2828 Trans-Canada Hwy
Lytton, BC V0k 1Z0
Sun-Fri: 8am – 8pm/ Sat: Closed
October 11, 2010
Today we ventured into the Kanaka Bar Cafe in time for brunch. It was truly one of those places where I didn’t know what to expect. I figured that Kanaka sounded Japanese so maybe they had asian food. But then Mr O mentioned that it was a Chinook word for “Hawaiian”. Well, according to the area’s history he was right, but I should get half points since it turned out that it was a western-slash-Chinese food joint. Chinese is asian right?
The inside decor was a pretty outdated fusion of rustic lodge and Chinese paraphernalia, old school cafeteria style chairs and tables and vinyl booths. The restaurant had a role in the movie “The Pledge” which was filmed back in 2000 and I suspected that much of the interior design might have been a relic from those days.
The menu consists of both western food and westernized Chinese food. In particular, there is a rather extensive selection of breakfast type foods. Mr O ordered the Sunshine breakfast. As for me, earlier I had overheard the owners speaking in Cantonese when we walked in and decided to take the risk and ordered a Chinese two-item dinner combo. There were about nine items to choose from and I decided on the stereotypical sweet and sour pork with chicken chow-mein.
For those interested, an old album of some behind-the-scenes pictures of the filming of the Pledge is available for flipping through, which was what we did while we waited for our food to arrive. In it there were quite a few pictures of the family’s young toddler son posing with various cast and crew members. What was kinda weird, though, was looking up from the album to see that same son, now a young man, working behind the till.
My plate came with bright red saucy pork on one side, and neutral coloured noodles on the other. The chow-mein had shredded cabbage and bean sprouts in it, as well as sparse amounts of what looked like deli-cut chicken. This disappointed me. But then I found that the pork was surprisingly tender, and the atomic red sauce actually won me over. My initial impression of the sauce was it smelled very pungent and vinegary, but the more I ate the more I began to enjoy it. I also caught on to what tasted like a hint of ginger, which was pretty nice. And while I’ll still maintain that the noodles were pretty blah, it really balanced out the aggressive flavours of the pork dish. Overall, I have to say that as westernized Chinese food goes, this was pretty decent.
Mr O’s Sunshine breakfast came with sausage links, bacon, eggs and pancakes which all came in pairs of 2s, and home-made hashbrowns. The potatoes were cooked perfectly but could’ve used a bit more seasoning in my opinion. The bacon also came out really crispy, and the pancakes were very thick and cakey. This is great for someone who prefer their pancakes cooked this way, which was actually how Mr O liked them.
The proprietor also happened to be the waitress and she was very friendly and seemed outgoing. Unfortunately she spent pretty much most of her time conversing with a rather large crowd that was seated on the other side of the restaurant so we didn’t see much of her. Mr O wanted more coffee, and I was hoping for some chopsticks to eat my food with, neither of which we got because we were never once checked up on once our food arrived. That kinda sucked because there was just something wrong about a Chinese person eating chow-mein with a fork.
Overall, I’m very glad that we finally had the opportunity to check this place out and solve the long standing mystery of what kind of food you’d find inside. If you love westernized Chinese food, you’ll probably like it here as they do it quite well and I would recommend this place. And the breakfasts here are very reasonably priced with great portions. We may hit this place up again, but it’ll be more fun to try something new.