Strength: Convenient location on Kingsway
Weakness: Decreased food quality is no longer worth the original price
See Other Skewers Joints
- Big Tree Food Palace Chinese Skewers (2 Stars)
Confession time, Li’s China Grill’s most famous dish is their baked fish, but I’ve never tried it. The baked fish is usually too large for my party. I have always come here for their BBQ Skewers. Sometime in the past, I would even call Li’s China Grill the pinnacle of Chinese style BBQ Skewers in Vancouver. I heard the owner has now opened a new restaurant, so we are here to see if Li’s China Grill can maintain the standard when the boss is not around. Li’s China Grill is located on Kingsway, near 41st Avenue.
There’s nothing special about the exterior of Li’s China Grill. Full height glazing facing the street to strike the pedestrian’s interest. The store is facing SouthWest. The sunset doesn’t affect patrons during summer.
Clean and Bright Interior
The interior of Li’s China Grill is clean and modern. It has very good use of interior space. Having booth on one side and tables on the other, servers can serve customers from the center aisle. The interior is bright, which makes the food looks better.
BBQ Skewers’ Best Paired With Beer
Having too much meat on the BBQ skewers may leave you feeling kind of stuck. You need to have something to go with the BBQ skewers. Having BBQ skewers without beer is kind of like having spaghetti without tomato sauce. It’s still eatable, but just not as enjoyable.
Cucumber Salad Is Refreshing
The cucumber salad was well made. Don’t overlook this dish. The devil is in the details. First of all, the cucumber was smashed rather than cut. The irregular surface retains more flavor. The garlic sauce was lightly salted to retain cucumber’s hydration level. This makes the cucumber crisp and refreshing. Coriander and peanuts are added to enhance the flavor profile. For the record. coriander and peanut go really well with each other. The combination can be seen in a lot of Southern Asia cuisines.
I know tripe is not everyone’s cup of tea, so I’m going to keep this short. The tripe was perfectly cooked. The texture is crisp with a bit of crunch, nothing close to chewing a rubber band. Once again coriander and peanuts combination can be seen here. The spicy sauce was used here, but not too spicy. There is no chemical or weird taste in the tripe.
Chicken Wings Not Really Skewers
Okay, this is simply unprofessional. There I was, expecting two BBQ chicken skewers of a different flavor. What did I get? A plate of 4 chicken wings. Am I really in a BBQ skewers restaurant? Even our 2-star rated Big Tree Food Palace Chinese Skewers serve their wings on sticks. Chicken wings were never served like this at Li’s China Grill. Look where the chase of convenience lead us. If you’re gonna be lazy like this, why don’t you serve my lamb skewers like stir fry too? This is quite disappointing.
Aside from the unprofessionalism, these chicken wings are pretty big. The skin is a bit chewy and the collagen makes them a bit sticky. The meat is not overly dry, but not exactly juicy.
Skewers Aren’t As Good As Before
The lamb skewers are $1 each and beef skewers are $1.50 each. They both have a minimum order of 5. So we are looking at $5 for lamb and $7.50 for beef. To be honest, this price is not too bad. If you are into the beef tongue, you are looking at $20 per order. I prefer lamb over beef because it has an additional layer of flavor, and it is more tender. The meat is not very juicy, on the brink of being overcooked. Similar to Big Tree Food Palace Chinese Skewers, getting a piece of fat is like a blessing.
604 Food Critic Assessment
Li’s China Grill is not as good as before. The decrease in food quality is very apparent. The price is still pretty high though. Our bill comes to $30 per person and we did not order a lot of food. Taste-wise, this is still an okay BBQ skewer place. Having Happy Tree House BBQ and Kuan Zhai Road Restaurant in close proximity, Li’s China Grill has an uphill battle ahead of them. Not recommended, there must be better BBQ skewers place somewhere else.
The top portion of Menu 1 shows the skewers of a minimum order of 5 skewers. Make sure you take the price and times it by 5.