Tag Archives: Chinese food

PATIO LIT EATS: I’m living on Chinese broc, all my best things are in woks…

Now, you KNOW I don’t eat a whole lotta veggies bro, but if there’s one kind I don’t mind sometimes, it’s Chinese broccoli. Not only does it remind me of my second-favourite Ramones tune,  but there’s something about the way they cook it in the wok, with the teriyaki sauce, that makes it pretty darn tasty…

So, we’re hanging out at Dasha, this funky, upscale Chinese joint that’s down an alley off of King Street. Apparently, they’ve even got a karaoke bar on the second floor…but since they’re only open for outdoor dining, we’re gonna hafta stick to eating!

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What, you didn’t think this blog was only about broccoli, bro!? Nah, it’s just a side dish for their Mongolian-style steak! You’ve got a 16-oz prime rib, grilled to perfection, with some edible flowers and a black truffle sauce — I’d put that on a flip-flop!!!

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TORONTO’S TOP TAKEOUT: Holy fuck, I just ate a whole duck!!!

Now, I’ve definitely had a few funky duck dishes in my day, but when I heard that R&D, this Asian fusion joint in downtown Chinatown, was delivering what they call The Best Duck in the City, you KNOW I had to check it out! Thing is, they don’t just give you a duck breast, or a duck leg — they’re serving up the whole thing, which means you need at least two takeout containers just for the duck alone:

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Of course, they aren’t just giving you the bird — there’s also a whole pile of cucumbers, some leeks, a container of garlic hoisin sauce, and a whole buncha steamed baos to stuff ’em in. Put it together, and what do you got? Dippity duckity do, bro!!!

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OK, now let’s break it down. This might actually be the best duck in the city — the bird is super-tender, melt-in-your-mouth goodness. Then you’ve got some crunch from the cukes, a little kick from the hoisin, and a nice puffy, doughy vessel to pack ’em all into. I could eat at least eight of these — wait, actually I did!!!

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But we’re saving the best for last with a double duck leg takedown! Dude, this meat was so tender, it practically falls off the bone. So much richness, and not very fatty — I was pretty full when I finished all this, but not so much that I was slowing down. Still, even if it didn’t fill me up as much as my BBQ dinner for one, at $90, it was the most expensive takeout order I’ve ever made…

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Now, while I’m scarfing down all that duck, I figured I could use a little goose — we’re talking Goose Island, son!

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So I went for a Dubbel Whammy, this tasty Belgian Dubbel from the Goose Island Toronto Brewhouse. You’ve got a nice, rich, molasses flavour, but not too heavy at a shade under 7%. And Goose Island is doing free same-day delivery for orders over 20 dollars, which makes this another Delivery Double Down in Flavourtown!!!!!!!

Hot pot @ Liuyishou? Don’t mind if I do!

So, we’re hanging out at Liuyishou Hot Pot, this funky joint right in the heart of Downtown Chinatown. This place is like the OG of DIY Chinese cuisine, with thousands of locations all over the world — and they’re serving it up Chongqing style, which means that it’s really spicy. Me, I can’t handle the heat, so I went with two broths from the non-spicy side — mushroom on the one hand, and corn and pork rib on the other.

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Now, when it comes to meat & seafood, this place is serving up all you can eat for like 40 bucks, bro! You’ve got lamb, you’ve got beef, you’ve got mussels, fish balls, peel ‘n eat shrimp, baby cuttlefish… Baby cuttle-whaa???

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Dude, this Baby Yoda in Flavourtown is TheBomb.ca, bro! It’s kinda chewy like calamari, with the legs adding some extra kick… I could slam, like, 17 of these!!!

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But what makes it is the beef tongue. No matter what side of the bowl I cooked it on, it was done in 30 seconds, and had the texture of the well-done piece of prime rib at the end. Man, this tongue’s so good, I gotta lick it up, lick it up, whoa-oh-oh, bro!!!!!!!!!

