Sherman's Food Adventures: Northern Delicacy

Northern Delicacy

When Viv told me that we should all go to the beach, I thought that was a great idea. Little did I know that the place she spoke of was Centennial Beach. What's the big deal you wonder? Well, Centennial Beach is in Tsawwassen. We live in Burnaby. Yup, that is not very close at all. Fine, after all, it is a nice beach with a killer kid's playground. Of all the times Bubbly and Chill have tried to get us out to visit them in Tsawwassen, the one time that we do head out there, they're out of town. LOL. Try getting us to head out there again anytime soon! So after building and rebuilding a sand castle (my daughter wrecked it twice), we were famished. And guess what place lies in between Burnaby and Tsawwassen? Yes, that's right... Richmond. The equivalent of traffic hell, it is a place that I want to avoid but cannot live without. You see, there is a lot of food in Richmond. And I love food. Period.

Therefore, we found ourselves in Richmond looking for food. It brought us to Aberdeen Centre, specifically Northern Delicacy. With large Terracotta statues outside, it is hard to miss. Right below lies Fisherman's Terrace, near Tropika & Master Hung and adjacent to Guu, you can see my point about food in Richmond. There is no shortage of it, albeit of an Asian persuasion. After we finished ordering, I had to take my son to the washroom. Nothing usual you might think; but the darn washroom is out of the restaurant, past Guu, down a long corridor, another corridor after that and into a room that would rival a sauna. Not convenient! It's amazing that upon returning to our table, 2 dishes had already arrived. Either the food comes out fast or that trek to the washroom was long. We started with the Xiao Long Bao. A bit on the smallish side, the filling was quite tasty (lots of meat flavour) despite the modest amount of juice. The skin wasn't really all that thin; yet was easy to eat. I would say these are above average XLB.

Our first noodle dish was the Tan Tan Noodles. In addition to the usual peanut-based sauce, this particular version had crushed black sesame seeds on top. Although the whole bowl of noodles became quite goopy after awhile, the flavour profile was pretty nice. No absence of peanut flavour and the nuttiness from the black sesame gave an extra oomph to the noodles. For the kiddies, we got the Tender Chicken Noodles, or should I say just "Tender Noodles". You know the expression, "Where's the Beef?", how about "Where's the Gai (Chinese for chicken)?". There must've been only 10 tiny pieces of chicken for the entire bowl of noodles. They were indeed tender; but how can anything be hard to chew if it is in the size of a tic tac? The broth was very muted (probably the intention) and there was plenty of veggies though. Noodles were on the softer side. We also got an order of the Braised Pork Shank since it looked so majestic in the menu. When it arrived, it was like getting a McD's cheeseburger. You see it didn't look anything like the picture since it was small. Fortunately, it was flavourful and the skin was delicious. The meat was a little on the dry side though.

The last dish was the 4 Seasons Green Beans. We were quite disappointed in the portion size of this dish. It was no bigger than what you'd find at late night da lang (at other Chinese restaurants). Furthermore, the beans were oil-blanched way too long. They were soft and devoid of any crunch. On the plus side, the beans were tasty with a touch of spiciness. I found that the use onions was far too liberal and it overwhelmed the flavours a touch. Meh. The food was okay here as well as the decent XLB. However, I found the prices and smallish portion sizes to be a sticking point. It does not make me want to return anytime soon. Not that anything was terrible. It's just that there are so many other options available nearby at a lower price point.

The Good:
- Comfortable digs
- Lots of choice
- Lots of parking

The Bad:
- Pricey for what you get
- Food is okay; but not spectacular

Northern Delicacy on Urbanspoon


Ben and Suanne said...

Nice review Sherman. You should check out their signature dishes too. It is their out of ordinary and creative dishes that they are good at. Under all these, Northern Delicacy is actually part of the Tropika group -- did you know that?

LotusRapper said...

Hi Sherman - I haven't made it out to ND yet, but have heard good things about them.

Just curious, price and portion size aside, how would you rate the food quality against places like Wang's, Chen's, Shanghai JJ, Shanghai Village, Shanghai River, etc ?

Sherman said...

Hi Ben, I wasn't sure if they were part of the Tropika group. Thanks for the confirmation. Yah, I couldn't get some of their signature dishes due to the kiddies needing to eat certain items. In terms of the usual things, the food wasn't bad at all. It's just that I think some other places are better in my opinion. With that being said, I would like to try more dishes. You paying? :)

LR, it's actually quite difficult to do comparison because they all have their own styles and specialties. With that in mind, if I needed to pick one out of all of them, I'd say that a combination of Shanghai River and Su Hang would be nice. That post is coming up soon!