Having already played a full session of floor hockey, eating Japanese food and having some Marble Slab; I was ready for some ice hockey. Hey, I need to work off all this eating somehow! But then again, playing late night hockey means late night eating afterwards! I used to play with this group every Saturday night in Richmond; however, with my league games I haven't been playing with them for awhile. We used to go Alleluia Cafe after hockey since it's open until 2:00. I guess I was looking forward to the late night eats since I didn't play very well at all! When food is on my mind, it's similar to the Arby's commericals, I forget about the task at hand.
We met up at Alleluia after hockey. I almost drove right by it since it's not right on Westminster Highway. I think it's one of the cleanest and nicest Hong Kong-style cafes in the GVRD. Compared to places like Honolulu Cafe and Golden Award, you'd think that Alleluia is a different class of restaurant. However, the prices at Alleluia are in line with other Hong Kong-style cafes; in fact, I think it's a bit cheaper. Their 3-item meal is only $9.25, and it includes your choice of 3 meats, spaghetti or rice, vegetables, your choice of sauce, soup and a choice of drink with free refill. This meal (add garlic bread and dessert) at Angel Cafe is an additional $5.75. Moreover, their late night mini-set meals, which consist of a choice of dish (usually it's a fried rice or noodle) and a drink with free refill, costs roughly $6.
As you can see in the pictures, the portions are far from being "mini". Not only are the portions generous, the food actually tastes pretty good. It's not gourmet, but for the price, it's good. I went ahead and ordered the 3-item meal and chose Duck Leg, Ox Tongue and Rib-eye Steak. I went with the spaghetti as my side and Russian Borscht (Hong Kong-style) as my soup. The duck leg was not as tender as I would've hoped. By no means was it tough, it was just difficult to eat (since it wasn't falling off the bone). The ox tongue was tender and it was conservatively seasoned. The steak, as expected, was marinated. This changes the texture and taste of the steak. It's a very Chinese thing to marinate steak and I personally don't like it too much. The steak was tender due to the marination process; but then it lost the natural beefiness you'd expect in the steak. There was plenty of black pepper sauce on the side and I essentially used it on my spaghetti.
Other dishes we had were the Rice with Tofu and Fish, Fried Rice Noodles with Beef and Fried Rice with BBQ Pork and Shrimp. The verdict on all of the dishes were positive and they looked good too. Although, everyone was raving about the tofu and fish rice. I guess I need to try that next time! However, I still laugh at the sandwiches at Hong Kong-style cafes, they are essentially white bread without the crust with a fried scrambled egg and a slice of ham. It is so simple that you can make it at home, but it's so good at these places. The same could be said about a lot of the food. Gernerally, the service is not all that personal, but it is efficient. However, the main attraction here is good cheap eats, late into the night (or morning).
- Good value
- Clean and modern, you really don't have to put up with filth
- Open late
- It's a bit hidden, if you don't know where it is, you'd miss it
8131 Westminster Highway
9:00am - 2:00am (7 days a week)