Showing posts with label deep fried chicken. Show all posts
Showing posts with label deep fried chicken. Show all posts

Beef Noodle Restaurant for Lunch 老李牛肉麵 (Toronto)


You visit Beef Noodle House for their beef noodles, or the stew beef with noodles in brown sauce ($14.95) to be exact. With a choice to order them neutral, a little spicy, or very spicy, the little spicy version adds a mild chili taste that is perfect. And after almost a decade, I’m happy to say the dish is just as stellar. The thick wheat noodles slightly al dante so they resist getting soggy, the broth rich and savoury, and the beef served as large tender chunks. If you want a deal, visit during lunch on Tuesday, and pay with cash to get 15% off.

It’s the same Tuesday discount you’re score on the pan-fried dumplings ($5.50), which are a great add-on with the noodles. At Beef Noodle House, they are so crispy you’d think they’re deep fried, if it weren’t for the uneven toasting that indicates they’re pan-fried.  I did find the filling too bland, but made use of the table-side sauces.

The restaurant offers a special weekday lunch menu with a selection of items ranging from $8.95 to $11.95 (a different lunch menu is available Tuesday). The stir-fried green beans with pork and water flour and vermicelli ($9.95; not available Tuesday) consists of a mixture of two types of noodles, tossed with chunks of lap cheung (Chinese preserved sausage), ground pork, and eggs. While it’s sauceless, the dish was still flavourful and reminded me of the stir-fried glutenous rice dish (sang chow loa miy fan) that’s found during dim sum. For the price, it’s a surprisingly large portion, but the green beans were too dry, adding colour, but not much flavour to the noodles.

The Shanghai style fried noodles ($10.95 on Tuesday; $9.95 the rest of the week) were better, using the same pasta as the beef noodles. There’s a nice wok hay essence but the dish is a tad scant on vegetables, including a decent amount of pork but only a handful of bean sprouts instead of the crunchier cabbage that’s usually paired in the recipe.

If you’re sharing noodles, a rice dish is a great second option to add on. The deep-fried chicken in Hunan style ($11.95 on Tuesday; $10.95 the rest of the week) was fantastic, the nuggets fried until crispy and tossed in an addicting sweet and savoury sauce. It’s garlicky and well balanced in sweetness so you can’t help but keep reaching for another piece. The dish is ideal for sharing as there’s tons of chicken to go around and it’s all protein with not a bell pepper or onion in sight.

A freshly prepared hot lunch doesn’t need to cost a lot when you visit Beef Noodle House. Bring a $20 bill and you’ll even have change to spare. 

In a nutshell... 
  • Must order: stew beef with noodles in brown sauce and deep-fried chicken in Hunan style
  • Just skip: pan-fried dumplings

Overall mark - 8 out of 10


How To Find Them
 Location: Toronto, Canada
 Address: 4271 Sheppard Avenue East


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Gastro World's Grading System

  • Anything under 5 - I really disliked and will never go back
  • 6 - 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!


Is That It? I Want More!

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Taris on the Water (Welland)


When Doug Ford announced restaurants could open for dine-in guests on their patios, I was elated. It had only been about three months since the quarantine began, but as someone who ate out three times a week, it seemed like a year had passed.

My first meal out also took me outside of the city to Taris On the Water in Welland, about an hour and a half drive outside of Toronto. My dad lives in Welland so a belated Father’s Day lunch was an optimal excuse and the quieter town meant I could avoid the Toronto frenzy that seemed to ensue on the opening weekend.

I knew that something deep fried would be ordered that day - we never fry things at home and delivered versions are never great. Taris’ fried chicken ($16) satisfied the craving and despite being boneless white meat was surprisingly moist and the breading oh so crispy.

Having difficulties trying to decide between buffalo or honey mustard sauce, our server offered to put both on the side. What a great call as I probably would have gone with buffalo, but the honey mustard was the tastier of the two. Served with perfectly fried shoestring fries and their crunchy vinegary coleslaw, it was exactly what I was wanted.

The smoked pork ribs ($25) seemed more like the boiled then grilled variety as there wasn’t a visible smoke ring and most of the flavours came from the barbeque sauce. Nonetheless, the sweet smoky sauce was tasty and the ribs tender.

With a choice of sides, grilled vegetables helped to balance out the heavier dishes and arrived on a skewer, the bite-sized pieces easy to eat on a patio.  

