Crystal Mall, for those of you that haven’t been there, is a circular two-level Asian shopping center in Burnaby. On its street-level perimeter and on its inner concourse, are a plethora of small (some very good) restaurants. On the upper level is the mall’s food court, a wonderland of various Asian food stalls. They are all primarily Chinese-run and most offer Chinese fare. There is a smattering of Japanese and one that serves up Thai and Malaysian. All told, there’s about thirty vendors to pick from…they run the gamut from so-so to darn impressive. When lunchtime rolls around and I’m not 100% sure what I’m hungry for, I head to the food court and start grazing.
Today’s first stop is Red Persimmon Taiwanese Cuisine for their Gua Bao (刮包) aka the Taiwanese Burger. This pick was due to a tip from Kim from I’m Only Here For The Food.
It doesn’t look like much…kinda boring actually. But that’s far from true. The big chunk of pork has been braised a good looong while…very tender, very moist. The massive, pillowy steam bun has nice chew, slathered with sugary peanut powder and crunchy pickled greens. Excellent value at $3.50.
Seems most recipes call for cilantro. That particular fresh herb would have livened things up nicely.
For about twenty years, or so, Hawaii Cafe was a coffee shop/bacon & egg joint at the foot of Gilley @ Marine Drive. It was a stalwart, a last of its breed. Then, as with most cafeteria-style restaurants, it shut its doors. Several months later it magically reappeared with the same name and its original Pepsi sign.
This time around, however, they’re putting out standard Chinese food along with Taiwanese Beef Noodle Soup. When alerted by a co-worker about the new re-incarnation, I hustled down to see what else is on the menu.
No, they’re not serving fuzzy puppies in black pepper sauce. They do have an affinity for putting cute doggie pictures around the room. Unfortunately, these two were placed a bit too close to the menu signage. Maybe a photo of their Steak in Black Pepper Sauce would be in order!
Of all the items mentioned on the front window, the one that stood out for me was the Spicy Dan Dan Noodles.