Charles Yu's Profile

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Am I detecting a pattern here?? - Ridiculous rating by Toronto Life reviewers on great restaurants

I am sorry if I made a mistake in choosing the wrong word or adjective ( ridiculous ) in the title of my write-up. ( after all English is not my mother's tongue ).

However, the goal and objective of my posting, taken in its entirety, is still valid. And that is, to solicit feedback and opinion as to whether the restaurant rating from one of the city's authoritative publication is correct or way wrong. The fact that one of the best restaurant in and around the GTA, which only recently still garner a 31/2* rating for its superb cuisine, gets demoted suddenly to a mediocre 1* deserves a chowhound mention? This is made even more fascinating and mysterious when our fellow trusted hound 'Estufarian', whom I shared a very similar palette, just made a recent visit in mid-August and posted a raving review of the food!

As one of my favorite high-end western cuisine restaurant, I sure do not want to drive all the way from Richmond Hill to Burlington for a special night out, only to find the food has indeed deteriorated in recent days or week?!

Rather than focusing on the subject and facts at hand, it is disparaging to see unwarranted sarcastic and hostile remarks being directed at the poster in person. And for the incorrect use of a single word, at that!

Does that mean now, we cannot post impromptu write-up, but rather has to have the article proof-read for grammar, wordings and more importantly political correctness before pressing the 'POST' button? :(

about 5 hours ago
Charles Yu in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Help me out with my Markham Food Tour

John's 'King of Char Siu' is a special ' made to order' dish requiring a wait time of about 15+ minutes. The cut used is the better 'center loin', hence the texture is more tender. As well, the meat is hot and not cold or luke warm.

Am I detecting a pattern here?? - Ridiculous rating by Toronto Life reviewers on great restaurants

Seriously, as fraternity members, we should all lighten up, be more courteous towards each other and practice the etiquette of posting on open forums!

The title and nature of my original posting was in the form of a 'question'! Based on dining experiences of myself and other trusted hounds at the aforementioned restaurants, I was merely expressing my own observation and try to solicit feedback and opinion as to whether Toronto Life's rating was correct or ridiculously wrong. At no time was I trying to invite confrontation let alone solicit 'personal attacks'.

May be it is time for me to follow the footsteps of a number of long standing hounds, take a break and step aside?! At no time during my 15+ years of contributing on this board have I been subjected to so much 'aggression'?!

Help me out with my Markham Food Tour

Actually, the food at 'Shiso Tree Japanese Cafe' is even more impressive and well executed! Make it a two days affair and enjoy these:

about 23 hours ago
Charles Yu in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Help me out with my Markham Food Tour

Hello chow-friend!
Char Siu is BBQ Pork, using leg of pork and pork loin. This version is usually charred and smothered with a honey based sauce.
Roasted Suckling Piglet, on the other hand, focused on the ribs and belly area. This is the version with the ultra crunchy/crispy skin. The dish is readily available on their a la carte menu. But due to its popularity, I would call ahead and pre-order a portion or two ( since you have a large group ).
Hope this would help to clarify the two options. Both versions are yummy!

about 24 hours ago
Charles Yu in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Am I detecting a pattern here?? - Ridiculous rating by Toronto Life reviewers on great restaurants

Why is an open and frank discussions amongst fellow hounds (who had dined at Blacktree and Bero) to see whether the restaurant is indeed a mediocre 1* rather than a more worthy 3*, turned into personal attacks?!

Am I detecting a pattern here?? - Ridiculous rating by Toronto Life reviewers on great restaurants

Relax pourboi!!
No harm in adding a bit of 'sense of humor' and drama to spice up a post?
As for my comment on the rating and opinion of Blacktree. Please kindly read dining feedbacks from fellow hounds like Estufarian and Apprentice about their EXTREMELY POSITIVE experience. Opinion on how good Blacktree is, are NOT MINE ALONE!!
BTW, I also referenced TL previous ridiculous rating on BERO, where over 10+ hounds gave their food the big thumbs up!! At that time they rated BERO in the same league as some Taiwanese Bubble Tea Snack Shop!!

Help me out with my Markham Food Tour

Give Peking Duck at 'Dragon Boat' a try. Nicely done also. Will not disappoint.
Whilst there give their roasted suckling piglet and Pan fried beef filet mignon in Dijon Mustard/wasabi sauce a try. Very interesting and good! Overall, they do a pretty damn good job in almost all dishes.

Am I detecting a pattern here?? - Ridiculous rating by Toronto Life reviewers on great restaurants

Information on TL website is very out of date!
Totally different from their October , 2014 issue - 'paper' version.

