Jan 22, Saturday
We actually visited 508 Bistro 小酌, a Taiwanese restaurant, during their soft opening back in late November. But I never get to blog about it. We liked the food there and wanted to take my Taiwanese friends there so back in January, I asked 4 of my friends to go there and have dinner with us. With more people we could try out more dishes! The restaurant was having their grand opening promotion (you get a free Chicken Hotpot when you order 4 drinks) and it was full house when we arrived at 7p.m. We had to wait for about half an hour to get our table. But it’s worth the wait! We got a comfee booth table that over look the bar.
Looking at the menu, we were trying to decided on food. For sure we wanted the free chicken hotpot so all of us ordered a drink. Surprisingly, their beer was cheaper than their bubble tea. So I ended up getting a beer! They were served in ice-chilled glasses. Nice touch!
Two of my friends are Taiwanese so we asked them to order most of the dishes. First arrived was the Special Meat Plate i.e. Special cut Pork in garlic sauce. It’s a cold dish of springy cooked pork with texture that resemble grizzle . I liked the special texture of the pork and the load of shredded ginger on top.
Next was a simple Taiwanese Omelette with pickled Chinese Radish. This is D’s favorite dish that he orders almost every time we see it on a menu. This was done very well at 508 Bistro, the egg was cook till it had sections of golden brown colour and the preserved radish wasn’t overly salty. The crunchy radish made a good contrast of the soft omelette with crispy edges.
Then we had the Deep Fried Sticky Rice (blood) Cake. The first time when we visited 508 Bistro, D refused to eat this at the beginning, until the chef from the kitchen came up and grantee that the sticky rice cake didn’t actually have blood in it. So he closed his eyes and tried one piece. Next second, I had to fight for my share of the rice cake. So be brave and don’t worry about the colour. Try one piece yourself and you will know why. The rice cakes were stewed in a spiced soy broth, then deep fried. So you don’t really need the sweet garlic sauce but I didn’t mind more garlic.
Next came Thin noodle with Sesame Oil. It’s simple yet tasty and it’s similar to those that I had in Taipei back in Oct. We shared 3 orders of the noodle. We also ordered the Rice topped with meat sauce but I forgot to take picture of it.
We had the Blanched Squid served with Five Spiced dipping sauce. The dipping sauce was similar to a tomato chili salsa. It’s slightly spicy but very refreshing. The squid was very tender.
My favorite and D never eats this dish: Spicy Hotpot with Taiwanese (stinky) Tofu. D was OK with stinky tofu but he just couldn’t stand pork blood and intestine. Well, I love all of them! And this was very tasty. The intestine was tender and the sauce was spicy and thick. The stinky tofu wasn’t crazy stinky but it soaked up a lot of the sauce. yum!
The big black soup pot was the FREE Chicken simmered in Chinese herb and Taiwanese rice wine Hotpot. It’s huge and it’s very good! The soup was tasty and had some Chinese herb in it. But the herbal taste wasn’t overwhelming. There were chicken pieces, cabbage and clams!
Stir fried Bitter Melon with salty egg (yolk). If my Taiwanese friend didn’t order this dish, I would have never picked it out from the menu. I am not a big fan of salty egg yolk but the egg yolk worked so well with the bitter melon which didn’t taste bitter at all. Tofu lighten up this dish a bit which otherwise could be heavy with salty egg yolk.
Squid stir fried with pork and bean curd in Hangui (Hakka) style had dried squid, celery and pork. Pretty good work seared.
We had so much food! And it was only ~$20 per person for the dinner. Most of the dishes were small in portion but cheap (<$6) so it’s great to share with friends. Overall, it’s a very enjoyable dinner with company of my friends. I wished I live closer to 508 so I can go there more often. Well, I guess a 20 min drive from Richmond isn’t so bad.
508 Bistro opens for dinner 7 days a week and opens for lunch on weekends.