Tanlu Grill is a new trendy U-Grill BBQ place that opened around June of 2019. This restaurant features charcoal to provide a true solid fuel barbeque experience. All the ingredients served here are top-notch quality, but of course, they all translate into the cost. Tanlu Grill is located in the same plaza as the Walmart on Garden City Road and Alderbridge Way in Richmond.
Strength: Cool experience, good quality food.
Weakness: Very Expensive
Other Self-Cook BBQ
Located in Alexandra Court
We have heard a lot about this new NorthEastern Chinese barbeque restaurant for quite some time. Our source told us how busy this place is so we booked a reservation ahead of time. When we arrive, our table has been set up for us with all the tableware and sauce in place. Many customers who come in after us were told to wait for 1.5 hours. I think this is fair because self cook barbeque place take time. The slow turnover rate is probably why they charge the premium. It is important to know that Tanlu Grill only opens for dinner and midnight snacks from 5 until 12.
Interior of Tanlu Grill
The first thing we noticed as we enter Tanlu Grill is the large mechanical units the come down pretty low to each table. The restaurant try to make the space better by writing interesting phrases on them. It is good to see the safety equipment properly installed in an open fire barbeque restaurant.
The table was already set up when we arrived because we had a reservation. Spoon and chopsticks look like they’re made of stainless steel. Beside the usual utensil, we also have two tongs, one large and one small, and a pair of scissors. Each patron get one piece of napkin. The picture on the right show a chipped dish on the side.
Beside the menus, we have the ordering sheet. Customers can look at different menu and mark on the same sheet. The menu has a lot more graphics with interesting slogan.
The dipping sauce was also already on the table when we arrived. On the left, we have sesame sauce that we typically see as hot pot sauce. To the right, we have barbeque sauce, salt, and chili powder. The chili powder has very good flavour of cumin. The black dish contain the toppings for lettuce wraps.
Lots of side dish
Our server brought us 6 different types of side dishes. They are refillable and kind of reminds me of Korean cuisine. I was surprised to see Kimchi as part of the side dish.
Lettuce for wrapping
We also received a bucket of lettuce to wrap the meat with. This is a style we are familiar with Korean food. The lettuce provides some crispiness to cut through the grease. These lettuce on our table are not fresh and look a little withered.
Other spicy dishes we have ordered
We also ordered some dish that doesn’t require the grill. On the left side, we have the Tanlu House Salad made with potato, bean curd, peanuts, cucumber, and green onion in spicy sauce for $11.65. We also ordered the Tanlu tossed mini squid for $13.65. The squids are mixed with large pieces of onion in chili sauce. It’s a little hard to determine what you picked up so every bite is a surprise.
Spicy Scallop With rice 4 for $21.45
The spicy scallop with rice is contained in carefully selected shells. All the shells have similar size and profile. They are perfectly balanced that they don’t tip towards any side while being grilled. The staff kindly reminded us it takes about 4 minutes to fully cook. This is basically baked chili sauce on rice with a tiny scallop underneath. I don’t think the cost is worth it.
Hot coals brought right to our table
You know how the U-Grill barbeque places have staff walking around with a metal container to transport hot grill plate? Tanlu Grill has someone carrying a similar metal container to transport red hot coals between the kitchen and our table.
Beef Platter $118.75
The beef platter includes 6 types of beef. They are Prime Boneless Short Rib ($42.35), Marinated LA Steak ($20.85), Thin cut beef tongue ($19.65), Rib Fingers Marinated with Sea Salt ($19.85), Marinated Beef Slices ($18.65), Royal Marinated Galbi ($22.65). If you look closely, the discount for getting the platter is not that big. We just ordered it because it’s our first time. I really enjoyed the prime boneless short ribs and the rib fingers marinated with sea salt. These two have the best texture, but they are also the most expensive among the platter.
Prime Boneless Short Rib $42.35
This is one piece of the boneless short ribs that comes with our beef platter. It is very tender and juicy, but also the most expensive beef sold in Tanlu Grill.
Tanlu House Cut $19.85
We also ordered the Tanlu House cut. Our waitress told us this is the best part of the beef with balanced fat versus lean meat. I think this is just okay. The beef has a little too much sinew and was kind of tough to chew.
Fire on the grill
Tanlu Grill uses tightly placed thin stainless steel to hold the meat on top. I like how this reduces the contact between my meat and the metal. There are lots of space for the fire to get through. The Tanlu House Cut has adequate beef fat to transform to fuel for the charcoal below. I was shocked to see flaming coming out of the pot. We had to quickly relocate the meat so they don’t get burnt.
Grilling the marinated LA steak
The LA steak comes in a roll wrapping the bone. It comes in one piece that hasn’t been cut. This is when the scissors come in handy. We like to cook it with one piece and cut it into smaller pieces just before serving. I don’t know, it just feels more authentic.
Grilling the marinated Beef slices $18.65
We put the Marinated Beef Slices on to the grill evenly, and 2 minutes later we’ve created a pillar of flame. This is really exciting and I stood up right away to take pictures. Two staff rushed over to take over the grill. I think they are very good at maintaining safety. The key to safe grilling is to mix things up so you don’t give the charcoal too much fuel to burn. Also, when you see small flames appearing below the grill, it’s only a matter of seconds for this large flame to appear.
Grill plate for the pork dishes
We also ordered some porks, but the staff told us to leave them until the grilling pan has been changed. I guess this is because the fat from pork is more likely to result in out-of-control flames.
Pork Belly With Pickled Napa Cabbage $19.85
I am really glad that I ordered the pork belly with pickled napa cabbage. The pickled napa cabbage is basically sauerkraut, and it is a NorthEastern Chinese signature dish. One of my friends who came from that part of China told me the sauerkraut served at Tanlu Grill is quite authentic.
Bacon Wrapped Enoki Mushroom $14.65
The bacon-wrapped enoki mushroom is quite expensive for what it is. I mean the cost of $15 can probably get me a bag of bacon from Costco that I won’t be able to finish in 3 months. However, I did enjoy this dish. They have the perfect size to be enjoyed in one bite. The enoki mushroom fully soaked up the pork fat which is filled with flavour that bursts in my mouth.
604 Food Critic Assessment
Tanlu Grill gave me a dining experience I have never had before. The thoughtful open grill made flaming grill possible. Different parts of the beef have different texture so you can order to your liking. The high-quality beef comes with a premium in cost. Our visit cost us $75 per person. I think it’s expensive but expected because of the meat quality and slow turnover rate. I think Tanlu Grill is a premium restaurant perfect for treating important friends who love barbeque, but not suitable for daily consumption.
How to get in touch
- Phone: (604) 370-2833
- Address: #1430 – 4771 Mcclelland Rd, Richmond
- Hours: 5:00 pm – 12:00 am Everyday