Some of you will remember that I posted about Luckynoodles about two weeks ago. In that post, I wrote about Luckynoodle which is located in the very spot that had a high turnover of restaurants over the years.
But I was also quite excited about Luckynoodles too. I don’t normally go back to a restaurant twice but with Luckynoodle I did. I really enjoyed their Hunan cooking and also was amazed that their lunch specials are so cheap.
After I published the blog post about Luckynoodle, a number of people went to to Luckynoodles and gave us their feedback … all of which was positive … and I was not surprised.
I wanted to go back to Luckynoodle to try their other specialty dishes which they wrote on the board. And their menu too was extensive.
Well, there is only one way to try their dishes … I have to make up one table so that we can order many dishes. I can’t do that with just the four of us in the family.
Moreover, our two boys doesn’t really fancy dining out this way. “Chau Choy” is what we call it … I mean communal style. They are strange. I know they always enjoy dad ordering dishes and eating them communal style but yet every time I said we are going to have “chau choy”, they will say no. They prefer to have their own individual dishes and not have to share. I think they protest for the sake of asserting themselves. I know they like communal style dining because dad has a knack of ordering nice dishes.
So I wanted to gather enough people to fill up a table — at least 10. We got 21 instead. So it was two tables.
And what a feast it was. You are not going to believe this. We had 13 dishes and it was just $15 before tips. [Rey and Jun, you left $25 when you had to leave early. I thought I better mention this because you might think that Ben wanted to pocket the change. LOL!]
This is not one of those run-of-the-mill Chinese dinner. The dishes we chose were peppered with words like ears, kidney, lamb, bamboo shoot, white chili, gizzards and stuff like that.
So we started with getting 3 appetizers while we go over the menu proposed by me. The chef too also reviewed the menu and pretty much agree with our selection … so we are in good hands there. We also added one more dish based on popular demand. So THIRTEEN dishes!
The first appetizer was the Cucumber with Garlic which is cool, crunchy, garlicky, lightly salty. Someone remarked that it is not smashed and that traditionally it should be smashed. Instead this was cut which makes it a bit more prettier.
Traditions vs aesthetics — do you have any preference? Me, I go with tradition.
The Fungus with Red Chili was sweetish, vinegarish, spicy, lightly crunchy. For those who likes it hot, they will eat this with the chili. Mere mortals only … touched the wood ears.
The Pig Ear in Chili Oil was another crunchy appetizer, and spicy. In many places, this is quite tasteless. People eat this for the texture mostly. But this one had good flavour to it too.
Here comes the main courses. We started off with the Steamed Fish with Chili Peppers. It does look impressive when presented. It is loaded with lots and lots of chili peppers. It is not really spicy despite the red peppers.
Someone said that the Chinese name of the fish is ”Juck Yue”. Most of us felt that the fish was slightly overcooked. Even with all the chili peppers, fish is still a bit fishy. Yeah, this one looked good but we all had better ones.
The Salty Duck was highly recommended by the restaurant. We were told that they made this specially for the moon cake festival recently and was very well received. I like the meatiness of it and the texture was good. Taste-wise it was lightly salty.
The Chinese Bacon with Bamboo Shoot was highly anticipated by me. I wanted so much to try this because the chef told me that they specially import the smoked bamboo shoots from China and that it is not commonly available in Vancouver.
The entire dish tasted very smokey, which is good. This one I enjoyed a lot.
I remember picking on the smoked bamboo shoots more than the bacon.
The bamboo shoot is crunchy and waxy while the Chinese bacon is crispy and need to chew on it a bit.
The Beef with Green Chili was very spicy. It was deceptively very spicy. The beef is very tender. While I enjoy this one, at the back of my mind is if they had over tenderized the beef. It was from the puffed up way it looked.
The Chairman Mao’s Pork was the dish we added. Yeah, grayelf said we must have fatty pork. Frankly of all people, I was kind of surprised that the request of this artery clogging dish came from Grayelf. :-)
The dish was quite fragrant. We could smell the fragrance when it’s brought to the table. Thumbs up but I thought they could have presented this a bit better. The proper way looks like this picture here and here.
The White Chili Pepper with Gizzard was my favourite dish. I had this earlier in Luckynoodle and it was what makes me like their food so much.
But I thought that it actually tasted better and looked more enticing when it was served in a lunch special. This one we had a bit flat. The white chili plus the sliced gizzard was crispy.
It was not too spicy though … even though it has lots of chili flavour to it. It was a large serving. We did not quite finish off this plate and we brought it home (delish!).
The Lamb with Cumin Seeds has a strong cumin flavour. I was rather disappointed that it had lots of sliced onions. It kind of sweetened this dish a bit.
Lamb + Cumin + Chili = Good Dish.
Lamb + Cumin + Onions = Watered Down Dish.
This dish was quite salty too. Nope, this dish did not do much for me.
I was thinking that the Stir Fry Pork Kidney would be a food addition. It turned out that it is the least popular dish. People hardly touched it.
It was because it had a strong and rather unpleasant smell to it. It also had bamboo shoots and fungus in it — that was what people picked mostly, not the kidney. I think the kidney wasn’t prepared well enough.
The Stir Fry Potato with Chinese Vinegar was not toasty enough. Kind of flat. It did not have enough “wok hei” (breath of the wok). It was quite appetizing and tangy tasting … but not toasty enough.
We all thought it was kind of strange the soup came last. I thought that traditionally the soup comes early part of a multi-course dinner.
I ordered this soup because they said that we had to pre-order this in advance.
This is called the Whole Chicken with Fresh Garlic Soup. I know this looked so plain but I actually like the soup a lot. It has an interesting flavour, mostly from the garlic.
No one really touched the whole chicken in the pot. All the essence from the chicken were all cooked into the soup already anyway.
It was an interesting dinner. Some of the dishes were great, some were a bit flat for me. Despite this I just can’t complain much. As a matter of fact, I thought this was a very good meal.
Where else could you get all these thirteen dishes for just $15.
I want to say thank you to all of you who took time to come out to join us in the dinner. We had a good time!
11 am to 3pm
5pm to 10pm