Showing posts with label vegetable and seafood hot pot. Show all posts
Showing posts with label vegetable and seafood hot pot. Show all posts

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

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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!

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