Showing posts with label shrimp roll. Show all posts
Showing posts with label shrimp roll. Show all posts

Thairoom Grande (Toronto) for delivery

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

The rally cry to support local small businesses seemed to spring up immediately after the quarantine was announced. I’ve championed the cause, ordering from my favourites in North York that provide delivery services. With all the great establishments in the neighbourhood, we’ve generally supported restaurants that are close to home, but one night, the craving for Thai food was just too strong, and that’s how I stumbled across Thairoomgrande on Ubereats.

Their Thai shrimp rolls ($8) are a hefty size, stuffed with shredded vegetables and peppery glass noodles with whole shrimps on the ends. Despite waiting around at the restaurant and a long detour while Ubering, they remained surprisingly crispy and was the promise of good food to come.

For the most part, Thairoomgrande’s fried dishes deliver well. They smartly served the house made Thai sauce on the side so the Grands chicken wings ($11) also remained fairly crunchy. The plump wings were cooked to juicy perfection and well-seasoned so they could be eaten plain or dunked into the thinned sweet and spicy sauce.

Before biting into a dish with three chilies on the menu, make sure there’s a cold drink by your side… the restaurant does not shy away from spice! The chicken devil ($15) incorporated the typical dried red chilis stir-fried with the fowl, but the sweet and savoury sauce also gets a dose chili oil that soaks into the breaded chicken for a devilish bite. In this case, the sauce mixed with the coating isn’t the greatest choice as the breading becomes mushy when being delivered.

Their curry pad Thai ($15 with chicken) isn’t the typical plain noodles tossed with curry powder for colour. Thairoomgrande must use curry paste and powder as the rice noodles are well-coated making for flavourful bites. I wish we had ordered this dish in the same sitting as the vegetable green curry ($15) as the two should pair well together: the noodles were a little dry and needed more salt while the green curry was heavy on coconut milk and light on spice; yet, a drizzle of the green curry on the pad Thai could be a stellar combination.

For a restrained heat, the basil shrimp ($17) is a terrific choice. There’s chili oil used in the savoury sauce, but since the shrimp aren’t coated it isn’t overpowering – if anything the spiciest item in the dish is the broccoli. I’d would like more basil with the shrimp - you really need to look for the herb, there’s not enough of it that it completely permeates the dish.

Oh, but the item that impressed us the most (we ordered it again on another occasion) was the Grand seafood fried rice ($15). I haven’t been able to pinpoint what flavours the rice - my closest guess would be a cross between tom yum and something like shrimp paste.  Whatever the ingredients, the rice is spicy with elements of bright herbs and an umami finish. Absolutely delicious. Like most of their dishes, you can choose from a selection of proteins, but we’ve stuck with seafood as the shrimp, calamari rings, and imitation crab sticks goes so well with the rice.

I must admit, with all the disposable containers being used for delivery and takeout, I’ve been experiencing environmental anxiety lately – there’s so much plastic and waste! Thairoomgrande helps reduce the guilt a bit as most of their dishes arrive in biodegradable paper containers (only the saucier ones are served in dreaded black plastic). The containers are more costly, but with eateries solely doing take out and delivery, I’m glad restaurants like Thairoomgrande are trying to reduce the long-term effects of the “new normal”. Our Earth and future thanks you. 

Overall mark - 8 out of 10

How To Find Them
 Location: Toronto, Canada
 Address: 861 York Mills Road
 Delivery: self-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
  • 6 - 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!

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Casa Imperial Fine Chinese Cuisine 名門金宴 (Toronto)

At first glance, you wouldn’t think Casa Imperial is a Chinese restaurant, much less one that serves authentic dim sum. Set in an altered mansion, the baroque details, gilded frames, and sparkly chandeliers suggests the place would serve more high tea than jasmine tea.

Even though they do not offer an early bird special, the restaurant is still fairly busy, especially on holidays and special occasions – skip Mother’s Day unless you like waiting around and fuming. As for their pricing, it’s in line with the regular menus found elsewhere: $3.80 for small, $4.80 for medium, and $5.80 for large with $1.50 per person tea charge.

My must-have dish is a siu mai (L). The conpoy (dried scallop) topping the pork and shrimp dumpling adds little to the experience and gives the dish a boring beige appearance. Nonetheless, the siu mai itself is tasty; a balanced combination of filling to ensure it’s hearty but not hard.

For something a little more Instagramable, the scallop and spinach dumpling (L) has a nice pop of colour. It’s also fairly flavourful with enough seasoning added to the shrimp filling and wrapper, compared to other places.

Casa Imperial certainly isn’t afraid to lay on the spice, there’s plenty of it in the curry sauce marinating the steamed baby cuttlefish (L). The seafood is enveloped in salt and heat, to the point that you may want to ensure there’s a neutral rice dish to pair with the cuttlefish.

Something like a steamed rice pot, as the sticky rice with conpoy and chicken in lotus leaf (L) already has a lot going on in the fragrant parcel. Aside from the chicken and dried scallop, there’s also pieces of Chinese cured sausage and salted egg yolk, traditional fillings that have been substituted by cheaper minced pork at other restaurants.

The crispy bean curd rice roll with shrimp and pork (L) is such a great combination of textures. Soft silky rice rolls surrounds a shrimp and pork sausage like filling that’s encased in a crunchy bean curd sheet. It’s a little heavy, so make sure there’s at least four of you to share.

Our meal seemed to include a lot of things that spent time in the deep fryer. The crispy meat dumplings (S) and chicken wings with lemon grass (L) both arrive hot, hot, hot! While they’re nothing to rave about, they’re still solid offerings, especially when they’re so fresh from the fryer.

It’s not every day you’ll find fruit mixed with shrimp. In reality, the peach in the crispy spinach nest shrimp roll with peach (L) is simply the puree dipping sauce on the side. The puffy spinach laced batter is pretty, but also fairly oily… I personally still enjoy the plain Jane bean curd sheets. Yet, this combination was better for my denture wearing grandmother, who had no difficulties biting through the airy crust.

Same with the soft black sesame dumpling coated with cashew nut (L), a ball of sticky glutinous rice filled with a warm oozing black sesame paste and covered with powdered and crushed cashews to keep everything from sticking together. It’s a nice way to finish after all the deep fried dishes that graced the second half of brunch.

If you’re not a fan of leftovers, Casa Imperial’s portion sizes are larger than normal, so you’ll want to order less and add on later. Or you’ll just have to get a bigger group together – four or six works best – so that each person gets a mouthful of the dishes. It’s the sampling and varied bites that makes dim sum such a great experience. Even if the oil-based paintings doesn’t make it feel like you’re in a Chinese restaurant.

Overall mark - 9 out of 10

How To Find Them
 Location: Toronto, Canada
 Address: 4125 Steeles 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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