I convinced my colleagues to head down to Golden Central Chinese Cuisine for lunch last week though it was a bit of a trek for us from downtown. During lunch service, Golden Central’s menu is quite diverse. They serve a variety of typical dim sum dishes. As well, they have a section of the menu listed as “Kitchen Specials” which mainly consisted of congee, rice and noodle dishes. There was also a section listed as “Chef Specials” which mainly consisted of fried seafood dishes. I’ve been to Golden Central before for lunch a few times already. Ever since my first visit, I got hooked on one of their noodle dishes – #77 Hunan Style Crispy Noodles with Chicken ($9.95). I wanted my colleagues to try this dish so that was our main reason for heading there for lunch that day.
We didn’t feel like dim sum so we ended up ordering two noodle dishes and one item from the list of Chef’s Specials. Of course, we ordered #77, the Hunan Style Crispy Noodles with Chicken. Our second dish was #89 Beef & Vegetables Fried Ho Fun ($9.95). From the list of Chef’s Specials, we ordered #92 Salt & Pepper Squid ($7.50).
The first dish to arrive was the Beef & Vegetables Fried Ho Fun. Overall, the dish was tasty. Both the beef and the vegetables (yu choy) were tender. The sauce was very flavourful. My only small complaint about this dish was that even though I could see steam coming off the food, the ho fun along with the beef and yu choy didn’t taste very hot. I couldn’t figure out why that was the case. With the amount of steam coming off the food, I would expect it to be almost too hot to consume but this wasn’t the case at all. I would order this dish again based on the flavours but I hope next time the dish would be served fresh off the wok.
Next came the Salt & Pepper Squid. Personally, I don’t think deep-fried dishes are their forté at Golden Central. The Salt & Pepper Squid was ok. It certainly was far from the best that I’ve ever had. It wasn’t spicy enough as there were very few sliced chilies in the mix. The batter on the squid as alright but the seasoning was uneven. Some pieces were extra salty and others slightly bland. They also added a hint of five-spice powder to seasoning so it tasted a little different from the typical Salt & Pepper squid. I’m not sure I would order this dish again at Golden Central.
At last came my favourite dish, the Hunan Style Crispy Noodle with Chicken. What I like best about this dish is the spicy sauce on top of the crispy fried noodles. The sauce is just spicy enough so that you can feel the heat but without being overly spicy. If you want to kick it up a notch, you could mash up one of the chilis into the food. There is certainly no shortage of chilis in this dish. I think this dish is unique because I haven’t come across many restaurants that serve a spicy crispy noodle dish. Though the sauce is spicy, the flavours of this dish are very clean and go nicely together against the crispy fried noodles. I’ve had this dish a handful of times now and consistently, this dish has been served fresh off the wok and was temperature-wise, nice and hot . I think it would be difficult not to serve this dish hot as the wok has to be hot enough to make the noodles crispy. So far, this has been my favourite dish on the lunch menu at Golden Central.
Golden Central Chinese Cuisine
5016 Centre Street NE