Richmond Tasting Plates Review
After the all-you-can-sweat Tasting Plates North Van event last week where I climbed up the hill in North Vancouver, I was exhilarated to be invited to go to the Tasting Plates Richmond as most of the establishments were situated on the same block with 75 West Coast Grill in the Marriott Hotel, Harold’s Bistro & Bar in the Sheraton Vancouver Airport Hotel and CAVU in the Hilton Vancouver Airport. Plus as these places have been featured in the past for Tasting Plates Richmond events, I know I was in for a tasty food adventure.
75 West Coast Grill
7571 Westminster Highway, Richmond
Whenever I am asked how I like my meat done, I always respond with “the way the French like it” and then of course, I say it with a haughty attitude to give it that French flair. The lamb chops were cooked ala French and I could have kissed the chef for doing this as it was so excruciating tender that I wanted to ask for two more (we got two). Dukkah is a Egyptian condiment consisting of a mixture of herbs, nuts, and spices and the Chimichurri is an Argentinian blend of parsley, minced garlic, olive oil, oregano and red wine vinegar. And when you blend the two of them together you get this savoury, nutty mixture that makes you want to lick the plate or should I say, made me lick the plate, even though everyone was watching. Although Rack of Lamb is on the menu, it’s not executed with these savoury mixtures, but I’m sure it will be excellent nevertheless! The Back Ribs were tender, but not as delish as the lamb which was my favorite. I had to give my Manchego Cheese Croquette to my friend who said it was delicious and filling. We all agreed (the four of us) that this was our favorite Tasting Plates in this event.
Along with their regular menu which features Westcoast and Wild BC Seafood, happy hour at 75 West Coast Grill is daily 3-6 with $6 craft beer and wine, $5 highballs and 50% off appetizers such as calamari, wings, nachos and edamame. Or come to one of the breakfast buffets – Good Start with oatmeal, cereal, cold cut, cheese and baked goods or All Canadian Buffet which has additional eggs to order, congee, Belgium waffles and some hot food.
Harold’s Bistro & Bar
7551 Westminster Hwy, Richmond
Cuisine: Contemporary American
Laksa, prawns, chicken, egg noodles, red curry lime coconut broth and Asian slaw and
Southwest salad, New York Steak, lettuce, corn, black bean, cucumber, tomatoes, avocado, nacho chips, cilantro vinaigrette
If you’re looking for curry that isn’t over the top hot but flavourful, the Laksa hits the spot as the red curry is flavourful and there are plenty of tender prawns and pieces of chicken for meat eaters and bonus, it’s gluten-free and dairy free. Of course, if you take out the meat it could be vegan, but I’m not sure what the broth is made of as sometimes chicken broth is used as the base of some dishes. The Southwest Salad had big chucks of New York Steak that was cooked medium rare and I loved that it had a light vinaigrette which doesn’t overpower the flavour of the avocado and black beans. A great salad to have if you’re watching your weight as this would add variety to calorie-reduced diets or for those who have less carbs. You could ask for it without the nacho chips but personally, I love the crunch element it gives to this salad. There’s also a great patio which you can enjoy while dining on those nice summer days.
Did you know that Harold’s Bistro is named after a customer who has eaten there every day for more than 35 years. Also like 75 West Coast Grill, Harold’s Bistro also has two breakfast buffets – the Deluxe with scrambled eggs, French Toast, Congee and more or the Continental with baked goods, cereals, cold cuts and cheeses, yogurt and fruit.
CAVU Kitchen Bar
5911 Minoru Blvd , Richmond
I’ve been to CAVU a few times, the first time at their grand opening party where I swear I ate through their entire menu, and then a private tasting and I’ve also spent my own nickels and dimes from my piggy bank at their happy hour. So I was quite happy to be back again. The Mini El Bandito Burger was deceptively small but it really hit the spot and filled me up and the beef was cooked medium rare and the chorizo sausage just added that extra zing. I loved the caramelized onions but my only complaint was that the Chipotle BBQ could have turned up the heat a notch.
Mini Peanut Butter & Chocolate Dessert
Some people have eggs and bacon for breakfast; for me, chocolate has no time limit, although I do have to admit that I do need to put something like fibre cookies in my system to coat my stomach before the onslaught of the chocolate molecules invade my system. First, I had a bite of this dessert without the peanut butter and raspberry coulis and it tasted like pure sugar. But when you combine the three elements, the pure sweetness of the brownie like element blends with the raspberry and peanut butter to create that perfect blend of tartness with sweetness with the nuttiness of the peanut butter. Pure dessert heaven.
Did you know the word CAVU is an acronym used in aviation circles which means “Ceiling and Visibility Unlimited” which is commonly used by pilots as slang to describe anything that is desirable or sought after. Since CAVU is located close to the airport, you can be guaranteed to rub an elbow with a few pilots and if you’re lucky (or mighty flirtatious), they might invite you to “Come Fly With Me”. Like the other two restaurants located in this same block, Cavu Kitchen Bar has two breakfast buffets – Hilton Buffet with hot selections and a more basic Continental Buffet with baked goods, cereals, fruit and yogurts. Happy Hour food is offered Mon-Fri 3-6pm & 10-11pm with food from $3 to $11 – onion crisps, charred Shishito peppers, garlic ribs, wings and it’s mighty tasty as I’ve been to this happy hour a few times as its so close to my home. Happy hour drinks are offered daily 3-6 pm & 10-11 pm with $5.50 beer on tap and highballs or $6 house wine.
38 Sampal Korean BBQ
8391 Alexandra Rd Unit 2160, Richmond
Fried rice cake, seafood pancake, stir fried noodle and Bulgogi
Korean BBQ seems to be a new trend in Asian dining as the communal cooking of meat and vegetables to be shared by all just encapsulates an Asian’s favorite past time of eating, besides marathon shopping. I have to admit that even though i live in Richmond, I seldom dine in Richmond as my media events and blogging keeps me busy. So I’m always happy to try new restaurants that are within walking distance to home.
They weren’t stingy with the seafood in the Seafood Pancake, although I would have preferred that it was a little more lighter in texture but I guess I shouldn’t complain as it was packed full of seafood. The Fried Rice Cake with its sweet and tangy sauce was good but I found the sauce a little too overwhelming so I piled the Fried Rice Cakes on top of the Bulgogi to offset the sauce. The Bulgogi without the Rice Cake was a little too plain for my taste but with the Rice Cake was a definite hit. The Stir Fried Noodle was nothing out of the ordinary but then again, when it comes to Asian food, I tend to add chili paste to everything so give it that extra oomph. What I found was impressive that they served hot tea in stainless steel which keeps the tea hot for a longer time.
About Tasting Plates
Each month Richard Wolak organizes one or two different Tasting Plates event focused on a specific neighbourhood or food theme. There are usually four or fives restaurants on the tour. This is a self-guided tour which you are given about four hours to visit each location. You begin at a common registration point where you receive your Tasting Plates ticket which will list the tasting plates at each establishment. The price of this ticket varies as the earlier you buy your ticket, the lower the price will be. You should subscribe to the Tasting Plates newsletter to learn about new Tasting Plates events. My ticket is complimentary as I promote this event and write reviews and I tweet and post my photos on instagram.