Chinese Herbal Soup & Fish Maw @ Shi-Art

It's been a while since our last visit at Shi-Art in Richmond Centre. The last visit was during king crab season! I don't know why we don't come here more often, I actually quite like it. They have very interesting dishes that no other restaurants offer, and the prices are quite reasonable.

Since it was a semi-special occasion, we ordered the Chinese herbs and fish soup 川芎百芷魚胶湯 ($29.80), a Chinese herbal soup that is supposed to be excellent for people who suffer from headaches. (I looked up what the English was but found it a bit pointless to translate from Chinese so I left it out.)  I've tried this soup before at Lucky Fortune (which I've heard is no longer here) but instead it was double boiled there so it was much more expensive but also more flavourful.  They also used a more expensive fish and it had to be pre-ordered. 

The stuff inside the soup
Although the smell is very strong (so strong that my hair smelled like the soup after dinner), the soup itself didn't have that strong of a flavour. As a result, this one was much less bitter than the one from Lucky Fortune, but that also means its medicinal effects are not as strong. This one would be perfect for those who are not used to taking Chinese medicine, though I think children would still refuse to drink it. I was a bit disturbed that there was a layer of oil on top of the soup, since it was quite noticeable and restaurants usually take good care to skim it off. Otherwise, I still really liked it, and the pot it came in was fairly big and was enough to serve at least 13 or so bowls. Mind you, Shi-Art's bowls do seem a bit smaller than the typical ones at Chinese restaurants though.

For our first dish, we ordered the fish maw and sea cucumber in clay pot (花膠海参煲, $22.80), which was served in a clay pot. Although at only $22.80, there was actually a lot of fish maw and sea cucumber, along with dried shitake mushrooms -- all of which ain't cheap. This dish reminded me of the one we had at Dragon View, though this one didn't have any goose web or abalone slices. Still, it seemed like there was an endless amount of sea cucumber, which was well cooked. It was soft yet not overly mushy, and had quite a bit of flavour from the rest of the stuff in the pot. The fish maw was a bit more flavourful but the texture of both were just as nice.

We also HAD to order the choi sum vegetable and dried shrimp cooked with soup in clay pot (菜心煲, $16.80). We've had a few very good experiences in the past with this dish, and this time was no disappointment. This is my grandma's favourite dish because there's a lot of choi sum and it's all very fresh too. The broth that it's cooked in is quite good as well, with a strong choi sum, dried shrimp, and ginger flavour. I normally drink a bit of it, though this time I didn't because I drank a lot of the Chinese herbal soup.

My mom really liked the fried chicken (炸子鶏) -- so much that she mentioned it the other day (and yes, this post is from a really long time ago, so I guess it was pretty memorable).  I liked it too since it was quite crispy and the meat wasn't dry at all.

For our last dish, because we were a it clueless as to what to order, we randomly ordered the twice-cooked pork 回鍋肉 (~$17?). We didn't expect it to also come in a clay pot, so we ended up with three dishes in clay pots. There were a lot of pork slices and lettuce (高麗菜 to be specific) which is not my favourite. It was actually pretty unnotable and nothing good or bad really comes to mind.

Overall, it was a very good meal at Shi-Art and even my grandpa said "the food is edible", which (if your parents are very Asian, you will know this) is basically a compliment! If you haven't tried a Chinese herbal soup and are interested, I'd recommend the one here since it's reasonably priced (though The One Spot Soup House has personal sized ones too, I haven't tried!) and it's readily available without having to pre-order it. 

Shi-Art Chinese Cuisine 食藝海鮮酒家
(located in Richmond Centre, Tim Horton's / Apple Store entrance)
6551 #3 Rd
Richmond, BC
604) 279-8998
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Omg... I need a bowl of that herbal soup... I have a splitting headache right now so I'm staying home from work. But for some reason I'm still reading your post lol!

@krispy: oh no! you should try that soup eh? I think you can have 20 bowls to yourself. Should make your headache feel a bit better.... but you'll have to use the bathroom all the time. hope you feel better soon!

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