Charles Yu's Profile

Title Last Reply

Need help with good place for lunch in Kitchener.

Will be in Kitchener this Saturday. First time visitor. Looking for a place that serves good food for lunch. Prelim research shows all good places are on King Street. However, good ones only open for dinner?!
Ideas please! Thanks in advance!

about 11 hours ago
Charles Yu in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

BERO has closed

Points taken.
However, person aside, the few times I ate there, food was indeed very inventive and tasty. In some area, even more enjoyable than the experience I had at the 3* El Bulli, EMP or Alinea!
For egotistic and arrogant, one should check out Marco Pierre White!! Now, he was something!!

about 22 hours ago
Charles Yu in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

BERO has closed

@Kitchenvoodoo, @meathead2
??? What did Chef Matt Kantor did to upset you two so much as to post such rude 'personal attack' languages on an open forum 'food blog'?!!
Have you both, like dozens of us fellow hounds including myself, Estufarian, TorontoJo, Justxpix....eaten there. If the food, as you eluded was so bad, how come we all enjoyed the experiences and wrote raving reviews about it?!

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

Blacktree (Burlington) Revisited

Nice!! Thank you for the head's up. May be Clement and I will make it our annual men-only birthday celebration venue!

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

Weekend in Seattle - Food recs?

Me too on my last trip! But thank God for GPS!!

Aug 19, 2014
Charles Yu in Greater Seattle

Hong Kong Advice

+1 for Ming Court

Aug 18, 2014
Charles Yu in China & Southeast Asia

Weekend in Seattle - Food recs?

More reference: This is a great and interesting article from the Wall Street Journal!

http://online.wsj.com/news/article_em...

Aug 17, 2014
Charles Yu in Greater Seattle

Sika Deer in Scarborough - my new Shanghainese fav in GTA

Great advise about the current parking problem situation!

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

Scarborough Gems

I would add 'SIKA DEER' to the list for delicious and authentic Shanghainese fare!

4186 Finch Avenue East, Unit 32, Scarborough
416-847-3921

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

Sika Deer in Scarborough - my new Shanghainese fav in GTA

Hello Royaljelly
Good place for skylineR33, your's and my family for a long overdue chowmweet?! We can order much more things to try?!

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

" Enjoy Noodle King " - First sighting of 'Jook Sing Noodle', aka Bamboo Rod Won Ton noodles in the GTA

'Jook Sing Noodles' aka Bamboo Rod Noodles is a rare Cantonese ancient art of noodle making. Featured in Anthony Bourdain's - 'No Reservation, Hong Kong episode', this traditional manner of noodle making has become a scarcity and nowadays, can only be found in small number of restaurants in China's Guangdong province, Hong Kong and Macau (as reflected by the business' Chinese characters of this Toronto establishment!).

The noodles are created by first mixing flour, water and duck eggs ( or a mix of hen and duck eggs ) into a huge dough pillow. Then, it is placed and wedge beneath a thick, huge bamboo rod anchored and pivoted into the wall of the work bench. Next, the chef will 'climb on board' this funny contraption and start bouncing with a 'flamingo hopping one leg motion' to compress the dough. After some laborious 'Pilates' type of exercise and numerous steps, the flat dough is transformed into thin sheets which are then cut into ultra thin strands. The result, some super-dupa al dente noodles.

Based on info furnished by ex-chowhounder SkylineR33, I was excited to hear of this '2nd sighting' of Bamboo-Rod noodles in North America. The first being in San Gabriel Valley, LA. Eager to give it a try and make comparison with my current won-ton noodle go-to place 'Won-ton hut' on Warden/Hwy7, I took a long drive from Richmond Hill, this lunch time.

Arriving at around 11.45 am, the place was already packed and newly arrived patrons were asked to share tables. I ordered a bowl of traditional 'Cantonese braised beef brisket noodles' and a bowl of stand alone 'Shui Gau Shrimp dumplings in soup'.

Experience was mixed with the good unfortunately overshadowed by some inexcusable bad.

