Lunch at ChongQing Restaurant – Burnaby

Today I went to ChongQing, a small local Szechuan restaurant for a lunch with my mom and my aunt. I’ll start out by saying I was very pleasantly surprised with the taste, the quality and the care that was obviously put into the preparation of the food.

Before I get into the food though, I have to give a little rant. And perhaps you will say I sound like a cranky old man, so be it. Whatever.

I do not appreciate the type of “service” where you have somebody hovering over your shoulder during your meal and then every time you get near finishing a plate of food they are trying to take the plate away. Or, if you ask for a fork for one member of your party and they bring three. Or when each menu item is supposed to come with a small bowl of rice and you ask if we can be sure to get four little bowls rather than one large bowl and they assure that yes, you will get four small bowls and then two minutes later they bring one massive bowl of rice. And that “hovering server” thing…ugh.

Chicken and Corn Soup
Chicken and Corn Soup

In regards to the food though, as I said, I was very pleasantly surprised. We ordered from the daily lunch special menu where each item is $8.95 (eat-in only or add a dollar to each dish if you want take-out).

I started my meal with a small bowl of Chicken Corn Soup. Good soup. Nice consistency at the right temperature.

We had a two different green beans dishes; Green Beans and Chicken in Black Bean Sauce and also Fried Green Bean Szechuan Style. The beans were very nicely prepared. It was obvious that they were fresh green beans and they were very carefully prepared. Some places when you get beans they turn into a mouthful of string – clearly not here! Perfectly prepped and cooked to crispy on the outside and yet tender on the inside.

The Daily Lunch Specials
The Daily Lunch Specials

The sauces on the bean dishes were great. Garlic-filled goodness!!

The chicken dish, General Tso’s Chicken was also a very pleasant surprise. The chicken bits were incredibly tender and very delicious.

The other dish we had, my personal favourite vegetable – broccoli with beef.  Just like the beans, the broccoli was very carefully prepared and cooked to perfection.  All too often you get broccoli that is just thrown in a wok at high temperature until it turns dark green and when you go to eat the broccoli you brake your teeth. Yes, I’m starting to sound like a cranky old man. Perhaps I am a cranky old man. Whatever. The good thing, the people in the kitchen at ChongQing made me happy today. Broccoli cooked through without being turned into mush. A happy-cranky old man!

I was impressed with their food preparation, especially the way they prepped and cooked the beans and broccoli. The dishes we had demonstrated that care and attention is taken in the preparation of the food.

One more little irritant though, when the dishes were brought to the table, particularly the soups (not pictured) you could see large smears of soup down the outside of the bowl. That is perhaps the fault of the front of the house staff more than the kitchen staff again. It doesn’t hurt the quality of the dish, it just looks unsightly.

So back to the bottom line, I understand that the servers and the front of the house staff are just trying to be helpful. Perhaps I just need to get used to that type of service. I just find it a little bit overbearing. However, the quality of the food, the care taken in the prep and the way that it was cooked will entice me to return for more. Also, the fact that it is close to my mother’s house makes it convenient for a nice little day out for lunch out with my mom. We will return to ChongQing.
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