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???

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Big Trouble in Downtown Chinatown

So, we’re hanging out at Big Trouble, this funky second-floor joint on Dundas, right in the heart of Chinatown. Normally, if I’m in this part of town, it’s for some real-deal dim sum, but when I heard this place had five-dollar beers and cheeseburger dumplings, I was all over that like white on rice, Lo Pan!!!

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They call this the BT Dumpling Tower, and it’s a tower of power in Flavourtown! You’ve got a whole buncha beefy cheeseburger dumplings, topped with muenster cheese, salsa and arugula, and then smothered in gochujang sauce–everybody gochujang-chung tonight!!!

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And not only do they have a buncha Asian beer bottles for five bucks, but during Happy Hour, all the tall cans are five bucks, too! You KNOW I jumped on a few of these Tiger Beers, bro!!!

Real-deal deep-fried dumplings @ Tibet Kitchen

So we’re hanging out on Queen St in Parkdale, where they’ve got like seven or eight Tibetan restaurants in just a couple blocks. Some of these places looked pretty funky, like Escape Goat or the Yak Cafe, but the only one with a legit backyard patio is Tibet Kitchen.

Now Tibetan food is a lot like Chinese, mixed in with some Indian, but what they’re most known for is dumplings–they call ’em momos, bro! And at this funky joint, you can get ’em all kinds of different ways: steamed, boiled, pan-fried, sizzling…but I had to go with the deep-fried Amdo Momos–dude, I’d eat just about anything if it’s deep-fried!!!!

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OK, now let’s break it down. You’ve got a crispy, crunchy ball of flavour, stuffed with seasoned beef and onions. They serve ’em up in an eight-pack–for just 10 bucks, bro!–and they taste pretty good with just a little dab of chili sauce on top.

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Speaking of chili, these Tibetan chili fries are TheBomb.ca! They’re super saucy, but not very spicy, with some nice bites of cilantro mixed in. Vive le Tibet libre!

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.