Updated: 16th Oct 2014: This restaurant is closed.
Updated: 20th May 2011: This restaurant does not operate 24 hours anymore; check out their business hour at the end of this post.
Traditionally the Chinese celebrates the Chinese New Year over 15 days. I don’t think anyone does that anymore but in some Asian countries people still take a week off for the celebration. This is very much like what we have in Canada during the Christmas-New Year holidays.
On the first day of Chinese New Year, Suanne and I went to look for a new restaurant to eat. Too bad it is a school day and so Arkensen and Nanzaro did not join us.
It was just a few weeks ago I heard that the Gala Seafood Restaurant had closed. They are known for their cheap dim sum. And now a couple of weeks later, there is a restaurant with a new name re-opened at that place.
The new restaurant name is Jubilee Chinese Restaurant. It is located in the Union Square strip mall.
Actually I had never been to the old Gala restaurant before. It was Suanne who went there and blogged about it.
This restaurant looked quite fancy. It is decked in gold and they have the expensive looking gold seat covers. Not knowing anything about this restaurant we were fearing that this is going to be expensive. We were thinking that this will not be a place where we could get $2 dim sum like when it was still Gala.
The dining hall is huge. It is so big that it was difficult to count the number of tables, let alone how many seats there are. We estimated that they have 30, maybe 40 tables in all.
The waiter told us they had opened for a week already. When we asked the captain, she told us that this is a completely new management and staff including the chef.
We learned that this is a Chiu Chow restaurant and the surprising thing is that they are opened 24 hours. That was what the captain told us. She said that for now, they will open 24 hours and so you can come in at any hour and they will serve the appropriate food for the hour (i.e. dim sum in the morning and da-lang for late night suppers).
Click on the menu to show larger. You can see the dishes we ordered.
Actually the prices were … quite OK. Their normal dim sum (top section of the menu above) are priced from $2.50 to $5.50 each. This is available at almost anytime.
The bottom half of the menu is the Chef’s Special. The dishes on this section is available only from 10:30 AM. These dishes are more expensive at $7.00 or $8.00. They are also much bigger servings.
The dim sum menu is just a 1-pager. It was not particularly exciting with only a few items that stands out.
While the dim sum menu was just so-so, their normal dinner menu was a total opposite. We asked the captain if we could see their dinner menu and she was obliging (she saw our camera).
For one, there are quite a number of Chiu Chow dishes. We were wondering how Chiu Chow they are. But one thing that we noticed is how expensive many of their dishes are.
See the example above … that is their Combo for Two menu. There are two options: one for $38.80 and the other is $138.80.
They have dishes like Bird Nest Soup for $88.80. Even their Soup Du Jour is $28.80! Yeah, it is not easy to find dishes below $15. At prices like that, the food better be stellar or else they will find it hard to sustain a restaurant this size.
Not even knowing what it is, we thought we go with a congee called the Jubilee Congee. We thought it would be quite safe to order a dish that they are willing to stake the name of the restaurant on.
There are two sizes available. The small one is $2.50 and the bigger one is $4.50. OMG … the small one is served in a big medicinal pot. The menu even stated the smaller order as “bowl”. It would be bowls with an “s”. This pot yielded 8 bowls in all – yeah, we kept count. I was wondering how big the bigger serving is!
Maybe they made a mistake in serving us a big one but they did charge us for the small one.
Actually the Jubilee Congee is a simple congee. The congee itself is plain unflavoured type. The side condiments are just served in two small saucers. We thought it was quite stingy of them but we also realize it is just $2.50.
The salted fried peanuts were freshly fried as it was crunchy, not the “lau-foong” (leaked wind) type.
The other one is interesting. It is black. It is some kind of preserved vegetables that looks like tea leaves.
Because there were so little of the preserved vegetable and the peanuts, we gotta ration it. Just a 3-4 peanuts and a itsy-teeny bit of the preserved vegggie.
The preserved veggie sure packed a lot of flavour even it was just a small pinch. The flavour is not bold but it sure stands out and changed the profile of the congee. Suanne called this simple and palate cleansing … which I was puzzled when she said that. I thought that could also mean drinking water. LOL!
But seriously, we both like it. We can’t quite pinpoint what this is. Suanne thinks it has Chinese Olives flavour and that the primary marinade must be made with that. Does anyone know what that is?
Anyway, this is just $2.50.
The Pork Pastry was $3.25. It was served warm and came in three pieces. We love the golden brown color but noticed the cracking pastry. Not a sign of a well made pastry.
This one is more pastry than the filling. The pastry was very well made despite the looks. It was very flaky. The BBQ pork filing was sweetish but otherwise small.
We were intrigued with a dish called the Secret Recipe Chicken Feet.
This one secret recipe is $6.00. There is another chicken feet item on their menu which is just $3.25. So we wanted to see what a big deal this is that made this cost almost twice the price of the normal one.
This is very good. It is all about the broth. Both Suanne and I could not really pinpoint what the flavour is. She said it is herbal wine broth. There are the usual red dates, dong gwei and goji berries. For me, I thought it tasted more like preserved vegetables. Maybe it is both. Maybe we are both wrong.
Whatever it is, I wished we had room in our stomach for some steamed rice to go with this. Yes, this will make a good “jhup and rice”.
Suanne doesn’t like these kind of chicken feet. She calls this the white chicken feet. She prefers the brown chicken feet.
The brown chicken feet are easier to eat. This one you have to use your hands firstly because it is slippery and secondly the meat is not soft. I like gnawing at the meat. I know non-Chinese cannot understand chicken feet (“where’s the meat?”) … but I love it.
It is somewhat barbaric eating chicken feet because we chicken feet eaters are constantly spitting out the bones from our mouth. Somehow I sense some of you are shaking your heads from side to side at this moment.
We don’t normally order baos. It is boring.
However we did for this one because this is called the Abalone Chicken Bun. It is $3.75 for a basket of three. It is served steaming hot. So hot that it’s impossible to hold until we blow it cold.
The bun is not bad at all. It was really fluffy soft. Besides that abalone and chicken, it also has mushrooms and prawns.
It tasted like a seafood version of the normal bao. The only thing is that it is not wet-moist like char siu bao.
We should not have ordered this one because we were already full. This is the Braised Beef Brisket Rice Noodle Hotpot ($8).
The serving is big – so big that this one pot would have been sufficient for both of us to make a light lunch. It is loaded with beef brisket which was quite tender. We also liked the daikon. Actually we like the daikon more.
The rice noodle is the cheong fun type which was curried underneath the beef brisket and daikon. It has a very nice flavour with a little hint of star anise.
We just took a small bowl each and asked for this packed to go.
We did not realize this but apparently they have a 12% discount for dim sum. I have no idea when the discount is for but as you can see from the bill above, we left at about past 11:00 AM.
I thought the prices were quite cheap, well, at least for this dim sum. This restaurant accepts credit cards even at these prices.
Yeah, I think if you are planning to go for dim sum this Chinese New Year weekend, you might want to consider checking this NEW restaurant out. The menu is not particularly exciting to us to tell the truth but at least this place is new and the prices are cheap.