Sherman's Food Adventures: Hua Wei Ju

Hua Wei Ju

I know what you are going to say... "Nooooooo!!!!!"  Yes, we did it and knew we were going to regret the decision.  But after consecutive meals with pizza and/or pasta, we had to do something different.  Yah I know, we are from Vancouver, where we find some of the best, if not the best, Chinese food on the planet.  Why the bleep were we eating this in Rome?  Well, maybe we could've been more creative, yet this is what we ate and we had to live with it.  There are a few attractive things about Hua Wei Ju, including its location (since it was close to us) and its pricing.  However, most dishes were rather small.

We began with the Beef with Broccoli that really lived up to its namesake because it was more beef than broccoli.  However, the beef was not very good as it had not been tenderized and marinated enough.  This resulted in spongy and chewy slices of thick beef.  Flavour wasn't half bad though.  As for the broccoli, it was still crunchy while cooked through.  Not enough wok hei (a really hot wok) as there was quite a bit of moisture at the bottom of the plate.

Next dish was the Aroma Duck which was a marinated duck that had been deep fried and served with a vinegar sauce.  Was it aromatic?  Yes it was as the deep fry did afford aroma as well as the 5-spice.  Yet, it was fried a bit too long as the outside got rather hard and dry.  The benefit of that was crispy well-rendered skin.  The meat underneath this dry layer was decently moist and tender though.

We also got the Tofu with chicken, shrimp, pork, carrots, bamboo and mushrooms served in a hot pot.  We found this portion to be rather small, but it was one of the better dishes.  Although broken, the tofu was tender while completely soaking up the oyster sauce.  The shredded chicken and pork were tender and well-seasoned.  Veggies were cooked properly and not mushy.  Shrimp was on point too with a meaty snap.

The Deep Fried Chicken Wings were not what we expected as they were coated in far too much batter.  Furthermore, the batter was too light in colour as it looked like it as undercooked.  It was cooked through though while there was a light crunch.  The chicken wings were fairly juicy but a bit bland.  The skin was not rendered due to the amount of batter and possibly not an aggressive enough deep fry.

One of the worst dishes was the Sweet & Sour Pork as there was very little flavour to the dish.  It was neither sweet nor sour, which was a really bad thing since that would be the selling point of this dish.  Also, the pieces of pork had a strange aftertaste.  Not sure what it was...  Texturally, the pork was fine though being tender with some meatiness.  Also, there wasn't an overload of sauce either.

We got 2 starches including the Special Rice with shrimp, chicken, pork and egg.  Again, this was rather small, but to be fair, cost only 5 Euros.  I found the rice to be dry enough, but again, didn't exhibit any true wok hei.  Hence it was a bit lifeless and lacking in caramelization.  With that being said, it wasn't bad though as it had enough ingredients and the seasoning was sufficient.

I thought the Rice Noodles with chicken was far better as the noodles were al dente and had good seasoning.  The veggies were crisp and provided great texture while the chicken was tender and also seasoned.  The only thing I didn't like was the greasiness at the bottom of the plate.  So as you can tell, the food at Hua Wei Ju is rather mediocre at best.  However, it was fairly cheap.  I wouldn't recommend the place to those picky about their Chinese food (particularly Cantonese in this case), but for people wanting something inexpensive, this is your restaurant.

The Good:
- Cheap
- Wide variety of dishes

The Bad:
- Food is meh (if you know Chinese food)


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