Tag Archives: Richmond

Cook Your Life with MayMay Chan at Gateway Theatre

image001I was contacted by the Communications Coordinator from Gateway Theatre, located in Richmond BC. She invited me to see a a complimentary show called Cook Your Life that took place from September 17 – 19, 2015 during their Gateway Theatre Pacific Festival.

The show featured MayMay Chan who cooked live on stage while doing a comedic solo skit about love and relationships, and how they have parallel similarities with food. It was the first of its kind that I had seen and it was interesting to watch.

CYL-20140110_MayChan_Dress0033_smallThe show incorporates a 4-D theatre approach where the audience can not only just see and hear, but also smell and taste (for those lucky as some food samples gets passed around) to enhance the theatre experience.

MayMay is not only a performer, but a cook as well with her own cooking channel in Hong Kong. She performs in Cantonese as 
the two screens on each side of the stage, showed the surtitles in both Chinese and English.

She was very lively and energetic. She spoke quickly, which made the subtitles seem to lag way behind. She threw in a lot of improv, especially during when she would invite some of the audiences up to help her with cooking and such. Although it wasn’t an usual situation where I would be surrounded by people talking in a language where I was clueless, I did feel a slight disconnect, or an outsider feeling. My Chinese friend understood only Mandarin, so he was as clueless as I was.

At the end, he didn’t quite enjoy it as he didn’t like all the whining and girlie-talk that he couldn’t relate to. Although the surtitles were quite limited for the amount of actual talking May Chan actually did, I did however understand the main just of the story, and as a female, could relate to the relationship issues she brought up. Her insightful analogies between food and love and was intriguing.

Its always so interesting to see one person play so many different roles, and be convincing. What’s always even more credible is that she also created, produce, and directed the show as well.

As for the theatre venue itself, parking costs 1 hour $2.50, 2 hours $5 and so on. No inbetween times. But it is free after 9pm. There were helpful ushers and friendly staff with freebies for facials at this particular event.

Thank you Gateway for a unique experience!


Chatime in Richmond

Click to add a blog post for Chatime Richmond on ZomatoSo after being invited to Chatime by @ChineseBites on Broadway, I became a fan of Chatime. Every time I needed to go to a bubble tea place in Richmond, I suggested going to Chatime to my friends.

I’ve been to the Richmond location twice, both times around 11pm – and both times with a long line up out the door. This location is larger with more seats to chill on. It’s always super busy on the other side of the counter and the customers are lively even late at night.

idearabbit-chatime_richmond1 idearabbit-chatime_richmond2 idearabbit-chatime_richmond3idearabbit-chatime_richmond4
I always ordered the Pearl Milk Tea, so this time, I decided to get the popular Chocolate Mousse (regular) $4.80. It was frothy and I had to mix the white cream with the chocolate at the bottom to get the right mixed taste. But even then, it reminded me of some chocolate protein shake.

The second time we went there, we took our friends from Germany there and the guy was really happy with the place. He also mentioned that he liked how you could customize your drink. I agree. They ordered the QQ Taiwan Mango $4.50 and a Mango Yoghurt $4.30.

Chatime allowed me to earn points for the friend’s drink too, so I’m up to 6 points. 4 more to go until I get a free drink! :)

You can sign up to their free membership, so that you can redeem one free regular drink with one complimentary topping for 10 points. You redeem 1 point per drink, so essentially, after 10 drinks, you get a free drink. You also receive a free drink on your birthday! They will send you a text message about the offer 7 days prior to your birthday. You also get the benefit of trying out their feature Chatime Tea of the Month™ drink that is selected by their Tearistas at an exclusive price.
If you become an Chatime Elite (after accumulating 100 points!), you can redeem 10 points for one free large sized drink with any toppings and one free food item of your choice (under $3.00 before applicable taxes)
In addition to all regular Reward member benefits, you also get:
•    Your very own personalized Chatime Elite Rewards card when you reach Elite status!
•    The chance to win lower-bowl sporting tickets every season, courtesy of our partner, Vicinity!
•    More exclusive access to promotions, offers, and store events!

