Big Chef Restaurant located in Richmond, BC on “Eatery Street” near the end of Alexandra Road is a recently opened Chinese restaurant offering specialty dishes, seafood, and hot pot. Although there are plenty of restaurants in this busy-parking-limited plaza; such as Deer Garden Signatures, Michigan Noodle Restaurant, Cattle Café, Big Chef offers quality ingredients.
The restaurant is bring, clean and roomy. Aside from the main dining area there are also 2 private rooms available; booth seats line the right side and large round tables fill the remaining spaces. Service is friendly and the staff is eager to make recommendations.
Golden Live Crab (seasonal price + $8)
Persevered salty duck egg yolks stir fried crab with sticky cake (年糕). Golden egg yolk robes the crab and serenades with the sticky rice in medley of fragrant, crispy coating. The freshness of the crab is not overpowered by this otherwise heavy dish. It is not as oily as one would presume. The little dried shrimp seasoned with the egg yolk adds great bite. For the health cautious – this dish is rather high in cholesterol due to the amount of yolk required to compose this dish. Nothing a few laps in the pool won’t negate! Definitely a must try! Another recommendation was the “spicy salt / pepper” rendition. This was actually one of the last dish to arrive. Guess it takes more time to prep.
Hotos Rhizome and Mushroom with Beef Tenderloin $16.80
Lotus roots, pineapple, green/red peppers stir fried beef tenderloin cubes. Beef is tender and cooked perfectly. Lotus roots is crispy, pineapple is sweet yet slightly tart and adds texture to this dish. Stir fried together in a black pepper like sauce in perfection.
One of their specialty dishes. Initially we wanted to order the Hot Pot Soya Sauce Chicken but we didn’t know that this needs to be ordered in advance. The waiter recommended this in replacement. Deliciously silky tender and juicy steamed to cook served with sand ginger 沙薑 oil sauce.
Pan Fried Pork Jowl with Red Bean Sauce $16.50
Red fermented bean curd 南乳flavour is salty with mild sweetness dressing the pork jowl slices in a smooth velvety cream like blanket. Stir fried together with lotus root slices gives a fresh lightness to this dish. Lotus roots are crunchy and pork jowl are tender.
Fried Scallop with Walnut Prawns 16.80
One of the last dish to arrive of the night was a nice surprise when we discovered the scallops were perfectly deep fried – not over cooked but thoroughly juicy and tender. The prawns were big and elastic in every bite sauteed over a creamy salad dressing sauce. The only catch was, what happened to the walnuts?
Dessert was complimentary red bean soup; common to most Chinese restaurants. This however was the disappointment of the night. This dessert soup was watery (it was like they were running low on supply and mixed hot water in) and overpowered by the dried mandarin orange peels. At least we now had an excuse to go grab cheesecake at Cafe de Waraku 和樂屋 日式義大利麵甜品屋.
At the end of the night, we were well fed and satisfied. Perhaps the food could have came a little quicker but $126 before tips for a party of 6 is pretty darn reasonable and perhaps cheaper than some boutique places that also offers similar selection. I’m already thinking of my next visit!