Location: 888 Dundas Street East, Mississauga (inside the Mississauga Chinese Centre)
If a restaurant has an enormous slab of tasty-looking roasted pork hanging in the window, you should eat at that restaurant. That’s just a fact. Is that a law? I think that might be the law. If you see a restaurant like that you have to eat there or you’ll go to jail. That sounds fair to me.
Luen Hing also has chicken and duck hanging in the window, and clearly I have to go back, because that pork… wow.
I ordered the roast pork and barbecue pork on rice, which comes with a seriously generous amount of tasty eats for about twelve bucks. It’s a great deal, that’s for sure.
I actually brought this home instead of eating in the food court, and I had resigned myself to the fact that the pork skin probably wouldn’t be particularly crispy. It’s hard to retain your crunch when you’ve been steaming in a sealed take-out box. But oh man, that skin was crisp. It was at delightful, kettle chip levels of crunchiness.
And the pork itself was so good. Super flavourful, nice and tender, fatty but not too fatty, and of course, the aforementioned super crunchy skin. Delightful.
The barbecue pork wasn’t quite on the same level — it was a bit dry — but it was still quite tasty, with a nice balance of sweet and savoury.
The steamed cabbage and the sauce they poured on top were also quite good. It all adds up to a seriously satisfying version of this dish, and a restaurant that I’ll almost certainly be returning to in the near future.
BBQ Pork on Vermicelli at Pho Tien Thanh
Not a ton to say about this one — aside from the pork being a bit dry, this was a tasty version of a classic dish. Most of the herbs and veggies are under the noodles, so you’ll just have to take my word for it, but there was a really good proportion of meat, noodles, herbs, and vegetables. The meat was a little bit sweet and nicely savoury, and the whole thing was thoroughly enjoyable, if nothing too mind-blowing.
Blueberry White Chocolate Cheesecake at Ice Creamonology
I wasn’t crazy about Ice Creamonology on my first visit, but I’ve been back a couple of times and it’s definitely getting better (or maybe it’s just growing on me?). The ice cream is nice and creamy, and while it’s still a bit stretchier than your average scoop, it’s not as gummy as it was the first time I tried it. I will say, however, that I haven’t been back since they’ve moved to Queens Quay, so I have no idea how it holds up now.
Pumpkin Pie soft serve at Nani’s Gelato
I recently mentioned that the Pumpkin Pie Blizzard from Dairy Queen is the king of Blizzards, and this is basically just that, but a billion times better. I tried this last October (I’m still working my way through my backlog since the blog came back from hiatus); if you like pumpkin pie, the next time Nani’s brings this back (hopefully sooner than next October), you need to try it. It’s so good.
Location: 9425 Leslie Street, Richmond Hill
If you’re going to put the word excellent in the name of your restaurant, you’d better be able to back that up. Even if you’re serving pretty good food, that’s not excellent, is it?
Well, Excellent BBQ Restaurant in the Richlane Mall in Richmond Hill definitely lives up to its name: it is indeed excellent.
There’s something really satisfying about the simplicity of Chinese-style BBQ like this. It’s beyond simple — it’s basically just whole pieces of meat and rice — but when it’s done well, it’s delicious and comforting in a way that few dishes can match.
Excellent BBQ Restaurant does it quite well, which is evident as soon as you get there: when I visited, there was a line going out the door, and it remained that way for the whole time I was there.
When you’re serving food this good, word gets around.
We tried a few different things. BBQ duck.
And roast pork.
Everything was really good. In particular, the duck was fatty, tender, and perfect. The skin could have been a bit crispier, but that’s a fairly minor complaint.
Both types of pork were just as good — there wasn’t a whole lot of crispy skin on the roast pork, but what was there was shatteringly crisp and amazing. The BBQ pork was slightly dry, but again: that’s a minor complaint.
Location: 1550 South Gateway Road, Mississauga
Driving by, you wouldn’t be blamed for completely missing the food court in Dixie Park. Housed in a nondescript building in a somewhat industrial stretch of road along Dixie, it doesn’t look like much. The seemingly perpetual construction right outside certainly doesn’t help matters.
Those who venture inside will find a pretty good Asian food court. It’s generally nothing you’d want to go too far out of your way for, but most of the vendors here serve decent quality Chinese food (they’re mostly Chinese, with one Vietnamese place and one Japanese), with cheap prices and voluminous portions.
The best one is easily Dynasty B.B.Q. (Well, there was a Korean place that I used to really like — their pork bone soup was particularly delicious. Sadly, it closed down and was replaced by the aforementioned Vietnamese place. R.I.P., Korean place. You are missed). They have a typically comprehensive menu, though the real gem is the dish that comes with a combo of roast pork and BBQ pork.
Featuring a heaping portion of both types of pork served on top of rice (it also comes with a cup of mediocre soup that you should probably skip altogether), it’s a steal at $5.50. Though the less showy BBQ pork is certainly tasty and absolutely worth eating, it’s the roast pork that is the real reason to come here. I can’t claim to be an expert on this particular dish, though I have had it at a few different places. This is the best version of it that I’ve had. Perfectly cooked and yieldingly tender, with a satisfying layer of unctuous, melt-in-your-mouth fat, not to mention the salty, addictively amazing crispy, crunchy skin, it’s pretty outstanding.