My uncle from Hong Kong is a fanatic about real/traditional Taiwanese food. To treat us for dinner, his choice of restaurant of course is going to be Taiwanese! My sister’s boyfriend’s friend is the owner of Strike in Kitsilano. A second store is newly opened in Richmond, so we decided to go in to try it out during their soft opening. Good thing we had reservation, when we arrived at 7pm, the place was packed with quite a few parties lining up to get in!
BTW, my uncle ordered what people would eat in Taiwan, we didn’t get the westernized/popular dishes like Salt-Pepper chicken and things like that.
A table was reserved for us and we were promptly seated. The decor is simple but welcoming.
We were a tad surprised at the menu when they were brought over but the owner quickly apologize for the paper menu as they are still in their soft opening. (C: The owner is such a super nice guy! Very warm and friendly, he really seems to thrive in hospitality).
They have the typical Taiwanese/BBT restaurant menu. They also have individual dishes like Chinese restaurants. We didn’t order any set meals as we were all sharing. (C: I had absolutely no clue what was being ordered as Q’s uncle and sis’ bf were conversing with the owner in Taiwanese). The owner recommended a few dishes for us to try as well. So here we go!
My uncle loves the braised minced pork rice (滷肉飯). It wasn’t bad, quite typical of what you’ll get at any Taiwanese restaurant. It is quite different that pork-fluff came with the rice. That I haven’t seen. I like the light side dishes that came with this rice which were vegetables stir fried in sesame oil, tomato and egg, marinated firm tofu. (C: I liked it! Portions were great and it tasted pretty good. A bit on the fatty side, but everything tastes so good mixed with the rice!)
Food came quite fast! Within 5 min of the rice, 2 more side dishes came! (C: The food and drinks came out at an amazingly fast rate, I’ve never seen food come out that quick in an Asian restaurant before!). My dad wanted the Pork with Garlic Soy Sauce (蒜泥白肉) and the owner recommended the Deep Fried Preserved Eggs (南陽夜市炸皮蛋). The red pepper you see on the picture is VERY SPICY. Holy smokes. It was a decent dish. It was the least favourite of everyone and slowest to clear the plate. The pork laid on top of garic soy sauce and is topped with a teriyaki-like sauce. It is a spicy and sweet cold dish? (C: When you eat a slice of the pork without the red pepper flakes it was pretty normal. Bite into the flakes though, and boy does it get spicy!!). The fried preserved eggs is a very unique dish. When I think preserved eggs, I usually think congee. It was a pleasant surprise and I would recommend to try this dish. Crispy exterior with a chewy/jelly like body topped with again teriyaki-like sauce (C: Great texture, and if you like preserved eggs you’ll probably like this one).
According to my uncle, this is another traditional Taiwanese dish, Traditional Steamed Rice Cake (臺南碗糕). It came in the typical small rice bowl and pipping hot. In the rice cake, an egg, minced pork and beans are steamed into the rice cake. It also came with a sauce that’s again tasted like the teriyaki sauce. The steamed rice cake is quite firm. I didn’t really like this dish either. Good thing it was small. With 7 people and everyone ate a spoonful, it was quick easy to finish off the dish. I don’t recommend this dish. (C: This one looked pretty cool, and I actually thought it was tasty. It’s not a must have, but if you like steamed radish cakes, I think you’d like this one too. Could have used a bit more kick to it though).
This dish I did not even try. I don’t eat intestine, let alone it has blood in it. Pork Intestine in Blood (五更腸旺). From what my parents, uncle and C said, they all liked it and enjoyed the dish (C: oh man this one was good! You can tell when the intestines weren’t prepared well or if the quality is sub-par. This one was great. Just the right amount of that innard flavour [I have no clue how you describe that]. Mix this with white rice and it’s awesome! Really more of an acquired taste though, so unless you’re feeling adventurous, you probably should give this one a pass).
My uncle was excited to see this Shrimp and Veggie Egg Fried Rice (櫻花蝦炒飯). Apparently the shrimp the restaurant used is a very special type known as Sakura Shrimp (櫻花蝦) which is only found in the Taiwan and Japanese water area. The shrimps are very small in size and the shells are chewable and crispy to eat. The taste of shrimps is quite strong and tasty. The only thing is that the rice is not day old rice. They probably didn’t have time or prepare enough day off rice to make it. It would’ve been perfect if the rice is drier. (C: This rice is probably the star dish! Very fragrant shrimp flavour and a good ratio of shrimp-to-rice. The rice clumped together a bit because, as Q mentioned, they probably didn’t have time to use day-old rice. Regardless, this was a fantastic fried rice. If you love shrimp, order this one!!)
My dad craved something spicy and Canton style so he ordered this dish, Spicy wontons (红油抄手). The oil is very spicy, again you see those super spicy little red pepper. This type of oil tends to make my lips swell so I didn’t try this out myself. (C: This one was pretty standard, just spicy wontons. If you don’t eat the actual pepper flake, it’s not actually too spicy).
This is another dish highly recommended by the owner: Beef and water spinach stirfry (沙茶空心菜炒牛肉). I am glad we ordered this. I love the taste of the sa-cha sauce used in this dish. I felt this the amount of sauce is perfect without overpowering the veg and beef. The only complain I have is that there was more beef than vegetable. That ratio isn’t quite right. This went so well with a bowl of rice!! Yum! (C: I really like this one too! Probably one of the first dishes to be cleared out by everyone. Apparently this vege is hard to source; so although it makes sense to say that there’s too much beef on this dish, it’s still a funny thing to complain about!)
Taiwanese Beef roll (大餅牛肉卷) is my sister’s and C’s favourite and hence it had to be order. It was quite good but as seen in the picture, the roll is quite oily but I love that it wasn’t thick in dough. The dish could use more beef too! Very standard and I wouldn’t necessary recommend this dish. (C: Actually this beef roll is pretty good. It’s not the best I’ve had, but it was done right. Not overly doughy and the beef was tasty. I forget the price on this one, but I think it was standard portion size).
Instead of the usual bubble tea, my uncle recommended the Old Fashion Wintermelon tea (古早味冬瓜茶) as it is a traditional Taiwanese drinks and to cool down all the “hot air” in our body from eating a lot of fried food from days before. This drink is able to chill the body, diurese excess water and detox. Regardless if the tea can do all that, it sure is tasty and refreshing. Coconut jelly went very well with this drink. Instead of the usuall bubble tea with load of sugar, I much prefer this drink. I think from now on, I will get this drink instead! (C: Very tasty wintermelon tea! I’ve had cold wintermelon tea one before at another Taiwanese bbt place, but I think Strike! has a larger portion size and a strong wintermelon flavour to their tea. Good stuff!)
In terms of speed, this restaurant is amazing! From order to us paying the bill, we were in the restaurant for less than an hour! The food came at such an amazing speed that we didn’t have enough table space to put all the dishes! If you are in a hurry, I would suggest coming here. The kitchen works at am amazing fast pace! I can’t comment on the service because I felt we got special treatment as we know the owner who checked on us very frequently and asking how the food was.
I think this is a restaurant worth checking out once it is fully opened. I would be back with a big party to try other food! (C: Location is pretty prime and the food is really good when you compare them to other BBT/food places like Corner 23 or Well Tea. Bbt is good too and their prices are quite fair. Perfect place to hang out after badminton in Richmond! I would definitely come back in the future to see how they are like when fully opened).