A popular family-run Hong Kong-style restaurant in Vancouver's Mount Pleasant has resumed service, three years after it was ordered closed following a harrowing construction site incident.
Congee Noodle House, at 141 E Broadway at Main, is a staple in the city for affordable Chinese and Hong Kong-style food.
The popular casual restaurant was forced to close at the end of January 2020, when a retaining wall at an adjacent construction site collapsed during a heavy rainstorm, creating a sinkhole. As a result, a section of the restaurant’s parking lot caved in and slid into the neighbouring excavation pit.
The city issued Congee Noodle House a "do not occupy" order, due to the safety issue created by the sinkhole. While stormwater and gas connections to the building were compromised, no one was injured - though a few objects did tumble into the hole.
Finally, in mid-May, word surfaced that the restaurant was showing real signs of life inside, and passersby who popped their heads were able to confirm the beloved comfort eats spot was going to be back up and running.
Congee Noodle House's most popular dishes are its Chinese BBQ and rice combos, Hong Kong-style breakfast, as well as its wonton soup, all kinds of noodles, and, of course, congee - a traditional savoury rice porridge available plain or with a variety of toppings.
Customers note that the food remains the same, though prices have gone up slightly since the restaurant was last up and running.
In 2018, Congee Noodle House was honoured as one of the "Elite 10" establishments that have had a profound impact on the Metro Vancouver dining scene by the Chinese Restaurant Awards. That same year, the Chinese Restaurant Awards named Congee Noodle House the best congee and noodle restaurant in the city in its Diners' Choice categories.
Though pre-pandemic Congee Noodle House was known for being one of Vancouver's tried-and-true late night eats spots, staying open until 1 or 2 a.m. nightly, the restaurant's current hours are from 9:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. seven days a week.
With files from Drew Clarke