Tuesday, September 29, 2009

#9 Restaurant

BBQ Pork (#9 Specialty)

Restaurant: #9 Restaurant
Cuisine: Chinese/Asian
Last visited: Sept. 19, 09
Area: Richmond, BC
#812-5300 Lansdowne Shopping Centre, No.3 Road
Price Range: $10 or less

1: Poor 2: OK 3: Good 4: Very good 5: Excellent 6: Tres Excellent!!

Food: 2.5 (but 3.5 on this occasion...we ordered well)
Service: 2
Ambiance: 1
Overall: 2.5
Additional comments:
  • Traditional Hong Kong/Cantonese restaurant
  • Serves traditional Canton dishes as well as Western dishes
  • Comparable to Hon's, but for me it's better
  • Extensive menu (Includes names and pictures of all noodles)
  • Big portions
  • Very casual, quick and cheap eatery
  • Busy/crowded/line-ups at peak hours
  • Famous for bbq pork, bbq duck, wontons
  • All day breakfast menu available
  • Bubble tea and desserts available
  • Popular to locals and Chinese families
  • Open 24 hours & holidays
  • Cash only

** Recommendation: Chili pork tossed noodles, bbq pork (also known for bbq duck and wontons, which are not discussed on this review)

I have to give my review based on what it is: a 24 hour Hong Kong style diner, you can't come with high expectations. With that being said, you'll leave feeling full as well as satisfied that you got a cheap meal. The food is good, but not the best Chinese food by all means. It's your "I don't want to think, just pick a place...that's cheap" diner. It's McDonald's of Chinese food - and there's nothing wrong with that if you can accept it as just that. For what you're paying and for what it is I think it does the job fine. It's comparable to Hon's, but I prefer #9 to Hon's. This place tastes even better when you come at 3am in the morning, but for me it's more than an AM restaurant. It's busy, crowded and you can guarantee a line-up during dinner hours. It's perfect for an inexpensive quick and filling meal or for take-out.

If you want to eat like a true typical Chinese family - order what we did. Classic everyday type dishes (except for the Chili pork tossed noodle, but this is one of my favourites here).

On the table:

  • **2 Kinds of BBQ & Rice (BBQ Pork & Steamed Soy Chicken) 5/6
    • This is huge. I think it's the biggest bang for your buck. It's your choice of 2 BBQ meats (not including duck) piled on top of a huge bed of steamed rice. You can have confidence knowing your barbecued meats are fresh because it's the first thing you see walking into the restaurant. I mean they are pre-marinated and pre-cooked, but when they do it here it's a positive thing - the flavours just get more intense. Don't be caught off guard when you see the bbq meats just sitting in a heated display case...this is how the Chinese do it. Anywhere serving Chinese style bbq meats will have this display set up. It's authentic.
    • BBQ Pork 4.5/6
    • You have to choose the bbq pork for at least one of your meats because this is what #9 is known for. Their bbq pork is really good. I like it because it's really lean and the honey glaze is not too sweet, but just perfect. Some places have really fatty bbq pork and while a lot of Chinese people would appreciate this (more flavour) - I don't. I'm almost certain we got around 20 pieces of bbq pork - the portion was so generous!
    • Steamed soy chicken 3/6
    • You get a variety of dark and white meat. It's chicken on the bone and it's very moist. The skin isn't crispy because it's steamed, so it's somewhat healthier. It's marinated in a sweet and savoury soy sauce so it's very flavourful throughout. You can eat it like that or with the ginger and onion oil they give you. I love that condiment.
    • $9.50 (#181 on menu)
  • **Chili pork tossed noodles (Canton style) 6/6
    • This is really good if you like spicy. the pork they use is lean - almost tastes like the bbq pork meat, but it's not. The pork is mixed with slices of shiitake mushrooms too. I love the texture, the meat is somewhat dry (but it's supposed to be), then the mushrooms are plump and juicy. It's coated in this chili satay-type sauce that tastes like Asian style bbq sauce. It's spicy, sweet, and savoury at the same time.
    • It's served on a bed of wonton noodles and a bowl of clear wonton soup on the side. Your supposed to mix the noodles and sauce together and then transfer some of it in another bowl and pour some wonton soup over it - I don't though. I eat it on it's own, without the soup - it's spicier and I like the sauce that much. It's the best here, can't even find better in Hong Kong.
    • $6.95 (#85 on menu)
  • Lettuce with Fu Yu 4/6 (For me - the taste is acquired!)
    • If you're feeling somewhat adventurous, try this. I know it looks boring and it will probably sound unappetizing, but it is a common vegetarian side dish for Cantonese people. I really love it, you need to know what to expect or you probably won't like it.
    • "Fu Yu" translated in English is "fermented soy bean cheese" or "fermented bean curd" - yes, it can sound totally gross if you're unfamiliar with the cuisine. The taste is accustomed. Let's get it straight; it's not a cheese, it just looks like it because it comes in cheese like cubes. It's more like pickled or fermented soy beans or bean curd (refers to the same thing in this case) compacted into cubes of "cheese".
    • Fu Yu is very salty on its own, it's also spicy because it ferments in a chili liquid. At this restaurant they make these "cheese cubes" into a sauce - it's almost never served in it's original form.
    • To eat this dish you dip a leaf of steamed lettuce into the sauce. Be aware that a LITTLE goes a long way. It is very salty so you don't need very much. It lingers a spicy taste. The texture is thick and creamy and a little starchy because it is made of soy beans. It is a salty pickled taste so don' t expect an alfredo or cream sauce (kind of looks like it) or you'll be totally caught off guard and won't like it at all.
    • $4.95 (#295 on menu) We got charged $4.95, but the menu says $5.20...I think we had it on their specials menu so it's cheaper

