Chinese · Restaurants · Seafood

Sun’s BBQ – COVID-19 dine-in edition

L’s friend Grohl is visiting from Texas. His wife informed us that their ten year old daughter Hepburn wants to be a food critic. After they finished their 14 day self isolation, L and I took Hepburn out for dinner. For this post, let’s listen to “Exhile” by Taylor Swift and Bon Iver.

Hepburn’s favourite cuisine is Chinese and she wanted to dine in. With Hepburn in our care, I wanted to pick the safest place. I know Sun’s BBQ was professionally disinfected before reopening. All employees wear gloves and face masks and guests have their body temperature measured and hands sanitized before entering the restaurant.

SUn's

I stuck with hot tea while Hepburn drank a can of Sprite ($3) and L sipped on his Tsing Tao beer ($6.50). Prior to our visit, I consulted with Miss Foodie and Ms. Biz. Miss Foodie recommended any of the hot plates or casseroles. Ms. Biz approved of the deep-fried chicken knees and vegetable stir fry.

Hepburn looked at the menu and pointed to the deep-fried chicken knees. When I told her what it was, she and L vetoed the dish, despite my assurance that deep-fried knees are delicious. Hepburn wanted crab and L wanted anything but the chicken knees, a casserole or a hot plate.

great pic crab

The Stir Fried Crab with Ginger and Onion ($54) was superior to the crab I tried at Kam Han. The crab tasted like it was fresh and not previously frozen. At Kam Han, the texture of crab meat was like canned crab and the meat stuck to the shells.

crab 2

Our crab arrived so hot, my hands burned from the heat of the shells. The crab meat was flaky and sweet.  I even ate the crab fat inside the body’s cavity. When the soft innards are fried, it has a creamy richness similar to deep-fried oysters. I would order the crab again.

crab leg

The Scallop and Tobiko Fried Rice ($16.99) was light in flavour. I was hoping for more wok hei in the rice. Hepburn enjoyed this dish, though I thought it was only average.

rice

I ordered Thai Style Grilled Chicken ($18.99) because I’ve seen it featured on Taste of Asia’s Instagram account. Hepburn didn’t care for it and L said it was okay. This is a dish I could cook at home, though I would have seasoned the chicken more and ensured the skin was crispy and not served soft.

chicken

I’m pleased with Sun’s BBQ safety standards but if I go for dinner again, I’d heed Miss Foodie’s advice and order a hot plate or casserole. From what I sampled,  Sun’s BBQ is best for lunch when they offer their BBQ meats on rice or noodles. Perhaps this experience will serve as a cautionary tale as to what happens when you fail to follow the cardinal rule of Chinese restaurants – order what is recommended by trusted sources. Miss Foodie and Ms Biz, I’ll never disregard your advice again.

Sun Chiu Kee BBQ Restaurant 新釗記 Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Beer · Burgers · Seafood

Bookers BBQ and Crab Shack

Dr. B just returned from one of his epic trips. We usually get together two to three times a year.  As I know he has a penchant for pubs, I picked Bookers BBQ and Crab Shack for lunch. Booker’s has street parking for Dr. B and it’s close to my workplace.

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The interior of the restaurant is pretty cool. The building is old, the room is dark with super high ceilings. I could smell the smoke coming from the kitchen, and it lingered on my hair hours after lunch. Ah, I bet my fellow yogees just loved standing next to me that evening, inhaling my BBQ infused sweat. Yummy.

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Dr. B is a light and healthy eater, so I did the ordering. I didn’t want to be stuck eating a salad. We shared a Beef Brisket Sandwich ($12.95) and a plate of the Brisket Burnt Ends ($10.95). The beef brisket was covered in a  Kansas City BBQ sauce. I found the sauce delightful.

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I would recommend the brisket sandwich. The smooth, clean texture of the bun went really well with the thick, juicy slices of beef. The crispy onions were a nice textural touch. I also liked the deep-fried pickle that came on top of the bun.

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The beef tips were another winner. Dr. B noted that this dish was not the type thing you would make at home. The square-like meat was pillowy soft. Dr. B said some pieces were too fatty for him, but that’s what I think made it taste so good. If you prefer lean cuts of meat, don’t order the brisket sandwich or the beef tips. I know this comment is going to gross my vegetarian friend Jaime out… but it must be said. I love the taste of hot squishy fat as it squirts on your tongue.

The cornbread was a good portion, crumbly and sweet. The jalapeño macaroni and cheese came bubbling away in a hot pan. I didn’t find it spicy and it was light despite the cheese sauce. I liked the oven baked crumbs on the top of the perfectly al dente noodles. While a lot of reviewers on Zomato love the sides at Bookers, I prefer the meat. The meat here trumps all.

I want to book an event with my coworkers at Bookers. The venue is neat and different from the usual places on Stephen Avenue. I can’t compare the food to Palomino, our usual hangout, because the food at Bookers, though also BBQ, is different.

View my food journey on Zomato!

Bookers BBQ Grill & Crab Shack Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato