*Restaurant is now closed*
When you think of Chinese food in North America, I'm sure the first things that come to mind are Sweet & Sour Pork, Broccoli & Beef, Chicken Chow Mein and BBQ Pork Fried Rice. Hey, there is nothing wrong with that since I eat that occasionally as well. However, these types of dishes originated in the Canton region of China and that is only a small representation of Chinese cuisine. Add the fact that these dishes have become a bit watered down for North American tastes and you got something quite boring and bland. I personally like spicy food. Thus, I have a certain affection towards Indian-Style Chinese cuisine.
There aren't many of these types of restaurants in the GVRD; however, most of them are pretty good. Today, I finally made it out to the Surrey location of Chili Pepper House. There is a location in Vancouver as well on the corner of Rupert and Kingsway. With some may options, it was difficult to choose, especially since I was all by myself. Ultimately, I picked a dish which is one of my favs - Chili Beef. This time I got the "wet" version rather than the dry one at Green Lettuce. The tender slices of beef were coated with a deep coloured sauce which was a bit sweet, salty and slightly spicy. Personally, I can take more heat and I should've asked for it. In addition, I tried one of their lunch specials ($5.99), the Curry Fish which came with a bowl of rice. The fish was perfectly crispy and sat in a yellow-type curry sauce which was a bit sweet, garlicky and only slightly spicy. This sauce went really well with the rice. On a separate visit, I decided to double-up on their fantastically priced lunch specials starting with the Curry Shrimp. the shrimp had a cold-water snap and were coated with a very crispy tempura-like batter. With a yellow curry-type sauce very similar to the curry fish, this would've gone well with a bowl of plain rice. I didn't get a bowl of rice because for my second dish, I had the Masala Chicken & Shrimp Fried Rice. Oh I really loved this rice. It was the perfect texture being chewy with a nice bite. There was plenty of wok heat so that the flavours were able to mingle and caramelize. Strewn throughout the rice was tender pieces of chicken and cold-water shrimp. The curry seasoning gave the rice a very nice punch which made me want to eat more and more of it. I dusted it off very quickly. After both visits, it is clear that the food is well-balanced since it wasn't overly spicy to the point where I couldn't taste any of the other flavours. Personally, I could do with even more spice; but that can be arranged. The decor is nothing to look at and if you don't care, it shouldn't matter. Service was extremely friendly and the food came out really fast. Great value at $5.99 for their lunch specials.
- Spicy, yet not to the point of insane
- Good lunch specials
- Friendly staff
- Not much in the way of ambiance
- Not really a bad, but if you were looking for tame Chinese food, you won't find it here