Taris’ was properly prepared for the opening: the tables well-spaced apart, all staff were wearing masks, and they even disinfected the payment terminal before each use. Their patio is also located at the back of the restaurant, away from cars or people walking, so it’s idyllic as you dine and take in the people kayaking across the canal. Thankfully, we have been blessed with gorgeous weather this year, we’ll need it for all the patio dining to come. 

Overall mark - 8 out of 10


How To Find Them
 Location: Welland, Canada
 Address: 25 West Main Street

Follow me on twitter to chat, be notified about new posts and more - https://twitter.com/GastroWorldBlog
____________________________
Gastro World's Grading System

  • Anything under 5 - I really disliked and will never go back
  • 6 - 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!


Is That It? I Want More!

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Grandeur Palace 華丽宮 for dinner (Toronto)


I have a love-hate relationship with Grandeur Palace: they’re one of better dim sum restaurants, in terms of taste for value, but the sheer amount of “friends and family” they let go to the front of the queue grates on the nerves while you’re waiting. Luckily, they’re quiet during dinner and with a small group we’ve just walked-in. It’s so much better when there’s no one jumping the line!

Unlike other Chinese restaurants, Grandeur doesn’t serve complimentary soup. So, if you’re used to wetting the whistle before the food arrives, plan accordingly. Their soup of the day ($9.98) is reasonably priced and sufficient for about 8-10 people. While it changes, one evening brought us a bone broth made of pork, carrots, apples, and white fungus, arriving piping hot and flavourful (not having been diluted).  


Almost every table orders the roasted Peking duck special ($19.80), a steal for two courses (duck with wraps and chopped carcass). While it’s not the most stellar version of the dish, it’s still satisfying. Their biggest flaw being the consistency of the bird – larger tables are given larger birds.


Moreover, their wrappers are a little thick and left in the steamer too long causing the top ones to dry out and crack. Nonetheless, they’re a good three-bite size ideal for making a duck taco.

You will spend more on other dishes – even a simple vegetable dish is above $15. However, Grandeur doesn’t skimp on quality or portion sizes. The sweet and sour pork ($16.80) is made with pork tenderloin, so even older family members could bite through the meat, and there was enough sauce for flavour. Sadly, the large chip is prettier to look at than eat: thinking it was a gigantic shrimp chip, I was disappointed to be greeted with the taste of Styrofoam.


The salt and pepper pork chop ($16.80) is a substantial dish. Again, the kitchen ensures it remains tender while creating a crispy crust, it just needs to be spicier.


While it’s common in Chinese restaurants, the actual seafood in the tofu, vegetable, and seafood in hot pot ($18.80) has little flavour given it’s quickly blanched before cooking. Most tables order the hot pot for the sauce over the natural shrimp, scallop, and squid flavours.


If you’ve never had bamboo fungus, it has an interesting crunchy spongy texture that I love. At Grandeur, you’ll find the ingredient in the stir-fried vegetables with bamboo fungus ($15.80), topping broccoli and mixed with black and white fungus.


The baby bok choy with salted and preserved egg ($13.80) isn’t my favourite dish as the grainy texture of the salted egg yolk is strange against the vegetable. However, it’s simple and relatively healthy feeling for those wanting a lighter option.


At $19.98 a pound, it doesn’t sound expensive for a large lobster, but when you’re greeted with a behemoth 6-pound dish ($119.88), it adds up. Best for big tables, large lobsters aren’t always as sweet as their younger counterparts but there’s more meat, especially in the claws and legs. The traditional stir-fried lobster with green onions and ginger was done well, chopped into large enough pieces so it didn’t become overcooked.


The braised grouper ($48) is another dish for larger tables – a platter with a big slab of meaty fish topped with tons of tofu and surrounded with vegetables and mushrooms (these sides alone enough to count as its own dish). The thick grouper was just cooked through and there was sufficient oyster sauce to keep everything flavoured.


Whoever chopped the deep fried whole chicken ($33.60) did so in a haphazard manner, it arrived disheveled looking. Nonetheless, it was well flavoured, the skin crispy, and the meat cooked through but not tough. Perhaps it was cut while it was still hot - if it’s between presentation or temperature, I choose temperature any day.


Although the restaurant doesn’t provide soup, customers do leave with a sweet ending. The customary green bean soup with tapioca was hot and sweet and on a weeknight dinner there were also bite-sized mango pudding and cookies.


