Vancouver’s Chinatown is full of surprise gems for those willing to look closely, and one of the premier cheap eats in an area known for cheap eats has to be Kent’s Kitchen on Keefer Street.
Behind an unassuming storefront, Kent’s Kitchen offers almost 50 different staples of Chinese cuisine, from typical menu items like beef and broccoli to more traditional choices like bitter melon and pig’s feet.
The shop, which is takeout only and staffed by a hardworking team of no-nonsense servers, allows you to pick your dishes one at a time, all of which are sent home with you in huge portions in a plastic container. A corner table at Chambar, this is not.
Its extensive menu is cash only, so make sure to prepare your dollar bills ahead of time.
The main attraction at Kent’s is its combos, with options like sticky rice and chow mein that comes with two sides.
It recently raised its prices slightly, but all of the combos still come in at under $15, with the simple white rice remaining under 10 bucks.
Vegetarian friends will be happy to know that many of the items on the list are veg-friendly, including several tofu dishes and perfectly steamed greens.
We decided on the chow mein combo with steamed bok choy with crispy carrots and sweet and sour pork. Altogether, the meal came in at under $12.
The portions at Kent’s are more than generous. Only the truly starving will be able to finish one of their combos in one sitting, and some might even get three meals out of them.
Equally impressive was the taste — the bok choy was well seasoned with a bit of bite, and the savoury chow mein, not satisfied with being a side dish, would make for an impressive meal all on its own.
Kent’s Kitchen is well known among Vancouverites as one of the city’s best cheap eats, and it more than earns its reputation.
The huge variety and excellent quality make this one of your best choices in Chinatown.
Address: 232 Keefer Street, Vancouver