|Assorted BBQ meat (3 varieties - chicken, roasted duck, and char sui) on rice|
Whenever we drive into Calgary, my mom INSISTS on going to three specific spots in order to buy food to bring home, which we will have for lunch and dinner the next few days. I can't believe I'm spilling her secret itinerary, but hey, moms know best. First stop and item is bun bo hue from the aptly named Bun Bo Hue Deli in the little strip mall on 17th Ave. If you bring a pot from home, they will fill it up with soup and provide you with all of the meats, noodles, condiments, and greenery on the side for one flat price. We literally bring a bucket to Calgary (not a pot, but an actual bucket with a lid) just for the purposes of transporting the broth safely back home. Second, we have to stop at Central Landmark Mall in order to buy Chinese buns from Logo's Bakery & Cakehouse. My favourite is the ham and cheese bun, since it is the epitome of my childhood. And finally just a stone's throw away from that mall, we stock up on all the Chinese BBQ meats from Sun Chiu Kee BBQ Restaurant. And good old lucky me, it was my car this time that had to endure three hours of all of the combined smells marinating into the car seats. Note to self: buy air freshener ASAP.
While on the last stop, we decided to sit down for lunch as well before making the trek back home. Sun Chiu Kee BBQ is a Hong Kong style cafe, though they have a BBQ window and counter where people can order meat to take home. Their menu is probably a hundred items (or more!) long, and the restaurant is loud with chatter, matching the service which is casual and brisk. If the washroom is any indication, the kitchen is probably less than sanitary... but all of these elements combined are the hallmarks to good Chinese food, no? You definitely don't come to these sorts of places for the service or the ambiance; you only come here if you want good and greasy Chinese food done right.
Before we go on to the food, I have a small confession to make. I actually have no idea what we ordered or the prices of the dishes (I fail so much as a food blogger, sorry). I'll try my best to decipher the items the best I can, but whenever we're in any sort of Chinese restaurant, my family usually orders away without even looking at the menu. It must make me the black sheep since it normally takes me five hours to pick an item from a menu. And that's on a good day.
|Lamb brisket noodle soup|
|Lime iced tea and regular tea|
Back to the matter at hand, Sun Chiu Kee knows what they're doing with their char sui. Normally, I prefer crackling roast pork, and rank char sui on the bottom of my list since the meat tends to be really dry and chewy. Honestly, some establishments serve leather and try to pass it off as char sui. Not cool. But here, the meat is still succulent and yet not too fatty, while the glaze provides the right amount of sweetness to the meat. I will gladly eat the char sui here.
Dare I claim Sun Chiu Kee as having the best Chinese BBQ meat in Calgary, and maybe even Edmonton? I hate making bold statements, but it's definitely up there for sure.