I have heard so many great things about this soup place! But to be honest, I haven’t had the chance to go into Richmond for a long time. I was delighted when Lloyd of GoMunch invited me out for lunch to catch up and suggested Deer Garden.
We went to the one in the same plaza as Pearl Castle, where the parking is more ample but the crowds are pretty much the same. We arrived half an hour after they just opened and we still had to wait – and share a table!
Lloyd explained to me the customizable menu before me – for $7.95 you get to pick your broth, pick two items, pick your noodles, pick a drink and sides are an extra $1.50 (super cheap!).
While customizable menus are not new (Cattle Cafe), I enjoy being able to choose what goes into my soup. Today I chose Malay Laksa as the base with fish balls and fresh bean curd with udon noodles.
Lloyd recommended the hot almond milk here and I did want to try one of the sides so I ordered the teriyaki chicken.
Holy moly are these soups big. I think it’s possible to share this soup with 1-2 people. The laksa wasn’t too spicy and the amount of noodles given was good. The fish balls were fresh (definitely didn’t have that weird chewy freezer burnt taste to it) and I love bean curd. I liked that they put parsley on the top because it added to the creamy laksa soup.
My teriyaki chicken came shortly after. They’re very quick here but I’m assuming it’s because it’s so busy. I liked that the chicken wasn’t smothered in teriyaki sauce as seems to be the case in many places. The outside was crisp and the inside wasn’t fatty but more meaty.
My almond milk came in a nice mug and it was pretty good, not too sweet and piping hot – perfect for my cold.
The restaurant is new, clean and not too bad looking. If you’re in the area and this place is packed, there are many other good eats around this plaza as well.