179 East Pender Street, Vancouver
Date of Visit: July, 2017
New Mitzie’s is almost dead-center in the middle of Chinatown. It has a large menu that is pretty well equally divided between Chinese and Western cuisine and the Chinese selections are largely the sort you find in any westernized Chinese restaurant across the country. While perusing restaurants online, I saw that they have General Tao’s chicken listed and, having still never had this popular favorite yet, I gave the place a try…
Mitzie’s is fairly large, seating 100 or so and is nicely appointed in a simple Asian contemporary style. It was slow when arrived just before noon and the waitress who seated me seemed almost half-asleep. She was friendly enough, though, and the service was quick and efficient.
Spring Roll – I stared with this perennial favorite, but I only ordered one so as not to fill myself up too quickly. As far as spring rolls go, this wasn’t bad. The filling was chiefly cabbage, with a little shredded carrot and some tree slivers of tree-ears. The latter provided a nice little texture contrast but aside from this there was nothing remarkable here. The plastic package of standard ‘take-out Chinese’ plum sauce was a little chintzy, I thought, something house made would have been better.
Egg-drop Soup – This was more traditionally identified in the Chinese characters on the menu as ‘Egg Flower Soup’. Aside from the flowers, the broth contained green peas and the size of the bowl was about double what I expected having ordered the ‘small’ portion. The broth was okay but it had a canned taste to it and probably was not made on the premises.
General Tao’s Chicken – I rather enjoyed my first taste of this current favorite. It featured battered chicken in a sweet-sour-spicy brown sauce with onion, green pepper, carrot and large pieces of dried chili. There was a pretty high batter to chicken ratio but I was impressed by how crispy the batter remained despite being bathed in the sauce. The sauce was a bit oversweet for me but the dried chili gave it a nice smoky flavor. I can’t really compare this to other renditions elsewhere, but I though this pretty good.
At first, I had rather thought of saying that my dining experience was middle of the road and then given the place a rating of 3 out of 5 but, on reflection, it struck me that New Mitzie’s achieves pretty much what it sets out to do… that is, provide popular dishes at a reasonable price. I wasn’t wowed, by any means, but my meal was cheap and decent. I rate the place at a 4 out of 5.