I rarely stray from No. 3 Road in Richmond, unless I’m feeling like having a Spaghetti Factory and bowling night at the Zone (WHICH IS CLOSED NOW BTW, SAD FACE). Thankfully for Chopsticks Fest, I get to explore, broaden my horizons and discover new mountains of food. The next stop I visited with the Chopsticks Fest crew was Imperial City Bistro near by No. 1 Road, within the Terra Nova Village.
Starting with the cold appies, there were Smoked Fish and Shredded Cabbage with Jelly Fish. These were okay, but I prefer to start off my meal with hot food, just to warm up my stomach.
Cabbage was a common theme with this dinner. The Sautéed Sliced Pork with Garlic, Pepper and Cabbage was simply seasoned and a mish-mash of soft and crunchy textures.
The Beef Tenderloin in Black Pepper Sauce was one of my favourite dishes of the night. One, I love the pepperiness. Two, the beef was actually tender. And I really mean true tender, not the fake tender created by drowning the meat in a quicksand pool of cornstarch.
Of all the Chinese veggies, Dao Miu is among the top of my list. Served in a light broth, the Salted Vegetable with Sliced Tofu made me feel good that I was getting some veggies in for the night.
Ah ha, cabbage, we meet again. This was just a simple Pan Fried Cabbage.
Usually I’m quite iffy about Peking Duck, but I enjoyed the one at Imperial City because it wasn’t all skin – there was actually meat! GASP. I think including the meat provides a lot more flavourful and mouthfeel than just skin.
Initially, we thought that we had to shove as many pieces of duck into one wrap as possible since there were only a few wraps… but the waitress told us afterwards that we could refill them. They only sent a few in the beginning to avoid having a bunch dry out as they sit.
So what happened to the rest of the duck? Well, it was finely chopped up and deliciously stirred fried with onions, celery and garlic. For those who haven’t had a part II of Peking Duck, it’s a similar process to part I where you’re supposed to make a wrap, except with a leaf of lettuce this time. I really liked this combination as the crisp, clean lettuce flavour contrasted the heavy seasoning of the duck.
I was so excited when this landed on the table. Deep Fried Rock Cod with Sweet and Sour Sauce. Just give me a bowl of white rice and I could just have this all night. The crispy exterior enveloping the moist meat, slathered with a sweet tangy sauce. Oh yes.
We finished off the dinner with Sticky Rice Roll Stuff with Sesame. The presentation made me pause for a bit. To elaborate, I’m not used to having uneven piles of white sugar on my dessert. I’m also not used to have a foundation of sugar underneath my dessert (the white plate hid it well). After scraping off all the excess sugar, the dessert wasn’t too sweet actually. I would’ve preferred something lighter than rice though… maybe a pudding?
Overall, I think the hot proteins were done quite well. The veggies were simple, and that’s not a bad thing.
To learn more about Chopstick Fest that’s starting October 15th, check out www.chopstickfest.com. Think Dine Out Vancouver, but showcasing Chinese cuisine.
Disclaimer: my meal was complementary, but all opinions are my own.
Terra Nova Village, 140-3671 Westminster Hwy, Richmond, BC