What’s for Lunch Global: Shanghai Airport Edition

May I introduce a new guest blogger, Russ. This marks his “writing anything, ever” debut. He’s a systems engineer and he’s currently working abroad in China. His crepes are soooooo good he puts me to shame, I’m hoping he’ll do a guest post for those one day. Oh, and I’m married to him ūüôā

When in need of some fast food when I first arrived in China from Vancouver, I stumbled upon¬†a KungFu restaurant at the ShangHai Pudong Airport.¬† Intrigued, I thought I would try¬†it out,¬†as an alternative to vastly more accessible and familiar KFCs.¬†¬† If you have ever been in a lineup at fast food restaurant in China, you will know it’s not really a line up. When one person has¬†finished ordering everyone else tries to be the next person to order, and it can be a little¬†overwhelming if you find yourself at the front of the line and you¬†have not really¬†decided what¬†to order.¬†¬†You¬†are not allowed to take up space at the front of the line if you are not ready to order. ¬†Orderly line-ups just take too much time…¬† I found myself hastily pointing at a picture¬†of a meal¬†and ordering a beef rice bowl combo.
The beef and onion steamed rice bowl was decidedly satisfying.¬† It was served with a side¬†of boiled lettuce salad dressed¬†with slightly salty and vinegary dressing.¬† I had never had boiled lettuce before, but surprisingly, it was very tasty, and I definitely could have used a larger portion.¬† A cool lemon iced-tea drink was a good choice when the outside temperature was more than 35 degrees …. and to top it all off, a nice view of Bruce Lee… Going head-to-head with Colonel Sanders of KFC right next door.¬†¬†While you can find KFCs¬†in China like Starbucks¬†in¬†Vancouver, a rice bowl is nice change from chicken burgers and fries when you need something quick.¬† And I do mean quick.¬† My order was filled before I had even thought I finished deciding what¬†I wanted.¬† In fact I did change my mind once, and they quickly swapped what was on the tray in front of me.¬† The decor is like that of most fast food places, but with a nice inspiring Bruce Lee keeping watch.¬† So if you ever find yourself passing through the Shanghai Pudong international airport, take a short stroll to this restaurant section near the Maglev train station.¬† You’ll find 2 KFCs, and of course KungFu.¬† You won’t be disappointed.¬† (pictures attached)
Bruce Lee is watching you
Beef Rice Bowl with Steamed Lettuce
Bruce Lee looks tense





Hilltop Diner Cafe

This place is so awesome!!! I could just post pictures and an address and be satisfied that you would go there but where’s the fun in that? Hilltop Cafe is a REAL diner, not a new restaurant made to look like a diner. This place has been here for over 65 years!!! It opened 5 years after Fraser Highway opened!! Fraser Highway used to be the major road in and out of town, there was no Trans Canada so this is classic¬†roadside¬†diner nostalgia at its very best. Located at 23904 Fraser Highway in Langley, I have driven past this place a thousand times on my way home from Abbotsford and I never even noticed it…shame on me.

The inside is just as old and cool as the outside, everything seems natural, nothing seems forced or like they’re trying to be something they aren’t. The menu is not overly large, just the right size so as not to get overwhelmed, with diner classics like hand made burgers, great looking sandwiches, big breakfasts and home made pies. The Hilltop is open 7 days a week from 8am – 2:30pm so make sure you don’t try and go there for dinner.

I had the “Kris’ BBQ bacon cheese burger”, a 5 ounce beef patty with processed cheese, Ennis Farms thick cut double smoked bacon, home made BBQ sauce, lettuce, tomato, pickles and mayo. This is a messy burger but it’s damn tasty. The bacon is fantastic, thick and slightly crispy and the BBQ sauce is mild but adds nice flavor. The patty itself is thick and juicy, nicely seasoned and is obviously made of quality beef. The fries are hand cut and on their own are very good, thinner than what hand cut fries would¬†normally¬†be and a little more crisp. Of course I had them as Poutine and over all it was tasty but there were a couple small changes that would make it so much better. The cheese curds aren’t actual curds, they seem more like small chunks of¬†mozzarella¬†or another mild white cheese so they lack the salty rubbery gooeyness of traditional poutine. also the fries that are so good on their own are a little too thin and crisp for poutine, but I’m really stretching here to find something wrong.

My daughter had the kids meal grilled cheese sandwich and fries which she gobbled up, especially the fries and the staff were nice enough to bring her some toys and a coloring book with crayons to keep her entertained. This place is very kid friendly but they only have one highchair so if there’s another small child there you’re out of luck. Thankfully I had a portable booster seat that attaches to regular chairs in the trunk of my car!

The Hilltop Cafe is cool, it has everything you could ask for in a roadside diner plus great service. I didn’t have room for a piece of pie after finishing my meal but I will¬†definitely return to try some and to dive into their breakfast menu. They also have a couple of HUGE burgers for the competitive eater in all of us, the biggest being the Everest Burger with 4 5oz patties, baked ham, farmers sausage, bacon, fried onions and mushrooms, 2 kinds of cheese, lettuce, tomato, pickle and mayo with fries. I just might recruit Al again for this one…


Charley’s Grilled Subs

What’s better than a day spent with your daughter at the mall buying coffee for your new coffee maker and stocking up on craft beer at Surrey’s best beer and wine store? Finding out that a little place my buddy Kevin has been raving about for years is as good as promised. Charley’s Grilled Subs is located in the food court of Surrey’s Central City shopping mall, home to a beautiful SFU campus and the iconic Central City Tower. Grilled subs in a Whalley food court, really Scott, that’s what you’re telling us to eat?? Yep, I am, and you should thank me in advance.

