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Jun 4, 2009 07:33 AM

Undiscovered Chinese Restaurants

Just went to Yu Hang on 400, boul. Rene-Levesque.
If you are looking for an incredible authentic Chinese dinner, or lunch (good lunch menu) then GO TO YU HANG!!! Try the hot pot. You won't be disappointed.

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  1. can we get a bit more info? Prices? Style of Chinese (Cantonese, Hunan, Szechuan, etc.)? what is in the hot pot? What other dishes have you tried and liked? Always like to hear about new Asian places!

    7 Replies
    1. re: moh

      The place has been well reviewed.

      Looks good and I've been tempted to check it out more than once, but I've been told by a trusted Chinese food aficionado that it's nothing to shout about.

      1. re: moh

        It's in the hotel. Service was lousy, there was maybe two people working the tables (there were like 12 tables). No prejudice, but it seems to be one of those places oriented for caucasians.

        BUT. The food was great! It's Sichuan food, which I don't have the greatest experience with, but it seemed pretty authentic as far as I know. They use those mouth-numbing peppers that I guess is pretty common in Sichuan cooking. They used it everywhere, in the soups, in the stews, in the fried stuff. Less greasy than Niu Kee (as I remember it). Definitely worth a try.

        1. re: moh

          Price: $7-$12 per dish, sufficient amount of food
          Hot Pot is where you can cook your own food at the table. Yu Hang does it very well.
          I like the pineapple chicken, the beef and broccoli in a spicy sichuan sauce, and I especially LOVE the salt and pepper shrimp.

          1. re: moh

            Ahha! So not so undiscovered!

            Always love the presence of a second menu.

            But I am also always looking for a good version of pineapple chicken.

            Really, I just love Chinese food in all its incarnations, as long as it is well done, be it authentic regional cuisine or souped up Canadian-Chinese specials.

            1. re: moh

              Just after the Montreal Gazette originally reviewed this place, I posted asking for any Chowhounders feedback(I got no response at the time).

              1. re: BLM

                So, have you checked it out? Any good?

                1. re: moh

                  Nope(not going to go unless got some positive feedback during that time period).

          2. Looks like Yu Hang dropped the two-menu approach. When we went there tonight, they only had one menu. They had table d'hôte special with foreigner favourites like General Tao's Chicken and the like, but the rest of the menu was mainly Sichuan with some Hunan, Canadian-Chinese and other regional Chinese dishes thrown in.

            We ordered black mushroom and coriander salad, scallion pancakes, sweet and sour pork and beef fillets and tofu in Sichuan special spicy sauce. The salad featured wood ear mushroom with a dressing of garlic, chili oil, coriander and red bell pepper slivers. What it didn't contain was vinegar. I've been on a bit of Chinese salad kick lately, and what I really like about them is the tanginess of the dressings and the balance in flavours. This salad had zero tang to it and ended up tasting rather oily. It was a decent enough dish, but it didn't quite do it for me. The scallion pancakes where thin discs about 6cm across filled with a nice amount of scallion. I thought they were pretty good, but they're not a dish I would order again. Then again I'm not really big on this type of dish. Sweet and sour pork was a bit better than the two previous dishes. The extremely tender pork was covered in a light and very crispy coating and doused with a goopy not-quite-nuclear red sauce. I'm a sucker for deep fried crispy meats in sweet savoury sauces and this one did not disappoint. I would have preferred the sauce be less sweet, less goopy and more vinegary, but I enjoyed it nonetheless. Beef fillets and tofu in Sichuan special spicy sauce was the winner of the night. The big bowl of savoury brown broth contained sliced beef, soft tofu, a few winter veggies, wood ear mushrooms, a few dried chilies and a whole lot of Sichuan peppercorns. And they were very pungent peppercorns with a lot of numbing power. Top quality stuff. The meat was extremely tender. In fact it was almost gelatinous. It had obviously spent a lot of time marinating in some sort of tenderizer. I believe the pork we had previously got the same treatment. Although this sort of denatured meat might not be to everyone's taste it does have its appeal. It is so meltingly tender that it pretty much chews itself. Given the choice though, I still prefer to do my own chewing and would rather get something with a meatier texture.

