Celadon House provides authentic Chinese treats


Fried wontons are a fantastic treat to start your meal at Celadon House.

It’s a long process to find  good Chinese food.

It’s the same story every time. Greasy chicken balls, overcooked vegetables and sweet and sour sauce that is more sweet than anything you could ever call sour.

It’s the art of Americanized Chinese, and it’s hard to find food that strays.

Celadon House, located at Ford Dr. and Cornwall Rd, is a refreshing twist on the usual.

The dining room is clean, with a blend of greens and whites that calm you when you sit down. No one ignores you; rather, you are welcomed to sit down, and immediately are served.

The service is great. Everyone is friendly, welcoming and able to have a conversation with you. Even when the place is rushed, the owners are in the room having a laugh with customers. It’s nice to see in an industry where everyone is usually in a rush.

The Celadon House offers lots of options. At dinner, you order dishes to share with people, like you would other Chinese restaurants. At lunch, they have noodle soups and combinations at a discounted price, with drinks and salads included. Lunch offers the best deal, for sure.

A lot of the items are very recognizable from other places, but they also have unique dishes like cha behoon, a mix of shrimp, chicken, vegetables and noodles, and fish sarciado, made from tilapia, peppers, onions and egg.

I was on a mission to find a good version of “classic” Chinese though and tried the basics.

Celadon wontons offer a choice between pork or shrimp which are then fried and served with a homemade sweet and sour sauce. The pork tasted like more than just meat, and the wrapper was thin, letting the filling shine. The sauce was heaven-sent. It accented the fried dumplings nicely and had an excellent balance- not the usual sugar syrup dyed red. It’s a great started I’d recommend and order again.

Yang chow fried rice is flavourful, with big chunks of pork and shrimp.

Yang chow fried rice is flavourful, with big chunks of pork and shrimp.

The coconut chicken is unique, simply because it tastes like what it’s called. A blend of turmeric and chili powder are added to a coconut sauce, giving it a light spice, but the strongest flavour in the dish is definitely coconut. The chicken is cooked properly, and isn’t dry. It’s a pleasant dish, though a bit bland on its own. Add rice and you’ve got a good meal.

The crispy Sichuan beef is remarkably similar to ginger beef I’ve had at other restaurants, but better. The beef is battered, but not too crispy. Instead it had a soft texture. The sauce wasn’t too sweet and was accented well with sesame seeds. The dish is served with peppers and onions, which were cooked properly ­ crisp, not mushy. I’d order it again if I had the option to, it was delicious.

And then there was the yang chow fried rice. The flavour in it was awesome; it wasn’t too salty, nor did it lack in flavour. The rice is served with huge chunks of shrimp and pork, along with the usual fried rice vegetables and egg. There was just one problem. The rice left a greasy mouth feel sort of like a thin coating of oil around the mouth. While the dish otherwise would have been my favourite, I ended up not finishing it.

Crispy sichuan beef is the perfect entree dish to try at Celadon House.

Crispy sichuan beef is the perfect entree dish to try at Celadon House.

I held the Celadon House to a high standard when I visited. There are signs at every table to be patient, as food is made from scratch, and takes time to be prepared. Food took a reasonable amount of time despite the warning, and it was obvious that everything was indeed made by hand. This is a good sign, and I found myself content with what I was served.

Does this mean this is the end all to Chinese food in Oakville?

Perhaps not, but I’m happy to go to Celadon House again.