Chong's offer Cantonese food at relatively bargain prices.
I had left a positive review of this little neighbourhood dim sum place almost two years ago. I have been there a few times since then, most recently this afternoon. It was good before - the food this time actually improved!
We arrived at 1200h. There was a line up, but it was well managed as we were given a number by the attending server. We were seated in about 15 minutes. The table was clean, condiments were available.
We used the bilingual (English/Chinese) check list to order our dim sum. The basic items are $2.95 (a twenty cent increase since last year - but food prices have increased - I found the increase very reasonable and the price is still as low as one is likely to find at any dim sum in Vancouver). Specialty items - like the deep fried squid with spicy pepper and the fried green beans were more pricy (around $6 and $5 something respectively). In addition to the squid and bean dishes - we had 2 orders of sticky rice, and an order each of spring rolls, beef tendon, prawn dumpling, egg tarts, sesame balls, rice rolls with bbq pork and shrimp paste in eggplant. All food came in a reasonable amount of time and was hot and tasty. We especially liked that the food was not overly greasy. Even the deep fried squid was perfectly done - not a trace of grease remained on our fingers when eating it.
The room was crowded - but comfortable. The tvs played chinese programming - but the volume was low or off. The place was filled with mostly Asian patrons - families, couples, groups of friends. We are European Canadian - we found the everyone received good service - regardless of race, age, or family status. We were dining with children ages 6 and 8 - we were happy. We saw families with infants/babies - they appeared to be welcome and well treated to. We noted this on all our visits here. We always felt very welcome. Notwithstanding the full house - the place was not particularly noisy - maybe due to the acoustics of the place. The ambiance was good - not fancy, but clean and comfortable.
Our entire bill (including tax and 15% tip) was $46. Please note - like many little places on Kingsway - this is a CASH ONLY establishment.
This is our go-to place for dim sum. It is friendly, good value, good quality food and easy to get to (with plenty of free street parking). Highly recommended.
I haven't been to Chong's for a few years and the last time I visited, the setting looked different from before. They have put in more small tables, so we didn't have to share a table with strangers. The food was the same great taste I remember from a few years back, with large portions and low prices. I especially enjoyed the congee yesterday. The stuffed eggplant and fried rice were pretty good, too, though the steamed rice rolls were somewhat lacking. They also offered a few choices for the complimentary tea. Service was prompt and efficient. I will likely come back one of these days.
I have been going to Chong's on and off for years. The ambiance isn't the greatest. Most of the tables are cramped together. When it's busy, you usually ended up sharing tables with complete strangers. The atmosphere is very loud when it is busy. This is the place where you eat and run, not for a intimate lunch outing.
Most of the waitress spoke very little english. But because my friends and I are regular, we are treated well. Overall, the staff treated everybody well esp. when the majority of their customers are seniors.
I like to come here for their crispy roast pork on rice. Its the best in town for $3.00 and I think this is the only restaurant that serves this dish for dim sum. I also, like their steamed ginger milk, corn and shrimp dumplings and steamed white fish. They charge $3.00 for their baby bok choy with bean curd sheets and gingko nuts. Thats incredible value. Other restaurant charged $5.00 for this dish. Their other dim sum dishes are ok, but for $2.30, you can't complain.
One word of advice, if you know what you want, I suggest you order thru the waitress or else, you wait forever.
Recommended - crispy roast pork on rice.
Was here on last wednesday for dim sum. Very busy ... because the restaurant is filled with circular tables that seat 8-10, you will be hard pressed to find a table for 2-4. The option? Wait a very long time, or just sit at any large table with space. This is what we did, and we were dining with 2 other Parties...a family of 3, and another guy in a jogging suit. Talk about weird, especially when you are across from another. Anyways, dim sum came out fast and furious in trays for you to choose from ...quality was decent, nothing spectacular. It was, however, cheap ...and occasionally, there were specials, such as BBQ Roast Pork on rice for 1.50, which is a steal (an older gentleman must have ordered 3 of those). Space is cramped and gives off an unpleasantness...they seemed to have crammed more tables in there than they should have. Still, locals still come and gather , and eat. Service could use a little improvement and better training.
I had dim sum there on a weekday arriving at about !0:45. By 11:00 it was full.
The ambiance was great with people loudly chatting and wandering around getting napkins and their own tea. A bit of a zoo but I like that.
I was the only non asian but was treated very well with good service and a smile.
I wondered how quick they would be given the crowd, many of whom were just ordering, and the fact the servers were rushing in every direction.
After 10 minutes all my dishes arrived at the same time. All were quite good.
The price is really the point. Each dish was $2.75, much less than most places. For example, the ha gow at $2.75 was half the price of some of the high end restaurants. Was it as good? No. But it was good and at that price you can't beat it. You just have to decide whether you want to dine or eat.
If I want to take clients or similiar others, perhaps I'll hit the high end road, but for me, I like this and will come again.
Thanks to the most recent positive and helpful posts, we headed over to try Chong's Restaurant early-Saturday morning, March 17, to try the dim sum. Our first visit to this restaurant - and based on this dining experience, certainly not to be our last!!
