Sherman's Food Adventures: 54th Ave Cafe

54th Ave Cafe

With the realization that my concussion will keep me out of hockey for the forseeble future, I have to turn to other activities to fill the void. Seeing how I had not touched a golf club in a year and the fact that Polka King was coming out to play, I was ready to hack it up. Yes, that is the same Polka King who was a regular on my food adventures before he was imprisoned... er... I mean married. Ultimately, I did hack it up, but I had fun and there were eats to be had afterwards. Shockingly, Polka King was able to join us for food! Did he finally take a stand? No, apparently, Polka Dot was out with the girls and he was a free man... for a couple of hours. Did I just hear a whip? Since we were pretty hungry, we ended up going somewhere close which was 54th Avenue Cafe. I was nervous though since there hasn't been anything good said about the place. One thing I do know is that I don't have anything good to say about the parking lot. Can they make it any tighter?

Completing our foursome for golf and eats was Hans and Frans (yes, they are brothers). Hans had the Hainanese Chicken which was dry and chewy with little flavour. However, the ginger and onion was pretty good (with mostly ginger). The rice was properly cooked, yet, it was merely plain rice. For me, the whole point of Hainanese Chicken is to have chicken oil rice on the side. This is where the rice is pan-fried in the chicken oil (rendered from the poaching) and then cooked in the chicken broth with ginger. This was a huge disappointment. Polka King went for the Yeung Chow Fried Rice which was a decent portion with lots of shrimp. It was cold-water crunchy while the BBQ pork was lean and plentiful. The rice was not greasy bordering on dry. That wasn't a problem though since fried rice should be chewy and somewhat dry. The one issue with the fried rice was the lack of seasoning. It was bland.

Frans opted for the Black Pepper Chicken Steak. It was a huge portion consisting of 3 whole deboned legs that were nicely panfried. The meat was moist and juicy. There was a good amount of sauce, but it was very mild and didn't have a huge hit of pepper. For myself, I went for the "build-your-own-noodle" with the Flat Rice Noodle in Fish Broth. I chose fish filet and ox tongue for my 2 meats. The fish broth, to me, was a bit odd. It had a somewhat sour finish to it and really didn't taste like fish. Furthermore, the fish filets were more like fish chunks. They were okay in texture though. On the other hand, the ox tongue was overcooked and practically melted in my mouth. Normally, there should be a slight resistance, rather than mushiness. And how likes mushy tongue in their mouths anyways??? Er... So our visit to 54th Ave Cafe pretty much summarizes what others have said - the food is average-to-poor. For us, it was edible, but there was at least one issue with each of our dishes. Their low prices is probably their one saving grace. As for the service, it was not bad for us, so no issues there. The bottom line is we are not clamouring for a return visit anytime soon.

The Good:
- Cheap
- Convenience (with tight parking lot and all)

The Bad:
- There is just something off with every dish

54th Ave Cafe 54街茶餐廳 on Urbanspoon


Anonymous said...

I haven't heard anything positive about this restaurant. If you're looking for a good HK cafe in Vancouver, check out Dragonlord Cafe on Fraser.

It's my to go restaurant for HK food in Vancouver, and is consistently well made with good 'wok hei'.

I haven't had a bad dish there yet, and I've been there almost a dozen times.

Sherman Chan said...

@Holly Thanks for the suggestion. Is DL open late?

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