On Lung Kee, 8 Juice, and How to Get Lindsay Anderson Into a Mall.

I’m not much of a mall person.  Never have been, never will.  This stems from the fact that I’m an extremely reluctant shopper, and tend to wear clothes until they fall off me rather than buy new ones.  Put me in a grocery store, however, and I can wander around spending money ‘til they close and they kick me out.

Needless to say, when people started suggesting I explore the Aberdeen Centre food court, I was suspicious.  First of all – MALL – and second of all, aren’t food courts just for places for joints like New York Fries, Taco del Mar, and A&W?  All places I’d be thrown under a train if I actually reviewed?  Wrong, Anderson, you are SO WRONG.

The Aberdeen Centre food court was suggested because it’s filled with Japanese, Chinese, and Korean stalls I’d never heard of, and that for the most part actually cook your food to order, rather than grabbing it from under a heat lamp.  What a revelation!  I’m learning so many new things every day.

This (gloriously persistent) sun meant I was again in the mood for something on the lighter side, so I started at 8 Juice, a place I’m thrilled to have discovered.  They offer fresh fruit juices, milkshakes, smoothies, and slushes, with combinations like watermelon juice + coconut jelly, banana strawberry smoothie + mango jelly, apple + carrot juice, papaya milkshake + red beans, apple + beet juice, and even avocado milkshakes.  You can go with one of their pre-set drinks, or choose your own combination.

As a HUGE fan of fruit and vegetables, and with a now heightened awareness of the need to keep up my vitamin intake, I wanted to jump over the counter and hug each and every one of the busy staff.  I held off, and ordered a blueberry mango juice instead.  It cost $3.68, I loved it, and there’s absolutely no doubt I’ll be back to this place again.

Food-wise, I wanted a noodle-y bowl of soup, rather than something fried.  I chose Lung Kee Congee and Noodles, and ordered the Dumpling Noodle Soup; it had thread-like wheat noodles, prawn/mushroom/pork dumplings, slightly bitter greens (which I believe were choy sum?), and broth.  It was a big bowl, and it only cost $4.95.

The broth was good (I didn’t add anything to it) and the noodles were barely cooked – perfectly toothsome.  I soooo appreciated the greens, and in combination with my mango/blueberry juice felt healthier than a triathlete.  A lazy one…..

The dumplings were ok, though the prawns were overcooked and a bit tough.  Still, for $4.95, this was an inexpensive and light alternative to the deep-fried fast-food I usually associate with mall food.  If I was in the area and needed something quick, I would definitely pop in for a bowl of soup at Lung Kee, and I’m actually looking forward to trying the other vendors.  Who’d have thought – me?  Returning to a mall!

And now, here’s the recipe for garlic scape pesto (as promised yesterday), care of Arlene at Galloways and The Sharing Farm.  This is my slightly adapted version, as I love fresh basil far too much to leave it out completely.  I also added a handful of fresh, peppery arugula; that’s part of the beauty of pesto – adjust it at will, and as long as the ingredients are good, you can’t go wrong!

Garlic Scape Pesto:

1/2 cup chopped garlic scapes

1/2 cup fresh basil leaves

Handful of fresh arugula

1/3 cup walnuts (mine was a very brimming third of a cup)

1/4 – 1/2 cup parmesan cheese

1/2 teaspoon salt (may need to add more, depending on taste)

Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

3/4 cup olive oil

Blend all ingredients in a food processor or blender and adjust seasonings to taste.  Transfer to a jar or tupperware container, and store in the fridge.  For the vegans out there, simply leave out the parmesan cheese, add more walnuts, toss in a few teaspoons of nutritional yeast, and you’ll have pesto too!  It’s great with pasta and quinoa, or as friends and I discovered last evening at our dusky picnic, with fresh bread, tortilla chips, and goat cheese.

We also snacked on blue goat gouda with the Steveston honey I got from Galloways.  The combination was sticky and salty and sweet and amazing.

Finally, a word to the wise –  do not consume large quantities of garlic scape pesto before heading to a business meeting.  They don’t call ‘em garlic scapes for nothing!

 

 Aberdeen Centre

4151 Hazelbridge Way

604-270-1234

 

24 Comments

  1. J

    I am an absolute fiend for the Hainanese Chicken from Cafe D’Lite which is two stalls down from Lung Kee. I implore you to try it on your next visit.

    Reply
  2. Kai

    Food wise, Aberdeen Centre has the best food court in all of lower mainland. All thanks to management being selective in picking tenants who offer unique flavors rather than big name chain food stalls that one finds in almost every mall.

    Reply
  3. are you gonna eat that?

    YAY! My favourite food court! Go back and try the Hainanese chicken rice, and a Beard Papa cream puff. Then go to Daiso and lose a few hours finding amazing things like beautiful Japanese dishes for $2 each.

    Reply
  4. Laurette

    as well in this mall at the other end are a bunch of good quality resturants as well & main floor & Korean supermarket. Mambo cafe next to the one you were at has great Sinpore style Vermicelli (curry) for 6.95 & feed 2-3 persons.
    Not your traditional Mall. Great place to take kids

    Reply
  5. Erika

    Lindsay, I’m a longtime fan/lurker, first-time commenter!

    Love the blog and thank you for posting the garlic scape pesto recipe…I’ve got a freezer full of ‘scapes and I didn’t know what to do with them! Just wondering — do you (or your readers) know of a nut-free substitute for the walnuts?

