Life is an onion that you peel crying.
~ French Proverb
Suanne came by my office today during lunch time while on an errand. We decided to go out to lunch together nearby my office in Burnaby and landed up in the Crystal Mall along Kingsway. Crystal Mall is an Asian Mall and is a great place to get really good and cheap food. He he he … Crystal Mall is also known as MSG City! We wanted to try a new place and chance upon this small place called S&W Pepper House. We decided to go in because we saw a few people having noodles eating out from a huge bowl.
The S&W Pepper House is a mainland Chinese type of joint with almost everyone speaking in Mandarin. It’s not a big place, with seating for about 30-35 people max. You could easily give it a miss. If you are the adventurous type and liked trying new and authentic mainland chinese food, you simply MUST try it out. S&W Pepper House in located on the ground floor.
Suanne ordered the “Guo Qiao” Rice Noodle in Special Soup. “Guo Qiao” meant Crossing Bridges in Mandarin. This $6.75 dish is served in four different portions. The main part is the soup in which we were told we need to put the ingredients in order and eat from the large bowl of soup. The raw quail eggs, sliced meat and prawns goes in first. This is followed by mixed vegetables and finally the noodles.
Suanne told me that there’s a story behind “Guo Qiao” in old China. The story goes that there was once a very poor scholar who need to study for the provincial exam in a place far away from his home. His wife had to bring him lunch everyday over long distance and needing to cross many bridges to get to him. The food got cold by the time she brought the food over. So, she had an idea to keep the food warm by keeping the ingredients separate and keeping the soup piping hot in a separate container. The soup has a layer of oil to conserve the heat. Anyone heard of this story before?
We looked around and saw that people picked up small amount of noodles and dunked it into the soup and eat from there. We think it is a better idea eating that way so that the noodles are loosened and we don’t get noodles packed at the bottom of the soup base.
I ordered the Fried Lamb with Cumin on Steamed Rice. Scanning the lunch menu, this was the most expensive dish on the list and I thought this might be good. The dish costs $7.50. It turned out pretty well. I liked the strong spice and the light gravy goes very well with the rice.
The servings were HUGE. I think even if Arkensen and Nanzaro is around, the two dishes we ordered would have been enough for the four of us. We got so full that Suanne and I skipped dinner today.
Try out S&W Pepper House if you are in Crystal Mall. I am very sure you will not regret it.