Sherman's Food Adventures: Grand Chinese Restaurant

Grand Chinese Restaurant

I've said it before and I'll keep saying it: Burnaby North and the Brentwood area is sorely lacking good choices for Chinese food.  It is amazing we don't have some form of HK-Style cafe around.  Well, things are slowly changing and we now find the first hand-pulled noodle/made-to-order xiao long bao restaurant in the area.  Replacing the lackluster Miki Japanese, we now find Grand Chinese Restaurant that attempts to bring authentic Northern Chinese food to Brentwood.  Therefore, we took the whole family plus grandparents for a taste.

We ended up getting the obligatory Beef Pancake Roll that happened to be the deep-fried version.  Normally, I'm not overly enthused with this type since it can be rather greasy and more-often-than-not, be chewy rather than crispy.  This one was actually not bad with a crunchy shell giving way to a soft chewier centre.  Inside, the sliced beef shank was a little tough, but still okay.  There was a good amount of green onion and hoisin as well.  Also on the table was the Spicy Wontons.  They were mildly spicy yet one-note in flavour.  I would've liked to see more than just chili oil in the mix.  There was something else at the bottom of the bowl, but there was so little of it, there was no impact.  As for the wontons themselves, they were tender with a bouncy pork filling.

To get a sense of their hand-pulled (and cut) noodles, we got 3 different types starting with the Minced Beef Sauce Noodles.  I have to say this had to be one of the largest servings of this dish ever.  The large bowl was filled nearly to the top with noodles and sauce.  We didn't end up finishing it.  Although the hand-pulled noodles were good, they totally overcooked it where they were too soft.  It was really too bad since the ample amount of sauce was good being rich and meaty without sorely relying on sodium.  For the kiddies, we got them the Beef Noodle Soup which also featured overdone noodles.  The sliced shank was the same as the beef roll being on the chewier side.  As for the soup, it was mild and not overly salty.

We also got the Stir-Fried Hand Cut Noodles with Seafood.  Yet another enormous portion, the noodles were also sadly overdone.  They didn't have the classic chewiness we expected from hand-cut thick noodles.  Despite this, the dish did taste good with plenty of seasoning from the wok-fry.  There was a decent amount of well-prepared seafood as well.  Saving the best for last, we had the made-to-order Xiao Long Bao.  These were packed with sweet soup.  It could've had a touch more xiaoshing wine, but whatever the case, the soup was still good.  We found the meat a touch gritty while the dumpling skin was elastic and fairly thin.

On another visit for dinner, we ordered the Szechuan Beef Noodle.  We asked for it to be less spicy so the kiddies could eat it.  This time around, the hand-pulled noodles were on point being slippery and chewy with a slight rebound.  I found the soup to be very mild, yet that is what we requested.  The large chunks of beef were meaty and fairly tender.  I thought the Mouth-Watering Chicken to be fairly disappointing as it wasn't very flavourful.  I could detect some spice (despite the visuals) and vinegariness, but everything seemed muted.  More spice, salt and even sugar was needed in this case.  The chicken itself was neither dry nor succulent.  

One of the better items was the Twice-Cooked Pork Belly with Garlic Stems.  Interestingly, there was more of everything else then garlic stems.  The pieces I could pick out were appealingly bright and crunchy.  As for the pork, it was sliced thin and the beneficiary of a great wok fry.  I wouldn't say the pork was tender, yet it was appealingly meaty with just the right amount fat.  Unlike the previous dish, there was plenty of seasoning that was a good combination of spice and savouriness.  The Spicy Fish was impressive in size, especially for only $16.95.  Loaded with tender basa filets, they were blessed with plenty of spice and seasoning.  It wasn't burning hot, but it definitely had a kick.  Overall, the food at Grand Chinese Restaurant is fine for the area due to lack of choice.  Portions are large and prices are reasonable.  However, moving forward, they need to further refine their dishes for the long term.

The Good:
- Large portions
- Decent XLBs
- Freshly made dumplings and noodles

The Bad:
- A touch inconsistent as the noodles were too soft the first time
- Food is decent for the area, but compared to others in the GVRD, it needs refinement

2 comments:

LotusRapper said...

Interesting.

Miki Sushi FWIW, has been around since the '90s IIRC. There was a pho joint in there at some point too.

How would Grand compare to say, No.1 Beef Noodle, the closest in proximity of the same genre ?

Sherman Chan said...

@LR The food is better at #1