Almost 10 years ago, I had a temporary gig at a company near the Great Pacific Forum. Now, if you are familiar with the area, it is not exactly a hotbed of culinary excitement. So for one month solid, I went on the Jared diet at Subway. No, I really wasn't on a diet, but other than Burger King and Tim's, there was not much to choose from for lunch. After a month of sandwiches, I'd had enough. Not only was it getting expensive (Subway is not cheap), I had actually gained weight. See what carbohydrates can do to you! So I went searching for alternative eats that didn't involve going upstairs at GPF. Little did I know, there was a small cafe hidden on Swenson Way.
Fast forward to the present and it suddenly hit me that this place still exists. I decided it was time to go back and as I pulled up, the sign read "New Macaw's Cafe". Was it just "Macaw's Cafe" before? Since the menu is so varied, I decided that more than one visit was in order. Thus, on my first go around, I went for the infamous Chinese combo lunch. No, it wasn't combo #5, rather it was Combo F. It included chow mein, sweet 'n sour pork, broccoli beef and lemon chicken. This was a relatively large plate of food reminiscent of places such as Hang Lee Wok and Manchu Wok. However, it costs significantly more at Macaw's. Granted, the food is prepared fresh and served steaming hot. And you know what? The food was pretty good North American Chinese. The chow mein was well-seasoned and exhibited good wok heat. Crisp and vibrant, the broccoli was good while the beef was tender. The sweet & sour pork was meaty and crisp. Although it was flavourful, I would've preferred the sauce to have a bit more tang. The lemon chicken was crispy and meaty with a tangy sauce.
On my second visit, I wanted to try their Sushi. Yah, it looked kinda shady since there was not a lot of choice and there was no sushi chef on the premises. With that in mind, I was prepared to be bitterly disappointed. However, that wasn't really the case. Sure, the sushi was pretty average and in fact, the tuna nigiri looked like it was prepared with a butter knife. On the positive. the rice was actually acceptable and the fish was okay. Seeing how some sushi might not be enough, I also ordered the Ma Po Tofu on Rice. This was actually pretty good. The tofu stayed in tact and the ground pork was moist. The mix of peppers and pickled veggies added some texture as well as hits of flavour. For a lil' cafe out in the middle of nowhere, this was not bad. In fact, the Chinese food in particular is a whole lot better than some actual Chinese restaurants in North Delta.
- Lots of choice from Chinese, Japanese and American food
- Food is actually pretty good (particularly the Chinese food)
- Friendly family-run operation
- Not as cheap as you would think
- For those who care, it's mostly serve yourself (get your own cutlery, water, condiments)