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Keung Kee

  • m

Took a roll of the dice on a different place in Chinatown for a change (had Niu Kee very recently, found Beijing disappointing the last couple of times), and opted for this crowded second-floor place. I had a vague memory of reading something positive about it, but a search shows it wasn't here.

We'll need to return to sample more dishes, but the preliminary word is thumbs up. The lobster with ginger and green onion was excellent, perfectly cooked and sauced, well butchered to make the meat easily accessible. Hot and sour soup was very good: not too thick, with a nice kick.

We also noticed many tables with some kind of hot pot (though not the "Chinese fondue" kind) placed on portable gas burners; the contents looked to be stew-like. These aren't listed on the English/French menu, so we'll either have to return with a Cantonese-speaking friend or pump the waiters for info.

70 de la Gauchetière W.

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  1. >>I had a vague memory of reading something positive about it, but a search shows it wasn't here.<<

    *Resto À Go-Go* maybe? Was reading the KK entry just this morning.

    1 Reply
    1. re: carswell

      I don't think so, because that would have to be a fresh memory! I don't have the book handy so I can't read the entry now, but I assume it's largely positive. It's certainly easy to eat there for under $20/person, even with an $18 lobster on the table.

    2. Darn you. I want no one to know about it. Especially not their beef hot pot.

      1. Yup, this is one of my favourites. Part of the Mystical Triumverate: below it is the awesome chinese bakery and beside that is a great place for bbq pork on rice take-away.

        1 Reply
        1. re: eoj

          Hello,
          Would you mind to indicate me 4 very good chinese dishes in this restaurant (the dishes that do not appear in the French/English menu). Maybe you can spell it in phonetic....I wish I could speak Chinese one day.
          I just went in that restaurant the other day but I ordered basic cantonese noodles and this is not a dish you can eat for your entire diner.....:)
          Thanks a lot,
          Cheers,
          Julien

        2. The hot pot thing is a spiced lamb stew with dried soybean threads. It is a popular cantonese dish for winter time. It is often served with some raw veggies on the side and you can cook them in the pot. Additionally, they served the lamb with a fermented bean curd sauce. Watch out, that sauce is strong and salty. Hope that this helps!

          Another surprise you might find there time to time is you can order fresh shrimp. I mean living ones that they will steam them right away when you order them. fresh shrimps are quite scarce in montreal and you should try them out!

          1. I haven't been to Keung Kee in years.
            Lessee...the husband of a friend of a friend of my sister used to work there. At that time, (I'm going back maybe 15 years) its specialty was seafood.
            I assume the same is said today, and maybe thats why the 'swimming shrimp'?

            Mystical triumverate - gotta love that. The wife adores the pastry shop. The roast pork next door at Sun Sing Lung is the best in Chinatown. Ask the friendly owner to show off his pig cooking oven. If he's not too busy, he'll bring you back. They make a nice soy pigs foot (no bones) too.

            5 Replies
            1. re: porker

              Oh, I forgot to mention (as I slurp soup with added chili oil) - the pastry shop has homemade chili oil for sale behind the counter. Its the 'heat oil - add chili flakes' version but is quite tasty and cheap. $3.50, I think, for a mason jar.

              1. re: porker

                Hey, I've actually been wondering where to get chili oil like this for a while. Is it the same stuff you'd see in the kinda gross-looking clear jars at some dim sum places? They were in every Chinese restaurant in Calgary, but I have yet to see the same stuff here. I always wondered what sort of oil it is, and how long it "keeps".

                1. re: iWoo

                  You can buy the chili oil all over the place. The chili acts as a preservative of sorts, and it will last a while without going rancid, though it turns over pretty fast in the restaurants with people like us around.
                  You can make it yourself by crushing up dried chili and dumping oil over the top. The "recipe" isn't that much different in principle form an Indian chili pickle, except that it's the oil you're after. Although I prefer to mix it and eat the chili.

                  1. re: bomobob

                    Sorry to derail a bit from Keung Kee, but I found a recipe for the chili oil here:

                    http://kokrobin.wordpress.com/2008/04...