First, the good. Yes indeed, the noodles were extra fine, chewy and super al dente. A nice texture and a delight to eat. The use of only yellowing chives in the soup with no scallions available in-house is a reflection of the owner's effort in trying to take the real authentic traditional route. Unfortunately, this is where the good road ends. Next came the rough, bumpy path and ride.

Now, the bad. The supposedly chop-sticks tender brisket were too fatty, tough and overly chewy. The over-handed use of star anise was a bit intense for my palette. The broth, though full of umami sweetness totally lacking in the key 'flame roasted dried bonito/tile fish' component. Won-ton Hut's broth outshines this mediocre version by a mile! Similarly, the Shui Gau Shrimp Dumpling was a failure when compared to versions by Won-Ton Hut, Congee Queen...etc. The house-made wrappers were too thick for my liking. Fillings. with a pre-dominance use of pork rather than shrimp was border-line acceptable. Some morsels were made worse by having tough bits of pork that still have skin linked to them!

All in all, an acceptable offering of some niche products in this much needed area of void. I'll consider a re-visit to try out some of their other offerings if I am in the area but I will not make a special effort just to drive there. There exist some authentic and traditional components that are reminiscence of similar products in Hong Kong and Macau. However, much more effort is needed to bring the gap together.

A last word. Though not on the regular menu, the noodle chef did mentioned to me that they do offer the extremely rare 'Shrimp Roe and Dried Bonito powder Lo Mien' on request.

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

Seafood lunch

Five of us tried Matt's Rotisserie and Oyster bar in Redmond, ordered a whole bunch of food and found every dish well executed and enjoyable! Is Matt's in the Market similar quality?! If so?! No hesitation is suggesting it!

Aug 16, 2014
Charles Yu in Greater Seattle

Sika Deer in Scarborough - my new Shanghainese fav in GTA

Tonight, under abnormally cold wet weather for a Summer day, I finally had a chance to try out this relatively new find. Our party of three deliberately over-ordered so as to allow us the chance to try out and evaluate as many variety of dishes as possible. Overall, I concur with fellow hound Royaljelly's assessment. The Shanghainese cuisine savored tonight was amongst the best the GTA has to offer. Some dishes were spot on authentic in taste and texture. This speaks a lot, considering my wife is Shanghainese and I frequent Hong Kong's famed Shanghai Fraternity Association for Shanghainese fare every year.

We had the following:

- Half a dozen Xiao Lung Bao. Fairly well done. The 'boa' was huge and quite a bit bigger than the norm. However, I still prefer Northern Dumpling Kitchen version for their more flavorful broth and slightly better seasoned,wine infused, pork filling.

- Minced tofu and Chinese mustard green appetizer. This cold dish resembles some of the tastier versions I had in Hong Kong and China. The delicate aroma from the sesame oil was spot on and appealing.

- Oil Poached Shrimp. Normally, this dish uses only fresh water river shrimps. Unfortunately, since this rare ingredient is not readily available in Toronto, the chef improvised by using sea prawns instead. However, the skill of the kitchen still managed to create the taste and crunchy texture of the 'genuine' version. Bravo! A testament to the skill of the chef?

- House specialty 'Salty Grass' free range chicken. Flavorful and nicely cooked. The taste was enjoyable but nothing to shout about. Personally, I much prefer the 'Sing Ping' House specialty free range chicken of Judy's Cuisine. IMHO, the best rendition in town for this type of 'healthy' preparation.

- Shanghainese Clay Hot Pot Soup ( Yin Doak Sin ) of house cured salted Ham, duo bamboo-shoots, Tofu skin bow shape 'pasta', Bok Choi. This was one huge pot! The broth was full of delightful umami flavor. The two types of bamboo shoots offer some very interesting crunchy and chewy textural feel. There was more than enough soup left for my luncheon soup noodle tomorrow!

- Shanghainese Smoked Fish. IMO the high-light dish of the evening. Reminds me of a similar great version I had at Hong Kong's ' Hong Kong Cuisine'. The sauce was mesmerizingly good!!

