Lotus Vegetarian Restaurant (Toronto)


While vegetarian options have advanced slowly in Chinese cuisine, there has always been a meat-free menu at "Buddhist"-type restaurants that are usually also vegan friendly given the limited use of dairy (sometimes used in desserts) and eggs (generally only found in dishes like fried rice and dessert). Unfortunately, given their reliance on mock proteins and soy sauce seasoning, these establishments aren't great for gluten abstainers, but at least offers some choice for the plant-based community.

There are three dishes I always order at Chinese vegetarian restaurants, and they're all featured in this post. Firstly, is the assorted gluten ($8.99 for small), which is especially important to order at Lotus Vegetarian Restaurant as it will save you from becoming hangry. Maybe it's due to the after effects of COVID and being short staffed, but service is slow and over half an hour went by before the other dishes arrived. 


Within the gluten platter, the spongy puffs were served the traditional three ways: sweet and sour, curry, and soy sauce. While a little more subdued in it's flavour, especially the curry format, they were nice big pieces and a great texture. Usually, the sweet and sour puffs are my favourite, but Lotus' bean curd rolls stole the show as they were wrapped tightly to be easily picked up, but still incorporated with enough space between the sheets to give it a lovely moist layered texture. 

Despite arriving with a lovely golden brown crust, the four bean threads sheet roll ($4.59 for 2 pieces) was really soft - it almost seemed like the restaurant pan fried the rolls and steamed it to finish, rather than the other way around. It was disappointing as what makes this dish good is the crispy crust mixed with the saucy vegetables. Nonetheless, there were ample amounts of well-seasoned black fungus, carrots, bean sprouts, and mushrooms within the roll and the layers of bean sheets weren't too thick. If this was just crispy, this would have been perfect.


The last dish that is a must have for me at vegetarian restaurants is the stir fried noodles with mixed vegetables ($13.99) or loa hong giy noodles in Cantonese. Lotus takes the time to properly toast the egg noodles so there are plenty of crunchy pieces to contrast against the saucy vegetables. The gravy was spot on and the vegetables cooked through but left with crunch. This was well worth the wait.


While visiting at lunch, expect a tea charge of $1.50 per person as they serve dim sum during this time. Indeed, dim sum seemed to be a popular choice for patrons, which may be why it was taking us extra long to get our order. Your meal could be sped up if you only order the gluten platter and mixed vegetable fried noodles, choosing the rest of the meal from their dim sum menu instead. Otherwise, channel your inner zen and just be patient. We can all use a mindful break from being hurried. 

Overall mark - 7 out of 10


How To Find Them
 Location: Toronto, Canada
 Address: 3838 Midland Avenue


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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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MIMI Chinese (Toronto)


Gathering dishes from across the country, MIMI Chinese's menu showcases the different flavours and ingredients in China's Sichuan, Guangdong, Hunan, Shaanxi, and Canton provinces. Think of it as a crash course on figuring out what you like as you dig into the fiery chilies of Sichuan or the saucier multi-flavour dishes from Guangdong. The educational experience is held in a dark dining room on comfortable plush banquettes with dishes featuring traditional spices and preparations so you can expect to taste authentic interpretations.

The crossed arm dumplings in red oil ($26) may sound like a starter for grumpy old men, but is named after the way the  wonton wrappers are folded and the two tips meet. Having made many dumplings in my youth, this style is much quicker to prepare, compared to the pleated variety, and also allows more filling to be used.  


Indeed, each thumb length dumpling at MIMI was stuffed with plenty of the pork and scallion mixture, which could have used more seasonings such as Shaoxing wine, sesame oil, or soy sauce. Maybe it's due to the thicker wrappers or there not being much heat within the "red oil" condiment, but the dish was rather devoid of flavours despite the colourful look. The oil is described as roasted chicken oil, which leads me to believe they use the leftover oil from deep frying chickens to make this condiment, something that sounds great in theory. In reality, it doesn't add much additional flavour and really the oil could benefit from more chilies and something pungent like shallots. 

