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Published September 6th 2014
Lucky For Some, Doubly Lucky For Others
In the Chinese language, the word for 'eight' sounds similar to the word which means 'prosper' or 'wealth'. Visually there is also a between two digits, '88', and 囍, the 'shuāng xĭ' meaning double joy.
Right in the thick of Richmond
In Chinese Culture if people choose telephone numbers, house numbers, car identification numbers and important dates, 8 is usually the first choice.
The number 8 is considered lucky. Numbers with several eights is considered very lucky. Here's some examples of how highly regarded the number 8 is:
The opening ceremony of the Summer Olympics in Beijing began on 8/8/08 at 8 seconds and 8 minutes past 8 pm local time.
A telephone number with all digits being eights was sold for CN¥2.33 million (approximately USD$280,000) to Sichuan Airlines in Chengdu, China in 2003.
A man in Hangzhou offered to sell his license plate reading for approximately $164,000.
This rambling preamble is to highlight how auspicious the Quan 88 Vietnamese and Chinese restaurant really is.
For the uninitiated to Victoria St Richmond, there are several Vietnamese and Chinese restaurants even in the one block. With one after the other it is hard to know which one to pick. Most of them were pretty busy but no others have the lucky 8 in their name! It was an obvious choice.
Very classy Chinese
This family owned business has been open since 1987. The clean and modern restaurant has bi-fold windows across the front which, when opened, would no doubt create a totally different effect.
Quan 88 serve an extensive range of Vietnamese and Chinese dishes. With over 187 menu items (without the specials) you'd be hard pressed not to find a few things you would love. They have a large range of vegetarian options.
Quan 88 pride themselves on serving their food fast. In fact I thought they would barely have had enough time to deliver the order to the kitchen when they arrived with the rice paper rolls bulging with chicken, lemon grass and chili. These were four large, very fresh and served with a hot satay sauce and only $8. Very lucky.
This was followed quickly by the curry puffs; they reminded me how much I love a pastry. My attempt at replicating them at home was disappointing. These hot puffs were crisp on the outside but soft and spicy on the inside. I could have just eaten these all night.
Clearly handmade because the sizes varied so muuch
The vegetarian hot pot was a bit of a surprise combination of vegetables including eggplant, tofu, snow peas and bok. Just my luck tonight- these are my favorite vegetables. The hotpot was steaming hot when served. So much so that my camera lens kept fogging up when I tried to photograph it.
Large meals full of fresh vegetables
At about the same time the table next to us got their meal. I managed to take a photo of theirs without much trouble. The greens and the fried chicken dishes both looked delicious.
Look at the color green
I wouldn't normally choose a fish dish but it was highly recommended (for obvious reasons). It came in a black bean sauce with lots of yummy fresh coriander on top. Unfortunately by now I was getting very full so both mains were only half eaten. Mind you that didn't stop me from indulging in the fried ice-cream. This was delivered to out table with a flaming sugar cube on top causing oozing caramel to run down the sides.
Take a risk on the fish
There had been much deliberation over whether to order the strawberry or chocolate sauce. I'm glad the smiling waiter suggested he bring out some of each as my inclination would have been for strawberry but the chocolate was my favorite. How lucky was that? I must say I really enjoyed the fried ice-cream. It seemed to have a sweet cake outer casing. Once again this put my home attempts to shame. My excuse for squeezing in the fried ice-cream was a budgetary one. Since it was only $6 how could you not have it?
Flamin' fried ice-cream. Irresistable
If we had been in a hurry we could have arrived, ordered, eaten and been off in about half an hour. They have child suitable entrees from only $5 a plate. I think it's unbelievable that you can get a curry laksa for only $5.50. This restaurant would suit my little ones perfectly.
So overall, two entrees, two mains, dessert and drinks were less than $60. That's a cheap night out and damn lucky, as I had to get a second mortgage this week to buy the kid's basketball shoes.
A lucky address- 88 Victoria St
To sum up, there are at least 8 good reasons why you will strike it lucky at Quan 88:
1.Quality fresh food
4.Clean and upmarket
5. Very fast service
6. Friendly, attentive service
So if you find yourself in Richmond and looking for any of the above, seek out Quan 88. It's on my return list… so until next time… As Kylie Minogue once sung 'I should be so lucky'.