Recent weekends have been hectic. J has been working out of town. We just bought a house which is going through major renovations. H is now a very active toddler. So J and I have been trying to find some “us time” in between trips to pick tile, faucets and flooring.

“Us time” tends to coincide with food time so we’ve snatched some quiet moments together at Chu Kiang, an old-school Chinese joint. We found it one day because we were starving and it was an easy right turn on the route between home and a building supplies store.

Chu Kiang is in a strip mall on Knight Street at 49th Avenue, next to a KFC. The menu has Chinese-Canadian and Chinese comfort food. It’s highly unlikely the lineup of hot and sour soup, chop suey and chicken fried rice has changed much in the last 20+ years.

I see that as a fantastic thing for two reasons. It’s doing something right if it’s still in business after two decades. Secondly, sometimes you just need a piping hot plate of crunchy sweet and sour pork.

The Big Lunch Special board offers gigantic plates for ridiculously low prices.

BBQ pork chow mein and sweet and sour pork ($6.50) fills a serving plate and is enough for lunch the next day. Yes, it’s fried and deep-fried but the greasiness is limited. The key is it’s all cooked fresh, not sitting under heat lamps for hours. You can hear the wok sizzling from the kitchen after your order goes in.

I’ve also had a special of shredded duck and preserved vegetable noodles ($7.50) that compares to any served at fancier Hong Kong cafes.

Most importantly, there’s always room for the two of us in the sparse restaurant to take a breather and reconnect.

Chu Kiang Chinese restaurant, 6491 Knight St., Vancouver, (604) 327-8835. Open Monday to Saturday 11 a.m.-10 p.m., Sunday and holidays 4:30-10 p.m.

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