J and J Wonton Noodle House
Ray Creurer and I have the same birthday which, although we have known each other for years, we have just started to celebrate. This year was his 60, my 62, making him a mere child in my eyes although it is nice to know that your friends continue to age with you. It would be really discomforting if you were the only one getting old.
This year we went to J J Wonton Noodle House on Fort Street. When I was growing up in Hillcrest, Alberta we didn’t have a Chinese restaurant. You had to go to Bellevue, about 5 minutes away by car, or 30 minutes if you walked, if you wanted Chinese food. My first experience of Chinese food was the usual greasy spoon Chinese that is served in so many places today: chow mein, sweet and sour pork, chop suey. Heavy on the food colouring, heavy on the MSG. In Seville, they have only 3 kinds of restaurants: Spanish, Italian and Chinese. And the Chinese is not very good if I may say so as politely as possible.
J and J is as far from this as it is possible to get. They specialize in Cantonese and Szechuan food using as many local ingredients as is possible. And the make fresh noodles. And the food is without doubt the best Chinese in Victoria, or at least among the best- I certainly am no expert. The staff is attentive and friendly. I love the kitchen area which is behind a glass wall allowing you to see the chefs making the noodles and preparing the food. All the food is incredibly fresh and there are a half dozen or so specials which change every day. There are very often line-ups so you have either to arrive early or late if you want to get in without having to wait in line.
Several times they have been voted among the best restaurants in Victoria. The decor is, at best, basic: there’s nothing fancy about it in any way. But, it’s perfectly pleasant, functional and comfortable. The big round tables have lazy susans in the centre so that you can get to the different plates easily.
There were 5 of us altogether including someof Ray'ss. We ordered Stir-Fried Duck and Vegetables, Imperial Eggplant with Hot Ginger Garlic Sauce, House Special Chow Mein, Sweet and sour halibut (special), barbequed pork ribs ( another special- we phoned in advance to ask them to reserve some of this for us- it usually disappears really fast) and of course rice. I don’t know how much the meal cost- Ray insisted on paying for everything, another birthday tradition that I hope he continues. Some ordered wine, but Fernando, still recovering from his cold, and I were happy with the excellent jasmine tea which was in plentiful supply.
Heartily recommended. It’s about a 5 or 10 minute drive from Albion Manor bed and Breakfast to J&J Noodle house. There is usually parking on the street, but sometimes it is really busy and you will have to park farther up the street. Remember that you have to pay for parking until 6 pm.
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