Location: 5682 Fraser St., Vancouver, BC (Kensington Area)
Phone: (604) 249-0080 | Hours: Unknown
I have been meaning to write a post about Koon Bo for awhile now, but this one always have seem to slipped my mind. Anyhow, it’s never too late. I have been here twice already in the past year, but I’ll share with you my latest experience.
Koon Bo is an award winning Chinese restaurant in Vancouver for years. Mostly known for its deep-fried squabs, their house special shredded chicken and baked tapioca dessert. This is not a high class Chinese restaurant. In fact, it looks quite worn down. Yet, this place is still packed. It’s most likely you won’t get a spot if you don’t make reservations on the weekends because it’s not a very big restaurant.
These were complimentary appetizers. I don’t believe they give these out to everyone because I certainly didn’t get a plate the first time I went.
The shredded chicken dish at Koon Bo is one of their delicacy. It’s a shredded chicken dish made with preserved vegetables, jellyfish, and crispy spring shredded spring roll wrappings. The flavours are mixed well together and it’s just a very light appetizer.
The soup is probably one of the best soups I have tasted at Chinese restaurants. It’s a talipia double boiled soup with tofu and vegetables. The soup was very rich and creamy! Everything was just so natural. I don’t even think I had such rich fish soup at home. This was definitely a surprise. The remains were dipped with sweet soy sauce.
If you like duck, you’re most likely to like squab as well. I find their texture really similar. However, making a good deep fried squab ain’t easy. This place has one of the best squabs in town. Even though deep fried, the inside remains juicy and tender and hot! It’s often served with either special salt or vinegar.
I’ve never tried this dish before. But, I was never a fan of anything ginger. However, when this dish was served on the table, it smelled really good. I could smell the ginger but I think it was the pickled vegetables that was a blast. The pickled vegetables are on the sweet side to bring the flavours right out of the beef.
Another interesting dish, it’s more like two dishes in one. On the outside we have a deep fried stuffed bean curd and this is dipped with the sweet red sauce on the side. It’s kind of like a sweet and sour sauce. The more interesting part is the inside, supported by a deep fried wonton basket is honey garlic pork chops. Everything on this plate was sizzling hot, although you can’t really see the heat coming out.
The fried green beans were crunchy and crispy.
I forgot what sort of bean “tong sui” this is, but it was a little towards the sweet side. And for those who don’t know what “tong sui” is, it’s a soup dessert very popular among Asian cultures. The most popular of them all is the red bean soup.
This is another award winning dish. It’s not very expensive, only $10. However, this goes with a price. You have to pre-order it at reservation. However, we went on a weekday and we didn’t pre-order it. They had already said they ran out, but they surprised us at the end with one on the house. This is a baked sago (tapioca) pudding with diced taro and spreaded with lotus seed paste in the middle. I had this both times I was here and it was heavenly. I’m pretty sure the ones I make at home are not too far off from this, but it’s been always a hit and miss for me. However, for $10 it’s a steal.
Overall, the food at Koon Bo was superb. Each dishes were right on in terms of presentation and flavours. However, they do lack in the areas of ambiance and service. The tables are really close to each other, and sometimes you just have to wait for service, not that they are standing around doing nothing. But, they do lack staff. In terms of cost, their dishes are fairly priced.
Here are other dishes that are also at Koon Bo: