Update 28-Apr-2011: This restaurant had closed for some time already.
So I was out with the 8GTCC boys and girls. We had just gone to the Shanghai Village restaurant meeting with Chef Ming and finalizing the plans for the 8GTCC Jiangsu dinner. You know, if you think that the 8GTCC team has perks from the restaurants, you are mistaken. Even when the 8GTCC project brings recognition to the restaurant concerned, we do not get a free meal out of the restaurant at all. At best, the restaurant serves us Chinese tea. That is why I am so thankful for the sacrifices demonstrated by the team.
After we met Chef Ming, the plan was to go for a dinner at a restaurant called City Temple of Shanghai on Main Street. When we got there, it was closed! Dylan said that he checked the day before and was told they will be opened. However, when we got there, the restaurant was locked. The sign outside says that they were supposed to open that day. Strange.
Anyway, without a real Plan B, we quickly coordinated between the few cars to drive across town to Spicy Legend for hot pot on Kingsway and Joyce. After driving all the way, we found to our chagrin that we need a reservation in that restaurant. Wow. This is the first time I had seen a hole-in-the-wall eatery requiring a reservation. That restaurant is so small and can fit maybe 15 people (?). I gotta check that place out sometime.
So instead of driving to another location and forced to drop our standards, we walked down Kingsway looking for Plan C …
The Jin Chuan Restaurant looked promising. None of us noticed this restaurant before. It looked new. If I remember correctly, this is the spot where the Popular Chinese Cuisine used to be. We loved that restaurant.
Apparently, Jin Chuan is new, really new. They had just opened for five days. Interesting. We thought maybe perhaps this place would be a “find” if the food turns out great.
We noticed that their chopstick wrapper has Meishan Restaurant name printed on it. Meishan is a restaurant in Crystal Mall. The logo of Meishan and Jin Chuan is almost identical.
I like their menu. I thought it was one of the better looking ones except it would be great with a few pictures of their specialties.
If you take a close look at their prices (click above to see larger image), the lunch specials are very good too … $6 to $7. I am going to go back one of these days to try their lunch special since my office is just a short drive away.
Ordering was left to the experts. I do not know what some of the dishes are called. It’s the kind of dinner I like — no brain work involved.
I am beginning to see a pattern having dined with the 8GTCC team. It seems they like mainland Chinese food with spicy bolder dishes and exotic meat and stuff.
The spicy water boiled zebra meat was delicious. I never had this before. I was … just kidding! That picture above just reminded me of a picture of a “sensitive” dish I had seen lately.
It is water boiled fish, a classical Sichuan dish from Chongqing favorite. This is a hot dish as you can well imagine. For mere mortals, they will just pick the freshwater fish and drip dry the fish before eating it. For the 8GTCC immortals, we drink also the “water”.
The above is the Chinese equivalent of bacon. I am not really a fan of this but I know most on the team digs this. I just did not like the texture as much but no complains whatsoever on the taste. He he he … I like the green onions AND the chili. I eat them with rice … just rice, green onions and chili … delicious!
See that layer of fat? Now, I am just thinking … Many of Chinese dishes does look very unhealthy. There are layers of meat fat, lots of deep frying, gallons of cooking oil used, eating skins and all. Even in most of the pictures here you see a gleaming film of oil on every morsels. What are your thoughts on this? Do you stay away from such food?
Well, I don’t. It’s everything in moderation, I guess that is what I am trying to say. You know, I think this is no different from having a Big Mac.
If I remember correctly, the above is deep fried chicken with crispy rice.
I don’t even remember what this one is. It does look appetizing to me.
Pea shoots. This looked very simple to make. I asked Suanne to make this at home but she said she doesn’t know what they used. She thinks it is some broth used or something. Does anyone know?
Not many people like pork stomach but I like it. I like the chewiness of the pork stomach. My mum makes great pork stomach and pepper soup. I could eat just the pork stomach soup with steamed rice and that would make me real satisfied meal. You know, I don’t even think about what the pork stomach is in contact with.
Now, pork intestines is another thing. That I got to be more careful. LOL!
I did not care much about the deep fried pastries to tell the truth.
The Yanjing beer is cheap in Jin Chuan. It was just 4 bottles for $10.
The bill came to just over $100 before tips. We had 7 people. So I think Jin Chuan’s food is rather cheap. The most expensive item is the water boiled zebra hot pot which is $26 (was seeing if you are still paying attention).
So is this restaurant a “find”? For me … no. The food here is pretty good and the prices are good too. It is just that with so many great Chinese restaurants in Metro Vancouver, Jin Chuan just doesn’t stand out with any one particular dish.