OK, not so nearby, but we didn’t need to drive. Amtrak’s station is conveniently located a short walk from the light rail station and a short ride to Richmond, B.C.
Seventy-two hours in Richmond, B.C. Plenty of time to sample the abundant Asian cuisine in this community located just south of Vancouver.
The Aberdeen light rail stop is up the street from Oriental Dumpling King. My train breakfast of oatmeal meant I was starved and this seemed a great place to begin. To my delight, I was able to see the chef in action as she rolled out the dough and cut portions to make our steamed dumplings. Their menu resembles a wedding album; large pages of well-photographed dishes help us decide.
Boutique Dumplings; boiled, steamed or fried. Ice Flower Dumplings, delicate fried edges invoke the crystal edges of snow, were my favorite version. Bright purple eggplant got top marks for presentation and flavor. Silky handmade noodles, spicy garlic sauce on eggplant, all cooked to sweet, spicy perfection. The scallion pancakes were toasty brown on the outside and soft inside, not oily or dry. A great meal to start to my quest: How much Asian cuisine could I pack into my tummy in the next three days?
Where to for the next meal? My hubby consulted a fellow at our hotel. Directions were simple-“Go right, take 3rd to Alexandria Road, plenty of restaurants, on both sides of the street.” Oh yeah!
The best dim sum I ate on this visit- Sun Sui Wah Seafood Restaurant in The Golden Village. On a Tuesday, at 1:30 p.m., the place was packed. The classy Chinese dining room is known for its dim sum, roasted squab and Alaskan king crab. Sadly, they were out of the squab, and after I looked into the eyes of the huge crab that waved his claws from the tank, I stuck with the dim sum.
Readers, not sure what dim sum is? I’ll explain. The Cantonese tradition of “yum cha,” involves drinking tea. Dim sum grew to mean a shared meal of bite-sized foods and small plates, with tea served alongside to aid in digestion. Dishes are steamed or deep-fried, and various kinds of dumplings are consistent staples.
We started with the best bowl of seafood hot and sour I have tasted to date. I slurped every black cloud ear mushroom and sprout down to the last drop. Shrimp dumplings were a favorite — large and plump. The skin wasn’t too thick, and had a good chewy texture. Inside, the shrimp stuffing was the right texture — firm and smooth. Sautéed clams smothered in black bean sauce perked up my palate. I’d ordered the Chinese broccoli with ginger sauce. All other dishes arrived, but not that one. When I asked, a dismayed waiter stated it was sold out and would I like to substitute the Broccoli with Oyster. At that point I was so full on Dim Sum I passed. My mango pudding arrived with a crunchy almond cookie, so delicious my disappointment over the broccoli faded.
You know the old adage — Chinese food is filling but, no matter how much you eat you feel hungry an hour later. As we walked I spotted True’s Tea Restaurant- an opportunity to try Bubble Tea. One of the most intriguing concoctions, bubble pearl tea, is imported from Taiwan and is the latest fad among young kids. It is a fad I had dodged for several years, even though I adore tapioca pudding, I could not wrap my lips around a fat straw and slurp sweetened iced tea frothed with milk, flavored with anything from litchi nuts to Ovaltine. But here we were… I ordered. The pearls rumbled as I slurped them up. I loved it!
A side trip to India was next on the list. Ginger Indian Cuisine was a good hike from our hotel so we arrived… hungry… surprise! Food was amazing. A special dinner combo, vegetarian and meat options, meant more to taste and compare. The samosas were moist, plump and super tasty. Tamarind sauce was the best I’ve ever had. The flavor of the butter chicken was intense, rich and spicy. Chana masala, the veggie dish, had chick peas curry made with cubed paneer in mild curry base, flavored with chopped garlic. The fresh Naan was soooo yummy. I could have eaten more if I had tummy room.
Breakfast meant a break, and a palate cleanser was around the corner. Crème de la Crumb located in a business park, next to our hotel, offered fresh-made scones and other breakfast fare like breakfast wraps and sandwiches. They even had whole wheat tortillas and vegan options!
Lunch loomed large on the third day and Momo Sushi offered a wonderful solution. Our assorted special was called the Honeymooner. Accompanied by miso soup and crispy ginger and citrus dressed salad, it included generous portions of super fresh sashimi, sushi and light and tender tempura. We stared at the empty wooden platter. “I can’t believe we ate it all!”
We waddled to the Amtrak station and cuddled up in cozy recliner seats. A food coma-type nap made the return trip a blur.
I have a confession to make. I tasted delicious dishes of Northern Chinese food in the Richmond locations, but I had to make a stop the next day at Qin on Highway 99 for a to-go order of Hot Oil Noodles! Chinese cuisine in Edmonds is awesome and there’s no place like home.
More close-to-home restaurant news.
Readers who’ven been asking about the sandwich shop at Westgate, take heart. I spotted Anthony last week inside the soon-to- open location and here is the latest update: Bucatini will be open before Christmas; lunchtime sandwiches served up will include huge heroes and hot grinders. Dinner will feature fresh pasta and seafood specials each evening. Anthony gave me a peek at the extra space next door. He plans to have a local winery-hosted tasting bar. Stay tuned for more details on that part of the venture.
Spud Fish and Chips would like to offer all seniors (65 and older) a 10 percent discount this holiday season from 2-5 p.m., Monday through Friday in their Edmonds and Juanita Spud locations.
Special plans for your holidays? Please share with our readers.
— By Kathy Passage
A specialty gourmet food broker for over 30 years, Kathy Passage has in-depth knowledge on food and the special qualities of ingredients used in the exquisite products she helped bring to market. Kathy brings this unique perspective from the “other side of the plate” to writing about the food and restaurant scene in Edmonds.