*Restaurant is now closed*
How I love the Easter long weekend. It gives me some time to relax a bit from my hectic schedule. Moreover, I get a bit more time to go find some tasty treats! It was M & M's (both of their names start with M) son's 1st birthday today and we made the trip out to Tsawwassen in the pouring rain. Why does it seem to rain every Easter long weekend? Luckily, there was a covered promenade outside of the heritage house where the party was held. The kiddies seem to have lots of fun looking for Easter eggs. We took advantage of our location to have dinner in Richmond on our way back home. Vandelay, Donna Chang, Costanza, and Elaine all joined us at Bo Kong Vegetarian Restaurant. Vegetarian?!?!? Has Sherman lost his mind again? Well, we decided to eat something a bit different this time, especially since all of us eat a lot of meat to begin with.
We arrived at Bo Kong in Richmond and got a really choice spot right in front of the restaurant without incident. You're wondering why I am mentioning this... Well, finding a parking spot anywhere in Richmond without an adventure is extremely rare. Either someone will:
a) try to steal it;
b) back up into it even if they passed it;
c) reserved it for someone with either their body or double-park their car;
d) park their car in such a crooked fashion, you can't park in the spot next to it
e) or play chicken with you for that last spot
Costanza and Elaine got a choice spot right next to me and Vandelay parked nearby without any troubles as well. Hell must be freezing over...
Anyways, we were looking over the menu and noticed a dinner for 6 which costs $89.95. We were very interested in this meal; however, none of us other than Viv knew how to read Chinese. Unfortunately, Viv couldn't decipher some of the dishes, so we actually had to get the server to explain it to us. She was very nice and took time to go over every dish and even offered to change the Chinese vegetables to broccoli. Uh... sure we're bananas (yellow on the outside and white on the inside); but we're still somewhat Chinese... We had a good laugh about that. So we actually ended up ordering the set meal and it consisted of: a Cold Appetizer Platter, "Fish" Maw Soup, Fresh Bean Curd Skin with Lemon Sauce, Fried Tofu with "Meat" Sauce, Deep Fried Tofu Rolls and Crispy Seaweed & Soft Curd Roll, Spicy Stir-Fried Green Beans, Yau Choy with Enoki Mushrooms and Assorted Vegetable and Tofu Fried Rice.
The appetizer platter consisted of mock ham, beef and goose. The ham was very close to the real thing, mind you it's more close to canned ham than anything else. The beef was not close at all, but it was still good, being a bit chewy and flavourful. The mock goose, which is essentially bean curd sheets wrapped around shiitake mushrooms, was just as good as larger Chinese restaurants. The soup was very good, it had good depth of flavour without being salty. It had lots of enoki mushrooms, mock ham and bamboo pith. The bean curd sheet in lemon sauce was a vegetarian attempt at Lemon Chicken, and it wasn't bad. The lemon sauce was a bit weak, it probably needed a bit more lemon. However, the fried bean curd had a good contrast of crispy, chewy and soft. The fried tofu with mock meat sauce was very tasty. The bits of "meat" could've passed for ground pork and the tofu was fried perfectly. It was ever-so-soft in the middle while being crispy on the outside.
The fried taro rolls were fabulous. Lightly crispy on the outside, but fluffy soft on the inside. However, the taro was a bit flavourless; mind you there was sweet and sour sauce on the table. It went quite well with the taro rolls. The seaweed curd roll was good; but I think we were suffering from bean curd fatigue by then and no one really said anything about it. I thought the sauce was quite good, it gave the bland bean curd some needed flavour. The spicy green beans were awesome, they were bursting with flavour (spicy, salty & a bit sweet) and they were not overcooked. The yau choy was not overcooked either, they were still a bit crunchy. I also really liked the generous amount of enoki on top. Lastly, the fried rice was excellent. The rice was seasoned correctly and it was dry like it's supposed to be. The addition of roasted pine nuts on top really added to the dish. It provided both aromatic flavour and texture.
Honestly, I really didn't miss the fact there was no meat in any of the dishes. When food is executed this well, you will forget that you are essentially eating a lot of vegetables and bean curd. Mind you, some of the mock meat may not be everyone's cup of tea; yet, if you take it for what it is, the food is good. I will never give up my meat; however, I don't mind the occasional vegetarian meal. The experience was enhanced by the great service we received. It was efficient, attentive and extremely friendly.
- Creative dishes that made you forget about meat
- Good use of textures and flavour
- Really good service
- You really can get bean curd/tofu overload here
- Some people may not get the mock meat concept
Bo Kong Vegetarian
#80 - 8100 Ackroyd Road
11:00am - 9:00pm (Mon - Thu)
11:00am - 9:30pm (Fri - Sun)