Feasting on dim sum and drinking beer from ceramic bowls late at night while sitting outside on a busy street is a uniquely Hong Kong experience -- and three friends are intent on bringing it to Richmond.
Yue Restaurant's outdoor patio, nicknamed Gong, located on Alexandra Road, imitates a traditional Hong Kong-style food stall also known as a “dai pai dong.”
The phrase literally translates to “a stall with a big license plate” in Cantonese. The stalls are known to serve a variety of quick dishes and snacks, but they’re also known for their loud, exuberant vibe.
J.N. Burnett secondary alumni Edward Chan and John Su along with Magee secondary alumnus Victor Chiu, helped Yue Restaurant design this concept for its outdoor patio space after they came back from a trip to Hong Kong where they spent plenty of time at the food stalls.
In particular, the patio will feature dim sum prepared by Yue.
“Late night dim sum has always been something the three of us would randomly crave at night,” said Chan.
“We would go out late at night for food and, more often than not, we’d say late-night dim sum would be perfect right now, but we don’t really have that here.”
Another unique aspect of hawker-style stalls is how people drink beer, which is from a ceramic bowl. And that’s exactly how beer will be served on the patio, said Chan.
But perhaps more than anything, the trio hope to capture the "vibe" of a “dai pai dong.”
“There’s nothing like sitting on a rickety stool at an old, fold-out table with people chatting, drinking and eating together,” said Chan, recalling the trip he took with his friends, now business partners, three years ago.
“It’s a type of environment that just promotes people to come together and get to know each other.”
While Richmond’s version of the hawker-style stall won’t have “rickety tables and chairs” Chan told the Richmond News, he and his business partners want to bring that Hong Kong experience to those who miss it, or those who want to see what it’s like.
“Hong Kong hawker-style dim sum is a way for many Hong Kong residents to spend time together...Whether they are family or strangers, people just somehow bond, and we want to see that here in Richmond too.”
The patio is open on Fridays and Saturdays from 5 p.m. to 12 a.m. at #110 - 8351 Alexandra Rd.