Hainanese Chicken Rice at Cafe D’Lite

Back in April when we visited my in-laws in Vancouver, Cafe D’Lite was one of the top restaurants I really wanted to try. A dear friend and fellow blogger (one of the sweetest persons you’ll ever meet, by the way)  had recommended it to me a while back.  

My main purpose was to try their Hainanese Chicken. So the second day we were in town, Hubby and I met up with one of my friends from elementary and gave this place a try, and boy were we glad we did.

We arrived about 20 minutes earlier than our meeting time. Yes, I was THAT anxious to try this place, but also because we’ve never been there so I wanted to make sure we weren’t late in meeting  my dear friend. If you know me, you’ll know I’m very prompt. Since we were a bit early and K was getting a little hungry, I ordered (actually she chose) the fish balls vermicelli noodle soup. L was napping so we left him with Grandma.

As you can see, it came with ample amount of fish balls with some Asian veggies (yu choy) and bean sprouts. The broth was very tasty and I appreciated the fact that it came out piping hot. I cannot stand warm food when it’s supposed to be hot. K finished about half the bowl and also had some of the other dishes we ordered. I finished the other half and thought it was pretty good. Not the best I’ve had, but good enough for me to order it again.

My friend and I decided to share the large chicken rice with soup ($11.95).

The menu didn’t state and I forgot to ask, but I’m pretty sure it was free range chicken. The meat was quite juicy, not dry at all. I don’t eat chicken skin (unless it’s deep fried…teehee) so I gave that to the hubby, but from the pieces I ate, this was THE BEST Hainanese Chicken Rice I’ve ever had. Most of the Hainanese chicken rice I’ve had were very bland and the chicken depended on the dipping sauce for flavour, but both this chicken and rice were exploding with flavour. The dish also came with a garlic chili sauce and cucumbers on the side. I’m more used to the ginger sauce I get at most places and prefer that more. Didn’t matter much though because the chicken didn’t even need the sauce to taste good, it held it’s own very well.

This was a definite 9 out of 10 for me. It only lost 1 point because I thought the chicken pieces could’ve been a tad meatier. I’m a breast type of gal (never thought I’d say that…haha) and there just wasn’t enough well, breast meat for me due to the fact that the pieces were a bit small.

Not only was the rice and chicken exploding with flavour, but so was the soup. What is their secret? I need to know.

Gary ordered the regular Hainanese chicken rice with soup ($8.95). It came with the exact same items as ours did except it was a bit smaller. I actually thought it wasn’t that much smaller, but just arranged differently. So in other words, I think the regular is a better value. That’s just my opinion though.

Gary also ordered a lamb curry. I don’t eat lamb so I didn’t try any. From the mmm’s at the table, I’d say it was very good. This came with white rice that I forgot to get a shot of.

I LOVE Laksa, so when I saw Seafood Laksa on the menu, I had to get it. Didn’t matter that I was already sharing the chicken with my friend, nothing comes between me and my food :-P.

The Laksa came with imitation crab meat, deep fried tofu puffs, shrimp and vermicelli. To be honest, I’ve had better and will not be getting it again the next time I visit. Don’t get me wrong, it wasn’t bad, but I’d rather try other stuff on the menu next time.

To end the meal I ordered the Bo Bo Cha Cha. That’s what it was called on their menu, but I’ve heard so many different names to this dessert including Mo Mo Cha ChaMo Mo Ja JaBubur Cha Cha, and Bo Bo Cha Cha. Funny thing is that they all look different, which confuses me even more, and they didn’t look anything like the one I had.

Bottom line, not good at all, don’t get it here. I found it quite bland, and dessert simply shouldn’t be bland. 

So if you were keeping track, you would’ve noticed that I shared 3 different dishes with 3 different people and I had my own dessert. Hey, what can I say? I luvtoeat ;-). In conclusion, I’d give this restaurant an 8 out of 10 just based on the food quality alone. This was a very small casual dining restaurant so I didn’t review about their service and decor. I’d definitely come back to try the other dishes on their menu. Thank you for the great recommendation Sharon! If you ever visit Vancouver, I’ll meet you there and we’ll go to this place together, but I’m not sharing this time. Haha, just kidding.

Thanks for visiting again, everyone. I hope you all have a wonderful, fun-filled weekend. Until next time, friends and family :-D. Do you have any pet peeves about food or anything in general?

