JOEY

I distinctly remember looking out the window and seeing the sign for Joey Tomato’s (Coquitlam location) whenever we drove over to my grandmother’s for a visit. However, I never dropped in and gave it a try until it was renamed JOEY.  This time, my family decided on JOEY for dinner to celebrate my older sister’s birthday. From the outside, JOEY looks pretty unassuming. Inside, it’s like the typical dimly lit restaurant; nicely decorated with a lively atmosphere.

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As soon as we were seated, our waitress asked if we were celebrating anything special. We told her we were celebrating a birthday and she surprised us all with lemonade slushy in shooter glasses. The lemonade tasted a bit too sour and a little artificial to me so I ended up giving mine away to Baby-Paca to finish, but I appreciate the gesture.

For starters, we ordered the yam fries and ahi tuna tacos to share. For the entree, Mama-Llama, Baby-Paca and I ended up ordering the steak frites, my older sister got the lobster and prawn ravioli while my mom’s boyfriend got a burger (which I did not get the chance to photograph or taste).

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Yam fries with truffle lemon aioli ($8.50): The yam fries came sprinkled with grated Grana Padano (a cheese that tasted like parmesan) and were delicious with the aioli that it came with. The slight tang from the lemon made the aioli less heavy than other mayonnaise-based sauces. I love the decadent earthy aroma of truffles. Truffles just makes (almost) everything taste better.

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Ahi tuna tacos ($12.50):  The seared rare ahi tuna was served on a flat little deep fried tortilla with coleslaw, and a light wasabi aioli. The shell was crisp without being oily or greasy and it was nicely salted.  The tuna was complimented well by the coleslaw, which had an acidic ginger dressing. You could tell that the vegetables in the coleslaw were fresh as the sweetness in the cabbage comes through. The only downside is that the aioli didn’t have that kick you’d expect from the wasabi. It only tasted faintly of wasabi, it wasn’t spicy at all. Eating it was also a little messy because the taco shell was piled pretty high with coleslaw and the shell crumbles on you.

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Steak frites ($20): The CAB prime sirloin is topped with parsley butter, with a side of rocket greens and fries. My sister and I added blue cheese butter on the side (additional $3 each) as the flavor of the parsey butter is kind of mild and lacked a bit of sodium, we preferred something stronger with more richness. The steak came like we ordered it, medium rare. It was juicy and pink on the inside, but it was still a little chewy. Prime sirloins are known for being the most flavourful cut of meat, but it is also not the most tender cut of meat. The steaks were considerably small (5oz) compared to the steaks we’re used to seeing, but honestly, for $20 it’s still a good deal and the portion on our plates were definitely enough to fill us up. The rocket greens (arugula) were wilted by the balsamic dressing and had a shiny sheen to it that off putted me slightly, but it was tasty without that bitterness that arugula usually comes with. They were also super generous with the fries, which I enjoyed. Some people may prefer them more crispy, but I like the mushy kind of fries (they were kind of like McDonald’s mushy fries but less salty).

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Lobster and prawn ravioli ($22): The ravioli pasta is stuffed with lobster and crab meat, topped with grilled prawns, lobster cream sauce and fresh dill. My sister also added an extra wedge of garlic toast ($2.25). I love pasta, but I generally avoid ordering ravioli at restaurants because I don’t like the mushy filling. The grilled prawns were nicely done, but the ravioli would’ve tasted pretty one-note and bland if not for the dill.

Our waitress was friendly and attentive. Mamallama mentioned that her piece of steak was chewy when our waitress came by to ask us how the food was tasting and she apologized and sent it back to the kitchen even though it was already half eaten (Mamallama was originally gonna let it go and just finish her meal). She replaced it with a peppercorn steak that was noticeably juicer and more tender and she had taken it off of our tab altogether. Talk about great service!

