At one point, there were not a whole lot of places offering DIY noodle combos. Now they are a dime-a-dozen. Call it the Vancouver fad phenomenon. However, one of the originals, Deer Garden Signatures, has opened up a third location on Fraser Street in Vancouver. Definitely music to our ears since that meant we didn't need to head into Richmond! Yippee! It was also a good choice as Bubbly and Chill brought all 3 kiddies (noodles are always popular with the kiddies).
Going for something a bit different (because I've had the noodles before), I went for the Baked Pork Chop/Seafood on Rice. Yes, it was half a baked pork chop rice and half a seafood baked rice. Hence, it was a pretty large portion. I found the combination of seafood (shrimp, scallop, basa, imitation crab) cooked properly while the cream sauce wasn't too heavy. The pork chop was meaty and tender with a crisp coating. The sauce was mostly sweet with a touch of tartness. I found this a well-executed dish. Boss Woman ended up with the Spicy Beef Brisket and Tendon with Rice. It didn't look that pretty, but ate better than it appeared. The sauce was somewhat spicy while the brisket and tendon was sufficiently soft. I thought the sauce was a bit too thick though.
Now onto something more synonymous with Deer Garden - the DIY noodles. We had the Fish Soup with Vietnamese ham and tofu. Personally, I like the fish soup, but hardly think that it is as good as many say it is. With that being said, it was pleasant and the portion size was good. To change it up, Chill had the Szechuan Spicy Soup with Beef. It was mildly spicy while the beef was properly tenderized. This was a flavourful alternative to the mild-tasting fish soup. As expected, the DIY noodles were pretty much standard, however, I found my rice dish to be quite good. Maybe I should try some other non-soup dishes next time.
- You get what you expect
- Fairly good value
- Surprisingly good baked rice dish
- Service ain't horrible, but not very attentive either (probably not enough staff)
- Not the most spacious of setups
- Long lineup