New Age Chinese Cuisine, re-visited
After a couple of years of food-blogging, I thought it was time to hit up some old favorites and give them a fresh look. It’s always interesting to check out some different menu items and see if things are as good as I remembered. My main reason for going back to New Age is because of recent visits to Kalvin’s and Long’s Noodle House. At those two spots I had a couple of dishes that I noticed were also on New Age’s menu.
New Age Chinese Cuisine is primarily a Taiwanese resto with some Shanghainese thrown in for good measure. It’s quite an easy spot to miss as it’s located within the Best Western King’s Inn in Burnaby. There’s no street adverts for the restaurant…you’ve just got to know where you’re going.
This is the dining area you see when you first arrive. There’s three large tables and about five smaller ones. If you tack right at the service counter you’ll enter the much larger banquet area. There you’ll find several tables that hold ten or twelve.
Over the years I’ve dragged a Friday Lunch crew here about seven or eight times. This past Friday we arrived around 11:30 to a deserted room. As this was our first visit in many months, this gave me a bit of a scare. Plus the fact that the usual familiar faces were gone didn’t help neither. Not to worry. By the time we left, the entire restaurant was full up.
As mentioned, I really wanted to come back here because of a couple of interesting plates I’d got to try recently. By sheer coincidence, Jacky Chan, a co-worker and my personal Chinese food guru, visited Long’s Noodle House the night before and had their Wine Chicken. We had a bit of a concern that our fellow diners might not appreciate a cold, partially gelatinous chicken dish. After a bit of humming and hawing, there wasn’t a complaint to be heard.
Here, it’s referred to as Chicken in Shao Xing Wine Sauce. This must’ve been a big bird. Although a bit drier than Long’s version, it was much meatier and packed with just as much flavor. A touch salty but not overly so.
One dish that resonated quite well from the feast at Kalvin’s was their Chicken with Three Spice aka Three Cup Chicken. It was a great dish. New Age’s version, methinks, was even better.
Slathered in a combo of Shaoxing wine, sesame oil and soy, this dish is a must order here. What sets it apart from Kalvin’s is that the meat is much more tender and a lot less bony. It simply falls away…no bits of bone to contend with. The soft cloves of garlic don’t hurt a bit. Phenomenal stuff.
Taiwanese Style Hot & Sour Soup. If you’ve hit this page regularly, you know this will be on order. Today’s bowl was one of the better ones. Piping hot, peppery and loaded. Not too thick, not too thin. Soul-satisfyingly perfect.
The Fish in Spicy Sauce also hit the mark in a huge way. A big, peppery bowl brimming with heat. A huge portion of soft whitefish swimming in garlic and chili oil atop mung bean sprouts and glass noodle. If you like things in the upper end of the heat scale, this one’s for you!
On the tamer side of things there was General Tao’s Chicken. Big chunks of lean fried chicken bathed in a not-too-sweet, slightly tangy sauce. This may be a dish geared more towards the ”average” diner but it hit the spot very well. A nice counterpoint to a load of spicy fare.
I’ve had Red Bean, once or twice in slushy drinks. I’m not a big fan…a bit too, I dunno, ‘beany’? Ordering it in “soup” form seemed an odd choice. What the heck…why not check it out? Mostly, I was intrigued by the Sticky Rice Ball part.
Red Bean Soup with Sticky Rice Balls. I tried really hard to get everyone into some dessert. No luck…I’m on my own. After a loooong wait, it finally hit the table. Seems the good stuff takes its own sweet time. This was one of those things that I’ll be ordering again and again.
The soup, itself, not too sweet, got tastier spoon after spoon. Once a rice ball spilled its guts, things hit another level altogether.
It’s hard not to go out on the proverbial limb after a meal this good. I will say, however, that this was in the upper range of goodness…a superb all-round feast.