On Jang Mo Jib, Beard Papa’s, and Julia’s 100th!

Julia Child would have been 100 years old today.  A lady and a legend, she brought French cuisine to the processed food-filled kitchens of North America in the 1950′s.  Hers was a life that still provides endless inspiration; she travelled the globe working for the American Strategic Services, married the love of her life, built an iconic career from the ground up, and had a wicked sense of humour through it all.  She’s kind of my hero.

To celebrate a century of Julia, Les Dames D’Escoffier British Columbia have organized over 40 celebratory dinners at restaurants and cooking schools across the province, and I’ll be heading to one tonight!  It’s at the Fairmont Vancouver Airport Hotel, and I am quite excited.  

But what of today’s post, you ask?  How did I celebrate Julia’s love of French cuisine?  I ate Korean, of course.

I’m just kidding.  Sort of.  I did eat Korean at the Aberdeen Centre food court, but the main reason I was there was to seek out the newly-opened Beard Papa’s, a chain that specialize in cream puffs.  What could be more French than choux pastry?

Because (everyone else thinks) cream puffs don’t = lunch, I first tried out Jang Mo Jib, a place I mentioned in the Cafe D’Lite post due to its constantly-running stream of pop videos playing on TVs above their counters.  They’re mind-numbingly terrible awesome.

I went with the sautéed beef lunch box, which comes with rice, kimchi, bean sprout salad, potatoes, bulgogi, and a bowl of broth for under $9 including tax.  The sweet, marinated meat is sautéed to order by a woman in the back kitchen; it came straight from the pan and into my lunch box, so fresh and hot I had to wait awhile before it was cool enough to eat.  It was wonderful, and rightly so, as Jang Mo Jib means “mother in law’s house.”  This lady looked like a mother, and mothers know how to cook.

The flavours of the different foods included in the lunch box combined well; there was the sweetness of the beef, heat from the kimchi, salty/vinegar from the bean sprouts and the potatoes, and the satisfying neutrality of the white rice.  I mixed and mashed and loved my meal, though some of the strips of beef were a just a bit too fatty for my liking.

I found out later that this Aberdeen Centre location is an offshoot of full-sized parent restaurants in Vancouver, Burnaby, and Richmond.  I bet it’s been recommended to me as a place to go for Korean, but clearly the name didn’t stick.  Has anyone been to the bigger location?  Thoughts?

After lunch, I found my tribute to Julia for the day: an eclair (chocolate-covered cream puff) and fondant au chocolat from Beard Papa’s, a new stall in the food court.  Though this international chain was founded in Japan, they specialize in something that’s oh-so-French: cream puffs.

Ever had one?  They’re little mounds of choux pastry, baked up golden and airy then filled with cream, pudding, or custard.

Honestly, my expectations for the eclair ($2.15) and fondant au chocolate ($2.75) were low – I don’t know why, but they just didn’t look like much.  I was therefore pleasantly surprised to bite into the dark chocolate-covered eclair and find myself swooning.

The pastry was firm and fresh, the chocolate of good quality, and the filling – a sort of cross between whipped cream and creme patissiere – was cool, light, and not too sweet.  They pipe it into the pastry only once you’ve ordered it, so it won’t get soggy.  Refreshing, crunchy, creamy, and chocolatey – almost fit for Julia!

I waited until I got home to eat the Chocolate Fondant, as it needs to be heated up in the oven.  It was very good – again, not overly-sugarly – with a rich, molten chocolate centre.

Check in tomorrow to see what they serve us at The Fairmont tonight, but for now, if you’ve got a few minutes to spare, here are some of The French Chef’s best moments.  Bonne fête, Julia, et merci.

 

Jang Mo Jib, Aberdeen Centre

4151 Hazelbridge Way, Richmond BC

604-233-0712

Cash only (I think)

Not particularly vegetarian friendly

 

Beard Papa’s, Aberdeen Centre

4151 Hazelbridge Way, Richmond BC

604-233-0949

Cash and cards accepted

 

 

 

21 Comments

  1. Margot

    Great post Lindsay!

    Reply
  2. Robert

    Thank you for the lovely tribute to the immortal Julia Child.

    Reply
  3. Vee

    I love it when you post your recipes, clips, and ideas. Fantastic!

    Reply
  4. Kelly

    Don’t bother with the Jang Mo Jib parent store in Richmond, it’s over-priced and not worth it (pales in comparison to the Downtown one).

    Keeping with the theme of ethnic food, how about India? Tandoori Kona on Cambie?

    Reply
  5. Laurette

    as she says “Bon Appetit” tonight Lindsay

    Reply
  6. Lydia

    I am confused, how is the Beard Papa new? It’s been there for years, I thought it was the first one in North America.

    It’s all about the special cream puff flavours for me, especially green tea!

    Reply
    • Kai

      You are correct. It was the first one. It was closed recently for renovation and maybe that’s why Lindsay thought it was a new store.

      Reply
  7. 3rdRock

    Beard Papa’s version is markedly off when compared to Choux Pastry filled with Crème Anglaise. I started perfecting on “soesjes” when I was a tiny girl under the watchful eye of my aunt who then owned a Dutch bakery.
    I can be quite picky at times. Lol.

    Reply
  8. Cailey

    Great post Lindsay! Hope dinner tonight is delicious!

    Reply
  9. KimHo

    This location of Jang Mo Jib would be the Triple O’s equivalent of White Spot. It serves mostly the same dishes; however, at a faster scale. As for the sit down restaurant itself, I would say it is mixed. Some people are OK, others are not. I am on the verge – there are better options, but they aren’t in Richmond nor they are cheap.

    Somehow, to honour Julia Child, I was sort of hoping something more “French”. Don’t get me wrong, choux pastry is usually associated with French cuisine; however, Beard Papa’s iteration is a bit… Japanese for the lack of a better word. Alas, in terms of Richmond, there ain’t necessarily a French restaurant in the straight sense of the word (or at least that I know), so I guess this one had to do. Actually, Cake Art (in Steveston) might have fit the bill but it is a bakery class, not necessarily a sit down place.

    Reply
    • Lindsay365

      HI KimHo,

      Fear not! As I said in the post, tonight I dined at the Fairmont YVR dinner in honour of Julia, so the full-fledged French-inspired dinner post will be going up tomorrow!

      Cheers,
      Lindsay

      Reply
  10. typoprone

    The Jang Mo Jib in Richmond is not bad; I don’t understand why people are knocking it. Give it a try; I suggest trying the spicy pork bone soup. Absolutely delicious!

    Reply
  11. Tang

    The only French restaurant in Richmond that I’m aware of is Tapenade Bistro. However, it is located in the over exposed Steveston area. More importantly, a meal there will cost more than 10 dollars which will be outside the scope of cheap eats(10 dollars or less) that this blog seems to be focusing on.

    Reply
  12. Val Hamilton

    Too late for eclairs but took fondant home to heat up. Excellent!

    Reply
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