S&W Pepper House
4500 Kingsway, Burnaby (Crystal Mall)
I actually been to S&W Pepper House before, so when my parents asked if I knew a good place for dinner near Metrotown, I immediately suggested this one. The restaurant is not that big, so reservations are highly recommended. Although I did make reservation, but it wasn't really necessary, only because we were there early (around 6pm). However the place was packed by about 7pm.
The first dish we ordered is the Stir Fried Pork with Pancake ($11.95). The stir fried pork was saucy and tender. The flour pancakes were the prefect compliment to the flavorful pork. The only problem was that there were only about 4 or 5 piece of the pancakes, so we had to eat the rest of the pork with rice.
The direct translation of this dish would be 'Water Boiled Fish", but it's far from that. It's more like fish sliced cooked in hot chili oil soup. The fish slices were tender, and acted like a sponge by soaking up the flavorful chili soup. This dish was $11.95, and while worth it in my opinion. Next up is a veggie dish that my mom ordered: Gai Cai stir fried with garlic ($7.95). This dish was slightly bitter, but that's due to the nature of Gai Cai. The veggie itself was nice and crunchy with a light garlic taste. Both my parents enjoyed this very much.
This would be the Spicy Rib Hot Pot ($10.95), which wasn't in their regular menu. They do have specials written on a board. After reading through them, I picked this dish. To be honest I was a little disappointed. Flavor wise, it was spicy, but nothing special and the rib could be a bit softer. The last dish we had was the Sweet and Sour Fried Fish ($16.95) or Squirrel Fish as the Chinese would call it. This was the big disappointment for me, the fish was a bit over fried, so the meat was rather dry. Also the sauce was not very balanced, and thus resulted in a sourish taste. Since it was also the most expensive dish, I think it's safe to say I will skip this the next time around.
S&W Pepper House definitely had some winning dishes, and a couple disappointing ones, but that's the same for every restaurant. The service here wasn't half bad either, they were generally friendly and helpful. Overall, I liked this place, and would definitely recommend to anyone looking for restaurant that server all types of Chinese cuisine, not just your typical Canton style Chinese food.