Fact: I am not a huge fan when it comes to dining at restaurants located inside malls. There’s just something about mall restaurants that give off the impression that they do not strive to create or maintain a loyal customer base due to their convenient location in highly trafficked areas. Or is that just me?
Ali Shan is a casual Taiwanese eatery located right by Crystal Mall in Burnaby. The last time I stepped foot in this place was actually four years ago for my birthday! I find that I pick the most random places to celebrate sometimes 😛 Anyway, the boyfriend wanted to take me here for lunch since he knows I love Taiwanese food in general (when am I not craving it?) and we were in the area. 🙂 Budget friendly places are always a yes!
Similar to many Taiwanese establishments, the interior was very clean and modern with great natural lighting. Both of us were craving noodles that day but since the boyfriend knows I like variety when it comes to food blogging purposes.. he decided to go with something else instead!
Special Menu – Their special menu included a variety of Japanese inspired dishes. The regular menu consists of popular Taiwanese food ranging from noodle soups, rice combos, appetizers, and a drinks menu. They’ve really cut down a lot of items from their menu compared to a few years ago. I guess a lot of regulars come here for them to narrow the menu down to just a double sided sheet?
All combos include choice of iced tea or soup. I opted for their signature iced tea while my boyfriend had soup of the day which was kimchi soup. My drink tasted really sweet. The soup was just okay for my boyfriend. Portion seemed kind of small compared to my drink.
Green Onion and Egg Pancake Roll ($4.20) They call this the Taiwanese breakfast burrito. Good amount of egg and green onion ratio. I liked how they turned out soft and pillowy. It’s normally eaten for breakfast, but really, it’s suitable for any meal of the day. Most green onion pancakes are accompanied with soy sauce, but we were given oyster sauce.. I wasn’t a huge fan of the oyster sauce due to its sweetness and thick consistency.
Braised Beef Noodle in Soup ($8.50) They have a daily limit for their noodle soups. You’re given the choice of either wide or thin noodles. I doubt they make their noodles in house because they tasted exactly like the ones you get from the frozen aisle at T&T 🙄 .. they still had a good chew to them though. The soup base was okay.. it got really salty towards the end. Beef chunks were rather conservative compared to other places like Ding Hao or Wang’s . The bowl itself was massive, good value I guess if you’re looking for something cheap to fill you up.
Braised Pork Thigh on Rice ($9.50) For the price of this meal.. I personally thought they were a big stingy with the meat. Boyfriend thought he had a good amount of food for his dish though. His rice dish came with some cabbage and spicy tofu as well.
All in all, I was a bit disappointed with my experience here, but I wouldn’t mind coming here again for a budget friendly meal- just not any time soon.Stick with their beef bibimbap or their fried chicken nuggets rice combo as tastier alternatives!