Colin Wong is slowly building an empire.
Two years ago, when Wong and business partner Simon Lai opened their first Cattle Café at 4883 Kingsway in the Metrotown area, the lines out the door never seemed to end.
Well, relief has come in the form of not one, but two new Cattle Café restaurants along the Kingsway corridor.
At the end of 2011, the Vancouver location at 3510 Kingsway opened, and in June this year, the Edmonds location at 7348 Kingsway opened up.
The comfy Edmonds location opened on June 4, and Wong's staff of 20 has been busy ever since.
"We wanted to move into growing areas, and both of our locations have been doing very well," said Wong, who oversees a restaurant empire that also includes a Richmond location of the Cattle Café and the only location, in Richmond, of the Cattle Hot Pot Restaurant.
Wong's company also includes Deltason Trading, which is a seafood, produce and specialty foods supplier.
Wong knows what has made his restaurants successful.
"Almost all our dishes are under $10," he said.
"We're offering good, affordable food that people like and will come back for."
The one exception to the rule is the UTeppanyaki, currently only available at the Edmonds location for $10.95
Wong orders up his personal favourite teppanyaki combination, which features shrimp, beef, broccoli, red peppers, udon noodles and teriyaki sauce, and it's no wonder the dish is $10.95 - it can feed two people!
The taste is sublime, and it's healthy eating with flavour.
Wong is also happy to show off some of the mixed smoothies and drinks on the menu.
The flavours are pretty special in both the strawberry and mango smoothie that photographer Larry Wright has and the refreshing lemon ribena that I'm drinking.
Next up on the food front is one of the most popular dishes at all Cattle Cafes: the pork chop in creamy onion bacon demiglaze.
"We only use pork cut from the centre of the pig," said Wong.
The pork is lean, with just enough fat to give it flavour, and the demiglaze sauce is so good that I'm asking for more rice to soak it up at the end.
Our final main course is the sliced beef and satay soup.
Wong shows us the beef covering the surface of the bowl, and says: "The best is yet to come."
And with that, Wong moves the beef aside to show us the thick noodles underneath.
Wong has us taste it, and it's then when we realize it's actually fish noodles.
"This is from a recipe my dad makes," said Wong of the homemade fish noodles. "You won't find this in many places."
As a seafood lover, I can't get enough of fish in a noodle form. Kwan has done a masterful job adding just enough satay spiciness to the soup.
It is a heck of a meal, but the only way to end it is with a specialty dessert.
The French toast, made Hong Kong-style, features cubes of French bread with a layer of coconut spread in the middle.
Wong explains that this Hong Kong delicacy is better than regular French toast because the cube form increases the surface area before the cook dips it in butter and deep-fries it.
"You're getting more flavour, and we found that having the coconut spread gives it a different flavour, too," said Wong.
Wong reiterated that no matter what the future holds, affordability is near the top of his list of what his restaurants offer diners.
The Cattle Café Edmonds location is at 7348 Kingsway. For more information, go to www. cattlecafe.ca.