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Foodinc  Ho Yuen Kee Restaurnt a Restaurant in Vancouver, British Columbia

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Foodinc Reviews
"It's Sunday, almost 11:30, and the dining area is almost filled with people. The striking thing about this? It's coming towards midnight. I experienced this just moments ago, at Ho Yuen Kee restaurant. It's an authentic Chinese / Hong Kong style establishment, if ever I dined in one. On my travel to Vancouver from Baltimore (on the east coast, just north of Washington, DC), I was excited to try some of the restaurants after going through dozens of reviews from different websites about the Chinese food in town. After two nights of Googling and reading, my head still swam in a sea of opinions, unable to decide just which place I would try first. I decided on HYK after reading a review by another entry, after a single notation the reviewer made about the place. My instincts told me that Kee might be just the place. My first time was on a Friday evening, around 7:30pm. My GPS car navigation guided me right to the front door, and the visual indications suggested that this might be a great start for eating. Asian people kept entering the place, and to me, that's a great sign. Walking in, I peered through the clear and frosted glass of Chinese characters to witness that it's packed with Chinese. Standing and sitting were others, waiting to be seated, so I added my name. Fortunately, I was seated in the back, right next to the pick-up table, on one side of a clear glass barrier where one of the kitchen staff (I assume, the head cook) worked hard among billowing steam, preparing dishes. I ordered lobster cooked with garlic spices over sticky rice, cold jellyfish, and Chinese broccoli with oyster sauce. The tea came shortly after the order, and it tasted better than many Chinese restaurants that I've dined. The jellyfish seemed a bit typical, the vegetables were perfect - hot and crisp - and the lobster succulent-sweet. After the meal, I was treated to a bowl of red bean dessert, a very tasty and flavorful hot "porridge," sweet, but just so. So, I decided to try Kee's a second time, so I arrived after 10pm. I've tried this approach at other restaurants, and leave feeling let down, as the food tends to be not freshly-made. I had my thoughts on the king crab, since I've never had the crustacean served fresh before. The server's eyes lit up, but she explained that if I ordered it, the crab would weigh around 7 pounds and cost over $20 per pound (so, do the math). She suggested the fresh-cooked prawns, and I asked for it to be cooked in a spicy garlic mixture. She brought out around 9 large, live shrimp in a plastic bin, saying they weighed a pound. With the shrimp, I also ordered mustard greens in garlic sauce and dried oyster, preserved egg and pork congee. I'm sorry the review is so long, so I'll get right to it: The food was even better than my first visit. The shrimp was so good, I ate both head and tail sections; the vegetables were perfect; and the congee was the best I had ever had. I also ordered a dessert, ginger-flavored braised milk. OMG, excellent (it takes 15 minutes to cook, but it's well worth the wait). Go there, get off the beaten path and order some authentic dishes. Bring others and dine "family style" (where dishes are shared among all seated). The prices are more than reasonable, the staff is pleasant to answer questions and help, and you wind up feeling like you've just visited a true Hong Kong or Chinese eatery. If you're still not swayed, here's some background about me: I've eaten at different restaurants in the Chinatowns of Washington DC, Seattle, San Francisco, Toronto, New York, Philadelphia, and Boston, on many occassions over the past decade. I must say without hesitation that Ho Yuen Kee is the best Asian restaurant I have ever had the pleasure of dining. While waiting for your food, look around. People bring their infants, children, spouses, parents, and grandparents. Round tables are filled with almost a dozen Chinese each, sharing great times and food. The staff eats the same food they prepare. And I think I was one of 2 non- Chinese eating here. Vancouver, this restaurant, Ho Yuen Kee is a polished gem. And I've saved its location in my portable GPS unit, hoping to some day return."
Mon May 22 04:50:05 2006

Ho Yuen Kee Restaurnt

6236 Fraser St
Vancouver, British Columbia
V5W-3A1
(604) 324-8855

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