I love baked Portuguese chicken rice. It’s a staple in the comfort food of Hong Kong-style diners. I took it for granted that everyone made it in a similar way, because the ones I’ve been eating in the Vancouver/Richmond area all seem to be missing something.

Coconut milk and turmeric powder make up the basic foundation of the creamy sauce. Pieces of dark chicken meat, potatoes, carrot and onion are spooned on top of rice, then the whole thing is baked with cheese on top. Or so I thought.

The version from Sun’s BBQ in Calgary includes breaded boneless chicken and frozen mixed vegetables.

The one from Sun Century in Richmond’s Yaohan Centre food court has big chunks of broccoli and no cheese.

The One Cafe, Richmond, B.C.More forgettable versions are bland and watery. I noticed that in Vancouver/Richmond, rice comes separately from the baked dish which is a shame.

So far, the baked Portuguese chicken ($7.95) at The One Cafe is leading in my books. It comes with tomatoes, no cheese and separate rice but has the best taste. But it’s not a runaway winner by any means. Please, please share where you’ve had some good baked Portuguese chicken so I can check it out.

The One is located next to Richmond Centre, right on No. 3 Road. The owners used to run a popular stall in Parker Place mall before expanding to this much, much larger location.

I’m guessing they didn’t change the decor much from the previous incarnation called Queen’s Cafe. But it’s a shame no one upgraded the bathrooms, which leave a bit to be desired.

Prices are average, with most meals including a complimentary hot milk tea or coffee. But I like the extensive menu here, from breakfast specials to set combos to building your own soup noodles.

The One Cafe, Richmond, B.C.

The One Cafe, Richmond, B.C.The pork cheek, green bean noodles ($12) came on a sizzling plate and was pretty good. The cheek of our piggy friends is underrated. I highly recommend it as it has lots of flavour and a slight bite for texture. The noodles were still crunchy and not soggy.

Service is OK. They’re not overly nice but they don’t slam cups down on the table either. It’s one of those places where you have to wave for them to come over, so don’t be shy.

The One isn’t a place that will attract raves, but I like the variety and there are rarely lineups because the restaurant is quite big. Also, Coronation Street was on their TV on Sunday morning.

Parking on the other hand is hit or miss. There are only five spots in the back, so you take your chances if you decide to park in the Richmond Centre lot. The Canada Line is the smartest bet since the Brighouse stop is right across the street.

The One Cafe, 6091 No. 3 Rd., Richmond, B.C., (604) 295-8189. CASH ONLY.

The One Cafe on Urbanspoon

Child-friendly notes
Room for strollers: Yes
High chairs: Yes
Change table: No