The Aberdeen Center foodcourt in Richmond is best known for greasy chicken wings and Beard Papa cream puffs, but those are just the tips of the iceberg.

2009-04-05 at 15-28-23

As Dan said, there are many hidden treasures. The best part about all this tasty food is that it’s super affordable: something you’d expect when eating at a foodcourt. Something you might not expect from a foodcourt is just how nice the space is. You’re still going to be carrying your meal on a tray and seating yourself, but the bright modern interior (and free Wifi if you’re geeks like us) is definitely nice.

Cafe D'Lite Express

Anyway, too many chicken wings can’t be healthy so I was happy to discover that one of my favorite Hainanese Chicken places, Cafe D’Lite on West Broadway, had opened an “express” location right next to Wo Fung Dessert (aka. “the chicken wing place”) in Aberdeen Center.

Hainanese Chicken Rice is a Singaporean/Malaysian dish with Chinese origins. The chicken is boiled whole in stock which keeps the meat very moist and fragrant. The rice is not your plain-Jane white rice.  Like the chicken, the rice is also prepared using chicken stock. This produces rice that’s more oily and tasty than normal rice – no wonder why it’s called “oily rice“. The chicken is served at room temperature or cold (cool in Cafe D’Lite’s case) and comes with chilli (the red sauce) and ginger sauces (the green wasabi-looking sauce).

Cafe D'Lite Express

Cafe D’Lite Express’ version of the dish is, if my taste buds recall correctly, pretty much the same as the one they serve in their Kitsilano restaurant. It’s great. The chicken is succulent and fresh and the rice is so good I could probably eat it on its own. It also comes with a bowl of soup. I really like this dish because it’s so simple; the cool chicken tastes great on a hot summer day too.

I’m sure there are better interpretations of this dish in more traditional restaurants but for the low, low price of $6.50 this is really hard to beat (I sound like an infomercial, no?).

Now, if only Wo Fung and Cafe D’lite could collaborate and cook me some “deep fried Hainanese Chicken wings”…

Cafe D'Lite Express on Urbanspoon