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Vancouver's tastiest food blog. Defunct since 2010 :(

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cha chaan tang

TeaHut – Cozy HK Cafe

Alexandra road probably has the highest number of HK Cafes per block in all of Vancouver. One really has to try hard to find them all. One place that probably fails to catch people’s eyes is Tea Hut cafe, located on the second floor beside the somewhat famous Zen restaurant.

DSC01767DSC01769TeaHut - Cozy HK CafeTeaHut - Cozy HK CafeTeaHut - Cozy HK CafeTeaHut - Cozy HK Cafe

The interior is small but with windows all along its west wall, there is plenty of ambient light lasting late into the night (perfect for taking pictures of the food). They seem to be run by a family staff of two, but provide a full featured menu rivaling its neighbors. Prices are on the low side, with combos that include soup and drink at less than $8. I had the steak combo, pictured below, which has pieces from just about every mammal alive. Actually its pork chop, sirloin steak, chicken steak, a strip of bacon, and a grilled hot dog wiener served au jus.  

TeaHut - Cozy HK Cafe

After the meal we got a card for 10% off the next meal. Though that only translates to less than a dollar saved with their prices, its a nice gesture that many forgo.

Food: 6.8/10

Ambience: 8/10 rarely do you find a HK Cafe that’s quiet and brightly lit. I could totally imagine this place playing some parisian Accordion music….if it didn’t have a LCD screen on the wall playing Chinese movies.

map

Teahut Garden Cafe on Urbanspoon

Silver Tower Cafe in Richmond – A poor imitator

We pay plenty of vists to HK Cafes. Sometimes too often. But we’ve only begun to scratch the surface in covering the numerous HK Cafes around Vancouver.

Today I paid a visit to Richmond’s Silver Tower Cafe on Alexandra road. A suspiciously familiar looking logo caught my eye upon entering the parking lot.
Silver Tower Cafe

Hm… where have I seen that before? Oh yes,
T&T Supermarket logo

I didn’t find any innovation from the food either. Their menu has all the usual HK Cafe items at a very reasonable price, and lets you mix and match to create your own combo plate.

Pick any 2 entree items for $8.50, or 3 items for $9.55, and that includes a hot/cold drink and soup.

Silver Tower Cafe Silver Tower Cafe

We ordered the chicken steak and roasted duck leg, which was slightly dry and satisfactory at best as far as chicken steak goes, and the Thai style cod and eggplant.

Silver Tower Cafe Silver Tower Cafe

From a pricing standpoint, Silver Tower is very competitive with its neighbor across the street, Kam Do (one of my favs, and to be reviewed soon), but falls short on food quality. I’d really only revisit S&T if its the only place on Alexandra road that had parking stalls.

I know we at ESR don’t usually write reviews of restaurants we don’t like, but hopefully we are doing the public a service by warning everyone of bad restaurants too.

Food: 4/10
Value:6/10 there’s really better food to be had for the same price
Redeeming feature: If you get to sit at a booth, its fairly private with the high seat backs and feels like you’re in a cubicle farm.

Like this, but in black
Cubicle farm

Interestingly, while googling for a logo of T&T supermarket, I came across this bit of news. T&T supermarket is/was apparently under investigation for human rights violation for forcing its foreign hired workers into working overtime by means of contract trickery and unnecessary retention of passports.

I really hope they get the punishment they deserve from court if this turns out to be true, because I don’t know if I can boycott Vancouver’s largest Asian grocer.

Silver Tower Cafe Restaurant on Urbanspoon

i café – My favorite HK Cafe

iCafe

We’ve blogged several Hong Kong cafés in the past, but this one is my favorite.

Located at the intersection of Heather and West Broadway, i café doesn’t have much neighborhood competition. Burnaby and Richmond are saturated with HK Cafes, but they’re rare in central Vancouver. No worries. Even if there were other HK Cafés in the area, I’d still go to i café for my informal Chinese food cravings.

iCafe - exterior

Step inside and you’ll be pleasantly surprised. I café’s interior is modern, clean, and bright: rare for a Chinese restaurant. I like how sunlight comes through the many windows and bounces off the shiny white acrylic tables. Steve Jobs would either be nodding in approval or searching for a copyright infringement lawyer. Either way, it’s nice.

iCafe - interior

Of course, i café wouldn’t be my favorite HK Café if the food wasn’t great. And it is.

I usually order one of the daily lunch specials.
Today, I got the minute steak with black pepper sauce, served on your choice of pasta or rice. Nice presentation, yummy taste, filling, and relatively affordable at $9.50. The meals come with a bowl of soup, fresh bread, and a drink (+$1 for a cold drink). Not bad.

iCafe

Can you believe the above picture even qualifies as “Chinese food”?!
Whatever. Highly recommended.

I Cafe on Urbanspoon

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