Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Upscale Chinese at Yue Delicacy

Yue Delicacy Restaurant Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato So apparently there's no good Chinese food in Paris and 4 siu mai will set you back 12 Euros when it's only about $3 here. Or so says my friend who's back in town after about six months there.
Naturally, she wanted to eat good Chinese food before going home and tonight we landed at Yue Delicacy -- the "Best Chinese Upscale winners of Vancouver Magazine's 26th Annual Restaurant Awards".

Right off the bat, they scored bonus points over most Chinese restaurants for the following:
  • Host at the front door. Who speaks English. None of that waiting-around-till-someone-acknowledges-you-so-you-can-ask-about-a-reservation and watching-people-coming-in-after-you-get-served-while-you-are-still-ignored that can happen at other places.
  • Clean washrooms. That look like hotel washrooms.
Slight loss of points for the menus which have English translations, but not quite enough. When the price reads "$40 / unintelligible Chinese characters", as a diner you really, really, want to know what the heck those Chinese characters mean. No pictures either.

We tried a bunch of stuff and overall the food was really decent, without looking too oily or sauced. Some items:

Deep Fried Whole Squab ($20.95?)
  • Total amount of meat less than one leg and thigh from KFC. Not worth it.
Peking Duck 2 ways (on the bill it shows as "Beijing Duck 2")
  • Didn't seem too special. Pretty standard.
  • The dish made from the duck meat looked like a simple stir-fry. Looks like a lot but if you look closely, chopped up onions (?) make up a good amount of this. A bit lacking in tastiness (but not too salty either) but there's a lot of Hoisin (?) sauce for you to top up the flavour.
Deep Fried Milk Curd (?)
  • The dish is mostly a stir-fry of snow peas, a bit of mushroom, and a lot of reasonably fat prawns.
  • The deep fried lumps are coated in batter. Sweet, and you can further sweeten these by dipping them in sugar.
  • I had a slight bitter aftertaste from these but my fellow diners said they didn't have the same. Hmm.
  • Overall, not as interesting or tasty as it sounded. And didn't really go well with the rest of the dish. They could've done this as a dessert.
Sweet Taro Soup
  • One of three free desserts! Looked like everyone got this and it definitely didn't show on the bill.
  • Simple, sweet, cloudy-milky soup with some sort of small pearls and cubes of taro.
  • Simple and tasty.
Almond Roll
  •  Slightly sweet translucent jelly-like wrap with slivers of almond.
  • OK tasting, made better by being part of the free dessert lineup.
Fried thingie with honey, sesame seeds, and coconut (?)
  •  Oily tasting fritters of ... I-don't-know-what that's really just there to carry the honey and other stuff sprinkled unevenly on top.
  •  More free dessert. Hmm...
Overall, taste was okay to good, and they got bonus points for amenities and quality of service (which is still inferior to The Change, which is clearly expecting to cater to a more Caucasian demographic).

We ordered a total of four things and our bill came to just over $119 after tax and before tip. For three persons, and NO cheap carbs to make dinner more filling, we ended up at $40/person before tip, and enough leftovers for two very full takeout boxes, so price is really decent if you go in a group.

Tea was free, of course and they were proactive about topping it up -- we didn't need to open the top of the pots to signal we needed a hot water refill. That's still more brownie points for their service.

Also nice are mobile screens that can give dining parties relative privacy in the smallish room.

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