Guangzhou's Ni Wan or Li Wan aka Lychee Bay (荔枝湾), with its abundance of Lychee and Banyan trees, is well known for its scenic beauty. However, it is also famous for a large number of traditional Cantonese dishes and the birth place of a few iconic ones including the delicious flaky EggTart, Steamed Rice Roll, steamed fish intestine and egg and the renown 'Ni Wan Sampan Rice Congee'.
With a huge front page advertisement on the Epoch Times and using this famous place as its store name, this newly opened Congee and Rice Roll specialty place boasted to feature products that would make their name sake proud! WHAT A JOKE!!
Yesterday lunch time, I made a special trip to Scarborough to give this new place a try. By noon, the place was packed with eagerly anticipating customers. They won't be for long, once they tasted the food! Ha!
I ordered their house specialty ' Mixed Pig's innards Rice Congee', a 'special with a twist' Steam Rice roll with Shitake mushroom, chives and BBQ pork filling and a fried fritter doughnut to go with the congee
In order to create an enjoyable crunchy texture, the key ingredients are suppose to be sliced 'thick' and cook to just a touch underdone. However, their pathetic version was the exact opposite!! The stingy size liver and kidney were as thin as paper and way, way overcooked. Hard and chewy, it was just plain bad! Other key ingredients like the stomach and intestines were noticeably missing! Consistency of the rice congee was pretty good though.
The steamed rice roll was indeed presented with a 'twist' ( see photo ). This gimmicky look unfortunately cannot disguise the unpleasant thick dough paired with the sub-par tasting soya sauce. The, as advertised, smooth and silky texture was passable.
The fried fritter was greaseless and crunchy crisp. Unfortunately, the interior dough, upon chewing, morphed into an unpleasant powdery doughy mess. ???
Why people lined up for food like these was beyond me?! May be I am getting old and my palette is failing me??
Anyways, for consistently good congees and made to order steamed rice roll, I would stick with 'My Kitchen' on Leslie or 'Wong Sam Kee' inside Market Village.