Green Lettuce (Surrey)

I'm a big fan of Indian Chinese food; however, there are not many places that serve it within the GVRD. I've been to Hakka Masti and Asian Spice out in Surrey/North Delta and they were pretty good. However, I haven't been necessarily ultra impressed so far. In fact, I felt that the 2 aforementioned places over-seasoned their food to the point that it was overpowering. I'll use Italian food as an analogy. If a chef dumps a whole pile of Parmesan on a dish, does that make it right? No, just because certain spices and ingredients are used predominantly in a particular cuisine, it doesn't mean you can use copious amounts of it. At Hakka Masti and Asian Spice, I found that they may have been a bit heavy handed with some of their spices, despite the fact I enjoyed my meals there.

Today, I visited one of the most well known Indo-Chinese restaurants in the GVRD - Green Lettuce. Although I pass by the Vancouver location quite often, I found myself at the Surrey location today. For lunch, they have a few specials which include rice and tea for $8.99. The Szechuan Chicken caught my fancy; but I was a bit hungry and decided to get the Dry Chili Beef for good measure. I was quite impressed with the service and how fast I got my food. Arriving first, the tender slices of perfectly cooked chicken were bathed in a moderately spicy sauce. I could see the chili peppers, green and white onions; but the flavours worked together. This is the balance I was talking about. The special came with a bucket of rice which was more than enough for me.

The Dry Chili Beef was actually a good amount of food since there were no fillers other than the 3 shrimp chips. The tender pieces of beef were only lightly deep-fried and then wok-fried in a spicy chili sauce. Again, I could definitely see the chili and seeds; yet I could still detect sweetness, garlic and a vinegary tartness. Achieving balance in a spicy dish is not a given; but they did here. I really enjoyed my meal here at the Green Lettuce. I most certainly will be returning. And guess what? I have returned, albeit more than a year later. This time around I also had 2 dishes starting with the Peppering Fish. Although this was a lunch special, they did not skimp on the portion size. The plate was overflowing with fish and sauce with very little filler. From what I could gather, it was Basa. It was fried up perfectly being moist and still a bit crisp outside. The sauce was very tasty with a nice combination of chili flakes, garlic and saltiness. Once again, balanced spiciness.

My second dish was the Manchurian Chicken. Again, it was a good amount of food with very little in the way of anything other than meat. However, I found the meat to be stiff and overcooked. The sauce was pretty good with a combination of sweet, tart and spicy. For me, the texture of the chicken didn't do it for me, so this would be the only one of the 4 I've had that was so-so. However, 3 out of 4 is pretty good in my books, especially considering the portion size for the price. Let's see when is the next time I'll return, another year maybe?

The Good:
- Friendly and efficient service
- Spicy food; but not overspiced
- Reasonable prices

The Bad:
- Well, if you don't like spicy food, it ain't for you

Green Lettuce on Urbanspoon

4 comments:

KimHo said...

I can't help but ask: was it spicier than Alvin Garden? :D

I guess Chili Pepper House is on your radar as well, then. Of course, not for lunch as this is in Vancouver (Kingsway, not far from Joyce)

Sherman said...

Hi Kim, it was not as spicy as Alvin Garden. I guess that's why it had balance in my opinion. I'm not saying that really spicy food isn't good, I just like to taste other flavours sometimes too. With that being said, I think Alvin Garden was too spicy either. Yes, I want to go to Chili Pepper House! I love spicy food!

Terence Goyel said...

I love this place Mr. Chan!

I hope you remember me...but I use your blog religiously to figure out where I'm going to dine next!

Hope all is well!

Sherman said...

Gawd, Mr. Chan is my dad! LOL... Call me Sherman!!! Haha...