Chugging some drunken garlic shrimp @ Chi Dim Sum

Dude, beer and garlic are two of my favourite things, so if you combine them with shrimp, and serve it all up on a flatbread, then you know I’m all over that like white on a $2.75 side of rice! We’re hanging out at Chi Dim Sum & Asian, this funky little joint on Yonge, close enough to Eglinton that you can smell the construction. Now, you might be asking what kind of Asian? Well, this place has everything from soup dumplings to green curry to Korean beef ribs, and even this funky opening act in Flavourtown, General Tao Chicken Bao:

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Now, if you like sauce, this here’s your jam. They pretty much smother everything in the sticky General Tao sauce — man, you could put that on a carrot, and it would still taste good! But I was not expecting thinly sliced chicken breast here. I was looking for something more like the deep-fried crunchiness of the General Tao in my neighbourhood, right next to Downtown Flavourtown. This chicken was more like it’s from a distant suburb or something…

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But hey, I came here to do two things: drink some beer, and eat some shrimp — and we’re almost outta Tsingtao, bro! These Drunken Garlic Shrimp are plump and juicy, with just the right amount of sauce. They say they’re sauteed in garlic, butter and beer, which just might be the name of my new cooking show. Couldn’t really taste the booze, but that didn’t stop me from polishing off a whole wooden paddle of these bad boys!

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Now, at this point you’re probably asking, after slamming 17 shrimp, could he still have room for dessert? Oh it’s true, it’s damn true, Kurt Bro-ngle!!!

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Now, this dish right here has gotta be a gold medallist at the Flavourtown Olympics in the most righteous dessert category. Say hello to ma lil’ friend, deep-fried banana split! You’ve got ice cream, you’ve got chocolate sauce, even a couple strawberries on top…and the bananas are deep-fried in a crispy golden batter, for that ooey, gooey taste on the inside. Dude, this split is bananas… and bananas is good!!!!

All You Can Eat Asian @ Spring Rolls

Now, my motto’s always been “Why only eat some, when you can eat all?” So we’re hanging out at Spring Rolls, right at Yonge and Dundas, where you can get all you can eat Asian food for just 28 bucks, bro! And we’re not just talking sushi, we’re talking dim sum, bulgogi, calamari, lamb chops… and a whole lotta cupcakes for dessert! OK, now let’s break it down:

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This plateful of deep-fried goodness includes Japanese gyoza, deep-fried scallop cakes, and a beef satay skewer with a very uneven sauce distribution… But that’s not all we’re frying up here:

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Holy Octopus Balls, Batman! This takoyaki was so hot it almost melted my face off!!!

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Now here’s something I’ve never even seen before — they take a wonton, stuff it with cream cheese, and then drop it in the fryer. Man, the only way this would be better is if they used nacho cheese, bro!

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Of course, we’ve always got room for some calamari. Dude, this is body by calamari!

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Now, I guess we should probably order some sushi. On the right, we’ve got a salmon avocado roll, and then on the left, that’s a green dragon roll — crab meat, avocado and cucumber, with more avocado on top! Who needs a cherry when you can have avocado on top???

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But now we’re about to funk it up a notch, homes! This spider roll, spider roll does whatever a spider roll does — it’s got deep-fried soft shell crab, with some regular crab, avocado, cucumber and mayo… It’s like a Tobey Maguire upside-down kiss in Flavourtown!!!

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Now, I know at this point you’re probably asking “Where’s the beef, bro?” Well, it’s right here, son! This sizzling bulgogi beef is so chewy, you could pull it apart with a fork… Man, I could eat like 17 of these!

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But that’s not the only thing they’re sizzlin’ at Spring Rolls, son! This honey ginger chicken wasn’t quite as spicy as advertised…but you KNOW it’s still heading straight down my piehole!!!

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Now, here’s something I wasn’t expecting. Imagine having steak and lamb, and lamb and steak. Imagine having both of them, on just one plate… OK, so both of these pieces were well beyond medium rare, but they can still tag team my taste buds any day, bro!

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Now, if you like your Chinese food deep-fried and saucy — dude, Deep Fried ‘n Saucy is my dating profile handle! — then this Tango Mango Chicken is for you. You’ve got crunchy, crispy bird, mango, sweet, sweet onion and bell peppers, sauteed in a house special citrus tango mango sauce. Dude, you could put that on a flip-flop, and it would still taste good!!!!

