Au Wing Kee (Burnaby)
What do you eat when you’re feeling a bit under the weather? Most people brought up in western cultures will immediately think of chicken noodle soup. Of course, if you’re of asian descent, you’re probably more likely to say chicken congee.
For me, the answer is a little complicated… I was born and raised in Vancouver yet I don’t recall having chicken noodle soup when I was younger. While I’m Chinese, I don’t actually have any fond memories of eating congee when I was young. In fact, I think I distinctly remember not liking congee when I was younger.
As I’ve gotten older, I’ve found that my tastes have changed and that now, nothing feels better than a hot bowl of congee when I’m sick. Since I picked up a bug at work, I figured I’d grab some take-out congee from nearby Au Wing Kee in Burnaby.
While Au Wing Kee has about 2 dozen different varieties of congee, I feel the simple congees are the best when you’re sick. The Sliced Beef Congee had plenty of sliced beef but I was surprised that the Chicken and Chinese Mushroom Congee only had one shiitake mushroom in the whole container.
It’s probably not really fair to rate the taste of congee since, by it’s nature, it’s fairly bland in taste (unless you decide on having some of the more exotic ingredients).
While Chinese Donuts (yau ja gwai) probably isn’t good for you when you’re sick, it’s practically sacrilege not to have these crispy, fried pieces of dough with your congee.
We also wound up also getting the House Special Chow Mein although it’s difficult to see all of the noodles underneath the mass of toppings. Some might say that this is just a good way for restaurants to get rid of their leftovers but I have to admit that I like the variety that this dish affords you… chicken, bbq pork, squid, shrimp, scallops, shiitake mushrooms and veggies.
I was hoping that the Beef Brisket and Lo Pak Hot Pot would be good but I’m not a big fan of tendons and this dish had a lot of tendons in it. The lo pak (radish) was fine and tender and most of the beef brisket was pretty good too but there were a few pieces that were chewier than I would have liked.
I was a little worried when I went to go pick up the food. It was dark out and I parked behind the restaurant. What is it about Chinese restaurants that have entrances from the back parking lots? Are they all skeezy? There were barely any lights in the back and a door that looked like it led to a crack house.
All in all, most of the food was about average but not very memorable and, if it makes a difference, they only take cash.
Food: 3 / 5
Service: 2.5 / 5