I believe that food like good music and a good book is a solace to a person's soul. Food is both a science and an art - a yin-yang balance to your body and also an appreciation of colors, textures and sensory experience.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Return to Heritage - Teochew (Chiu Chow Food)

Top Chiu Chow Cuisine 潮州世家海鮮菜館 on Urbanspoon
Vancouver has a great selection and offering of Chinese cuisine. However, I feel that most of the Chinese cuisine is geared towards Cantonese, Szechuan and Northern Chinese cuisine.  This reflects the current demographics of the Chinese population in Vancouver. Gator was pleasantly surprised to find Teochew (Chiu Chow) cuisine in Richmond. Gator did conduct a bit of research online as  I was hankering for some typical Teochew fare and read about Top Chiu Chow Cuisine in Richmond.

Gator was a little disappointed that the restaurant did not serve traditional Teochew congee with dishes. But there were other dishes that made my evening so memorable - BTW, this dinner was for a little celebration about 2 months ago and it was a special treat.

One of the characteristics of Teochew dishes is that it generally focuses on braised and steam dishes. Among the major Chinese dialect groups in Southeast Asia, Teochew food is deemed to be less oily in nature and the taste is more subtle and light. So, we ordered braised duck. I really enjoyed it - it was really done very well - the duck was tender and succulent. 

Braised duck in its glory - the dark sauce served with the duck went well with rice.

The next dish was equally good - oyster omelet. It was fried in a crispy style. I missed dipping the omelet with a tangy chilli sauce but they had other sauces on hand. The omelet was fried to the point that it became more of a pancake - surprisingly, it was not as oily as I anticipated.  Gator thinks that they probably add some flour to the mixture.

I am not a fan of oyster but I never say no when it comes in an omelet form.

A close up shot of my more than weekly intake of calories
Finally, we round off with a bowl of yam desert with gingko nuts - known as orh ni in Teochew. I think that that they made an admirable version. However, its kinda dry and was missing something - which is lard or oil. Gator knows that it sounds scary to have oil in desert but seriously, it adds a bit of oomph to this dish.

Traditional Teochew dessert - a tad too dry
Overall Experience:

Deco: 3/5 - its pretty small but the place can literally pack quite a lot of people
Quality of food: 4/5 - its pretty authentic
Price: $$$/5
Overall Experience: 4/5 -  worth a second visit. I am literally drooling typing this post.

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