Weakness: The restaurant is under re-branding
Other Taiwanese Cuisine
Micha Asian fusion kitchen, formerly known as Strike, is one of the few better Taiwanese restaurants you can find in the Greater Vancouver region. Strike has been around for 5 years and is a lot of Taiwanese’s go-to place for a late-night snack. It is located in the same plaza as Avery on Garden City Road near Alderbridge Way, Richmond.
Micha is the new Strike
The added description of “Asian Fusion Kitchen” may be hinting that they are stepping out of the bound of “Taiwanese Cuisine”. I am both excited and nervous at the same time. I am hoping to see a positive transformation, retaining the good old tasting dishes while offering new fusion items. I don’t want to see this place turn into one of those Cantonese restaurants that serve different cuisines that all taste the same.
One thing I don’t get is the 5 year anniversary signage at the front. It feels like Strike is not quite ready to make the transformation yet. Perhaps they are trying to hold onto their old patrons.
Newly decorated Micha in Zen-like Japanese Style
As soon as I walked in, it is evident the restaurant had been renovated. The front curve that direct customers towards the left have been replaced by two straight walls. This is a much more efficient use of space. The tables and chairs have also been changed from ugly, cheap (it was the theme before), and down to earth style to the Zen-like Japanese style decoration. The feature wall on the left has been kept. You cannot tell it’s an old wall. Overall, it is a much appreciated transformation aesthetically.
The corridor through the center of the store has a choke point at the cashier. It is a little difficult for two people to pass through at the same time. This awkward layout has been an issue from the previous layout but is still kept.
Service needs improvement
Each customer is given a set of a chopstick with 1 piece of napkin. This feels like the standard of practice for many restaurants. I believe it is an opportunity for restaurant critics to give a bad review. If you want to save money on paper napkin cost, you better be prepared to bring new napkins to the customer as soon as the napkin is used.
The paper cup is a pitfall. There is no reason for using it. I would prefer to use the old cups if the new theme-matching mugs have not arrived yet.
My bowl of rice was forgotten by the server. I tried to see how long it would take them to realize but cannot eat the spicy dish by itself. I had to remind the server to bring my rice after the 3rd dish arrival.
Deep-Fried Chicken Nuggets are too dry
The deep-fried chicken nuggets come with deep-fried basil served in an interesting triangular bowl. The basil is not deep-fried enough that the stems were still tough. I find the starch coating on the chicken a little thick. It is a little crunchy but not crispy. The meat is a little on the dry side.
The chicken is boneless and has a good flavour. I can taste the Taiwanese cooking wine and may herbs. After a little bit, the coating becomes stale which is a little hard on the jaw. Make sure you eat this dish promptly.
Stir-fried Hua Diao Chicken
The stir-fried hua diao chicken get its name from the added “Hua Diao” wine of Taiwan. The chicken meat is boneless thigh, similar to the chicken nuggets but with different shapes. This dish is served in a small wok. It comes with Taiwanese celery, dried chili pepper and garlic chopped to nail size. The sauce is flavourful, and the chili pepper is spicy with a kick at the back of the throat. The minimal sauce at the bottom of the plate makes the chicken slippery. The meat is tender, not dry.
Pork Blood Tofu and Intestine with Spicy Garlic Sauce
The pork blood tofu and intestine with spicy garlic sauce is a innards dish. This dish is also served in a small wok. The pork blood is very tender, but pork intestine is very chewy. I need 3-4 bites to cut it with my teeth.
The soup base is very flavourful with strong notes of salty, sweet and spicy. There are many herbs like garlic, green onion, preserved cabbage, and chili pepper bits for enhanced flavour. This dish is a good companion to the rice.
604 Food Critic Assessment
Strike used to serve somewhat authentic Taiwanese cuisine. The transformation to Micha Asian fusion is a bit alarming for me. My visit confirmed a marginal decrease in food quality, but can still be considered good food. I hope this period is just transitional. I have high hope for the new Micha Asian Fusion. $16 per person price point restaurant is considered below average. Micha is still a good Taiwanese restaurant, but I would put them on my observation list in case the owner make any rash decision.