JJ Wonton Noodle House

1012 Fort St tel: 383 0680 closed sunday/monday

JJ Wonton Noodle House is easily my favourite Chinese restaurant in town. I'm sure there are other equally good Chinese restaurants, but JJ's works for me. I get the sincere impression that the Chef loves his work and takes some interest in innovating his dishes. In addition to that, I find the amount of high fat dishes, well balanced with less fat driven food.

As this was a lunch review, we imbibed in moderation (Patty had a beer), but it is worth noting that they have a small but unusually thoughtful wine list. There are several local selections on the list, and all the choices are paired to compliment the menu in a sensible way - this list is no after thought. I was impressed.

Today, we went for a round of noodle soup. Summer or winter, noodle soup is always a favourite of mine -  filling, but calorically balanced. I had the Sichuan style braised beef soup ($7.95). I didn't really know what to expect, but I was pleasantly surprised.  A pile of super-tender beef cubes, virtually melting a top a bowl of thin egg noodles and gai lan. The seasoning was spicy, without being uncomfortable, the vegetables crunchy and the broth rich. I highly recommend this dish.

Patty was having a craving for wonton soup, so I directed him to the shrimp wonton with noodle ($6.95). I eat a lot of wontons and shrimp wontons always feel like a special treat to me. He was a fan of the rough cut prawns inside the wontons and similarly pleased with the crunchy bok choy and steaming hot broth - everything seemed painfully fresh.

We were in and out in 30 min. The service is brief, but friendly - they're definitely catering to a business lunchtime crowd. The food is fun and the price is right. A little light on ambiance, this is a restaurant all about the food and that's ok with me.

(note: JJ's is one of the only restaurants in town that serve Chow Fun, my favourite noodle dish)

Reviewed September 27. 06