Wen Xin – Burnaby, BC
Wen Xin Chinese Restaurant
5240 Rumble Street
Though I’d seen it a few times while in this little corner area of Rumble Street and Royal Oak Avenue, I’d never thought to bother with stepping inside Wen Xin until local readers (LotusRapper and Karl of thefridaylunch) mentioned/wrote about it in one of the comment threads of a previous south Burnaby post. My visit was actually back in the late-summer, while school was still out so a lunch hour timing actually turned out to be perfect – as it was just me who was inside getting a meal (to go). No annoying teenagers to get in the way. Its in the same general area as Makoto and Georgio’s.
Unsure about what to get as the extent of my ability gained over the years of travel that I’ve done to read any Chinese characters is limited to beef, chicken, fish, pork, and perhaps a few of the preparation terms (fried, stewed, roasted, etc.). The English descriptions really don’t do it justice, as I’m sure the Chinese readers can attest to. That chalkboard you see pictured below, looks like it could be a special menu for Chinese-readers only, but I didn’t bother to ask. Also note here, they are a cash-only establishment with a CIBC ATM inside the nearby Seven Eleven if you are out of greenbacks.
A lone female was stationed at the til and showed me the menu as I stepped up. I had no clue what to order, so asked what she’d recommend. Initially, as I’d told her it was just for me, she pointed to some of the special lunch items that were around $6-$7. They looked pretty ordinary and I wanted to try something I’d never had before, as well as get more than I’d need so I could eat any leftovers the next day too (yep – I was lazy). So hoping to get something ‘substantial’ and ‘safe’, I asked for the following deep fried item. Yes, I cheat on my relatively good diet these days from time to time. Fried things being my main weakness.
‘Crispy salt and peppery chicken‘. Less seasoned than I thought they would be. And more fatty bits too. They were kind of like over-sized “popcorn chicken” bites. I guess I like my chicken leaner and meatier than these lower quality parts, so wasn’t overly thrilled by this bowl.
Listed as the ‘dry squids & shredded pork with chili pepper‘ and denoted by the red hot chili mark, this is the one item she recommended I try. As I’d told her I’m up for anything and could handle spicy food. I guess its one of their most popular items. A mix of a variety of textures, from the chewier bits of squid, softer tofu strips and green bell peppers, and of course some bite in the pork. This went really well with some steamed rice that I cooked up on the side, really earthy flavors in such a light stir fry. In actuality as I was eating this, I kind of wished I had some kind of soup to complete the meal. That’s the trouble with trying to eat Chinese food alone. A single dish is never satisfying in terms of giving enough variety, and ordered two, three dishes becomes way too much food for one person.
Overall, this place seems to have plenty of choices on the menu. And more variety of ingredients than the usual run-of-the-mill North Americanized Chinese restaurant. I’d say I’d like to go back and try some others things, perhaps with a few friends in tow next time, and try dining in to see what that’s like.