While dining at Grandeur Palace doesn’t make you feel like royalty (even on quiet nights it’s hard to get a staff member’s attention), their dishes are decent interpretations of Cantonese cuisine. Just go in a table of six or more; they don’t skimp on portion size.

Overall mark - 7.5 out of 10


How To Find Them
 Location: Toronto, Canada
 Address: 2301 Brimley Road

Follow me on twitter to chat, be notified about new posts and more - https://twitter.com/GastroWorldBlog
____________________________
Gastro World's Grading System

  • Anything under 5 - I really disliked and will never go back
  • 6 - 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!


Is That It? I Want More!

Other Gastro World posts similar to this:

Grandeur Palace Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

T’ang Court 唐閣 (Hong Kong)


Dining as a table of two in a Cantonese restaurant can be difficult given dishes are generally for one type of food (i.e. protein, vegetable, grain) rather than a complete meal. T’ang Court does offer tasting menus for smaller groups, but they’re comprised of the abalone, shark fin, and swallow’s nest offerings … love-it or detest-it type dishes. Luckily, they do offer some items per person and even proactively suggested changing our noodle dish to a half order to better fit our table.

It’s this helpful attitude that aided T’ang Court to earn and keep their three Michelin stars. Indeed, their staff is attentive (god forbid you try to pour your own tea), patient, and professional … qualities that are rare in other Chinese restaurants since the customer to staff ratio is overwhelmingly high. It’s also surprisingly calm and quiet: my husband and I were seated at a table that in similar places would fit six and the tables were well-spaced for privacy. 


We even received an amuse bouche, which wasn’t the typical bone broth, but rather a fair-sized scallop. While the pastry was a bit floury at the bottom, the seafood was sweet and meaty and the pickled vegetables a nice fresh contrast against the deep-fried scallop. In fact, the amuse closely mirrored our dishes to come – deep fried and roasted options that made for an indulgent meal.


You can’t go wrong with the baked stuffed crab shell ($180 each); if you like crab cakes, this brings it another level! Break through the crispy panko crust and you’ll be treated to forkfuls of the crustacean mixed with bit of onion for contrast in a light creamy sauce. It’s a fantastic dish that while priced per person can also be shared as it’s a significant portion of seafood. 


To make the roasted suckling pig ($330) in the BBQ duo lighter, the chefs remove the layer of pork fat (after cooking) and replaced it with a thin slice of steamed bao, which adds a softness against the thin crackling skin and delicate tender meat. Oh it’s good, the best roasted pork I’ve had. The duck’s meat is also succulent and encased in golden crispy skin, but needs some plum sauce as it’s fairly neutral tasting.


I don’t know what we were thinking, with all the barbequed meat, we really didn’t need half of a crispy salted chicken ($300) as well. Another tasty version of a classic dish, the skin well-rendered and crisp, the chicken meat still moist, and everything seasoned adequately so you don’t need any condiments.


The Inaniwa noodles with fresh shrimp dumplings and mixed vegetables in fish soup ($130 for a half order) was a welcomed respite, the hot broth helping to cleanse the mouth of the oilier dishes. The noodles, a thinner udon, were silky and soft and still a sizeable bowl with the half portion. While the wontons were plump and filled with prawns, the actual seafood didn’t taste of much. I was happy there were vegetables included, something sorely missing from the rest of the meal due to our haphazard ordering.


To end, complimentary sweets consisting of a ‘pear’ made of dry pastry filled with red bean paste and goji berry jello that could be a touch sweeter.


T’ang Court’s dining room is of course regal and comfortable. Yet, I couldn’t help but notice the interesting choice of artwork: directly in front of us a large portrait of moldy strawberries. 


Indeed, it could be a well-known work of art, but while eating, the last thing I wanted to see was rotting food. Perhaps it’s me, after all, art (not unlike food) is in the eye (or mouth) of the beholder.

Overall mark - 8 out of 10


How To Find Them
 Location: Tsim Sha Tsui, Hong Kong
 Address: 8 Peking Rd (Langham Hotel, 2nd floor)

Follow me on twitter to chat, be notified about new posts and more - https://twitter.com/GastroWorldBlog
____________________________
Gastro World's Grading System

  • Anything under 5 - I really disliked and will never go back
  • 6 - 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!