Friday, August 15, 2014

Lui's Chinese Restaurant 添記美食館

I never go out of my way to try any restaurant along the Edmonds strip because honest to truth, none of the restaurants are very appealing to me. However, there was a plan to try Lhy Thai which is located in the area, until the restaurant closed at 8:00pm! This was a problem because I have tried many restaurants in South Burnaby and there are no more places that I want to try, except for a new hot pot joint that I was not in the mood for. So, we decided to try a random restaurant and hoped for the best. Plus, the exterior did not look too shabby or old, compared to the many restaurants in the area.

Lui's Chinese is a small mom n' pop operated restaurant and the staff was very inviting as well as friendly. Usually the friendliness is expected at small family businesses, but my last experience was the opposite (Poco Ocean). On a weeknight, the restaurant was packed and as many tables were finishing up, the staff provided a couple of thick slices of watermelon per person rather than the generic dessert soup or a fortune cookie! I was actually quite looking forward to the watermelon.

As for the interior, the restaurant is small and there are only a few tables along with a couple of larger ones for parties of more than eight. However, the seating arrangements are not cramped and although the restaurant may appear to look run down, the interior is clean (not the table setting though…), comfortable, simple as well as casual, and Lui's is a family style joint. Furthermore, the restaurant is also well ventilated with three ceiling fans and the AC running.

The soup is served hot but does not taste spicy and tangy enough, despite having a nice consistency which is neither too syrupy or watery. The hot n' sour soup is not necessarily bland because there is a very light tanginess, but the flavours could have been stronger. As for the ingredients, there is good amount of baby shrimp, daikon, fungus, sliced pork and tofu.

The lobster is nicely cooked where the meat tastes bouncy and the natural flavours are there. As for the sauce, there is a nice creamy milkiness and the flavours are well balanced, without one taste overwhelming the other. However, the sauce could have used a touch more corn starch or a longer cooking time because the consistency is watery. At first we did not mind because the sauce tastes good, but it was annoying after a while when the sauce did not stick onto the meat. If anything, one side of the plate did have a slightly thicker consistency and a part of the sauce stuck onto a few pieces.

The house special chicken is served cold, tastes fresh (not sitting in the refrigerator for days), and the skin is smooth with a nice gelatin layer underneath. As for the taste, the chicken tastes tender as well as moist, and the white meat is fairly dry (as expected) but not too chewy. In addition, the accompanying green onion and garlic sauce tastes very rich.

The yeung chow fried rice is very basic and there is nothing much to say. The rice does not taste salty or oily, and there are only a couple of baby shrimp. If anything, Lui's fried rice is a filler compared to some restaurants, where fried rice can be eaten alone and tastes good.

The beef tastes dry as well as chewy, and not slow cooked. However, we have had worse. As for the base, there is a soy sauce flavour along with a hint of star anise.

TOTAL: $92.80 + TIP $7.20 = $100.00.

About that watermelon, we never got any… :(. It is a bit disappointing that every table received watermelon except for us and the two of us ordered quite a lot of food. Even someone who ordered a one person combo received a couple slices of watermelon! Watermelon aside… LOL, there was no dessert at the end of dinner which is odd for a Chinese restaurant, especially when other tables received something. I mean, anything is better than nothing, even a fortune cookie.

- Friendly owners and staff
- Nothing heavy on the salt or oil

- Not even a fortune cookie...
- Food could be better but is average
- Every single table setting was dirty and had rice stuck on the spoons, chopsticks, plates and bowls. There was even a piece of styrofoam in the bowl, which the waitress almost missed before pouring soup in -.-

- These restaurants are a dime a dozen and despite the friendly staff, a picky diner (me) has plenty of better Chinese restaurants in their mind and if settling for average food at best, will choose one that provides dessert
- Personally, I feel like there are too many average restaurants and the only way to distinguish between which ones to revisit based on convenience, would be which restaurant provided better service or cared more about their customers
- Lui's could be a better option than nearby North Americanized Chinese restaurants such as On On Wonton House and Mr. Ho Wonton House (where I slurped a large piece of plastic from the soup!)

Food: 2.5/5
Service: 2.5/5

Lui's Chinese Restaurant 添記美食館 on Urbanspoon

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