This is my go-to restaurant for Chinese comfort food. Ambience and service are not even really a factor here. Congee Noodle House is super easy to find, right on Main and Broadway.
We ordered from the dinner special menu. You choose 4 items and it comes with a BBQ duck plate, savoury soup to start, and a sweet soup to finish. I think it was around $60 for this option. I didn’t take a photo of the starter soup or the BBQ duck, but it’s ok because they both didn’t standout.
Congee Noodle House is always noisy, with waitresses rushing around and creepy huge crabs in tanks watching you eat. Your meal comes with unlimited Chinese tea.
You’re probably wondering why we didn’t order congee with a name like Congee Noodle House; well, we have many times before and I can tell you, it’s very good. I like the texture (not too watery or thick), it’s flavourful and I always appreciate the chopped up peanuts and green onion they put on top!
In terms of the actual food we ordered…
I can’t say much for the beef (may I remind you again of my pescetarianism?) but I can certainly tell you about the gai lan. I don’t know what ‘sauce’ they douse it in to make the vegetables all shiny, but it’s yummy. The stalks were not too crunchy, which I prefer, and of course the best part of the gai lan are the leaves! Some people might describe the leaves as being soggy but I personally kind of like it this way. Gai lan is a nice plate to balance out all the other greasy meat dishes.
So I kind of cheated and tried some of the crunchy bits (assuming they didn’t have a minuscule piece of chicken hiding in the crumb of batter). Yummy…
I also scraped up the honey garlic sauce and tried that by itself. A bit too sweet for my liking.
The Daikon was basic. I find the radish in itself a bit strange, the texture being a cross between a melon and a potato. Not a particularly exciting dish.
I was quite pleased with the risk I took when I ordered this guy. The flavours were strong, and I like the mix of vegetables (eggplant, peppers, some other indistinguishable things). I was going to opt for something safer, like a prawn and vegetable stir fry or deep fried spicy tofu (always a good one). But hey, let’s try something different.
Ok, so the fish-to-vegetable ratio is not great (needs more fish!) If you like saucy dishes and mushy things, this is dish is for you!
To finish off our meal, we were served this Chinese dessert soup. I don’t know what it’s called or what’s in it. At this point I was very full, and there were leftovers from 3 out of the 5 dishes that came. But soup is an easy food to make room for, so I gave it a go.
The soup looks VERY unappealing, but I quite like it. It has a milky texture, and I believe there are lentils and another type of bean blended in? Anyway, it came with our dinner special so don’t feel obligated to have it if you don’t want to.
Our service and the time it took our food to arrive was both average; wasn’t slow or horrible, wasn’t amazing and quick. And for the food? Definitely satisfying, but nothing fancyshmancy. The price was average as well.
Food: 3.4 / 5
Service: 2.9 / 5
Overall: 3 / 5
Recommend?: Yes. Go with a group so you can have the opportunity to try a range of dishes.