October 21, 2017: The title of this blog post says it all: the long-standing Sam’s Congee Delight is moving out of the 20-plus-year-old Market Village plaza to a new location shortly. Sam’s Congee Delight (黃三記) serves congee, steamed rice rolls, fried dough, and desserts and has done so for thousands of customers since it opened in the 1990s. This small no frills restaurant (that has lines out the door during every weekend for lunch) will be moving to 7354 Woodbine Ave. (Woodbine/Denison Northwest corner) due to the eventual closure of Market Village (official date still hasn’t been announced as of the time of this blog post). They’re popular because their food items are unbeatable by taste and price.
Two girlfriends and I decided to come here for lunch to enjoy another comfort food meal here at this classic spot before they eventually close up shop and move. (I’ve dined here a handful of times before in the past.) When I arrived here at 12:30 p.m. on a Saturday, the line-up was as expected. I got a number and it wasn’t long until we got a table. Turnover here is fast because the meals are made quickly and the food doesn’t take long to eat.
There was a poster on their wall announcing their new location and address. They didn’t specify when exactly their Market Village location will close up, but at least we know that Sam’s Congee Delight won’t be gone forever; just that their long-standing location will be a new one soon.
While waiting, we watched the chefs at work through the large windows. It’s always fun to watch them at work because the chefs are so efficient at what they do. Everything is prepared fresh and considering the amount of traffic they get, you can be sure that the ingredients themselves move fast through the kitchen too; maybe that’s why everything tastes so great.
Upon sitting at the table, we surveyed the menu. Mandy and I ordered the Assorted Congee which had minced beef, squid, and pork rinds while Wendy ordered the Minced Beef Congee. We also shared a Sweet Crueller, a plain rice roll, and a rice roll with beef.
The service was fast and efficient as expected.
They have the best steamed rice rolls. The skin of the rice rolls is incredibly thin; they use a piece of cloth to help solidify and shape it when they make it. The result are incredibly soft and smooth rice rolls.
I’ve had their Plain Rice Roll (齋腸) many times. It goes best with peanut butter sauce, sweet soy sauce, and some spicy sauce.
The Rice Roll with Beef (牛肉腸) here was a first for me. To my surprise, it was just as smooth and silky as the plain rice roll but with some smooth beef too. Yummy!
The Assorted Congee (艇仔粥) was hot and velvety. All of the assorted items (minced beef, squid, and pork rind) were in the bottom of the bowl. They make all of their congees by putting the main ingredients in the bottom of the bowl and then pouring hot plain congee on top of it. Thus, after your bowl arrives to the table, you should let it set a bit for the inside ingredients to “cook” from the heat of the plain congee before mixing it all together to enjoy together. What I loved the most is their minced beef! Delicious.
The Sweet Crueller (牛脷酥 ) we got. It’s fried and sweet and goes well with hot congee.
I’m glad we got to visit Sam’s Congee Delight again. Maybe I will squeeze in a few more visits if I’m in the area before they finally move on to the new location.
After our lunch, we were watching them prepare Sweet Cruellers and Fried Dough through the window. They are so good at what they do. We hope that they will have a similar window for customers to watch them make food again at the new location.