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Of course, even after slamming all those Asian taste sensations, we’ve still got room for dessert. Mini brownies, mini creme brulees, and five different kinds of mini cupcakes. The ones with the Oreos on top were my Flavourtown favourites…

 

Fancy nine-course Chinese feast @ Lai Wah Heen

Now, it’s definitely not every day that I pay over 100 bucks for Chinese food–that’s like Dim Sum Gone Wild, bro! But Lai Wah Heen, one of the most well-known Hong Kong style joints in Toronto, isn’t just known for dim sum. They’ve also serving up multi-person, multi-dish gourmet dinners, with enough food for 10 people…or four Hungry, Hungry Hippos in Flavourtown!!!

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We’re starting off with some soup, a tasty combo of crab meat and bird’s nest. Apparently, you don’t wanna know what bird’s nest is made out of…but it’s still pretty darn tasty!!!

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Next up, we’ve got sea cucumber stuffed with shrimp mousse. First time eating sea cucumber — they say this slimy snail has to be marinated forever to even make it edible. But add some shrimp, and a shrimp roe sauce, and it’s more than just edible…it’s magically delicious!!!

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Now, speaking of shrimp… Right here, we’ve got jumbo prawns and scallops, served up on a bed of crisp snow peas — nothing wrong with that at all!!!

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Next up, it’s time for some Chickity China, the Chinese chicken! This bird is practically swimming in a truffle-scented oyster sauce… But baby, eat this chicken slow, it’s full of all them little bones!!!!

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Speaking of little bones…This dish of exploding fish guts with green stuff will have you picking your teeth like a hillbilly picking a banjo in Alabama, bro!!!

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But now it’s time for the main event: Wok-baked lobster in a sticky-sweet soya sauce! This dish is sooo finger-licking good, Colonel Slamders!!!

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Now, at this point I think they probably wanted to get rid of us, so they served up two dishes at once. On the left, you’ve got some righteous shrimp dumplings in a clear soup broth, and on the left, the real star of the show, foie gras duck fried rice. Yes, you read that right. You don’t get the texture of the foie, but it definitely adds to the flavour — this is one of the top five rice dishes I’ve ever had, bro!!!

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Now, in all that commotion back there, I’m not sure if we had eight dishes, or only seven. But that doesn’t mean we ain’t still got room for dessert, son! This trio of tasty Chinese treats includes a sesame ball, sweet red bean soup and a strawberry pastry roll. You know my motto’s always been why have just one dessert when you can have three, right???

Get you some dim sum, son!

Now, I don’t always get out of bed before noon on weekends–unless there’s brunch involved. Whether we’re talking crepes, skillets or waffles, I love the smell of some real-deal brunchfast in the morning. Especially if I don’t hafta cook it. In an ideal world, people would just walk around with carts of food, and ask me what I wanna eat…like they do at Dim Sum King, this funky all-day dim sum joint in Downtown Chinatown!

And man, this place has everything–dumplings, steamed pork buns, peel-and-eat shrimp, beef short ribs…even roast duck, bro! If you ever wanted to stuff your face full of Chinese food for like 20 bucks a head, bring the whole family for this festival of funk in Flavourtown!!!!

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So, we’re starting off with some crispy shrimp wontons, topped with donkey sauce. Dude, this is body by crispy shrimp wontons, topped with donkey sauce!!!

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Speaking of shrimp, this shrimp dumpling is about to go straight down my piehole!!!!

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Because you can never get enough shrimp, we’ve got peel-and-eat garlic shrimp, shrimp-stuffed jalapeno peppers, and some sticky rice (with no shrimp).

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You get your balls to the wall, man… We’re talking steamed beef meatballs, bro!

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Of course, you can’t have dim sum without dumplings. Siu mai, har gow… pas le temps de niaiser!

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This place also has not one, but two kinds of pork buns. Me, I like mine steamed…

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Now, it’s time for the piece de resistance. This Peking Duck is cooked perfectly, nice and fatty with a crispy skin. And not too many bones, either!

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Now, after all that dim sum, you’d think I wouldn’t have room for dessert…but this piece of pan-fried water chestnut cake oughtta do’er.

All-you-can-eat Chinese food? Don’t mind if I do!

