Monday, August 25, 2014

Curry King Cafe 咖哩皇餐廳

After finishing up with some groceries at T&T and needing dinner ASAP in the area, we settled on Curry King. Curry King seems to be one of those places where many people drive by and think the restaurant is probably "meh", or at least for me it was. The restaurant is located on Kingsway Street in Burnaby and is in the same strip along with Bubble World, Waves as well as Hot Luck.

When we walked in, the interior surprised me. The restaurant is bigger as well as cleaner than I thought, and does not look run down. In addition, there was a nice fried rice aroma and the restaurant has AC. Another thing that surprised me was the waitress. She looked miserable, pointed towards which seat we should take, and tossed the menus.

Curry King has a large menu which includes a variety of congee, soup, laksa, ramen, udon, build your own noodles, curry, and the typical HK style cafe selections such as baked dishes and hot plates.

Rating: 2/5.
Curious to see why the vermicelli is a couple of dollars higher for this calibre of restaurant, we hoped that the kitchen would make a great version. Vermicelli with shrimp paste is a very flavourful dish when properly executed, for those who are not put off by the smell.

Unfortunately, the highlight of the dish is supposed to be the shrimp paste, which is missing in the vermicelli. The wok was not hot enough so there is no hint or an aroma of shrimp paste. As for the ingredients, there are a couple of large prawns, slices of imitation crab meat as well as fish cake, baby scallops, green as well as red peppers, and bean sprouts. Furthermore, there is a salty soy sauce base but not overly.

Rating: 2/5.
The hainan chicken is a free range and tastes very dry as well as chewy, including the dark meat. If comparing with other restaurants that use free range chickens as well, this one is the driest. As for the taste, the chicken tastes bland and there is no hainan flavour. When we waved down the waitress who was standing there watching TV, we asked for the accompanying sauces for the chicken and she rolled her eyes. Perhaps the Chinese drama was getting really good? I know how that feels, especially with Taiwanese dramas… they just sucker you in! Korean dramas are the worst, extremely addictive.

After the waitress scooped out the sauces beside her by the counter, it was nice to see how she did not tamper with them (jokes). The hot sauce is generic bottled chilli bean spiral sauce, and the minced garlic is generic jarred minced garlic. Usually with hainan chicken, there is a housemade and flavourful garlic with green onion sauce.

Rating: 3.5/5.
The wings are perfectly fried with a nice crisp exterior and taste juicy, along with a light lemongrass flavour (I would have preferred a heavier seasoning). These are actually tastier and much better than what we had at Pho Don. Definitely recommended!

Rating: 3.5/5.
Wow, the red curry is pretty damn good. There is a milky and slightly sweet flavour along with a mild spiciness, and juicy tomatoes as well as lychee. Curry King serves one of the better red curries we have ever had, including many Thai restaurants! The curry tastes so much better than U & I Thai's too! In addition, the duck is nicely fried, has a crispy skin, and tastes so much better than generic slices of meat tossed in. However, the meat tastes very dry as well as stringy. The highlight is definitely the curry base, fried duck skin, lychee and tomatoes.

TOTAL: $52.00 + TIP $3.00 = $55.00.

When tipping, I had the option of leaving $5.00 behind or $3.00… and went for the latter. Our waitress (not the one by the counter) looked miserable, impatiently placed the dishes on the table and in Chinese, had the face of "Do I owe you hundreds of thousands of dollars?!". If she was at least neutral, I would have left $5.00 behind and if friendly, even more. But, she was not. Furthermore, if we were here with three people rather than two, I would have obviously tipped more. Okay, enough of justifying myself. 

The thing is when I was walking away, she said in Chinese, "Wowww? Really? Really cheap to that extent?". I was so embarrassed! She said that as I was walking out and honestly, I cannot even justify myself for being cheap. BF asked why I cared because we would not revisit. But the thing is, I wanted to! I wanted to try the red curry again :(. Obviously I will not anymore because I am too embarrassed to come back.

- Wings and red curry (minus the dry meat) are great
- Interior is clean and not cramped

- Not only no service, but rude service
- Some dishes are borderline average

- Surprised a can of coke was $3.00, should have spent more on bubble tea lol...

Food: 2.5/5
Service: 0/5

Curry King Cafe 咖哩皇餐廳 on Urbanspoon

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