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Lucky Gate Chinese Restaurant

Lucky Gate is a restaurant that serves authentic northern Chinese cuisine. Mamallama, Baby-Paca and I used to visit this restaurant often when we still used to live in the Burquitlam area. Now that we’re in a different neighbourhood, we don’t drop by so often anymore.

We were pressed for time and needed to grab a quick bite before running our errands, so we decided to go to Lucky Gate. Mamallama gave me the responsibility of dragging Baby-Paca’s butt out of bed (you would not understand how much of a struggle this is), so when we sat down, we were all feeling rather passive aggressive towards each other. But as I was handing out the plates that the waitress had dropped off at our table, Mamallama discovered this giant piece of bell pepper sneakily hiding under my plate. It was so random that I guess it broke the tension between all of us and we just laughed it off and carried on.

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Lucky Gate’s noodles are all made fresh in house. Sometimes we even get to see the chef pulling the noodles through the window that peeks into the kitchen.  Lucky Gate is definitely one of my favourite places for Chinese noodles, we always order a noodle dish when we’re here. We decided on the seafood and vegetable chow mein 三鮮炒麵 ($10.99) since Mamallama likes seafood. For all noodle dishes, you get the choice between their hand stretched noodles or their thick shaved noodles. We got it with the hand stretched noodles, which has a dense, chewy texture that I love. The noodles were stir fried with shrimp, scallops and bokchoi in a soy based sauce.

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Chinese style pancake 手抓餅 is also one of our staples at Lucky Gate. While it’s called a “pancake” I think a ringed pastry would be a more accurate description. The compact pastry was slightly crunchy on the surface and soft yet dense on the inside. It has a pleasant subtle sweet flavour. We couldn’t finish the pastry, so we brought the leftovers home. Baby-Paca and I reheated it in the oven later that day and ate it with sweetened condense milk, which of course made it taste even better.

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We also love their shredded chicken with green bean starch sheets 雞絲粉皮 ($5.99)I must say that a lot of Chinese dishes sound pretty strange and far from appetizing when translated into English, but this is a very typical dish that can be found in restaurants in Beijing, or in restaurants that offer northern Chinese cuisine. I have tried this dish in various Chinese restaurants in Vancouver, but a lot of the restaurants don’t do it quite right. Either the sauce is too thin or too vinegary, or the texture of the green bean starch sheets are off, but I quite like the one at Lucky Gate. I do think that this dish may be an acquired taste though. Some people may find the cold and slippery green bean starch sheets kind of strange. I think someone even compared it to snot. I can see why, but Baby-Paca and I still think it’s great, especially on hot days when we feel like eating something cool, light and refreshing. The green bean starch sheets themselves donn’t taste like much, they take up the flavours of the slightly vinegary sesame sauce. The chicken wasn’t too dry, and the slices of cucumber paired well with dish.

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Lucky Gate‘s home style steamed pork dumplings 前門小籠包 (8pcs/$5.99) are usually pretty decent too. However, on this visit, our dumplings were dry and did not have soup in them (which was evident by just their appearance). We told our waitress and she said she’ll talk to the owner, who came over to apologize. She informed us that the timer went off and they were too busy to notice, so the steamed pork dumplings ended up being overcooked. She offered us a new batch, but we were already pretty full and did not want to wait for them to steam, so we declined and she took it off of our bill instead.

Like most casual Chinese restaurants, service was pretty non existent, but the owner was accommodating with their mishap. Luckily, our experience at Lucky Gate didn’t end on a sour note, because we’ll probably miss their food if Mamallama decides to take her business elsewhere as a result of poor service (like Boiling Point. Consequently, I only visit with friends now, so Baby-Paca’s receiving the brunt of it. No more personal hotpot action for her).

