Friday, July 25, 2014

E2 Cafe Restaurant

RESTAURANT IS NOW CLOSED

Once formerly known as Lulu Cafe is now E2 Cafe, a Hong Kong style cafe restaurant. The restaurant is located in Burquitlam and is the only HK style cafe restaurant in the area. 

Before I started blogging (a year ago), I have been here a couple of times and the food was decent, as well as edible. So, we decided to revisit because I did not want to go to Denny's. Plus, on previous visits, I have never ordered any "HK style cafe" items such as a hot plate or one of those select three items kind of deal, and I wanted to this time. Also, with such good finds such as La Amigo and Kingpark Steak House, I thought E2 Cafe may be good as well.

Walking in, a friendly as well as welcoming waitress greeted us and she was the only one at the front of the house. The restaurant is a good size and the seating arrangements are not cramped. Plus, I cannot imagine there ever being a line up. However, the parking lot has literally only ten spots and most of the parking stalls are taken by Sushi California customers! So if you come during peak hours, good luck finding parking LOL.


DAILY SOUP, CREAM WITH CORN.
The soup is served luke warm and there are a few corn niblets. As for the taste, the soup tastes like flour and there are even a couple chunks of flour! I am not sure why the soup sucks and honestly, last year the soup tasted a lot better and actually creamy. Keeping that in mind, it was also when I would never step foot at any HK style cafe… but the soup was actually good!

SOUP OF THE DAY, RUSSIAN BORSCHT.
The russian borscht arrived luke warm as well, but tastes rich. If anything, the soup could have tasted more tomatoey.

COCA COLA AND MILK TEA.
As for the drinks, E2 Cafe is one of the few HK style cafes that does not charge extra for cold drinks. The milk tea has a milk tea flavour and tastes really sweet as in overly, although I do not mind since I rarely have milk tea.

MIX AND MATCH ANY THREE ITEMS ITEMS, GRILLED LAMB CHOP, GRILLED PROK CHOP AND GRILLED CHICKEN FILLET ($13.95).
Originally wanting to go for a steak, I had a feeling the steaks may be similar to ABC HK Cafe's and asked if they are previously frozen, which the waitress said yes to so we passed. Also, as someone who never used to like HK style cafes, I found the secret to enjoying them is to order protein because I love meat.

Going first for the lamb, the meat has a gamey flavour and tastes slightly chewy. However, there is an odd marinade that does not taste good at all. Furthermore, there is no grilled flavour whatsoever and all I could think was to save it for the dogs. 

Moving towards the pork chop (which I never knew could taste good until I had them at La Amigo), the meat is extremely hard to cut, tastes dry, and is the worst item on the plate. When I asked for a steak knife, turns out the restaurant does not have any :(. In addition, the pork chop lacks that grilled flavour like the lamb chop. Honestly, the food seems like something I would make (minus overcooking it and the unappealing marinade) if I am starving and regret not waiting for the pan to be hot enough. Last up, the chicken is the best out of the meats. The chicken has a crisp skin and there is no weird marinade that ruins the flavour. Furthermore, the chicken tastes very generic and simple.

HOT PAN COMBO, MINUTE STEAK, PORK CHOP, WINGS, SAUSAGE AND EGG, WITH MUSHROOM SAUCE ($15.95).
The hot plate arrived warm and there was no sizzling action. Also, despite the menu stating "served with steam rice or spaghetti," apparently it actually comes with only french fries. Starting with the egg, it is overcooked and tastes dry.

Following, the wings have been fried and re-fried again to order. Therefore, the whole thing tastes extremely crunchy, as in rock hard. Why does a restaurant feel the need to pre-fry wings? To save time? Is this a food truck? I mean, double frying works when done properly… but if not, the wings are rock hard like in this case. Continuing along, the pork chop tastes slightly dry but is a lot better than mine. In addition, there is a caramelization and the meat tastes more flavourful as well as easier to cut.

Moving towards the somewhat tender steak, there is an odd weird gamey marinade flavour. Last up, the sausage is fried rather than pan fried, and tastes dry, chewy as well as very hard. Also, where are the slits? This is the saddest looking sausage at a HK style cafe we have ever seen and the worst the both of us ever had. As for the mushroom sauce, the consistency is very thick and tastes bland. However, fortunately not salty or gross.

STEAMED RICE ($1.50).
We also added an additional bowl of rice because the hot plate does not come with any. As for the rice, what can go wrong? Well, the rice is served cold, tastes very hard and has a plastic flavour along with a strong plastic smell. As if it was not bad enough being served old and dry rice, it is served cold and right out of a plastic container! WTF?

TOTAL: $32.95 + TIP $4.05 = $37.00.

Okay, why am I mad? The freaking owner cooked the whole damn dinner and this is what we got. Really? Do you not care about your business? HK style cafes are supposed to specialize in set menus and a warm hot plate with no sizzling action along with no vegetables or rice... what kind of HK style cafe is this? Also, I have never ordered a hot plate that does not come with rice, unless there is a choice of carb such as fries, spaghetti or a baked potato. Furthermore, if someone cannot cook, please do not be in the kitchen. I do not care if you are saving money on wages; please do not cook.

To be fair, we arrived an hour before closing so perhaps everyone wanted to go home? Well, it is better to lie to customers and say we missed last call than to serve this kind of food. Would THEY eat this? If it was not for the friendly waitress, I probably would have asked to speak with the owner and give her a piece of my mind. And I only call out a restaurant if I am super mad.

E2 Cafe reminds me of Lucky Gate, a restaurant with decent food. But on the revisit, we watched the cook leave along with the owner's wife cooking our dinner and oddly, the food sucked and was not even comparable to the first visit.

POSITIVES
- Very friendly waitress, honestly
- Only HK style cafe restaurant in the area
- No extra charge for cold drinks

NEGATIVES
- Luke warm soups
- Weird marinades
- Really disgusting rice
- Almost everything is overcooked
- Restaurant does not give a damn about business
- Never ordered a hot plate that does not come with a choice of carbs or vegetables 
- We packed everything up for the dogs but did not even bother giving them the food, it was that bad

LITTLE THINGS
- Food was better when the restaurant first opened because perhaps there were actual cooks at the time
- The waitress was very nice. We asked if the pork chops are breaded or deep fried and she said no. Also, she came back later on to confirm the wings are deep fried but not breaded, and if that was okay. Furthermore when she came back, she asked if the steak can be cooked to a medium. From right when we walked in, she was very welcoming and did not look miserable.

Food: 05.5/5
Service: 3/5

E2 Cafe Restaurant on Urbanspoon

2 comments:

  1. I haven't been here for awhile, but all of this stuff looks pretty gross! Sorry you had to try and eat some of it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It doesn't look the best, but not gross either. However, it did taste gross lol! I'm more disappointed because the owner cooked everything. Hopefully the food is better when the cooks are there

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