Reader. Writer. Romantic.

Location: 1213-8338 Capstan Way (Richmond)
Website: http://deergarden.ca/

On visits to Vancouver with our family, this restaurant has been a favourite among us. Besides being incredibly affordable, the meal is completely customizable. You start with choosing the soup base, there are about 11 different soup bases to choose from. Next you choose what kind of noodles you want out of a choice of ten (though one of them is not actually a noodle). Included in the meal is the choice of two add ins,additional add ins are $1.50 extra. Only two people in our party stuck with two options, the other three had four. Every dish comes with mushrooms, fresh bean curd, cilantro (menu says coriander, it’s not coriander), and siu choy. Lastly, the meal comes with a drink. Cold drinks are a dollar extra, but hot drinks aren’t. Pretty much every drink on their drink menu has a hot and cold option. The complete dishes ordered were as follows:

Peanut Sauce & Chili; Korean style sweet potato crystal noodles; pork liver, sliced beef, watercress, and century egg; cold almond milk

Thai Tom Yum Goong Soup; Udon; fish balls, bok choy; cold house  milk tea with pearls

Malaysian Laksa Soup; Egg noodles; deep fried fish cake, enoki mushrooms, beef brisket, and beef tendon; cold coffee and tea

Szechuan Spicy Soup; Vermicelli; beef brisket, century egg, bok choy, (one more that no one remembers); cold milk tea

Watercress & Almond Fish Soup; Egg noodles; deep fried fish cake, corn; some kind of lychee drink

The Peanut Sauce and Chili soup is never what I expect it to be. It’s really creamy in texture, but doesn’t have much of a peanutty taste. The main reason my sister loves this place so much, other than the customization, is that it is one of the last few places that still serve pork liver in noodle soups. She also happens to love century egg (also called thousand year duck egg), but I’m not so sure that it was any good in soup, she assures me that it was fine.

My friend struggled quite a bit with the udon noodles. It was adventurous her to try to eat udon with chopsticks. Even as an experienced user of chopsticks, undon noodles often pose a challenge with their annoyingly round shape and slippery texture. And as usual, she nibbled away at her dish and was full having barely made a dent.

I had the Malaysian Laksa. I know I’ve had it before somewhere and I’m probably the worst at describing such a thing, but it is so delicious. The soup is really creamy and has a lot of depth. I used to never know what to get from here, now I do. I’m still trying to find the perfect noodle, but a couple more times here should fix that.

I didn’t end up trying the other two, so I have no idea what they were like, but those who ordered them ate a lot of it, so I’m assuming they liked it (no complaints were heard).

The portion sizes are huge, the food customizable and delicious, what more could a person ask for? I guess they could work on their service, but when they’re trying to help a restaurant that is full with a line out the door, I guess running around like a chicken with its head cut off is a thing (a thing which I’m beginning to think is exclusive to Chinese restaurants). The thing that surprised me most was how busy the place was because it was way past the formal lunch hour (we went at about 3 o’clock). But in this case, the good outweighs the bad and I would give it a rating of 4/5.

Watercress & Almond Fish Soup

Watercress & Almond Fish Soup

Thai Tom Yum Goong

Thai Tom Yum Goong

Malaysian Laksa

Malaysian Laksa

Szechuan Spicy Soup

Szechuan Spicy Soup

Peanut & Chili Soup

Peanut & Chili Soup

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