3
Ambiance: 2.5
Overall: 4
Additional comments:

  • Local Cantonese favourite
  • Authentic Cantonese cuisine
  • Busy at peak hours
  • Chinese & English menu
  • BBQ/Congee/Noodle house
  • Good combination menu
  • Family friendly
  • Very affordable
  • Accepts MC/Visa
  • Dine in/Take out
  • Sun-Thurs. 11am-3pm, 5pm-12am
  • Fri-Saturday 11am-3pm, 3am-1am
  • Closed Tuesday

**Recommendations: Spicy Eggplant & Shredded pork with Chili Garlic, Yang Chow Fried Rice, and the Deep Fried Eggplant with Chili Salt and BBQ Duck are apparently hits, but I missed out of those.

If you’re one of those people who get really excited about being the only non-Chinese person at a Chinese restaurant, then get ready to pee in your pants. Sing Yee Chinese Restaurant is another good find and local favourite for the Cantonese-Chinese community. It’s casual, family friendly and great for groups if you come early, but the place fills up quickly during peak hours.

It comes by unnoticed and it’s almost all covered up so I’d consider it a hidden gem even though it’s located in Continental Plaza in Richmond, BC. It’s a popular area for restaurants, but with so much competition for Chinese food in Richmond, you have to really bring your game to attract this type of crowd, and especially to keep it.

I took this photo as I was about to leave, but when I came at about 7pm the place was packed and apparently it always is. Another positive is that it’s open until midnight and even until 1am on Fridays and Saturdays. It’s better than your 24 hour #9 Restaurant, and a nice change from Hong Kong style cafes and bubble tea houses; so if you’re looking for late night Chinese food munchies in Richmond, then this is a solid bet.

It’s a very traditional Cantonese style restaurant and it’s good for everyday dining. The food isn’t overly greasy and it seems rather free of MSG, although I can’t confirm they don’t use it. They have really affordable lunch and dinner options, and although it may not be the “best in town”, it’s generally well rounded even with their 200+ item menu. The BBQ meats, congee and noodles are a feature here, but I’m not sure if it’s their specialty. I haven’t tried their congee and noodles yet, but personally I do like Michigan Noodle Shop for that.

I came here for dinner to try out their combination menu which is served all day. It’s very popular with the locals so I decided to follow lead. The menu allows you to select your own dishes and it works a lot better if you’re with a bigger group. Not only does it get cheaper, but you get to try more things. The portions are decent and everything is made upon order and I’d certainly revisit it despite there being hit and miss dishes.

On the table:

Chef’s Soup of the Day 3/6 (Good)

  • Small $6 Large $12.80
  • It was a pork, carrot and lotus root soup.
  • The broth was not watered down or filled with MSG and some may consider it bland, but I thought it was good and almost “home made” since it wasn’t very salty.
  • They didn’t give much pork, but there was a decent amount of lotus root and tender carrots.

Two Kinds of BBQ Meat

  • $11.80 a la carte
  • I didn’t get this. It was $13.80 a la carte off of the combination menu, but $11.80 a la carte off of the regular menu.
  • BBQ meats can be featured as an appetizer when dining Chinese and it’s almost like starting with a charcuterie plate.
  • You can have it as a main as well in which case it would be eaten with either rice or noodles.
  • The BBQ pork and Roasted Suckling Pig can be considered a “test” of how good the barbequed meats are at a Chinese restaurant.

BBQ Pork3/6 (Good)

  • $10.80 a la carte
  • I prefer the one at HK BBQ Master under the Superstore in Richmond, but this one was still good if you’re not a BBQ pork “connoisseur”.
  • It was decently moist, not too sweet and the meat was tender, but not as fatty as the HK BBQ Master pork.
  • It was probably on the leaner side for most Chinese preferences for this, so it wasn’t as juicy.
  • I prefer more charred parts and more of a caramelized glaze, but it was still good.

