Saturday, 17 July 2010
Congee Queen2900 Steeles Ave. E.http://www.congeequeen.com
Markham, ON L3T
Tummy Points: 3/5
Notes: Cantonese chow mein
$9.75, Sliced fish and pork
liver congee $4.99, Curry
fried rice noodle with
shrimp and BBQ pork $7.50
Back in the mid-ninties, Congee Wong was taking Toronto Chinese cuisine by storm. They offered lots of good tasting food for cheap. It was the formula that wins the heart of all traditional Chinese people at heart. It's all about value and being Chinese myself with fairly traditional parents I know it first hand. So during the ninities, a number of congee restaurants opened all around Toronto. Almost every Chinese plaza or mall had a congee restaurant. But the best was usually Congee Wong which stuck to its original formula. They kept prices steady and they didn't stray far in quality from when they first opened.
Surprisingly Congee Queen is owned by the same people that own Congee Wong so the quality is the same. I think Congee Queen has a more modern looking exterior and a little more elaborate interior design. Congee Queen also has higher quality wooden chairs.
Cantonese chow mein - assorted seafood, meat, and vegetable - came out hot and drenched in sauce. The calamari was bouncy and chewy, pork was soft and fatty (really great for flavoring), and vegetables were crunchy.
Sliced fish and pork liver congee came out hot as well. The rice was all soft and well cooked so it was almost like paste. Pork and fish are added to the base congee upon ordering so the congee doesn't have much liver or fish taste. Liver was well cooked with just a little red but very tender. Fish slices were very few. But they were boneless chunks with little flavor.
Singaporean Noodle (Curry fried rice noodle with shrimp and BBQ pork) was the last dish to arrive. Not a lot of shrimp. Only a hint of curry taste. The noodles were light and fluffy. Definitely not over oiled which is usually common in Chinese noodle dishes.
The dishes all came out hot and fresh from the kitchen. The food comes out when it's ready so don't expect any logical ordering of the dishes. The food tastes exactly what it looks and that's a good thing. Seating was comfortable and they didn't rush us out but we didn't come during their peak weekend lunch time. Service is fast and adequate. They're usually in a rush as they're understaffed compared to other types of restaurant and it's expected you know what you want already. I've been to Congee Queen and Congee Wong a number of times and have never been disappointed. Perhaps got bored of their food but never disappointed.