3003 Kingsway #1, Vancouver BC V5R 5J6
If you live in East Vancouver, chances are you’ve heard of Chili Pepper House. It’s the community’s staple Indo-Chinese food joint and one that’s been around for over a decade. It’s also my favourite Chinese food take-out place since I first ate there in high school.
So when Friday rolled around and I was craving Chinese, Chili Pepper House was the call. We ordered three meaty main dishes: Dai Ching chicken, honey garlic chicken, and spicy ginger and garlic beef. This was accompanied by an order of Manchurian fried rice. When we arrived at the 20 minute mark, there was a bit of confusion but they eventually figured out that we were there for pick-up. Our food was still being prepared so we waited a few more minutes. Sitting on one of the tables was a big basket of bird’s eye chili peppers – they weren’t playing. The order was on the pricier and after I reviewed the receipt that I understood that they had given us a 15% discount on our main items.
The first thing I spooned onto my plate was the Manchurian mixed rice. I love rice with a burning passion (cue Asian stereotype) and will get it as a side any chance I get. I was also intrigued by the Manchurian part. The Indian fusion also informs a lot of their dishes so its a mingling of traditional Chinese flavours such as soy sauce and umami with heavy spices, and (you guessed it) chilies! This rice was the perfect example – it was salty, rich, flavourful, and spicy. It had big chunks of chicken and pieces of shrimp. I couldn’t get enough and kept spooning more and more on. By the end when actually couldn’t eat another bite…. I surprised myself and added one last scoop to my plate.
The Dai Ching chicken was boneless and a dry-style dish. They were cubed pieces seasoned in an almost yellow curry flavour. It was tasty but not my favourite. There wasn’t nothing wrong with it, just not myself.
The honey garlic chicken on the other hand was sweet and garlicky with a viscous sauce lining the bottom of the tin. The chicken pieces where breaded, fried, then tossed in this sauce. And. it. was. amazing. And I also couldn’t stop eating it. When it comes to greasy Westernized Chinese food, I can’t resist the sweet and savoury combo. I’m a sucker for honey garlic every time and this satisfied me to the core. It was my favourite dish of the meal.
The spicy ginger garlic beef was also really tasty and pretty damn spicy! I enjoyed it too but had to take breaks in between bites because it sure had some heat to it. The sliced beef pieces were thin and well marinated in the sauce. The caramelized onion slices gave it a delicate sweetness. The spice kicked it up a level.
I finished the meal with a fortune cookie, as all good Chinese restaurants should provide. Apparently, I’ll live long and be rich – you’ve got to love that.
- Manchurian Mixed Fried Rice (Chicken & Shrimp) $11.95
- Dai Ching Chicken $15.95
- Honey Garlic Chicken $14.75
- Spicy Ginger & Garlic Beef $15.95
Beats: Can’t Stop – Red Hot Chili Peppers