You know, I so look forward to the long weekend this week. I guess many of you will be taking the Friday off work along with the Remembrance Day holiday this Thursday. I am.
I got a serious suggestion for you during the long weekend. I just went for dim sum and went away feeling very impressed with the food … and I recommend you consider trying this place.
Fmed and Keev had been talking soooo many times about the Good Choice Restaurant already. They were raving about the dinner they had there recently where they said every dish was a winner. Coming from people like fmed and Keev, I know this is one restaurant I must visit.
Instead of going for dinner, we went instead for dim sum. Good Choice is located on Fraser at 44th in Vancouver. I am pretty sure that everyone who drove along Fraser would have noticed that bright orange awning.
Good Choice was previously known as Super Happiness until there was a change of owner. However the chefs remained the same. Frankly, Super Happiness was never on my radar before and so with the same chefs I am puzzled why people are raving about Good Choice’s food with the same chef. I mean, with the same chef, the food will most likely the same right?
It is only since March this year that Good Choice had started serving dim sum and lunch. They had since discontinued late night suppers and instead concentrated on dinners too.
Good Choice is opened at 10 AM every morning for dim sum and lunch. We were the first customers there and for the next 30 minutes we were the only customers. At the peak until about 11:30 AM, the restaurant is only a third full. For a restaurant that we had so high expectations of, we thought it would have been packed. After all it was on a Saturday we were there.
From where we were seated we could see the Angel Cafe across the street. Angel Cafe was packed. It always is. The last time we were there was waaaaay back in April 2008 (post here).
Service was “excellente”. The waiter obviously knows how to deal with bloggers. He was chatty with us and really gave us a lot of tips of their food. I would not have know if he had not pointed somethings out to us. Yeah … he came by several times and asked if we had any questions — of course we had lots of questions.
Click on the menu above to show a larger image.
This is obviously not a $2.50 dim sum kind of restaurant. Most of their regular dim sum items are $3.25 or $3.75. Some of the special and lunch items are at $10 but it is larger servings … not dim sum size.
Their menu calls this the Pig Tripe & Bean Curd in Pepper ($6) but we knew this is not tripe. He he he … we are not totally Chinese illiterate. This is pork stomach. The Chinese name was correct while the English name was wrong.
You know, this soup is … so enjoyable. It has three main ingredients: the pig stomach, the sour mustard and the bean curd sheet. Not forgetting the soup … it was good and very peppery with lots of cracked peppers. This is a very good dish for cold winter weather.
Other than the pork stomach, the lightly salty fresh beancurd was great.
It is also a lot of food here. We enjoy this so much that we were eating this, piece by piece, until it was all gone and ignored the other dim sum items. We asked the waiter to hold all other dim sum items because we ordered seven items in all. We wanted to properly savour each and every item.
We don’t normally order congee. But then the weather was so cold that congee sounded so appealing. Oh gosh, don’t you just feel that what they say about this year’s winter is going to be nasty is true? I was looking out at the North Shore Mountains this morning. There were already lots of snow on it. Brrrrr.
They have seven types of congee on the menu. It took a while for us to decide which one because most of them sounded so good. How I wish they have a version called The Works. You know, a congee with fresh clams, sea cucumber, fish fillet, pork kidney, pork liver, chicken, minced beef, minced pork and preserved egg … with julienned ginger on the side … with lots of scallions. How come no one makes that? 🙂
We ended up with the Congee with Lean Pork & Preserved Egg. We got the small one ($5, large at $11) and it was more than enough for two persons.
Love it. The century egg is quite large and chunky and not broken up bits and pieces.
When they served the congee, I noticed they only brought the pepper shaker along, no soy sauce. We always expect soy sauce especially seeing how white the congee was. But no soy sauce was required. The congee was flavourful by itself.
We asked for a recommendation from the waiter. I was dismayed when he recommended the BBQ Pork Bun.
BBQ Pork Bun to me is boring. They are the same everywhere. I said “I don’t think so” … adding that I needed something more “tak peed” (special/unusual in Cantonese).
He went on to say that their BBQ Pork Bun is more “tak peed” than other places. Oh … he went on to describe how the skin is different, the dough is different and how juicy theirs is. I said alright … I wanted him to prove me wrong.
Oh yeah, when it was place on the table I could see the it is not one of those run of the mill BBQ Pork Bun. The skin glisten and yet it is soft.
$3.25 for a basket of three.
OMG … just tearing it apart I can see how this is done to perfection. There were no traces of steam/water. The bun is all fluffy and pillowy soft. It is simply amazing.
The BBQ Pork inside is unbelievably moist.
The waiter said that their sifu make it themselves — no frozen buns bought from outside and steam.
Guys, you NEED to try this.
We thought we try their fried rice too. The name Spicy Sampan Style Fried Rice with Chinese Sausages is not something we see a lot on menus.
This is $10. I like it (and of course so do our boys!). They have lots of “crispy bits” and particularly the addition of fried shallots. It also has that right level of dryness … I hate moist fried rice.
Yup … nice.
OK. Take a look between the two Chan Chuen Fun above. Which do you think is the better one?
I had my first taste of the Chan Chuen Fun (translated as Chan’s Village Noodles) in Kam Wah Loong not too long ago. I totally enjoyed this less than common noodles.
When the waiter recommended we also try their Chan Chuen Fun, I also said it is not “tak peed” enough. I told him I had tried it in Kam Wah Loong before. While it is nice, it was not “tak peed” for me.
In his usual style, he went on to say that theirs is “tak peed” and they do it the right way and everything from scratch and by hand by the sifu. OK, we relented and said fine.
When I saw the Chan Chuen Fun delivered to our table (the plainer picture of the two above, top), I was kind of dismayed too. It did not looked flavourful as I remember it was in Kam Wah Loong. In fact it looked so flavourless in comparison.
The Chan Chuen Fun is known as the Steamed Spareribs & Rice Noodles in Black Bean Sauce and it is only $5.
Despite the plainer look, I can certainly taste the difference. The noodles is a little thicker and does a subtle absorption of the gravy. The waiter said that the rice noodle is house made with rice flour and steamed like “cheong fun”.
They have a very generous amount of spareribs. The waiter told us that they do not drench the Chan Chuen Fun with sauce. Instead the reason why theirs did not look saucy is because they steam the rice noodles with the spareribs for a long time and let the juice from the spareribs flavour the rice noodles.
Yup, I like this.
Here is yet another recommendation which I thought was not “tak peed” enough.
Come on … “loh mai kai” is nothing special. EVERY dim sum place serves this. I gotta say I like the waiter because he again was convincing that their is unlike others.
This is called the Steamed Sticky Rice with Dry Scallop ($4).
As I peeled the lotus leaf and took the first glimpse of the rice, I knew this is it.
The steam released had a strong lotus leaf smell.
Just look at the rice. The sticky rice is very fragrant with the lotus leaf aroma. It is also very soft, very sticky and very gooey.
It doesn’t clump together but sticks to the leaf that we had to scrap it off the leaf.
There was quite a bit of dried scallop too.
You know, this place tells me that they are serious about their food and that they don’t take short cuts. I like the execution of each dish and enjoyed every one of them although they were not “tak peed” kind of dim sum.
I just can’t wait to go back and try their dinner menu.
They had just started dim sum in March this year. From Monday to Friday, their dim sum has a 10% discount. Yeah, they gave us 10% discount even though we did not ask for it nor expect it. They think we are “journalist” and asked us what publication we are with. I said chowtimes and the waiter asked “Hah? Chow meh yeh?”
The waiter even brought me their dinner menu and asked me to go ahead and take pictures of it. Smart guy … this guy has a future, I say. Many other Chinese restaurants look at us with suspicion when we ask for permission to take pictures of their menu.
So yeah … I think you will like this place as much as we did. Go during the long weekend and let me know what you think.