Saturday, 7 April 2012

Munchie Adventure: Ruby Chinese Restaurant 紅寶石大酒家, Port Coquitlam

This visit wasn't particularly a special visit to try something new, since I've known this place ever since it opened, and the restaurant before it too. The owners are very friendly and the atmosphere is very homey. Don't be intimidated by her loud voice, she's actually very friendly but just... loud :) They're trying to improve the looks of the restaurant (and I've been helping a bit) and it's starting to look better. There have been reviews that make this place seem really negative, but really, they actually do a really good job of keeping their food clean and fresh. I've always had a problem with restaurants using old oil (oil that's been used to fry stuff for a very long time), but I know they change their oil very frequently, so their fried goods are... good :D

Ruby Chinese Restaurant 紅寶石大酒家 on UrbanspoonRestaurant: Ruby Chinese Restaurant
Location: 2228 McAllister Ave, Port Coquitlam
Cuisine: Chinese
Price range: $3-$12 (depending how much you eat/what time)
Date of visit: March 30, 2012
Ruby Chinese Restaurant 紅寶石大酒家
Atmosphere: 4.5/5
Staff/Service: 4/5
Food variety: 3.75/5
Food quality: 3.75/5
Buck worthy? 4.25/5

This particular visit was to help them decorate their place, so it wasn't during lunch. It seems like I was bribed to write good things about them, but I do try to be unbiased and truthful-- you can only lie to people once because they'll find out the truth for themselves after that one time. Dinner was on them, and the owner surprised us with the dishes. We had gone there for dinner before (about a year ago), and I'd have to say, it's undergone good changes.

There was still the buffet portion, which they always change and keep fresh, with over 20 items to select from, and the owners are very good at meeting the customer's needs-- if you want something that you know was on the buffet menu, you can ask them to make it (something that a lot of buffets don't do). The buffet is $10.99, and is only open Friday to Sunday. But watch out, they might decide to close it early if there aren't a lot of customers on a particular night (they closed it around 7:30pm when I was there decorating).

Ok, back to my meal :) I'm not sure of the pricing though, since I see the menu, but I remember from last time most of the dishes were around $15 (usually less).

This was the first dish that came, a sizzling plate, and it really was sizzling! I think it was the beef with veggies (there was beef, onions, and green peppers) in black bean sauce. I found it a bit salty for my taste, but the flavoring was well-balanced, and if you had rice with it (I wanted to save some stomach room for the rest of the food), I'm sure it would've been perfect.

 Then came the fried shrimp in spicy salt (also an item that can be found on the buffet menu). Very fresh, and the shrimp were a good size (so the ratio of shrimp peeling to eating shrimp was good)-- as I mentioned before, I love their fried foods ^^.
 Next came another sizzling thing-- a hot pot. This is probably the seafood with tofu hotpot, and had tofu, scallops, squid, fish, shrimps, green peppers, snow peas, celery, and onions. This was delish! A bit oily, but I like how the sauce wasn't too thick and the combination of items was good, since I like dishes that include a lot of variety in it :)

Then there was honey pork chops. As you can see, they were popular, I couldn't manage a picture before everyone grabbed a piece! I really liked this dish personally because it was freshly fried (so it was still crunchy) and there wasn't an overload of honey/malt soaking the pieces on the bottom of the plate. As well, it wasn't a fat cut of meat, everything was tender and lean. It was a large plate too, so we had to pack away some of the food at the end of the meal.

Here's one of the ribbons we put
 for decorating the drapes  :) 
I don't have any pictures of their lunch, but dim sum is $2.50 and there are lunch specials for $4.90 or lunch combos (which are very popular) for $4.95 (two items) to $7.95 (three items). Their dim sum isn't extraordinary, but you get the quality you expect for the price you paid. (unlike some restaurants where I paid like $6 for the same thing I get here, which I find is rather unreasonable and evil >=[)

As well, they are very flexible with menu items, you can feel free to ask them to change it up (like I always ask for pork with flat rice noodles, which isn't on the menu, but they'll still make it) for no extra charge. They don't charge for tea and there's also a special on wonton noodles in soup for $2.95, which we get every time because it's cheap :D Hopefully I'll remember to take some pics next time I go and put them here so there's a feel of how their dim sum is ^^

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