When I feel like I’m coming down with a cold or the weather becomes more rainy in the fall (as you know it always does here in Vancouver), one thing that I always crave is congee (rice soup). It’s one of those great Asian comfort foods that can somehow help you feel better with each and every warm spoonful.
Well, it was just another one of those nights this week – I have been coming down with yet another cold (after a nasty flu a couple of weeks ago), and it also happened to be wet and dreary out. I met up with a co-worker friend of mine, who had to leave her house for the evening so that her cleaning lady could work her magic (let me know if you need a recommendation – she’s awesome!). We were tossing around ideas towards the end of the workday, and I realized what I had been missing lately – Congee Noodle House! It happened to be her favourite congee place in the city as well, and we both hadn’t been there for awhile.
Anyway, we walked in and as usual, it was filled with a large crowd of Asian people (a good sign of authentic Chinese food). No matter what time of day or night (it’s open past 1 am usually) I’ve been to this place, it’s always pretty much full to the brim. To soothe my unwell soul, I ordered the chinese mushroom and scallop congee, and of course, got it with a side of salted Chinese donut. If you’ve never had this before in your congee, you definitely have to try it on your next visit!
We also shared a green onion rice roll, which was a first for me, but also good. Usually I will order the scallop or shrimp rice roll, but really they all are tasty, depending on your mood in terms of type of filling. My co-worker ordered a wonton soup – those wontons looked really tasty as well – large, juicy prawn and pork filling. The best part? After eating our meal and being stuffed to the brim, we managed to only spend $22 between the two of us!
Other past favourites for me include the BBQ Duck on rice, Gai Lan (I prefer the oyster sauce on the side so it’s not too strong), House Special Chow Mein that comes with a variety of chicken and seafood, Salty Spicy Squid (so much garlic you may not be able to talk to anyone for the next day though), and BBQ Pork.
I’ve been coming to this place (on West Broadway near Main Street), for about 10 years now. The first time was actually with my mom, who’s friend of 15 years moved to Vancouver and found this place, which was before I had even moved to the city after university. As you can probably tell – it’s a longstanding favourite via word of mouth – it doesn’t even have a website.
Overall a very unassuming place, and definitely a very low-key atmosphere, but the inexpensive and tasty comfort food will keep me coming back!
Congee Noodle House
141 Broadway East
Vancouver, BC V5T 1W1, Canada