I know there are mixed reviews to the photo slideshow tool (PictoBrowser) I’ve been using but I’m short on time and long on photos these days, so bear with me.

I went back to Hakkasan recently, one of my favourite restaurants in the Lower Mainland. I must disclose that it’s run by close family friends that we’ve known for decades. (Here’s my first review a year ago.)

Hakkasan continues to offer ridiculously well-priced tasting menus and some inventive, delicious dishes I’ve never seen anywhere else. We had a variation on their 8-course tasting menu for $39.88.

The chef’s cold appetizer sampler was awesome. I particularly loved the tofu, century egg & dried pork, which is made up of very traditional Chinese ingredients. The pork floss (肉鬆) is something I associate with congee and buns, all very comforting.

The horse carpaccio was also delicious. Not sure if it’s a trend, but that’s the second time I’ve had horse in Richmond.

I devoured the meaty chilled Dungeness crab that had been cooked in white wine and served with a spicy soy dipping sauce. It’s fresh dishes like this that make me miss B.C. the most.

Hakkasan offers a box of plastic disposable gloves with the crab! A nice touch to keep the mess on your hands to a minimum. The gloves made my hands a bit sweaty but definitely less stinky.

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Pushing the envelope, there was a dish of braised fish heads. (Don’t worry, I spared you a photo of that.) Usually reserved for grandmas and older people who truly appreciate the delicacy, I was surprised by how tasty this was.

Three of us got a beautiful braised abalone on rice, but my dad who is currently on a restricted diet got a huge personal plate of noodles with spicy minced meat sauce that I was coveting.

At one point, manager Yvonne walked past with a huge clay pot and asked if I wanted to see what was inside. Of course I did! It was a Hakka free-range chicken buried in salt that had been baked. It looked impressive, and I can only imagine how tasty it was.

Desserts are not Hakkasan’s strong suit (crème brûlée was watery and virtually tasteless) but there was a cute touch with a red bean bun shaped like a hedgehog.

Hakkasan is located in an industrial strip mall deep in Richmond, but it’s worth the drive, and the night market is just around the corner for a post-dinner stroll in the summertime.

Hakkasan, 110-2188 No. 5 Rd., Richmond, B.C., (604) 273-9191. Open Tuesday-Saturday lunch 11:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m., dinner 5:30-10 p.m. Closed Mondays.