                    She also has several delicious looking recipes for other chinese dishes. For those that would like to just eat and pay, Keung Kee does a good Ma Po tofu too!

                    I also had tasty dish at KK that a mandarin-speaking friend ordered. I don't recall the name right now, (will try to get it soon) but it was similar to dim sum deep-fried bean curd rolls, only it was a different ingredient rolled around enokii, with a dark brown sauce swimming with sauteed veggies. Unsure if it was a menu item or simply a request!

                  2. re: iWoo

                    Yeah, its the same kind of stuff, but does not contain szechuan peppercorns as in your recipe site, just crushed chili flakes.
                    It keeps almost indefinitely and is usually eaten before theres any problems. Yeah, you can buy it at many stores, but I like the fact that this one is homemade rather than a commercial product.

              2. I only have two words to say: string beans. OK, also steamed green bass.

                Yum.

                1. It just had to be said: Keung Kee has THE BEST GENERAL TAO CHICKEN IN MONTREAL"S CHINATOWN!!! (OK, OK! I know I'm not too original for taking G.T.C. as it's a highly americanized dish but it's incredible! Instead of being the usual "balls" of Chicken, these are more like "strips" topped with a sweet n' tangy sauce (with Orange slices). I do like their Hot & Sour Soup as it's got a nice kick to it (although it can't compare to New Dynasty's Hot & Sour Soup).
                  They also make decent Shanghai Noodles, but the main reason I eat here is for the General Tao Chicken,

                  1. I was there last night. Don't speak Chinese, but I figured I'd be adventurous and guess off the items on the wall.
                    Wound up with deep fried soft shelled crab as 1 entree and thai style clams for another and did some scallops on the half shell. All highly recommended. The clams especially had a killer sauce to them. I'll ask for them again by name I guess. I was told they also have duck tongue available. Something else to try!

                    1. Had a great Lobster Cantonese with garlic snow pea pod leaves and they were excellent.I have been going to Ming Do for the last 15 years for the same dish and when they closed in May I was worried that I was going to find the same quality and Keung Kee is right up there.They are known for their Seafood so I will now branch out to other things and report back.

                      14 Replies
                      1. re: finefoodie55

                        Was there for lunch the other day as well... only table in the restaurant apart from waitstaff. Had the shrimp balls and water cress soup, stuffed crab claws, lobster with ginger and shallots, cantonese noodles, cuttlefish in black bean and stir fried bok choy with mushrooms. Noticed some interesting menu selections (shark fin soup, fish maw, jellyfish, etc) Wanted to try the clams and fried oysters too but had to appease friends. It's been years since I've been to KK but was still as great as I remembered. I'm gonna reintroduce it as a weekly Sunday night ritual. Their seafood/fish is all really excellent and definitely among the best (Chinese) for the price in the city.

                        Had a pretty disappointing desert at the bakery next door though (not Harmonie, the La Legende one) - tasteless dried out coconut balls and cakes that tasted like they were sitting on a shelf all weekend.

                        Not sure why I haven't been to Chinatown in so long.. dinner cost around $15 p/p with enough leftovers to feed a family for a week. Everything was great.

                        1. re: OliverB

                          You should try Callia, its owned by the same group of people that owns KK. I prefer their buns to harmonie for being a little bit less sweet.

                          1. re: vanierstudent

                            Do you know what's going on below Keung Kee restaurant, where Sun Sing Lung use to be? According to Chowhound member Jaetee, Keung Kee took over the location.

                            1. re: BLM

                              It could be, I'll ask around to see if I can find something.

                              1. re: vanierstudent

                                I walked past Sun Sing Lung 2 days ago and the inside looked exactly the same as the day they closed (almost 3 months ago), so I think the word about Keung Kee taking over was unfounded. (Or they don't have the money to do anything with it?)

                                1. re: Shattered

                                  "the same as the day they closed"

                                  And it looks like they closed somewhat abruptly as well!

                                  1. re: Shattered

                                    After asking around, there's a few rumors going, but no one really knows.

