YY Village – Hidden Gem on Anderson Road

I don’t know how Ben (Chowtimes) does it, but he always manages to find amazing restaurants in places most people would not think to look. YY Village is one such place; when I saw Ben’s post I knew I had to check this place out with Queenie. Chowtime’s post is here.

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YY Village is not particularly difficult to find. If you head down get onto Buswell and Anderson and see the Anderson branch Dairy Queen, you’ve found it! It looks very simple on the outside, with Chinese characters written on the window that I can’t read. They also have parking spots right in front, but be sure it only says either YY Village or DQ; the ones to the left aren’t theirs.

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Moving inside, I was surprised at how tiny the place is! Besides the bar by the wall, they had about 3 square tables for two and two round tables for about four. It wasn’t too busy when we came at 11:45ish, about one table of four or five and another table of one (who happened to be Mr.Crispy Lechon!). It did get a bit more busy later.

One thing that surprised me when we started ordering was the fact that our menu was totally in Chinese! The one posted by Ben on Chowtimes had both Chinese and English. This kind of left me out of the ordering as I can’t read and Chinese; thank goodness Queenie can though! (Queenie: see, there is a point in learning Chinese!!! 你不知道我在你。 你是最好的!)

Having seen the delicious plates Ben ordered, we followed them on most of what they had. Our first order that arrived was the Pork Chop Noodle in Soup (排骨麵)[$5.85].

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The portion for the price of under $6 was amazing! The bowl was pretty huge and those porkchops really filled us up good.

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The porkchop was pretty good. It wasn’t as fried as I thought it was, which lacked some of that crisp I usually anticipate from having Shanghainese porkchop with noodles. However, this really let the pork flavour jump out. It was also quite tender. (Queenie: I prefer my pork chop to be on the salty side. The porkchop is tender but I prefer to have more seasoning…I am a salt junkie and a future hypertensive patient) I do wish they gave us a knife a bit sharper than a butter knife though; even though it was tender it wasn’t that easy cutting it up! (Queenie: honey, it is just your skill ;) I will cut it up for you next time ok?)

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Surprisingly, I thought the noodles were the best part of the dish. They weren’t particularly thick nor thin, just about the right width for me. They were slightly chewy and were really smooth. The broth was perfect in my opinion; very “ching” () yet flavourful and really complemented the porkchop. (Queenie: definitely my favourite part! The noodles were just excellent substitute of rice! It kinds of wash down the grease of the pork chop! Because the noodle was so I do wish the pork chop can be more salty)

I also added their spicy pepper oil when I had the noodles. It was actually very spicy! Normally when I add some of that in other restaurants, it wouldn’t have as much of a kick as this. Apparently, YY Village makes this pepper oil themselves. (Queenie: the pepper oil is super spicy because they use the spiciest peppers of all: 天椒! I am sorry I don’t know what it is called in English. In Chinese, they are the spiciest pepper. The owner explained that their oil is extra spicy is because they use fresh ones instead of dried ones like other stores)

Our next dish to arrive was the much awaited Slice Beef in Pancake (大餅夾牛肉)[$5.20]. This was what we came for, and we were not disappointed.

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These pancakes were huge; thicker than we’re used to. The outside layer of the wrap was very crispy with the inside portion being slightly more doughy. The beef slices themselves were quite flavourful and tender. (Queenie: I DIED! I love that crispiness of the pancake! so flaky and delicious! My favourite for sure)

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They had the proportion of meat-to-sauce (sweet sauce) just right too. This was the best beef pancake I’ve ever had! A definite must try. (Queenie: hey dear, what’s the difference between hosin sauce and oyster sauce again? ;p)

By this point we were thinking to ourselves we shouldn’t have ordered so much. We were already getting full. Our next dish that arrived was the Red Hot Dumpling (紅油水餃) [$4.80]. We opted for the dumpling instead of the wonton because Queenie doesn’t eat shrimp =P. (Queenie: hey i do! just when they are fresh or deep fried…)

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I like the presentation of this one quite a bit. If I hadn’t read Chowtime’s post, I wouldn’t have known that the spicy sauce was actually all on the bottom of the dumplings.

