By Tana Kosiyabong
I have a good news to share with all of you. CheapAppetite.com has gained a recognition from the 24 Hours Newspaper, the third largest newspaper in BC. Recently, I was invited to write a couple of reviews for their redesign food page. Not to mention that Savvyinsider.ca also see some value in my thrifty nature and has been featuring my reviews every other Thursday since last year. Thanks for the opportunities, guys.
Now let’s get back to the cheap good eats, the main reason why we’re all here. Although my freelance gig at West Broadway and Cambie has already completed, I still have a few restaurants in the area to write about. Joseph, my co-worker who was born and raised in Hong Kong, had told me about a restaurant called Cafe Gloucester. It’s a Hong Kong style cafe similar to Gold Stone Bakery which I reviewed a while back, but more modern. The restaurant typically serves Western inspired Chinese food. Joseph’s favorite dish is the Portuguese Chicken. He described it so deliciously that I decided to embark to the restaurant on this Cheap Appetite mission.
Cafe Gloucester is located on Cambie street between 17th and 18th Avenue. As I got there, the restaurant was already packed with Asian patrons, a good sign for a Chinese restaurant. The window tables were all taken so I had to sit far away from the beautiful natural light; hence the sucky photos on this post.
The restaurant has a very extensive menu similar to Gold Stone. However, I just went with Joseph’s favorite, No. 86: Baked Portuguese Style Chicken with rice ($7.99). The dish comes with a free serving of coffee, tea, horlicks or hot chocolate which I eventually ordered the Hong Kong coffee to match the restaurant style. For a cold drink, add one more dollar.
The dish took about 20 minutes to arrive, but the coffee was served within the first five minutes. It was strong and creamy, yet not sweet at all. Hong Kong style coffee is way better than a cup of four dollar soy latte from a fancy coffee shop.
Once the dish had arrived, I started to dig in right after a quick photo session. The yellow curry sauce was mild, smooth and creamy. If you close your eyes and fancy yourself flying naked through the fluffy clouds fifty miles above a curry factory while drinking a glass of half and half, you can pretty much imagine the taste of it. I bet they used either evaporated milk or cream along with the coconut milk to make such a velvety sauce. The grated coconuts on top enhanced the coconut flavor in the sauce even more.
The chicken skin was crispy on the outer surface, but softer underneath. The large chunks of chicken meat were tender and nicely marinated. The baked potato chunks with charred skins were super duper. When I bit into the sweet onion slices, they were almost melted in my mouth. The steamed rice under the sauce was lightly stir-fried with eggs. What a lovely detail!
When I went back to the office, I chatted with Joseph further about the dish. He told me that the Portuguese Chicken is a popular dish in Hong Kong. It was invented in Hong Kong and doesn’t have anything to do with Portuguese. However, my post-meal research revealed that Portuguese chicken is originated in Macau, a region near Hong Kong and formerly occupied by Portugal. The dish did not come from Portugal. Another source also mentioned that the original version of this Macanese dish is a Chinese-Portuguese fusion which chorizo is also one of the main ingredients.
If you ask the Portuguese, they would have shaken their heads and wondered why their mamas have never cooked this dish before. If you ask me, I’d say “who cares where it came from?” As long as it’s cheap and yummy, I’ll keep eating it.
Cafe Gloucester No.86–Baked Portuguese Style Chicken on Rice: ©©© 3/4
(Joseph gave it 7 out of 10. He said he had better ones in Hong Kong. The chicken meats were more chewy.)
Cafe Gloucester is located at 3338 Cambie Street, Vancouver, BC V5Z2W5 (T) 604.873.3338
Remaining Budget: $89.77
Budget Spent: -$7.99
Budget Available: $82.78
NOTE (Oct 23, 2010): If you’d like to try this dish, make sure you order No.86: Baked Portuguese Style Chicken with rice (7.99) as seen below. One of my beloved readers ordered the same dish on a different section called “Western Dishes” section, and it was priced at $10.99. That particular one doesn’t come with a free drink either.
NOTE (Oct 25, 2010): According to Eve (one of my reader), Cafe Gloucester has a REGULAR menu (with green binding) and MINI MEAL menu. I believe the mini meal menu are the under $9 dishes that comes with a choice of horlicks/ovaltine/lemon tea/milk tea. The MINI MEAL menu is usually served from 9AM-5PM and again from 9PM-onwards. Not during dinner time.
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