Charles Yu's Profile

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The Danish Pastry House - Oakville (Trafalgar/Cornwall area)

What I am about to post might very well bring on the wrath of fellow chowhounders?!

After reading such rave reviews about this place, I was very tempted to make a 'looooong' drive all the way from Richmond Hill just to try out some of their products. Possessing a huge sweet tooth and having lived and worked in Europe for over 15 years including a few years in Scandinavia, I was hoping some of the delicacies might bring me back some fond memories!

My son's girlfriend saved me the trip since she just found herself a new job in Oakville pretty close to the pastry shop! Yesterday evening, to my surprise, she brought me a selection of the 'goodies?!' from that place to try. Cinnamon buns, Apple Danish, Blueberry tart, Poppy seed puff...etc.

After skipping dinner and doing an elaborate taste test, frankly, I did not understand what the fuzz and rave was all about?? Overall, IMHO, they looked and tasted mediocre, one dimensional, totally lacking in buttery taste and aroma and way too sweet even for my sweet palette. Crispiness from over-baked and burnt product was simply not the way to go! I have tasted much better!

Not wanting to further step on more feet, I'll just leave it at that and thanking my good fortune of not making that hour+ long drive.

7 minutes ago
Charles Yu in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Bes Frutti Di Mare Pasta in Toronto?

You pre-empted me SZW! Ha! I was just about to suggest the same!
+! for Shiso Tree!

1 day ago
Charles Yu in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Advice for upcoming visit: Portuguese, local Ontario fare, tasting menus, etc. - research done

+1 for Actinolite!
Shoto is good but value-for-money wise, a bit over-rated and over-priced. Myself, I prefer Splendido. To that list, I would also add 'The Grove'.
For something totally different, how about a Sushi-Omakase ( trust the chef tasting menu ) at Yasu?!

2 days ago
Charles Yu in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

One FINAL request for my short mini-chowmeet with Singapore Hound in July

Nice to hear, Brunhilde! Our schedule is very flexible so we can be there when it opens.

2 days ago
Charles Yu in Greater Seattle

One FINAL request for my short mini-chowmeet with Singapore Hound in July

Thank you for your feed back Booklegger451.
Based on your Taylor Shellfish info and their limited menu selection, that's why we are having a second luncheon round at SeaTown hopefully to fill up our stomach!

Jul 21, 2014
Charles Yu in Greater Seattle

One FINAL request for my short mini-chowmeet with Singapore Hound in July

For this first dinner after a long flight, I am not expecting spectacular food. Just looking for something decent and not that popular in Toronto. Oysters, crab cake, seafood chowder and wood-oven roasted prime ribs sound 'safe' and good?!

Now that I am on this board again. One more luncheon related question if I may. Are 'SeaTown' close to Pike and Taylor Shellfish decent luncheon spots? Are they tourist traps? Anything better that opens for lunch?! Looking for good seafood ( hopefully better than Lowell, which my friend already tried yesterday! ).
Thanks!

Jul 21, 2014
Charles Yu in Greater Seattle

What wines would you serve at a roast pork/ suckling pig party?

+! for off dry Riesling or Gewurztraminer. Cannot go wrong. Great if pig is presented the Cantonese way with Hoi-Sin sauce accompaniment.

Add some Chinese tea and beer and your party is all set!

Jul 21, 2014
Charles Yu in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Great tasting 'Fried Jumbo Oysters with Honey peppered garlic glaze' at half of CV's price!!

Yup! Magic Wok is definitely one of those 'controversial' Chinese eatery!
Unfortunately, based on my experience, I found their food and service very inconsistent. One night, food can be incredibly good, the next week, horribly bad. The last time I ate there, the Smoked Soya chicken we ordered was so overly cooked and dry, dull in color and literally tasteless, no one bothered to take home the more than half a chicken left over! Being famous for their seafood preparation, one would expect they would fare better in this area. However, the sauteed lobster with top soy/Maggi was overwhelmed with starchy gravy, it looked and tasted very unappealing!
None in our party have returned since!
Glad your experiences were better!

