When I was a kid, my parents would regale me with mouth-watering tales of “siu yeh”, the Cantonese-style late night menu reserved for those who’d suffered through a night of heavy drinking or too many rounds of mahjong. Today, I can experience the real thing at Hou Lok in Richmond. It’s a late night snack destination (open till 4am) that typifies the magnificent night owl-friendly sub-genre that is as ubiquitous in Hong Kong as dim sum.
Hou Lok dishes up an impressive mix of small, affordable, shareable, and mostly wok-fried late night plates. These range from a variety of seafoods to offal galore. Unlike the sloppy slice of buckslice that you could rudely shove into your face while standing on a Granville Strip street corner, Hou Lok is a celebration of the salty and spicy flavours common to late night meals in Hong Kong.
The menu can be daunting to first timers (a double-sided laminate sheet of $5 options), but if you’re looking to jump in, go for the scrambled eggs with bitter melon or pickled turnip; clams in black bean sauce; fried roe-filled smelt; and pepper-salted whitebait. Go with friends and make sure to pair everything with a bowl of congee.
With its fluorescent lighting and rushed service, Hou Lok isn’t much for atmosphere, but they more than make up for it with authenticity.
Hou Lok Restaurant | 8231 Cambie Rd. | Richmond, BC | 604-279-8896 | No Website