We arrived a few minutes short of 9am - the 'Open' light went on just as we parked the car. We (a threesome) were greeted upon entering, and seated at one of the tables set up for four (along a side wall of the restaurant). Our server then promptly brought tea to our table, and provided us with the dim sum menu.
The dim sum menu: 68+ choices. The basic dishes (dumplings, and the like) priced $2.75/each, roast pork or bbq pork on rice $3.75/each, chef specials $3.75-$5.95/each, special rice/noodle dishes $6.75/each, and congees from $4.95-$5.50 a bowl, and $10.80-$12.80 a casserole. There is no additional charge for the Chinese tea.
For this, our first visit, we tried: steamed prawn & corn dumpling, steamed beef ball, steamed bean curd w/enoki mushroom, rice flour rolls w/prawns, braised spicy green beans, and deep fried squid w/peppery salt.
Friendly ambiance, good service, and we sure enjoyed our food choices -- everything well-prepared, very tasty, and served 'piping-hot' to our table. Like another poster said, the braised green beans were fantastic, as were the prawn & corn dumplings -- we have never tasted these dishes as good anywhere.
More please!! and that will come soon, as we are anxious to get back to Chong's, and get to try more items on their dim sum menu.
Chong's has been in the neighbourhood for a while and mostly serves the Chinese Senior's crowd during Dim Sum lunch hours. The food is usually decent and cheap, at $2.30 per Dim Sum dish (it used to be $2.00); certain dishes are even cheaper if you know what to order. The service and ambiance are not great, but you get what you pay for.
The restaurant is quite small and always packed during lunch hour. You could end up sharing a table with strangers if you aren't lucky or don't have a large enough group to take large table to yourselves. It's definitely a cramped eating space, so don't expect to be able to recline into the aisle. Dim Sum dishes are carried out on platters by the waitresses and called out by name in Cantonese. The servers are polite but curt, they won't be good on conversation but they are usually responsive to requests. It helps if you go with someone who's been there before, and also note that most waitresses don't speak much English, only Cantonese and some Mandarin. If you know what you want, ask the waitress directly (in Chinese) to get it faster. Although certain common dishes like Ha Gow (shrimp dumpling), Siu Mai (pork and mushroom dumpling), Cha Siu Bao (BBQ pork bun), etc. come around with some regularity, others may not. It's definitely recommended to order directly if you come near the end of lunch.
The food itself is usually decent and served hot (don't touch the steamer basket). It's a little oily for my tastes but I've certainly seen worse; the salt content is also okay in my opinion. No dish in particular stands out, except the prices. You can get a large bowl of Duck Egg and Pork Congee (Pi Dan Sou Rou Zhou) and a plate of their "famous" Hawaiian Fried Rice (Xia Wei Yi Chao Fan; composed of diced vegetables, pork, and scrambled eggs) for $2.30 each; "White Cloud Phoenix Talons" (Bai Yun Fung Zhua; actually non-marinated chicken feet) are just $1.00 a plate, ridiculous! These dishes have to be ordered directly from the waitress for sure, and they may also take a while to serve them as they build up a good number of orders to serve at the same time.
If you have leftovers after you are done eating, ask the waitress for take out cartons (styrofoam containers) and a plastic bag to carry everything. You'll have to pack it yourself, they don't do it for you. In the past, I have ordered extra dishes on purpose to pack for dinner or the next day. Ask the waitress for the bill, she may calculate it right in front of you and ask you to pay her directly on the spot to save time. Note that they charge tax and expect a reasonable tip. You can easily eat a Dim Sum lunch for under $10 a person depending on what you order. After you've paid, someone will probably begin to clear the table within a few minutes whether you've left or not (ie. it's time to go). Also note that the way they clear the table may be surprising for the initiates of fine Dim Sum dining; the "table cloth" is a soft plastic sheet and the waitress simply bundles everything up (cups, plates, utensils, everything) in the plastic table cloth and carries it away.
Chong's is a noisy and cramped restaurant full of loud mouthed Chinese people. The washroom is what's to be expected of Chinese eateries: terrible. It's definitely not your "mainstream" kind of place, although I suppose that depends on your definition of "mainstream." The food is bland, the service brusque, the prices are cheap. I wouldn't have it any other way.
I would have to agree that this place is packed with people. The sitting area is just is too crowded, back to back squeezed right next to each other, acquaintances and strangers! Food was alright depends on what you have. Some dishes I find them exceptionally well compared to other fancy dim sum places and costs a lot less (price is only $2.00 with additional tax and tips). My favorites are the corn/shrimp balls, steamed chicken buns, Baked egg tarts, baked ginger/chinese egg pastry (this is a very strong tasting dish, chinese duck eggs black ones if you know what I mean doesn't suit everyone), deep fried chicken knuckles (something different, it's a must try!!) I would go back and eat and leave! This is not one of those places where you can sit and have long chats with your friends! Do definitely go and try the food!