Sanbo Chinese, Richmond

During our explorations of Vancouver, we noticed that just out of Downtown, there’s Chinatown! But with most things Vancouver, one is never enough (endless mountains, massive parks, hot dog stands) so of course, there has to be two Chinatowns aswell.

This is a tale about Chinatown 2: Richmond.

Whenever we researched Asian food in Vancouver, everyone always goes on about how Richmond is the “real” Chinatown, and upon visiting both Chinatown and Chinatown 2: Richmond, it’s hard to disagree. Richmond is definitely a lot more vibrant with a lot of real ‘Asianness’ (it’s a thing!) everywhere. Apparently, the Downtown Chinatown used to be it, but due to its proximity to East Hastings Street and gentrification, the Chinese community moved out to Richmond, where they decided to set up shop again.

So depending on your views of it all, maybe you still think that the Downtown Chinatown is the real Chinatown! In any case it doesn’t really matter, this post is about how we went down to Chinatown 2 and went to a Hong Kong eatery named Sanbo Chinese Restaurant!

 

 

I’ve got a real soft spot for Hong Kong food. I used to travel there all the time (which is a long terrible story that I’m never going to get into). But these trip created my love for their ‘Dai Pai Dong’ which is essentially a type of cafe. I think they’re meant to be open air stalls, but the terminology is really loose. One of the things that I can never resist in Hong Kong is their scrambled egg sandwiches. These come with spam or corned beef and is always filled with the fluffiest scrambled eggs that you’re ever likely to eat.

So, this is the Ham (Spam) and egg sandwich ($4.45) from Sanbo Chinese. This is a bit of a comfort food for me, so I’m just going to say that I loved it with the caveat that it really is what you think it is. Egg and ham in bread, with the crusts cut off! Isn’t it nice that theres an adult sandwich out there that has the crusts removed!? I can eat this and not feel like a child, yay.

I would try and make this at home, except I don’t really want to come to terms with the amount of butter that is required to get the scrambled eggs as fluffy as it is. I’d rather just let that be magic behind the curtain stuff that I treat myself with every so often.

It’s better that way.

 

 

This is another dish that I can’t help but order whenever it’s on the menu Baked pork chop rice ($13.95). It’s essentially rice, covered in pork chops and veggies, then covered with a tomato sauce (sometimes with cheese) and the whole thing gets baked in an oven until it’s all crispy on top, and soft and gooey in the middle. This dish is another one of my Hong Kong loves, and I’ve yet to have a bad one (and I’ve had a LOT of these). I guess the finest compliment I can give this is – it tastes pretty similar to how it does in Australia, and with that, tastes similar to how it is in Hong Kong. Authenticity means a lot to me, so take that for what it’s worth.

 

 

Look at it! In all its gooey glory! So you can see that the rice is fairly untouched by the sauce at this point. I like to take the time to mix the sauce in so the rice becomes a gooey saucy mess before I even get started devouring it. If you’re really lazy, you can take the time to cut up the pork chops into bite sized chunks too, and then this dish becomes a complete one hander – you’ve got a whole free hand to do whatever you want with. Truly a dish for the multitasker.

One thing I should mention is that we also ordered a Hainam chicken ($9.95) take away that we didn’t end up taking a picture of. It was pretty good, though I don’t think it’s really fair to judge it since we had it reheated at home.

All in all, we had a great time here, it’s affordable, authentic and honestly a cuisine I just really enjoy. They only take cash though, so keep that in mind. Because that caused us heaps of problems but there are two ATMs right around the corner.

Sanbo Chinese Restaurant is right outside Richmond Station, so if you ever feel like Hong Kong food, don’t have a favourite all ready and want to walk as little as possible, this  places works for your.

Oh also, this is your typical ratty Asian joint, so don’t expect great service or anything here – but for me, I eat for the food not the service, so this suits me just fine.

Sanbo Chinese Restaurant

Address: 6-6340 Number 3 Road, Richmond

Sanbo Restaurant Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato


The Templeton, Downtown

One thing I love about Americana is the whole diner aesthetic. The puffy bench chairs, jukebox, old posters of soda for 15c, all that crap, I love it! So imagine how excited I was the first time I walked past The Templeton in Downtown Vancouver? Upon looking in, it’s the dinerest looking diner I’ve ever seen, with pictures of old stuff embedded in the tables and individual jukeboxes in each booth. Slice of 50’s and all that.

Our trip to The Templeton was quite a fateful one, in that we were kind of just..in the area, and were hungry. I’m sure a lot of you out there have similar stories where you’re just randomly happen upon a place and end up having a great meal, this is one of those stories.

The Templeton has a pretty wide ranging menu of burgers, sandwiches and bowls etc. but I’m a “breakfast for all meals all day” kind of guy so I went straight for the all day breakfast menu!

