Kwan Luck Restaurant
Kwan Luck has stood at the corner of Kingsway and 33rd for a number of years but we’ve never come here before this past May partly because it’s always looked kinda sketchy from the outside.
They actually have some interesting set menus where you choose a certain number of preset dishes from a list and they include some “freebies”. For $25.80, we got the 2 dish menu which included a large bowl of peanut and chicken feet soup. There’s enough for about 4 bowls of soup. There’s nothing really special about the soup itself – it’s very much like something that you would find in a typical Chinese home.
For our other “freebie”, we received a rather generous sized order of jellyfish. I was actually only expecting a small serving and I was pleasantly surprised that the jellyfish was quite good with the proper texture.
We wound up ordering a pound of Spot Prawns served simply steamed. At $18/lb, this was way cheaper than what we had recently at Sea Harbour in Richmond. When our order arrived, things seemed fine until we flipped over the prawns and took a closer look. It’s difficult to tell in the picture below but many of the prawns had very dark heads and some had a bad fishy odour to them. I know that some darkness in the heads is to be expected when they’re cooked (owing to the digestive tract) but we were having apprehensions given that the prawns were jam-packed in the super small fish tank.
We almost never send dishes back but we weren’t comfortable eating these and explained our concerns to the waitress. To their credit, they did offer to make up a new batch for us. But, being turned off a bit, we didn’t want to risk it and they wound up taking the whole dish off of our bill.
For our other dishes, we picked the Beef Brisket Hot Pot and the Gai Lan with Oyster Sauce. I wasn’t too thrilled with the gai lan – I’m not sure if it was because it was a different variety of gai lan or if it was just from a more mature plant (younger plants tend to have more crisper, tender stalks and leaves).
But the large dish of beef brisket was quite good and had plenty of tender beef brisket with tofu sheets and gravy that sops up well with rice.
For dessert, our menu included bowls of green bean soup.
If you do visit this restaurant, you’re sure to notice the wall of specials, all written in Chinese. The plastic cups and dishes all show their wear-and-tear with noticeable chips and wear marks. Service is infrequent as they don’t seem to have enough people working to manage all of the tables (we never had our tea refilled). However, as I mentioned earlier, they were somewhat understanding about the prawns and did rectify the situation.