I think discovering a dive, having the courage to go in and sample their dishes and being amazed by the authenticity is one of the happiest experiences a foodie would have. That is how I found Lucky Gate. At the end of the day, I would consider myself lucky.
Going there with Banana Girl, I already know what I want to order. Just a disclaimer, not everyone who reads this entry will enjoy the type of food that I ordered, simply because it’s not something you eat every day.
The first dish I want to introduce is 夫妻肺片 (Spicy Sliced Cattle Stomach & Beef). The first two characters of this dish in Chinese is Husband and Wife. There is a traditional folk tale that explains the origin of this dish. Basically there was this couple in Chengdu, China. There was a couple selling this on the streets. People praised the dish, and recognized that it was a husband and wife team. So eventually they branded this to be the Husband and wife slices. Till today, there is a restaurant in China that is from the original recipe, and possibly family.
So in this particular ‘husband and wife cattle slice’ you can find tripe, tongue, cilantro, and to top it off: peanuts. This dish is spicy, and it will make you sweat. It was so good I couldn’t stop picking more up with my chopsticks and having more. The bite was crisp, and if I had to use the word el dente, I would think it’s a good way to describe the texture.
I urge everyone, if you can get pass the point of where the ingredients came from, and you love spicy food… ORDER IT. What can you lose in your life time? $9.99 + HST
The second plate we order is 蒜泥白肉 (Slice pork with garlic sauce). This plate is utilizing pork belly boiled until cook. The magic of the flavor is coming from the sauce. Traditionally this garlic sauce has a strong over the top salty taste. You can taste vinegar like flavor combined with soy sauce. This is also served cold.
The third dish was also an appetizer served cold. 醉雞 (drunk chicken) is chicken marinated in Chinese rice wine. All I have to say is, the chicken was so fresh. The rice wine taste is not too over powering. There are cases where I would order this from another restaurant, and disliking this dish because it felt like I was taking a shot of moonshine.
This is another dish that is not for everyone. This is 水煮鱼. This is a dish that is from Chongqing China. You have fish fillets that is covered in an extremely oily broth, and on top covered in peppercorn and chili. They serve it with flame underneath to keep cooking the fish to continue the intensity and flavour of the dish. It was extremely spicy, and I was sweating. If you are a fan of spicy ethic foods and is a daring foodie, you have to try this.
Braised Sliced Fish in Chili Sauce 幹燒魚片
Fish slices are first deep fried then braised in special chili sauce. The fish is crispy on the outside yet juicy and tender inside. This dish is nice compared to Wah Wing’s – their’s is good, but slightly heavy on vinegar.
Tofu with Seafood and Vegetable Hot Pot 海鮮豆腐鍋
This was huge and came in a piping hot pot filled with prawns, baby scallops, squid, a few fish slices and tofu over a bed of Chinese cabbage and cilantro. The broth is very clear and a little bland – much like a soup rather than a sizzling hot pot medley of seafood, tofu with thick sauce. In addition, to be picky I would have also expected full size scallops and not tiny frozen babies.
House Special Chow Mein (Seafood, Beef Tendon) 招牌炒麵
Your choice of either chef special hand pulled noodles 手拉麵 or hand cut noodles刀削麵. We got the hand pulled noodles. This noodle is stir fried dried with special house soy sauce. Beef tendons are soft and melts in your melt. Served also with baby scallops, prawns, and sparing pieces of bak choy. For 11.99 I would have expected more ingredients and a slightly bigger portion.
Steamed Shanghai Dumplings aka XLB 小籠包
8 soup-filled dumplings steamed with a thin outer skin. These XLB were quite big and the pork was flavorful. Remember to bite the top dumpling slightly to let out some hot air and pour in some malt vinegar for flavor. Careful otherwise the soup will explode everyone. Handle with care in a spoon!
Cucumber in Garlic Sauce 蒜泥黃瓜
Another cold appi – refreshing cucumbers marinated in garlic and lil bit of chili. One of my favorites. The portion of this dish is quite large
So to cap it off, this seems like an episode of Extreme Cuisine on the Food Network with tripe and tongue. I would trust that if you have an open mind and a passion for cuisine you would be interested in trying everything at least once. Next time I would really like to try their Smoked Fish and the Pickled Cabbage, Pork and Tofu Hotpot; but every time we come here we over order and become too greedy than what our stomachs can handle. At the end of the day, this restaurant can produce comfort food and extremely traditional dishes that you may or may not have seen before. The adventure is up to you.
Lucky Gate Chinese Restaurant 前門飯店
Cuisine: Chinese, Szechuan
Hours: 11am – 10pm
1139 Austin Ave, Coquitlam, BC V3K 3P4