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Column: Richmond eats that Michelin should consider

Digging into Richmond's unique restaurants.

Excitement in the culinary community is building up as news that Michelin will be announcing which Vancouver restaurants will be awarded Michelin stars on October 27, 2022.

The announcement will be covering restaurants that will be awarded stars, Bib Gourmand restaurants (recognizing excellent value for money) and other nods by way of being listed in the Michelin guide.

By way of comparison, Toronto’s Michelin guide recipients were announced last month.  In total, 74 restaurants and eateries were listed in Toronto’s guide, 13 restaurants were awarded Michelin stars and 17 were awarded Bib Gourmand ratings.  All the restaurants were located in Toronto and not in the suburbs.

Following the Toronto example, it is unlikely that Richmond will receive any recognition in the Michelin guide. But it is not a stretch to think that Michelin would want to expand their area of coverage to include Richmond in the future since Richmond is a hotbed of cultural diversity and value eats. Richmond has some great Bib Gourmand candidates for Michelin inspectors to munch on.

So much of the focus on restaurants in Richmond is on Chinese cuisine. However, generally, the service standard at Chinese restaurants could use some improvement (at least for those who are not regulars or VIPs of these establishments), so I would challenge these restaurants to elevate their service standards and food quality to distinguish themselves from the multitude of other Chinese restaurants in Richmond. 

A number of very good Chinese restaurants come to mind, including Sun Sui Wah, Red Star Seafood Restaurant, Chef Tony, Neptune Palace Seafood Restaurant, Fortune Terrace Chinese Cuisine and Shanghai River Restaurant. Could one of them use the next few years to distinguish itself as the outright king (or queen) of Chinese restaurants?

But Richmond is so much more diverse than just Chinese restaurants. Here are a few very unique restaurants that Richmond has to offer:

Baan Lao Fine Thai Cuisine -  chef Nutcha Phanthoupheng has trained with world class chefs and brings high end Thai cuisine to Steveston.  For my review of my meal at her restaurant, click here.

Little Mexico Cantina – serving up authentic Mexican cuisine in huge portions, this is a staple of the Steveston community, and it has won multiple awards for its cocktails and tacos. For my review of my meal at this restaurant, click here.

Lamajoun – this is my latest find in Richmond.  It is located in an industrial mall which is the last place you would expect to find a restaurant.  Owner Serge Maranjyan creates everything from scratch. All  products are palm oil free, margarine free, preservative and MSG free.  They have an extensive vegetarian and vegan menu and you can feed yourself for under $10!  View my review of the meal here.

So many restaurants…so little time.  It is all enough to make you thirsty, so here is my wine recommendation for this article: Sokol Blosser 2020 Pinot Noir.  This is a second generation wine family from the Dundee Hills in the Willamette Valley of Oregon.  It is a robust Pinot Noir with black cherry, strawberry and mushroom elements.  It is reduced this month at B.C. Liquor Stores from $41.99 to $38.99.  Until next time, happy drinking!

Tony Kwan is the Richmond News' new columnist. Lawyer by day, food and wine lover by night, Kwan is an epicurean who writes about wine, food and enjoying all that life has to offer.

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