There was once a restaurant called Chill. It was on a quiet section of Kingsway. With its dark awning and dim lighting, no one ever knew its existence. And before you knew, it closed down.
Not too long after, a new awning came to take its place. Its name was 508 Bistro. With a little more flare and a little more colour, the restaurant was revived.
Just the fact that they had an awning that was visible in the dark, and a brightly lit interior that made me realize it was open, was enough to convince me to give them a try. Chill wasn’t terrible, but I had only found out its existence because my friend worked there. It’s a wonder how anyone found that place at night.
508 didn’t even bother changing the interior (not that it needs to be changed), they just turned on the lights, and the people came.
What went in
Hungry from the start, we came here for a quick dinner. We ordered an appetizer, two rice, and two dishes. There were a few creative menu items mixed into the usual affair. For example, the Kong Pow Century Egg.
For those of you that aren’t in-the-know, Century Egg is this disgusting looking black preserved egg. And as with many things that look awful, it’s delicious beyond belief. And the only thing that stops me from having it for breakfast is the ridiculous amount of cholesterol in it. You wouldn’t think so, but the sweet and tangy sauce in this dish went well with the Century Egg. If you are open to mixing strange flavours, give this a try.
Our other dish was the much more common Stir-fried Lamb with Cumin Spice. This is a well-known combination in Chinese dishes, and difficult to screw up. They didn’t make an exception out of it. It may not look very appetizing, but I assure you the lamb was tender and tasty, no surprises here.
We also ordered the Handmade Beef Roll. The texture of the wrap didn’t seem right to me, it lacked enough meat, green onions, and wasn’t too well put together. This was fair at best. If that wasn’t enough food, we also had two bowls of rice (needless to say we had leftovers). They were the Taiwan-style rice with meat sauce and chopped meat on them. This in many ways was a great deal. At $2.50 each, there were enough flavours and meat in each bowl that you don’t have to mix in black pepper and soy sauce (if you ever lived in the States for a time you’d know what this means). This is the perfect starving-student lunch.
What came out
If I remember correctly, the whole meal came out to less than $30, including taxes and tips. There was enough leftovers for another meal (1 person). This is why I dig these places.
I want to say they are well sorted, but there seemed to have been a lot of servers around, so the quickness may have been an abundance of people. Either way it’s not much of a complaint.
508 Bistro is neither fancy nor special, but I would go again. This is the Chinese version of a fast food place, except better. How can you go wrong?
(Max Score: 10; Base Score: 5)
What went in (+/-2, 0) = 0.5
What came out (+/-1, 0) = 1
Service (+/-1, 0) = 0.5
Mr’s Bonus (+/-1) = 0.5
Total Score – 7.5/10