Tuesday, March 09, 2010

*UPDATED* Lucy's Toronto Vacation - Day 1


After many delays, Lucy finally came down to Toronto for a visit last week. Helped along by Canada's amazing results during the Winter Olympics, held in Vancouver, I vowed to make it an epic weekend.

I've blogged about my amazing experience at Libretto and the very juicy yummy dumplings at the Northern Dumpling Kitchen. I keep telling Lucy about how amazing these two places are, and now, she has experienced them herself.

Lucy's Toronto Vacation - 1


I left for Ottawa last Thursday and came back the next night. Lucy and I planned for us to both arrive at the bus station around the same time. Once we both met up, we headed towards Spadina station in hopes of having some dumplings in Chinatown. I forgot to double check the address of the restaurant, so we couldn't find it. Instead of walking up and down Spadina looking for the restaurant, we just headed to the House of Gourmet instead since we were so hungry.

We had to have my noodles with "mo sauce." You see, whenever I ask for "extra sauce," the waiter or waitress often mistakes it for "XO sauce." Now when I order the plate of noodles, I always ask for "more sauce" and for some reason, the waiter/waitress always repeats it as they write it down: "mo' sauce? Okay. Mo' sauce." *Face palm*

Unsure of what else to order, we settled on the braised salted fish, tofu and chicken in a clay pot. We were also in the mood for some sort of soup. Scanning through the soup secton, we ordered BBQ pork and wonton soup because all of the other types of soup were expensive!

The soup arrived without too much of a wait. It was a simple bowl of broth with four wontons and some tiny chopped up bits of BBQ pork. The broth tasted like Mom's broth when we were young'uns. Some of the BBQ pork pieces didn't have much flavour, while others exploded with flavour. Ah well.

Lucy's Toronto Vacation3
Lucy's note: If we get this next time, we'll definitely opt to share one small bowl. There was a lot of MSG in it, so it was fairly filling. I also detected lotus root in the broth, giving it a nice, meaty flavour.

Lucy's Toronto Vacation2
I really enjoyed the dish, but I was extremely hungry and the last time I ate the noodles was during the summer. They were so deliciously smoky and saucy. The sauce was blander than usual, but the freshness of the rice noodles made up for that. I love the bouncy texture of fresh rice noodles.

Just as I was finishing my bowl of soup, my noodles with "mo sauce" arrived. The plate of noodles was pretty yummy. You can smell the smokiness of the noodles once it was placed on the table. The only thing I'd complain about is that I didn't taste any sesame oil. They usually add a touch, but there wasn't any in this plate. I'm just being picky though. And just to add to Lucy's comment about the sauce being "blander than usual", she's just saying that the sauce is usually spot on here. I'm pretty sure this "blander than usual" sauce is on par with a great rendition of this dish in Ottawa. I think it's that good here.

Lucy's Toronto Vacation1
The salted fish, tofu and chicken hot pot/casserole arrived. It smelled very good (read: stinky!). I didn't detect much of the salted fish in the dish, but the chicken and tofu were delicious. They were stingy with the salted fish, and I'm sure Lucy was disappointed. I didn't mind because there was so much chicken and tofu to make up for that. Tasty!

It definitely wasn't stinky enough for me. The ideal claypot would have SUPREMELY foul fish in every bite.

Because we had a bowl of soup to start our meal, and because we were so hungry, we were full after only one small bowl of noodles and a few bites of the hot pot. We packed half of the noodles and most of the casserole.

We stopped by Tea Shop 168 for bubble tea before climbing onto public transit. I ordered a watermelon milk tea with tapioca pearls. It was nasty, and it tasted like bubblegum. Christine ordered a regular black milk tea with tapioca. I can't remember how hers tasted.

My black milk tea was a bit watery. The tea was either not as strong or it was watered down. My bubble tea felt like it was watered down a bit. It was as smooth and silky as it usually is, but it was still good.

We had a very slow ride back to my house, watched some Olympics and then got some sleep before a busy Saturday.


House of Gourmet on Urbanspoon

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