Richmond, oh Richmond... I tried to avoid you like a salad bar, but you reel me back with your alluring eats. I know the risks, the stress and frustration, but I simply cannot resist. There we were, heading across the Oak Street Bridge when I was just about to take the Garden City exit and we were greeted with a Japanese sport-compact cutting me off with fervor. Was this a sign of things to come (actually, I got cut off leaving Richmond as well...)? Well, we were there to try out Old Buddies on the recommendation of Mijune. Apparently, this is from the folks of Ho Yuen Kee complete with the lure of enormous wontons.
Pebbles was especially excited because she just could not believe the description I gave her about those aforementioned Wontons. When the double-order hit the table, she was in full foodgasm by just looking at them. That foodgasm was taken to the next level as each bite revealed a sweet crunch from the massive shrimp. Although there was some pork filler, it was minimal and didn't detract from the wonton. We decided to get another one of their specialties being the Peking Duck. With an attractive hue, the crispy duck skin was only a touch fatty with a decent amount of meat attached. We found the crepes to be a touch dry though.
The second course was the Duck Lettuce Wrap which arrived in a generous portion. There was large chunks of moist duck nestled among crunchy veggies. The wok heat could've been a bit more intense, but the flavours were still good without being salty. We liked how the lettuce was cut into manageable-sized cups without being hacked to death. Next, we had to get their other specialty - Lobster with Sticky Rice. The lobster itself was fried up expertly where the meat still was moist and bouncy. It was naturally sweet where the sauce added just enough saltiness. I would've liked to see more sauce as the rice underneath was a little bland, yet was texturally on point.
For our token veggie dish, we got the Stir-Fried Pea Shoots with Garlic. This was the beneficiary of good wok heat where the shoots were fully cooked while still maintaining a vibrant crunch. There was a bevy of garlic whereas the grease was minimal. I liked how it didn't rely on salt for flavour impact (the garlic did the job). Lastly, we had the Peking Pork Chops which were also good. Each piece still had some crispiness on the exterior while being tenderized properly (slight bounce and tender). The sauce clung to each piece adding hits of sweet, salty and tartness (from the black vinegar). Overall, we were pretty pleased with the entire meal, especially the wontons. Taking everything into consideration (price, service, food quality and portion size), Old Buddies might be put on regular rotation for eats in Richmond.
- Probably some of the best wontons in town
- Surprisingly good service
- Overall good food
- A touch pricey (but the wontons were a steal)
- Parking issues (common to all restaurants along Alexandra)