This is an odd post to write because Simon’s Kitchen is closing down at the end of the month because their building being demolished for condos. Howie took me here because he had fond memories of coming here with his friends in high school. By the time you’re reading this, Simon’s Kitchen will probably be closed. However, we wanted to acknowledge Simon’s Kitchen as one of the dwindling number of Cantonese restaurants in Vancouver.
A family friend had told Howie that their sizzling plates were amazing and that this was what she always got. This is a very standard Cantonese dish with BBQ pork, chicken, shrimp, bok choy and some mushrooms in it. We felt they could’ve been more generous with the ingredients. Those two shrimp you see on the left side are the only ones on the plate. The noodles were crispy at the start but quickly grew soft because of the sauce. The sauce is a gravy consistency savory liquid that gets drizzled on top of the noodles.
This is one of our favorite Cantonese dishes. There’s bits of salted fish and chicken in this fried rice. The salted fish adds a very sharp seafood-y, salty flavor. It can be a bit much for some people and so it might not be the best date night food but we still love it.
During our meal, we talked about how we kept seeing Cantonese restaurants in Vancouver close down. Although they recently rebranded with a new Olympic Village location, even great institution’s like Hon’s have shuttered their doors in the past years. We hypothesized that it might be because a lot of older Hong Kong immigrants who came many years ago have moved away or passed away.
Cantonese food is also not very Instagram friendly. It is cheap, comfort food and that might not be the current food trend. There’s not much room on Instagram for pictures of fried rice when it has to compete with a taiyaki stuffed with lavender ice cream!
Our last dish was the scallop and tofu hot pot. When I was younger and went out to dinner with my parents, they always ordered this. It always brings back a familiar feeling to me when I order it as an adult. I was disappointed to see there was very few scallops (seriously, can you spot any?) and not much tofu either. Instead there was a lot of peas and bits of chicken. As our most expensive dish of the night ($19.95) this was a huge disappointment to us.
During our meal, there was only one other patron dining in Simon’s Kitchen. However, we did see a steady stream of people coming in for take-out and several delivery drivers stopped in to pick up food. It’s good to see that their business seems to be doing well and it’s a shame that this neighborhood favorite for Cantonese food is closing down.