            Overall I enjoyed the meal, but I will not be waking up in the middle of the night craving any part of it. If I were in that part of town and wanting Sichuan food I might go there again. Or I might just hold out for the day I could hit up Oui & Oui or Cuisine Szechuan

            Yu Hang
            400 Boul Rene-Levesque W, Montreal, QC H2Z1V5, CA

            4 Replies
            1. re: SnackHappy

              Thanks for your detailed report. Who dines there(mostly Asians or not)?

              1. re: BLM

                When we were there most diners seemed to be mainland Chinese. Only our table and one other woman were foreign devils.

              2. re: SnackHappy

                I tried Yu Hang last night with some trepidation - previous reviews of the food were mixed, and I went on the recommendation of my partner who has very different tastes in Chinese food.

                I'm happy to say I was very pleasantly surprised.

                I love Sichuan food, and was spoiled mightily by my time living in NYC, which had several top-notch Sichuan restaurants in the city (my favorite: Grand Sichuan House in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn). While Yu Hang doesn't quite reach that level of greatness, I found my meal delicious and expertly prepared.

                My partner and I shared 3 dishes: dry-fried green beans with pork (listed as 4 Season beans, I believe), sliced fried beef, and cold sichuan noodles. I was hoping for a cold cucumber salad to beat the heat, but they appeared to be out of it.

                The dry-fried beans with minced pork were salty, tangy, and perfectly wrinkled. I ate almost the entire plate myself.

                The beef dish (dry-fried or deep-fried I can't tell) was also excellent. The chewy beef was complemented well by thinly sliced, crisp celery and the dish was wonderfully ma-la, with chili peppers and sichuan peppercorns throughout. I could probably take a little more numbing peppercorns but the flavor was definitely there. The dish was relatively dry (a feature I like) but the celery provided some juiciness.

                The cold noodle salad reminded me of dan-dan noodles minus the pork and red oil; they tasted of pepper, sesame oil, and preserved vegetables. I thought it could use something crisp or fresh - like cucumber, or even scallion - but the sauce was very flavorful and the leftovers were excellent for breakfast today.

                I don't think you can things like husband-and-wife lung slices here, and yes, most of the other diners were choosing more familiar fare (e.g. General Tso's) - but if you stick with the actual Sichuan dishes they have you'll get the tangy/spicy/oily/dry/ma-la goodness you're seeking.

                Other notes:
                -they have cumin beef on the menu, but it's description says cumin powder, not whole seeds, so I passed on that
                -they offer something called (I think) Chang Sha chicken but from what I can tell it's probably là zi ji. Not sure if the chicken pieces are boneless or bone-in. Needs further investigation.
                -Service was quick and pleasant. It does suffer from that preternatural calm that hotel restaurants seem to have but I'm sure when it's busier it feels more lively
                -Prices are good, too: those 3 dishes, plus one spring roll (a guilty pleasure of my partner) plus 2 beers and tax = $45. We're both voracious eaters and we still had leftovers.

                It's a different experience than Cuisine Szechuan, to be sure - and it may lose some authenticity in exchange for a more gourmet preparation - but I like, and will continue to visit both.

                I'd also recommend it as a place to go with someone who isn't familiar with or isn't a fan of sichuan food - given the variety of the menu here, it's easy to please those who want ma-la and those who don't.

                I'm eager to see what others here think (who likely have more Sichuan-food experience than I do)

                Yu Hang
                400 Boul Rene-Levesque W, Montreal, QC H2Z1V5, CA

                1. re: michaelmas

                  Thanks for the update. Can you confirm whether or not they are still tenderizing their meat beyond recognition? I've been craving sweet and sour pork lately and thinking the one at Yu Hang would be great if the meat were less denatured.

                  Yu Hang
                  400 Boul Rene-Levesque W, Montreal, QC H2Z1V5, CA