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These dumplings were pretty good! I thought the skin was a bit on the thick side, but the meat was delicious. While it was decently spicy (apparently quite spicy to Queenie), it wasn’t so spicy that you can’t actually taste the food itself. (Queenie: it is pretty spicy to me….i can feel my lips swelling…again, the pepper oil i mentioned earlier is the culprit) It was also quite juicy on the inside; one actually exploded over my hand when I bit into it LOL. (Queenie: what a failed moment….)

Our final dish was the Chinese Baked Cake (蘿蔔絲酥餅) [$2.00]. I don’t recall ever having this before, but Queenie said it’s common and is good so we got that too.

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Inside this baked cake are “lo bak si”, or very thin slices of daikon. It was quite doughy, definitely like a cake. They tasted pretty good, but Queenie said this wasn’t the best she’s had. Normally, they’re supposed to be thinner on the outside and flakier. (Queenie: the outer layer should be thin and flaky while the daikon should be shredded and moist…The one in YY village is decent…I find the outer shell is too thick altogether)

Our grand total was….

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Yes, $20. All that amazing food for just $20. Simply amazing! This place will be booming with business real soon. What a deal!

The elderly gentleman that mans the store was also very nice. He came around to fill our tea cups a few times and said we shouldn’t rush and take our time. As we were leaving, he actually chatted with us for a bit. YY Village has only been open 4 months or so and their most popular dishes are the beef pancake and porkchop noodle. When we told him his beef pancake was the best we’ve ever had, he was also incredibly humble. Quite a friendly guy!

PS. Don’t spread this one around too much though, it’s Ben’s secret place ;).

YY Village Taiwan & Shanghai Food on Urbanspoon

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7 comments

  • I still have to drag Buddha Boy there with me!!! This place is cheap! And I agree…somehow Ben always find these off-road places…LOL! He’s good at it!

    As for the pepper, the most common name is “cone peppers”…but I have heard people calling it with a direct translation, “facing heaven peppers”…LOL!!! I guess the Chinese name 朝天椒 (or Cantonese 指天椒) is a lot easier.

    Reply
  • Hi Chris and Queenie:

    I can recognize the word sky in the middle of the pepper name. Is the entire word says pointing-sky-pepper? One of those small red ones? Are you referring to birdseye pepper? This?
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thai_pepper

    Glad you liked the place. Guess you know that they have the English version of the menu if you ask them. There are a few things I would love to try too and will be making a return visit again soon.

    He he he … about the comment of the porkchop, I did not even think of using a knife. We used our hands instinctively. We need to go hunt for eating places like these together some day.

    Thanks a lot for the mention.

    Ben

    Reply
  • Yes that chili sauce is definitely hot. It is the fresh thai chilies they used there. It is a simple thing but when a restaurant makes their own chili oil sauce rather than easily buying them by bulk, it shows they care about the quality of food they serve. That beef roll will be in my next dishes to try there. I hope they become very successful but on the other hand, I worry that it may become harder to get a table or the quality food and service may suffer.

    Reply
  • Buddha girl: thanks for the correction! my mom laughed at me for using the wrong word. I used the word purple instead of pointing…

    Ben and Suanne: it is the sky-pointing pepper! i searched it up on the internet, it is in the same family as the bird’s eye chili but it is not the same? sorry i don’t know 100%! Another cafe i recommend trying is called Banhinia Restaurant on 8360 Granville Ave. It is a hong kong style cafe but with very good fried beef noodle. The price is a tad more expensive but even my mom and her friends rave about it.

    Crispy Lechon: Chris told me afterward that we sat next to you while having lunch! what a coincidence! i was salivating when your order arrived!

    Reply
  • Hey Queenie! You are very welcome! I used to use the word “purple” too!

    You know, after doing an extensive search (since I wanna know too)…I think our 朝天椒/指天椒 is either the Tabasco, or in the same family…because (1), it’s in the same category according to Scoville Scale, (2), it’s one of the only group of chili that grows up-ward, and (3), when I googled “Tabasco” in Chinese wiki…it gave me http://zh.wikipedia.org/zh-tw/Tabasco

    Interesting huh???

    Reply
  • I had the Wonton last night. They are Shanghai style so it was filled with pork and vegetables – no shrimp. The slight spiciness of the red sauce was good.

    Reply

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