For a really long time I had been wanting to go to South Sea Chinese restaurant on Ottawa St. Usually I can’t make it past the South Sea signage without stopping to peer and sometimes even gawk through the front windows. The restaurant is stuck in a majorly wicked time warp. Chinese taverns like this really bring me back to Chinese restaurants from my youth (they have the Chinese zodiac paper placemats and everything!). This particular restaurant has been around for 28 years and probably has not changed much since the day it first opened.
As a special treat for my 33rd birthday we decided to indulge in a nostalgic culinary and atmospheric journey of true Chinese Canadian cuisine as it would’ve been circa 1983. If you want chicken balls, egg rolls, fried rice, honey garlic spareribs, and chow mein; just some good ol’ classic North American Chinese you can’t go wrong with South Sea. Who knows how long restaurants of this era will stick around for? I feel like they’re quickly becoming vintage relics of their own kind. If you’re interested in learning more about the unique history of Chinese restaurants in small towns across Canada (there’s basically at least 1 Chinese restaurant in every town no matter how small!) then you should pick up Eating Chinese: Culture on the Menu in Small Town Canada. Author Lily Cho can give you the real historic low down.
What girl doesn’t love sparklers on their birthday!? After South Sea Steve suggested we have a tea out back, and then he busted out the sparklers! This was still during the lovely and unusually warm fall nights from about a week back, so it was just about the most perfect and beautiful way to end the celebrations of my 33rd birthday. Thanks Steve!
*South Sea Restaurant, 282 Ottawa St. north, Hamilton, 905.545.0352