Main Dining Room 福龍菜館

I never thought there would be an old style Chinese restaurant on Denman Street. The place looks like it belongs in Chinatown, and it's probably the only restaurant of its kind on the block. The waitress was very friendly and talkative (perhaps because we are Chinese too), and we found out she didn't know a single word of English when she first came here 3 years ago. Pretty amazing because her English was quite fluent!

I had a $28 voucher which includes a pot of soup, 3 dishes, rice and canned drinks (as well as taxes and tips!). I asked for iced tea thinking it would be Nestea, but President's Choice was actually not bad.

We opted for hot and sour soup (酸辣湯) which was very very starchy. It kind of reminded me of fake shark fin soup (碗仔翅). The ingredients were tasty, particularly the chicken shreds that were very well seasoned, but the consistency of the soup was a bit too thick.

The stir-fried cod fillet with vegetables (時菜斑塊) sat in a very thick and starchy sauce just like the soup from earlier. I wasn't very happy with that, but I was impressed with the quantity of tender and boneless cod slices in the dish. Definitely no skimping here!

I braced myself for what looked like more starchy sauce, but luckily the braised fried tofu with vegetables (紅燒豆腐) had a pretty decent savoury sauce that had also absorbed into the tofu.

We ordered a typical Northern Chinese dish — beef with cumin and chili (孜然牛肉). I had expected the flavour to be very strong and intense, but it was mild with just a hint of cumin and almost no chili pepper at all. I was a bit disappointed because it wasn't the authentic version. I think the chef decided to tone down the spices to suit Western tastes. Spices aside though, the beef was very tender and the fact that it wasn't super salty or spicy made it less heavy and easier to stomach.

The rice was decent, but not particularly good quality. The grains were short and not very sticky.

The dishes cost around $10-$11 each at regular price, which is really quite reasonable for downtown dining (especially considering the huge portion sizes). Granted, it's far from being the best Chinese food in Vancouver, but you can't expect much for those prices.

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