Charley’s is an¬†unimpressive¬†place that looks like it belongs in a food court, it blends in with the rest of the usual cast of characters but don’t be deceived, the sandwiches are great. After doing a little research I discovered Charley’s has been around for over 20 year with lots of locations throughout America and the Surrey location is the sole Canadian franchise! Prices are no more that you would pay at Subway or Quizno’s but the sandwiches are in a whole different league.

I had the Philly Cheesesteak, which isn’t a “true” Philly Cheesesteak but who cares. Loads of tender well seasoned beef, melted¬†provolone, grilled onions, lettuce, tomato and mayo on a fresh toasted roll. Simple and awesome, with decent fries (which Hayley ate most of :-/) this is a good meal in a sea of food court¬†mediocrity.

Hop on the Skytrain and take a trip to somewhere you thought you’d never go, and while you’re there maybe your pre-conceived opinions about the neighborhood and it’s people will fall in line with¬†reality. Whalley, it’s coming of age.


Savor Soup House – Portland

Soup is not a typical food served from a truck/trailer. It seems like something that wouldn’t work as “street food” given that it’s a liquid, it’s hot and it’s not very portable. Luckily if you decide to go “Food Truckin'” on a weekend in Portland a lot of trucks are closed providing ample eating surfaces and protection from Portland’s Pacific Northwest fall/winter weather.

Savor Soup House is luckily one of the spots open on Saturday and it provided the perfect warm up on a cool rainy day. The obvious choice for those who want to try more than one soup is the $6 soup flight, consisting of decent sized servings of 3 different soups. I went for the Vegan Tomato Fennel and Orange topped with Parmesan and Croutons, the Creamy Chicken and Wild Rice and finished up with the Butternut Squash and Apple Bisque topped with spiced pumpkin seeds.

The Creamy Chicken and wild rice (on the right) was good, loaded with tender chicken, rice and lots of mushrooms and nicely seasoned. The Tomato soup (on the left) was a surprise, the orange added a great citrus kick to it and the croutons were and nice fresh. The Butternut Squash and Apple bisque (center) was amazing, sweet, savory, velvety, rich and the spiced pumpkin seeds were a perfect partner to this delicious soup. Soup on a cold and rainy day is unbeatable, it’s like wrapping yourself in a blanket that came straight out of the drier, so good.

Once again Portland street food has blown me away.


Chocolate Chip Cookies a la Rochele!

(My first guest post, I’m so excited!! Huge thanks to my pal Rochele for sending this my way! Enjoy everyone!! Scott.)

What’s up What’s For Lunchers!

I’m Rochele and I’m a huge fan of What’s for Lunch BC, and Scott Graham in general. While lying in bed tweeting my sorrows about being sick, Scott asked if I would like to contribute a recipe for the blog. I’m married but if I wasn’t, I’d definitely bake a batch of the following and take a plate of these with me on a first date. Also good for cheering up friends who are down, sucking up, saying sorry… the list goes on. Note that this makes quite a large batch of cookies, and they freeze really well if you can keep people out of the kitchen long enough to package them.

Chocolate Chip Cookies a la Rochele

Prep: 25 mins ¬†¬† Baking: 10-12 mins 375¬įF

It helps to have two or three cookie sheets for this recipe, but I have done it with just one in the past


1 cup/ 250 ml soft butter (room temperature is optimal)

1 cup/ 250 ml firmly packed golden brown sugar

¬Ĺ cup /125 ml granulated sugar

2 eggs

2 tsp / 10ml vanilla extract

2 ¬ľ cups / 562 ml unbleached flour

1 tsp/ 5 ml baking soda

1 cup / 250 ml quick oats OR unsweetened shredded coconut

2 cups / 500 ml semi sweet or dark chocolate chips

Optional but highly recommended: 1 cup / 250 ml chopped walnuts OR shelled hemp seed


Preheat the oven at 375¬įF

In a large bowl combine butter, both sugars, eggs and vanilla and beat until the texture is creamy. In a separate bowl sift together the flour and baking soda, and gradually add to the wet ingredients, mixing with a wooden spoon until well blended. Mix in the oats or shredded coconut and the walnuts or shelled hemp seed if you like, and fold in the chocolate chips at the end.

Drop full tablespoons of batter on to the cookie sheet. The most I can fit on a cookie sheet is three rows of five otherwise they touch when they bake. Bake 10-12 minutes in the middle rack or until cookies are golden brown around the edges.

Remove from the oven and place cookies on a cooling rack.

Makes 48 cookies.

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Sammy’s Hot Wings

Sammy’s Hot Wings at 1773 Robson is one of those places that makes me smile when I walk through the door. A little run down, pictures of customers on the wall and quirky stuff like¬†foreign¬†money all over the place. The name of this place confuses me, as does the menu with everything from burgers and Philly cheesesteak sandwiches to house made falafels, middle eastern dishes and hot wings. Eclectic to say the least.

Trusting my gut and taking the mostly middle eastern money on the walls as a cue, I ordered the Chicken Shawarma plate. The chicken was good, the rice wasn’t over cooked, the salad was fresh and crisp but the star of the show was the humus. Seems strange right? Believe me, this is the best humus I’ve ever had, better than Nuba. Creamy, oily (in a good way) and garlic laden, it was awesome on the grilled pita bread that was also nicely seasoned. A really good lunch for under $10.

Sammy’s makes their own hot sauce which I’ve heard is quite good and can be purchased by the bottle. I feel like I need to try the wings now, and maybe the cheesesteak…. Go check this place out!!