By Tana Kosiyabong
When I was young, authentic Western food in Thailand was hard to find. Nonetheless, some Chinese and Thai restaurants had concocted their own version of Western dishes. Most cooks/chefs had little or no training in European cuisine. They were forced to cook with locally available ingredients. Few people had ever heard of either extra virgin olive oil from Tuscany or premium goat cheese from Provence.
The Western-inspired dishes I grew up with were simple and unpretentious. Chefs had adjusted the flavor profiles to please their local customers the same way Asian food was adapted to suit Canadian and American alike.
Gold Stones Bakery & Restaurant is one of the Chinese restaurants in Vancouver that serve Western-inspired food. Up until recently, I had only purchased baked goods from their bakery section. Last weekend was the first time I decided to dine there. Once seated, I was pleasantly surprised to see their extensive menu underneath the glass tabletop. The main menu had almost two hundred Chinese and Western dishes to choose from. I couldn’t help but stared at those selections with my eyes wide open. Well… as wide as my squinty little Asian eyes could.
Aside from the main menu, there are also breakfast, lunch special, afternoon snack, dinner special, kid meal and monthly special menus. After long contemplation, I opted for the baked ox tongue with spaghetti listed on the monthly special menu ($6.50). All monthly special items came with a choice of free coffee or tea. I chose Hong Kong style coffee (also listed on the main menu for $2).
If you have $15 to burn, I would suggest Gold Stone’s dinner special. You can choose one of the western inspired main courses including filet mignon, sirloin steak, lamb chop and a few others. The dinner specials also come with dinner roll, soup of the day, dessert of the day, your choice of hot coffee or tea, and your choice of steam rice, spaghetti or French fries. What a deal! Be warned that these are Western-inspired dishes. They do not taste exactly like the authentic siblings.
My Hong Kong style coffee had arrived first. It was strong and creamy with no sugar added. A while later, the baked ox tongue was served in a small stainless steel oval tray. The portion was enough for one person. The baked cheese and béchamel sauce on the top looked very appetizing. Once dug in, the ox tongue was soft and almost melted in my mouth. The spaghetti was perfectly season with salt, oil and white pepper. My taste buds started to dance with joy.
Although I had never had this particular dish as I grew up, its familiar flavor profile brought back my beautiful childhood memories. I felt like I took a ride on Doraemon’s time machine back to when I was young. My family had gathered around a restaurant table as we enjoyed a similar dish. I don’t know about others, but I no longer need to spend a lot for a wonderful dining experience that’s near and dear to my heart.
Gold Stone Baked Ox Tongue with Spaghetti Special: ©©©© 1/4
Gold Stone Hong Kong Style Coffee: ©©© 3/4
NOTE: Baked ox tongue with spaghetti is a monthly special item. The offer is good while it last. It is also listed on the main menu as E6: Baked cheese and ox tongue with spaghetti ($9.50). The portion size is big enough for two.
Gold Stone Bakery & Restaurant is located at 139 Keefer Street, Suite 110, Vancouver, BC, Canada, V6A 1X3 (T) 604.688.9328
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