I can't recall that last time I had shrimp toast ($21 for four pieces; $5.50 for extras), but I must have been young as this dish has been removed from dim sum menus as customers become more health cautious. Pieces of soft white bread sandwich a mild shrimp paste and is deep fried and topped with a sesame crust. The crispy toast was bang on - the crunchy exterior and slight leak of oil is reminiscent of childhood memories. 


Since MIMI uses two pieces of bread (restaurants previously used an open-faced sandwich format), the carbs did drown out the shrimp taste. The toast could benefit from more filling or incorporating pieces of diced shrimp in order to give it a stronger seafood essence. 

The scallion and ginger sea bass ($59) uses white leek but lacks ginger making it a fairly neutral main. The soy sauce and scallion oil is poured table side instead of directly from wok to dish, which while nice for presentation purposes, means it lacks the "scalding" properties that crisps the skin a bit and causes the sauce to more deeply permeate the meat. All in all, it was a pretty plain tasting dish and is for those who really want to enjoy the fish's flavours - at least it was well cleaned and tasted fresh. 


For those who are afraid of bones, this dish is perfect as everything is pretty much removed (all I found was one really thin small piece). While the lack of bones makes it much easier to eat, it does mean the fish cools quicker, so be sure to tuck into it right after the sauce is poured.  

Presented at the table with a flourish was the four foot belt noodle ($26), stretched to showcase its length before being cut into more manageable two inch segments. While not a terrible dish, the noodle could be thinner as we found it a tad chewy and the sauce needed something else for interest. Although the noodle was covered with a fair amount of chili oil, a salty richer flavour like bean paste or a complex XO sauce would have been a great addition. 



I preferred the supreme fried rice ($28), filled with umami flavours thanks to the dried scallop, salted egg, and lap cheong sausage. These ingredients do make the rice a tad dry, which MIMI ties to combat by adding diced vegetables and scallions into the dish. Really, I think if there was just more rice to mix with all the other ingredients it would provided the needed moisture.


Their vegetable dishes are fairly plain (stir fried gai lan or cabbage), we decided to try the chilled pumpkin and snow melon ($10), which are ribbons of the squashes tossed with Shaoxing broth. For those who can't handle spice, this would help counteract the heat of other dishes. For us, we found it almost seemed out of place and dessert-like due to the sweet after taste.


Be sure to listen to their feature dishes, we ordered both and they were my favourite of the evening. 

The Cantonese chicken ($28) is your traditional fried chicken with shrimp chips. It was executed perfectly at MIMI: the skin delicate and crispy, the meat very juicy, and there wasn't an ounce of pink on the bone (something that can be found at Chinese restaurants and make some squeamish).


I loved how the kitchen took the razor clams ($26) and chopped it to pieces and mixed it with wine, garlic, vermicelli, and other herbs before steaming the crustacean. With each bite you get different flavours and textures, a lovely seafood special. 


Being Chinese, I'm probably more difficult to impress as I've had so many experiences in my lifetime that there's often a comparable or better version of a dish previously eaten. While some dishes were a little bland for my taste, how the ingredients were prepared and the dishes executed were fantastic. What is also great about MIMI is their approachability and friendly service, a quality that can sometimes be lacking at Chinese restaurants.   

I can already imagine the pundits' responses: there's nothing special about the dishes and you can find them cheaper elsewhere. There is truth to this statement, the dishes aren't "westernized" and presented in the traditional format, albeit with more attention to plating. And the menu prices are much higher than the casual family establishments and still more than the banquet style restaurants. However, applaud MIMI for keeping with traditions and to allow customers, who may be hesitant to visit a Chinese restaurant, to try dishes that are not the General Tao variety they might have otherwise. As for the prices, just be mindful about their Yorkville rent and the higher labour costs (there were a lot of servers, all of whom are fluent in English). 

MIMI likely won't be the place your mom, dad, or grandparents will be love, but it is where you bring your friends who want to expand their taste bud experience beyond the Cantonese-focused menus that are typical in Toronto. It's where they will be able to try items from a variety of regions and they won't need your help interpreting the menu or translating. All you need to do is sit back, relax, and eat. 

