ten ren's tea time

[repost from chanlindsay.blogspot.com]

Dinner tonight in Richmond Hill (yes, twice in the span of a week). At Ten Ren's Tea Time, on hwy 7 between Leslie and Bayview. Service was mediocre at best, with servers who didn't speak Cantonese (Mandarin & broken English only). At least the managers were full of smiles, and slightly apologetic. Food was interesting: but seemingly more conceptual cuisine than actual culinary art - the flavours of the different teas that were supposedly in all of the dishes was subtle, very very subtle. But the prix fixe menus (with actually quite a bit of choice) were well priced (mostly 15 or 20$) and multi-coursed (a tiny salad - made up for with a tasty dressing, soup, main dish with rice, dessert, and tea - but by tea, since it is a tea house, there were plenty of interesting choices). I think the wonton soup was with a hint of jasmine (I've forgotten now) - which came through the broth-from-a-can taste; pleasant and interesting. The pu-erh beef brisket was tasty, but didn't taste, to me, of pu-erh at all - a little bit of a disappointment, because it's the stuff I grew up on, my family's tea of choice. A new tea in my books to close the meal: tian-mu (mountain fog? I think that sounds somewhat like a loose translation) . The leaves are apparently picked in the early morning dew on this mountain... and the vagaries of that hearsay make me want to become more of a tea drinker.

And now I'm going to sleep through all of that caffeine.


sweet basil

[repost from chanlindsay.blogspot.com]

Pan asian restaurant, this time in RH way up at 10610 Bayview Ave. Sweet Basil is worth raving about: fabulous service, and great price:quality ratio (8.99 pad thai, 14.99 appetizer plate for 2-3 with spring rolls, satay chicken, mango salad, crab cakes). Lemongrass ice tea? Tasty.

Of course, I was in great company.


o.noir & garçon

[repost from chanlindsay.blogspot.com]

After much procrastination, reshuffling, and irritation, I've finally ventured into the dark for food. That's right, at the newly opened O.Noir. Must say it lived up to my expectation, but nothing more. Food was alright, but not extraordinary, but the conversations and company and experience bolstered my overall impression of the evening. The beef carpaccio starter (paired with extremely sparsely dressed, but thankfully tasty, greens) reminded me of my love for the meat (which inspired the ground-Angus purchase for pasta tonight). As a main, the number of shrimp on my plate tallied a goodly portion (though it was basically cooked/doused in nothing but butter), and the sun-dried tomato risotto lacked sun-dried tomatoes. But the concept stripping visual input: super cool. It was only a little disconcerting at first, with missing depth of field and visual cues in general. Didn't really 'change' or heighten the way I usually taste food anyway, but, I'm partial to recommending the experience.

Speaking of food, I will shamelessly promote Garçon, which I (somehow) failed to mention earlier (!). Prosciutto wrapped scallops, served on cantaloupe, anyone? And the rabbit tasting dish was oh-so-satisfying...



[repost from chanlindsay.blogspot.com]

I love my family dearly, yes, but I can't say I'm a fan of a lot of the idiosyncrasies (to put mildly). Went out for dinner as usual on Sunday night (courtesy of the me-taking-them-out-upon-the-first-summer-paycheque tradition). Pretty descent food - chiu chow cuisine is definitely lacking in Montreal - but everyone's bound to have something critical to say(repetitiveness seems to be the greatest sin here). Though to give them credit (for a slice of their comments) - I must admit that duck with tarosounds fabulous in theory - but... only if the flavours actually blend. Both duck & taro were swimming (rather separately) in way too much sodium chocked sauce. Oh well, they're family, right?

On the food theme, I was rather amused by my grandmother's (very critical) comments about my cousin's wife's zongzi (goodness that looks terrible spelled out in letters, and doesn't sound at all like how it's pronounced in Cantonese.. but anyway!). Sure, they're a little bland every year (okay, very bland), but of course everything pales in comparison to the ones my grandmother makes (with a dried scallop per, along with lots of other good stuff, of course).