There are so many specials and authentic dishes featured on the menu, I think I can pay them a number of visits, order a whole bunch of new and equally good dishes each time and never worry about duplicating dishes from previous visits?!

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

Sika Deer in Scarborough - my new Shanghainese fav in GTA

Tonight, under abnormally cold wet weather for a Summer day, I finally had a chance to try out this relatively new find. Our party of three deliberately over-ordered so as to allow us the chance to try out and evaluate as many variety of dishes as possible. Overall, I concur with fellow hound Royaljelly's assessment. The Shanghainese cuisine savored tonight was amongst the best the GTA has to offer. Some dishes were spot on authentic in taste and texture. This speaks a lot, considering my wife is Shanghainese and I frequent Hong Kong's famed Shanghai Fraternity Association for Shanghainese fare every year.

We had the following:

- Half a dozen Xiao Lung Bao. Fairly well done. The 'boa' was huge and quite a bit bigger than the norm. However, I still prefer Northern Dumpling Kitchen for theiR more flavorful broth and slightly better seasoned,wine infused pork filling.

- Minced tofu and Chinese mustard green appetizer. This cold dish resembles some of the tasty versions I had in Hong Kong and China. The delicate aroma from the sesame oil was spot on and appealing.

- Oil Poached Shrimp. Normally, this dish uses only fresh water river shrimps. Unfortunately, since this rare ingredient is not readily available in Toronto, the chef improvised by using sea prawns instead. However, the skill of the kitchen still managed to create the taste and crunchy texture of the 'genuine' version. Bravo! A testament to the skill of the chef?

- House specialty 'Salty Grass' free range chicken. Flavorful and nicely cooked. The taste was enjoyable but nothing to shout about. Personally, I much prefer the 'Sing Ping' House specialty free range chicken of Judy's Cuisine. IMHO, the best rendition in town for this type of 'healthy' preparation.

- Shanghainese Clay Hot Pot Soup ( Yin Doak Sin ) of house cured salted Ham, duo bamboo-shoots, Tofu skin bow shape 'pasta', Bok Choi. This was one huge pot! The broth was full of delightful umami flavor. The two types of bamboo shoots offer some very interesting crunchy and chewy textural feel. There was more than enough soup left for my luncheon soup noodle tomorrow!

- Shanghainese Smoked Fish. IMO the high-light dish of the evening. Reminds me of a similar great version I had at Hong Kong's ' Hong Kong Cuisine'. The sauce was mesmerizingly good!!

There are so many specials and authentic dishes featured on the menu, I think I can pay them a number of visits, order a whole bunch of new and equally good dishes each time and never worry about duplicating any of the previous visit dishes?!

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

Hong Kong - Yung Kee Roast Goose re-visited

I was never impressed with 13 Stall's version of the beef innards. Found them too overwhelmed with medicinal herbal flavor and aroma.

Aug 13, 2014
Charles Yu in China & Southeast Asia

Hong Kong - Yung Kee Roast Goose re-visited

Hello Uncle! Greetings from TOronto!
You can do a horizontal pigeon taste test by popping next door to 'Fung Lum' for comparison. Pretty dawn good as well. Don't forget to order the 'Fried sea prawns with peppered salt'! So good!
Austrian hound Albert can attest to that!

Aug 12, 2014
Charles Yu in China & Southeast Asia

Friends Relocating to Seattle: Best restaurant to send them to?

Yes! Its a pity that a fine dining establishment like Canlis has food that is 'hit-or-miss'. However, I am starting to find this type of inconsistency becoming the norm even in Michelin 3 stars all over the world. Chefs becoming complacent? No more do I see an entire meal filled with 'wow factor' from start to finish as in the good old days. Similar 'hit and miss' I had most recently include 3 stars by famed chef like Jean George Vigoritcten, Pierre Gagnaire and even Robuchon. However, years ago, a meal at say Troigros or George Blanc can be almost perfect!

Aug 12, 2014
Charles Yu in Greater Seattle

Dragon Centre Mall Midland Sheppard Area Take Out

I would love to know too!
Used to be my 'Won-ton Noodle' go-to place years ago. However, during recent visit, I found the place very run down and menu 'kind of all over the place'. Decided to turn around and leave!

