Yu Kee BBQ Kitchen – What’s in a Name?

You know, with a name like “Yu Kee” they better make some pretty tasty food.  When I first saw the name of this place, my immediate thoughts were “yucky?”… seriously?  Okay, I know that’s not how you pronounce the name – but in either case, the food is actually really good.

Yu Kee is located in the Killarney Centre mini mall (the same complex as Columbus Restaurant and Wally’s Burgers) and operates as both a BBQ kitchen (where you can purchase various cuts of BBQ meat like duck, chicken, and pork) and a full-fledged restaurant.

Since they operate their own BBQ kitchen, all of their BBQ items are sure to be fresh – which is why we wanted to try their Peking (Beijing) Duck.  At $28.80, you get two courses… the Peking Duck itself and also the Duck Lettuce Wrap.  The crêpes (you get 12) were surprisingly good – velvety soft and slightly chewy.  Some places, the crêpes are an afterthought and are either too dry or too soggy… these were perfect.  The duck was good too – not too much fat (although one piece was a little chewy).  I know some people don’t use the scallions that they include with Peking Duck but I really like how it contributes to the dish.

The Duck Lettuce Wrap had a nice meaty filling – they don’t seem to skimp on the duck here.

The vegetarian Spring Rolls were crispy on the outside and filled with savory veggies on the inside.

One of the Chef’s Specialties is the Minced Pork with Szechuan Veggies & String Beans.  Although I don’t think that this dish was very spicy, it was still pretty tasty.

I originally wanted to try the Mui Choi Kau Yuk (fatty pork belly with preserved veggies) but they were all sold out!  It’s difficult to find good Mui Choi Kau Yuk nowadays so I suppose it’s a good sign – people must like it here.  Instead, we ordered the Spicy Minced Pork with Eggplant in Chili Garlic Sauce.

Eggplant is the kind of thing that some people either love or hate… if you’ve ever had poorly cooked eggplant, you’ll probably be turned off for a long time.  Fortunately, the eggplant at Yu Kee is one of the better eggplant dishes that I’ve had.  The eggplant is sliced thinly and melts in your mouth without being overly mushy.  The thing that usually turns me off eggplant is if the skin is too tough or chewy but Yu Kee seems to have nailed this dish.  Oh, and this dish is plenty saucy so it would go well with rice to sop it up with.

Lastly, we ordered the Stir Fried Vermicelli with Shredded Duck and Preserved Veggies.  As you can see by the picture, they gave us Singapore Style Fried Vermicelli by mistake.  This dish was good but we were a disappointed that we didn’t get the shredded duck.

We’re going to have to come back and try the Mui Choi Kau Yuk and the Shredded Duck Vermicelli some other day.

Update: Well, it finally happened… it’s been over two months since we first tried Yu Kee – I’ve been saving this post until we had a chance to try out some more of their menu items so here goes:

We ordered the Minced Chicken with Creamy Corn Soup ($11.50 for 2 bowls).  There indeed was plenty of minced chicken but, oddly enough, not that much corn compared with some other restaurants – it was okay but not creamy in the traditional sense.  The Pea Leaves with Garlic ($12.95) was just what we expected, still a bit crunchy but not overpoweringly garlicky.

The last time we were here, they were all sold out of the Braised Fatty Pork with Preserved Veggies ($13.80) – Mui Choy Kau Yuk.  This was a pretty meaty dish – it was good but it wasn’t as melt-in-your-mouth as the one we had at Northern Delicacy in Richmond.

I was almost positive that they were going to get my order wrong this time around because I had some problems explaining which dishes I wanted to order over the phone but I was pleasantly surprised to find each dish that I wanted.  On our last visit, we tried ordering the Stir Fried Vermicelli with Shredded Duck and Preserved Veggies ($10.50) but wound up with the wrong dish.  That was corrected on this visit and I’m glad that we finally got to try it out.  It’s a pretty large serving so it’s a good value.

We also ordered the Rainbow Lettuce Wrap ($12.95) – we opted for beef (you can choose between beef, chicken or pork).  What you don’t see in the picture is the perfectly shaped lettuce wrappers that they gave us – they were like perfect green bowls.  You usually don’t see this unless you’re dining at an expensive Chinese restaurant because it takes extra time to individually cut the lettuce bowls and it creates some wasted lettuce.  There’s nothing worse than eating lettuce wrap and having all of the juicy filling fall through a hole in the lettuce wrapper – not a problem in this case.  But the more impressive part to this dish is that the filling is actually really good… while there are veggies in this dish, it’s still really meaty and flavourful.

Food:  4 / 5
Service:  3.5 / 5

111 – 2609 East 49th Avenue
Vancouver, BC

Yu Kee BBQ Kitchen 裕記燒臘小廚 on Urbanspoon

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Posted on June 6, 2012, in Chinese, Restaurant Review and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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