New Restaurant Offers Regional Chinese Favourites, Creative Dishes and Bubble Teas
WOK FRIED BEEF HO FUN
A brand new Chinese restaurant in Brampton looks like it could be the city’s new biggest hotspot for fans of bubble tea, noodles, dumplings, sharing plates, and beloved Chinese dishes.
9 Queen Chinese, named fittingly for its location, recently opened in downtown Brampton at 9 Queen Street East (formerly the location of Coffee Culture, as you may recall).
9 Queen Chinese is a unique restaurant with a stylish, modern aesthetic, regional authentic Chinese menu, and an in-depth cocktail program incorporating elements of Traditional Chinese Medicine, making it a “must try” for anyone who loves Chinese food.
So what’s on the menu?
Many of 9 Queen Chinese’s menu items have a story behind them, such as the O.G.T. Chicken (Original General Tso). It hails to be “original” as it reintroduces the original spices that are no longer seen in recipes used today, and is original in look because of the absence of red food colouring.
“This is a special dish for us -- the history of the dish itself has been so muddled over time, and finding an exact original recipe from a book was almost impossible,” says restaurant owner Michael Cheung.
“We went through trial and error with the historical resources we had and finally arrived at a flavour profile and look that we are proud to present to food lovers. We haven’t run into a customer yet who would prefer to have it with red food colouring.”
One of the restaurant’s most prominent noodle dishes is the Wok Fried Beef Ho Fun (rice noodles with beef slices, bean sprouts, green onion, and sesame seeds). According to Cheung, this simple dish is used as a culinary test dish for aspiring chefs in Hong Kong.
“This iconic Hong Kong noodle dish is ‘dry fried’, which means there is no water added during the cooking process. This cooking style imparts a light smoky flavour called “wok hey” (breath of the wok). It’s a tough dish to pull off perfectly and it’s easy to end up with burnt or mushy noodles -- or way too much oil. The dish also needs to be made with freshly made Ho Fun noodles which makes it time sensitive. We start with new fresh noodles every morning. With Cantonese dishes, getting fresh high quality ingredients is really the most important step.”
According to Cheung, Fruity Gu Lou Yok is one of 9 Queen Chinese’s inventive offerings that show how classic dishes can be updated without losing their soul.
“Sweet and sour is meant to emulate the balance of the sweet and sour of fresh fruit,” Cheung says. “Our sweet and sour sauce has fresh lemon juice and we’ve swapped in fresh strawberries and apples to add a fresh new look and taste.”
FRUITY GU LOU YOK
Another aspect of the menu is the vegetarian/vegan selections, such as the Mother In Law Dumplings.
“My mother in law actually made the first few hundred of our dumplings by hand and then taught us the recipe,” Cheung says.
“I was a strict vegetarian for four of the six years I lived in China. All my favourite things to eat as a vegetarian all made it onto the menu.”
Yin Yang Veggies is Cheung’s answer to what he says is a major problem with eating as a vegetarian: not getting enough variety.
As a result, this veggie dish is created in two ways to increase the variety in the flavour and in the types of veggies.
“One is on the light side -- Choy sum (somewhere in between a broccoli and spinach) blanched and served with a thick soy based sauce for dipping. One is on the dark side -- spicy and aromatic Szechuan “Chiang” style cabbage. “Chiang” style cabbage is extremely popular in China but rarely appears in GTA Chinese restaurants. Chinese restaurants in general don’t depart from their core region. Cantonese restaurants rarely will do an authentic Szechuan dish and vice versa.”
While there are a lot of great dishes up for offer, the menu just isn’t complete without some bubble tea - and luckily for you bubble tea fanatics out there, the restaurant has several original creations for you to try.
9 Queen’s original bubble teas are:
Yin Yang Bubble Tea (Milk Coffee & Black Tea): Hong Kong Style hot drink served ice cold with colourant free tapioca pearls
Chairman Mango: A dairy free mango and coconut shake with fresh mango chunks (named after a mango craze during the Cultural Revolution involving Chairman Mao)
Young Fei: A lychee fruit and floral rose syrup smoothie (named after the beautiful Chinese icon Young Kwei Fei, whose favourite food was lychees)
Chairman Mango, Young Fei, and True Taro
“Our rose lychee ice blend contains our house made rose syrup, real lychee fruit, Four Season Oolong tea, and a touch of milk. This blended ice is fragrant, floral, and sweet from lychee,” Cheung says.
There’s also the True Taro, a taro puree milk tea with natural tapioca pearls. This item is the product of the restaurant working to make a taro milk bubble tea without any artificial colouring or flavouring, and is also available dairy-free with coconut milk.
Visitors to the restaurant should know that free one-hour parking is available at John St. Municipal Parking Garage during the day on weekdays and is free in the evening from 7:00 p.m. and all day on weekends.
To get more information and see the full menu, check out 9 Queen’s Instagram, Facebook and Twitter pages.
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