Big Chef has one of the best Chinese Chefs in metro Vancouver area. He is not only the Executive Chef but also the owner of Big Chef Restaurant. Big Chef is also known for their hot pot service. I don’t normally come here for hot pot service because they don’t have all you can eat and it will end up a pricy bill if I’m trying to stuff myself with food. However, the ingredients they provide for hot pot service is very very fresh and in high quality. If only I’m not a student, I might enjoy the hot pot service more.
WHAT IS “WOK HEY”
Big Chef is one of my to go restaurant during late night cravings. Although they are not open 24 hours, they run till 2 AM in the morning on regular bases. I really enjoy coming here because their food never disappoint me. Chinese cuisine is very tricky, a lot of people don’t know how to tell what makes good Chinese food and they will just say there’s nothing special. Sometimes, actually most of the time, it bugs me. I grow up with my grandpa and he is a very very very picky man. That is probably why it bugs me when people don’t understand food and say there’s nothing special. Anyways, when you find great Chinese food, it is not about the flavours and the explosion you’re looking for your palate because 85% of all the Chinese restaurants use MSG for their finger licking flavours. It is about the smell and taste of the food because that is how you can tell whether the Chef cooked the food properly with good “wok hey.” There’s no direct translation for the Chinese vocabulary “wok hey” but generally it means the perfect heat and seasonings used during the cooking process that enhances the colour (looks), smell, and taste of the food to its maximum. Without “wok hey,” the dish will only be very mono tone which in other words I would say it is only a dish that has general flavours it should have. That is then call nothing special.
DIFFERENCE BETWEEN “DA LANG” AND “XIAO YE”
In the Chinese culture, we have another vocabulary call “da lang.” “Da lang” comes from Chao Chow Chinese cuisine, originally means late night supper for Chao Chow cuisine in all Guang Dong areas of China. For other Guang Dong cuisine during supper time, we call “xiao ye” or “ye xiao.” However, when I spend more time in Vancouver area I found a lot of restaurant who are not serving Chao Chow food calls their supper service “da lang” anyways. It’s quite weird for me since back in Asia no one will call late night supper “da lang” unless you’re eating Chao Chow food.
Anyways, I came in Big Chef for supper service. Their supper service starts after 9:30pm and cost of the dishes will be cheaper and you get free regular congee (plain Chinese porridge) with your order.
My sister ordered the deep fried tofu topped with garlic flakes. Super crunchy and properly seasoned. It is not oily at all because the oil was hot enough when they fry their tofu.
Deep fried pork intestine is my all time favourite. It comes with pineapple cubes that were soaked in Chinese cooking wine. I know a lot of people can’t accept this dish but please try it! I always tell people that if you never tried it you can’t really say you don’t like it.
Chicken legs in sand ginger sauce. One of the reason I love Big Chef is their quality of food. A lot of restaurants or should I say 90% of the restaurants use frozen chicken legs most of the time. Big Chef uses fresh chicken legs! How do you tell? Fresh chicken legs are usually skinny and smaller in size. This is because frozen ones usually get soak in water during defrost process and it absorbs the water so they are larger and puffy (looks like they have more “meat”). The flavours are perfect. For sand ginger sauces it is very easy to go towards a too salty palate. However, the sauce here is perfect.
Sav ordred the stir fry pork blood with greens. Pork blood is probably the only organ I could’t accept because it is slightly slimy with a very strong iron taste. Sav loves it. And he finished half of them and finished the other half the next morning. Please don’t do that if you’re reading this. It is so bad for your health.
For our starch, we ordered the silky egg with prawns and scallops in thick rice noodles. Tasted like heaven! “Wok hey” is really good.
And like I mentioned earlier, you get free congee! We were a table of 5 so they gave us a big pot of congee to share.