Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Lucky Star Chinese Restaurant 辣子紅南北私房菜

Lucky Star is located in North Burnaby and the restaurant serves Cantonese style Chinese cuisine as well as Szechuan. The interior of the restaurant looks better than the exterior and there are comfortable seating arrangements. In addition, there are a few chandeliers, a large television screen, and all the furnishings appear to be custom made and imported from China. The seats are fairly comfortable too because of the padding.

As for the food, the restaurant offers a variety of dishes and the menu is not limited at all. There are choices from dim sum, soup, congee, prawns, chicken, duck, beef, lamb, scallops, pork, sizzling hot pots, chow mein, handmade noodles and rice. But the thing is, there are more than only a few choices under each category! For example, the restaurant has five kinds of scallop dishes. Lucky Star also has a few frog dishes, but we passed because I am way too picky when it comes to that.

Rating: 2.5/5.
The wor wonton soup has a salty light chicken broth flavour and is heavy on the MSG. I am not against MSG, but the flavour is very noticeable compared to other wor wonton soups and there is no depth in the broth. As for the ingredients, there are carrots, Chinese mushroom, canned baby corn, celery, wonton, napa cabbage, broccoli, squid and a couple of prawns.

The large prawns taste bouncy and are just cooked. As for the wontons, the meat tastes tender and the naturally beefy flavour is there. The skin is also very soft and silky smooth.

Rating: -5/5.
We ordered dumplings but received shao mai instead, which was not a big deal since I was starving. But after the first bite, I wish we spoke up about the wrong order because these are horrible. The shao mai tastes very salty and mushy, with no flavour at all. These are actually very unappealing and the restaurant should stop ordering from whichever company it is from. Shao mai is a very easy item to make and cheap, so why not make it themselves? Or at least test the product before ordering. If anything, the shao mai is served hot though and tastes juicy... but disturbingly mushy.

Rating: 1/5.
I was hesitant on ordering the XLB because the waitress mentioned the restaurant orders them in (a reason why I choose not to order XLB at dim sum). No need to worry though because usually restaurants that order from other companies are fairly picky, so I thought perhaps the XLB might be good… which is not the case. The XLB has a medium thick skin which tastes doughier towards the twirl and are juicy, but there is no soup. In addition, the skin dries up very fast and the whole XLB tastes bland. The meat does not taste salty nor gritty, but could have used some more fatty pork and ginger.

Rating: 2.5/5.
The scallops taste properly rinsed and not gooey, while I also appreciate the whole pieces rather than slices. Furthermore, the scallops are just cooked, taste tender, moist, and the natural flavour is there. We do find the abundant amount of vegetables (onion, red and green pepper, pea tips, baby corn, celery…) overwhelming though. If half the amount of vegetables were left out, the scallops could have been highlighted better and look more appealing. As for the sauce, there is a chilli soya flavour and a medium level of spiciness. The soy sauce is also heavier than the chilli oil and we would have preferred a stronger flavour of chilli.

Rating: 2.5/5.
Lucky Star offers handmade noodles and we had to order a dish! The noodles taste soft and bouncy, along with a medium spiciness that builds up to a spicy level (3.5-4/5). In addition, the ingredients are properly fused together and sort of resemble Shanghainese noodles. There is a nice crunch from the lettuce and the slices of pork taste tender. Also similar to the Szechuan scallops, there is a soy and chilli sauce flavour. If anything, the noodles are way too oily (even for Szechuan cuisine standards).

Rating: 2/5.
The pork belly lacks that nice bronze color and the consistency of the sauce is very watery. There is also too much sauce and the pot is filled up half way. As for the taste, there is hint of a light sweet brown sauce flavour and is not salty. Continuing to the highlight, the pork belly could have been braised longer but does not taste dry or chewy… but neither moist nor tender with the exception of the fatty portion.

Rating: 3/5.
This is my favourite dish from dinner! The slices of eggplant taste tender (not mushy) and the green beans have a soft crunch (not limp). I also like how there is a heavier chilli oil flavour than soy, compared to the other Szechuan dishes.

TOTAL: $77.90 + TIP $12.10 = $90.00.

The food at Lucky Star is not bad considering the other Chinese restaurants along Hastings Street and the restaurant offers a few unique (sort of) Szechuan dishes. But having said that, the Cantonese style cuisine options may be better than the Szechuan. The items we ordered are noticeably greasier compared to other Szechuan restaurants but fortunately nothing is overcooked. We probably should have ordered a fried rice rather than the chow mein to help cut the greasiness, but we did enjoy the noodles. As for the service, our waitress was very friendly and apologized for ordering shao mai instead of the dumplings for us because she was thinking of it at the time lol.

- Friendly staff
- Food is actually spicy
- Comfortable seating arrangements and padded chairs

- Dim sum items are not good
- Soy sauce should not be the dominate flavour
- Food is oily (greasier than other Szechuan restaurants and not the tasty kind of oil)

- Spicy Szechuan green bean and eggplant (3/5)
- Cantonese style dishes may be better

Food: 2.5/5
Service: 2.5/5

Lucky Star Chinese Restaurant 辣子紅南北私房菜 on Urbanspoon

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