December 28, 2012
圆香 – Pearl Castle, Richmond BC
牛腩锅 (Beef Brisket Hot Pot)
海鲜炒面 (Seafood Fried Noodle)
香辣肉丝炒饭 (House Special Shredded Pork Fried Rice)
Before getting ready to cry our eyes out watching Les Miserables, a group of friends and I headed to 圆香 (Pearl Castle) in Richmond Centre for dinner. It had been open for years. I still remember the time when Kin’s Farm was there. However, I just never hung out enough back in high school to eat there. Mom did not go to places like these, so I never tried it until now. It was fairly crowded but the wait was not too bad. Service was friendly but nothing outstanding, as is the case with most Chinese cafes.
One friend got the 牛腩锅 (Beef Brisket Hot Pot). The beef brisket was tender and succulent but parts were slightly tough. What I loved were the vegetables and that soup base. It was slightly thickened using tomato paste, slightly sweet and sour. I love a tomato-based soup, especially if it is also a little sweet.
Another (new) friend ordered the 海鲜炒面 (Seafood Fried Noodle). There was plenty of seafood, which included shrimp, calamari, and mussels. There was also imitation crab and perhaps something else as well. The seafood was decent and the noodles still chewy. I loved how they served it with kimchi to give it that extra layer of flavour. Otherwise, it was slightly bland, though with good ingredients and a generous portion.
I got the 香辣肉丝炒饭 (House Special Shredded Pork Fried Rice). It was quite spicy; actually, I believe it was one of the spiciest items in their menu. It did have a decent kick. The shredded pork was tender but tasted a little off. The fried rice was good, though. It was not soggy or the least bit overcooked, and quite flavourful.
I cannot get over how expensive bubble tea at such places can be. It makes me not perfectly satisfied. A cold beverage would have been extremely good with this meal, but $5 was just not worth it, especially when there are fresh fruit slush bubble teas for a cheaper price nearby. This is Richmond after all.