Overall mark - 7 out of 10


How To Find Them
 Location: Toronto, Canada
 Address: 265 Davenport 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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Neon Tiger (Toronto)


Neon Tiger seemed to sneak up on me as I was walking down the dark Dupont Avenue, it’s glowing neon image a welcoming bat signal against the cold winter night. The eerily glow continued as I entered the restaurant and was led to our table on the second floor – the workers must have buns of steel scaling up and down the three flights during every shift.

Somehow, my typical glass of wine didn’t seem like the right drink of choice with Neon Tiger’s speakeasy vibes. Instead, I opted for the Vice City ($16) a creamy cold frothy cocktail made with pitu cachaca and coco Lopez cream tinged with blue curacao. It was a delicious sipping drink with just a hint of sweetness from the pineapple juice. Toronto’s snow was momentarily forgotten and replaced by the sea breeze of the tropics.  


Who would have thought I’d enjoy the spicy scallions and avocado slaw ($11) so much? The simple mixed green and vegetable salad was enhanced with a flavourful sweet and spicy sesame dressing, pickled chili, and crispy shallots. What a refreshing way to start the meal and a good palette cleanser for the heavier dishes as well.


We found the scallion slaw was much tastier than the Hakka ginger mushroom salad ($14), where the ginger soy glaze was too pungent and thick against the deep-fried mushrooms, which were great on their own. The dressing almost seemed like a very gingery hoisin and chili bean paste that overpowered all the fungi and vegetables. A lighter vinaigrette tossed with the mixed greens, carrots, and green onions, while leaving the fried mushrooms simply seasoned with salt would have worked better.


The jap chae ($14) is large enough that it can even work as a main for one person. While the sweet soy sauce was too liberally added, I liked the abundance of mushrooms, vegetables (bok choy, carrot, bell pepper), and seasoning (pickled chili and crispy shallots) that were evenly distributed amongst the glass noodles. The starch itself was cooked perfectly so there was a bit of bite to the noodles. A sprinkle of scallions or some other herb on top would have added that fresh element that would really round out the dish.


As we were working our way through the starters, we realize that Neon Tiger doesn’t provide any sharing utensils with each dish. Ultimately, they ended up giving us extra pairs of disposable chopsticks to use, which is environmentally wasteful considering they could just invest in some fork and spoons. My plea to restauranteurs and chefs: if you are going to serve a sharing menu, you need to invest in sharing utensils. It’s expected, even more so when we are in a COVID era.

The golden curry snapper ($33) was a strong dish with great flavours, the finely chopped gai lan and red cabbage adding a wonderful crunchy contrast against the curry rice. While the menu notes the dish uses steamed basmati, I found the starch almost had a creamy risotto-like consistency; although, I could have done without the hard bits that made its way into some bites. The dish could be improved if the fish were done less - I enjoyed the crispy skin but the flesh was too dry.


There’s not one thing I would change with the prawn tacos ($17), which were absolutely delicious made from crispy hot prawns, paired with a pickled iceberg lettuce & radish slaw, and creamy Thai remoulade. It all sat on a warm, soft, and chewy tortilla that almost reminded me of a thicker Peking duck wrapper. I could have devoured a whole order of these.


Even though Neon Tiger presents a speakeasy vibe, there was a hurried frantic pace to the dinner. Perhaps it’s due to the strict one-and-a-half hour seating limit, but the dishes come out way too quickly so we couldn’t enjoy each one fully - it seemed like we were always trying to make room for the other. I’d suggest ordering in two batches to avoid having everything arrive in such quick succession. 

There’s also no dessert menu to ensure you don’t loiter past the time limit, so you’ll have to make do with another cocktail if you’d like to finish with something sweet. All in all, the restaurant is best for a quick catch-up or if you were like me, for a brief period of respite against the outdoor elements. 


Overall mark - 7 out of 10


How To Find Them
 Location: Toronto, Canada
 Address: 14 Dupont 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!


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La Pizza & La Pasta (Toronto)

If you love carbs as much as me, walking into La Pizza & La Pasta is like settling into a blissful wheat-filled heaven. There is no wondering what you’ll find on this Eataly restaurant’s menu, their name says it all.

