East Meets West At Aberdeen Centre Food Court

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Mall Food Courts are not normally a destination for foodies or culinary adventurers but as part of my 30 Days Of CNY I’ve come to Richmond to check out Aberdeen Centre. Built in the 90’s and named after a famous Hong Kong Sea Harbour, Aberdeen Centre was built to offer Chinese and Western shoppers the “Orient” experience without flying to Asia. It is filled with Asian-themed stores, including the $2 Japanese chain Daiso, tea shops, restaurants and an 800 seat Food Court. I can shop and eat some authentic Chinese cuisine all at the same time. I’m in and besides, the best part about a Food Court is that you can try many different dishes from many different kiosks as long as you are willing to wait in line. It’s like a progressive lunch.

Aberdeen Centre is all decorated to celebrate Chine New Year

Aberdeen Centre is all decorated to celebrate Chinese New Year

Chili Coconut Vegetable Stirfry, get the recipe from Blue Dragon

Getting to Aberdeen Centre is as easy as getting on the Canada Line and getting off at the Aberdeen Station. Yup it is that easy. Of course you can drive as well but then you’ll be fighting for parking, I advise you to just take the Canada Line and make your life easy.

Map of Aberdeen Centre location in Richmond

Map of Aberdeen Centre location in Richmond

Once inside the mall you feel like you’ve been transported to a whole other world. I can be honest and say I don’t think I recognized a single name brand store other than the Pop UP Mercedes dealership and Daiso. The centre court of Aberdeen Centre is a mini performance hall and today it is all set up for performances in celebration of the Lunar New Year. The mall is absolutely alive with colour.

Aberdeen Centre performance stage is all set for Lunar New Year performances

Aberdeen Centre stage is all set for Lunar New Year performances

Kids performing at Aberdeen Centre Lunar New Year celebrations

Kids performing at Aberdeen Centre Lunar New Year celebrations

Aberdeen Centre is decorated and coloourful

Aberdeen Centre is decorated and colourful

The real reason I came to Aberdeen Centre though was to check out the 21 vendors at the Food Court. The Food Court is located on the 3rd floor  and when we arrived at the top of the escalators it was packed. I think all 800 seats and then some were filled with shoppers grabbing a bite to eat. Time for some strategy. The first step is to walk the entire Food Court and check out all the various offerings. The second step is to then go back to the food vendors that most interested me, one dish from this one, another here, etc…

Entrance to Aberdeen Centre Food Court on the 3rd level

Entrance to Aberdeen Centre Food Court on the 3rd level

With 21 food vendors to choose from it’s a bit overwhelming. Lots of Chinese options, some Korean and some Japanese as well. I’m sticking to the Chinese offerings today.

Shanghai Gourmet House vendor at Aberdeen Centre Food Court

Shanghai Gourmet House vendor at Aberdeen Centre Food Court

Szechuan House & Frappe Bliss at Aberdeen Centre Food Court

Szechuan House & Frappe Bliss at Aberdeen Centre Food Court

Mazazu Crepe and Yougo Chicken food vendors at Aberdeen Centre

Mazazu Crepe and Yougo Chicken food vendors at Aberdeen Centre

The line ups at some of the places I wanted to try were quite long and it turns out 90% of the vendors in the Food Court only take cash! EEK who carries cash with them these days. Luckily my buddy Gus who was with me had $20 on him so we were able to get something. We chose YOUGO Chicken for no other reason than there was no line. I ordered the Deep Fried Pork Chop Noodle Soup and Gus went for the Popcorn Chicken Sandwich and fries. Not as good as I was hoping for, a bit greasy and a little light on flavour for the broth. Definitely filling though for only $7 each. I think the mistake we made was not wanting to line up. I bet the busier places were offering better quality.

Deep Fried Pork Chop Noodle Soup from YOUGO Chicken at Aberdeen Centre

Deep Fried Pork Chop Noodle Soup from YOUGO Chicken at Aberdeen Centre

Popcorn Chicken Sandwich and fries from YOUGO Chicken at Aberdeen Centre

Popcorn Chicken Sandwich and fries from YOUGO Chicken at Aberdeen Centre

Not willing to give up we decide to visit a couple more places. For me I’m craving some dumplings so I go to Chef Of Dumplings and order the Pork & Chive Dumplings. Gus is craving ice cream so he grabs a Green Tea Soft Serve from Mazazu Crepe. These dumplings are definitely better than the soup I just had and Gus is one happy camper with his soft serve.

Pork & Chive Dumplings from Chef of Dumplings at Aberdeen Centre

Pork & Chive Dumplings from Chef of Dumplings at Aberdeen Centre

Gus tastes his Green Tea Ice Cream at Aberdeen Centre Food Court

Gus tastes his Green Tea Ice Cream at Aberdeen Centre Food Court

We are full so it’s time to wander back though the mall and head home until we come across St Germain Bakery. OMG a Chinese Bakery, my mouth is starting to water. I can’t resist and order a few little treats for myself. Treats like a Vanilla Dream Cake, Butter Cream filled Buns and a Pineapple Bun. I know what I’m having for dinner tonight.

Pastry display at St Germain Bakery Aberdeen Mall

Pastry display at St Germain Bakery Aberdeen Mall

Buns Buns and more Buns at St Germain Bakery

Buns Buns and more Buns at St Germain Bakery

The Butter Cream Bun was nice, the Pineapple Bun lacked pineapple but the Vanilla Dream Cake was heavenly. So light airy and filled in the centre with a light vanilla cream. Sweet Dreams are made of this. On the Canada Line home to Yaletown I declared that I may have just found a reason to leave DT and thanks to the Canada Line I can be at Aberdeen Centre in less than 30 mins. Can you say Bakery road trip?

Inside look at the Vanilla Dream Cake

Inside look at the Vanilla Dream Cake

Aberdeen Centre was a bit of a surprise to me. It’s been probably at least 15 years since I’ve been inside and I was pleasantly surprised by what I found inside. I mean I could make a trip there just for Daiso and St Germain Bakery but I promised myself the next time I go I will be patient and wait in line at the Food Court. The one thing I really wanted but didn’t get was a Bubble Waffle. Next time I promise.

Bubble Waffle at Aberdeen Centre Food Court

Bubble Waffle at Aberdeen Centre Food Court

Sponsor

Blue Dragon is named after the Chinese symbol of good fortune. Our company was created over thirty years ago when our glorious founder realised there was hardly anything available in the shops that would help people create authentic Asian dishes at home. Blue Dragon has become a great way to help you create delicious dishes from China, Thailand, Japan and Vietnam. You can find Blue Dragon sauces at all major retailers across Canada.

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About Author

Marc Smith is a former event planner turned vagabond adventurer. He loves strong Americano's, great wine, cold beer and zip lining over tree tops. Formerly of Vancouver, most of Marc's time when not travelling is in Canada's largest city, Toronto. Follow along on his nomad adventures and discover places to stay, things to do and where to eat & drink as he explores the world one city and region at a time.

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