Coral Court Chinese Restaurant

There are so many restaurants out there, so many to visit and so many more to consider, how does one know where to go and what to try on the off chance that it would be a “hidden gem?

Case it point, Coral Court. I was invited for a tasting, and if it were not for this opportunity I would never think to visit this amazing option for authentic Hong Kong style cuisine, prepared by two very experienced Hong Kong chefs.

Located in North Vancouver, one of six hole in the wall businesses sharing one building. Truthfully, this restaurant would not be on my radar with its standard awning advertising hot and spicy Szechwan food.

There was also nothing really special about the decor. A simple set up of worn wooden tables and chairs. And on this day their heat was broken, and the single heating fan was in a losing battle. The TV was trying to help by broadcasting a crackling fire, but it too struggled to add to the illusion. All the above and with the rotation of food couriers coming in and out, it felt like more of a takeout spot anyways. Not to mention, if you understand Cantonese you can hear the chefs using some strongly suggestive language at the back. A point our kind and hospitable server took the time to explain, starting “that it was normal”.

Although, if you can get over the less than desirable setting the food is well worth coming in to try, especially if you are like us and ordering delivery is too far for an option.

The next roadblock was the menu. It was a telephone book, a thick volume with tiny printed dishes front and back, and without photos. Having to read the book had us overwhelmed. So we decided to stick to the lunch menu, as a laminated one pager that was much easier to digest.

The lunch specials are $14.95 each, which includes your choice of dish, rice, and soup. You could also substitute the plain steamed white rice with rice noodle, fried noodle or fried rice for $1.99 more. And for soup you had a choice between hot and sour or wonton.

The former was exactly how I wanted it and expected it to be. A thickly syrupy slurry with firm strips of bamboo and a tangy heat that kept you coming back for more.

Whereas the Wonton soup was a lot more mild with a clear bone broth. Each in-house handmade dumpling was stuffed dense and full with plenty of pork and chives. It had a nice and clean taste that matched the broth well, as is. Although, I personally liked it best with their chilli sauce.

For one of the lunch sets we went with the Mongolian beef with Wonton soup and rice noodles. I found it interesting how the meat and base are separated like a Western-style entree. I just assumed that it would be a uniform dish. Although at the same time doing it this way means that the flavours are not diminished. Peppery, chewy, fatty beef smothered in the classic Chinese salty and sweet brown sauce. My only critique is that I would have liked the mushrooms cut down further to get more or that wok fire on them, just as evenly and cooked through as the beef. You definitely got it on the rice noodles, which soaked up the flavours of this like a sponge. The noodles were a great neutral base to balance out the saltier meat dish.

Our next combo would be the Chicken in black bean sauce with chow mein and hot and sour soup. I appreciated how they were not stingy with the sauces, enough to have it pooling. Here, the noodles were crunchy to parallel the wok fried crisp vegetables. I just wish there were less chunks of onions and more pepper or carrot, if not chicken breast.

Our third combo was the familiar Sweet and sour pork with rice and Hot and sour soup. The crispy breaded pork was perfect and done so well done. The tart pineapple and slightly bitter green pepper were a nice contrast to the sugar caramelized meat. We had no complaints.

Our final bill came to just over $50 for all this food. We saw the value. And after we ate our fill, we noted that we left warmer than when we came in. Once again a solid option for traditional and delicious Chinese. Sadly one that I won’t be able to revisit as often as I would like, given the distance from them to my place in Burnaby, and the fact that this is not a drive to and dine in destination. Perhaps food delivery when I am crazing something specific.

Coral Court Chinese Restaurant
137 2nd St E, North Vancouver, BC V7L 1C2
(604) 987-3303

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top