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LUCKY GATE RESTAURANT
+1 604 939 8630

JOEY

I distinctly remember looking out the window and seeing the sign for Joey Tomato’s (Coquitlam location) whenever we drove over to my grandmother’s for a visit. However, I never dropped in and gave it a try until it was renamed JOEY.  My family decided on JOEY for dinner to celebrate my older sister’s birthday. From the outside, JOEY looks pretty unassuming. Indoors, it’s like the typical dimly lit restaurant like Cactus Club or Milestone’s. It’s nicely decorated and there’s a lively atmosphere.

IMG_1309

As soon as we were seated, our waitress asked if we were celebrating anything special. We told her we were celebrating a birthday and she surprised us all with lemonade slushy in shooter glasses. The lemonade tasted a bit too sour and a little artificial to me so I ended up giving mine away to Baby-Paca to finish, but I appreciate the gesture.

For starters, we ordered the yam fries and ahi tuna tacos to share. For the entree, Mamallama, Baby-Paca and I ended up ordering the steak frites, my older sister got the lobster and prawn ravioli while my mom’s boyfriend got a burger (which I did not get the chance to photograph or taste).

IMG_1300

Yam fries with truffle lemon aioli ($8.50): The yam fries came sprinkled with grated Grana Padano (a cheese that tasted like parmesan) and were delicious with the aioli that it came with. The slight tang from the lemon made the aioli less heavy than other mayonnaise-based sauces. I love the decadent earthy aroma of truffles. Truffles just makes (almost) everything taste better.

IMG_1297

Ahi tuna tacos ($12.50): The seared rare ahi tuna was served on a flat little deep fried tortilla with coleslaw, and a light wasabi aioli. The shell was crisp without being oily or greasy and it was nicely salted. The tuna was complimented well by the coleslaw, which had an acidic ginger dressing. You could tell that the vegetables in the coleslaw were fresh as the sweetness in the cabbage comes through. The only downside is that the aioli didn’t have that kick you’d expect from the wasabi. It only tasted faintly of wasabi, it wasn’t spicy at all. Eating it was also a little messy because the taco shell was piled pretty high with coleslaw and the shell crumbles on you.

IMG_1308

Steak frites ($20): The CAB prime sirloin is topped with parsley butter, with a side of rocket greens and fries. Baby-Paca and I added blue cheese butter on the side (additional $3 each) as the flavor of the parsey butter is kind of mild and lacked a bit of sodium, we preferred something stronger with more richness. The steak came like we ordered it, medium rare. It was juicy and pink on the inside, but it was still a little chewy. Prime sirloins are known for being the most flavourful cut of meat, but it is also not the most tender cut of meat. The steaks were considerably small (5oz) compared to the steaks we’re used to seeing, but honestly, for $20 it’s still a good deal and the portion on our plates were definitely enough to fill us up. The rocket greens (arugula) were wilted by the balsamic dressing and had a shiny sheen to it that put me off slightly, but it was tasty without that bitterness that usually accompanies arugula. They were also super generous with the fries, which I enjoyed. Some people may prefer them more crispy, but I like the mushy kind of fries (they were kind of like Mc Donald’s mushy fries but less salty).

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Lobster and prawn ravioli ($22): The ravioli pasta was stuffed with lobster and crab meat, topped with grilled prawns, lobster cream sauce and fresh dill. My sister also added an extra wedge of garlic toast ($2.25). I love pasta, but I generally avoid ordering ravioli at restaurants because I don’t like the mushy filling. The grilled prawns were nicely done, but the ravioli would’ve tasted pretty one-note and bland if not for the dill.

Our waitress was friendly and attentive. Mamallama mentioned that her piece of steak was chewy when our waitress came by to ask us how the food was tasting and she apologized and sent it back to the kitchen even though it was already half eaten (Mamallama was originally gonna let it go and just finish her meal). She replaced it with a peppercorn steak that was noticeably juicer and more tender and she had taken it off of our tab altogether. Talk about excellent service!

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JOEY
+1 604 939-3077
Coquitlam
550 Lougheed Hwy, Coquitlam

www.joeyrestaurants.com