O’Tray Noodles @ Presidential Plaza: Richmond, BC

Since we only have 2.5 days for this trip, we enlisted the help of our food blogger friend Miss. Foodie to help us narrow down which are restaurants that were not-to-be missed.  Believe me,  the restaurants she recommended were not only good, but were also popular among locals that we usually had to wait an average of 30 – 45 minutes to get a table.  The funny thing is, most people are willing to wait for good food even though they could come back another day (easily) to get it, but since we’ve driven so far… I refused to lose our spot in-line and stuck it out.

We finally arrived in Richmond, BC at around 1:30 pm on Friday.  We were hungry and a little tired, but kinda excited to be finally here.  Richmond is a really great city for Asian Chinese food which Ben and I (mostly Ben) are quite fond of.

TRAVEL NOTE:   We stayed at the Radisson Airport Hotel located at 8181 Cambie Road.  We choose this particular hotel for many reasons, but mainly it’s location:

1)  It’s across from Aberdeen Mall (the most modern Asian mall I have been to in North America)

2) Behind it there’s YaoHan Centre,  where there is a large and busy food court and Osaka supermarket (which by the way is basically T&T right?  But just with a different name, literally)

3) Beside it and attached is the Presidential Plaza which you can access their food court and building via the 2nd floor of the hotel.

4)  The next block over is the Canada Line which will take you into Vancouver.

5)  There’s free hotel parking.  :)

The hotel itself was very clean and the folks there are attentive and polite.

Since we were starving, we wanted something close in proximity and we ended up going to O’Tray Noodles in the food court located in the Presidential Plaza.

Snagged a table! O'Tray counter at Presidential Plaza

We found the prices at O’Tray reasonable and realized when we went to order that they took cash only (but I believe the taxes are included in all the prices).  Makes for easy calculation when it gets busy I assume.  We ended up ordering the favourites from the bloggers as well as fellow patrons from what we saw.

Tianjin Wrap, a "must order" when you're there.

O'Tray Noodles' Tianjin Wrap: Thin egg-based wrap filled with a crispy wafer and hoisin sauce, and chopped green onions.

Nearly everyone that was there ordered this and we know why.  It’s a very warm wrap kinda like a crepe but I feel there’s much more into this than a typical crepe.  The egg wrap was warm and it covered a crispy crunchy wafer in the middle that was filled with hoisin sauce, green onions and chilli sauce or oil.  It wasn’t overly spicy or overly salty.  Overall, I would describe this as a delicate tasting wrap.  The flavours worked well for a hand held wrap and there is no one flavour that stood out.  It just all worked harmoniously.   It was delicious and the two textures of soft and crunchy worked really well together too.

O'Tray Noodles Soft Tofu: Soft tofu in a savoury soup consisting of dried lily flowers, wood ear fungi, chilli oil and sesame sauce.

The next thing we ordered that went hand in hand with the wrap was the soft tofu.  I’ve had salty tofu before and there were times I couldn’t wrap my head around it since I grew up eating tofu sweet and soya bean milk sweet.  I mean I had plan tofu in stir fried but mixing salt in tofu doesn’t work for me.  This on the other hand was absolutely delicious.  The reason why is because the tofu itself wasn’t salty or if it was salty, very subtle in saltiness.  The tofu was basically like a thick Chinese soup,  the soup that was in the bowl consisted of dried lily flowers and wood ear fungi.  It was topped off with a sesame sauce and some chilli sauce and chilli oil.  It had the right amount of saltness to it.  I personally would say this is more like a soup to with big slices of tofu than salty tofu.  Either way, it was good.  Great for when you want something warm and comforting…

O'Tray Noodles' Spicy Beef Noodle Soup: Creamy spicy soup based noodle with wheat noodles, bean sprouts and slices of beef.

The last dish we had was the Spicy Beef Noodle Soup,  I read another blog about how creamy the soup was and kinda felt like something with a bit of kick to it.  Overall, this bowl of noodles was good.  It was surprisingly not as spicy as I thought it would be and didn’t have too much of that numbing Sichuan peppercorn taste-  instead I found it quite nice for a spicy bowl of soup.  Overall it was just good.  After we ordered this bowl of noodle soup we noticed that everyone else order their Lamb Stew with Noodles Soup and Ben wanted to get a bowl of that… until he realized he might have been a bit full.  :)

On another side note,  as we were eating we gotten a little thirsty.  We noticed a booth that sold soya milk, so Ben walked over as he noticed the owner cleaning up.  Before Ben could get a word in the owner started saying, “There is nothing left,  you have to come earlier in the day.  I sell out of everything by 12:00pm” – but not in a humble way, still polite with a dash of cockiness.  As Ben walked back to the table, he had a sarcastic smirk on his face and after describing his encounter with this fellow, he said “We’re eating breakfast here tomorrow.”.  Hehe, and we did which I will post a little later on.

Overall, O’Tray is great stop by for snack or lunch.  Parking maybe a bit hard to find on the weekend but this place is definitely worth the trip.

Oh and if you forgot earlier-  CASH ONLY!
O’Tray (Tianjin Flavours) 天津味牛羊肉粉面 on Urbanspoon

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