41 Responses to “Hainanese Chicken Rice at Cafe D’Lite”


  1. 1 chopinandmysaucepan June 4, 2011 at 4:39 pm

    Vancouver has such a vibrant Asian community so Asian food should be pretty good. The Hainanese chicken looks tasty!

    My pet peeve would be the imitation crab meat. I have been into a factory which manufactures these things and after you’ve seen how it’s done, you won’t want to eat it!

  2. 2 pachecopatty June 4, 2011 at 10:38 pm

    Hi LeQuan, looks like you enjoyed a nice dinner with your friends. I’m curious about the Hainanese chicken and the soup, I wonder what spices they use?? The lamb curry looked good to me especially the sauce over rice, yum;-) Your pictures came out great, so clear and light. It’s nice to receive a good restaurant recommendation, if you return you’ll have to try some different dishes, looks like they have a large menu. Hope you’re enjoying your weekend, my hubby is sleeping again, I’ll have to get the arts and crafts stuff out;-)

  3. 3 Blackswan June 4, 2011 at 11:39 pm

    Chicken Rice, here I come!! Lequan, u’ve got all my dishes covered. Love everything here esp Laksa, one dish I can never resist! Only problem, I don’t eat Lamb so that is out for me. Looks like we’ve a lot in common. Hahaha!

  4. 4 Faith June 5, 2011 at 6:48 am

    LeQuan, I am just like you when it comes to being on time — I would definitely rather be 20 minutes early than even 5 minutes late, lol! Looks like this restaurant was a great recommendation! The Hainanese Chicken Rice looks super moist and juicy and from your description it sounds like one of the best of its kind. And my hubby would go crazy for that lamb curry! :)

  5. 5 Anna Johnston June 5, 2011 at 7:25 am

    You & I have to “do dinner” one time LeQuan (I won’t say share, because I suspect you & I luvtoeat our very own meals…., Oh.. OK, I’ll share, I promise :), I too love, love, love Laksa, specially seafood laksa, (but hey, its hard to say no to a chicken laksa either for that matter) & I have to try The Hainanese chicken, it really looks the business.
    Have an awesome week my friend, I’d woffle on a little more, but I’ve cut the top of my index finger & typing feels weird with this bandage on it (plus I keep hitting all the wrong keys). OK., that’s enough winging from Anna. Over ‘n out xxoxx

  6. 7 Devaki @ weavethousandflavors June 5, 2011 at 10:33 am

    I am so jealous Le Quan that you have a place that serves hainese chicken rice and foods from Malaysia and Singapore!!!! I want to get in the car and drive to Vancouver just for a meal :)

    So yummy!!!

    chow! Devaki @ weavethousandflavors

  7. 8 Anncoo June 5, 2011 at 11:34 am

    Hi LeQuan, Every dishes look very good, must try it when I am there :)

  8. 9 A Canadian Foodie June 5, 2011 at 5:51 pm

    LeQuan!
    It is really great to know you can get completely authentic food in Canada – not just Canadian Chinese – etc… I don’t recognize any of these dishes or their names. The chicken dish looks completely bland, but I believe you when you say it is exploding with flavour. It is just odd that it, and the soup, are so colourless. And, I must agree that I wouldn’t try a dish that used fake crab in a crab recipe – again. I am sure it was tasty… fake crab is tasty – but look at all the stuff in it to make it tasty. There is nothing like the real thing… and I would just rather pay for that to get the authentic dish. It is very challenging, yet interesting, for me to learn these names for authentic dishes that are so common to you and so foreign to me. Knowing your hubby, I am sure there was not a scrap left on anyone’s plate at the end of the meal! :)
    Valerie

  9. 10 Ameena June 5, 2011 at 9:02 pm

    I don’t like it when I go to a restaurant and they microwave my food. In front of me. It just grosses me out for some reason. And I’m with you on the warm but supposed to be hot thing.

    I love Vancouver! And I love laksa…I had it in Singapore and it was divine.

    I’m going to be in Seattle at the end of this month LeQuan..I know it’s not exactly down the street from you but I figured I’d throw it out there in case you can hop over the border and meet me for coffee??

    • 11 LeQuan June 6, 2011 at 12:08 am

      Aaack! I so wished we were planning a trip to Vancouver during then, but we aren’t. If we were, I would’ve totally met up with you in Seattle, it’s only about a 3 hr drive from Vancouver. SIGH! I hope you guys have a wonderful time though. So close, but yet still so far away. If I didn’t have kids, I tell ya. Then again, if I didn’t have kids I would’ve already made a trip to LA to meet you. Teehee.

