Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Crystal Food Court - 2 relatively new stalls


99 BBQ House

2131 - 4500 Kingsway

99 BBQ House (Crystal Mall) on Urbanspoon

Food: 3
Price: cheap

You are bound to find some great food at the food court simply base on mathematics probability (I sound so geeky). My favorite 2 food courts has be are the one at Aberdeen (post here, here, here and here) and of course Crystal Mall. The reason is that they have almost no fast food chains, but many unique stalls that offer quality food.99 BBQ house is a relatively new stall at Crystall Mall. This chain is widely seen in China, but I am not sure if this is their first branch here in Vancouver, or it's simply the same name. Anyways, they offer a wide range of BBQ skewers from $1.25-$2.50.
The first one I chose was the grilled eggplant ($1.25). This one took a long time, because they were apparently having some problems with the grill that day. I think due to this problem, the egg plant was not done properly, because it still retained a lot of water, and lacked the grilled texture.
Despite the major fail with the eggplant, my other grilled items were good. The lamb and pork skewers were both tender and flavorful. The chive was also very good, I was surprised that they offered such a big portion (the picture may not look it) for only $1.25.

Overall, their BBQ skewers were good (of course minus the eggplant). However there is a issue though, all the skewers were pretty much uni-flavor (slightly spicy, salty, with a dash of cumin). The good news was that I liked the flavor, but everyone has different preference. So I would suggest trying one skewer first, before purchasing a bunch.

Xiang Yuan Qiao Cross Bridge Rice Noodle

2128 - 4500 Kingsway

Xiang Yuan Qiao Bridge Rice Noodle (Crystal Mall) on Urbanspoon

Food: 4
Price: Fair

Another relatively new food stall is this Yunnan rice noodle stall. Now, I actually been to Yunan province and have had the original version, but that was at least 18 years ago, so really I don't remember much. The one thing that I do remember is that it wasn't served this way. In the original way, the noodle and the soup come in separate bowls. You are then suppose to dip the noodle in the hot soup, and then take it out and eat it. This is also the reason it's called cross bridge, because you drag the noodle from one bowl to the next and then back in the bowl, so the noodle acts like a bridge.
Anyways, here they serve it all together in a hot stone pot. I ordered the pork belly noodle soup for $6.75. All noodle soup includes bean sprout, one quail egg, wood ear, and leafy greens.
At first I was expecting thick pieces of pork belly, but here they used the thinly sliced type. I guess this way the meat would easily absorb the rich flavors from the soup. I really loved the soup, although it may seem oily, but it wasn't, it was just pure richness (I am guessing they used pork bone broth). The noodle was like spaghetti except made with rice.

Overall, I thought the price was slightly high for food court food, but the portion was really big, so it was worth it. Although the food was great, but the service was not. The girl who took my order was rather rude, anytime I would ask her a question (2x), she would roll her eyes. Anyways, I can't really expect too much at the food court, so in the end I will come back for more.


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