My daughters and their friend had a 'PD Day" last Wednesday (which means they have a day off school). I took the day off work to do some errands in Richmond and I took them with me. For lunch we headed to Aberdeen Mall's Food Court. Aberdeen Mall - as many denizens of the GVA know - is an Asian Shopping Mall. The anchor store is the Japanese $1000Y (Toonie) store, Daiso.
The Food Court, in direct contrast to the cramped, dingy Food Court in Burnaby's Crystal Mall, is a architectural beauty - soaring ceilings, clean, bright, and well detailed. The food, however, is another story...the food at Aberdeen was definitely not in the same league as the food at Crystal Mall. There are some hits - Beard Papa's Cream Puffs, and the takoyaki at the Japanese stall are just fine...actually they have some pretty interesting sandwiches and dishes at that particular stall...the service was quite incompetent on that particular day - long story. My kids had the tempura which was "OK" - a little greasy for my liking.
I also had dishes from the Shanghai stall and the Hainan Chicken stall.
I had of beef roll (a la Peaceful's) from the Shanghai stll. It was wrapped, incredulously, in a flour tortilla. Terrible. Pass on this. I could not finish it...actually I had one bite and put it down.
The XLB: The skin was a thick and not very supple. There was not a lot of soup and it didn't come out as hot inside as I like it. The meatball was dense - not light as at Wang's (and definitely not as light as at Shanghai River, Chen's, or The Place, and other restaurants that serve an exemplary version. It was served with black vinegar instead of the requisite red vinegar. I say, pass, or drive to Chen's or Shanghai River instead.
The Hainan Chicken Rice: Also poorly executed. It tasted and felt more like Cantonese steamed chicken. It was dry, tough, yellow and had no gelatin. The chili sauce was sweet thai chili sauce. It also didn't come with the sweet soya. The rice was terrible: coconut rice....not rice cooked in chicken broth.
If you are traveling out of your way to eat well executed, authentic tasting Chinese regional Food Court fare....Crystal Mall should be your destination instead of Aberdeen. Visit Aberdeen' Food Court and get the Cream Puffs...but pass on the rest.