J&J Wonton Noodle House
1012 Fort St.
I’ll admit I had high expectations for this place. One of my foodie friends from Vancouver recommended J&J , as it is one of his favourite places in Victoria for Chinese eats( and he’s Chinese). So, after many years of seeing this restaurant I decided to stop in for a quick lunch.
I felt like I was walking into a standard noodle house, nothing was special about the decor or seating. I was greeted quickly by a friendly server, and within seconds of sitting down another lady dropped off some tea. It was quarter to noon, and it was already shaping up to be a busy lunch service. People around me seemed to be enjoying themselves, with a lot of light coming in through the front windows. I noticed quite a build-up of accolades near the entrance, including Best Chinese of 2009 in Victoria (public vote). I went into this meal expecting only the best.
Food and drink:
The complimentary tea served had a beautiful colour and an even more beautiful taste. A tad smokey,with toasted rice and no bitter notes, it went down smooth. For my lunch, I asked the server which dishes she could recommend from a few I had selected, a Szechuan chicken dish or a spicy pork dish, and she said the chicken was good(picture above), for $10.50 over rice. I’ve had Szechuan( or Sichuan) food done right in Vancouver before, so I was expecting a similar experience to that of our city across the Strait. The dish wasn’t as punchy as I would have hoped, although it did have nice notes of ginger and chili. The sauce reminded me of sambal oelek, and at least a clove of crunchy thinly-sliced garlic was sprinkled throughout. Crunchy pea-pods, onions, scallions, and bell peppers accompanied the chicken. I was expecting to be changed after experiencing ” the best Chinese restaurant 2009″, but I was left wanting more. It was a simple lunch, tasted good but nothing that I haven’t tasted before.
Concerns: The chicken had an off aftertaste to it, and the texture of how the chicken was prepared left it rather slimey. Also, I noticed on the lunch specials for the day, they were featuring a noodle soup with Atlantic salmon(either farmed in BC, or imported) which I found a bit puzzling.
Highlights: Quick service, busy and convenient location, good tea, friendly servers.
Mhm… I feel like I should visit again for some wontons(solely for the namesake), and maybe try some noodles. What do you think?
Food rating: 3/5
Service rating: 4/5
Ambiance rating: 2.5/5