  10. 12 thecompletecookbook June 5, 2011 at 11:10 pm

    How wonderful that you were able to enjoy a meal at a restaurant you have been wanting to try. Everything was beautifully presented which is always half of the appeal of a meal out. What a pity though that your pudding was a disappointment – it looks like purple sago / tapioca. :-) Mandy

  11. 13 tigerfish June 6, 2011 at 11:18 am

    You are making me so so so hungry! I have forgotten to have chicken rice in my recent trip back to Asia..bummer! So uncommon to see fish balls + green veggie soup in eateries as it is such a homey soup!

  12. 14 Tanantha June 6, 2011 at 12:23 pm

    LeQ, you’re killing me here!! my friend just made this and has been talking about it and now i’m so craving for hainanese chicken!! (your fault! j/k!!) Laksa looks SUPER tasty. We’re going to Vancouver on June 25th and this place is so on the list to try!

    • 15 LeQuan June 6, 2011 at 5:42 pm

      Tanantha! Yes, go try this place if you like Hainanese chicken! Like I said, the only complaint I had was that the chicken wasn’t too meaty. Other than that, it was superb. Have a great time in Vancouver! It’s definitely one of my favorite Canadian cities to visit.

  13. 16 Juliana June 6, 2011 at 1:03 pm

    LeQuan…good to “hear” from you again…the Hainanese chicken looks delicious…my mom makes it using free ranging chicken, so I know what you mean by “exploding in flavor” and like you I do not need any sauce with my chicken…I am glad that you all enjoy the meal and sorry that the dessert was not as you expected…I would not tell from the picture hehehe! Have a wonderful week ahead :-)

  14. 17 Leah @ Why Deprive? June 6, 2011 at 4:17 pm

    I need to try more places like this. There are some amazing Asian restaurants downtown, and I’ve only tried a few of them. I feel like its such a waste not to go to every single one. :)

  15. 18 5 Star Foodie June 6, 2011 at 8:44 pm

    The Hainanese chicken sure sounds good, I’ve actually never tried this specialty and would love to find it somewhere in a local restaurant to sample.

  16. 19 Miri Leigh June 6, 2011 at 9:40 pm

    This all looks great! I’m going to keep my eyes out for a similar-style restaurant!

  17. 21 Katherine: Unemployed June 7, 2011 at 1:08 pm

    ahh but the dumplings look great! I have a pet peeve about nail clippings. never clip your nails around me. so gross

  18. 22 Light Delight with Tou Tou June 7, 2011 at 4:41 pm

    I love Laksa too!! that is my favorite dish while I was in Singapore :) Fishball soup looks really yammy :-) it is hard to get authentic Asian food in North America – I am so glad you find one! :-)

    Have a wonderful week, LeQuan!

  19. 23 Jessie June 8, 2011 at 5:39 am

    “I’m a breast type of gal ” <– Hahahaha! You know I'm going to tease about that forever, right LeeeeQs? Out of love, I swear! ;) I'm glad you got a chance to try this restaurant, especially as it turned out to be so yummy! I've only ever tried Hainanese chicken once, in Cambridge, Massachussetts, and it was AWFUL. Peter, who grew up eating a wonderful version from a restaurant that is now closed, also proclaimed it awful. If I'm ever in Vancouver, I'll be sure to try this restaurant (and also make a side trip to see the fabulous Leeqola!!).

    I'm not surprised that you split several dishes and then enjoyed dessert – I would not expect anything less from you! ;) Besides, you've got to try everything while you're visiting your in-laws, right?? If I saw laksa on the menu, I would order it no matter how many previous dishes I had ordered. Too bad yours turned out to be mediocre, but at least you know not to order it again!

    Have a wonderful rest of your week, LeeeeeeQola! It's always a treat to read one of your posts! xoxo

  20. 24 Shirley June 9, 2011 at 7:41 am

    Great spread! Nice blog, just happened to find you.

  21. 25 Kath (My Funny Little Life) June 10, 2011 at 6:32 am

    Mmmmmmm, that chicken looks fantastic! :D I love chicken, and you’re right it’s a little bland easily (that’s why I’ve come to marinate it quite often), but maybe one of my favorite foods overall.

