I had heard about the famous pork hock dish at Corner 23 and decided to go there for lunch when I was in town back in May. Corner 23, as the name suggests, is a Bubble Tea Cafe on the corner of 23rd Avenue and Cambie St. The food menu at Corner 23 is quite extensive and mainly focuses around Taiwanese cuisine.
For an appetizer, we ordered the Wan Luan Pork Hock ($8.95). Since this is the signature dish at Corner 23, there are actually many versions of this dish on the menu, including some that come with rice or noodle soup. We decided we just wanted a small order of the pork hock only as we wanted to try other dishes too. The signature pork hock was pretty tasty. The meat was tender and flavourful. I was actually surprised the meat itself didn’t taste as fatty as it sounds. It was only the part attached to the skin that was more fatty and a bit on the chewy side. The pork hock was served with a special dipping sauce. It tasted very garlicky and I thought it went really well together with the pork hock.
Next up was the Deep Fried Chicken Nuggets ($5.75). I thought this dish was ok. The crispy chicken pieces were not as tender and juicy as I would have liked. Flavour-wise, it didn’t really have a wow factor either. I did like the basil leaves although I wish there were more and interspersed throughout to give the chicken more flavour.
We also ordered a couple of snacks. The Egg Pancake ($2.95) consisted of a thin egg & cilantro omelet inside a thin wrapper and formed into a roll. It was served with a soy-based dipping sauce. Personally, I didn’t really get this dish. To me, it was kind of bland and not very interesting texture-wise.
The Pork Pot Sticker ($4.95 for 6 pieces) were nicely pan-fried. The wrapper was crispy on the outside and the pork filling was tender on the inside.
We also ordered the Deep Fried Silk Thread Roll ($3.50). Like usual, it was served with a container of condensed milk. I thought this dish was well executed. The silk thread roll was crispy on the outside and soft on the inside.
I also wanted to try the Chicken with Three Spice ($7.95) as I was curious how it compares to the version at Kalvin’s. This dish was ok. The chicken was flavourful but not as tender as the version we had at Kalvin’s. Even though it was flavourful, I thought the flavour combination at Kalvin’s was better balanced, brighter, and more memorable. Overall, it wasn’t a bad dish, but it didn’t have a wow factor either.
Lastly , we had the Beef with Black Pepper & Egg Fried Rice ($7.25). This was actually one of my favourite dishes of this meal. The fried rice was well executed and freshly fried. I could actually taste the “wok hei” in this dish, which is the essence and flavour imparted by a very hot wok during stir-frying. I liked the addition of the diced lettuce as it added a nice crunch to the dish.
Overall, I thought the food as Corner 23 was decent, especially considering how inexpensive the dishes are. For what it is, a Bubble Tea Cafe, the food is actually pretty good. My favourite dishes were the signature Wan Luan Pork Hock and the fried rice. I’d go back again and order those two dishes along with the pot stickers and the deep fried silk thread roll.
4008 Cambie St.