Chili Pepper House
There was a time, many years ago, when going out for Chinese food meant choosing between Combo A, B or C. Or, if you were lucky, your folks would take you to the Rickshaw in Surrey for the Saturday night smorgasbord. All the different and new flavors and textures…the garlic, the ginger, the won tons, deep-fried pork and prawns. But that was the 70’s, and it was all we had. Now our choices include Szechuan and Shanghainese, Punjabi and Sri Lankan, xiǎlóngbāo and sui mai, dosas and paneer. For a lover of Asian cuisine, it’s all wonderfully mind-boggling.
One of the best parts of the culinary “Asian invasion” are the restaurants that serve up the food from where the cultures mixed. In particular Hakka and Desi cuisine. All of those favorite Chinese standards are re-imagined with Indian spices.
The Vegetarian Spring Rolls were fairly standard. The best part was the tart & vinegary slaw served alongside. Pickled cabbage and carrot with a spice I just could not put a finger on. Whatever it was, it worked perfectly.
Chicken Dumpling with Spicy & Garlic Sauce. Really tender pockets of ground chicken, garlic and chili with enough sauce for four servings.
Beef with Satay Sauce. Despite the appearance, this dish was delicious. Nicely tenderized beef, crunchy chunks of pepper and onion in a slightly currified satay sauce.
The Chicken Chow Mein was the highlight of the meal. Growing up, this was always one of my favorites. Later on, I was always looking for ways to jack it up with different flavors. It seems a bunch of food-loving Chinese folk immigrated to India and did exactly that.
At $6 for a lunch serving (with pop) this is good value. Every dish was packed with flavor and was well portioned.