On my way to and from UBC, I always passed by Green Lettuce Indian Style Chinese Cuisine on Kingsway. Always had the urge to check them out but never did until a late Monday afternoon back in November.
Unfortunately, when I got there, it was 4:30 and they didn’t open on Mondays till 5:00. So, I went to check out some other stores before returning to Green Lettuce at around 5:05.
Since they just opened for business for the day, I was the first customer that walked in the door. I was greeted right away and seated, and the young waitress brought over a jug of water and a glass for me, as well as the menu. The older woman, whom I presumed was the owner-manager, was on the phone taking customer orders already.
As I looked through the menu, I found it strikingly similar to the one from Indian Wok in Burnaby. It looked almost identical, from my best recollection, which made me think Indian Wok probably ‘copied’ or adopted this menu for their own restaurant, haha. 🙂 I thought that because Green Lettuce first opened in 1999, whereas Indian Wok seemed like a fairly new establishment. (I even used my phone to quickly read through my own blog post on the Indian Wok to try and see some of the menu images I took on my last visit there. 🙂 ) Even the lunch menu – with lunch hours being 11:30 to 2:30 Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays – looked like the same thing.
Anyway, getting back to the reason for my visit, lol, I looked through the menu again more carefully and decided to get the Chili Garlic Wings and Chili Lamb. The young waitress asked me if I wanted rice too, so I said, “Sure.”
There must have been at least 10 phone calls that came in during the time I was there. Most of them were people calling in to order for pick-up, while at least two were those calling to see if they did delivery and then hanging up. (The answer is no, they don’t do delivery.) And don’t let the unoccupied tables fool you; when I was there, people kept coming in and out because they had ordered by phone and were there to pick up. It was uncanny. Every time someone left with their order, at least one or two more people would come in and wait for their order to be ready. At no point was the restaurant completely empty after I first entered. There was either one or two people waiting for their food, and then once they left, someone else could come in and the pattern would just repeat itself. Everybody that came in (other than myself) had phoned in and were there to pick up, except for three people who were in the area by chance and came in, looked at the menu, and then ordered something to go. I was simply the only one who chose to eat in (and not take advantage of their take-out discount by doing so, haha. 🙂 )
And gosh, you can learn a lot about the restaurant just by sitting there waiting (and then eating), because the owner-manager lady chats people up and answers their questions:
- They have lunch specials daily but not on Mondays and Tuesdays because they open at 5:00 p.m. on those days.
- They don’t do deliveries but you get 15% off if you pick up or order to go.
- They don’t serve pineapple juice.
- They have a location in Surrey, which is busier than this location, because of the lack of choices in that area.
- Customers who eat here often recommend their friends to come try this place out too. They get plenty of business through word-of-mouth, and obviously a lot of repeat customers too.
- One of the regulars’ name is Gary, and he’s an RCMP officer. And his brother is also an RCMP officer who works in Surrey. His uncle is also a regular and knows the owner-manager lady quite well.
Okay, that’s getting a bit personal…but you know what I mean. You hear all these things because the customers waiting for their pick-up order just chit-chatted with that lady, and she was more than willing to chat with them to maintain a strong relationship so that they would return.
The tables also had some interesting reading materials, if you will. You can read about the Chinese zodiac and see if the characteristics listed there matched your own personal qualities. Sure, I’d seen this sort of thing a million times before, I’m sure, but it was still fun to look at them again. As I was waiting for my food, it was fun to just try and figure out if those characteristics matched people I knew, hehe.
As for the food, the Chili Garlic Wings were delicious. The sauce was amazingly tasty with the garlicky and spicy flavour. The texture of the wings was crispy. Simply delicious. Just like the ones I’d had before at the Indian Wok. Delicious. I saved some of that sauce for the rice and lamb, instead of letting it go to waste. 🙂
The Chili Lamb didn’t come until about 20 minutes later. It was quite a long wait but again, as mentioned, they were busy with so many take-out orders. It was really spicy, and again, it was that spiciness that gave it a good flavour. It was a great dish.
I thought that the owner-manager was very nice in spending the time chatting with the customers who waited for their take-out orders. She didn’t talk to me until when I went up to pay for my meal. That was when we talked briefly. The young waitress, meanwhile, is a nice person, I’m sure. However, she didn’t check on how I was doing until toward the end of my Chili Lamb dish. So, if you do the math, I was sitting there waiting or eating for probably more than half an hour without anyone talking to me. And then consider the fact I was eating the chili garlic wings, meaning I would get my hands dirty – but nobody came to check on me or offer me more napkins.
Oh yeah. They gave me a fortune cookie when I got up to pay. My phone didn’t have any more juice left at that point so I couldn’t take a picture. Can’t remember now what the message in the fortune cookie said either.
When: Monday, November 17, 2014
What: Chili Garlic Wings; Chili Lamb; Small bowl of rice
Where: Green Lettuce Indian Style Chinese Cuisine (Vancouver location), 1949 Kingsway, Vancouver, BC, V5N 2T1
How Much: C$5.95; C$13.95; C$1.45
Final Thoughts: If I were eating out, I’d rather spend my money on Indian-style Chinese food, which has very delicious spicy flavour, than on bland Chinese food at the typical Chinese restaurant. The Chili Garlic Wings were awesome, and the same thing could be said for the Chili Lamb. The service, based on my observation, was great because the owner-manager focuses on providing good customer service to those who were curious about the menu as well as the regulars who were waiting for their order.