munchieHK's Profile

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In search of great Vietnamese, Chinese, and Latin in Edmonton

Century Palace in Chinatown has excellent Feng Zhou. They steam them over slices of kabocha squash, which while unconventional really adds something to the dish. Century Palace has improved out of sight with the change of ownership and probably serves the best yum cha in Edmonton now. Cha For Tea in the west end used to be good, although I have not been for a few years, I think Golden Rice Bowl is way overpriced and overrated.

Jan 24, 2012
munchieHK in Prairie Provinces

Best Caribbean in Toronto?

You're referring to Ritz. It's OK, in a pinch.

Jan 24, 2012
munchieHK in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Best Pho in Edmonton?

I must also say that I am fond of Trang Tien. It is off the radar for most people and the service can be...perfunctory at best, but the food is usually excellent, unpretentious and quite authentic. I am particularly fond of their Bun Bo Hue, a great spicy winter alternative to regular beef noodles, but their plain old Pho is also highly creditable. Go for the food, ignore the service and marvel at the array of plastic vegetables. The clams are also very good.

Jan 24, 2012
munchieHK in Prairie Provinces

Soup Kambing

Nope. They always use powdered turmeric for this dish in Indonesia. I was taught this one by the grandma of a family I lived with for a while in Flores. Fresh turmeric is good for many things, but not this. Incidentally, most Chinese supermarkets sell the fresh stuff now. You can easily find it on Spadina or Gerrard.
Rijstaffel is really a Dutch take on Indonesian food. It bears very little resemblance to anything you would actually find in Indonesia. It is basically a re-imagining of the traditional Nasi Padang meal, native to Sumatra, but found everywhere in the archipelago now. The Dutch colonists brought it home with them the same way the English bought curry cuisine from India and with the same outcome.
Local tastes change the cuisine beyond recognition. Just as most Indians would be mystified by what passes for Indian food in London, most Indonesians would be hard pressed to recognise much on a rijstaffel menu. Additionally, if you think it's difficult to find the more arcane spices etc. here, try Holland. You couldn't make an authentic Indonesian meal there if you wanted to. Believe me, I tried!
Most Indonesians running rijstaffel joints in Holland are 2nd or 3rd generation Dutch, at least. Most of them can't even speak Bahasa. Don't get me wrong, I love a good rijstaffel. I lived in Amsterdam for a year and pretty much tried them all, but what I and presumably the OP are jonesing for is authentic Indonesian cuisine. You would not find Soto Kambing on a rijstaffel menu.

Sep 03, 2010
munchieHK in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Any Hookah lounges/restaurants?

There are a couple of places on the Danforth between Coxwell and Greenwood. I think one is called Marrakech Cafe. They look pretty authentic. Lots of middle eastern/north africans frequent them.

Sep 03, 2010
munchieHK in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

ISO: Sheep's Milk

I'm pretty sure I saw it at The Big Carrot. Might pay to call first, tho'.

Sep 03, 2010
munchieHK in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Soup Kambing

Not in a million years, sadly. Toronto completely lacks any kind of Indonesian cuisine, to our eternal shame.
Making your own is an option. You can make a version of it with what is available here, but you can't get a couple of the ingredients to make a truly authentic Soto Kambing. This is my version, which comes as close as you can get with what is available.

500 gr goat or mutton
500 gr goat or lamb ribs
Eight large shallots, six cloves of garlic, ginger 3 cm, turmeric powder 1 tsp, 1 tsp white peppercorns, 3 cm galangal, 1/2 tsp salt...Put these in a blender or large mortar and pestle and grind to a paste.

Kaffir lime leaves 5 pieces, 1 crushed stalk lemon grass.

2 stalks celery, fried onions (the Vietnamese kind in the plastic jars from Chinese grocers), fried potatoes, sliced boiled egg, finely chopped cabbage leaves, sliced cherry tomatoes, krupuk emping, lime, sambal, krupuk udang, a stalk sliced green onion.

Cut meat and wash ribs, coat with lemon juice, let stand 1 hour, wash again, drain,
boil meat and ribs until the meat is half tender.
Saute ground spices with the lime leaves and lemongrass briefly until fragrant, then add to stew and stir well. Salt to taste. Simmer until meat is tender. Remove ribs.
In a large bowl place meat, chopped cabbage leaves, tomatoes, eggs, fried potatoes and broth. Sprinkle with celery, green onions, fried onions and squeeze of lime. Serve with krupuk, rice and sambal.

