Joyce of @vanfoodies, Diana of @foodologyca, and I were eating around Richmond; and one of our stops was Grandma’s Rice Rolls. Having just returned from a trip to Banff, where majority of what I ate could be described as Canada with international influences or quasi–Pacific Northwest, I found myself looking forward to this one. When I return home from a couple of nights away, I typically look to comfort Chinese cuisine, and Grandma’s fit the bill.
The decor is that of a Hong Kong style cafe, booth and table seating, pre-set with tissue paper caddy and chilli oil for self service. According to Joyce the music they were playing was classic Hong Kong ballads from 30 years ago, the ones you would now throwback karaoke style. This would be fast food in a fast setting.
They opened in the beginning of June and are still working out logistics and their menu. So, to entice you in, they already have a few specials, which I will list below, along with the dishes we tried. Although, a lot of what we wanted was already sold out due to their popularity this Saturday for breakfast and lunch.
During our visit, the rice milk that they hand grind on location was not available. So instead, we had some of their soybean milk, which was very thoughtfully packaged in a plastic cup with wax paper covering under the lid to avoid spilling. Homemade and fresh, the last time I had soy bean milk was out of a cardboard box.
Given it is in their name, we had to try their rice rolls. You can order them a la carte or take out the guess work out and have their most popular 2 filling options as a combo for 2. Two rice rolls, 2 porridges, and 2 sides for $41.99, regularly $4.36 more.
We had the Beef, pork, and shrimp rice roll and the Beef, bbq pork rice roll as their most popular 2. Both similar in their soft shell embedded with bits of protein and plenty of herbaceous greens. I would have liked more of their sweet and salty sauce over each, and for the rice rolls to be more silky. I have already been asked if theirs is comparable to other shops specializing in rice rolls, but truthfully have never had them, so cannot compare. Grandma’s is my first rice roll restaurant, and I still prefer the way my mother made it for us growing up the most.
I liked the Hong Kong style sampan congee with seafood pork, and peanuts the most out of the two porridges for this combo. It was fishy and salty, and I made out the distinct chew of squid. Not to mention the enjoyable crunch of roasted peanuts and the sponginess of Chinese donut.
One of the combo’s side is a full Chinese donut stick, so we need not quarrel over the two sections used as garnish above. For those unfamiliar, this is a deep-fried donut that has an airy bubbly centre. Neither salty or sweet, it is often an accompaniment or side, and enjoyed for its unique texture.
Our second bowl of Chinese porridge was the Assorted meat congee. This one ate a lot heartier with all its miscellaneous meat stuffs: beef balls, pork chunks, and slices of liver. With a flavour all its own, neither options needed additional seasoning or soy.
For the second side to this combo you are given a choice of either fish skin or chicken wings. Our desired choice of the Deep-fried fish skin was sold out, so we were forced to get the order of small chicken wings. This was your standard, crispy, salty wings. Nothing noteworthy.
Grandma’s sizzling hot pots are also on special. A single serving of food presented in a cast iron cauldron and brought to your table still sizzling, once the glass lid is removed at the table. Their salty ginger Sizzling chicken hot pot is the most popular choice.
I liked it in conjunction with the Sizzling cauliflower with preserved meat hot pot. The latter has crunchy while soft vegetable accented by salty and sweet, cured Chinese sausage slices.
In short, Grandma’s Rice Roll is a nice, new option for comfort Chinese cuisine in the area. Provided that they can keep their dishes in stock.
Grandma‘s Rice Roll 阿婆肠粉
8111 Anderson Rd Unit 180, Richmond, BC V6Y 3Z8