Sherman's Food Adventures: Lucky Plus

Lucky Plus

Another day and another new Chinese restaurant in Vancouver...  So what else is new?  It always amazes me because Vancouver needs another Chinese restaurant as much as it needs higher house prices.  So when I spotted the new Lucky Plus (sounds like a dollar store name...) open up last year across from Golden Oscar, I put it onto my long list of Chinese restaurants we needed to dine at.  Finally, we got to it as my parents were wanting to grab some dinner.  They seem to like eating Chinese food all-the-time...  Don't they cook this at home already???

Anyways, we snagged one of the last tables in the place as it was hopping busy on a Saturday night.  It was interesting to see how we navigated eating a Chinese meal in a long booth.  We decided to try something different in the Truffle Shredded Chicken (or not different if one was dining at Chef Tony).  Although this dish was pricey at $15.95, there was no filler here as it was all chicken (with some green onion) and a whole lot of black truffle.  We liked the appealingly chewy texture of the free-range chicken as well as the gelatinized skin.  It was aggressively seasoned bordering on salty while the truffle really came through without being incredibly overwhleming.  We also got one of their signature items being the Marinated Duck.  This was indeed very good where the meat was moist with a tender chew.  In addition to the natural gaminess of duck, the braising liquid penetrated the meat where there was a nice balance of flavours.

From the interesting to the standard, we went for the ever-normal dish of Gai Lan with Beef.  I was not a big fan of this as the gai lan was chopped into little bits.  Furthermore, it was fairly old where it was no longer vibrant green nor tender to the chew.  The plethora of beef was a bit inconsistent as some slices were tender and well-marinated while others were chewy and sinewy.  I found the entire thing to be rather salty.  Arriving in a large portion, the Cod and Tofu Hot Pot was well-executed.  The large pieces of fish were a little crispy on the outside and flaky on the inside.  The tofu was silky with a proper deep-fry where the exterior was not too chewy.  There was just enough oyster-based sauce to moisten the ingredients without inducing sogginess.  It was also not overly salty which was good since we didn't order any rice.

Next we had the Black Vinegar Ribs where we could smell the pungency of the vinegar emanating from the dish.  The sticky glaze was definitely vinegary, but also very sweet in a balsamic reduction manner.  Hence, this really need rice as a side.  As for the ribs, they were tender while not super soft retaining a meaty bite.  I liked the crispiness from the deep fry. At first, I was wondering why the Lamb Hot Pot was $23.00.  Well, that was answered pretty quickly as the humongous portion was slapped onto the table.  Although there was the usual napa cabbage filler on the bottom (to also prevent sticking and burning), there was also plenty of lamb, water chestnuts, bamboo shoots and deep fried bean curd skin.  Although the lamb was sufficiently tender and gelatinous, it ate somewhat chewy since the pieces were far too large.  They should've been 1/4 of the size.  It was cumbersome to eat.  In terms of flavour, it was pretty mild, which was fine for me because I wanted to taste the meat. Suffice to say, we didn't finish all the food due to the large portion sizes.  In terms of execution, it was hit and miss.  We did enjoy the surprisingly attentive service.

The Good:
- Large portions
- Friendly and attentive service
- Some good items

The Bad:
- Hit and miss, depends on what you order
- A bit difficult to share dishes in a long booth  


Lena said...

"They seem to like eating Chinese food all-the-time... Don't they cook this at home already???"

I think this all the time...

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