JC Kitchen is a Chinese restaurant specialized in Chiu Chow (Chao Zhou) traditional cuisine. Chiu Chow cuisine came from the east of Guang Dong province of China which is highly influenced by Cantonese cuisine. Chinese food is usually heavy in flavour and texture but Chiu Chow is probably the less heavy-handed among all the other Chinese cuisine.
For starters, we ordered the famous and signature Chiu Chow traditional soup – Pepper pig tripe and preserved vegetable soup. This is also one of the Chef recommendations of JC Kitchen. This soup is very very heavy on black pepper and white pepper. If you’re not a fan of both, don’t try it. The reason why it is so heavy on the pepper is because of the pig tripe. The pepper is used to remove the bloody, iron taste of the pig tripe.
Another Chef recommendation for starters is the Chiu Chow style braised duck.
Follow by Chiu Chow style braised pig intestine, tofu, and eggs. I’m very surprised they didn’t have a platter to order. We had to order them by pieces. The eggs were cooked perfectly. Traditional Chiu Chow braised eggs are meant to be half cooked so that there is that sticky gluey texture of the egg yolk. My favourite kind! 😛
The last starter we ordered it the Chiu Chow style deep fried shrimp cakes.
For entrees, Sav’s favourite braised slice pork belly with preserved vegetables. In my family, we label this dish as the dangerous bite cause it is high in fat content and high in cholesterol. Half a piece is usually good enough for me but this one is different. If the braised pork belly was cooked perfectly, you will not taste the fatty oily texture. I had a whole piece and Sav had at least two. He would had gone for more if only the portion was big enough. We came in as a large group so we had to share. I swear he could finish the whole plate 😛
A Chef recommendation entree, the Chiu Chow style fried oyster omelette. Oh did I mention Sav’s family comes from Chiu Chow? I won’t say they have a very traditional Chiu Chow culture but when big Chinese festivals or celebrations pass by, their family will go for Chiu Chow food instead of Cantonese food. Sav is very picky about his Chiu Chow style fried oyster omelette cause it is hard to find the traditional taste. Fried oyster omelette is different and has changed shape through the history. If you’ve been to Taiwan, you will find that their fried oyster omelette is completely different compared to the Chiu Chow style ones. In Vancouver area, it is very hard to find Chiu Chow food and of course it is even harder to find the traditional taste of fried oyster omelette. Somehow, Sav claims that JC Kitchen has the closest taste of Chiu Chow style fried oyster omelette. So I guess this is a win? But to be honest, the fried oyster omelette was cooked perfectly. You could taste the crispiness and the lovely taste and smell of the fried eggs. Traditional or not, it is definitely finger-licking yummy.
Another finger-licking dish is the fried yellow cracker. Like the fried omelette, crispy and flavourful. Everything is seasoned right. Gives an extra finger-licking taste with the fried garlic crumbles and chilli spread on top.
We also ordered something that is not Chiu Chow cuisine – the pork ribs with Chin Kiang vinegar. Chin Kiang vinegar is originated from Jiang Su, a province located near the eastern coastal area of China. This is a sweet black rice vinegar, taste really good on the ribs.
And to balance out, we ordered a veggie dish – stir fry satay beef with Chinese broccoli.
I think I mentioned this before in one of my old post. Chinese love to end their meal (feast) with noodle or fried rice dishes. In Chiu Chow cuisine, we order the famous pan fried yi mein cake.
You might be wondering why this noodle “cake” is called “cake” and is so plain.
The “cake” part comes from the crispiness of the noodle. The noodle is squished down on the pan so it creates a thin layer and is shaped together instead of having the noodle loosen up. This will make every single noodle crispy in texture. Almost like a pizza crust!
The noodle is plain. YES! It is NOT served with any meat or veggies and it is a tradition. Instead, it is served with black vinegar and sugar. Trust me, it taste really good. I must warn you, if you don’t put sugar and black vinegar on top of your noodle, you will hate it cause the noodle is not seasoned at all. You’ll be eating fried flour.
I highly recommend you go in groups so you get to try more dishes!
I see a lot of bad recommendations for their lunch service, specifically on their soup noodles. I never tried them but I’m not surprise because soup noodles are not Chiu Chow specialized. I recommend people to try their Chiu Chow dinner service. It is often sad that I see people not understanding Chinese food and write reviews on it claiming they are not up to expectations. And let’s be honest, ALL Chinese restaurant have bad service. If you travelled in Asia before, you will know the best places to munch will always have the worst service. Let’s focus on the munch before you comment about their services!