Restaurant: Ocean King Congee & Noodle
Last visited: Oct. 14, 09
Area: Richmond, BC
Unit 2083 - 8700 McKim Way (In the Admiralty Mall food court)
Price Range: $10 or less
1: Poor 2: OK 3: Good 4: Very good 5: Excellent 6: Tres Excellent!!
Ambiance: n/a in a food court
- Family owned and operated
- Traditional Hong Kong/Cantonese stand in a food court
- Fresh, made upon order
- Known for congee
- Fresh homemade rice noodles, and rice noodle rolls
- Not sure if the other noodles are homemade
- Cash only
** Recommendation: Congee, rice noodle rolls
This is a hole in the wall vendor specializing in congee and rice noodles located inside Admiralty Mall. It's a small food court that gets really busy during lunch and this is a popular stand. It's good old traditional Cantonese food but made homestyle. The food is surprisingly really good and because the volume is smaller than a restaurant they're able to take the time to prepare things and make them fresh. Almost everything takes about 10-15min., so you know you know it's made upon order and you can watch the chef cook it on his massive wok. Orders are pretty much done one at a time so nothing sits under heater/warmers. You can see the entire kitchen so you don't need to worry about where your food is coming from - there's nothing to hide here. For what it was, it is really good and I was impressed.
- **Congee 4/6
- I ordered plain congee. I know it looks really boring and plain, but it's so flavourful. I never order congee plain, except for here. (Ordering plain congee is the only way you can really tell if it's actually good congee too.)
- The texture is not completely pureed or smooth. It's rice that has been slow cooked in water to the point where it forms a stew like mixture. This congee is not watered down though, it's so flavourful because they use dried scallops to flavour it as well. It adds a salty taste and a seafood-like aroma - not really fishy either, just aromatic.
- Another reason people love it here is because they serve it REALLY hot. Congee needs to be boiling hot, and they definitely do that here.
- It's only $1 for a big bowl too!
- **Dried shrimp and chive rice noodle roll 6/6
- This is my favourite thing here. They do it even better than some dim sum restaurants. It's only $3.
- They're handmade and the rice noodle is rolled out nice and thin. All the rolls are really consistent too (however the dried shrimps were kind of distributed unevenly). The rolls are really delicate and very soft. They kind of melt in your mouth because they're steamed and so tender. They're not chewy (like store bought ones) or mushy either. They come with this light soy sauce poured over it. You can order them plain without the dried shrimp and chives too. I like the dried shrimps, but it's an acquired traditional Cantonese taste that many Westerners don't really prefer. It kind of tastes like dried squid if you've tried that.
- The other thing that's great is that they offer self-service condiments. It's common to sprinkle sesame seeds on these and eat them with hoisin sauce and peanut/sesame sauce. At Ocean King you can use as much as you want - which is great. I load mine up with all of the above! It's a savoury dish, but with the additional sauces it makes it sweet and nutty too.
- Shredded Chicken Chow Mien 3/6
- This your really traditional homestyle version of chow mien.
- If you like extra crispy you can request it. I do all the time, and they they make it crispiest here. Almost all my noodles were crispy and crunchy and the portion was huge! It tastes baked, and I don't even think they have an oven. I saw him cook it on the wok but I don't know how he was able to get it that crispy - the bottom, top, sides, all around! It's cheap too, at $4.75.
- There was nothing spectacular about the noodles itself though. I don't think they were fresh homemade chow mien noodles, but the dish was made very fresh.
- The chicken wasn't shredded, it was chunks of dark meat and quite a lot of it too. They also loaded it with bean sprouts which I really enjoyed. They could have used a variety of veggies though, it looked pretty plain for chow mien and there was no colour...but at least it was still good.