I also note they awarded at least '3 stars' to restaurants of similar food quality and standard such as George, Grove, Actinolite, Splendido....etc and for out of town ones such as The Prune, Rundles, Peller Estates, Treadwell..etc. Either there's a printing mistake or the TL reviewer must be half drunk when taking his/her notes?!

Help me out with my Markham Food Tour

Yes! A slight deterioration of quality is detected. Could be the fact that a few high end Chinese restaurants are on the verge of opening up in the near future, thus high caliber chefs are being lured away?! That is the reason why, for Dim Sum, Casa Victoria is now my go to place instead! However, 'dinner' at Casa Imperial is still pretty fine.

Help me out with my Markham Food Tour

Agree with Sadistick!

+1 for 'Casa Victoria''s Dim Sum. The peppered salt fried squid tentacles is a 'must have'. Their Abalone puffs are awesome too.
( Actually, their dinner 'Peking Duck' is amongst the best in and around that area. Fried jumbo prawns with salted duck egg yolks are second to none.). However, if you do not want repetition, the I would choose 'Skyview''s duck instead. If you regard Steeles/Birchmond as Markham, then I'd prefer 'Casa Imperial' instead ( slightly more expensive though ).

+1 for Northern Dumpling Kitchen. Apart from their nicely prepared dumplings and pot-stickers. Don't forget to order their 'Sliced leg of pork with garlic seasoned chili oil' appetizer. So good! Their 'Double smoked pork belly with Hoi Sin sauce in crispy sesame pancake wrap' is another winner, IMHO, even tastier than David Chang's Momofuku pork belly offering!

A few more suggestions:

'Won Ton Hut' at the corner of Warden & Hwy#7 offers the most authentic Hong Kong style won-ton noodles in town. Great combination of authentic shrimp egg and bonito based broth, al dante fine noodles and crunchy shrimp dumpling morsels. Love their delicious and chop-stick tender braised beef brisket and tendons as well.

Not a well known fact, but the Hong Kong style milk tea at 'Richmond Court' inside Time Square is one of the most complex and flavorful in town. Try it with a hot Pineapple bun smothered with butter or one of their yummy mini chicken pie. They also make the most authentic and tasty ' Hong Kong Style Russian Borscht ' in town!

If you decide to make it a 2 days affair. I would agree with Prima's King of Char Siu at 'John's BBQ' suggestion. I would also add the Giant Lobster 5-6 ways at O Mei to your itinerary. If, for what ever reason you don't mind a repeat experience ie., dinner at Casa Victoria, their Wok Fried Lobster with Maggi Sauce is mighty fine too!!

Have fun!

Am I detecting a pattern here?? - Ridiculous rating by Toronto Life reviewers on great restaurants

C.Yu will hope to 'see you' in one of my future chowmeet!

Am I detecting a pattern here?? - Ridiculous rating by Toronto Life reviewers on great restaurants

I read it to check out new and/or just opened restaurants. Cannot help to glance at other food related postings?! Their ex - James Chatto was controversial but at least he was less erratic?!

Am I detecting a pattern here?? - Ridiculous rating by Toronto Life reviewers on great restaurants

Based on the latest publication, I believe I have detected a disturbing pattern by current Toronto Life reviewers that they simply HATE 'creative, imaginative food involving sometimes a cacophony of elements'!!

First, they gave the now defunct " BERO ", under Chef Matt Kantor, a pathetic 1* ( out of 5 ) rating for some of the tastiest and best plated food in the GTA. Now, I noticed 1* was awarded to another one of chowhounders' favorite " BLACKTREE " in Burlington!!

For the latter, I don't think taste buds by trusted chowhounders like Apprentice, Estufarian, Cynalan and myself are that out-of-whack to have us all awarding the restaurant a huge thumbs up after dining there?!!

A letter to TL's editor might be warranted?!

Here's posting by Estufarian on his latest enjoyable 'Blacktree' experience:

Wonton Hut vs V2 Noodles

Tried that a while back.
First impression not that positive. May be they have improved a bit by now?!
Here's my posting:

Colette - Thompson Hotel

"Although I agree it is odd to keep so many posts about out of province croissants. I guess it's because of the crazy Toronto and authenticity argument..."

Exactly my point! If one does a Google search on 'Colette review', one would expect information on the establishment rather than seeing so many discussions on whether certain croissant is the best in TO, better than Montreal or not up to par when compared with the French?!

BTW,just noticed another fellow hound posted a thread inquiring 'Dinner at Colette'. Now, hopefully we can get the right relevant info from future postings?!