Taste: carrotcarrotcarrotcarrot    Price for Value: carrotcarrotcarrot

Atmosphere:  carrotcarrotcarrot  Service:  carrotcarrotcarrot
Location: carrotcarrotcarrot

Hakkasan Bistro

Hakkasan Bistro Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - ZomatoI was kindly invited by Yvonne, the Managing Director of Hakkasan Bistro for a Media Event of complimentary dinner at Hakkasan and wine tasting/tour at Canada Berries Winery (formerly Sanduz Estate Winery).

Hakkasan, a modern Chinese eatery in East Richmond’s industrial area was established in 2007. It was definitely located in an area where you wouldn’t expect a restaurant. They underwent a nine-month restaurant makeover in 2013 and relaunched as the restaurant it is today. Hakkasan serves quality authentic Cantonese dishes with a new diverse menu selection, including Hakka inspired soul food, in addition to our tasting menus.

idearabbit-hakkasanbistro1 idearabbit-hakkasanbistro2Hakka were Han Chinese people originating from Southern China, known as China’s gypsies and nomads. Their cuisine is not well known outside of the Hakka home. It concentrates on the texture of food, the hallmark of Hakka cuisine.

Texture plays an important role in their cuisine and the skill in Hakka cuisine lies in the ability to cook meat thoroughly without hardening it, and to naturally bring out the rich flavours. Hakkasan’s decision not to re-make the original Hakka cuisine came about, simply because the Hakka’s nomadic lifestyle called for ‘‘peasant’s food’, which were more meaty, hearty and fatty foods – often very sweet or very salty. With today’s society being more health-conscious than ever, Hakkasan decided to evolve with the modern age.


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Wine master Terrance pours fruit wine for the guestsidearabbit-hakkasanbistro6

Selection of fruit wine from Berries Wineryidearabbit-hakkasanbistro5 idearabbit-hakkasanbistro4Beautifully printed special menu for the event on pearl stock

idearabbit-hakkasanbistro8 The dinner started off with 3 items on one large plate: the Honey Roasted BBQ Pork Cheeks (Jowls) marinated with their Chef’s special glaze and then roasted, Balsamic Cloud Ear Mushroom and Jasmine Tea Smoked Mushroom Beancurd Crepes. It was nicely presented.idearabbit-hakkasanbistro9Like most of the dishes served tonight, this dish must be ordered in advance. I found the BBQ pork to be on the chewy side. For having a tooth extracted a few days before, I had a bit of difficult time chewing, but for Sheepie, it was fine. I really liked the Beancurd with mushrooms. Interesting mix of texture and good flavoured sauce. The ear mushrooms were new to me, and although I avoided at first since I’m not a fan of brown-coloured mushrooms, I thought this would be a good opportunity to try it. To my surprise, it was actually pretty good.

idearabbit-hakkasanbistro11Next off had everyone ‘wowing’ with awe as we were served the Double Boiled Pork with Snow Fungus Soup in Young Coconut. This was quite exciting, as I have never had soup inside a coconut shell! The coconut is hollowed out, lightly roasted then filled with pork and snow fungus which were steamed for over three hours! Yes, because it is time consuming, this dish must also be ordered one day in advance. The aroma is pleasant, the sweet soothing smell of coconut. The taste also had a hint of sweetness that was quite unique and a new encounter for my taste buds. The content inside could be eaten with the broth, or dipped into the sauce served on the side which was salty, giving you the option of switching back and forth from sweet to sour. There were still some of the coconut inside that you could scrape off and enjoy with the broth. I almost felt like a kid, giggling with excitement with this new dish that was new and different.

idearabbit-hakkasanbistro10With one of my last minute guest, there wasn’t enough time to make this special soup, so Sheepie got the Chef’s Daily Featured Double Boiled Soup. I had the opportunity to try some, and the broth was super rich and flavourable. Don’t let the simple look (especially to the Coconut soup) deceive you. Both soups were amazing. I have never been this surprised by soups alone! A big thumbs up for both.

idearabbit-hakkasanbistro12idearabbit-hakkasanbistro221/2 Lobster, Chef’s Secret Garlic on Jasmine Rice
The gasps from the diners didn’t end yet. If you love lobsters, this dish is for you. There is half a lobster with plenty of meat to pick from. The red lobster is a nice complement to the green brocolli, making it visually pleasant, even before tasting it. As soon as you start eating it, you notice the strong garlic taste. But it’s no ordinary garlic dish. They have specially processed it so that only the flavour remains, and the garlic breath and after-taste is gone! Amazing! Sheepie said it needed more salt, but then again, he’s the one who always sprinkle more salt on his dishes. I tend to avoid sodium, so this was just so perfect. The lobster meat was a bit tricky to get out, but it was very juicey and plump. Very fresh and delicious.

