Gristle & Steak @ Flo Tea Room

Since we wanted something quick and kind of felt like Taiwanese food, we went to Flo Teahouse in Richmond.  Well, that was kind of a mistake.  I had always thought it was a Taiwanese restaurant like Pearl Castle since when I passed by the older one on Cambie street, the font and styling gave it a Taiwanese vibe.  Plus it said 時尚食品, which I thought kind of implied Taiwanese cuisine.

To me, cute-ish fonts and weird words AND bubble tea implies Taiwanese food, I think?

Rather than having just Taiwanese cuisine (which they indeed did have), they had cha chaan teng food, such as those mix-and-match combos, Szechuan food, and individual dishes of veggies and meat to be shared.  I was super confused because there were way too many choices.  It really reminded me of that episode of Happy Endings where Dave thought of creating his own super-restaurant called Pangea where it would have every single cuisine in the world.  I kind of felt that way at Flo.

Confused and with the intent of going through with my plan of having Taiwanese food, I ordered the milky seafood and pork hot pot (牛奶海鮮火鍋, $9.25).  There was a lot of tofu, which I'm not a fan of.  I was looking forward more to the pork and seafood.  Sadly, the English description mentioned it to have pork but it had none at all.  There was prawn (which was alright), imitation crab meat, and prawn to represent the seafood category.  There was a reasonable amount of fish, but it was really bitter and basically tasted like baking soda.  I wanted to get some satay sauce to cover the baking soda taste, but they didn't have any!

The hot pot also came with two small side dishes, which were fairly Cantonese style instead of Taiwanese.  I didn't have much interest in them because both had veggies that were browning so I didn't bother with it.  Since these were taken out of a larger container, they should've at least picked out the browned bits.

My parents wanted to try the special which was written on the board at the front of the restaurant, thinking it had to be reasonably good.  They both ordered the ribeye steak with prawns (~$11).  After having the super cheap and good steak dinner at Eh! Restaurant, I didn't feel like anything around this price would even be as good as Eh's. I had a small piece and it was quite tough and horrible.  There was a lot of gristle too.  I was a bit surprised that the prawns from my hot pot actually looked more appetizing than theirs.  They weren't impressed.

After complaining about it to a friend, she called us "ambitious" for ordering these things and not sticking to cha chaan teng food like fried noodles and whatnot. But seriously, it's not my fault I don't know "what I should and shouldn't order". Shouldn't everything be up to standards before restaurants create their menu? There's not point of putting some really good food and some disgusting food -- especially when there's so much unnecessary variety.

And another interesting note: I tweeted I had a horrible experience at a restaurant that night, and someone asked me where.  So after some consideration, I mentioned them, but Flo completely ignored me.  Initially I thought it was because they weren't following me and didn't see the mention, so I wasn't angry or anything.  But then the next day, they followed me and still didn't follow up with my tweet.  Wow.  Not like I'm expecting anything really, but it's just nice to have a business listen and address your tweets and not ignore them.

Flo Tea Room 采
7771 Westminster Hwy
 Richmond, BC
(604) 273-0838
Flo Tea Room 采 on Urbanspoon Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...


Flo, you're doing it wrong.
Go to the Granville one, Richmond one sucks&is lazy.
Order schezuan beef noodle from the mini set.
Go home happy.

Well, Kevin, I have been telling Janice for a long time she should get her ass out of Richmond and/or Downtown Vancouver as there are good eats outside of those two parts of Metro Vancouver. I hope you have better luck than me! :)

Janice, you should try Po King one of these days. (Yes, there is a reason behind it!)

Oh my gosh, Janice, I had the exact same thing (milk seafood and pork hot pot) at Flo Richmond and I was just as disappointed as you! I had no pork, the milk base was bad, and the vegetable side dishes were not fresh. I will never get that again.

However, for their cha chan ting offerings, I do enjoy their cheap breakfasts. You can take a look at my post on them! http://eatingwithkirby.blogspot.com/2011/09/flo-tea-room-richmond-starting-to-like.html

I don't think they are that bad if you don't order any of their "Taiwanese" stuff. :p

I think what saddens me about this particular post isn't so much the food. But the fact that many Taiwanese and Chinese places are behind on the times in terms follow up for their service. I made a note about this on my blog post for 2012 Vancouver Restaurant trends. Chinese places need to up their service levels to grab the attention of more customers.

Vincent, will go directly to the point: how much of what you wrote is related to the fact you work in marketing, specifically restaurant related marketing? As for your blog post, I had a good chuckle for over half of the things you wrote. I hope you like snake oil in your salad dressings!

Janice, sorry to deviate from the main topic!

@Kev: I think I'll pass on Flo on Granville. And Hastings. Yes! (only if you go with me)

@Kim: I don't think venturing outside Richmond has anything to do with how the food was bad here. Just because it was in Richmond and they have another one on Granville, it doesn't mean that they can serve food like this at any one of them. By all means, it's encouraging Richmond folks to try Flo (in Richmond, obvs) and it ruins the reputation of the Granville one (which I probably won't even bother trying now since I've had such a bad experience here). (And yes, I potentially would have tried it before since my friend goes there often with her family.)

@Kirby: Yeah, they sent me an email about this post but never addressed the milk seafood and PORK issue. Don't know, I emailed them back about it and they didn't even reply. Good to hear their breakfast is alright, though I haven't had a HK breakfast in so long! I need to get my fix soon. Macaroni for breakfast yayayaya!

@Vincent: I still think it was mainly the food that was horrible. I'm used to being treated like crap at restaurants. (well no not really, but I'm used to Asian service).

Janice, no, no. What I am refering to is for you to try other restaurants/cuisines outside of Downtown Vancouver or Richmond. Whether it is Flo or other restaurant! ;)

@Janice I know what you mean. There's usually Chinese restaurant service and then there's the rest of us. As for the Granville location, it's okay in my opinion nothing stands out.

We just went there too and it is indeed horrible! Go to the Vancouver one! Their beef noodle is awesome! :)

@Lumico: have you tried the beef noodle in Richmond? Seems like everyone is pushing me to go to the Granville one....

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