Now, you mighta seen the ads for Mandarin on TV, but if you want a real-deal Chinese feast, you gotta head east to Dragon Pearl Buffet, bro! This oriental palace is up by York Mills and Leslie, which is a little outta the way for me, but if there’s all-you-can-eat anything, you know I’m there with flip-flops on! And I didn’t hafta sell my bling-bling at a pawn shop to eat here, either–all this delicious grub will only set ya back 30 bucks after tax! That’s like a five-finger in discount in Flavourtown–or should we say five-plate discount, bro? OK, let’s break it down:

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Our first trip around the sun has me scarfing down some squid, BBQ ribs, dumplings, chicken balls, deep-fried chicken wings, spring rolls, siu mai and some wish buns…which is when you have a steamed bun, and you wish you had some meat in it, son!

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This nutritionally balanced breakfast features two kinds of noodles, a double dose of deep-fried shrimp, Chickity China the Chinese chicken, pineapple-glazed ribs…and I think I mighta buried some beef in there, too!

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For Round 3, we’re throwing down black bean mussels, two kinds of sushi, grilled salmon, sweet ‘n sour chicken, lemon chicken without the sauce (I dun goofed, bro!) and some Peking duck, which I totally turned into a taco:

peking_duck_taco (2)We’re taking this one down to Flavourtown Chinatown, bro!!!!

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Was I getting pretty full at this point? Yeah, a little bit. But YOU KNOW I’ve always got room for prime rib, bro!!!! This fresh-carved beef bomb was a little on the well-done side of medium, but it still goes great with some mashed potatoes, gravy and mini Yorkshire puddings, mate!

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And there’s no way I can slay a buffet without saving room for dessert! This fully loaded sundae is equal parts chocolate and strawberry, with chocolate sprinkles, rainbow sprinkles AND marshmallows! And I probably wouldda had more, too, if they’d given me a bigger bowl….

More frickin’ chicken than you can shake a stick at!

So, Toronto Life just did its Top 100 list of the best cheap eats in Toronto–and I KNOW some of these places are pretty legit, like PG Clucks, Flock, Wvrst and Adamson Barbecue. They also include a whole buncha food court places up in Markham and stuff, all serving up meals for less than 10 bucks. While I’m all for eating good in the neighbourhood, I usually spend more money than that at Adamson’s, son!

And hey, it turns out they left one of my go-to, real-deal, dirty-deeds-done-dirt-cheap joints off their list. What if I told you that you could get enough General Tao Chicken for a family of four (people with small stomachs) for just $5.99, bro????

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Fusia Asian Kitchen is in a food court in the basement of the Atrium on Bay, just across the PATH from the Greyhound bus station and that Japanese cheesecake creep. They do a few different chicken dishes, which they toss in the wok as soon as you order, but me, I always go straight to the heatlamp, dudeson!

Now, the texture can be a little off sometimes, kinda overly crunchy, and the breading’s falling all over the place. Plus, there isn’t really any sauce here–there’s a reason they don’t call it General Tso, bro. But man, when you’re girl drink drunk at 7:30 on a Tuesday, there’s nothing better than stuffing your face with enough Chinese chicken to choke a chihuahua*!

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(*Or at least some guy on TV told me that once.)

 

Double dose of Chinese style BBQ, bro!

So, we’re hanging out at Yueh Tung Restaurant, this classy Chinese cuisine cookout just offa Dundas St in downtown Toronto. This place is known for its hot and spicy Hakka dishes, but whenever I see BBQ on a menu, I am contractually obligated to eat it–even if I did just stuff my face full of beef ribs the day before. Luckily, they don’t do BBQ beef here, but they do have chicken, and pork, and duck…oh my!!!

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Unfortunately, they were all out of duck, I’m so lost without you–but I’m about to dive head-first into a pile of char siu. This might not have been the best Chinese BBQ pork I’ve ever had; it was a little on the fatty side, but dude, Fatty Char Siu was my nickname in Mandarin school!!!!

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On the other hand, this sweet soy chicken was so far outta bounds, it’s taking my tastebuds down to Chinatown (which is only, like, a couple blocks away)! The chicken is cooked perfectly, nice and tender, and just melts in your mouth. And then you’ve got a little bit of that sweet soy sauce over top. Man, I could eat this off a tennis shoe! But you’re gonna wanna eat that chicken slow, baby, cuz like my homeslice Gord Downie once told me, it’s full of all them little bones!!!!