By Lindsay Anderson
Special to The Post
In Richmond, it’s far too easy to judge books by their covers, but here’s a piece of advice: if the interior and/or exterior of a restaurant look like they haven’t been updated since 1987, that’s probably a good sign.
Mui Garden is a shining example.
The restaurant is located at Minoru and Westminster Highway, tucked in at the back of the same mall as 4 Stones, Wheat House Pizza, Flo Tea Room, and Monterey Greek Taverna.
My friend Stacey suggested we go, and I’m very glad I was with her.
I’d walked past this restaurant a number of times before, but always got too overwhelmed by the enormous menu posted inside the front door.
It’s an HK style menu with a southeast Asian twist, and the list of dishes goes on and on.
The Hainan Chicken is popular at Mui Garden, but since I’ve already had it a number of times we instead opted for Kuitkow ($8.50), a Malaysian rice noodle dish you’re unlikely to find on other HK-style menus.
We also had the beef brisket curry with rice ($7.50 as part of a combo with tea), the luncheon meat + egg sandwich ($3.50), and one order of roti ($2.75).
The Kuitkow was really tasty, though I thought the wide rice noodles were a little overcooked.
It came with a small bowl of chili oil that we drizzled on top, and was full of sauteed prawns, strips of pork, egg, and bean sprouts. It was simple, filling, and satisfying.
The beef brisket in curry sauce was one the best bowls of curry I’ve had so far in Richmond.
It was very creamy, coconut-y, had lots of flavour, but not too much heat. The chunks of brisket were fork tender, and when all mashed together with the rice, it was pretty much my Ideal Bowl of Comfort Food.
I have a very specific idea of what constitutes a perfect curry, and this was it. Of course, my ideal isn’t everyone’s, but if you really, really love coconut milk and prefer your curry to be mildly spiced rather than fiery hot, this will make you happy.
The roti was also phenomenal; flaky, buttery, and served with the same curry sauce the brisket came in. This is a must-order at Mui Garden.
Finally, you might be wondering why we’d get a “luncheon meat + egg sandwich.” The reason is that I’d never had Spam before, which I found out is referred to as ‘luncheon meat’ on the menus. Since it’s an HK classic, I gave it a try.
The sandwich turned out to be a minced Spam and egg omelette between two pieces of white, crustless bread (the same kind my mom always refused to buy and which I yearned for as a child). It tasted fine – very plain – but my friend Stacey was disappointed with it because she’d wanted me to try Spam in its pure fried glory, not hidden inside an omelette.
So, I guess this means we’ll be ordering more Spam for our next lunch together.
Lindsay Anderson is dining out at 365 Richmond eateries in 365 days for Tourism Richmond. The Asian Pacific Post is featuring excerpts from her blog each week. See www.365daysofdining.com
for Anderson’s blog.
5960 Minoru Boulevard, Richmond BC
Vegetarian options available