Showing posts with label BBQ duck. Show all posts
Showing posts with label BBQ duck. Show all posts

Perfect Chinese Restaurant (Toronto) for takeout

Note: Prices in post are based on regular menu prices and may be higher when using delivery services

Having gone to my fair share of Cantonese-Chinese restaurants in the GTA, I find the clientele tends to be fairly homogenous – either comprised of 90% Chinese patrons or in the case of the “chop suey” establishments lacking anyone of Chinese representation (my husband’s nostalgia for Choice of the Orient means I’m usually the only Chinese customer when we visit). 

Perfect Chinese Restaurant is different. Since I can remember, their clientele is so diverse that even during major Asian holidays like Lunar New Year, you’ll still see families of various ethnicities. During lunch hours, you’ll hear the Chinese ladies loudly describe the dishes in broken English as they push around the dim sum cart. They also stop frequently to speak to regulars; things move a bit slower here.

The restaurant’s been around forever and the draw could be Perfect’s vast menu: there’s the traditional Cantonese dishes, all-day dim sum, and they do a great job on “chop suey” dishes… even my grandmother likes their sweet and sour pork.

They are also famously opened 24 hours a day (I’ve had my fair share of post-club visits) and offer some great specials. Even now, during COVID, they continue to provide take-out and delivery around the clock and have several discounted dishes available for take out through their new online ordering system. Such as the all-in-one meals like the roasted duck on rice ($7.95), which provides a decent portion of flavour fowl on a bowl of rice with two leafy vegetables; or the fried rice noodles with beef, bean sprout and soy sauce ($9.99) that’s well-tossed with sauce while still keeping the noodles intact.

Like my other experience with takeout lobster, the flour coating on the stir-fried lobster with ginger and green onion ($19.95) does get mushy (I suggest using less or switching to a flour that’s not as heavy and sticky), but the flavours are bang-on, fragrant and salty that I would happily have one of these in a single sitting.

If you enjoy dishes such as sweet-and-sour or honey garlic, you’ll want to try the sesame chicken ($6.95). I found it a bit too breaded and syrupy for my taste, but it was my husband’s favourite.

Surprisingly, the most expensive dishes of the meal were the vegetables. I love Chinese leafy greens and couldn’t pass-up the stir-fried garlic snow pea leaves ($14.95). There were some bits of harder steams left on (a breeze for us to consume but could be more difficult for dentures), but they sure pack plenty of it into the takeout container.

Their sautéed Buddha-style mixed vegetables ($11.95) doesn’t incorporate the gluten puffs you’ll find at Buddhist vegetarian restaurants, substituting the lighter white snow fungus instead. It’s also made up a variety of vegetables - broccoli, bean sprouts, snap peas, baby corn, bamboo shoot, and mushrooms – from what I can remember.

A dish of diversity, not unlike the customers of Perfect Chinese Restaurant. 

Overall mark - 8 out of 10 

How To Find Them 
 Location: Toronto, Canada
 Address: 4386 Sheppard Avenue East
 Delivery: Uber, Doordash, Skip the Dishes
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Gastro World's Grading System

  • Anything under 5 - I really disliked and will never order again
  • - decent for delivery and takeout, but there's better
  • 7 - this is good, for delivery and takeout
  • 8 - great for delivery and takeout, it's almost like you're in a restaurant
  • 9 -  wow, it's like I'm eating at a restaurant
  • 10 - I'd happily order this for delivery or takeout instead of dining in any day!

Is That It? I Want More!

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Congee Queen 皇后名粥 (Scarborough)

Location: Toronto, Canada
Address: 3850 Sheppard Avenue East (in Agincourt Mall)
Type of Meal: Dinner

The “wife” restaurant to the Congee Wong chain is the newer and larger Congee Queen. With a menu branching outside the normal Cantonese dishes, it also offers items such as pad thai (if you like the ketchup variety) and pho (never had it myself but the picture looks nothing like the pho I love).

There’s also a BBQ meat section that churns out dishes that look on point. I’ve tried the BBQ duck with thick vermicelli in soup ($7.25). The noodles (lai fun) are thicker than vermicelli and tastes nothing like it; they’re a non-doughy texture and resists getting soft. The BBQ duck, although well flavoured, was chewy and difficult to bite through. Needless to say, BBQ meats isn’t something I’ll be going back to order.

Despite their extensive menu, I normally go for the tried and true favourites – congee, rice noodles with beef, Singapore fried vermicelli, stir fried turnip cakes and salt & pepper fried squid. All are great and arrive in huge portions, sure to satisfy crowds.

If you’re with at least four people, I’d suggest ordering the seafood and chicken with wintermelon super bowl congee ($10.25), a great combination of ingredients. When I go with less people, we stick with the small bowls. Something simple like the sliced beef congee ($5.50) allows you to enjoy the thick smooth congee. The beef, although boiled, has been tenderized so that it resists becoming tough.

During a recent visit, I felt like something different. After all, with such a wide-ranging menu they must have other items worth a try. With a craving for lobster, the lobster chow mein ($20.95) seemed to be a good choice – crispy noodles topped with a full lobster. Stir fried in the traditional ginger and green onion sauce, the dusting of flour over each piece was a tad thick. But, once you got through it, the lobster itself was nice and tasted fresh. Moreover, the noodles were thin and remained crispy due to the thicker sauce.

Based on the picture, you likely won’t be able to tell there are a decent number of pieces of soft shell crab in their fried rice ($11.75). But, buried under the mound of well flavoured rice are lightly fried chunks of soft shell crab. Personally, I find that this relatively flavourless crustacean requires more spices or sauce to enhance it so it was a tad bland in the rice. Also, if you’re going to order this, make sure you finish all the crab in the restaurant, while it’s fresh, as it becomes mushy once reheated.

To round out the meal, a dish of simple but nicely prepared yu choy (a leafy vegetable) stir fried with beef ($10.75). I must commend Congee Queen on preparing their vegetables – they always seem so well trimmed and cooked perfectly.

If you’re looking for plain vegetables, their gai lan with oyster sauce ($5.95) satisfies and is a reasonable price.

Congee Wong will always be my go-to carb filled restaurant. But, with more and more locations opening, it’s just so convenient to head to Congee Queen! So, grab a group of people or be prepared to have a lot of leftovers. The price and selection makes it such a great everyday place to visit. 

Overall mark - 7.5 out of 10

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Gastro World's Grading System

  • Anything under 5 - I really disliked and will never go back
  • - decent restaurant but I likely won't return
  • 7 - decent restaurant and I will likely return
  • 8 - great restaurant that I'd be happy to recommend
  • 9 - fantastic restaurant that I would love to visit regularly and highly recommend
  • 10 - absolute perfection!