Jul 21, 2014
Charles Yu in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Great tasting 'Fried Jumbo Oysters with Honey peppered garlic glaze' at half of CV's price!!

For those fellow chowhounders who attended my Casa Victoria Chowmeet a while back, I am sure they can all attest to how a well prepared morsel of crispy fried jumbo honey glazed oyster can be amazingly delicious, texturally wonderful and additively good!

Tonight, I ordered the same dish at the newly rejuvenated 'Fantasy Eatery'. Though presentation was less refined and quality 'just a little bit inferior' to the exemplary Casa Victoria's version, Fantasy's offering, at almost 'half the price' was a real tasty bargain. ( 8 oysters for $12.50! ).

BTW, the ' Chinese Mustard green with sun dried flounder and Fish Maw seafood broth hot pot ' was one of the most delightful tasting ' healthy ' dish I had this year. The creamy, umami laced fish broth soup was so good, my daughter commented that she wanted a whole dish all to herself the next time we dine there!

Jul 20, 2014
Charles Yu in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Celebratory Dinner in Oakville

+!

Jul 20, 2014
Charles Yu in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

One local's guide to Niagara-on-the-Lake and surrounding area (long!)

GREAT WRITE-UP!!! Many thanks for the info and effort!

Jul 20, 2014
Charles Yu in Ontario (inc. Toronto)
2

JOV Bistro

Which one? Owen Steinberg or Masayuki Tamaru. I thought Chef Tamaru is still manning 'Left Bank's kitchen?

Jul 18, 2014
Charles Yu in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

For those who love offals, which are your favorite?

A touch of Hong Kong street food nostalgia, this bowl of Cantonese Braised Beef Innards ( Spleen, Tripe, Stomach, Lung and Intestine )on rice noodle from a Chinese food court in Scarborough, Toronto is tough to best in North America

Jul 18, 2014
Charles Yu in General Topics
1

Little Saigon - Richmond Hill

Thanks for the update, Sadistick! Will give it a try this weekend since I'll be running errands in the Midland/Finch area!

Jul 18, 2014
Charles Yu in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Little Saigon - Richmond Hill

Fellow hound ace123 and myself both did a write up about 3 years ago. I have not been back since it is a bit far for me and I found the quality good but not worth my making a trip all the way from Richmond Hill.

http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/6999...

Jul 18, 2014
Charles Yu in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Little Saigon - Richmond Hill

I'm specifically referring to ' Pho Dau Bo ' on 2437 Finch West. IMHO, even better than the frequently use 'reference yard stick', Pho Tien Thanh on Ossington.

Jul 17, 2014
Charles Yu in Ontario (inc. Toronto)
1

Little Saigon - Richmond Hill

Following Kevinguy's footstep, I too tried out their lunch special today. And yes, the 15% off all menu items is still in effect and yes, the lady owner is indeed Vietnamese.

For a Pho place, this eatery is relatively small and cozy and yet surprisingly clean. Our luncheon special comprised of Pho with raw and well done beef plus two Spring Rolls as well as Pho with raw and well done brisket plus Fresh Roll. Each combo was $8.50. With the 15% discount, it worked out to be around $7.25, a pretty good deal.

Portion size was decent and taste was pretty delicious, especially the tender beef brisket. Broth was flavorful but on the aromatic side, in my opinion, it lacked the essential star anise component. Dipping sauce for the freshly made Shrimp roll was a concoction of pea-nutty satay sauce with Hoisin sauce sweetness and as eluded to by Kevinguy, awesomely good. The fried Spring Roll with authentically tasting and textured filling was grease-less and crispy. However, wrappings at the ends were overly thick and chewy. Biggest glaring mistake was the missing plate of beansprous, Thai basil, Saw leaf, chili and Lime wedges. A huge No-No!!

All in all, service was good, price was decent and the food was delicious by Richmond Hill Pho standard. However, when compare to those elite establishments on the west end, Little Saigon still has a lot to catch up and a lot of mistakes to make up.

