Ken’s Chinese Restaurant: Signature Dishes

AlvinLee September 28, 2012 Chinese, Kensington, Three Beakers

Foodology Disclaimer: approached us to try a few signature dishes at Ken’s Chinese Restaurant. Although the meal was complimentary, the views and opinions expressed are entirely our own.

In early August, headed out to Kingsway with the regular ChineseBites crew (Raymond, Sherman, Rick, Kevin, Janice and Romina) to try a few signature dishes at Ken’s Chinese Restaurant. The first dish our merry little crew dug into was the Lobster with Konyaku Hotpot. This was a great way to kick start the meal as we were all quite hungry and the lobster was cooked perfectly. I was not entirely sure why this warranted CRA recognition as I have had better lobster in Vancouver but the dish was still quite good. The lobster meat was very tender and flavorful and the portion was quite generous.

The second dish we dug into was Golden Dungeness Crab. This dish was interesting in that it is a standard fried crab dish but coated in an egg yolk coating. Personally, I prefer my crab prepared differently but this dish was actually pretty good. You could definitely taste the richness of the egg yolk along with a subtle saltiness which complimented the crab meat well.

The third dish we tried was a plate of Free Range Chicken. I really liked this dish as the chicken was very fresh and prepared very well. The skin was slightly rubbery but tasty and the actual white meat was very moist and delicious. I could have eaten this plain or with rice, served with a side of ginger. Note: We didn’t end up ordering any bowls of white rice as we ordered a lot of food already.

Our fourth dish is not something I usually order at a Chinese restaurant but still turned out quite delicious: Grilled Rack of Lamb w/ Black Pepper Sauce. I am a big fan of lamb so I ended up loving this dish, the meat was moist and well cooked with a beautiful grill top sear. The black pepper sauce was quite strong but went boldly with the strong red meat. 

The fifth dish we tried was the Stewed Pork Hock w/ Peanuts. This is definitely something I could see my parents ordering as it was definitely very traditional home cooking. The dark soy definitely lent a deep, rich flavor profile to this dish and the long stew successfully made the meat tender. Due to the high heat, the peanuts were soft but not mushy which I appreciated.

The sixth dish we had was the Stewed Oxtail. I was excited to try this as I had just tried a delicious oxtail ramen the night before but was pretty disappointed with this dish. The meat was nowhere near as tender as I would have liked. Technically being a stew type dish. I definitely would have liked to see the meat falling off the bone. The included vegetables were also not that flavorful so overall, a pretty disappointing offering.

Thankfully, after the disappointing stew, our seventh dish was a delicious Stewed Pork Belly. When this dish first arrived at the table, I was a little concerned at the huge layer of fatty tissue but after taking my first bite, I was in love. The pork belly was prepared so perfectly that the cut literally dissolved on my tongue. The rich dark sauce was delicious and actually made me want to eat the accompanying broccoli. Overall, one of my favorite dishes of the evening and something I would definitely order again.

Our eighth dish was quite simply Ox Tongue. I cannot recall who ordered this but I very rarely eat this type of delicacy so was a little apprehensive. My first bite into my ox tongue made all my worries vanish as the meat was actually very good! I really dislike dishes like liver and was expecting the ox tongue to be of a similar consistency but it was much better. Again, the dark sauce helped a lot and seemingly goes well with anything served at Ken’s.

The ninth and tenth dishes of the evening were Four Seasons Green Beans and Salmon Roe Fried Rice. I just want to note here that by this point in the meal, I was beyond full. The heavy meat based meal definitely took its toll on my gastronomic prowess. I tried a couple green beans and a small bowl of fried rice but could not really fully enjoy either. From what I remember, the salmon roe rice was decent but not altogether flavorful. I believe the intent was for the rice to be somewhat bland to support the heavily flavored main dishes. The green beans were firm and you could definitely taste the garlic and shredded pork seasoning with every bite.

To wrap up with a few final thoughts, there was a lot of food served and other than one clear miss, the food really was very good. Our dinner definitely was dominated by meat entrees but it was clear that Ken’s can do a variety of dishes very well. On a return visit with a smaller group, I would definitely go for a few bowls of plain white rice and a couple meat dishes. The lobster and crab dishes were good but there are definitely better places for similar dishes but the meat dishes were definitely very strong.

Words of Wisdom:

  • Definitely go for the rich Pork Belly with a few bowls of white rice
  • Skip the Oxtail Stew but give the Grilled Rack of Lamp a try
  • Go with friends/family that love meat, you will not be disappointed

We Rate Ken’s Chinese Restaurant:

1097 Kingsway
Vancouver, BC, Canada


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