Sep 03, 2010
munchieHK in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Zeitoun Turkish Cuisine

Heh...I had to have a chuckle when I saw this. I made a pretty scathing comment about it when it first opened during a discussion on Turkish food. I honestly thought they might improve, but evidently not. I feel sorry for anyone venturing in here for their first taste of 'Turkish' food. They will be turned off for life.
I was so excited when I peeked in there and saw a tray of Kabak Dolmasi (Stuffed zucchini), my daughter's favourite dish. I took an order home and she didn't even need to taste it. She could smell that it was wrong. I took a bite, to ensure she wasn't being picky - big mistake! It wasn't just that it was badly prepared, which it was, or bland, which it was - it was repulsive. The texture, flavour, smell, presentation - all ghastly.
Please (deity of your choice), will some enterprising young Turk please get out there and open a place that makes food like the Turkish grandmother I didn't have would have made, had she existed. Which she didn't, but you get the point.

Aug 24, 2010
munchieHK in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

McDonalds Consistency [split from Ontario]

Boy, you know a place has sunk pretty low when chowheads only point of comparison for it is that Micky D's is more consistant. Kinda funny, in the same way a Greek tragedy is funny, or a 9/11 joke.

Jun 14, 2010
munchieHK in Chains

Restaurants I love, you hate

Nope, thinking more of Caplansky in that regard. Also, Corned Beef House is not a smoked meat place, hence the name.

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Corned Beef House
303 Adelaide St W, Toronto, ON M5V1P7, CA

Caplansky's
356 College Street, Toronto, ON M6J, CA

Jun 13, 2010
munchieHK in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Filipino restaurants.

Anyone encountered any? Been a while since I had a good Adobo.

Jun 13, 2010
munchieHK in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Restaurants I love, you hate

I'm with you on Corned Beef House, too. It is simple, unpretentious, good value and tasty, with no hipster attitude. What more can you ask?

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Corned Beef House
303 Adelaide St W, Toronto, ON M5V1P7, CA

Jun 13, 2010
munchieHK in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Restaurants I love, you hate

ROFL. Admitting to a penchant for Fran's here is like confessing that you kind of like a little child pornography on a weekend. I salute your stones, Sir!

Jun 13, 2010
munchieHK in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Real Cider in Toronto?

I have to agree. I was really craving some cider while watching the world cup matches today, so I trekked off to the nearest LCBO on the less glamourous stretch of the Danforth. They had Waupoos, Bulmer, Blackthorn and Strongbow. They also had William and another cider from Picton in a 1 litre bottle. when I looked closely, the 1 litre was $7.75, whereas William in 473ml cans was only $2.75. I also noticed that William is certified organic and has no artificial additives. I grabbed a couple of cans and chilled them. It turned out to be the best version of cider I have had outside of the UK. It is a lot better than the UK imports and I think it is far superior to Waupoos and Growers. It is fairly dry, but with a touch of sweetness, crisp, appley and has no chemical aftertaste. It was the perfect accompaniment to watching Oz get its ass handed to it by Deutschland. I might need 3 cans for the next England game!

Jun 13, 2010
munchieHK in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Restaurants I love, you hate

I hate Zucca and Guu, it has to be said.

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Guu
398 Church Street, Toronto, ON M5B 2A2, CA

Jun 08, 2010
munchieHK in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Restaurants I love, you hate

Yep, I like Queen and Beaver and I couldn't give a flying crap if it's pretentious. Good ale, good food, decent atmosphere, live football...what more can you ask?

Jun 08, 2010
munchieHK in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Restaurants I love, you hate

Are you kidding? Who do you think buys all the chicken and calf liver at the local sobey's? Must be a hell of a lot of pretentious people out there, that being the case. I eat chicken livers weekly. I cook them myself and don't eat them with a chi-chi cocktail. I don't mind a healthy debate on subjectivity in food matters, but don't insult me because I'm not as squeamish as you. Hands off my innards!

Jun 08, 2010
munchieHK in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

ISO : fatty course ground pork

Any Chinese grocery with a butcher section, such as T&T will grind any cut you choose any way you choose. I never buy pre-ground pork. I choose a piece of pork I like and have it ground on the spot.

Jun 05, 2010
munchieHK in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

recommendations for really good chinese dim sum

Thanks. I will definitely check it out.

Jun 05, 2010
munchieHK in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

recommendations for really good chinese dim sum

You're kidding. I thought it would be illegal here or something, because of the fermentation process. I know that it is even produced 'underground' in HK because the government won't issue licenses to produce it.
Can you tell me where to find it? I would be eternally grateful. It's my favourite guilty pleasure.

