Chinatown Restaurant Week: Red Egg

Red Egg (Front)

RED EGG
202 Centre St

After that unpleasant experience at Lucky Plaza, I vowed to not let that place sully Chinatown Restaurant Week for me. But you know, life happened, so the next time I was able to experience it was on the last day. I decided to go to Red Egg after work on Sunday around 730pm.

Red Egg (Up)

Oh, just in case you missed the decal on the door, you can look up to see where you are. (Helpful note: It’s right across the street from Museum of Chinese in the Americas which I absolutely suggest you check out!) When we walked in, we were seated immediately, and the waiters were completely attentive but not pushy. They spoke English, and I heard a few of them conversing in Cantonese and Mandarin.

Red Egg (Interior)

It’s much darker inside, but I lightened the picture so that you could kind of see the layout. For those of you who didn’t know, Red Egg actually used to be a lounge. Further in the back and to the left is three doors to individual bathrooms and across from the doors are full panel mirrors. Lovely. Also, towards the back but to the right, there is a larger seating area. We didn’t have to shout to hear each other; the place itself was rather relaxing. However, there were two patrons who got their panties in a seriously gnarly twist because of the top-40 pop music Red Egg was playing, but they managed to settle down once management acquiesced to their demands of jazz.

Chinatown Restaurant Week Menu

I had also taken a picture of the original menu but the glare is too strong. The thing is, in comparison to Lucky Plaza, this menu felt like a deal rather than a rip-off. And also, it was nice that no one was trying to convince us not to order from it.

And now, without further ado, the appetizers:

Shrimp Dumplings

You can’t really go wrong with shrimp dumplings, and well, they didn’t.

Pan Fried Pork Dumplings

The pork dumplings reminded me of this time when my roommate shared dumplings that her mother made. But it also reminded me of Tasty Dumplings. Juicy and oily.

Beef Skewers

Tender and slid right off the stick.

Vegeterian Spring Rolls

My friend devoured it. I think that should explain enough?

Chicken Corn Chowder

Kind of like egg drop soup…but with a corn aftertaste.

Hot & Sour Vegetarian Soup

 

Scallops with Black Bean Sauce

My favorite seafood: scallops. Favorite childhood condiment: black bean sauce. And with their powers combined: delicioso.

Flounder with Olive Sauce

My friend freaked me out about flounder because he was describing them as mutated fish with their eyes on one-side. But while I was eating this, it didn’t matter to me, at all.

Pan Fried Tofu with Mixed Mushrooms

And of course we ordered a vegetable dish! The best part is that the vegetables weren’t drowned in the thick sauce like most other places do it. It was just perfect. Am I gushing too much?

Ginger Creme Brule

Interestingly enough, my friend said that it was too eggy for him. Sweet, but eggy.

Sweet Creamy Buns

And this — for this, I would come here every day, completely forsake my gluten-free diet, and gorge myself on these buns. They remind me of the first time I had lai wong bao in Shenzhen, and my senses imploded. I asked my father, my voice heavy with betrayal, why he never introduced me to these wonderfully sweet, small, white buns decadently filled with a rich egg custard. How could he keep something like THIS away from me? I searched high and low in Chinatown for something similar, briefly found it at a currently-defunct dim sum place, before settling on Ping’s Seafood. And now, I have found something so strikingly nostalgic, and I only curse the fact that everything I love has gluten in it.

Egg Cream Roll

This was sweet too, but I’m obviously more partial to the sweet creamy buns.

All in all, I would say that this was an incredibly successful way to end Chinatown Restaurant Week. I liked that Red Egg had offered so much on their menu for only $18.88, and that my friends and I could eat it family style. I remember reading an article about CRW and how the owner of a Vietnamese restaurant was drawing up a menu that emphasized family style entrees because that’s how Chinese/Vietnamese/Asian food is supposed to be eaten. And I think Red Egg really encapsulated that fusion of Western restaurant business tactics and Eastern dishes.

If Chinatown (or simply, Chinese food) wanted to break out of the label as lowbrow food and become acknowledged as highbrow while still maintaining authenticity, I think there is still much more to go, but not necessarily in relation to its food. Of course, you’re going to have Americanized Chinese dishes that are going to be thick and hard to swallow or too salty, etc. But even if that aspect was perfect, there are so many other factors that contribute to its positioning such as service (in this service economy, I shouldn’t expect to be treated rudely, as presumptuous as that sounds) and even decor. Who wants to pay around $20 for only three courses at a place that looks like a take-out joint?

Anyway, hopefully this venture was successful, and we can enjoy it again next year.

  • bookish

    damn good review. chinatown needs to figure out how to embrace both eastern and western customers. ATTN: NO ONE LIKES BAD SERVICE AND DIRTY BATHROOMS. chinatown isn’t cheap enough anymore to excuse it either. long gone are the days of sambofan for 3.50.