Sherman's Food Adventures: Double One

Double One

"Oh I'll eventually get to that restaurant", I often say to myself.  Well, it has taken me over 7 years to visit Double One on Hastings in Burnaby.  Could it be that it just doesn't look all that sexy from the outside (well, it ain't much on the inside either)?  Not sure, but every time, I would just go somewhere else.  The day finally came when my parents wanted to go out for dinner, specifically Chinese food.  Not wanting to eat away further at my kid's college fund (like the pun?), I suggested we just eat at a mom n' pop place (which would be Double One).

We opted for the build-your-own-dinner for 4 that included a bonus dish, soup and dessert.  Strangely, if we wanted rice, it was an extra charge (we didn't get rice).  So the bonus dish was the half Free-Range Chicken.  Fairly succulent for such lean meat, the chicken was brined aggressively.  Hence, it was pretty salty on its own.  The skin was nicely gelatinized though.  Next, we had the Gai Lan with Assorted Seafood.  Although not plated neatly, the dish itself was decent.  The big gai lan stalks were vibrant and crunchy while laced with a good amount of garlic.  On top, the squid, basa, shrimp were all on point.  One thing I would've liked to see was better wok heat as there was a noticeable pool of water on the plate.

Onto 2 similar dishes except for the proteins, we ordered both the Peking Pork Chops and the Beef Tenderloin.  Laced with a considerable amount of goupy sweet sauce, the pork chops were tender with a rebound texture.  They may have been crispy at one point, but the ample sauce just made the exterior a bit mushy.  The dish was decent, but could've been even better with more acidity.  As for the Beef Tenderloin, we all know that it wasn't really that cut of meat.  Rather, it was properly tenderized cut of beef that retained a portion of its natural texture.  Again, there was too much sauce and it was pretty sweet.  More Worchestershire sauce would've balanced out the flavours.

For the second time in a day, I had the Fish & Tofu Hot Pot.  Despite appearing to be pretty legit, the fish was sadly super salty.  It was flaky and moist though.  Another issue was the firm tofu.  When fried, it just ate too heavy.  Lastly, it didn't seem like the clay pot was really all that hot as there was no sizzle (as evidenced by the barely cooked sui choy underneath).  Also for the second time, I had the House Special Noodles.  This one was not crispy enough as the bottom portion of the noodles was soft and greasy.  Hence, when kissed by the ample sauce, the noodles just became dense and wet.  Flavours were balanced though and the seafood on top was equal to the previous gai lan dish.  Overall, the food was serviceable, if not just barely above average.  However, given the lack of choices in the area and the reasonable prices, Double One is an option.

The Good:
- Large portions
- Reasonably-priced
- Serviceable eats

The Bad:
- Hurried service
- Don't expect ambiance

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