Roasted Suckling Pig – 3.5/6 (Good-Very good)

  • The skin is key to a good roasted pork.
  • This one wasn’t as golden brown as I prefer, but it was still good although I prefer mine a bit thicker with a nice sweet crackling crunch.
  • There was only one layer of fat in the centre so it wasn’t overwhelming, but I wouldn’t say it was on the lean side either.
  • I prefer my fat and meat it more alternating layers, or if not almost falling apart tender from being so juicy.
  • It was moist and tender and the fat wasn’t too chewy, but overall I like the one at Continental better – see here. This isn’t necessarily “the best” either, but I like it.

Ginger Sauce Chicken – 3/6 (Good)

  • Half $12.80 Whole $22.80
  • The chicken was moist, well marinated with a golden yellow skin and a hint of 5 spice.
  • The ginger and onion oil was made in house and well flavoured with a good balance of ginger and onion.
  • I wouldn’t say this dish was a highlight here, but it was better than decent.
  • It’s incomparable, but in the category of Chinese style whole chickens my favourite is The Jade Smoked Grandpa Chicken from The Jade Seafood Restaurant.

**Spicy Eggplant & Shredded Pork with Chili Garlic4/6 (Very good)

  • $13.80 or less with a combo
  • This is one of my favourite dishes and I love eggplant.
  • The sauce tasted almost like Sweet Thai Chili sauce and there was a nice sweet and sour balance with some soy sauce and lots of garlic.
  • It was mildly spicy and there were also some mushrooms in it.
  • The eggplants were nice big strips and they were tender and creamy, but still held their shape.
  • It wasn’t overly greasy although naturally still greasy and the pork was moist, but as usual not a great cut.
  • The dish wasn’t particularly good here, but I would order it again and they did a good job with it.
  • I missed out on the deep fried eggplant which I saw on almost every table after I ordered. Actually a lot of their deep fried dishes were being ordered, so I would go back to try those.

Braised Roasted Pork with Bitter Melon3/6 (Good)

  • $13.80 or less with a combo
  • I’m not a fan of bitter melon yet and it’s one of those vegetables I think I’ll appreciate with age. I need maybe 20 more years.
  • It was sauteed in a black bean sauce with some garlic and a bit of chili and it had good flavour, but I just couldn’t get over that bitter aftertaste that was touching everything.
  • The roasted pork was likely what was left from yesterday’s suckling pig which is common to do at Chinese restaurants. It was still pretty moist, but the skin naturally got a bit soggy being in the sauce.
  • If you like bitter melon then the dish was pretty good, and the bitter melon likers at the table did like it.

Beef with Black Pepper2/6 (Okay)

  • $13.80 or less with a combo
  • The beef was pretty chewy so I wasn’t a fan.
  • The onions and green peppers were still crunchy rather than sweet and the mushrooms were almost still raw.
  • It was all sauteed in a black pepper sauce with garlic and it was actually quite spicy and very peppery.
  • It’s not comparable, but on a fine dining Chinese level, I do like the Sautéed Beef Tenderloin & Scallops with black pepper and basil from Kirin, but another great beef dish is the Sauteed Beef and Seasonal Vegetable with Satay Sauce at Continental.

Dried Scallops & Bean Curd Skin with Baby Green Bak Choy3/6 (Good)

  • $13.80 or less with a combo
  • This was another very basic vegetable side dish and usually it would be made with “supreme stock” if you’re at a dine dining Chinese place.
  • It was braised been curd and baby bok choy with dried scallop for flavour.
  • I wouldn’t mind more dried scallop (Chinese delicacy), but there was good flavour (soy sauce and perhaps mushroom based). It was what it was.

Marinated Soy Ranch Duck1.5/6 (Poor-Okay)

  • $13.80 or less with a combo
  • This was a bit disappointing. It was braised duck and taro root and I love both ingredients, but it fell apart in this dish.
  • It was a sweet and pickled flavoured dish and the duck tasted like it was marinated and swimming in plum sauce.
  • It was too sweet and the skin was quite chewy and the meat wasn’t really dry, but also not juicy.
  • The taro was a bit bland although tender, but both ingredients seemed thrown into the sauce last minute and I couldn’t taste any depth in the dish.