Jul 17, 2014
Charles Yu in Ontario (inc. Toronto)
1

Best Dim Sum in Hong Kong

Current and updated BEST list IMO should at least include: Lung King Heen, Ming Court, Above and Beyond, Seventh Son and Fook Lum Moon

Jul 16, 2014
Charles Yu in China & Southeast Asia

An over-enthusiastic monitor...

Out of curiosity, who monitor the Moderators? Surely they cannot have total free reign?!
Considering no one is perfect and moderators are only human and can be biased or over-zealous, will deleted postings be 'over-turned' upon reviewed just like ball games?!

Jul 16, 2014
Charles Yu in Site Talk

Best 'cook-yourself' Korean B-B-Q place along the Yonge stretch?!

With so many Korean eateries opening up along Yonge, from Sheppard all the way past Steeles and Hwy#7, which, in your opinion offers the best 'cook yourself' BBQ ( Bulgogi and Galbi in particular ) accompanied with the best selection of Banchan.
Thanks in advance!

Jul 16, 2014
Charles Yu in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

One FINAL request for my short mini-chowmeet with Singapore Hound in July

For convenience, we have decided to go simply and rustic at Matt's on the first night. Cannot see how they can screw up Prime Ribs and fresh oysters. Will do 'serious chowing' the next few days!

Thank you to you ALL for your valuable feed back!

Jul 14, 2014
Charles Yu in Greater Seattle

One FINAL request for my short mini-chowmeet with Singapore Hound in July

Thank you FoodDee!
Italianissimo out of contention! Now there is two!!
However, since we'll be having dinner at Canlis the next night, I think I'll most probably settle for a more rustic, comfort food theme at Matt's and leave the 'organic' stuff to Canlis. Problem is, with my friend and family staying in Redmond's Hyatt House for about a week. By the time I got to Redmond, they would have try out Matt's a number of time??

Jul 13, 2014
Charles Yu in Greater Seattle

One FINAL request for my short mini-chowmeet with Singapore Hound in July

Much appreciated fellow hounds for your timely feedback!!

After a few exchanges with my S'Pore chowfriend on FB, we have now decided to cancel our McCormick reservation and focus our choices on the following three:

- Matt's in Redmond
- Italianissimo in Woodinville ( since only 10 minutes drive from hotel )
- Trellis - Kirkland ( same idea, relatively short drive )

Question?! Of the three, which one has more 'consistent quality' food and offer a better dining experience? Kids after all are not to fuzzy and would eat anything! BTW, found out their Yelp and Urbanspoon rating are pretty similar.

Thank you all again!!

Jul 13, 2014
Charles Yu in Greater Seattle

One FINAL request for my short mini-chowmeet with Singapore Hound in July

Due to its close proximity to our hotels, I am now looking at 'Matt's Rotisserie and Oyster Bar' in Redmond for our group's casual first night's dinner. Is the food acceptable? I read a latest review on Yelp with the poster giving it nothing but praise. Prime Rib and the Seafood Chowder both received huge thumbs up. The menu seem to be a bit more 'teen friendly' than the seafood dominant menu of Seastar?!

Jul 13, 2014
Charles Yu in Greater Seattle

Best Dishes 2014

Unfortunately, Yes! Afterall this is the Toronto/Ontario board. Furthermore, don't want moderator to step in and start deleting irrelevant posts!

Jul 12, 2014
Charles Yu in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

One FINAL request for my short mini-chowmeet with Singapore Hound in July

Yes! I just found that out!! Sigh!!
Waiting kid's feed back on dinner at Seastar. Also, since our luncheon destinations the following day will be Taylor's Shellfish and Seatown, not sure if a dinner at Seastar will cause a seafood oveload?!

Jul 12, 2014
Charles Yu in Greater Seattle

One FINAL request for my short mini-chowmeet with Singapore Hound in July

Even without the 'Rabbit'. Juanita is fully booked on Monday, 28th July.

Jul 12, 2014
Charles Yu in Greater Seattle

One FINAL request for my short mini-chowmeet with Singapore Hound in July

Oops!! Sorry, fellow hounds. Need your help again!!

