Eatery Reviews / Private Home Chinese Cuisine
This was one of those eateries where Wifey and I used to drive by Imperial Street from time to time on the way home from grocery shopping where we kept telling ourselves we would stop by one day and seriously check it out but always procrastinated on. Well, that one day finally came around 3:30pm on a Friday. I was back from work, and Wifey didn't cook, so we decided to finally give this place at 7090 Kingsway, Burnaby a serious try-out.
Private Home Chinese Cuisine from across the street by Imperial and Nelson.
First off, parking. On the day and time we went, parking was ample behind the restaurant. Yeah, amply ear-marked for Alvin Garden Restaurant and the dance studio next door that is! So, not wanting to risk having my car towed, we looked elsewhere for parking, and found one across the restaurant on Imperial Street. More on parking toward the end of the article.
Yes, it does say parking for 1 HR from 9AM - 5PM.
Imperial Street's a pretty busy road, and since Wifey and I pretty much value our lives, we decided to use the pedestrian crossing a short distance away.
That's right, they have no cash overnight, so don't bother! :)
A very friendly receptionist/waitress greeted us as we entered the door, brought us to a table, and served us a teapot of Chinese tea and a menu, which looked extensive indeed. Kudos to the waitress indeed for being extremely patient as we really took our time scanning through the menu trying to decide what to order. Prices for the meat dishes hovered around $12 - $20, while vegetable dishes were between $10 - $13. There were also noodles and rice dishes in the range of $7 - $11. After much deliberation, Wifey and I decided to go with an appetizer and two other dishes, all with a chili icon next to them (we like spicy hot!) - Chicken with Special Hot Sauce, Beef with Szechuan Spicy Sauce and Szechuan Fried Rice. We had asked for EXTRA Spicy for all of them, and the following was what we got.
Chicken with Special Hot Sauce
Chicken with Special Hot Sauce is a cold dish adorned with cilantro and garnished with peanuts and chopped up ginger. It has a spicy and sourish tinge to it that I don't quite know how to describe. The chicken was bone-and-skin-in - the meat was juicy and tender while the skin was so soft it almost melted in our mouths. Oh, and I almost forgot to mention the chicken was swimming in chili oil. Still, with all the garnishings falling off and mixing with the oil as we had our way with the dish, I used it as a sort of tasty sauce to top my Szechuan Fried Rice (can't help it. I'm a sauce-on-rice type of guy!). All in all, a nice dish with a nice spicy flavour to it. Didn't make me sweat though, so the extra spicy didn't really kick in.
Beef with Szechuan Spicy Sauce... yummy!
Now this was something else altogether. Not sure if they really made this Extra Spicy as we had requested, but this got me watering buckets! Spicy hot, just the way we like it. My yardstick when it comes to spicy hot is simple - if it doesn't make me sweat, it ain't spicy enough! And both of us being Malaysians, when it comes to spicy hot, yes, Wifey and I expect A LOT! I wasn't disappointed with this dish at all. In fact, I LOVED IT! Beef was tender, garnishings were tasty, what else is there to say? Just look at that mouth-watering photo alone! Looks like a mainstay order for a long time to come (so long as they don't water the spicy hot down).
Szechuan Fried Rice
Well, fried rice is fried rice. Wifey and I thought we'd order a different kind of fried rice for a change from all that usual fair of beef/chicken/shrimp fried rice. A mountain of fried rice greeted us when the dish came, with a good amount of shrimp mixed in with green peas. No complaints. I love shrimp, but it did make me wonder what the difference was between this and Shrimp Fried Rice (both shared the same price) other than this was spicy.
All in all, it was a good experience. At the end of our eating, we had left-overs. That's right, we initially thought the portions were good enough for two meals and two people, and they were. The waitress came and packed them up to go. No fuss. The bill came up to $30.39 and they accepted debit (that's always a plus!). And yes, we'll be back again sometime. :)
Two quick things to note. Firstly, there seems to be a discrepancy between the opening hours stated on their take-out brochure, and the opening hours listed on their door (see photo above) by about half an hour. If unsure, best to call them at (604) 525-1666 to check (and the number differs from what is seen in the photo as well).
Secondly, parking can be a major pain, depending on what time of day you are there. I inquired with the waitress, and was told I could have parked at the Alvin Garden Restaurant's lot, or the Dance Studio's lot. I asked her if that would get my car towed, and I was told not to worry since customers of both of other places park at their spots as well. If there was a dispute, I was told that the owners of both places do communicate with them to resolve any parking issues, and hence no fear of tow trucks! So take it for what it is. In the past, I have tried getting take-out at this place but each time I was there (esp. lunch time), the parking lot was always full (Mission Abort!!! Mission Abort!!!). That, and then you have cars parked in non-parking spots by the sides of the building which just makes maneuvering the parking lot behind the restaurant and back out into the street a challenge in itself due to how narrow the road has become.
Tagged as: Tagged as: private home chinese cuisine, imperial and nelson, imperial street, nelson street, burnaby, chinese restaurant, szechuan, szechuan fried rice, shrimp fried rice, prawn fried rice, chicken with special hot sauce, spicy chicken, hot and spicy chicken, beef with spicy szechuan sauce, szechuan beef, spicy beef, spicy szechuan beef