Jun 05, 2010
munchieHK in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

recommendations for really good chinese dim sum

Yeah, I meant to say " I have never seen it served with Harm Suen Choi in Toronto", but I was too lazy and Charles knew what I was referring to.
I've never been to Omei. Do they serve it as a dim sum dish? I really don't get up to Richmond Hill much.

Jun 05, 2010
munchieHK in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

which restaurant in toronto should i take girlfriend for 2 year anni?

I'd take her to Fran's. If you set the bar low early on, there's much less to live up to later.

Jun 05, 2010
munchieHK in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

recommendations for really good chinese dim sum

Don't worry Charles, I saw your post before it was disintegrated, along with mine. I suspect it was because we were discussing HK rather than TO and somebody is a little touchy about that. I think we can get away with it as long as Toronto is mentioned somewhere in the post.
I have never seen Harm Suen Choi in Toronto, although it is one of my favourites too and I used to eat it regularly in HK. A dim sum dish I used to have at Summer Palace, among other places, of duck's tongues in abalone sauce is another one I can not find here.
Finally, the first person brave enough to open a Chou Dofu cart in downtown TO will have my lifelong admiration and unwavering custom. I think that is the street food I miss the most, although when I left, it was already becoming scarce in HK. I used to get my fix at Shatin KCR station.
I think I feel a trip east coming on...

Jun 05, 2010
munchieHK in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

recommendations for really good chinese dim sum

I think the point is this, Charles: The majority of people don't get to eat regularly at Michelin star restaurants on even a semi-regular basis. Sad but true! The vast majority, including myself, eat mainly at 'family' places in HK and here. I'm much more likely to find myself with a group of old friends at Treasure restaurant in New Town Plaza, or some joint on a housing estate than at Fook Lam Moon, except for a special occasion.
Given that the dim sum at such places always going to be pretty average, it may as well be average from carts, which are just more darned entertaining! Of course if I spend Lai Wah Heen prices, I want individualised presentation, but if I spend Pearl Court money, I am looking for a good time, with good friends and lots of noise. I think you lose that aspect when you have card service. It's too subdued and quiet. I think an important part of dim sum 'culture' is the atmosphere, and although I know it's a matter of preference, I like my dim sum served loud and lively.

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Lai Wah Heen
108 Chestnut St, Toronto, ON M5G 1R3, CA

Jun 03, 2010
munchieHK in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

When are juicy watermelons in season? How about heirloom watermelons?

I've had pretty good melons so far this year. I choose based on 2 criteria; weight to size ratio and the shade of yellow on the patch. The better melons will usually be heavier than you expect and the darker the yellow, the riper the melon. I also avoid seedless if I can. I especially avoid yuppie melons in rainbow colours, which are always tasteless, as well as mini melons, which are impossible to gauge.

Jun 02, 2010
munchieHK in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Caplansky's - You have got to be kidding me!

I have no opinion on this place really. Tried it. Not really my kind of food. I would like to make one little point though...if I am looking at a wall and it looks purple, but 300 people are standing behind me insisting that it is in fact green, I would book myself an eye exam. Seems more sensible than assuming everybody else is colour blind. Just sayin'...

Jun 01, 2010
munchieHK in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Real Cider in Toronto?

I don't think the Waupoos cider is a patch on several kinds I tried in Quebec. I find it too fizzy and too cloying. The Clos Saint-Denis is superb.

May 31, 2010
munchieHK in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Where's your favourite lahmajoun?

In Turkey they are made with lamb and one just squeezes a little lemon over them and rolls them up. In Europe, particularly in Amsterdam where I lived, they are called Turkish Pizza and are filled with salad and hot/garlic sauce and served up like a donair, only edible. Next to Vlaamse Frites, they are probably the most widely consumed street food in the city. Students love them because they are fast, dirt cheap and cover the major food groups...oh and they are great at 2am when you crawl out of Greenhouse with a head full of evil and a case of the munchies that would make Jabba The Hutt blanch.
The best version I have found here is at Pizza Pide on Gerrard. I'm not sure if they sell them in packs though.

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Pizza Pide
949 Gerrard St E, Toronto, ON M4M, CA

May 31, 2010
munchieHK in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Singapore-style Laksa downtown Toronto?

You're most welcome. Enjoy!

May 29, 2010
munchieHK in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Singapore-style Laksa downtown Toronto?

The Belacan I buy is in a block with a blue wrapper and it is Njonja brand. You can generally find it in the bigger Chinese supermarkets. I would be very surprised if T&T did not stock it. Otherwise, root around the supermarkets on Spadina. Chinese shrimp paste will do in a pinch, but it's really not the same.

May 29, 2010
munchieHK in Ontario (inc. Toronto)