  • Soup of the Day 3/6
    • Only typical Chinese families will order this. It does not look appetizing, but it is authentic. It's what Chinese mothers would make at home. Soups in general, and especially Chinese soups require the whole day to prepare in order to get that slow cooked flavour and nutritional benefits from all the dried/non-dried ingredients they use.
    • The soup of the day is healthy and full of "good for you ingredients", that don't look good, but are quite tasty. The Chinese "soup of the day" at No9 is almost the same thing all the time. My parents really like this so it's always on the table when we come here.
    • The soup is basically a pork stock. The flavour is ok, maybe a little more watered down than it should be, but it's not from the box or anything. Obviously it tastes better homemade, but this is a quick fix for the real deal. The picture above looks unappetizing and that's basically the ingredients used to brew the soup. They serve the ingredients on a separate dish. You can eat these ingredients with they soy sauce or other condiments they provide. What you see in the photo are pig parts and the brown logs that look like tree bark are lotus roots.
    • I love lotus root. When cooked they are really tender and when you bite into them they have the texture of a potato, but not as starchy. It reminds me of a chestnut - it also has a lot of fibre and that's why it's so stringy.
    • The lotus root and pork is what flavours the soup. Give this a try if you want a taste of "authentic" and traditional Chinese soup. I don't find the ingredients that exotic, but I could be biased. Give it a try!
    • Small $4.75 (#104 on menu)

#9 Restaurant on Urbanspoon


  1. Having been brought up the Chinese way, in food terms, the fermented bean curds is the bane of my existance. I had to grow with it and hated it everytime it was prepared in any way - even if it was made on the side, as its worst-than-blue-cheese-pungency mysteriously "infuses" with nearby dishes. Yes, it is an acquired taste that I am not willing at all to acquire...

    Oh, back to No 9 now... ^_^;;;

    Your comparison with Hon's is spot on; however, there is one big problem with No 9: it is in Richmond! Given all the perils and dangers you have to go through to get to Richmond, I would rather go somewhere else!

  2. LOL really? you don't like it that much?! It's a salty (slightly spicy) goodness for me. It's good with congee too! I love how you compare it to the pungency of blue cheese...I can see where you're coming from.

    You're definitely a downtowner! *ahem* Canada Line *ahem*...;)

  3. Work in Downtown; live somewhere else. :P