Sherman's Food Adventures: Double East Cuisine

Double East Cuisine

Interestingly, I've never been to Double East Cuisine, even though I've been in that plaza many times to visit other establishments.  It really was happenstance that we ended up here for late night eats.  You see, we were looking for Deep Fried Silverfish and originally thought we could get some at #9.  Okay, don't freak out, we aren't talking about those critters on your washroom floor.  Rather, they are little fish that are fried and then tossed in chili pepper salt.  It is a staple of "da lang" or late night eats (smaller portions) at Chinese restaurants.  Alas, #9 didn't have any and we ended up searching Richmond for the dish.  We ended up at Double East Cuisine for that very reason.

Behold, here is the famed "Bak Fan Yue" or Deep Fried Silverfish with Chili Pepper Salt.  As mentioned, this is a late night staple that usually goes with plain congee.  Despite there being a shortage of silverfish at many places, this particular plate was not a desperation situation.  Rather, it was excellent with crispy silverfish that was light.  It was tossed in enough seasoning that it was a bit spicy and plenty salty.

We also had the Clams in Black Bean Sauce, which incidentally, is also a late night classic.  Once again, this was prepared properly with mostly opened clams (I think only one or two weren't open).  The clams were fresh and not full of sand.  They were buttery and cooked just enough.  Although there was definite black bean saltiness, we could've used a bit more of it.  We liked how the sauce was starch-thickened so that it clung onto each clam.

Next, we had something a bit different in the Sizzling Yam Leaves in a hot pot.  In terms of the overall cook on the yam leaves, they were a touch overdone where the stems lost their crunchiness.  This was further exacerbated by the scorching hot pot.  Hence, the yam leaves continued to cook and got rather soft.  In fact, the leaves became slimy.  In terms of seasoning, it was mild where I could still taste the vegetable.

On a subsequent visit, we had the Pan Fried Pomfret with Soy Sauce. Although, this was a small pomfret, there was a decent amount of meat despite not appearing so.  The fish was fried up perfectly where the skin was slightly crispy while the meat was flaky and moist.  The meat separated from the bone easily and in one piece.  Wok-fried with green onions, cilantro and shallots, the soy/oil mixture was flavourful and aromatic.

We ordered the full-sized Sweet & Sour Pork which was indeed a large portion.  Generally, the chunks of pork were medium-sized, which meant that the texture of the meat-to-crunchy-batter-ratio was perfect.  We did find some larger pieces and they were much more meaty and soft.  As for the sauce, it was delicious being a good balance between tangy and sweet.  It was also the right viscosity adhering to each piece.

For our veggie dish, we tried the A-Choy with Canned Dace in Black Bean Sauce.  I quite enjoyed this dish as the vegetable was wok-fried enough that it was cooked-through while still having a crunch.  As expected, the dish was on the greasier side due to the dace, as it fried and packed in oil.  On the flipside, this also ensured there was plenty of flavour too as the black beans added plenty of saltiness.

We came back for a third time and had the Deep Fried Egg Tofu with Chili Pepper Salt.  This was in addition to the silverfish (that we had in all 3 visits).  It was prepared expertly with delicate egg tofu that was still in one piece despite being deep fried and wok tossed (they are quite fragile).  The exterior was crispy while giving way to a silky interior.  This tasted exactly like the silverfish due to the same seasoning.

For our meat selection, we had the Honey Garlic Spareribs.  I would say that this was much more maltose spareribs than actual honey, but it still tasted great.  It was just sweet enough with some garlickiness.  The spareribs were meaty and had a properly tenderized texture where there was an appealing rebound.  However, with so much maltose, the sauce solidified quickly and hence, the ribs were glued to the plate.

Of course, we got a veggie dish in the form of Sauteed Preserve Meat with Taiwanese Cauliflower.  Another perfectly wok-fried dish where the cauliflower was crunchy and vibrant with aromatic caramelization.  It was a bit greasy though due to the fatty cured sausage and pork belly.  It did add umaminess though.  After these 3 late night visits to Double East Cuisine, it will be added to our late night rotation of restaurants.  Food is above average and prices are reasonable for the portion size.  The people there are pretty nice too.

The Good:
- Solid eats
- Reasonable prices for the portion size
- Open late

The Bad:
- Not really their fault, but the clientele can be a bit rowdy due to it being late night
- Typical Richmond parking lot, narrow and often full


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