Drove down Irving a few nights ago to discover that the New Cheung Hing duck house (1936 Irving) had been recently remodeled and expanded into a sitdown restaurant. Don't worry, the bbq items and steam table are still there.
The new restaurant side is quite clean, well-lit and tastefully decorated. A dozen or so glass-covered white tablecloth four-tops. And a few bigger circular tables for larger groups. The menu is pretty standard Cantonese. They also offer three banquet menus for $45, $138 and $168.
Husband and I ordered three dishes: sizzling chicken in clay pot ($6), salt baked calamari ($7), a special of large pea sprouts in garlic sauce ($9), and steamed rice ($1.50). Complimentary wintermelon soup in a bowl big enough for four servings was rich and deep, with bits of beef and wintermelon that melted in our mouths. It tasted just as good as my father-in-law's. But it was extremely cloudy. Is that normal?
The calamari pieces (body and legs) were just the right texture for us--tender but not too soft. Lots of pieces of green onions, garlic, but not enough chili pepper. The batter looked a little thick, but was actually light and crispy, and very tasty.
The clay pot was also very good, with meaty and juicy pieces of chicken, large black mushrooms, onions, lup cheong in a thick, slightly sweet, soy sauce-based gravy perfect for spooning over the rice. The lup cheong, however, was dark and fruity tasting--not what we normally get in this type of clay pot. What kind of lup cheong is that? The best part of this dish was the gravy "crust" that formed on the bottom of the clay pot.
The large pea sprouts were so delicious. They are so much better than the regular pea sprouts. Similar to spinach in texture but with a more delicate flavor. The garlic sauce was just right--not too oily or garlicky and just salty enough.
Complimentary dessert was a small bowl of warm taro/tapioca soup. Not too sweet, and no weird chlorine aftertaste that I find at most places that serve this type of dessert.
The serving sizes were very generous. We are big eaters, and we could've stretched the three dishes to feed two more people. Many of the other diners ordered mapo tofu and the bbq items.
Overall, I'm very excited to find a family-style, neighborhood restaurant like this in a neighborhood other than the Richmond. Service is polite, efficient, but not rushed.
New Cheung Hing Restaurant
1936 Irving Street
Not sure about the hours.