Showing posts with label stir fried rice noodles. Show all posts
Showing posts with label stir fried rice noodles. Show all posts

Great Fountain (Toronto) 大泉港式快餐 for takeout

Watch food shows about Asian countries and they will inevitably feature street eats. The compounds may be located outside or indoors, but the common themes are the array of dishes available, the no frills communal dining area, and the unfathomed low prices compared to the hard work that goes into creating the dishes.

In Toronto, our closest comparison is the da pa dongs set in GTA strip malls. Scarborough food courts were once bustling in the late 1980s and 1990s, my parents and I used to regularly visit them in my youth. But once eateries switched to using disposable containers (they previously used real dishes and you could request a takeout container for leftovers), the environmentalist in me steered my parents towards restaurants like Congee Wong instead.

It’s a shame, as having stir-fried dishes at a da pa dong is the epitome of how they should be enjoyed. Within a minute, it’s out of the hot wok, onto a plate, and you’re digging into the fragrant dish in no time.

My favourite item is the stir-fried rice noodles with beef or gon chow gnow ho. Since the pandemic started, it’s also a dish that I’ve been getting from various Chinese restaurants around the city, always disappointed with the outcomes. Hence, after seeing it featured on Great Fountain’s Instagram feed, I worked in a visit to the eatery after dropping off provisions to my mom, who lives in the area.

The stir-fried noodles with beef ($7.50) was exactly what I had been craving - the noodles cooked long enough so there are bits of caramelization on the ends and to give the dish wok hay. There was enough soy sauce and condiments to flavour everything giving the noodles a lovely deep brown hue, yet they remained dry and not clumped together. I could even do without the beef, to be honest, as what makes the dish are the chewy aromatic noodles, sweet onions and chives, and crunchy bean sprouts. If it is this good after a 20-minute commute, I can only imagine how delicious it would be dining there.

Perhaps there was a bit too much bean sprouts in the Singapore stir-fried vermicelli ($7.50) as the noodles were a little soft for my liking. My hypothesis is the water from the bean sprouts soaked into the thin noodles as it sat in the container. Slivers of green bell peppers would have been a nice addition to substitute for some of the sprouts and add a pop of colour. Regardless, the dish a lovely curry flavour and was a nice balance of noodles, barbeque pork and vegetables.

Each dish is served with a complimentary drink (I skipped to cut down on plastic waste) as well as a free soup. Great Fountain’s hot and sour soup was still surprisingly warm after the drive home and while it’s not the greatest, it’s also not terrible for a free addition. It could be a touch spicier, but where it lacked in the “hot” there was enough of the “sour” element to give it flavour. It reminds me of the hot and sour soup found at Chinese buffets, and even comes packed with big cubes of tofu.

The popcorn squid ($5.99) was the sole disappointing dish; another item I’ve ordered regularly during the pandemic, and once again reminded why it must be eaten in a restaurant. Of course, it was no longer crispy, which is such a pivotal part to making the squid delicious, but Great Fountain’s also lacked seasoning, despite the slightly fiery red tinge.

During the lockdown, when we’re forced to take out from restaurants anyways, it’s the opportune time to visit da pa dongs again - the guilt of relying on plastic and Styrofoam containers dissipates slightly. So far, the meal from Great Fountain has been the tastiest alternative to eating stir-fried noodles at a restaurant. Long live “street eats”. 

Overall mark - 8 out of 10


How To Find Them
 Location: Toronto, Canada
 Address: 8 Glen Watford Drive
 

Referral Discount Codes
 Support the blog by using my referral code
 UberEats: use eats-ju6ta to get $5 off a $15 order 


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:



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
Referral Discount Codes 
 Support the blog by using my referral code
 UberEatsuse eats-ju6ta to get $5 off a $15 order 
 SkipTheDishes: click link to get $5 off a $15 order
 DoorDashclick link to get $20 off

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 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!

Other Gastro World posts similar to this:



Kub Khao Thai Eatery (Toronto)


Don’t let their location at an independent gas station scare you, the Thai food at Kub Khao is legit. The store front dining room may look dingy, but the seating area at the back is colourful and cheerful, the tapestry reminiscent of the lovely woven textiles across Thailand. Accordingly, if décor is important, ask to be sat in the back.

Sadly, their moo ping ($6.95) wasn’t the slightly spicy version I found at Destination Thailand, but still decent. The grilled pork skewer are glazed in a sweet tangy tamarind sauce with more on the side. They’re hot and tender, served quickly so they’re almost as fresh as a street vendor handing you one fresh from the grill.


The chicken pad kee mao ($11.95) uses wide flat rice noodles stir fried with egg and vegetables. It may look like your run-of-the-mill noodles, but watch out for the whole green peppercorns hidden throughout, which adds an earthy heat to the dish (albeit more subdued that the strong black peppercorn).


With the shrimp paste coating the rice kernels, the smoked chili fried rice ($10.95) was delicious – something I’d definitely order again. This works well as a vegetarian dish incorporating tofu puffs that add a soft crunchiness against the tender rice. Even though there was a chili on the menu, the rice wasn’t spicy, rather having a nice savoury essence.


As you scoop the beef green curry ($11.95), get to the bottom of the bowl as the chopped banana peppers settles there. For the first serving, I found it was just creamy and sweet from the coconut milk – still good but far too commercial tasting. I even had to ask for hot sauce just to give it heat. However, the second serving, after reaching the chili sediments at the bottom, we felt the tinge of spice, which really makes the curry. Although the dish already comes with steamed rice you should opt for an extra order ($2), why waste any of the lovely sauce, the best part of the curry.


Perhaps it was due to the holiday season, but there were only two people working at the front of the house during our week night visit. Even though service was slow (due to the sheer size of the restaurant that needs to be managed by two workers), I must commend how quickly they were operating.

The mom and pop operation means stir fried dishes come out slowly, so I’d suggest getting some appetizers if you’re hungry as they arrive quicker. Moreover, the noodle and rice dishes aren’t overly large so a couple of starters amongst a table of four isn’t a lot. Just be patient. Eating at Kub Khao may not be speedy, but what you’ll get is much better than the ketchup-laced pad thai of the suburbs any day.  

Overall mark - 7 out of 10


How To Find Them
 Location: Toronto, Canada
 Address: 3561 Sheppard Avenue East
 Website: http://kubkhao.ca/

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:


Kub Khao Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato