It is a good thing we called ahead and check first.
Tell me … when would you normally have congee? Breakfast, right?
We had earlier planned to go at noon to try the Congee Hotpot with Fish Tofu. We were surprised to learn from the restaurant that they only serve the award winning dish with their late night menu. So if you want to try this, it is only available from 9:30 PM.
Being early sleepers, Suanne and I rarely go out for late night suppers. It was good to go out for a change that late.
The Landmark Hot Pot House is located on Cambie near the intersection with King Edward. It is actually just a short walk from the King Edward Skytrain station.
I remember reading somewhere that Landmark is the first hot pot restaurant in Vancouver. If so, it must have been quite a while ago because today you see a lot hot pot restaurants everywhere.
We had never been there before and so when we walked in, we were quite surprised with what we saw. The restaurant is clean and bright. The dining hall is also very large. It had the air of upscale-ness to it. Most of the customers does seem like the well-heeled types.
It is also a very Cantonese restaurant from the way the wait staff speaks. The captains wear suit and definitely very experienced types. I did sense a bit of snobbery on the part of captains and wait staff. I guess that is how it is with upscale Cantonese restaurants. We did not have any issue with that at all but thought that they seems like the type of restaurant that “tai yan” and will be extra pleased if you order expensive dishes … if you know what I mean. Despite that, service was prompt and fast.
Gas ranges are built-in on the table. I prefer this over the portable ones which raises the pot a bit too high.
The menu is mostly in Chinese. It has a big selection spread over several different menus.
One look at it, it is quite pricey. They are not like most of the hot pot restaurants around Metro Vancouver. They are not AYCEs (all you can eat). Instead you order individual dishes.
Here it is, the GOLD award dish. It is a simple congee hotpot. What makes it special is … the Yu Fu (Fish Tofu).
The congee came in a huge pot. Suanne and I were thinking how we are going to finish off the entire pot (but we did). The congee base itself costs $8.50 and it came with a little vermicelli in it.
Service was very good. Our waiter was always nearby to make sure that the congee is cooked properly and came by to stir it every now and then for us to prevent the bottom from sticking. They even made the first bowl of the congee and served it to us.
While the congee alone is $8.50, it is the Yu Fu (Fish Tofu) that is expensive. We couldn’t believe that the plate above is $17. We counted the number of fish tofu … it came up to be a little over $1 each. Expensive right?
The congee is perfect … made up of small grainy congee. Taste-wise, the congee is bland. It really needs a few drops of soy sauce.
Although this is expensive, the Fish Tofu is really good. It looks like normal tofu puff but it tastes nothing like tofu puff. It is entirely seafood.
I was dying to know what the big deal is with the Fish Tofu. Is this unique to Landmark or can you find this in other restaurants … or even if you could find this in Asian supermarkets too?
Although we complain about the price, we have to say we enjoyed the congee. If you want to try this, please know that it is only available after 9:30 pm under late night menu.
We also ordered something else to accompany the congee. Feeling adventurous, we ordered the Hot and Spicy Duck Tongue ($9.50).
The meat is a little crunchy and very much like jelly fish except that …
… there is a bone inside. We were thinking that this could be a dish for the extreme dim sum.
The sauce was good and we used the sauce to flavour the congee.
Come to think of it, we never had such expensive congee before. If you are the type who prefers cheap eats, this is not a place for you. I think you will end up cursing how expensive it is no matter how good the food is. Congee is NOT supposed to be expensive — it is considered a staple for the poor. LOL!
Yeah, pricey is how I would put it.