Sherman's Food Adventures: Best Fortune

Best Fortune

For all of the different types of Chinese cuisine, Sichuan is one of my favourites.  The combination of spice and spices along with meat and noodle dishes, it is something that is much more impactful than say, Cantonese food.  However, due to the influx of immigrants from Hong Kong specifically, that is the most prevalent Chinese cuisine in the Lower Mainland.  So when there is another option for Sichuan eats (and really any Northern or Uygher restaurants), I'm there with bells on.  So I dug out those bells when Jackie and I were invited to try out Best Fortune on Alexandra Road.

We were here mainly to try their Deluxe Sichuan Set Menu that offers 5-courses for $88.00.  There are options for each course.  The 2 choices for the first course included the classic Big Plate of Mouth-Watering Chicken (yes, that is what the description said, big plate...).  Indeed, it was a big mound of tender poached chicken that featured tender meat and gelatinized skin.  Naturally, the chicken was only a blank canvas for the sauce.  About that sauce, it was definitely spicy, a bit nutty and smoky.  There was enough seasoning to add more than just spice, so in general, it was good!

The other option is the Spicy Beef & Tripe.  This featured thinly-sliced beef shank that had been stewed until tender and chilled.  The tripe has also been cooked until it was buttery soft.  Then it was tossed in a chili oil mix that also had some soy and plenty of garlic.  This was a good version of this dish as the textures of the tripe and beef were on point while the flavours were spicy, but not to the point we couldn't taste anything else.

For the second course, there were 2 options, with first being the Green Peppercorn & Sauerkraut Fish.  This featured some glass noodles underneath and a wealth of sliced fish (looked like snakefish?), pickled mustard greens, seaweed and bean curd skin.  Loved the texture of the fish as it was almost crunchy, but that initial texture gave way to flakiness.  The broth was tangy with numbing spice from the peppercorns.


If you didn't want the fish, you could choose the Sichuan Boiled Beef.  This is another classic dish that featured sliced beef atop bean sprouts in a spicy broth.  There was a considerable amount of tender buttery beef within the large bowl.  They had been tenderized perfectly where the meat texture was still present.  In terms of flavour, there was the same smoky nuttiness from the chili oil.  It wasn't so spicy that we couldn't taste anything else which meant there was balance.

The third course had 2 choices that would go well with rice.  The first being the Spicy Blood Tofu & Tripe Stew.  It was a pretty large bowl of food that featured large strips of mung bean noodle underneath with some bean sprouts and other veggies.  There was a mix of luncheon meat, intestines, pork's blood cubes and bible tripe.  This all sat in a spicy broth that was rather flavourful and a bit smoky from all the chili oil.


The other option was the Braised Bean Curd in Mapo Sauce (aka Mapo Tofu).  Unlike the Cantonese version, this one was much more robust, spicy and deep-flavoured.  They used medium-firm tofu here and it stood up well to the cooking process.  Each cube of tofu took on the flavours of the starch-thickened sauce.  It was a bit spicy, a bit sweet and plenty savoury.  The ground pork added some meaty texture.

Moving onto the fourth course (which was the vegetable dish), the first option was the Dry Pot Cauliflower.  This was essentially stir-fried Taiwanese cauliflower with an array of spices including Sichuan peppercorns.  There was plenty of caramelization and aroma as well as a noticed numbing spice.  The cauliflower was cooked-through but had a nice crunch.

The alternative option from the cauliflower was the Specialty Eggplant Stir Fry.  I absolutely loved this dish since they coated the pieces of eggplant with starch first and deep fried it.  So that ensured each piece was cooked-through and was sealed with a crispy starch coating.  The result was that the eggplant didn't get soggy and melt while help soaking up the delicious black bean-based sauce.  It had a bit of spice as well.

For the fifth course, we had 3 noodle options including Noodles with Peas, Minced Pork Noodle and Sour & Spicy Yam Noodles.  So the 2 noodles were essentially a form of Ja Jeun Mein where you would mix up the components with the boiled white noodles.  For the first one, the chickpeas were soft but still intact while the ground pork was plenty spicy.  With peanuts and sesame seeds, there was plenty of nuttiness too.  The second noodle was similar except it had some mustard greens.  Hence, there was a bit more tanginess.  The yam noodles had a nice chewiness to them and there was plenty of heat to go with the sourness.  If I had to choose, the minced pork noodle would be the best bet.  Overall, the 5-course set meal for $88.00 is a steal considering how much food you are getting as well as it being delicious.  Love that there are choices for most courses, so you can get almost exactly what you want.  The spice level here is right up my alley being hot yet we can still taste the other components and flavours.  If you only have 2 people, you can get the first two courses for $39.00 and it includes rice and pop.  Hard to find cheap eats these days, but this would be it. Definitely a revisit for me sometime down the road.

*All food and beverages were complimentary for this blog post*

The Good:
- Well-priced set meal
- Good spice, but not overwhelming
- Large portion size

The Bad:
- One of the employees was away, so there was only one person handling the entire restaurant. Even if they had the other person, service would be stretched. She did a good job though and never got frustrated
- Parking at the back can be chaotic



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