The Food Courts of Richmond Malls Are Amazing: Here Are 9 Spots to Hit

These Richmond mall food court dishes are worth the trek from Vancouver.

Though I live in Surrey now, the food courts of Richmond’s Asian malls are a regular weekend playground for me. Aberdeen Centre is a great starter spot if you’re not fluent in Cantonese or Mandarin: it’s open, bright and many of the restaurants have English menus. But the smaller malls hold hidden gems that are worth exploring—and even if the menus are entirely in Chinese, don’t be afraid to ask someone behind the counter what’s what (or try asking another customer what they’ve ordered). Here are a handful of my favourites from around the city.

Admiralty Centre

Rice Holic has an obsessive Instagram following for its mango mochi ($5): a whole piece of mango wrapped in tender mochi. It’s a modified version of the Japanese snack daifuku, which usually comes stuffed with red bean paste and fruit, sometimes kiwi. Watch their Instagram for announcements that it’s back in stock, and pre-order online if you can—they regularly sell out early.

Rice Holic's mango mochi

Joyful Congee Noodle Cafe offers one of the best deals in the city: congee with a side dish—I always go for the Hong Kong street-style rice roll, but there are radish cakes, or rice noodle rolls with a fried doughnut inside—for just $14. Opt for congee with sliced fish, or preserved egg with pork. And for an extra $1, you’ll get extra seafood. Spend the $1.

Joyful Congee Noodle Cafe's congee

Kam Ho Noodle has a cult following, and it’s probably the most popular spot in Admiralty Centre. Noodles are springy, the broth is savoury excellence and for a bowl of won ton noodles and a Hong Kong milk tea, you’ll pay a mere $13.

Kam Ho Noodle bowl

Pacific Plaza

Pacific Plaza is one of the original Asian malls, and it’s an underrated gem. Join the lineup in front of Car’s Dessert (it’s there from the time they open at 2:30 p.m. on the weekends) for a box of mochi ($12). Inside you’ll find four perfect little treats in four flavours: mango, chestnut, Hawaiian yam and durian. The mochi quality is primo here—I don’t love durian in general, but I love this one.

Box of mochi from Car’s Dessert

If you like Japanese-style Swiss rolls, the Cake Workshop has one of the best in the Lower Mainland. The standard vanilla is great, but for something special, opt for the green tea and black sesame ($11). When we say “It’s not too sweet,” in Chinese culture, we mean it as the highest compliment—and these cakes are beloved for it.

Japanese-style Swiss rolls from the Cake Workshop

If you’re there during the weekend, head to Gee Taste Good, a Malaysian spot that serves an incredible lobster laksa ($18). It’s a classic Singaporean dish with an umami-rich coconut broth—and, of course, it comes topped with a lobster tail.

Gee Taste Good's lobster laksa

Parker Place

Head to Steam King, where it’s hard to pick just one dish—but I almost always go for the Shanghainese braised wheat gluten with mushrooms, also known as Kao Fu ($9). It’s savoury, rich and a little spongy like tofu, and acts as a great vehicle for the sauce. Pair with the Chen Chun noodles ($17, pictured): chewy wide noodles tossed with BBQ pork, baby shrimp, bean sprouts and green onions.

Steam King's Chen Chun noodles

If you’re as obsessed with rice rolls as I am, head to Best Rice Roll, because clearly the name says it all. They specialize in all kinds, but I’m a fan of the classic rice roll served with a fried Chinese doughnut and sprinkled with dry pork floss ($9). I enjoy a good deep-fried crunch with a soft rice roll wrapped around it—it’s my fried-food weakness.

Best Rice Roll's best rice roll

If you’re here for barbecue, Tak Fook Noodle and Congee Shop is the place for BBQ duck (from $13) with a side of noodles to sit and enjoy. Or Aberdeen Fresh Meat and Barbecue is just around the corner for excellent to-go meat, butcher-style for BBQ pork and more.

Tak Fook Noodle and Congee Shop's BBQ duck