**Sticky Fried Rice – 4/6 (Very good)

  • $13.80 or less with a combo
  • This was done really well and I’m not even sure what it’s called on the menu. I would show them the picture if you plan to order it because it could have been a special.
  • The rice was chewy, sticky, moist and somewhat sweet and it had a wonderful “wok aroma” or a smokiness from the wok sautee.
  • There was a good amount of sweet Chinese sausage, BBQ pork and some scrambled egg and it was well flavoured.

Coconut Tapioca & Taro Dessert1.5/6 (Poor-Okay)

  • I like the cold coconut tapioca dessert, but I’m not a fan of the hot version. I’m actually not keen on Chinese desserts period.
  • Even if I liked this dessert it wasn’t done very well and it seemed a bit watered down and thickened with cornstarch.
  • It wasn’t too sweet, but the tapioca was almost overcooked and the coconut soup part wasn’t well made.
  • It’s complimentary though so I can’t really complain, but I would rather them not serve it if the quality is going to be this poor.

Hot Yam & Sweet Potato Soup Dessert – n/a

  • I’m really not a fan of this dessert, but this came complimentary as well.
  • If you like this dessert, then this was a good version of it.
  • It has dried dates, boiled sweet potatoes, boiled yams, ginko nuts, almonds, white cloud fungus, and a whole bunch of other things I eat in savoury forms, but not in sweet.
  • It had a floral tea like Chrysanthemum soup base and it was sweet and syrupy, but also not too sweet because Chinese people usually prefer very mildly sweetened desserts.

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10 Comments

  • Lovely photography on your site. I am envious ….

  • Bow says:

    Mijune, you missed the BBQ duck, which is one of the best around. Ate at Master Hung’s but prefer Sing Yee. Al;so it has a marvelous steamed rice combo in a large bamboo steamer (takes 20 mins.)…think there’s 3 kinds. I get the Duck w. Rice and free soup for a wallet breaking $7.50 or $7.80? That’s for some of the Best duck in town !

  • Mijune says:

    @John Thompson – wow really?!?! thank you!! It’s just a little point and shoot 😉

  • Vincent N says:

    Wait…so based on the pricing issue with the a la carte vs the combo menu you’re suggesting that not ALL Chinese people are good at math. 🙂 I feel so relived.

  • Mijune says:

    @Vincent N – Bahahahah!!! u just made me feel better too!!

  • Linda says:

    mmm now i have to go to master hung’s because of bow’s comment.. mmmmm

    i don’t really get the pricing issue either lol i was so confused haha

    wow that spicy eggplant dish looks amazing.. definitely something i’d order and gobble up! the suckling pig looks yummy and i would probably take that home and make it into a sandwich lol everything else looks pretty standard here and i’m glad the prices reflect that even though they’re a bit confusing to start with 🙂

    at least no red bean for dessert! lol

  • LotusRapper says:

    @Linda – maybe Mijune went to DQ for an Oreo Blizzard afterward 😉

    @Mijune – what do you think of the portions of the dishes here ? Would you say they appear smaller than the “average” Chinese restaurant portion ?

  • Linda says:

    @LotusRapper – hahahaha you’re probably right! 🙂 its always her go to place after eating at a chinese restaurant lol

  • Mijune says:

    @LR – I found them average for Chinese standards which I like. If anything perhaps a tad bigger, but I think standard. I like that better actually. I think you and the fam might like this place! And yes, I had 3 desserts this day! 2 in the morning and one later :)… ice cream was involved… actually gelato 😉

    @Linda – you guys are so cute!!!!! lol DQ is my go to place after Continental because it’s convenient, but otherwise it’s usually soft serve McDonald’s for a quick/cheap dessert fix 😉 I tried Master Hung’s but haven’t blogged it yet! The food was quite good there too! The duck here I have to come back for! Thanks for commenting linda… you’re a sweetheart

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