It was a blast meeting up with Ned Flanders at Kao's where we had interesting food and conversation. He did his best Asian impersonation and cut me off at the pass when it came time to pay. Naturally, that bugged me for the subsequent week, hence I had to treat him back. He had mentioned that the beef noodle at Accord Food House in Burnaby was one of the better ones he'd tried and encouraged me to join him. However, when I arrived, I could barely find the place because it was no longer Accord. Rather, it has become Bow Bow Cafe. Interestingly, the Chinese name remained the same.
Inside, it didn't seem any different and in fact, the menu on the wall seemed to suggest it was the same owners. We went ahead and tried to order a Beef & Tendon Beef Noodle, but they insisted it couldn't be done. Finally, it was agreed upon I'd pay extra for a side of tendon which was actually served on a separate plate. Wow, when they mean they can't, they really can't! I found the soup to be fairly meaty in flavour without an overuse of salt. There wasn't any pickled vegetable which meant that there was a lack of acidity. As for the beef shank, it was tender enough to chew while still maintaining a meat texture. We found the tendon to be very well-executed since it retained its integrity while still being soft. Furthermore, the braising liquid had penetrated through ensuring plenty of flavour.
For kicks, I suggested we try My Grandfather's Chinese Spaghetti (just because of the name). Well, it was essentially the same noodles as the previous dish, but dressed in a light tomato sauce with somewhat chewy beef and shiitake mushrooms. It wasn't exactly HK-style like as there wasn't a huge ketchup hit, but it was certainly not acidic enough to be a true pasta sauce. What especially caught me off guard was the shiitake as it really didn't go. Whatever the case, it was edible and I'm sure that's how Grandpa made it. For me, I really liked the Sliced Chicken with sesame sauce. I thought the sauce was elevated by the addition of ginger and chilis where there was a slow rumble of spice and the acidity of the ginger balanced the rich sesame. As for the chicken, it was fairly tender for free-range and the skin was nicely gelatinized.
Lastly, we had the Spicy Wontons which were pretty good in my opinion. First of all, the wonton wrapper was moist while exhibiting a gentle elasticity. Second, the filling had a slight bounce texture and was mild enough to not interfere with the sauce. And about that sauce, it was a pleasant spicy thanks to the chili sauce and chili oil with only small amount of soy. Overall, the food at Bow Bow was decent at a fairly reasonable price. Interestingly, there was an automatic 10% service charge added to the bill. It didn't bother us (since it is quite reasonable), but for some, it might be an issue.
- Pretty decent eats
- Wow, that's one small dining room with equally small tables
- Automatic service charge might bother some people