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Yaohan sucks


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I've been on this huge Yaohan food fair bandwagon lately, primamrily due to you people, but also due to alot of media chatter, (Steven Wong, the Seattle PI, etc) And I've got to say...you are all nuts. The food isn't good, it's barely edible. I've been to most stalls now, some two and three times and there is really very little reason to return. The Korean place has the stone bowl rice, which to be fair is pretty good, but outside that what's good? The emperor is wearing no clothes and I too have been guilty of unjustified boosterism.

Lets run through. North wall, three "Chinese" restaurants (I say Chinese because they sell the most westernized versions of chinese food court cooking. They all are bad, very very bad. Meat dishes consist of fat and grizzle, veg is overcooked and the noodles are greasy. These are the places that seem to do the most business, and are in my opnion the worst stalls at the court.

Moving clockwise we come to the two bubble tea and one tea shop, no real opinion.

The the pho place. No banh mi which is a critical flaw in my book, plus the pho is average at best, doesn't contain the rare beef as advertised, and has some of the greasiest spring rolls ever seen, they'd probably make great candles in the case of a blackout.

Then a couple more "chinese" places, one advertising "Healthy" cuisine, and one Taiwanese place. Same greasy stir fried dishes as the three palces on the north wall.

The comes the curry shop everyone speaks so high about. Why? Who the hell goes to a chinese mall for East Indian food, particulary in Richmond? Richmond has tons of super cheap super good real Indian curry, the stuff at Yahoan isn't bad per se, just makes you wonder why.

Then on the south wall is the barbecue place. The forementioned Korean, and a very average Japanese sushi/noodle joint. Last we have the Chinese Starbucks, where it has to be said they do make a good cup of coffee. Condensed milk, esppresso then topped with regular brewed coffee, you'll be up all night.

So, what am I missing? I look around at what others are eating and it's nothing I haven't tried there. Sometimes you want to pay a little more for your food. I took my wife kids for dinner the other night, yeah it's good to feed four and get change from a ten, but really maybe paying more would be better?

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I've been to Yaohan several times, but have only eaten at two places there. The Sushi place, I agree, is average at best. Many of the other stalls look a little too dodgy for me.

The Curry House isn't East Indian - it's Malaysian, I think. It has a fantastic Laksa (it's the only thing I've ever eaten there). It was so good, I don't want to be disappointed by trying anything else. Delicious broth of coconut milk and curry, lots of noodles, and chicken and other goodies in it - and plenty of heat. About as hot as I can really tolerate without beer and some "drunk-buddy-peer-pressure". If you haven't tried the Laksa there, and are up for another visit to Yaohan, I highly recommend it.

For good fast-food East Indian, have you tried the place at Landsdowne Mall? It's quite good.

I know a man who gave up smoking, drinking, sex, and rich food. He was healthy right up to the day he killed himself. - Johnny Carson
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I used to be a big fan of the place at Landsdowne, the until Himalya opened at five and Cambie. Now that is a good lunch. 6.95, lamb curry, salad, overly greasy nann, peas and cheese, curried garbanzos and rice.

I'm not totally off Yaohan. The Korean place is worth occasional visits. I'm still attempting to find where a certain bowl of noodles are coming from. Served in a real china bowl, seem to be filled with a thin wheat noodle, broth, beef and some gai lan on top. I've tried to keep my eyes open from which stall they come out of, but they seem to magically appear without preparation. (Actully I think it's the Taiwanese place between to the "healthy chinese" and curry stand.)

I'll definately try the Laksa soon, that sounds like everything I like in one big bowl. And I realize that the urry stall isn't strictly indian, but it does beg the question, if you are going to eat curry, and lots of good Indian curry is around, why not have that. Kinda like if you have tex-mex and real mex, why would you choose to eat tex-mex?

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I do love the bi bim bop at Seoul Express. The sides that come with it are nice too. I would recomend it too anyone. The other day I tried the seafood and noodles in broth at XO. It seems to be Vietnameese. I feel lucky not to have gotten ill. The fish balls were beyond bad. They were actually OFF!. You could tell by the very fishy/ammonia like smell. I tried to get past the smell but.....YUCK.

The donuts are Okay at the donut and congee place. I like the Curry Hut's curried lamb. I may not be abler to go back after my fish ball experience though. BTW this place is Harrod's food hall compared to the Richmond Public Market!

David Cooper

"I'm no friggin genius". Rob Dibble

http://www.starlinebyirion.com/

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I'm looking forward to trying the food court at Aberdeen, strolled around it once, didn't eat, only one place A Japanese noodle stall was open. It's on the top floor, has a great view (or at least as good as any Richmond view, the vistas aren't really inspired out there) and resembles a Scandavian Airport. All high tech meshed with organic elements. Bring your own Gravlax and you'd swear you're in Coppenhegen.