Note to other cafes: Everyone loves all day breakfast, so please do it.

Way back when, I was pretty obsessed with the show Man vs Food, and there was this one episode where he goes to a place called Juan in a Million in Texas and eats like, 5 serves of breakfast tacos. Those tacos looked bloody amazing to me, and ever since then, I’ve always ordered the breakfast taco if it’s on the menu, and lovingly, The Templeton has provided where many places have not.

 

 

I went straight for the Huevos Rancheros ($11.50) with a side of bacon for $3 extra and I was pretty impressed with it. The eggs were scrambled but had all those omelette fillings mixed into it. This was topped with a nice serve of beans and some delightful salsa for flavour.

The one thing that sort of gets me with breakfast tacos is that I never seem to get enough tortillas. What do I do in that situation? Do I ask for more? Are they going to charge me? I don’t really want them if they’re like $1 a tortilla, but at the same time, I really want them if they’re free.

It’s so awkward.

In any case, I liked this dish.

 

 

Next up was the Vegetarian Benny ($12.50). This comes with cream cheese, spinach and avocado. I’ve always been a huge fan of eating animals with a benedict, either salmon or ham but this dish made me realise with all the egg and hollandaise going on, you don’t really need it. There’s more than enough flavour here to compensate for the lack of animal. The big hitter for this dish was the avocado, which was really creamy and just worked with the egg incredibly well.

Next up we have another segment in our award(ish) winning series: poached or pwned! If you’re new, it’s when we check a poached egg and see whether it’s poached well, or cooked to crap. Here at The Templeton we got…

 

 

Poached! Ish! I know it looks really pwnish but we had a lot of good yolk here. It wasn’t completely runny, more like a slightly more cooked soft boiled egg.

 

 

Lily kind of struggles when it comes to refusing ice cream, and when you have something as cute as the Lil Sundae for as little as $4.50 you really need to ask yourself if it really is that weird to have ice cream at 10 in the morning.

It isn’t. Ice cream is glorious at all times of the day.

For the price, I thought this was fantastic, strawberry ice cream, crushed nuts, drizzled in choco syrup with a helping of whipped cream on top. I’m going to assume you’ve all had ice cream before, and this, this is pretty similar to those experiences I’d imagine.

 

 

And here we are, saving the best til last!

“But Ouk” you all exclaim, “It’s a drink! How could a drink be the best thing?!” Well. It was.

This is the Boozy Shake: Sunny Daze ($8.50). It’s a strawberry ice cream shake with Malibu rum. Wow. Reading back over the simplicity of the ingredients I don’t really know how this is possible, but this milkshake was absolutely incredible. The slight coconut tang, the overwhelming strawberry deliciousness, and of course, the booziness. I’m not a huge alcohol guy really, especially not at 10am, so really, the booziness isn’t a huge plus point for me, but somehow this all connected into something amazing, something that would surely turn me into an alcoholic if I somehow had $8.50 to blow on a drink every single day.

The Templeton

Address: 1087 Granville Street, Vancouver

The Templeton Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato


Lee’s Donuts, Granville Island

 

So Lily and I had recently moved to Vancouver and were looking for some fun stuff to do. We love markets and found out that Granville Island host a permeant market that is on every day, so we schlepped out onto the tiny ferry (it was awesome) and made our way to the market!

What we found was honestly one of the cooler markets that we have ever been to. It felt like the entire island was dedicated to this market and inside there was a fantastic selection of every hipster market item you could ever dream of! In any case, we were feeling a bit peckish and saw the very unassuming Lee’s Donuts over in the corner and being in a position where we sorely missed Krispy Kreme (the best donuts ever in our opinion) we decided to give it a try.

 

 

Lee’s are famed for their honey dipped donuts ($1.90 each, $13.75 for a dozen), which we honestly weren’t very excited about. We weren’t looking for a matcha infused raspberry topped maple kale donut or anything, but honey just seemed so pedestrian.

Oh how terribly wrong we were.

Honey dipped donuts are amazing! The one thing that I rate a donut on is how fluffy it is inside and these are lighter and airier than any donut I’ve ever had. In contrast, the crust is lovingly crispy and when biting into it, there’s a slight crunch, with bits of hardened honey dropping off.

The best thing about these is that they aren’t too rich, the honey flavour is sweet, but not sweet enough where I can’t eat 6 of them at once. In hindsight, maybe that’s a negative point.

 

 

You can see how excited I was about these things! I didn’t expect these donuts to be as good as they were and I definitely didn’t expect to have a new favourite donut ever. Look at me! That’s the face of a guy who’s had probably a bit too many donuts, excited about eating yet another donut! This could be you! Imagine the possibilities!

Lee’s Donuts

Address: 1689 Johnston St, Vancouver, BC V6H 3R9

Lee's Donuts Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato