It was one of those days.
Normally we eat in for breakfast but that one morning, we decided to eat out. We did not know where and not caring for what too. We got into the car and decided that we will just drive around and see if there is something we fancy. And oh … the criteria is, it has to be somewhere we had never been to before because we wanted to blog about it.
We drove along No 3 Road in Richmond … could not find any. Decided to cross the Knight Street Bridge and try driving northwards along Main Street … nope, nothing. It was until we got to Broadway, we decided that we’ll not be picky and just go to the next one we spot.
It just happen that the Congee Noodle House is just at the intersection of Broadway and Main. We were getting hungry already and decided, we’ll just chance it.
It sure one of the better days that morning. The sun was out … one of the rarities this winter. I so look forward to spring this year more than any other. Thinking of it now, I hardly played at all this winter.
I was kind of afraid that parking would be a problem. But it was much easier than I thought. They actually have a large parking lot at the back of the restaurant.
The Congee Noodle House is surprisingly larger than I thought and definitely busier than I imagined. I mean, I don’t really expect a congee house right at this spot of town.
You know what we love best? The music they put on. It was Sam Hui’s soft sentimental songs. Suanne has a complete collection of Sam Hui’s songs at home. Sam is the king of Cantopop and undisputed “God of Song” in the 80s … he he he … and that shows our age! Anyway, if you’re into Cantopop, enjoy this song as you read the rest of this posting.
I learned something new that day. I had always wondered why there are rice grains in the salt shaker. Suanne claims that this keeps the salt from clumping together. Is that right … you reckon?
We noticed that every table had congee — so, it would be a safe bet to order congee. As a matter of fact their menu is dominated by congee with the front page of the menu saying the following:
Congee is a popular kind of traditional Chinese diet which has been around for thousands of years. It is mentioned in many ancient Chinese books, some of which date back to the very beginning of Chinese history. One ancient record describes the preparation of a “Celestial Congee” which contains curing powers that overcome certain chronic diseases affecting the kidney and the spleen. It can also build up body health. A Sung Dynasty poet, Lu You, wrote in a poem on congee “All mortals crave for long life. They do not understand that the key lies in the present. For me who live in the vale, my philosophy is easy and simple: eating congee brings health and leads to immortality”
Nevertheless, it is totally believable that eating congee maintains good health and prolongs life. From the modern medical point of view, congee — a semi-liquid diet — regulates and enhances our appetite. it brings healthy digestion and helps the body to readily absorb nutrition. The benefits of eating congee are irrefutable.
Their congee is really smooth … the kind that they blend it to near puree-like.
I tried something out of the ordinary … and ordered the Sliced Ostrich Meat Congee. It is dark meat, darker than beef and tastes a lot like lean beef. $7.
The Yutiao is a great accompaniment to the Congee. They have an option either sweet or salted Yutiao. In English, Yotiao is called Chinese donuts. I guess it’s called Chinese donut because like donut, it is deep fried dough. I can assure you that Yutiao does not taste anything like donuts and texture-wise, it is a world of difference too. $1.75.
Noodles is their other specialty. Suanne had the Hot Chili Minced Pork with Noodle. We find that the noodles a bit too cold for our liking but otherwise, it was very good. The texture of the thin wirely noodles and the taste seems to suggest that they make the noodles on site. The hot chili does not go too well with the noodles … we should have gone with the more conventional oyster sauce with BBQ duck or pork.
Arkensen (Nanzaro was away camping and did not join us here) ordered the same old thing — Preserved Fish and Diced Chicken Fried Rice. As much we try to encourage the boys to try other food, their mind is set to fried rice. When I was their age, I was also crazy over fried rice and can eat it everyday. I think it’s the rice carbo they want most.
The total bill came up to $27 before tips. Congee Noodle House accepts only cash. There was too much food for the three of us and had the fried rice to-go. Overall, Congee Noodle House serves good congee. I am not exactly a great fan of congee … maybe not now … perhaps when I am a senior.
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Ah, congee noodle house. These guys are also really well-known for their roast pork; give it a try the next time you guys are there. For our wedding, we had a whole roast pig made to order and delivered to our hotel for the pre-dinner reception – it was a major hit with the guests!
Wonderful idea to include the music with your blog post to listen to while reading and enjoying the food pictures! Congee Noodle is certainly famous for their congee. I get the preserved egg and pork congee each time. Did you know that location was closed for months and re-opened so I think there was a renovation but I have not been back yet.
the last few times I tried to go they were closed for renos. I thought they were gone for good. It was around Dec and jan when we tried to go. Was this from a recent outing?
Hi Mtrix: Yes, it was on a recent outing. It was about two weekends ago when we ate there. Ben
Yeah, CNH is open again. They were closed for renos forever. And you know the funny thing is that it looks EXACTLY like it did before. Renovations? what renovations.
Anyway, whatever, it’s still the same old place. Good, cheap food. Typical Chinese service (i.e. lightning fast but not exactly friendly). And open late on weekend evenings.
The washroom is the most noticeable reno. and a fish tank….
I absolutely love CNH. My old office used to be a few blocks from here and CNH was my go to for congee, duck+roast pork dry noodles with soup on the side, fried rice, spicy tofu, I love just about everything there! I believe recent renos were done just to their kitchen area and maybe some minor upgrades to their chairs no? Now that you mentioned it and posted that hunger inducing pic of salted fish and chicken fried rice, I am so there again this week!
the pork on noodle dish is a classic dish, i think different chefs/regions make it differently, some have a tomatoey flavour to it. i believe that congee noodle king on kingsway near joyce is the same group.
CNH is pretty much like number 9 in richmond except, no western dishes.
Yay, you went to CNH, a venerable Vancouver institution. I’m there like once a week sometimes, it’s so close to me. They were closed for awhile and it felt like a loooong time, and yeah, when I went back for the 1st time after reno’s I was thinking: “what reno’s ?!?!?”, LOL.
There’s another CNH #2 on Kingsway about three doors east of Joyce, on the north side. Vaulted ceiling makes it feel quieter, but the floor space is smaller and seems to me many items on the menu are about 10-20% more expensive than the Broadway location.
CNH’s late night small dishes are really good 🙂
My faves are:
Peppery & Salty Tofu
Peppery & Salty “White Rice Fishies” (fried whitebait)
Chopped Oyster Omelet
Add a “wor” (large family-sized) bowl of plain congee, some Chinese fried donuts (“yow tieu” and “ngow lay sow”), rice rolls (shrimp, bbq pork or beef filled), gai-lan and sticky rice wraps and you got a fantastic meal for a group …… Mmmm.
Hmm, funny you should mention “renos”. My health inspector friend once mentioned that sometimes restaurants shut down for “renos” when they have really been shut down for failing health inspection criteria.
That way, they can save their reputation while they fix the problems…
That said, CNH does have pretty good food. 😉
Watch the intake of preserved fish and vegetables – they are known to cause esophageal (throat) cancer in Chinese populations.
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