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.
This Post Has 25 Comments
I’m wondering what makes this particularly Chiu Chow, considering what you ordered (none of which look particularly Chiu Chow to me). Were there other classic Chiu Chow dishes on the menu Ben?
Hi Joe: It was on the other dinner menu (which I just took one pix). The menu was just too big to take pictures of every page. FWIW, there were a number of dishes that has the word “Chiu Chow” on the menu and the captain told me that they specializes on Chiu Chow food. Ben
this is hilarious I just posted about Jubilee! Our experience was slighty different than yours 🙂
Hi JLK: Gosh. Slightly? Your experience is totally different from ours! While the food wasn’t stellar but what you experience is totally unacceptable. If I were you, I would complain about it … I won’t take the dirt under the tea pot. Even the shrimp too. Definitely the last straw is the octopus … that is totally gross. That would have been very easy to return and they would have nothing to say about it. But I guess you’re too nice. LOL! Anyway, coincidentally, we went to Shanghai House today for lunch. Hehehe … our experience in Shanghai House is exactly the same as yours. The food was pretty good. Ben
haha…actually the waiter asked us about the octopus. I told him why we left it……he didn’t have anything to say….so we just paid 🙂
Glad you enjoyed Shanghai House….not bad value for the $$….not overpriced and pretty good quality…..see, really I’m not that hard to please.
The only item that interests me is the chan chuen fun dish…!
Hi Ben, the preserved vegetable are called Chinese olive leaves. We have a small jar of it in the fridge. The braised beef brisket rice noodle hotpot looks like my kind of dish. Were the leftovers tasty the next day?
Hi ChristineT: The leftover beef brisket was finished off by Suanne. She said that it was still OK (not sure what that meant!). Ben
What will be awesome is if they will offer 24 hr dimsum service.
The chiu chow style congee looked a bit too thick. But I still want to try their da-lang dishes. There aren’t many Chiu Chow restaurant in Metro Vancouver any more. The V.I.P. kitchen in West Vancouver used to be good but had very little business.
Aww, I was a bit disappointed to hear that Gala restaurant had closed down, I actually enjoyed their dim sum there, baked bbq pork bun where are you! lol
After also reading Joyluckclubs posting on this place, I think we’ll wait a bit before checking it out … since it’s just freshly opened, hopefully things will have gotten up to speed by then 🙂
Went to this place after reading the post. I’m here on a Sunday lunch and they’re pushing dim sum carts around. Don’t know if they did on weekdays too but I guess I’m used to ordered specific dim sums n it takes to long to find what I like. And I guess cause it’s packed so the service is not that great. I asked one of the suited waiters(probably a manager or supervisor) for a dim sum sheet and he said we push carts around. Few minutes later he comes back with the paper you have posted n said we only order for the big plates in bottom half. Food is average but I’ll reconsider before coming back.
Thanks for the headsup on another cart place, Lauren. I really like them and they are few and far between!
interesting to hear that they are doing carts. they were not doing this the Saturday we were there. we like cart style dim sum too……will wait a while longer for the “bugs” to get worked out and maybe have a return visit….thanks for the report.
Maybe they only have carts on Sundays??
I just read the title more carefully. 24-hr ? Would this be the only 24-hr Chinese resto in G. Vancouver, or are there others ? IIRC #9 at Lansdowne is 24-hr, right ?
Other than #9, I think it’s alone. Other places creep up to 4 am, but none go 24 hours. Is it every night of the week?
Hi Dylan: Specifically the captain told us that they will “open 24 hours, 7 days a week … for now”. It seems to us like they are uncertain whether they will continue to operate 24/7 in the long run. Ben
Well there are places that serve Chinese Food open 24 hours but quality level??Duffins 41st and Knight has a Chinese Steam Table
PG – Duffin’s hot Chinese foods are packed up by around 7pm (or 8pm). After that it’s all service from the other side (tortas, banh mi’s, burgers, fries, papusas, *tamales* (new), fried chicken) and of course ……. donuts !
The latest I was ever at Duffin’s was around 11:45pm 🙂
Yup the preserved veggie you had was Olive Leaves with (sometimes) black olives in there! Being Chiu Chow, I have a jar of it at home. What makes Chiu Chow congee really different is that they serve it plain with no flavorings but serve lots of small dishes like salted fish, preserved veggies, fried eggs, salted duck eggs etc. But the congee it self will always be…. lumpy and when I mean lumpy I mean it won’t be like Cantonese congee where every looks smooth and white; with Chiu Chow congee you’ll always see individual grain of rice. If you like the preserve oil leaves, you can always use it in fried rice- it tastes fantastic!
Tried Bird Nest soup last year from like http://goo.gl/hzgA4 . Tastes really good… yeah, I thought it was gross at first, but wow, you won’t regret it.
For some reason, I felt that the food here was extremely similar to those of the previous restaraunt. It was quite good though… I hope they serve dimsum 24/7 😀
Hi Eliza: Did you try the food in Jubilee? I had never been there before to be able to compare with Gala. Jubilee Restaurant told us that it is a all new restaurant but yet some people tells us that the people there are familiar faces. For some reason I felt that Gala has some baggage and Jubilee is keen on disassociation themselves from the previous Gala.
I have a bottle of the preserved olives at home too! I love them. My mom buys them by the case and brings them all home to taiwan for the rest of our chiu chow relatives.
BTW I’m not sure if this is related to why Gala closed down but I heard that the owner is in the chemotherapy stages of cancer.