I've got high hopes, although I suspect parking will require the same number of shots of Bourbon parking at Yaohan does to settle after finding a spot.

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I do love the bi bim bop at Seoul Express.

I'm not very familiar with Korean food. What exactly is "bi bim bop"? The name alone makes me want to try it.

I know a man who gave up smoking, drinking, sex, and rich food. He was healthy right up to the day he killed himself. - Johnny Carson
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Vancouver has a very large Korean population. I have seen these spellings of the dish:

Bi bim bop, Bi bhim ba, Bi bim ba and a few others.

It's generally Jasmine rice, beef, cucumber, sprouts, shredded carrot, sea weed and a fried egg. Garnishes could include Kimchi cabbage or radish, spicy bean sprouts, seaweed and a hoisin style sauce and a smoky hot sauce.

When dinning or posting I find that because of the large number of people in Vancouver who speak and spell 2 or 3 languages spelling is more of an art then a science.

edited by Coop to remove some things he should have thought about before saying.

Edited by Coop (log)

David Cooper

"I'm no friggin genius". Rob Dibble

http://www.starlinebyirion.com/

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Hey Keith, I have to congratulate you on your anti-boosterism, now I can save myself the bus ride all the way down there.

I do have one question/comment though...it's my understanding that in many cultures fat and gristle are quite enjoyed. So perhaps the meat dishes are of a higher quality from another perspective? Although of course that lack of any muscle tissue whatsoever is still troubling.

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Couple things, Coop should have his editing priveledges revoked, unedited Coop is far more entertaining than the sanitized version. Would it be possible to turn this feature off on his account?

Second, had the Laska from the Malaysian curry stall. I'm going to start doubling back and praising Yaohan again. Consistancy of thought isn't one of my attributes. Damn that was good. Coconut curry broth, noodles, egg, chicken, tofu, unidentifiable asian starchy things, probaly with some incredibily gradiose name that makes you think they're way more important than the really are, "Ten thousand year old emperor's favourite mung bean cake". Really, really good. Only complaint was the portion could have been slightly larger. As a fat man that is attempting to grow larger, I resent these attempts to portion control my meals to sensible sizes.

The Laksa and Be bim bop are definately worth the trip, although not a trip on a bus. Maybe on a really well run rapid transit like in Paris or London where you could just pop on and hop off. Then again the RAV line is still 6 years out, as long as those whiny crybabies on Cambie don't get their way.

We had a very similar soup in Bali for lunch most days.

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Oddly enough, I can just pop on and hop off. The 98 B-Line runs all the way down Granville to right beside Yaohan, hitting the airport on the way. It runs almost constantly and takes 20 minutes to get from Broadway to Yaohan.

Kind of exactly what the RAV plan will accomplish, but no need to open a political debate here. : )

I must say that I do feel the rapid transit here is pretty well run. The 99 B-Line runs up and down Broadway also almost constantly as well. The other trolleys are pretty regular and cover most of the city. It's no Paris, for sure. But, I only got rid of my car about 8 months ago, and it's been almost no pain, which is not what I expected at all. And we eat out all over the place.

So perhaps we will take at least a couple trips and report back.

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had the Laska from the Malaysian curry stall. I'm going to start doubling back and praising Yaohan again. Consistancy of thought isn't one of my attributes. Damn that was good.

Keith - glad you liked the Laksa! I headed to Yaohan just yesterday at lunch, in an attempt to try the bi bim bop. Unfortunately, I arrived at about 12:15 and circled the parking lot for 5 minutes before getting pissed off and leaving. Have to try again...

I know a man who gave up smoking, drinking, sex, and rich food. He was healthy right up to the day he killed himself. - Johnny Carson
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I'm looking forward to trying the food court at Aberdeen, strolled around it once, didn't eat, only one place A Japanese noodle stall was open.

I think my mom was telling me about this place the other day. There was an article in the Chinese newspaper about this particular udon noodle chain--it's supposed to be really famous overseas. My sister says the prices aren't bad either.

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You expected Susur at Yaohan?!?!

Mall foods can be good, sometimes great even, but one normally has a lower expectation of quality when eating at those places, as the locales imply "cheap and fast". If your preference is to pay more for better quality, Vancouver is Nirvana for all types of Asian food. Feel fortunate that you do have this option. Except for the odd foray to the west coast on business trips, a lot of us don't have that luxury.

Certain restaurants in certain locales cater to a certain clientele. And, if that clientele's taste is does not meet your standards of "authenticity" , no need to slag the restaurant , maybe their style is what their clientele wants.

About "fat and grizzle" (sic), did you know that the beloved sweet and sour pork is called "gu lo yuk" and in it's original (non pc) form was made almost entirely of cubes of pork fat? Did you know that we Chinese love texture and mouth feel in our foods. That's why we adore beef flank stew (lots of gristle), beef tendon stew, (all gristle), fish head casserole (90% bones). You would hate the food that a normal traditional Chinese family eats.

