Food columnist puts spotlight on diverse dining in Richmond

Food columnist puts spotlight on diverse dining in Richmond

If you're looking for outstanding Chinese food, you'll find it in Richmond, but the city's dining scene also has plenty of diversity, according to On The Coast food columnist Gail Johnson

Last week Johnson shared the results of the Chinese Restaurant Awards with CBC listeners, where Richmond restaurants dominated the Diners' Choice Awards by winning 15 out of 21 categories.

Today she took On The Coast guest host Gloria Macarenko through the other cuisine represented in restaurants of Richmond.

Dolpan Seoul BBQ

First on her list was Dolpan Seoul BBQ at 3779 Sexsmith Road.

"If you've never experienced authentic Korean barbecue before, this is the place to go. It's a lively, interactive experience.

"If you order a barbecue grill set, you get to cook your food at your own table. 'Dolpan' means stone plate, and the grill has little bits of stone in it. You can choose from items such as pork belly, boneless short ribs, or seafood skewers to grill.

"And the meal comes with banchan, which means side dishes. There are several things like house-made kimchi, bean sprouts, sweet-and-sour pink radish, jalapeno-onion in sweet soy sauce, sweet potato noodle, lettuce wrap, soybean soup, and – my favourite – egg volcano.

Another favourite is a little steamed egg soufflé called a volcano because the egg bursts up from within and adds some fun to the table that kids love.

Dolpan owner Paul Lim, is from Vancouver but spent 20 years working in Seoul. He told Johnson that barbecue is especially popular there around midnight and well into the wee hours.

"It's a celebratory experience and to go with it, you've got to have good beer and good soju, which is Korean vodka," Johnson said.

As for side dishes, the list goes on to include kimchi fried rice, which you cook on the dolpan at your table. Johnson recommends adding mozzarella for melty "cheesy goodness."

"And then there's Korean Army Base Hot Pot. This is a dish that Anthony Bourdain has raved about on his show. It's a mighty soup with pork belly, sausages, and Spam!"

Bánh Mì Très Bon

Next up was Bánh Mì Très Bon, which, as the name suggests, serves Vietnamese and French food but is not a fusion restaurant.

"The owner is Lan Do, and she was telling me that wanted to focus on a few authentic Vietnamese dishes as well as French pastries and French teas.

"So, for Vietnamese food, you'll find items like pho with beef tenderloin and meatballs as well as spring rolls, green papaya and beef jerky salad, and of course its signature banh mi... The classic banh mi has Vietnamese ham and pork belly. You can get lemongrass chicken, pork meatball, or a vegetarian version with grilled tofu and mushroom."

The classic French pastries like croissants and macaroons are available, along with green tea passion fruit mousse.

Milk and Eggs

Lastly is Milk and Eggs at 8888 Odlin Crescent, which is a family-run business that serves dishes like spicy Thai basil pork ribs and meatballs stuffed with shiitake mushrooms.

"Crystal Yeung, who runs Milk and Eggs with her parents, is especially proud of the ice cream she makes herself from scratch.

There are some really lovely ones, like an aromatic French Earl Grey and one made from pink rosebuds. Then there are more adventurous flavours such as durian."

With files from the CBC's On The Coast