Milk Tea Please! - Golden Bee BBQ HK Cafe

January 02, 2014

One of the things I miss the most about Hong Kong is the abundance of cafes serving up Asian comfort food. When I first heard that a new Hong Kong style cafe was opening up in the North side of Edmonton I got pretty excited.

Golden Bee BBQ HK Cafe - 13823 127 Street - Edmonton AB

My parents were interested in checking out the cafe as well after hearing about some good experiences from their friends. This past Sunday afternoon we drove to the restaurant, and the long ride built up our anticipation for the meal. Arriving around 1 PM, the restaurant was still quite busy from the lunch rush. We were seated in the back corner of the restaurant in a small, cramped booth playing footsies with one another throughout the meal.

The menu had a range of different dishes to order. Singaporean and Vietnamese influences were evident on the menu but we stuck with the classic dishes that we as a family know and enjoy. First up to the table were wontons & dumplings (shui gao) served with wonton noodles in soup (#g3, $7.50). Everyone has their personal preferences for wonton noodles but I like mine to be al dente with an elastic character to them. At Golden Bee, the noodles were just the way I expected, served up in a hot, steamy broth. Beneath the bed of noodles were 3 dumplings and 3 wontons, with both varieties being substantial in size.

Next up was the Beef Brisket Curry (#n4, $12.95 - rice and soup/hot drink included) which was both the most randomly and messily plated dish of the meal. The reasoning behind stir fried brussels sprouts accompanying the dish is beyond me, but the curry tasted great. There was a substantial amount of brisket amongst the potatoes, all of which was seasoned well with a kick of heat.

Another classic dish we ordered was the Beef Fried Ho Fan (#j30, $11.95 hot drink included). I like using this particular dish as a way to measure how well the kitchen can cook. Traditionally, broad rice noodles are fried in a wok with beef, green onion & bean sprouts at a very high heat to achieve an almost burnt flavour, which us Chinese people like to call "wok hei," which literally translates to "wok air." It's silly, but this almost burnt flavour gives the dish its personality. The cooks in the kitchen here did a wonderful job. The dish was seasoned well, the noodles didn't stick together without being overly oily, and you guessed it - wok air! See wikipedia for a better explanation.

The Hainanese Style Chicken with Rice (#n1, $12.95 hot drink included) was a dish I was really looking forward to but was unfortunately let down. The dish that I've come to know has the rice cooked in fragrant chicken broth (or even chicken fat) with traces of ginger and green onion. The rice at Golden Bee was coloured with some tumeric and completely lacking in flavour. The chicken itself was also bland and it was presented in a small portion size, making this the most "expensive" dish on the table.

The last dish to our meal was the BBQ 4 Item Combo on Rice (#m6, $11.95 with soup & veg included). Golden Bee makes their own barbequed meats, so we opted to try a variety of their offerings on a bed of rice. This is a classic grab & go type of meal that you'll find at any Chinese BBQ place, and I love how cheap it is. This dish came with Char Siu, BBQ pork with crackling, soy sauce marinated chicken, and half of a salted duck egg. All the meats were marinated and cooked well, and the crispy skin on the BBQ pork was delicious. The portion size was quite large for one person, so I'd suggest sharing this one.

Maybe I'm being harsh, but I'm disappointed that the food at Golden Bee wasn't as good as I had anticipated. By Edmonton standards the food was what we consider acceptable, but portion sizes are small and the prices are expensive for what you're getting. The cramped seating in the restaurant doesn't provide the most comfortable dining experience, and with the wait staff being so busy all the time you're not getting the best service either. I surely wouldn't make the drive all the way to Golden Bee from the south end of the city where I live, but those living in the north end of the city must appreciate having some form of an HK style cafe. If I were in the area I may consider stopping by, but then again there are so many great Vietnamese options in the north end of the city that might just get my attention instead.

Golden Bee BBQ HK Cafe on Urbanspoon

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12 comments

  1. Wow all looks delicious, very cool pics of the food.
    xx

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  2. Ohhh I am sad you were disappointed Andrea! I am always on the hunt for good Chinese food in the city!

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    Replies
    1. It's so hard to find good Chinese food around here!

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  3. Like this food. But after Christmas party and the parent's dinner in these day I want only eat fruit and drink water!! Happy 2014

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  4. that is so true about hong kong! one of the things (besides shopping) i get excited about every time i visit the city is the different restaurants and cafes that i get to try everytime. thanks for sharing this one, i might visit it one day!

    xo, carla
    www.carlaviolet.com

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  5. try the one in dickensfield! it's my favorite place I forgot the name but
    I know its the only chinese place there!

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    1. I'll have to look it up. Thanks for the rec!

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  6. You are not harsh at Golden Bee, seems you are CBC or Vietnam related and not old enough to experience all the great food in HKG, or never been to HK to try food. They are up to HKG standard if you ever enjoy all the great food for over 30 or 40 years of age. Do not compare orange with lemon. Some inexpensive Viet Noodle place at China town serve Pho at $8 which appears to be cheaper, but the on by Century Park LRT is $12 for same thing ! How to define expensive? but portion are no bigger than 100g IchiBan Instant noodle, hot soup will warm you up for a girl with small appetite. Enjoy it.

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    Replies
    1. I hate to agree with Anonymous, but Golden Bee is fantastic if you want to go for Hong Kong BBQ cuisine; the choices you made in your order is fairly pedestrian and is something I would order if I was European descent and wanted to eat something "safe".

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    2. And I would definitely agree with you. I typically order what I feel would be pretty representative of the typical diner in a HK style cafe :)

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  7. Quality and quantity are comparable to the HK Causeway Bay Sun Chew Kee (cafe). Good old HK style wok tossed food with wok-chi cooked and served in minutes! Price is very reasonable too.

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    Replies
    1. I'll have to check that place out on my next visit to HK :)

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