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Fusion cuisine explained on the plate at Broli Kitchen

Expert combinations fill the menu that has delighted customers since opening day a year ago
Photo via Broli Kitchen

There’s often a lot said about the intriguing aspects of fusion-style cuisine. Chef Zhuang Li prefers to do his “talking” on the plates he serves up at Broli Kitchen in Blundell Centre, which is celebrating its first anniversary.

When asked how he would characterize his menu, chef Li says the main influences are Italian and French cuisines, with a unique Asian twist to give it that fusion touch. One item which best expresses that is the pork belly pizza.

“I use traditionally braised Chinese pork belly, add nice, wild mushrooms, then a kale pesto that helps balance the richness of the pork,” Li explains. “It’s very popular.”

And if that isn’t enough, Broli Kitchen also serves up a durian pizza.

Long known for its potential to raise eyebrows for its unique fragrance, durian in this Asian fusion pizza provides an enticing, savoury flavour.

“When you eat fresh durian, it can have a strong smell,” Li says. “But once you put it into a pizza and bake it, it mellows out and gives you a nice, savoury taste.”

Even the standard prosciutto pizza at Broli Kitchen takes on a distinctive character with truffle cream and caramelized onions as its base and arugula on top.

Prawns under chef Li’s guidance also benefit from special treatment, too. The appetizer dish uses traditional Chinese chilli sauce and an in-house truffle paste and oil to balance out the flavours.

“That truffle chilli sauce combination is so popular with customers that we produce it and put it into jars and sell it separately,” describes Li.

Li graduated from the Culinary Arts program at VCC (Vancouver Community College) and went to work at the award-winning Provence Marinaside seafood restaurant in Yaletown. He also spent 11 years at the Sheraton Wall Centre in Downtown Vancouver where he served as sous chef.

He brought all his talent and experience to Richmond, and Blundell Centre, when the COVID-19 pandemic hit, where he started his own business.

And after a challenging first 12 months, customer traffic remains steady as word spreads about the unique menu at Broli Kitchen.

“Things are getting better,” Li says. “We are getting consistently good Google reviews and a growing number of regular customers.”

And why not when the menu includes such unique interpretations of classical dishes?

Take, for example, the confit duck, a traditional French item.

“By itself, it can be a little bit of a strong flavour,” Li describes. “So, instead of using the traditional duck fat to prepare it, I use regular oil and add lots of Chinese spices, orange zest and star anise to calm it down.” 

And it’s a big hit, judging from the fact that Broli Kitchen regularly goes through about 100 duck legs weekly.

“Customers just love it,” Li beams, adding that he even incorporates shredded duck confit into a mascarpone cream sauce in his trademark pasta dish. “It’s one of our most popular things on the menu.”

For more about intriguing items on Broli Kitchen’s menu, visit