Which is precisely why we decided to share a margherita pizza ($16) amongst the table as a starter – when you can’t decide between pizza and pasta, why not have both? The middle of the pie was paper thin, covered with an ample amount of the San Marzano tomato sauce but not overly soggy. They didn't skimp on the mozzarella and it was well spread so that each bite had a bit of the mild gooey cheese. The crust was soft and chewy, toasted enough for the aroma but not overly blistered and burnt. We were off to a good start.

The house-made tagliatelle in the Bolognese ($24) was also spot on – thick enough to give the fresh pasta some bite but not too thick to become doughy. I just wish there was more of the beef and pork ragu, even if it meant there was less of the pasta, as there was just enough sauce to cover the strands but no extras to swirl the pasta or a piece of bread into. On the plus side, La Pizza & Pasta makes their Bolognese right: the sauce being meat focused rather too heavy on the tomato. There was just so much pasta that they could have decreased the portion size by 10% and people would still leave satisfied.

In fact, it made me wish I had forgone the slice of complimentary country bread that made its way to our table after ordering. I simply wouldn’t have ended the night so stuffed. But, when you’re hungry, you can’t think so far ahead and that golden pool of olive oil was simply too sunny to say no to.

Aside from the carbs, when in season, truffles grace their menu and can either be added onto a dish ($25 for 3 grams for the black winter truffle) or is featured in seasonal plates. It’s a good option for those who like to indulge in fresh truffles and give their dish a little bit of je ne sais quois.   

There are a couple of annoying things to keep in mind – by no means deal breakers, but still good to know:

  • If you have a strong sweet tooth, opt for an earlier visit. La Pizza & La Pasta makes a limited amount of desserts (tiramisu or castagnole) so if you visit for a later dinner (our reservation started at 8:45pm) they will likely be sold out.
  • While they can split bills for the table, they cannot split individual dishes within a bill (say if you share an appetizer with friends), which seems very pre-turn of the century.

Essentially, La Pizza & La Pasta likes to keep operations easy to manage, not an unfair way to run a business. In the end, it made dinner an efficient and attentive affair. I was ending the night in a blissful food coma - no dessert and a bit more coordination was the least of my worries. 

Overall mark - 7 out of 10


How To Find Them
 Location: Toronto, Canada
 Address: 45 Bloor Street West


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!


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MIA Brunch Bar (Toronto)

In the dead of February, the wind tunnel at Yonge and Eglinton couldn't stop me from visiting MIA Brunch Bar to catch up with a friend. It seemed like others felt the same, as all the tables were filled by our 10:30 visit (thankfully, MIA takes reservations) and the groups of two following me were seated around their bar. Yet, with a 75-minute seating limit, tables clear out at a good pace and people seemed to be seated after a short wait.

Their chai tea latte ($5.50 - $5 with $0.5 supplement for oat milk) was a wonderful way to warm up while pursuing the menu. Fragrant and perfectly sweetened, it was just what I needed to melt the cold shivers away.

All before tucking into a plate of chicken Belgian waffles ($19), the dish that enticed me to book the reservation in the first place. The three thick pieces of fried dark meat had a well-seasoned crispy crust, which looks thick but is rather light with the excess batter breaking away while cutting into the chicken. They were juicy and tender and could easily find a home between a soft bun to become an amazing fried chicken sandwich.

I guess you could make your own sandwich with two of the three palm-sized waffles. They are nice and sweet on their own, so I could have even forgone the maple creme drizzle, although the thick creamy sweet sauce was a nice addition to create a dessert-like finish to the pastries. The diced fruit salad helped to temper the otherwise glutenous dish.

The chicken and waffles are a hearty plate that could be shared but was so good that I don't know if one piece would have sufficed. Be warned: I wouldn’t split this with more than one other person.

I did steal a fry from my friend's breakfast poutine ($20 - $16 with $4 supplement for avocado) and it was hot and delicious covered in a thick buttery hollandaise sauce. Along with poached eggs and cheese curds this is the breakfast to cure hangovers.