Maybe that's a good thing.

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Wow, condescend much? And I'm glad to see you don't let tiny details like having been to the establishment in question preclude you from having an opinion.

And I'm curious, as an ignorant caucasian unable to appreciate Chinese cuisine, you (rightly) point out the Chinese enjoyment of texture cuts of meat, and suggest maybe that's how the clientele want it. Fair enough, but to parse the whole sentence would have required you to explain the previously unexplained Chinese enjoyment of badly overcooked veg and greasy noodles. Any explanations here?

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Ooohh, feeling a little insecure are we?

Naw, I don't mean to call anyone an ignorant Caucasian, in fact I married "one of your kind". How's that for condescension.

A far as this dialogue is concerned, it is toute fini.

I bid you good cheer.

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Ben Hong,

Perhaps you should read the other threads before you jump in and let loose an ignorant diatribe. If you had read Keith's other postings, you would have known that he, like other eGulleters, appears to be open to many cuisines and has some dining out savvy. That includes Chinese cuisine. Do normal traditional Chinese families eat greasy dishes with overcooked vegetables at home? Not the ones I know. We would have all been better served if you had suggested which food stall and which dishes Keith should try next time (refer to Jeffy Boy post on Curry House and laksa).

Keith: I enjoy all the cold salad dishes in Osaka Supermarket. The seaweed salad and the cold beef with cilantro are addictive. I pick some up to eat on the plane if I get a chance before a flight.

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So, if Yaohan isn't all it's cracked up to be (or even if it is), where else do you all go in Richmond? What are the best of the malls and food places? I'll be in Vancouver for a week starting Friday and really want to explore the Asian food scene there.

There seem to be a lot of threads on this general topic and I didn't want to start another one (but will if that would be preferred--just let me know). Any hot new tips?

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  • 4 weeks later...

My bf had the laksa from Curry House last week and he said it was pretty good (but thinks the laksa at Prata Man is better). I've had the pre-packaged sushi from the supermarket several times and it's pretty good and fresh. Don't bother buying bubble tea from the food court though...it's probably the worst I'd ever had. Very watered down and not "milky" at all.

There's a few more food stalls open at Aberdeen. There's a fruit juice stand, a crepe stand (sweet and savoury), the aforementioned Japanese udon place (also selling those octopus/squid balls with sauce), a Thai place selling noodles and sides (not a big selection--maybe 4 or 5 different meat and veg), and another Japanese stand selling sushi (I think).

Oh, and the Japanese udon place has soft-serve green tea ice-cream!

Edited by Ling (log)
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My bf had the laksa from Curry House last week and he said it was pretty good (but thinks the laksa at Prata Man is better).

I love Prata Man! :smile:

It's my secret hole-in-the-wall place that I'm hoping nobody else discovers. I've never had the laksa there, but I love the Mee Goreng. The food is great, and I absolutely cannot believe how inexpensive it is. The first time I went, I figured that with the low prices the portions must be small. So I think I ended up ordering enough to feed a family of four. :rolleyes:

I know a man who gave up smoking, drinking, sex, and rich food. He was healthy right up to the day he killed himself. - Johnny Carson
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  • 1 month later...

Had the laksa at Prata Man (Garden City & Capstan Way, in Richmond). It was good, bigger than the laksa at Curry House in Yaohan. I found the broth a little thin, and not quite as flavourful as at Yaohan. That's OK though, there's plenty of other dishes at Prata Man to keep me coming back.

I know a man who gave up smoking, drinking, sex, and rich food. He was healthy right up to the day he killed himself. - Johnny Carson
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Based on your recommendation, I've been going to Prata Man on a somewhat regular basis for lunch. Laksa and Roti, to go. Probably the unhealthiest lunch you can have not sitting next to a giant plastic Mayor McCheese. So stupidly good though. I think the Laksa has an inferior broth to the one at Yaohan, but conatins more/better chicken and shrimp. Plus parking doesn't make you hate every last motherf*&cking person on earth. So that's a win.

Today I went to a place Ling recommended I try next door to Vogue at the Soviets do Southwestern architecturely styled mall at Sexsmith and Cambie. The place is called "Traditional Taiwanese Restaurant", exhibiting a level of originality people say Asians don't have. Cheap and delicious. I had Taipei Stupid Noodles, which I ordered the first time based on the name alone. They're a fettucine sized wheat noodle in a sweet and hot chili sauce. Also got a side of spicy wonton, which are pretty much what the name implies.

Every restaurant in the mall is cheap and good. My wife and mine project of eating in every restaurant in there is coming along nicely. The only problem is everything is so good you want to go back again and again rather than trying the new places.

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