Italian Tomato Restaurant in Richmond

by Ed Lau on December 16, 2007

Italian Tomato Restaurant Richmond

Italian Tomato is an Italian (duh…) restaurant located a few minutes outside where I live in Richmond. I’ve been wanting to try this place for awhile now after hearing some generally good buzz about it for months. People raved most about the generous portions and reasonable prices so I was excited to go for my buddy’s birthday last week.

The dining area isn’t very big but was quite accommodating to our group of almost 20 people. There’s a bar area with large televisions, probably for whenever there’s a hockey game on.

I was starving so I began with a Caesar salad, which was quite large and tasted fresh. It comes in three sizes but the $4.95 starter size is very small while the $6.95 serving is probably enough for two people. I have no idea how big the $9.95 dish is but it must be gigantic. There are several other starters on the menu including a very nice calamari.

The variety of choice in pasta is a bit daunting due to the sheer size of the menu. There are about 15 types of pasta available, which can be mixed and matched with any of about 20 different sauces. Personally, I would prefer a smaller menu as it is rather difficult to decide given that some sauces sound very similar.

I chose the “Mamma Mia!” with linguine which was a medley of seafood (shrimp, prawns, scallops) with garlic, white wine and olive oil.

At very reasonable $16.95, the “Mamma Mia!” is the most expensive sauce on the menu with most of the others a few bucks less. As you can see the portion is as advertised, also probably enough for two people with regular appetites.

Italian Tomato Restaurant Richmond, Mamma Mia

However, I had just finished exams and hadn’t eaten all day unless you count the steady stream of Red Bull and coffee so I cleared my plate. I probably wouldn’t recommend doing that on a regular basis.

Italian Tomato Restaurant Richmond, Mamma Mia

The sauce was very light and although it was a tad oily, the olive oil was fragrant and the pasta was a perfect al dente. With a little squeeze of lemon and a generous grating of some quality parmigiano reggiano, it was delicious.

However, some of my friends ordered dishes with cream-based sauces and found them to be extremely heavy tasting. I had my hands (or mouth, rather) full with my dish so I didn’t sample anyone else’s so I’ll have to take their word on it. I seriously doubt I would be able to finish my plate if it was a cream-based sauce, though. If pasta isn’t your thing, there are a few other entrees available but make no mistake, pasta is the real attraction.

Service was quite good considering it was relatively busy and we were a very large and noisy party. The staff was hospitable although the waiter didn’t seem to know who ordered what when our food came. For large parties, they tack on gratuity to the bill but I would’ve tipped the same either way. The restaurant has a decent selection of local and import beers and wines, which is what I’d probably recommend as my iced tea tasted too sweet and syrupy.

Overall, I’d definitely go back. Bring your loose pants.

in Food and Fine Dining

{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

Mike Huang December 17, 2007 at 2:09 pm

That looks yummie, but I probably would’ve gone with the creamy sauces *SLURP*



Peter December 17, 2007 at 9:32 pm

Sounds pretty good! I actually got a job in Richmond which is probably why I haven’t come out for lunch again – I’m already driving out there 5 days a week. Would be good to catch up with you guys again though. Maybe early in the New Year…


Kevin December 20, 2007 at 2:28 am

That plate is huge.

Where is it located exactly?
Ah nevermind.

Review seem to vary a lot… oh well.


Michael Kwan December 26, 2007 at 5:46 pm

That’s a lot of pasta, but did it have a decent amount of seafood? It’s like when you go to Antons in Burnaby; they’ve got huge portions, but it’s all noodle with very little sauce or “toppings”.


Blue Moon Consulting May 5, 2008 at 2:29 pm

We went there on Friday night (May 3 08) after reading some good reviews on this place. The only downside is the same as stated in another review. The sauce was very tasty but lacked the seafood it should have had. If you are on a budget it’s a great place to. Service was good. Everything was tasty and the price is low. If only the mound of noodles was cut back and a lot more sauce was added then I would return. I’m looking more for quality than quantity. As I said if you are on a tight budget don’t hesitate to go. You’ll really enjoy it.


Paul September 2, 2008 at 7:37 pm

Thanks for the recommendation! Been looking for something other than Asian in Richmond, so this may become the other place I frequent besides Mad Greek.


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