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Happy Day Cafe Vancouver

This wasn’t our first choice. Due to poor planning our intended destination was closed, so looking for a good spot for dinner close by, our family agreed to Happy Day Cafe.

This Hong Kong style cafe was styled with contemporary seating, art, and decor. Including decorative cola bottles and limited edition Evian bottles in showcases.

The menu is a lot daunting if you are unfamiliar with the cuisine. Luckily, I had my parents to help navigate.

Worth noting is they are known for their pineapple bun sandwiches, where they take the classic style of Chinese baked bun (the one with the crumbly sweet topping) and turn that into a sandwich with egg and ham. However, I did not see it on their menu. Instead we ordered the following.

We all wanted the House special chow mein, which is usually the one with the extra crispy dry noodles and gelatinous toppings due to its syrup-like sauce. This version had a good variety of ingredients including mushroom, shrimp, Bbq pork, Fish filet, and scallop. It was exactly as expected and satisfied our cravings precisely.

The Baked pork chop and seafood on rice was a nice idea, but it lacked seasoning. Despite the collection of ingredients including imitation crab meat stick, mussels, mushrooms and onion on the seafood side, it was bland. I did like the texture and taste of the cream sauce, I just needed more of it. The pork chop half was definitely the better of the two. It was tender and not over cooked. Crispy with breading and there was a nice fattiness to the meat. The sauce was a simple tomato-base and reminded me of canned Campbell’s.

My parents thought the Chicken with black truffle to be a wild card. They wanted to try something different and it ended up being another one that the whole table liked. Made with lean chicken, the meat was on the fibrous side. It is served chilled and the truffle notes really came through, with the fresh greens for balance. My father went so far as to say that this was the best chicken he has ever had.

The Bean curd with assorted meat hot pot tasted very similar to the noodles above, except with the additional fragrance of wilted cabbage, which I don’t like. Plus not enough salt and no crispy noodles as a base to help carry all that thick gravy. But what I disliked, was what my mother declared to be the best cooked Choi-vegetable she has ever had.

A few of the dishes that we ordered above came with a side order of soup and a dessert. We would get the soup amalgamated in a more impressive serving, it looked too good to be complimentary and it turned out to be unanimously our favourite dish of the evening. It was a deliciously done winter melon soup. The melon meat melted under the weight of your tongue. The soup was so full bodied and flavourful that the bones that sat in it, was just as tasty. The meat slow cooked and tender to the touch. My parents especially appreciated the Chinese almond and aged citrus that was a variation, and a milder flavour they were able to pick up.

And for dessert we got four servings of their sweet bean soup. One for each of the dishes that it was advertised as a side of.
Mung bean, green bean, western peas, and tangerine peel. What sounded like an interesting assortment to most, is a common not so sweet dessert. Hearty with all the lentils, you are sure to walk away stuff3:. Another classic Chinese dish my parents liked just fine, but one I would rather steer clear of. I don’t like the texture of all the grainy beans, and there isn’t enough sugar or sweetness to even classify this as a dessert. It ate more like a healthy herbal oatmeal.

In closing my parents enjoyed the meal and in getting what they expected from this. But with over 565 dishes to choose from, for those unfamiliar, you might not be as satisfied. Even more so as the staff are unable to recommend any of it to you. And it is hard to tell what you getting with descriptions like “sautéed prawn and scallop with celery”.

Happy Day Cafe
3312 Kingsway, Vancouver, BC V5R 5K7
(604) 307-6868

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