Colette - Thompson Hotel

As one of the longest standing chowhounder on this board. I am still at a lost, after 15+ yrs of posting on this blog, the true meaning of some of the posting guidelines and rationale behind some of the moderators' action.
Casing point: Currently there are over 118 discussions of 'Colette' on this board, of which over 50+% had morphed into discussion of 'Croissant'and pastries?! How come these were not being treated as 'off topis' and moved to or assigned another title or topic?!
Another example of Moderators' weird action and inconsistency?!

Does Splendido only have multi-course fixed menus now?

Love to but unfortunately its wife's birthday. Will be feasting with her and also family.
Next time, give me a yell ahead of time and I'll round up a few CH for something special?

Does Splendido only have multi-course fixed menus now?

Me too!! Mine is the 7th. Waiting for Victor's return from his trip to visit Keller at the French Laundry. Hopefully, he will introduce some new 'wow' dishes to complement his current repertoire?

Please review my agenda. Thank you!

IMHO, there are many places in London that offer much, much better dim sum than Rol San! In quality, taste and variety.
Walking around China town and Kensington market to take in the scene is one thing. But actually taking in a Dim Sum lunch? I would head over to Lai Wah Heen or Crown Princess instead. They provide quality worthy of your using up one of your only 3 lunches.

November in HK

FYI and for future references, special dedicated PR and e-mail are provided for bookings and chef/menu/patrons interface by establishments that include but not limited to the following:
Above & Beyond, Ming Court, Shang Palace, Yang Toh Heen, Gou Fu Lou. Man Wah....etc
I have personally taken advantage of these services in arranging chowmeets for a few or a larger group of our fraternity members!

November in HK

I am not saying the food at 'The Chairman' is not chowhound worthy. In fact it used to be one of my favorite
However, I am often perplexed as to why, when ever recommendations for good Chinese food are being requested by overseas chowhounder visitors. 'The Chairman' seems to be the only 'boring' suggestion?
With so so many great Chinese( Cantonese ) establishments in town, why can't recommendations be less myopic and be more varied and diverse?
To me, the following, which I have eaten and thought some of the food to be as good if not better include:
Celebrity Cuisine, Above & Beyond, Shang Palace, Ming Court, FLM, Forum, Ah Yat Harbour View, Gou Fu Lou, Seventh Son, Lei Garden Wan Chai, Tim's Kitchen, Yue, The Square, Man Wah, Yan Toh Heen, Xin Da name a few!!..... And not to mention some great, slightly out of the way, places and/or hole in the wall that offers amazingly great food!
Surely we can do better?!

ISO Italian Moscato grapes

I saw plenty at 'Longo's'

Please review my agenda. Thank you!

Sushi Kaji, Splendido or Actinolite over Lee any day!!

good indian food in Scarbourogh

Agree! Better than average. Taste of their curries a bit more complex and varied than a lot of other places using 'generic mother sauce base'.

Best All You Can Eat Sushi in GTA?

Welcome to Chowhound and the Ontario board!!

You should be able to find what you are looking for in these postings!

Sushi Kaji or Yasu? Birthday meal plans.

+1 for Kaji. In fact the many times I dined at Kaji, I enjoyed their cooked food better! Somehow, still find the shari of Kaji's sushi below par! Sashimi is excellent though!

Via Mercanti Pizza - best in Toronto? Really?

Apparently, according to the owners' interview on the TV program, the sesame looking particles are home made 'bread crumbs'!

Update- Need 2014 Solo Recs in HK

How 'adventurous' are you?
For one of your night, why not go on a 'hole-in-the-wall' comfort food eating spree?
Won ton noodles at 'Mak's' on Wellington street, head down to 'Yat Lok' on Stanley street for some Cantonese style BBQ and roasted meat ( the roast goose is awesome ), over to 'Wang Fu' for some Pekingnese dumplings and pancakes. And, if you still have room go to the end of Wellington, turn left and head up to 'Ser Wong Fun' for some yummy snake soup and fresh house made duck liver sausages!

Another alternative is Won Ton noodles at 'Mak An Kee' at Wing Kut Street and then head up to Gough street for some great Beef Brisket noodles at 'Kau Kee'. This is an interesting 'old part' of town with steep steps and cobble stones streets.

Update- Need 2014 Solo Recs in HK

BTW, Chef Alvin Leung is now a 'celebrity chef', judging Food TV competitions here in Canada and the States. If planning to dine at Bo Innovation, I would call to make sure he is manning the kitchen on the day of your visit.