Review - Rong Hua restaurant

478 Dundas St

I can't read a word or even see inside - let's eat here!

It scores highly on the "foreign restaurant" stakes since it
a) does not appear to have even a letter of English to its name* and
b) it's backed off the street, looking pretty shady so that
c) basically it's the kind of place a lone hero enters and has to fight the entire clientele, after throwing a knife-wielding chef through the plate glass fronting.

* - It actually has an English sign, but overhanging the pavement so far out you can only see it from the other side of the street. The idea is perhaps that once the English-speakers venture too close, they are already lost.

Rong-Hua-man cursed. With that silver station wagon in the way, he would never get the Rong-mobile back into the RongCave

Any ethnic restaurant can be judged on the nationality test: how many of the diners are actually from that culture. Fukian snacks scores over one hundred percent there - not only was every single guest chinese, they were such Fukian regional chinese that even Xin (a chinese national fluent in both mandarin and cantonese) could not penetrate a word of their dialogue beyond "Yep, that's heavily accented Fukian dialect all right".

Another element of the "small chinese restaurant feel" is how food is the priority. The ONLY priority. The restaurant consists of a kitchen for food-making, store rooms for food-keeping, and then some space for those troublesome people who keep arriving and taking it. As you squeeze past the counter and walk through a store room to get to the bathrooms, you realise they're only there because they are absolutely legally required - though they are usably clean unlike the excellent-food-but-nothing-else Kom Jug Yuen around the corner.

The sweet and sour lychee pork was good since it was actually sweet and sour, not the sugarised-syrup meat chunks that often get passed under that name. Xin ordered some strange salty-water-and-little-clam stuff, but assures me that it was quite well done salty-water-and-little-clam stuff. I couldn't tell, because it was pretty much salty water. And little clams. Service was nice and fast, with the usual chinatown "What do you want right here now go" brusqueness rather than the "How may we help you" speed some may expect. I enjoy this confidence because it's well earned: these people know their food is good and if you don't want it, you're welcome to not come back.

This restaurant does exactly what it claims to but nothing else. If you want good cheap Fukian food it's the place to go - if you want anything else at all, it isn't.

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