Ladurée

Ladurée in YorkdaleThe macarons from Ladurée were delicious.  You probably shouldn’t eat them.

I got four of them, and they cost about 15 bucks with tax ($14.92, actually), and seriously: get the hell out of here with those prices.  I don’t care if you’re using the highest of high-end ingredients, there’s no way to justify charging $3.73 each for these tiny little things.

Ladurée in Yorkdale

They are quite good, though.  I tried hazelnut, pistachio, salted caramel and coconut lime.

Ladurée in Yorkdale

They were amazing; maybe the best macarons I’ve ever had.  The texture was the perfect contrast of crispy, airy, and creamy, and the flavours were uniformly great.  Even the coconut lime, which I was kind of skeptical about, was top notch.  It had a really satisfying coconut flavour, with a mild zinginess from the lime that never overwhelms.

But those prices?  Nope.

Scaddabush

Location: 1900 The Queensway, Etobicoke
Websitehttp://www.scaddabush.com/

I’ve been to Scaddabush a few times now, and it continually surprises me.  Not that it’s anything particularly special, but they serve consistently good food; for a casual chain restaurant in Canada, that’s a minor miracle.

Granted, it’s easy to look good when your competition is dreck like Boston Pizza and East Side Mario’s, but we are where we are.  The bar for a casual chain restaurant is low.

Scaddabush on the Queensway

And so Scaddabush, which is very keen to boast that they make their pasta and mozzarella in-house, is comparatively pretty amazing.

The fresh mozzarella is pleasantly toothsome, and with a bit of the sun-dried tomato spread on the side, quite tasty.

Scaddabush on the Queensway

The roasted fennel and sausage fettuccine was one of the better pasta dishes I’ve had in a while, with a really nice interplay between the hearty sausage, the spicy pop of the sliced hot peppers, and the crispiness of the seasoned breadcrumbs.

Alas, the meal ended on a sour note — the zeppoli tasted stale, with a sodden exterior and an unpleasantly sponge-like interior.  The chocolate hazelnut sauce was fine, but was mostly just bland sweetness; there wasn’t much of a chocolate or hazelnut flavour.

Scaddabush on the Queensway

Nugateau

Nugateau in Yorkdale MallMeh.

Can that be my whole review?  Just meh?  It’s my blog, so yeah, it can.  But fine, I’ll expand on that a little bit.

Nugateau in Yorkdale Mall

Nugateau is a fancy eclair place that is (for now, at least) in the Concept section of Yorkdale Mall (they have a permanent location on Queen Street as well).

I tried a pistachio and a salted caramel eclair, and they were both fine, I guess — but if I’m paying six or seven bucks for an eclair the size of a spring roll, I kinda want to be blown away.  Nothing about the custardy filling in either of these things particularly stood out in any meaningful way.

Nugateau in Yorkdale Mall

Worse, they both tasted like they had been filled way in advance.  The pastry was… well, “mushy” might be overstating it, but it had seen better days, that’s for sure.

Golden Palace Banquet Hall

Location: 3225 Highway 7, Markham
Website: None

There’s a dim sum place in Markham called Golden Palace Banquet Hall, and it’s quite good.  I’ve been there a couple of times now, tried at least a dozen things, and I don’t think I’ve had a single dud.

All of that stuff? Quite tasty!  But there’s one reason to visit Golden Palace Banquet Hall, and it’s these things right here:

I’m talking about the enormous, honey-coated pieces of fried dough in the lower right-hand side of that photo.  They’re called angel wings (though I’ve also heard them referred to as egg shatters), and they’re the best.

There’s really not all that much to them.  They’re airy, lightly crispy pieces of fried dough that have been coated in honey.  That’s it.  But there’s something about them that’s completely irresistible.  Once you start eating them, you can’t stop.  They’re so great.

Porchetta Roll

Porchetta Roll in Mississauga, Ontario
Location: 4120 Dixie Road, Mississauga
Websitehttp://www.porchettaroll.com/

I have a very, very hard time saying no to a porchetta sandwich.  So when I found myself at this particular plaza and saw that there was a new porchetta-based restaurant?  Well, I wasn’t planning on eating lunch, but I guess I am now.

The menu is mostly based around porchetta and rotisserie chicken.  I got the porchetta sandwich, which comes topped with arugula, caramelized onions, garlic aoili, and mustard.

Porchetta Roll in Mississauga, Ontario

The obvious comparison is Porchetta & Co., and no, it’s not as good as that.  The pork — while tender and tasty — was underseasoned, and there was zero crackling in my sandwich.

I won’t say that a porchetta sandwich is pointless without crackling, but come on.  Crackling.  I need it.

Porchetta Roll in Mississauga, Ontario

It probably doesn’t help that the last porchetta sandwich I ate was this one in Italy, and literally every other porchetta sandwich is garbage compared to that.  It’s an unfair comparison, but I couldn’t help it.

Porchetta Roll in Mississauga, Ontario

Still, it was a tasty sandwich, and a pretty decent deal at about ten bucks with tax (they absolutely cram the sandwich with porchetta — I’d say it’s double if not triple the amount they give you at Porchetta & Co.).  I’d probably ask for it without the caramelized onions next time; they were tasty and perfectly cooked, but their sweetness overwhelmed the subtly-spiced pork.