With the re-opening of restaurants, I've gravitated towards ordering fried dishes as they aren’t ones I would make at home and rarely tastes good when delivered. Go big or go home, I say. Although if hearty heart clogging brunch is not your thing, MIA also offers lighter options like granola yoghurt, avocado toast, and salad. Just be merry and eat brunch. 


Overall mark - 8 out of 10


How To Find Them
 Location: Toronto, Canada
 Address: 2140 Yonge 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!


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Shoushin (Toronto) Revisited in 2022

Shoushin has really matured since my last visit - granted this last visit was in 2017, a time frame approaching five years. We had plans to go back in 2019, but we all know why that didn’t happen. It’s a restaurant that is more sure of itself: there’s only two menus to choose from with the omakase at $300 or a more personalized experience, the obsession perfection, priced at $450+ depending on the selection. Their staff are more knowledgeable - about the restaurant, alcohol selection, and the ingredients used – and operates with a synchronized precision that would make Henry Ford happy.

Right after the menus are whisked away, a hot hand towel arrives, followed by cold drinks, and an amuse bouche - a bite of spinach boiled in kelp broth and topped with dried rich tuna flakes. For the winter, the kelp broth seemed to be a cornerstone of their appetizers, a comforting staple like chicken soup.

This is followed by another warming dish, a piece of smoked king fish sitting in a puréed daikon broth. The accompanying cutlery was difficult to use. Although pretty to look at, the wooden spoon combined with a shallow dish made reaching the broth difficult (unless you pick up the vessel and drink from it). From what I manage to get into the spoon, the savoury silky soup went well with the lightly scented meaty fish. The fish was described as quickly deep fried, but there wasn’t a crunchy element, which if they could have managed a bit of crispiness would have made the dish even more interesting.

Sashimi arrives next, served over three dishes to ensure we enjoyed each one as intended:

  • To begin, pieces of aged lean tuna and big reef squid. The tuna was extremely tender… not an ounce of sinew and such a mellow light “sweet” bite. The fish’s texture contrasted by the gummy squid that has a slightly chewy sticky consistency that reminded me of having tendon.  
  • I couldn’t really taste the “marination in kelp” that was used to describe the following tile fish. Frankly, maybe I could have done without the marination if that’s what made it fibrous, not really a blow-your-mind type of bite that needed to be showcased solo.
  • Unlike the firefly squid, which is so special and rarely found on Toronto menus. We’re told that these little creatures are currently in season as they migrate to shallow waters in Toyama Bay and are caught at night when they glow (hence their name). At Shoushin, they are cleaned and blanched with ginger to preserve their natural flavours, a slightly sweet essence and a different experience from the traditional calamari or cuttlefish. Sometimes served alongside drinking in an izakaya in Japan, they certainly have an elevated place on Shoushin’s menu.

My favourite dish of the night was the fatty tuna simmered in plum broth. The rich savouriness of the fish balanced nicely with the slightly sweet tartness of the fruit, sort of like having pork chops with apple sauce. It’s fragrant, flavourful, and warming, something I could have had an entire steak of surely.

And before the sushi, a cup of miso soup made with red and aged miso, which was so light on the salt that I wouldn’t be surprised was not seasoned at all. Nonetheless, it’s surprisingly flavourful with an umami acidic property to it. The finely chopped shallots were an interesting choice, maybe for the slightly crunchy texture, but a bit overpowering given the under seasoned soup.

Not surprisingly, the ingredients showcased in their nigri sushi is seasonal. During this visit, I learnt that in the winter we can expect more fish, while in warmer months is when shellfish are also featured into the menu. With that in mind, we’re started off with the stripe jack, the light fish really helping to highlight the lovely, vinegared rice used at Shoushin. I like that the grains are cooked less so you can feel their smooth texture against the tongue.   

Needlefish and yellowtail marinated in soy followed, both lighter yet different as the ‘meatiness’ of the fish all varied with the needlefish being the heaviest of the bunch.

The obligatory bluefin tuna trio ranging from the lean akami to the fatty otoro was featured next. I’m still marveled by how tender I find the lean tuna, only to then taste the fattiness of the otoro and have your mind warp for a second. Oh, if only bluefin tuna wasn’t endangered.  