                                    1. re: Shattered

                                      I passed Sun Sing Lung last Sunday (New Years Dragon Parade). The door was un-locked as renovations were going on inside.
                                      The old equipment is all gone, the floor is tiled (new or cleaned up, I don't know), new gypsum board on walls & ceiling done, new ceiling pot lights installed, but not finished. Looks like its shaping up.

                                      Seems everyone is assuming its going to be a resto run by Keung Kee, but no one seems to have a definitive answer....

                                      1. re: porker

                                        Heard KeungKee will turn it into a BBQ meat place with fast-food type meals, BBQ meat on rice, for example.

                                        1. re: chilipepper

                                          I'd look forward to another BBQ place. The one on St. Laurent isn't bad, but their set-up is lousy, plus they don't do "meals" per se.

                                          1. re: porker

                                            when it comes to chinese bbq, side dishes are unnecessary filler!

                                            1. re: BarackHObama

                                              You may be correct, but thats not what I mean.
                                              A. Lam Kee @ 1065 St. Laurent certainly has BBQ, but to pick some up and eat on the go isn't very practical (unless I'm wrong), no utensils, no napkins, no wetnaps, no convenient eat-out-of packaging.
                                              Sure you can ask for 1/4kg of roast duck, sit on the curb and eat without unnecessary filler.
                                              I think it would be easier and perhaps more pleasant to order from a place set up with maybe a counter, soft drinks, napkins, cutlery, available sauces - kinda like the sausage places places on St. Laurent, or the old Montreal Pool Room.

                                            2. re: porker

                                              There's a place inside the mini-mall off St-Urbain (that has Kam Fung) that does BBQ meats on rice, but it's not as tasty as Sun Sing Lung was. Still, it'll have to do for now. It's just inside the entrance that's closest to de la Gauchetiere.

                                              Hong Kong also has a take-out BBQ counter. They don't do the on-rice thing, but the set up is better, looks much cleaner back there, and just as good as the one further up St-Lo, imo.

                                  2. re: vanierstudent

                                    I love the mixed nut mooncake from Callia.

                                1. re: Har_Gow_Freak

                                  Passed by the other night and noticed a new sign right below Keung Kee named Restaurant Ethan. Anyone heard anything about it? Thanks.

                                  1. re: yamiam

                                    Old Sun Sing Lung BBQ meatery bought by Keung Kee folks for reportedly fast-ish food including BBQ meat.

                                    1. re: yamiam

                                      Is it open? This sounds awesome!

                                      1. re: Shattered

                                        No, at last check a couple of days ago.

                                        1. re: BLM

                                          Their sign says that they open today!

                                        2. re: Shattered

                                          Passed by last night after St. Paddy's celebrating.
                                          It sure doesn't look like a fast-ish food including BBQ meat kind of place. It looks swish.
                                          Nothing wrong with this, but I was severely hoping for a Chinese version of Montreal Poolroom - a place where you could order BBQed meats as a meal, eat at a counter, etc.
                                          Alas....

                                          1. re: Shattered

                                            Went to Restaurant Ethan today for lunch with 4 other people. Place was packed, and we had to wait a few minutes for a table. We had the meat (BBQ, duck, chicken) with rice dishes, as well as a plate of "rice rolls" with shrimps....the kind that you can get at dim sum. We also had a large plate of Chinese broccoli with oyster sauce. Food was pretty good, and I would definitely go back to try some other plates. The adjacent table had some kind of beef hot pot that looked tasty. Also on the menu are Chinese "breakfast" items such as congee, fried noodles, etc.

                                            The wait staff were friendly, but our orders got mixed up resulting in not being charged correctly on our bill. I think it might be due to confusion as a result of having more than one person attending to each table. The restaurant has only been open for two weeks now, so I guess they still have some kinks to iron out. But once they do, I'm sure things will run a bit more smoothly. It's good for a quick, simple meal, but not necessarily a place you want to linger during a busy weekend lunch rush. Maybe during a week day it might be better.