55 Sixth Avenue
Williams Lake, BC V2G 1K8
March 5, 2011
If there is one thing I’ve learned about the culinary environment of Williams Lake it’s that there is no shortage of Chinese food restaurants. And every one of them has both their groups of loyal patrons and those who condemn it for whatever the reason. Hence, there is no way I can please everyone by writing about a Chinese restaurant… And yet I found myself at Fanny’s, the newest kid in town.
Typically, I try to take part in a buffet when I frequent a Chinese restaurant simply because Mr O and I have different tastes in food. However, Fanny’s only have a buffet available for dinner on Friday evenings, as well as Thursday nights beginning this week. So last Friday while in search of dinner we did a drive-by and we saw that this place was just hopping, so we decided to come back on a regular dining night instead.
The first couple of pages of the menu were dominated with “Western” style dishes, such as sandwiches, steaks, and other entrees, which reminded me of the fact that this place wasn’t only just about the Chinese food. The selection was pretty impressive, and the prices were extremely reasonable, so I figured it would be a great place to eat for those that aren’t fond of more ethnic tastes. As well, at the back of the menu there is a selection of Japanese dishes. We decided to order just from the Chinese menu today and settled on 3 different dishes: Cantonese chow-mein, honey garlic ribs, and beef and broccoli.
The beef and broccoli arrived first and it looked good. It’s a pretty basic dish to make and the way Fanny’s prepared it was very comparable to Momma’s. The broccoli was fresh and a vibrant green, the carrots crisp and orange, and the beef was tender to bite. Simplicity at its best! Next to arrive was the honey garlic ribs, which were pork button ribs coated in a nice sweet sticky glaze. They probably could’ve gone heavier on the garlic, in my opinion, but I suppose Mr O was thankful for that.
The Cantonese chow-mein was the last to make an appearance at our table, and surprisingly… it took me on an un-expected trip down memory lane. This is very similar to another dish that I remember eating when I was younger. It’s reminiscent of something you would find in a Hong Kong-style eatery and is probably the most authentic chow-mein that I’ve come across since moving up to the Cariboo. It had a medley of meats and veggies… generously cut bite sized pieces of carrots, bok choy, celery, broccoli, and cauliflower. And may I just say hallelujah… no bean sprouts!
The meats found on this chow-mein included chicken, beef, shrimp, and barbeque pork. This was real meat… not the scattering of cold cuts that I have grown accustomed to when eating chow-mein out here. The barbeque pork was what really impressed me though. These red coloured coins of pork is better known within the Chinese community as “chasiu” and you just don’t find this kind of stuff in Williams Lake. It’s a piece of boneless pork that’s been marinated with honey, spices, and red food colouring. What you end up getting after hours of roasting is the most tender, sweet and savoury piece of meat. I used to always eat this as a child, and still manage to import it up here from trips down at the Coast. So needless to say, I went picking through this dish to seek out these bites of pork.
All these yummy ingredients are cooked in a light sauce which is then poured over the bed of noodles. My only complaint about it was that there was too much of it. Traditionally this type of dish should have pan-fried noodles which give it a crunchy texture, but it was overwhelmed by the sauce which left the noodles limp. However, that being said this dish alone impressed me and left me feeling just a little bit home-sick for my Momma’s food. So obviously, I will be back for more. Definitely.