    Thanks again for the great blog!
    Erika.

    Reply
    • Lindsay365

      Hi Erika! Can you eat pine nuts? Technically they’re a seed, and they’re used in the traditional, Genoa-style pesto. They’d be an ideal substitute for walnuts in this recipe, or any pesto recipe for that matter, I just love them…..

      Reply
      • Judy

        My husband is allergic to all nuts as well and yes he can eat pine nuts because they are actually a seed. I also have to exchange romano cheese for parmesan because the canned shredded parmesan is preserved in a nut extract. Apparently fresh parmesan is ok but he’s not willing to risk his life on it.

        Reply
  6. Laurette

    Mambo is on the other side of the food court not next sorry

    Reply
  7. KimHo

    You can’t go wrong with most of the stands; though, a lot of people tend to be quite picky about some places. Also, price is usually an issue to some. For example, a lot of the customer (+90% Asian) will rather go for any one of those other stands rather than Triple O’s (when it used to be there ) or Vera’s (which took over Triple O’s space).

    As mentioned in another post, I would prefer a divide-and-conquer approach, i.e., have several people go to one stand and get something (preferably share-able) and then get together in one of the large tables to share. One time, I was in a group of four and we got:

    – Chicken wings from Wu Fung Dessert (despite its name, they don’t have dessert)
    – Rice dishes from Lung Kee
    – More rice dishes from Leung Kee
    – Hainanese Chicken Rice from Cafe D’Lite Express
    – Takoyaki or okonomiyaki from the stand next to Mazazu Crepe

    And, sometimes, finish with something from Frappe Bliss (if you order this, you have to do this *after* your meal. It will melt away if you order ahead of time). Actually, a lot of people here will agree you should try the goods from Frappe Bliss any day…

    Reply
    • Tang

      Yah, I agree with you KimHo. There are a lot more good and delicious eats at Aberdeen food court than a boring bowl of noodle soup.

      Reply
  8. Nash

    Great job Lindsey. As a Chinese Canadian who grew up in Richmond, I enjoy reading your blog because you bring a fresh and real perspective to the Richmond food scene as an out of towner, which is essentially the target audience of this campaign. I’m so glad that you’re not doing this with a traditional overkilling food blogging appraoch which are a dime and dozen instead you focus more on the experience as someone who is not actually from Richmond. Guess what if you feel like having a bowl of noodle that day, you just go ahead. It’s about living and capturing YOUR experience.

    Reply
  9. Melanie

    Loving this all SO much! Nash’s comment is perfect!

    Reply
  10. Sophia

    Frappe Bliss is a must!!! :)

    Reply
  11. A

    I completely agree with what Nash has said.

    Reply
  12. GS

    I completely agree with what Nash has said.

    Reply
  13. Vicki

    Hey Lindsay, I am so glad you hit this food court early in the 365 days because you will definitely need to go back many times to try everything :-) One of my kids’ and my favourite ways to kill a rainy afternoon is to go to Aberdeen, shop till we drop at Daiso, then get a Japanese-style crepe from the food court and eat it while watching the musical fountain in the lower level of the mall. Try the Japanese-style pizza sometime too. The okonomiyaki is also well worth a try although it’s with cheese – we prefer Hiroshima-style with soba noodles and there is a great deal of debate within my family on whether okonomiyaki should ever include cheese.

    Reply
    • Lindsay365

      A debate that I will have to join someday! Thanks for the advice Vicki – now I know what to do when the winter rain hits!

      Reply
  14. Robyn

    I used to eat at Aberdeen’s food court when I worked in Richmond in 2009-2010. I’d often go for a plate of Korean bulgogi, and occasionally pho.

    But yeah.. food courts in Richmond’s Asian malls are something else. I think you’ve already seen Parker Place’s food court, but the other one to visit is Yaohan, which is on the north side of Cambie/No 3 Road from the Aberdeen. I loved popping into Osaka Market – it’s similar to T&T (in fact, I think T&T operates Osaka)… but they have a Chinese bakery, and a whole lunch counter where you can order dim sum to go, sushi, and things like pork/century egg congee. I remember ordering the latter one day to take back to the office when I was feeling under the weather… not sure I enjoyed the texture of the egg, but as you said, it’s an acquired taste.

    Oh… another food court is the Richmond Public Market. It was built in the early 90’s I believe… it’s kind of like North Vancouver’s Lonsdale Quay market, but my dad used to go and buy deep fried chili crab from there to bring home for us for dinner; apparently it’s a pretty authentic Asian street food experience, and you’ll get some great deals.

    (I’ll stop babbling now!)

    Reply
  15. grayelf

    Enjoying your blog very much, Lindsay. We did a Richmond food court crawl on Sunday and tried a dish at Shanghai Shanghai in Aberdeen that you might like. It is pictured on the lower left by the cashier, no English, for $9.25 and comes with beautiful pieces of white fish in a tingly, Sichuan peppercorn and chili broth, with a side of rice and a can of Coke (!). Delightful. Other food courts to check out include President’s Plaza (O’Tray for Chinese crepes), Admiralty (free range Hainanese chicken with oily rice)and Pacific Plaza (Gee Taste Good for Indonesian treats).

    Reply
    • Lindsay365

      Phenomenal suggestions – thank you!! I’m especially interested in trying the dish from Shanghai Shanghai.

      Reply
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