Chilli Lee is a small hole-in-the wall Szechuan restaurant.
One of a handful of chinese restaurants on Lonsdale, this one is a small family run place with one cook and one server. Lunch specials range from $7-$9 which inludes soup or spring roll. They have their usual rice dishes but tried the chicken and blackbean rice noodles for $8. Pretty decent size for lunch with lots of veggies and chicken, overall pretty good. Also came with hot and sour soup which was just OK. Not very busy so service was quick and efficient. Small place with about 20 seats with basic decor. Would come back.
I ordered delivery from this restaurant and it was the worst "Szechuan"(if you can even call it that) food I have ever had. I ordered the Pad Thai and the g rated Kung Pow Chicken. The Pad Thai had so many bean sprouts the noodles barely existed..the noodles that lingered were under cooked at that. A child with a how to cook noodles for dumbies could cook better noodles. With a seasoning of laziness the chef threw huge obnoxious over cooked triangles of tofu that would be a down right crime to any vegetarian. That's not even the worst part..many of the sprouts were mouldy and had gone bad! I called the restaurant to complain and the delusional chef claimed that's how they come and asked if I had ever eaten pad thai before. Last I checked the sprouts weren't blue and sour tasting!! On to the Kung Pow..Barely any chicken and dry as the cracked dessert floor..was not even spicy at all making it just cooked chicken scraps with under cooked vegetables. Pathetic excuse for restaurant quality food..do me and your stomach a favour and never ever eat here.just terrible
North Van does not have any outstanding Chinese restaurants. However the food at Chili Lee's is very good. But stick to Szechuan. I ate one evening and had a great cumin lamb and a chicken dish with vegetables(which did not taste like Cantonese cooking). It was great...but Szechuan restaurants always charge 30 % more than Cantonese for some unknown reason. The person beside me order a Cantonese Chicken chow mein that looked bad(dark with soy, very little chicken and no veggies...this is not how to cook this dish). I've eaten twice and always ordered Szechuan dishes(easily identified by a red chili besides the menu selection. The Szechuan chicken with chili and peanuts(cold dish), and one of my favorites isn't available. Too bad, I use it to compare greatness; just like Cantonese cooking is defined by superbly steamed fresh rock cod. Try the Tan Tan noodles. Unfortunately I was with someone who can't stand heat...great Szechuan food is bloody hot. I'll have to go back and order real Szechuan.
If your idea of great Chinese food is fried rice and stir fry with black bean sauct, find somewhere else. But if you like Szechuan food, this is the place. Our family loves the ginger beef, wonton in spicy peanut sauce,Szechuan green beans, sweet and sour fish, peppery chicken and all the chow meins we've tried. Food is delivered quickly and hot. The restaurant itself doesn't have much ambiance but at least it is clean.
So the decor is nice, service is friendly, however the food was terrible!
My go to for any new Chinese is a chicken fried rice, and beef and black bean. Well mine was horrible, fried rice was just flavorless hardly any sign of chicken, and the black bean was all vegetables with a small sprinkle of beef, which was super chewy, the sauce was like water :(
I won't be going back. I'd prefer to go to Coral Court on E3rd, now that is amazing Chinese food.