Friday lunch – as usual, me and some colleagues of mine tried very hard to answer this tough question of the week. It has been a very tough week, and I felt like something simple and good – something not TOO heavy. (Hum… but the definition of heavy is really subjective.) We went to First Markham Place since it is very close to our office. Originally we were going to VIP Vietnamese restaurant, but there was a long lineup. Therefore, we walked around and saw this Ngau Kee. It says, “Opening Soon”. I thought… argh! I wish it’s opened, then we can try something new. BUT… Hold on a second! I saw some people eating inside! What the… So, we walked towards the entrance and saw the notice says in Chinese writing… On July 7, they are having a “test run” and welcome try-outs. COOL! Six of us then marched into this restaurant. Here are what we ordered:
Chiu Chow abalone with shredded chicken boiled rice soup
*This is the favourite dish of 2 of my colleagues. They always order this whenever they go to Congee Wong. However, this Chiu Chow “boiled rice soup” is a bit different from the one that we usually get from Congee Wong. The one at Congee Wong contains more “soup”, thus more like “congee”. The soul of this bowl of rice soup, I would say, lies in the little fried fish (you can see them in the center of the bowl) – they really add good flavour. Other than that, the taste was ok. You can see some shredded “abalone” in there and some pieces of preserved eggs. Overall, not bad at all.
Fukien fried rice
*This is one of the recommended dishes when I asked for recommendations on rice. It turned out to be quite good. It doesn’t look very much like a typical fried rice. As you can see, they put a lot of sauce on it, but I like the sauce especially when it’s in a hot day. The taste was good.
Grouper ball rice noodle in fish soup
*This is one of the house special items. I like both the rice noodle and the soup. The noodle was very smooth, not soggy. The soup was really nice – white in color and made me think of the cantonese fish soup that we usually make at home. I guess that’s the selling point. You seldom get real soup when you’re in a restaurant. However, I think they fish ball is a bit fishy and the texture can be better. i.e. it can be more 彈牙.
Curry beef brisket rice noodle roll in sizzling pot
*Don’t know why… this dish just caught my attention when I looked at the various items on the menu. It came with a sizzling pot. The curry was relatively hot (hotter than we expected). With the beef and curry, the plain noodle rolls taste good. What’s even better is that when you take the noodle rolls that are on the side of the hot pot, they are very crispy – that, added a different “touch”.
*Here’s the house specials listed. We have also ordered a bowl of braised beef brisket noodle. The beef was good, but we found the soup could be better. The soup was just a bit too plain… taste-less. Aside… we were actually in a hurry when we went there. (since one of the colleague has to leave a bit earlier to do an editor interview.) However, the wait for the dishes was a bit too long and she had to leave after two little bowl of noodles. I think that was acceptable since that was the first day of operation (trial run). The service was good. The manager was a bit anxious and paid very good attention to every table. I’m glad that I had a chance to try out a restaurant before their grand opening. From what I heard, this restaurant is operated by the same group of people who used to run 楓林閣. If you have a chance, try it out and let me know what you think.
FYI: Ngau Kee Chinese Cuisine 牛記海鮮酒家
First Markham Place, Unite 23-26
3235 Hwy 7 E., Unionville, ON. L3R 3P3
Open: 11am – 2am