On finding authentic ethnic cuisine in countries that aren’t particularly more exotic than your own
Toronto has a lot of Chinese people. 10% of Toronto is of Chinese heritage. 34% of Markham, Ontario is Chinese. Point is, Toronto is a very Chinese city and, as expected, has a lot of non-Western Chinese food. Not necessarily good Chinese food, but definitely Chinese Chinese food. The population does skew more towards Guangzhou and Hong Kong, two cuisines I’m not particularly familiar with, but I’ll do my best to berate appropriately.
Experience summarized in a single metaphor: The hand dryer in the bathroom is a Mitsubishi knockoff of a Dyson air blade. It isn’t as good.
Aggressively mediocre. Everytime DTF (that’s Ding Tai Fun, get your mind out of the gutter) comes close to being good, some idiot bullshit on the plate smacks the dish right back down into humility. The xiaolongbao were a colossal disappointment, but I am impressed by how the owners managed to get away with stealing a very famous restaurant’s name.
Ling Long Legend
Number of facepalms when I read the sign: 6
This joint wins the prize for the faffiest Chinese restaurant name I’ve ever come across. Food was nice, though. Noodles looked good, lamb was tender and the meat filled pastry was flavorful. Only downside was the excessive MSG in the soup. I have to wonder if LLL isn’t some Mainland Chinese riff on the KKK. Maybe they’re yellow supremacists?
Crown Prince Fine Dining
An otherwise immaculate dining room’s fatal flaw: wobbly dining tables.
Would be the hippest and most happening restaurant circa 1936 Shanghai. Nowadays, the gaudy, overwrought decor and creepy French maid uniforms are so old that they aren’t retro anymore whilst not being old enough for the everything to come back around and start being retro again. Does anyone actually wear French maid outfits anymore, outside of foreplay? Food was good, if a little too big. I’m not a connoisseur of Cantonese food or dim sum, so I wouldn’t really know.
Hunan Silver Szechuan Dragon Wok ‘n’ Roll
Oh, fuck off.