Mackerel arrives next – not the aji variety – this one stronger (something I could definitely taste with the slight fishiness) and pickled to help combat the more pungent fish.

While this may sound off putting to some, the trigger fish served with its own liver is genius. It’s such an interesting bite that’s unlike the rest, a creamy juiciness that’s so surprising for what looks like a piece of mild white fish. Of course, trigger fish is not a candy, but if it were it’d be like a Fruit Gusher.  

Only to be followed by the even juicer ikura – so maybe scratch my last comment, this would be the Fruit Gusher of the fish world – that was so lovely and refreshing.

And to wrap up the nigiri, a piece of uni that is one of the best I’ve ever tasted. It’s SO sweet and silky that it could even pass as custard, we’re told that Shoushin uses sea urchin that doesn’t contain preservatives – really all restaurants should go organic if that’s how it will taste.

Their chopped fatty tuna handroll incorporates white leek versus the traditional green onion. It’s a nice change as the leek is mellower and when it’s mixed into the pulverized tuna the hand roll has such a delicate creamy centre.

Lastly, Shoushin’s tamago that’s made with egg and shrimp paste. Truth be told, the taste doesn’t change that much, but the intoxicating aroma is so wonderful. Just hold it to your nose and take a whiff before you enjoy.

For dessert, we opted for both offerings, the crème brûlée incorporated a bit of squash that gave it a lovely earthy finish. It’s way more interesting than the icy matcha with red bean. Although, the ice cream is ideal for those who don’t like sweet desserts or diabetics as syrup arrives on the side so you can customize its sweetness.

This attention to detail is what I notice most about Shoushin’s growth: like how the chef angles the nigiri differently depending on if you’re left or right-handed; or the servers whisking away our tea at regular intervals and replacing it with a steaming hot cup.

What hasn’t changed is their comfortable hospitality - the sushi chefs welcoming conversation, despite busily preparing dinner. They are the first to speak to us, putting me at ease to start asking more about what we’re eating… something they probably regretted later. I love seeing this growth and progression and can’t wait to see what Chef Lin has in store for us next. Hopefully, I don’t have to wait another five years.

Overall mark - 9 out of 10


How To Find Them
 Location: Toronto, Canada
 Address: 3328 Yonge 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!


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Good Taste Casserole House (Toronto)


In the deep of winter, cravings for clay pot / casserole rice bubbles up from the depths of my stomach and beckons. The 20-minute anticipation while waiting for the made-to-order dish to arrive, the waft of sweet greasy steam that hits the nose, and the faint crackling sizzle that gives a greeting, it's like a winter sport for me.  

The expansion of Good Taste Casserole House out of Markham and into Scarborough has made it easier for me to tuck into the comforting dish. And their expanding menu keeps the hunger growls at bay while the 20-minutes elapse. Their BBQ pork rice noodle roll ($4.70) was a great 'appetizer' to share, soft and silky with large slices of pork- even though it wasn't the most evenly spread out across the roll.


I'm perplexed how some restaurants continue to keep prices low with soaring input costs. Good Taste offers their preserved meat and chicken with rice for $11.99, which is only a dollar more than 5 years prior. They haven't skimped on ingredients - if anything there's more protein topping the rice - and it still comes with a side of boiled yu-choy and a pot of soup where the hunk of pork, fruit, and white fungus remains.  


The execution continues to satisfy: the rice a balanced moisture so that it's fluffy but still dry enough so a golden crunchy crust develops on the bottom. While I'm normally not a huge fan of the greasiness of preserved meat, it's the perfect topping in this dish and keeps the rice from getting soggy. In fact, it actually tasted better than the chicken, which was over marinated causing the texture to be too 'springy' (or song in Cantonese) for my taste.

During our lunch time visit, I was surprised by how many Uber drivers were picking up packages to go. Takeout can't do the dishes justice - the rice noodle rolls become sticky and the crunchy crust of the clay pot rice hardens. If you're trying it for the first time, you need to have it in-person. After all, it's the anticipation and the things that hit the senses that makes casserole rice so special.

Overall mark - 8 out of 10


How To Find Them
 Location: Toronto, Canada
 Address: 325 Bamburgh Circle


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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