    Eating out with friends is great when you can try each other’s foods instead of having just your own dish. :)

  22. 26 magicofspice June 10, 2011 at 9:42 am

    Too bad the Laksa was a bit disappointing, it sure looks great…sounds like a pretty good place overall :) Oh, except for bland desserts!
    Hope you have a lovely weekend :)

  23. 27 Laz June 10, 2011 at 11:22 am

    The looks amazing. Great photos. The dessert does not, no surprise the flavor content was not right. Glad you had a good meal.

    Be well

  24. 28 Monet June 12, 2011 at 8:06 am

    Okay…now i want to go out to order some Hainanese Chicken. I wish we had better Asian restaurants in Austin! Everything looked so much better than what we can get here. Thank you for sharing such an inspired dining experience. I hope you are having a beautiful weekend. Love from Austin!

  25. 29 Stevie June 13, 2011 at 10:40 am

    LeQuan

    This sounds fun. Your dishes seemed a bit meaty for me, but I’m certain at a place like this you could find things that are pescatarian friendly. It’s challenging to review restaurants I think, esp if you’ve only been once or twice. I always struggle with it at least. I’m glad to hear that you’d be willing to try this one again, even though some of the dishes disapointed.

  26. 30 Sharon June 13, 2011 at 3:11 pm

    The chicken rice looks SO good. And we’d make a great chicken rice eating team because I don’t like breast meat so you can have all of mine haha. Too bad the other foods weren’t great though. I’ve only ever heard the chicken rice was good but not much about the other stuff. Still LOOKS good though :D.

  27. 32 Umm Mymoonah June 16, 2011 at 11:56 am

    I like both chicken and lamb. Dessert looks almost like a sago pudding. Any way everything looks delish, hope you had a nice time

  28. 33 MaryMoh June 17, 2011 at 12:00 am

    Mmmm…every dish makes me drool. I really miss that Hainanese chicken rice. The chicken looks so juicy, tender and flavourful. Oooops…I thought you only eat chicken breast meat?? Now, if you are here I can eat all the chicken and you can have all the rice…haha. I love curry laksa too….mmm. I think I do need to fast a month before I ever landed in Canada to visit you. The food there are too tempting. Maybe I should just move there :P

  29. 35 Reese Darragh June 20, 2011 at 7:20 pm

    So glad to know that you enjoy my food. I love Hainanese Chicken Rice and make them every so often at home and all the curries. You are right, bubur cha cha should never be bland. I have no clue how can all the Malaysian restaurants in North America mess it up as it is one of the easiest dessert to make at home.

  30. 36 denise @ bread expectations June 21, 2011 at 3:01 am

    Hi LeQuan :) Hope you still remember me! I have been up to my eyeballs lately – will write you soon and tell you more. Glad to see you’re still posting faithfully, unlike some *ahem* LOL

    Love your new comment system – very snazzy! The chicken rice looks really, really good, and fish ball noodle soup is probably my all time favourite food. I truly could eat it everyday (for every meal)
    and not tire of it!

  31. 37 Joyce T June 22, 2011 at 6:25 pm

    Looks very delicious… Like u..I LOVE hainanese chicken rice n laksa too..if u come to my place i will bring u go have both! Very nice also….yum yum. =D

  32. 38 Biren @ Roti n Rice June 30, 2011 at 7:56 am

    You ordered some of my favorite dishes here. I am a laksa girl too and just cannot resist a good bowl of that curry sauce. That is one huge plate of chicken rice with a generous amount of chicken. Have not eaten that in a while. The family prefers roasted or fried but I do it this way.

  33. 39 Stella July 1, 2011 at 5:50 pm

    Ooh, My LeQuanis, you know I don’t have too many pet peeves. Well, except for that whole meat/sentient being thing;-)
    Hey Mamita, I haven’t blogged for quite a while (and I see it’s been a moment for you too), but I want you to know that when I think of all things wonderful about blogging that I think of you! I mean it too….

    Hope you, Gary, and the kis are doingwell.

    Always Your Witch,
    Stella

  34. 40 Stella July 1, 2011 at 5:53 pm

    p.s. something is weird with typing here now. The Twitter stuff kind of blocks the view. Maybe it’s a problem from my end though…?!
    XO

  35. 41 Kelsey @ Snacking Squirrel July 17, 2011 at 6:42 am

    i wish i lived right near you and we could visit these restaurants together!! im always intimidated by these places because i never know what to order or what i will like.. its a bad excuse because im missing out on some delicious food!! looks wonderful!! mmm lamb curry :)

    xoxo <3


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