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

Hong Kong - Yung Kee Roast Goose re-visited

Wow!! Bravo to you for digging this up!
Yup! Pity so many such establishments as well as Dai Pai Dongs have closed down, especially with their food not being passed down to the younger generations! Sigh. Braised Beef innards is such one example. Just doesn't taste like the good old days anymore!

Aug 12, 2014
Charles Yu in China & Southeast Asia

Hong Kong - Yung Kee Roast Goose re-visited

Pigeon Restaurant on a hill?! Love to know more info!
The only hill top pigeon restaurant I know and tried is 'Lung Wah' in Sha Tin?!

Aug 11, 2014
Charles Yu in China & Southeast Asia

CHRIS JERK Caribbean Bistro - A GREAT NEW FIND in Scarborough!

Tried their "Garoupa Fish Head and Crayfish soup" again today. This time I find the fish soup much denser and more delicious than before. The addition of extra head on shrimps to enhance flavor, may be?!. Very close to a South of France Bouillabaisse but kicked up a notch with some spicy heat! So good!

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

Breakfast places in Hong Kong and Kowloon

Mui Kee used to be better than Sang Kee when the father was in charged. The fish stock used for the congee was so umami filled. Unsure about current status with 'junior' getting more and more involved in daily operation?!

Aug 11, 2014
Charles Yu in China & Southeast Asia

Hong Kong - Yung Kee Roast Goose re-visited

The flag ship at Tai Po's Tai Ming Lane, where the owner resides, offers an even tastier version.
Talk about Tai Ming Lane, its one of those obscure little street with end to end great eating places! Tiny specialty hole-in-the-wall places for Clear broth Beef Brisket noodle, Tofu-Fa, Salt baked chicken...etc.

Aug 11, 2014
Charles Yu in China & Southeast Asia

Dragon Centre Mall Midland Sheppard Area Take Out

I would take an additional minute and head across Glen Watford to 'Dynasty Center Mall' food court. More choices and better food. BBQ place is very good. The Malaysian take out place outside the plaza has some great authentic SE Asian fare!

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

Best Peking Duck downtown?

Re: Chicken
Tasty marinade/sauce, lovely smokiness and chewy free-range chicken texture with the meat possessing genuine 'chicken flavor'. Their stirred fry Angus beef strips is pretty fine as well with nice wok-hay. Overall, pretty high standard for a downtown Chinese establishment.
Re: LWH
Must admit I have not eaten there for over 6 months after hearing their management and kitchen changes?! LOVE your 'dead duck' sense of humor!!

Aug 11, 2014
Charles Yu in Ontario (inc. Toronto)
1

Best Peking Duck downtown?

When did you try the duck at Lai Wah Heen? A lot of their chefs have moved on and scattered around town! Dim Sum has gone down hill, in particular!
Currently, best duck IMO is at Crown Princess. Actually, I found a lot of their dishes are comparable if not better than a lot of uptown places. Their Smoked Soya Free Range Chicken ( Great Grand Father Chicken ) is awesome!

Aug 10, 2014
Charles Yu in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Casual lunch spot on route between YYZ and Niagara Falls

For something a bit different, how about the 'BenchMark' restaurant at the Niagara College just off the highway east of St. Catherines. You can even try out their wine and home brewed beer!
http://www.niagaracollege.ca/content/...

Aug 10, 2014
Charles Yu in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Friends Relocating to Seattle: Best restaurant to send them to?

You might find the information you are looking for here?

http://opinionatedaboutdining.com/201...

Aug 10, 2014
Charles Yu in Greater Seattle

Friends Relocating to Seattle: Best restaurant to send them to?

Based on my recent experience - Canlis. And do ask for a window table. Good food, fine wine list and the best service I have experienced for a long while.

Aug 09, 2014
Charles Yu in Greater Seattle
1

Alberta hounds visiting Markham, Toronto downtown & Niagara

+1 for Treadwell

Aug 07, 2014
Charles Yu in Ontario (inc. Toronto)
1