Growing up, Chinese pastries and baked goods were a staple in my household. I have had my fair share of BBQ Pork Buns, Pineapple Buns, Egg Tarts and Cocktail Buns for breakfast and the random snack. There have been many debates over who produces the best baked Chinese goods in the GVRD, but up until recently, there was almost a consensus for the best Pineapple Bun - Lido in Richmond. Served warm from the oven with a slice of cold butter stuffed in the middle, the pineapple buns at Lido are drool-worthy. However, AAA Restaurant on Alexandra Road has been offering up worthy competition with their pineapple buns straight from their oven. We decided to drop by to see if this was really the case.
Without any delay, let's get right to the main event - the Pineapple Bun with a slice of cold butter. Immediately, it was clear that the topping was the best thing about the bun. It was crispy, light and appealingly sweet and buttery. I would say this was more substantial than Lido. However, the bun itself was more yeasty and chewy. This was served semi-warm, so this might've had something to do with it. I wonder if a fresh-out-of-oven bun would've been more soft and fluffy. For an upcharge, the bun was part of the breakfast Combo A which included Sausage and Eggs (actually a hot dog wiener as usual). I found the eggs to be fluffy in some parts with rubbery edges. The wiener was a wiener, but the design at one end was interesting (looked like a banana from Mario Kart).
The second part of the combo was an enormous bowl of Ham & Macaroni in soup. The soup was fairly mild, but the generous amount of ham added enough salt content to flavour the whole dish. The only negative part of the bowl was the macaroni as it was certainly past al dente. On the other hand, it wasn't mushy either. Continuing on the soupy theme, we got a Hong-Kong Style Congee as well. Consisting of the classic ingredients of pig stomach, pig skin and squid, this was a hearty concoction. The broth itself was fairly thick but not overly smooth nor broken down. It was more home-style in terms of texture and taste. Mind you, there was enough seasoning for impact (unlike the home-made version).
On the side, we chose the Daikon Radish Cake (Lo Bak Goh) which was nicely fried up with a caramelized sear on the outside. Texturally, it was on the denser and powdery side, yet it wasn't a deal-breaker. Beyond the crispy and aromatic exterior, the daikon cake needed more seasoning and/or Chinese cured sausage. Mind you, with some hot sauce, none of this would matter. Lastly, we had the Wonton Lo Mein that featured chewy noodles that were on point. The small wonton were also quite good being a combination of a whole small shrimp (that had a nice sweet snap) and moist pork. Pineapple bun withstanding, AAA Restaurant serves as a capable cha chang teng (HK-style cafe) and offers up decent eats at a reasonable price.
*Food paid for by Tourism Richmond*
- Worthy competition to Lido in terms of the pineapple bun
- Decent eats
- Fills up quick and then the lineup starts
- Service is not particularly attentive