Thursday, February 24, 2011

Need a Quick satisfying lunch.....Deer Garden Signatures, Richmond might fit the bill

Deer Garden Signatures, Richmond BC

 8580 Alexandra Road (2nd floor)

Richmond, BC
(604) 278-9229

We stopped in for a quick lunch at Deer Garden.  This is a very popular spot, so we know to be quick and to avoid a huge line up, we must arrive early.  We were a group of 4 and we arrived around 11:30

The place was packed already…we managed to get one of the last open tables.

They offer the typical HK Style Cafe menu……actually a very comprehensive menu with lots of combos.  They always give us 3 or 4 different menus......many choices, maybe too many.

I come just for the noodles combo.  I know what I like and I eat what I like…..lunch time is precious, so no time for fooling around… you know what I mean?

We all ordered the noodles combo, which costs $7.50
You have a choice of: Soup Base, toppings (2), noodles and drink.

Two of us ordered the Thai Tom Yum Goong Soup.  It was very tasty and had a nice kick of spice….though not really spicy enough for me.  You can taste the kaffir lime flavor and get a touch of sourness, maybe from tamarind or lime.  Actually I make this at home quite often, using a bottled soup base and this version tastes pretty similar.  It wouldn't surprise me if it was the same soup base.
It would be nice if they could make it a bit spicier though…next time I’ll ask.

My choice of noodles was mai sin (vermicelli) and for toppings I chose the specialty, house made fish balls and fish fillet.  I really enjoyed this combination.  It was the perfect bowl of steamy hot noodles. 
In addition to the toppings you choose, they include sui choy (Chinese cabbage) bean curd and mushrooms as a standard addition to all their noodle soups. There is a place on the order form to let them know if you don’t want these items. All the noodle soups are also garnished with cilantro and green onions.  You must also tell them if you don't want these....

This was a very satisfying  bowl of noodle soup… flavorful and tasty…….perfect on a chilly day!
The servings are very generous and the toppings are plentiful, in fact, really large enough to share if you can go with someone who wants to eat exactly the same as you :-)

Deer Garden states on their menu NO MSG FISH SOUP. I took that as NO MSG...period.   My Tom yum was really tasty, but I was very thirsty for the rest of the day….there must have been quite a lot of MSG in my choice.  Maybe next time I will try the fish soup.

My dining companions all chose vermicelli as their pick for noodles.  We all like the soft and chewy texture of this type of noodle.  It feels like spaghetti in your mouth, but when you bite it, it has a nice chewy texture, not too soft or mushy. Deer Garden offers a selection of 8 noodle types to choose from. I'm sure your favorite type of noodle is offered here as they have everything from Korean Yam noodles to Japanese udon.

Here is the Tomatoes and Pumpkins fish Soup (that's exactly what is written in the menu!) with fish and beef tongue. 

The Photo below is the Watercress and Almonds Fish soup with Pork blood and Seasonal Vegetables.  I had a little taste of the Pork Blood.  It has never been one of my favorite things.  This version was actually quite tasteless….really just like a red-colored piece of tofu….same flavor and texture.  I have been told pork blood helps to clear our arteries......any truth in that?

We also added a couple of side orders of the Desert Wings with Ginger (deep fried chicken wings).  I think there is something lost in the translation here….the Chinese name is Wind-Sand Chicken.  These were pretty decent deep fried wings.  Not greasy, very nice crispy crust and you could actually get a nice hint of ginger flavor.  The price is right too…..3 large wings for $1.50

This is a great place for a comforting bowl of noodle soup.  Can be quick, if you plan your timing….go early or later to avoid a line up.  Service is quick and efficient. The place is very popular over the lunch hour!  What do I think?'s a good, pretty balanced meal and the value is there.  I'll be back.


  1. Oh shoot!

    You got me all excited when I saw that you were blogging about BEER Garden. :-(


  2. haha... you had me reading over and over looking for a typo :-)
    maybe in the next post..... but I thought you didn't drink Ben?

  3. ben - if u like beer garden, you should try to attend a dragonboat festival. fun times! and i think sometimes there's a charity aspect to it but i'm not sure. i go there for a different reason lol

  4. J, could you share which bottle base you use for tom yum soup? i love the soup but have yet found a good base for it. I haven't tried any bottle ones, just powdered packages.

  5. Hehehe ... you are right. I turn all red that it is so embarrassing even when I have a little but of beer. I thought it was funny that every time I see the words Deer Garden, I think of Beer Garden. LOL! This place look so good. I had never been there before (Suanne has) but given the list of restaurants we want to try, I don't think it will be anytime soon when I will get to try it.

  6. Hi Mo, The paste I use for Tom Yum is.......are you ready???

    Cock Brand, Instant Hot and Sour Paste...Tom Yum Kung. I tried to paste a photo in the comment (so I wouldn't have to write it :-), but was not successful..

    I created a recipe with this paste last night "Pork and Lemongrass Tortelloni in Tom Yum Coconut Cream...I'll include the photo of the paste in this post for your reference. Coming soon!

  7. Back then when Cattle Cafe was new (same owner as Deer Garden I believe), I asked the waitress if their Tom Yum Kung and laksa soup base has MSG. She said only the fish soup didn't have MSG. The one I asked about were made with soup paste and they DID have MSG.

  8. Hi Hungry Bear,
    Thanks for your comment. I am going to try the fish soup the next time I go.