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Hon’s Wun-Tun House
268 Keefer Street
Looking for a quick and easy bite to eat, after passing through the downtown core that is being hit hard with a power outage the past two days, I stepped inside the well known and touristy Hon’s Wun-Tun House after finding it one of the business still open on this night. In business now for over thirty-five years, this staple of Chinatown is a Cantonese cafeteria-style restaurant probably with its reputation built on its potstickers and noodle dish offerings. Expanded now to five locations in the GVA, its name has certainly spread and one usually finds it listed among the Chinese listings on any of the run of the mill restaurant guides and magazines found in the city.
For cheap eats, Hon’s is up there in terms of bang for the buck and for quickness. Taste wise, not overwhelmingly good but adequate for what you are expecting and most of all paying. Armed with these PDA devices, waitresses all dressed in these bright yellow, Hon’s-branded T-shirts relay your order to the kitchen, where it usually comes out at a quick pace, even on those days when its quite full. The clientele is a unique mix of locals and tourists, Asians and non-Asians, so you can see it has wide ranging appeal. Now whether that translates to an authentic offering or one that has been ‘adjusted’ to local tastes, that I will leave up to you.
When I get tired of Vietamese pho or Japanese ramen, wun-tun noodles generally comes to mind and in Vancouver, you can find a bowl of Chinese noodles pretty easily. Its especially an excellent choice on those cold, rainy days in wintertime. But come summer, not really my favorite. Rather, I’ll opt for a pretty standard combination of some potstickers and a simple bowl of steam rice, and maybe a side of some veggies. Or throw in some barbeque duck or pork, another popular item on the menu here.
The potstickers, funny how they add the “TM” mark on their menu, like they own the term or something, come in four types: pork, beef, chicken, vegetarian. Also, you can choose to have them pan-fried, steamed or in a broth. Prices, $6 for twelve pieces or $3.25 for six. I’d rank the pan-fried and steamed as a toss-up, though do tend to find the pan-fried ones sometimes a bit sketchy in terms of the doneness of the meat inside. Though given how thinly they are stuffed, I don’t think its that big a deal, as the wrapping has a nice golden crust to it and easily handled in one bite.