UPDATE-March 2012: Sadly, Bistro the Home has closed due to a lack of business.
Bistro The Home is my kind of place for several reasons. It’s got a quirky name along with a quirky concept (to most people) of Asianized pasta. The tranquil, modern dining room is hidden in a strip mall on Alexandra Road which is more known for loud, Chinese eateries. And lastly, it’s run by a super sweet couple.
What makes the pasta Asianized? It’s the inclusion of Korean, Japanese or Chinese vegetables and sauces here and there, such as Taiwanese sausage or kimchi. Bistro the Home does decent regular Italian pastas too.
There are three basic homemade sauces and noodle combinations on the menu:
- Oil sauce: extra virgin olive oil, basil, garlic shoots, white wine and spaghettini.
- Cream sauce: broccoli, cream, white wine and linguini.
- Tomato sauce: fresh tomatoes, basil, extra virgin olive oil and spaghettini.
I’ve tried the Mare ($9.50) with abundant clams, mussels, two big prawns, calamari and scallop, and the Pollo ($8.50) with rosemary and garlic marinated chicken breast. I liked the not-too-heavy cream sauce with lots of garlic.
I think the pastas are a pretty good value. The portions are big enough to be filling. All the pastas come with a green salad starter and Asian sesame dressing.
The Bistro’s pizzas ($8.50) came on what I think was tortilla more than a bona fide pizza crust. It’s a little too thin to hold up but I didn’t mind because the toppings are tasty. Bulgogi beef pizza ($8.50) is a fun twist on the Korean favourite.
I quite liked the bacon and potato pizza. It had thin slices of deep-fried potato, sweet maple bacon, the Bistro’s tomato sauce and … corn. That’s the Asianized part.
Regular drinks (soft drinks, coffee etc) are free during lunch and only $1 at dinnertime.
Bistro the Home is run by a couple, with the husband as the chef and wife, Sun, at front of house. Their adorable daughter is often at the restaurant, which is why there’s sometimes toys strewn around the fake tree in the middle of the room.
They also have a baby son — but because running the restaurant is so hard, they decided to send him back to Korea to live with his grandparents for now. Of course, hearing this (while with H) made me feel so fortunate. I really hope Bistro the Home finds enough business so the owners breathe a little easier and have some free time to see their baby!
Note: Bistro The Home is in a weird location. You can see it on Alderbridge Way but you have to enter via Alexander Road. Just go into the parking lot for Cap’s Cycles and you’ll find it.
Bistro The Home, 165-8460 Alexandra Rd., Richmond, B.C., (604) 284-5040. Open daily 10 a.m.-3 p.m., 5-11 p.m. Cash or debit only.
Room for strollers: Yes
High chairs: Yes
Ambiance: Smart casual. It’s modern but because it’s an Asian restaurant, there’s more accepting of kids.
Change table: No