gracecheung604 | write on time: Family Dinner at HYK

Friday, September 10, 2010

Family Dinner at HYK

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Last month, when my sister was here, we had a huge family dinner at Ho Yuen Kee on Fraser. I've only ever been here for lunch, but I had heard that their seafood is pretty good...let's see.
We started off with a classic mixed appetizer, loaded with spring rolls, vegetarian soy skin rolls, surf clams, soy sauce marinate pork knuckle, vinegar chicken feet and jellyfish. Everything was so good...even if it's all cold, it's delicious. It's called their House Special Cold Meat combination.
The next dish was cashew chicken...or I think it was...honestly, I don't remember. (*note to self, bring your sexy red notebook with you from now on) 
The next dish is pretty obvious...stir-fried shrimp and scallops with veggies. Most places make this way too oily, but here, it was stir-fried with some mushrooms and veggies...very light and easy on the palate. 
Our next dish was Beef with deep-fried something...i think it was milk...I didn't partake of this...but my niece did and wasn't impressed. But she doesn't like sweet stuff, that's why I think it was milk. 
The prerequisite soup...a sweet chicken slow-cooked broth, loaded with chicken. That's Asian comfort food, right there. 
Ok, I don't need any notes here. We have two whole lobsters, served in a steamer basket. 
I know...seems weird right? I love how they break the shells down for you so well, you barely need those nut crackers they give you! 
I've been to tons of family dinners and never have been served lobster in a steamer! Why...why? 
After a little bit of digging (hey, I was with family, it's acceptable), I discovered the true reason for the steamer. It's one of their specials, listed first in Chinese on their takeout menu. It's corn and rice steamed in leaf, similar to the sticky rice you get at dimsum, and but with lobster juices. O-MY. The rice was perfectly cooked...sweetened with corn and lobster juice! Oh my goodness. If I could eat a whole lobster myself, I would get this, and only this the next time I come. 
After overloading on chicken and seafood, it behooved us to have some veggies, so that next dish was baby bok choy with shitake mushrooms and sliced geoduck (i think). 
This is a strange dish...the salmon seems secondary to the broccoli and other veggies, but it was actually the best part. The fish was sweet, the sauce was salty...what a good balance!   
One of the things that they are known for is their spare ribs in honey and black pepper sauce...my stepdad loved this. Deep fried pork...yeah, I was happy. 
The next dish that came was the deep fried chicken...crispy skin and juicy meat...with a generous portion of prawn chips. As full as I was, I think I polished off most of the dark meat. 
As with all Chinese meals...it ended with carbs...noodles and rice. We got the shredded pork yee mein and the dried scallop and scrambled egg fried rice. I like how they give you chives in your noodles (instead of the cheaper green onion some places do), and how the green in the fried rice is from chopped up gailan (not the frozen peas some other places do). For me, that is a sign of quality. 
Here was our dessert...fresh tofu served in the wooden bucket it was made in. The little silver teapot holds sugar syrup...I didn't get to try this...I'm allergic to soy done this way. :(
I would totally come back here for dinner, for the food. Not sure if I could recommend the service though. It's decent, but not on par with the food.  Ho Yuen Kee Restaurant on Urbanspoon

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