Dinner last night was spectacular but I did not do a thing to prepare it! We had a dear family friend in town who comes over to visit each year from Malaysia and when we take him to the airport we always go to the same Chinese restaurant out in Richmond and then drop him off at the airport for his long flight home. We met the Chans about 46 years ago when my family took a cruise ship from London England back to Vancouver. The Chans (Hua Eng and May with their two children) were on the same ship and both families spent a lot of time together on board. We have kept in contact over the years and Hua Eng has travelled over to Vancouver every year for the past 20 years to spend a week up a Whistler with us. Up until a few years ago, he would ski with us for the week and we would spend our evenings going out for dinner at the wonderful restaurants that exist at Whistler. Hua Eng is now 84 years old and he still comes over just for the food and the entertainment, which we provide, with our stories about the day’s skiing activities.
There is nothing better than going out for dinner at a Chinese restaurant with someone who knows the language and the food that’s available. I’m not sure whether we had anything on the menu, but the food was fabulous.
The name of the restaurant is Shiang Garden Seafood Restaurant and it is found out in Richmond at Empire Centre, Unit 2200- 4540 No. 3 Road.
When you walk into the restaurant, they have big tanks of live seafood so you can see what’s available for your meal. Here’s a photo of the tanks – to give you an idea:
Alaska King Crab Dungeness Crab
We had Gooey Duck last year but decided against it this time mainly because they were so big and the four of us would not have been able to eat it and enjoy the other delicacies Hua Eng wanted to order.
Hua Eng loves to order lobster, crab, prawns and sole because they are so inexpensive in Canada. In Malaysia, this seafood is very expensive by the time it arrives in Kuala Lumpur. For us, we think crab and lobster are expensive, but for someone from an area that does not have access to this kind of seafood, it is not.
Our menu started off with a small appetizer which consisted of slices of cucumber with garlic and hot peppers and a rice wine type of dressing. (it was hard to get all of the ingredient details because I don’t speak Mandarin and the menu is not in English). It was delicious.
The waiter brought the selection of seafood to the table for our review before it headed into the kitchen for preparation. Here’s our selection of fresh live seafood:
The next thing to arrive at the table was a plate of freshly cooked prawns. They had been steamed and left alone so there were no other sauces or spices added.
Fresh steamed prawns served with a sweet soy sauce!
Followed by Deep Fried Salt and Pepper Crab
Close up of the crab – notice the jalapeno pepper! Bird’s Eye view of the crab dish
Of course we needed a vegetable dish. This vegetable is called Yow Choy Sum and it comes from the same family as Kai-Lan
Yow Choy Sum stir fried with garlic
Not so easy for us Caucasians to eat. The vegetables are long and slippery so you need to suck them up like strings of spaghetti. Here’s a photo of mom giving it the old college try:
The final dish was sole cooked in a light soy sauce with ginger and green onions. We made short work of this plate as we did with all of the others but I took a photo of this one.
Sole with soy sauce, ginger and green onions The same dish after we’d finished it!
We did have a lovely evening and Hua Eng got on his plane safely with a full belly. It was another wonderful week of family gatherings with an old friend from far away. We all agreed to meet again next year!
Four happy satisfied patrons after eating every morsel that was delivered to the table.
So…I couldn’t leave you without some kind of recipe this week so in honour of Hua Eng’s visit, I am including a dish we have often from a Malaysian cookbook I have. The recipe is for a fish curry with lemongrass. It is uncomplicated and you should have no trouble getting the ingredients for this tasty dish.
Fish Curry with Lemon grass
- 1 kg. boneless white fish fillets
- ¼ cup peanut oil
- 3 large brown onions, sliced thickly
- 4 cloves garlic, crushed
- 8 cm. piece of fresh ginger, chopped finely
- 1 tsp. ground turmeric
- 5 cm. stick fresh lemon grass, chopped finely
- 2 Tbsp. brown vinegar
- 1 Tbsp. fish sauce
- ½ cup water
- 2 medium tomatoes chopped coarsely
- 2 Tbsp. coarsely chopped fresh coriander
- Cut fish into strips. Heat oil in large frying pan; cook fish, stirring over medium heat about 1 minute or until fish is cooked slightly. Remove from heat; keep warm.
- Add onion and garlic to pan; stir over medium heat about 5 minutes or until onion is soft.
- Stir in ginger, turmeric, lemon grass, vinegar and sauce; bring to boil. Reduce heat; simmer uncovered for 3 minutes.
- Stir in fish and the water; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, about 5 minutes or until fish is tender. Stir in tomato; cook over low heat until mixture is heated through. Stir in coriander.
- Serve this with coconut milk rice.
- This serves 4 people.
That’s it for another edition of Sunday Night Dinner at Julia’s Place. Please come back and visit next Monday when I’ll have some delicious dishes for you to try.