Now That's Tasty!

Saturday, 20 October 2012

Ode to my second home: Sky Dragon

It's been a long time coming! I've probably gorged myself with steamers full of Sky Dragon dim sum dozens of times since I started blogging about food. In fact, Sky Dragon is almost undoubtedly my most frequented restaurant of all time! Without exaggeration, I've probably dined at The Sky more times than Tim Hortons, Starbucks and McDonalds combined (not that I ever ate there with any consistence). But I digress. 

Sky Dragon is more than just a traditional cart service dim sum spot on the top floor of Dragon City Centre, at the southwest corner of Dundas and Spadina, in the heart of Toronto's lively Chinatown--it's a tradition amongst my friends and my family, a place where I feel comfortable and at home, and a dim sum eating experience that is largely unparalleled in this city. I know this all sounds like a cheesy advertorial, but my feelings are genuine. After so many great memories, and of course great meals, writing this review was the easiest and perhaps most pleasurable of my 'ill-ustrious' career.

I've often joked to my friends that this is the place that I'll hold my wedding some day. And if I can find a wife that will agree to it, then it is REALLY meant to be! Wedding or not, Sky Dragon will always be my first love.

Thanks, Sky, for all the great times!

Read my blogTO review of Sky Dragon here.

It's all in the details. Such a touch of class.
Crispy fried egg wontons with shrimp and chive

A magical spread of fried shrimp balls and coconut shrimp
Ham Sui Gok
Honey garlic beef ribs
Puffy shrimp rolls
Fried smelt (duo luan yu)
Preggo innards. Eating unborn fish babies is delicious!!!
Seamed snow pea shoots
Fried taro stuffed with minced pork
Stuffed crab claw

I swear, I don't know these white people!

Sunday, 7 October 2012

Friday, 5 October 2012

The first feat is getting fed

Originally composed on: Day 3: April 20, 2012: KTL Commuter Train en route to Shah Alam, Malaysia.

Indulging in those things that bring one great joy, under normal circumstances, is exponentially heightened when done in new and interesting settings. Yoni (one of my closest friends and former expat travel companion in Korea) arrived two nights ago and it's been a pleasure to catch up with an old friend after so long. Despite our collective indecisiveness, especially when it comes to our food choices, we are always guaranteed to eat well--and eat lots! Yesterday was no exception.

The meager breakfast I ate at the hostel, while Yoni caught up on some sleep, forged a furious hunger as midday approached. Given our close proximity to Chinatown and the prominent Chinese influence on the Malaysian food culture, venturing towards there for lunch was not a difficult decision. On our constant search for street foods, local staples and unknown culinary concoctions, we shunned several simple looking food vendors and restaurants. A Lonely Planet derived hunt for a local food court proved fruitless. Yet, in the end, alluring aromas of cooked chilies and curries forced us (ever so willingly) into a busy hawker centre off of a crowded back alley.

Squeezing past sunglasses stands and singlet vendors we arrived in a brightly lit open court and the glory that turned out to be the Tang City Food Court. Tables tightly packed into the centre. A ring of small kitchenettes and cutting boards. Large menu boards, mostly in Chinese characters with some photo's thrown in for good measure. And a cacophony of bowls clinking, chopsticks picking, proprietors shouting orders and general chatter filled one's ears. The scents were tantalizing, my mouth was watering, my stomach was hollering.

Yoni made a quick-time decision and ordered a curry noodle bowl with chicken and coconut milk. It was sweet and mellow with clams, slicked pork, tangy pickled sprouts and a splash of key lime.

After settling for what turned out to be a delicious, yet decidedly unadventurous, plate of satay chicken and beef from the hostel the previous night, as my first "real" meal back in Asia, I knew I had to do it up proper! Requirements included: spice, soup, noodles and something I'd never seen before.

Along came Ma La Ban Mee: a bowl of bright, steaming auburn broth, minced pork, fried fish, shitake mushrooms, green onion, fish balls, bean curd and a heap of fresh handmade noodles. The noodles had a perfectly chewy, dumpling-esque texture. The minced pork was sweet and soft; combined with the salty crunch of the tiny fried fish, they balanced out the spicy edge of the molten broth. Though outside temperature was already forcing the sweat to bead off my forehead, this fiercely delicious bowl of broth  made my melon as moist as the soup in the bowl. Everyone loves a good sweat in the morning!

I'd been lusting for this meal for what seemed like a lifetime. This was perhaps one of the most wholly satisfying, simple, but superbly fantastic things I'd ever ingested!

The setup and the standards are now high. There is no doubt, however, that this meal will be matched many times over the next few months. Let the never-ending food crawl continue!!

Thursday, 4 October 2012

Back to basic obsessions...Korean BBQ

Ask anyone who knows me--meat is my obsession. For anyone who's ever read this blog, you know that my muse takes form as the the cured, roasted or grilled piece of partial animal carcass that happens to be posting up on my plate, if not for a brief moment.

With the recent XL Foods beef recall in Canada (if you haven't read about it yet, here's a snippet from the CBC) the worry-warts are soaking up the fear and potentially cutting down on their normally carnivorous tendencies. Me, I'm an optimist--so I decided to celebrate the latest E. coli scare by indulging in an all you can eat meat-centric marathon! 

Read my latest blogTO review of Bryan's BBQ and get into the spirit of supporting our nations most precarious (currently) and delicious industry! 

Tasty cuts of sirloin

Some nostalgia brew