A friend first passed word to me about a humble family run Chinese restaurant near Coquitlam center, and explained that the chef use to be an executive chef at a reputed hotel in Hong Kong. I was intrigued, and with the power of the interconnected foodie universe that is the internet at my fingertips, I decided to dig further. My efforts only managed to confuse the issue though, as this chef’s reputation is a tale that grows taller with each telling. There are existing stories that he was either once a head chef at the Hyatt, a chef at the governor house for two of the Governors of Hong Kong, cooking for the royal Hong Kong police headquarters, or the personal chef to the Governor of Macau. Clearly, I was not going to appreciate what this place can do by just reading about it. ;)
Everyone gets a clear view of the Chinese menu on the wall when they step through the door, but English menus are available. The chicken wings is well advertised below the whiteboard menu, which should give enough hint that this isn’t the usual lobster/crab/abalone type of Chinese seafood restaurant. The focus here is on a smaller set of simple recipes with time tested ingredient combinations and preparation methods.
The walls are lined with whimsical caricature drawings, some of them depicting the jolly chef chasing down your distraught dinner with a bottle of sauce in hand. (The Chinese characters are the name of the dishes.)
This is my third visit, and though having a party of 7 didn’t help us get seated, we did get to sample a good selection of dishes that showcased almost all of their food preparation styles. Every table is greeted with a complementary and appetizing meat and red bean soup after ordering.
First up is the honey garlic chicken wings. Crisp, unbattered battered skin, with juices still in the meat, and flavors marinaded in instead of being doused in sauce.
We ordered a few of the hot plates, which all seemed to have a bit of swiss sauce (they actually used to give away a bottle of the marinade with every order). The Japanese style beef was my favorite of the bunch.
Another really tasty dish, the beef in tomato sauce. We didn’t have it this time, but their black pepper beef is also well prepared, and the best version I’ve ever had.
The pungent smell of shrimp paste may put some people off this tofu and pork neck dish, but like salty fish fried rice, the flavors help round the dish out.
We had 8 dishes in total, and while the bill isn’t light, its the best dinner I’ve had in a while, and that’s the same feeling I get after every visit.
They’re Located one block east of Coquitlam Center. Do making reservations if you plan to drive down for a visit, as there’s always a wait, and cash only.
2755 Lougheed Highway