Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Kwan Luck Restaurant 君悅海鮮中菜館

No food at home...and I didn't want instant noodles.  So when Buddha Boy got home from work at about 8pm, he took MomJ and I to the closest Chinese restaurant in our neighborhood, Kwan Luck Restaurant 君悅海鮮中菜館.  This place is so close that we could/should have walked there, but nah, driving made sense since it was late and cold.  Thank goodness parking was easy today, or else we would have to go with our backup plan, Mui Garden 梅園 on Victoria Drive.

The three of us ordered four items from the mix & match combo dinner menu plus one item from the wall menu.  The combo dinner set includes soup of the day, a bucket of white rice, dessert of the day and a choice of half Hainan Chicken 海南雞 or Clams in Black Bean Sauce 豉汁炒蜆.

Of course, the long-boiled soup arrived first.  The soup of the day was Pitahaya Flower & Pork Bone Soup 霸王花煲豬骨.  The soup had minimal MSG with ample amounts of flower fiber strands and tender chunks of meat that fell apart from the pork bones.

Next came our chosen complimentary dish, half bird of Hai Nan Chicken 海南雞.  Because the bird was rubbed with kencur and served with only a dip of ginger and scallions, this dish resembled more as a Sand Ginger Chicken 沙薑雞.  While not too gelatinous, both the dark and the white meat were delicate and moist.  This was one of my favorites.

The Pork Chop in Maggi Sauce 美極豬扒 was a meaty dish.  The chops were gently coated, deep fried then tossed quickly in a blend of Maggi seasoning sauce, onions and scallions.  Portion was sizeable.

Of course, the first thing Buddha Boy wanted as he browsed through the menu was the Shrimp with Scrambled Egg 滑蛋蝦仁.  The eggs were fluffy but not smooth.  While the plate had sufficient amount of big shrimps, the texture of the shrimps was soft and lacked crisp.

MomJ ordered two dishes.  One was the Ginger Onion Fillet Hot Pot 薑蔥魚腩煲.  The fish used here was giant grouper 龍躉, commonly (and mistakenly) known by many as lingcod.  The Chinese menu names states that this was a fish-belly pot, however, the pot had a lot of meaty pieces.  Flavors were simple, using the common detectable blend of soy sauce, sesame oil, Chinese cooking wine, oyster sauce, sugar, ginger, onions and scallions.  This was a good bang for the buck.

Our least favorite dish was MomJ's order of Pork Cheek Slices with Pickled Vegetable 味菜豬頸脊.  Don't get me wrong, the plate had plenty of pork cheek slices, but the sweet pickled vegetable and the overuse of ketchup made the whole package extremely sweet and awfully tangy.  Not recommended.

The menu on the wall stated $15.00CAD for four Steamed Fresh Oysters with Garlic 蒜蓉蒸生蠔, but we got five, hey, we're not complaining.  These beach oysters were fresh, pudgy and luscious.  Nothing beats the proper use of freshly chopped garlic to highlight fresh seafood.  This was another one of my favorites for the night.

Service was surprisingly friendly and homey.  We were seated as soon as we walked in with neighborly greetings.  While not frequent, every time any of the two servers came by or walked by our table, we were asked if we needed anything.  Our meal ended with a fun game of charade on two sides of the room trying to show the number and the sizes of takeout boxes needed for our leftovers.

We enjoyed our visit.  Prices were very reasonable for the vast portions.  While there were some misses, overall quality and flavors were satisfying.  As for the unexpected welcoming service, hopefully it's not just an odd case.

 Kwan Luck Restaurant 君悅海鮮中菜館
2516 Kingsway, Vancouver, BC V5R 5H2

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