For the last family dinner before my relatives flew back home, we decided to go to Fraser Court Seafood Restaurant since we haven't been there in years. We dropped in unannoucned without a reservation again like we did previously at Empire Seafood Restaurant, but had no luck this time. There was a full blown wedding reception in progress and we left hungry.
After much discussion, we finally decided to head to King's Chinese Cuisine. We've been going there for years, and while it's a bit of a dive, the food is consistently good and affordable. We're not the only ones that of that opinion as King's is always packed and this time was no exception. After a short wait, we were seated and once again proceed to order from a set menu in Chinese that I had no part of since I am Chinese illiterate. Even though we have a party of 5, we ordered a 6-person set meal, this time featuring a crab main, at $88.
Unfortunately, they seemed to have forgotten about us as we sat around for a good 20 minutes and had to call the staff multiple times before we were served anything. We were all too eager to dive in when we were finally brought our first dish, an appetizer of jellyfish and pork hock. This is a cold cut dish of shredded and marinated jellyfish and thinly sliced ham hock.The jellyfish was very crisp and both it and the pork was very flavorful.
Next, we were served fish maw soup. This was a very large portion for 6 people and everyone had at least 2 servings each. This had noticeably less chunks of seafood than the other night at Empire, but this was not a surprise since we expect to pay a lot less for this meal. Despite this, the soup was very good and enjoyed by everyone.
After the soup, we were brought the pepper salt fried prawns. This was shell-on shrimp deep fried with lots of chilies, scallions, and garlic. The shell was sliced open at the top to facilitate easy peeling, but was still a bit of a hassle to peel. The flavor profile was very good though. The chilies were sweet and not overly spicy, and there was plenty of garlicy flavor without being overpowering or salty.
We were then brought the live crab. This looked to be poached crab topped with a thin sauce and served on top a bed of egg noodles with ginger and scallions. The essence of the crab was infused into the sauce and made the egg noodles very delicious. However, the sauce was very mild and could have used a touch more seasoning.
The next course to come was fried tofu skin with mushrooms and bok choy. There were osyter, shiitake, and enoki mushrooms served with a thick sauce. The tofu skins and sauce were very sweet and went very well with the tender bok choy. This was a very delicous dish.
The 6th course was cod and broccoli. It again had a thin sauce that was adequately seasoned, and both the fish and broccoli were nice and tender. This is a pretty typically executed dish you can find at other restaurants. Nothing special to say about it other than that it was well executed.
At this point, we were pretty stuffed, so we were quite surprised when the pepper chicken hotpot landed on our table. We didn't think we were going to touch this very much, but we ended up finishing most of it because it was soooo delicious! There were huge chunks of succulent boneless skinless chicken, with pickled red and green bell peppers, and onions. What made this dish successful was the sweet and sour peppery sauce. This was very appetizing and rejuvenated ours right away. The pickled vegetables were crunchy and crisp, and married very well with the tender chicken. Everyone loved this dish!
We ended the meal with the usual red bean soup. This was a very good meal, and dollar for dollar, much better in my opinion than the one we had at Empire the previous night. Not only were the flavors altogether more successful, but we had a lot more to eat as well. If you don't mind the fact that they've probably never renovated in 20 years and that the paint is literally chipping and peeling off some of the walls, King's is a great place for some decently priced Chinese food. Be prepared to wait for a table though. They were especially packed at lunch since they also have dim sum awesomely priced at $2.30.
-decent food at reasonable prices
-cheap dim sum
-food can take a while to come out
-you can see the paint peeling off the walls
-service can be sparse due to volume of customers
-small parking lot in back.
-ample free street parking nearby