Sherman's Food Adventures: M Cafe

M Cafe

Unless you live in Richmond, there seems to be a limited selection of good Hong Kong-Style cafes in the city.  Even with that, I personally believe there aren't enough HK-Style cafes in general and that includes Richmond.  This is especially true where I live, in North Burnaby.  Thankfully, there is a Happy Valley opening up in the ol' Swiss Chalet soon, but otherwise, I have to go all the way to Metrotown to the Boss for HK-style eats.  One other option is to head into Coquitlam and either hit up Copa or M Cafe, which we did this time around.

We've been here before many times, but I decided that an updated post was in order.  Like with all places like M Cafe, there is usually a soup included with most meals.  The choices range from borscht, cream of something and Clam Chowder.  This is what I had and if you've ever had a HK-Style version, you will know that it is less of a chowder and more like a cream of clams and veggies.  I found this just thick enough and loaded with clams and soft veggies.  Flavour was mild and it wasn't briny at all - a good version in the end.

For my main, I had the Dual Steak Combo and selected a chicken steak and a ribeye steak.  This came with crunchy fries, mixed veggies and I went for the black pepper sauce.  This was quite a bit of food where the chicken steak (deboned chicken leg) was juicy and well-seared.  The ribeye was medium-rare as requested and was sufficiently tender.  I found the black pepper sauce to be salty enough and quite peppery.

We had to get the classic Baked Pork Chop Rice.  This is a HK-style cafe staple with fried rice base topped with pork cutlets coated with a crispy breading.  I found the pork chops to be juicy and tender.  As for the tomato sauce on top, it was textbook being only mildly tangy (maybe could've been tangier) with plenty of sweetness.  It was thick enough to coat all the pork chops and some leftover for the rice.

Continuing on with the tour of HK-style cafe staples, we also had the Baked Spaghetti Bolognese topped with melted cheese and served with garlic bread.  For those who aren't familiar, this isn't an Italian bolognese.  Rather, think of a meat sauce with onions and carrots but with the addition of star anise (sometimes) and soy as well as some other Asian ingredients.  The sauce here was a bit tangier than usual, yet still tasty.  The noodles were al dente and overall, this was a solid.

We just had to also include the Baked Seafood Rice which also featured the same fried rice base.  It was topped with a mushroom cream sauce and assorted seafood.  Again, for those who don't know, the cream sauce found at HK-style cafes are mostly starch-thickened milk-based sauces.  With that being said, this was still flavourful and the sauce was just thick enough.  The seafood was not overcooked either.

Going for something more of a Chinese dish, we had the Curry Beef Brisket.  Although this can be found at most Cantonese restaurants, it is also another HK-style cafe staple.  This was served with a plate of rice.  Another solid dish where the pieces of brisket were mostly tender and not dry.  It appeared to be a mix where there was some beef finger meat too.  The curry itself was on the thinner side, yet was still plenty flavourful with only a mild amount of spice.

Another Chinese dish was the Scrambled Eggs and Shrimp on stir fried flat rice noodles.  My son actually wanted this one as scrambled eggs and shrimp is his favourite Chinese dish.  However, when it is served atop rice noodles, it is more of a starch-thickened sauce with egg drop and shrimp in it.  This was good though as the noodles were not mushy nor clumpy while the sauce had plenty of cold-water shrimp and delicate egg swirls.

Our last item was staying on the theme of classic HK-style items with the Clubhouse Sandwich served with fries.  This was stuffed with a fried chicken cutlet, bacon, fried egg, cheese, tomato and lettuce all on crustless toasted white bread.  It was fulfilling and the ingredients were on point where the chicken was juicy and the bacon was crispy.  As you can see, the food at M Cafe is pretty solid and they have all the favourites and then some.  Prices are reasonable for the portion size too.  Don't have to go to Richmond right?

The Good:
- Solid eats
- Fair portion size
- Reasonable prices

The Bad:

- Admittedly, Richmond HK-style cafes are better, but not significantly more


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