For our first night, due to two teenagers in tow and relatively close proximity to our hotel, we have decided to settle for dinner at the less fancy 'steak and Seafood' place - McCormick and Schmicht in Bellevue.

However, I have just received a disturbing message from my S'pore chowfriend, who just had lunch at the Providence, RI branch of McCormick commenting the food is BAD!! Not knowing whether food in the Bellevue branch is similar, I am desperately in search of another similar place with better tasting food! Any suggestion?! Somewhere close to Redmond and Bellevue with a strong seafood present menu would be nice. However, no Asian or Oriental cuisine. Thank you all again!!!

{ FYI, I was initially intending to book us into Cafe Juanita. However, the 'rabbit' on the menu freaked my friend's kids out since they have a few pet rabbit at home!! Ha! }

Jul 12, 2014
Charles Yu in Greater Seattle

Best Dishes 2014

Whilst browsing through this site, I noticed almost every major food center mentioned has a posting/discussion of their city's ' Best Dishes' - except Toronto?! May be we should start one in addition to our Best Restaurant list?!

My 2014 list to date comprises of the following yummy dishes:

- Basque Cake - Bar Isabel
- Smoked Crispy Duck - Chuan Yu Sichuan
- Fried Lobster Nuggets with Salted Duck Egg Yolk Dusting - Yang's Markham
- Seared Rack of Rabbit - BERO
- Boeuf Bourguignon - La Croisee
- Roasted Suckling Piglet - Casa Victoria
- Fried jumbo Oysters with Honey Glaze Wrap - Casa Victoria
- Duo of Crab and Lobster in Creamy Rum Sauce - Fung Lam Court

Jul 11, 2014
Charles Yu in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

More good Chinese food coming Richmond Hill way - This time 'My Wonderful Kitchen'

A short while back, I posted about the sudden flood of new Hong Kong style comfort fast food/Congee establishments opening up all over the GTA, especially north of the 401. New additions occupying cavernous spaces include Congee Wong, Congee Queen, Congee Phoenix and Mr Congee... to name a few. Today, based on recommendation of my foodie family doctor, I tried out another new comer to the game - " My Wonderful Kitchen " on 350 Hwy # 7 East, Richmond Hill!!

Occupying the space of the now defunct Bayview Garden and Regal Palace, this totally revamped, modern decor Hong Kong style comfort food eatery operates on the same business model as its main competitors - the 'Congee xxxxx 's. However, in my opinion, the comfort level, food quality, food presentation, variety and pricing are quite similar, if not slightly better.

For my first baptism of this place. Noticing they too offer 'Braised Beef Entrails and Noodle' on the menu, I deliberately order a bowl to make comparison with the delicious one I had just a few days ago at Hong Kong Eatery, Dynasty Plaza. In addition I also added a plate of Braised Chui Hau Beef Brisket and tendons to see how they compare with my current favorite - the version at 'Won Ton Hut'. My wife, on the other hand, ventured totally off a tangent and ordered a ' Thai Red Curry chicken in a Loaf of Bread!! '.

Though prepared in a slightly different style, overall I found the Beef Entrail noodles to be equally tasty. The protein morsels were actually more tender to the bite and the broth more flavorful. However, the noodles were a touch overcooked, slightly lacking the desired al dante chewy texture. The Beef Brisket and Tendons were equally well done, both in taste and texture. My only criticism was the insufficient use of ginger to mask the gaminess of the meat. At only $5.25, it was extremely good value for the quantity offered. I would rate it a close second to Won Ton Hut but better than their other 'chained' competitors! The curry was 'cutely' presented and fairly tasty. However, I found it a bit too spicy hot for my liking. To each its own!

Combining good quality and value for money food with a varied and diversified menu that includes Cantones BBQ and Roasted meats, I will return soon to try out more of their offerings!

IMHO, a very good addition to the Richmond Hill food scene!

Jul 11, 2014
Charles Yu in Ontario (inc. Toronto)