Taste of Toronto
80 miles away from Niagara Fall is Toronto. I have long heard the whispering of great food, particularly Chinese food through friends. And I thought how good can it be? This is moment of truth for me to try it out myself.
We stayed at the bustling Chelsea Hotel in downtown Toronto which is an easy access to many restaurants and food places nearby. Our first and most memorable meal was at Lai Wah Heen. Their array of creative dim sum choices captured our eyes and stomachs. And we are still raving about it long after the trip ended.
I'll say it is definitely the most upscale dim sum place I have been to so far, beautifully decorated with Chinese Calligraphy.
Have you ever had a Foir Gras themed dim sum? My first too! And it was rich and nutty and savory and crisp and.. well, amazing.
Then came the truffle veggie roll. I never had truffle with steamed Chinese veggie in the past, it is oh so good!
The steamed cake roll with strawberry filling was also my first time. Everything we ordered was skillfully done and truly was the best dim sum I have ever had so far!
Ramen noodle seems to have occupied the city. There is a Ramen place in every corner. I have always tried to resist Ramen since it is just a bowl of noodle. But when your sight is filled with Ramen noodle pictures and people eating Ramen, you will get a craving for that too! So, we picked a noodle place nearby called Kinton Ramen and they really hit a high note for us.
If the loud chanting when every custom comes in or leaves don't get your attention, those fires will certainly do it. They like to use torch A LOT! On the meat, on the rice, every chance there is! The fire does bring out good flavors, plus the fun.
I ordered one of their Sake cocktail, it was the perfect drink, fruity and mildly sweet (if you are Asian, you'll understand the importance of mildly).
The Ramen bowls change my view on Ramen completely. They seem simple but everything was perfectly done - the soup was rich but not greasy, the braised pork belly was meaty and flavorful. Even the egg was filled with flavor but still has a running yolk, I'm dying to know how they did that!
Now, my meal is not complete without desserts - green tea cheese cake and black sesame pudding. Talking about Asian influence!
Annabelle, my 7-year-old, really enjoyed the meal, she finished one full bowl of noodle plus desserts.
We are only half way through, let's keep eating.
Mr. C grew up near Shanghai back in China. The region is well know for their food. So when he saw this Shanghai Dim Sum place, he had to stop by.
Shanghai Dim Sum is best know for their soup dumlings. If you have never had one yet, you are seriously missing out. It is steamed dumpling with super thin crust and full of flavorful cosume and grounded pork and crab meat.
The restaurant also offers a wide range of Shanghai Dim Sum variaties which are hard to find outside of China.
Our taste buds did a time travel back to our childhood.
To experience the Canadian style eats, we took a drive to St. Lawrence Market.
There were a range of fine food ingredients including caviar, foir gras, top cuts of meat etc. There were also many food stands with interesting finds.
Our favorite find was the pork belly on a bun. No dressing, no veggies, just roasted pork bellies. They were tasty!
One other food encouter was the Japanese bakery, called Uncle Tetsu's. They do one thing and onething only - Japanese style cheese cake.
It has a texture that is more like Souffle. The flavor is very mild which is probably why it is very popular amongst Asian folks.
Our other favorite food places visited include Pearl Harbour Front Restaurant and Tasty BBQ seafood restaurant. They both are cantonese style food and more on the formal side.
So, my verdict is , Toronto offers some of the best Asian cuisine. There are still many other to explore.