It’s totally my fault, I’ve been distracted with episodes of MasterChef and Hell’s Kitchen, and been busy at work for the last couple of months. But I’m back and I’m back with a good one.
Richmond Court Restaurant (南園餐廳) is a Hong Kong style cha chaan teng (kind of like a casual Chinese diner) that serves up a wide range of dishes – a couple of my favourites include: baked pork cutlet rice, Hong Kong style instant noodles (it’s less absurd than you think), egg tarts.
I’m always in the lookout for good Hong Kong style milk tea. I found the milk tea in the Richmond Court Restaurant (RCR) to be quite bland, unfortunately. It was missing the creaminess and silkiness that are synonymous to this drink. Okay, so I started this meal a little disappointed, but I decided to keep an open mind.
As the dishes were served, I found some inconsistencies. It was as if I put my hand into a jar of jelly beans hoping for the best. To start this journey off, my sausage and fried egg instant noodles were fantastic. Although the concept of eating instant noodles at a sit-down restaurant might seem quite odd to most, there is an art to preparing the instant noodle broth that separates the imposters from the real cha chaan tengs.
At RCR, the broth was rich with hints of sesame oil, which gave it fullness. Accessorized with the craftily cut meat and golden yolky goodness, it was hard to continue a conversation as I was stuffing my face. The noodles itself were springy in texture and grabbed the flavours of the soup well.
We also ordered a below-average lo mein that was incredibly stingy with the oyster sauce and tasteless broth, and noodles in fish broth with soggy noodles. I would have been quite displeased, if it weren’t for the instant noodles that took me right back into the busy streets of Hong Kong.
To finish off the meal, a lady appeared out of nowhere with fresh egg tarts. I had to battle another overzealous lady who was trying to order all of the egg tarts to go. Not a chance. Not on my watch.
Boy, was it worth it.
As I bit into the flaky warm crust, everything seemed to fall in place. The light eggy custard and the cloud-like pie crust filled me with an unadulterated sense of bliss. It was an homage to the childlike joy I felt when my parents surprised me every so often with this cheerful-looking dessert as a child.
As a whole, RCR was a good experience. Though it takes some serious thought to figure out their vast menu, it was worth it. The good dishes far exceeded my expectations and left me wanting more.
Richmond Court Restaurant 550 Hwy 7, Richmond Hill, ON L4B 3Z4. (905) 709-1628.