If there was an archetypal Chinese diner, it would be something like the Congee Noodle King, a no frills greasy spoon type joint on Kingsway right on the corner adjacent to Joyce street. Here, you can expect an open space dining room bustling with loud, hungry patrons. Zero decor, zero ambience, sketchy service, but solid food. We wouldn’t want it any other way.
We arrived during Tea Time, which for most Hong Kong style restaurants means a selection of smaller portion meals at a reduced price, usually accompanied with a complimentary drink. Case’s litmus test for the quality of these types of joints is the classic North American Chinese dish: Beef and Tomato on rice. Each restaurant has their own house style, Congee Noodle King’s is pretty decent: large chunks of tomatoes, slivers of tender beef swimming in a glutinous tomato-like sauce on top of white rice.
(Clockwise: 1. Beef and tomato on rice. A classic. 2. Iced Hong Kong style tea. 3. Standard issue condiments.)
I ordered the Beef in Soy Sauce Rice noodle, another hard-to-mess-up-but-many-restaurants-somehow-still-manage type dish. Tender beef slices tossed with green onions, been sprouts and pan-fried rice noodles still smoky and glistening from being wok-fried with soy sauce. We both had iced Hong Kong style tea. A nice bonus is they didn’t charge us extra for the cold drink (most places do). Our meals came to $13 including tax and tip solidifying this as a really good way to eat out and still save some coin.
Perfect for: Something quick and dirty.
3313 Kingsway, Vancouver