We went to Chinatown today on a request from our friend to help her get some delicious "meen gun" they have at a vegetarian restaurant.
This turned out to be quite a surprise as I had lost faith trying out new places in Chinatown, as almost every Chinese restaurant there (being a tourist trap plus most of the styles of food being old/tired and less appealing).
The restaurant is Lucky Creation. Had passed by there several times but never thought about trying it. Upon entering we saw a long line by the cashier/counter area. People were lining up to get their baked/vegetarian dim sum items, and certain things were literally selling like hotcakes.
We were there originally for the "meen gun" or wheat gluten (which a google search has defined as deep fried bits of dough then immersed in various different kinds of sauces). Think of it as a very chewy tofu skin. They sell mixed varities of their items all at around $3.95 per pound and you can mix/match. They also had vegetarian abalone and something that resembled vegetarian cha shiu. We saw vegetarian fried turnip cake (similar to the kind served in some dim sum places) but didn't get a chance to try.
Ended up getting the salty (non sweet) kind of the gluten, a few pieces of the vegetarian abalone and the goose (which tasted more like cha shiu), and also got a sticky rice sushi roll with seaweed wrapped around outside. Everything was quite tasty, especially the sticky rice roll. The mix of peanuts, a wee bit of mushrooms, plus their sauce in the sticky rice made for a great combination. I'm sure a few of these would have filled up my stomach.
About 10 mins after we left the restaurant we decided to go back just to try for lunch there. Unsure of what to get, we looked around and wanted to find out what other people were having. There were a mix of local non Asians, tourists, and a few Chinese customers. An older Chinese couple had a more interesting dish which we decided to order. I had asked the waitress if what they were eating was the Lucky Creation Fried Noodle and she kindly told us that it was not on their regular menu, but one of the specials from the Chinese menu, with tofu and noodles added on. We decided to go for it as it looked pretty good.
The Chinese menu has this dish as "3 mushrooms and live "gun" with beans". The "gun" is the wheat gluten. We agreed to add on tofu and e-fu noodles stir fried altogether and it was perhaps $1 to $2 more. It was definitely enough for two people. When our order arrived it looked fantastic, and drew the attention of three non Asian customers seated across from us. Traditionally e-fu noodles are served dried/stir fried but this time they were moist with a nice thick light brown sauce at the bottom. There were three kinds of mushrooms, the regular black chinese medium cap, straw and oyster mushrooms. The tofu was the hard kind with the brown wrinkly skin around it, but was very tasty. The gluten was another nice touch, and the beans were soft. This whole combination took us by surprise and we ate like kings & queens.
When we asked for the check, we asked the waitress some more questions and found out that the restaurant makes their own tofu/soy products (gluten and their vegetarian bakery items) all from scratch. She also recommended that we try their mooncakes, which is apparently a huge hit amongst their customers and the local buddhist monks. Their chef uses corn oil instead of lard and is less sweet, and still is able to offer multiple varieties and flavors. Has anyone tried their mooncakes and can comment?