It had been a long while.
Ever since Whitney and Ken moved from Richmond, we hardly met up any more. Their family and our family were closed to one another and were our go-to people when we need help. You know, people who can trust to look after our toddler boys when Suanne and I went out for a movie … and not having to pay them for baby sitting. Sharing hand-me-down for the boys when they were young enough not to care about wearing “experienced” clothings. Oh, one more thing we shared every year is to buy one copy of Ufile and then we pass it along just to save a few bucks. Yeah, we even remember who paid the previous year so that we know who is to pay the next. Too bad they left city Richmond for rural Langley. We don’t meet as much any more.
When Ken and Whitney told us they are making their way to Vancouver and asked if we wanted to meet for dinner, we readily agreed. Although I am truly the better food expert, I left it to Whitney to suggest where they wanted to meet.
Whitney was hooked on Sichuan food the last time we met and I brought her to the S&W Pepperhouse in Burnaby’s Crystal Mall. So she suggested that we go to the Grand View Szechuan Restaurant on Fraser and E26th because she wanted Ken to try Sichuan food too. Moreover she has a coupon from the Entertainment Book.
Honestly, the Grand View Szechuan restaurant is not one of the restos Suanne and I would place high on our to-try list even though the reviews on Urbanspoon were quite good (88% likes). I sort of sense why they have 88% likes. Anyway, I have this (right or wrong) notion that any great restaurant does not need to promote themselves through the Entertainment Book or Daily Deals websites like Groupons.
We got there before 5:00 PM on a Sunday and the doors were not open for business yet. So we waited a while before they finally opened the doors at 15 minutes past. There was nothing much around this stretch of the street anyway. It was either wait in the car or just hang around.
Seems like they only open for dinners on Sundays. At other days they are opened for Lunch and for Dinner.
The dining area is OK. A bit cluttered. Not a problem at all … am just saying.
Service was good. The waitress spoke perfect English. The first thing she asked if we wanted any … beer. I am not surprised. You see, this is what I call a first generation Szechuan restaurant, just like there is a first generation Cantonese restaurant. I am referring to Chinese restaurants like On On and other early days Cantonese restaurants … chop suey and fortune cookies types.
So this Szechuan and the newer Sichuan types (like S&W, etc) are different. This is more westernized and it sure was. Most of their customers in this restaurants are Caucasians. As expected the flavours are milder and for some people who yearns for real Sichuan “mala” (numbing and spicy) flavours, this is not a place for you.
We noticed that the people who works here speaks in a version of Cantonese with an unique slang. We can’t place what it is but it is certainly not the usual type that we commonly hear from Hong Kongese. Oh … what is the word to describe people from Hong Kong? Hong Kongers? I think Hongkies is not a really acceptable term.
The menu is extensive. The prices were OK. It also has a complete section which caters for vegetarian food.
Whitney had earlier checked reviews on this restaurant and the above Crispy Chicken was one of the recommended dish. There were several versions and we opted for the one called Crispy Chicken with Hot Garlic Sauce.
There are other options such as plain or with Spicy Nutty House Sauce. The one we had was $12.00 for half a bird.
This is pretty good even though it’s not spicy at all. The crispy skin is good and was what stands out.
We also had the Bean Curd with Minced Pork in Hot Garlic Sauce (Mah Poh Tofu) which was $10.00. This dish is quite spicy. There is nothing else much to tell about this.
The Braised Lamb Belly (bone and skin on) Hot Pot was $17.00. It is kind of 1-2 dollars more expensive for the size of the servings. The reason I choose this dish was because of the words in brackets that says “(bone and skin on)”.
The way I was looking at it was that the description with bone and skin on clearly show that this restaurant caters to non-Asians. They had to specifically spell this out because, well, skin and bones is not something non-Asians would appreciate in a dish while Asians would prefer meat with bones and skin.
The Quick Fried Fish Fillet in Spicy Hot Oil ($15.00) is their take on the common Sichuan dish called the water boiled fish. This dish has bell peppers, cabbage and beansprouts. It is not spicy.
The Deep Fried Spicy Spareribs was ($11.00). Our kids were delighted to hear this is boneless. 🙂 This certainly was the favourite for the kids and so we left it to them to gobble them up. They were gone very quickly too.
There you go. Fortune Cookies.
During our meal, we noticed that there were quite a number take outs. Seems like their delivery business is popular.
While I would say that I did not quite enjoy the Sichuan food here in Grand View and personally do not consider this Sichuan cooking, I respect that others would say that they enjoy the food here. Not everyone have the same taste and likes and dislikes as mine. Perhaps that explains why there are 88% likes on Urbanspoon.
Oh BTW, just in case anyone wants to say that we got a free dish above, just remember that we had an Entertainment Book coupon which we applied to the bill. 🙂