By Tana Kosiyabong
I can’t believe it’s been a year since I started Cheap Appetite on Canada day of 2009. At the time, I didn’t expect I could keep it up this long. However, thanks for the supports of you, my beloved readers, I have been inspired to write about my Cheap Appetite mission week after week. Also thanks to Neveen Hegab and Grant Proulx, my good friends for editing some of my blog posts; all my food blogger friends for their kind words. And finally, George Froehlich of savvyinsiders.ca, for featuring my stories on his website every other Thursday.
A couple of weeks ago, I was freelancing in Kitsilano, just south of downtown Vancouver. Even though the area is not that far from where I live, I hardly cross over the bridge to the other side. It is as if the gigantic concrete structure were a mental barricade over the False Creek.
But since the new gig was in Kitsilano, I had no choice but went out of my comfort zone. As I walked on the 4th Avenue during lunch break, I felt like a kid in a high-end candy store. Unfortunately this kid is a cheapo. Although there are many restaurants to choose from, only a handful of them fit the bill.
Not far from where I freelanced, I came across a signage of Win’s Chinese Restaurant featuring $6.50 Lunch Special on the foot path. There are over 40 lunch entrees to chose from. “That’s it. I’m going in,” I told myself.
Win’s Chinese Restaurant is located on West 4th Avenue between Cypress and Maple Streets. The restaurant is on the lower level of the building which means that you can only see the top half of it from the street. To get to Win’s, I had to walk down the stairs. Even then, the interior space still receives ample of natural light from the front door and windows.
The interior of the restaurant was outdated with pink and soft green color scheme. But it wasn’t bother me one bit. As long as the food is good, I don’t care much about the décor. After a quick look at the lunch special menu, I decided to order the Mongolian beef with steamed rice and a bowl of hot and sour soup (comes with the lunch special). Shortly after a kettle of complimentary tea and a small bowl of soup were served.
At first glance I was quite impressed by the hearty-looking soup. And even more so when I tasted it. The flavor was intense and delicious just like what hot and sour soup should be. Generous chunks of tofu and mushrooms were packed in this small bowl. The green onion sprinkled on top added another dimension to the flavor profile. This yummy soup is a good teaser prior to the main entree.
Shortly after, the Mongolian beef arrived on its own plate with a bowl of steamed rice on the side. I was stunned for a moment by the generous amount of the Mongolian beef. For a $6.50 lunch special, I expected a lot less beef and a lot more rice.
Once I tasted the dish, I felt like I just won a lottery. There I was in the middle of an unfamiliar territory, I had managed to pick out a cheap and delicious dish among many other choices. The beef was very tender and tasty, yet not very greasy. The mushrooms and veggies were perfectly cooked. Although the dish was marked as spicy on the menu, Win’s Mongolian beef is quite mild for my taste. Regardless of the tongue burning sensation, the dish was yummylicious.
Overall, I’m glad I found Win’s Chinese Restaurant. Their lunch specials are definitely Cheap Appetite worthy. I will go back there again next time I’m in Kitsilano.
Win’s Chinese Restaurant Mongolian Beef: ©©©© 1/4
Win’s Chinese Restaurant Hot and Sour Soup: ©©©©
Win’s Chinese Restaurant is located at 1909 W. 4th Avenue, Vancouver, BC V6J 1M7 (T) 604.224.1822 or 604.224.3944
Remaining Budget: $184.22
Budget Spent: -$6.50
Budget Available: $177.72
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