idearabbit-hakkasanbistro13 idearabbit-hakkasanbistro14Ancient Style Hakka Salt Baked Chicken
Another round of wows came from the crowd as a big pot with a mountain of salt arrived. The marinated free range chicken wrapped in parchment paper is buried beneath all that salt. Slowly baked, this special dish again needs to be ordered one day in advance.

idearabbit-hakkasanbistro17The chicken was tender, and even though there was a lot of salt, the meat itself was not salty at all. It was just perfect.

idearabbit-hakkasanbistro18idearabbit-hakkasanbistro21Braised Pork Hock
This specialty item must be ordered one day in advance. The meat just melts in your mouth with no effort. The thick sauce went well with the garlic rice from the Lobster. It reminded me of German pork chops. Extremely well done.

idearabbit-hakkasanbistro15Country Style Fish Fillet
This ended up being both of my guests favourite dinner dish. The punch in flavour balanced out with the more bland Jasmine rice from the lobster. I on the other did enjoy the flavour, but I’m usually not into dishes with thick sauces and deep-fried. I wanted to take out the fish from the batter, but still, the flavour was strong, and the still crisp veggies complimented the fish.

idearabbit-hakkasanbistro16Hakka Homestyle Steamed Egg, Pork and Duck Yolk
Wow, this was so soft and smooth! A bit hard to eat with chopsticks, especially when you wanted to eat so much of it since it was so delicious! Amazing technique to keep it soft without any crust or hardening. Went really well with the ground meat inside. I would have liked more, but there were so many other dishes that I didn’t get to scoop out more.

idearabbit-hakkasanbistro19Mui Choy Stirfry Seasonal Chinese Greens
No Chinese meal can be without some greens. Fresh greens, not soggy nor too salty. Unfortunately, by this time, I was getting pretty full that I didn’t get a chance to eat much of it.

idearabbit-hakkasanbistro20 Steamed Milk Egg White Custard
Last but not least, the dessert. It was quite simple, but made soft and silky. One of my guest loved it so much she went on to tell Yvonne “I’d come all the way out just for this dessert. I mean, the other dishes were great too of course!” I prefer more gelatin, or firmer – doesn’t have to be hard as jello, but like Annin tofu (杏仁豆腐). Form wise, it was a bit too runny for me, but the taste wasn’t overly sweet and easily went down to my happy stomach.

Unlike some Chinese restaurants, the dishes were not overly salty or greasy. It was light, easy to eat and high in quality. This is higher-end restaurant with quality food, considered food presentation and service. The service was excellent! You wont find staff clanking and throwing the dishes down or rude customer service that had me stay away from some Chinese restaurants. The staff at Hakkasan do make a huge effort to make your dining experience superb.

Keep in mind that they didn’t close down the restaurant to the public, so they still had to keep up with the demands from the customers who came to dine. That was pretty impressive as the media group took up 4 large tables with lots to eat!

Most of the dishes were ones that I had never tried, and likely would have never tried, unless a friend who was familiar with the cuisine took me there. They were exciting, delicious and opened up a new door to the world of cuisine. I would like to thank Yvonne for her kindness in inviting me and my guests to this media event. Great big applause for the staff of Hakkasan. It is no wonder that Hakkasan has won, The Chinese Restaurant Awards – Diner’s Choice Award twice, once in 2011 and again in 2015 for Best Service.

Although I don’t drink, so I was unable to try out the fruit wines that were offered, I greatly appreciate the wine tour that took place before the dinner. One of my guest really liked the wine during the dinner, especially the peach one.

Find out more on Hakka Bistro:

*My reviews are my opinion and all photos for this post were taken by me, and has not been edited, altered or paid for.


Taste: carrotcarrotcarrotcarrot    Price for Value: carrotcarrotcarrotcarrot


Atmosphere:  carrotcarrotcarrotcarrot   Service:  carrotcarrotcarrotcarrotcarrot
Location: carrotcarrot