If you are a foodie living on Main or anywhere else in Vancouver, you should check out Wisemonkeysblog.com. You will discover places that won’t get covered by the usual suspects of Vancouver food writers. Want to know where to get the best Hainanese chicken rice in Vancouver? Omakase for $40? The best xiao long biao? Andrew Morrsion can’t tell you but these people can. They know the little hidden, out of the way places you have never heard of.
The irregularly scheduled chowdowns is a great way to enter the undiscovered country of lesser known ethnic eats in the city. Check out their forum if you want to join.
Tonight was Hunan Chinese food which I haven’t had much experience with before other than knowing the food is spiiiiicccccyyyyyy. Sure enough, many of the dishes included heapings of chopped chilis with seeds as part of the ingredients. The spot, Lucky Noodle is along the extended stretch of Kingsway lined with little known Asian restaurants leading into Burnaby.
According to the experts at the table this is one of the best places for spicy Chinese in the city. We got to sample about 10 dishes and most were done well except for the stir fry that came in a mini wok which was a mish mash of seafood, ham, chicken and assorted vegetables. Some of the better dishes for me were the smoked bacon with what I think is bamboo shoots was redolent with strong smoky essence, no wimpy “hints” of smoke here. The chicken in a sweet and hot sesame sauce that could be perfect just by itself with some rice was a perfect blend of sweet and hot. The fish stewed in chili broth and lamb with onions and chili natch were also excellent. Yes, it seems odd that we did not order a noodle dish at a place called “Lucky Noodle” but I don’t think anyone cared. The only noodle in our dishes were the small portions of rice noodle that sat at the bottom of both fish dishes. A noodle garnish if you will.
Service was the stereotypical efficient but indifferent bordering on rude of many Chinese places. We probably spent more than any other table but didn’t get any more service. Oh well, I believe Hunan was chairman Mao’s home town so I guess the egalitarianism carries through from food to service.
I am not writing down the exact names of the dishes simply because of my unfamiliarity and I would hate to get called out for mislabelling anything among foodies. The only item I can confidently name is the Dairy Queen banana split Fernando the organizer had afterwards. I might update if I someone from the group educates me.