Location: 9665 Bayview Avenue, Richmond Hill
I really like dim sum. It’s like brunch, but way more interesting. There are only so many times you can have eggs benedict or pancakes before they start to bore you. When that happens, the cavalcade of dumplings, buns, and other tasty bites at a dim sum joint are just what the doctor ordered.
And Yang’s Fine Chinese Cuisine in Richmond Hill (not to be confused with Yang’s Chinese Cuisine in Markham) is quite good.
I mean, look at all that stuff. If you can tell me you don’t want to eat all of that right now, then you and me are two very different people.
These little balls of shrimp surrounded by crunchy almond slivers might have been my favourite dish of the day. The shrimp had a really great texture, and the crispiness and nuttiness of the exterior complimented it perfectly.
And these pork buns? Chicken and waffles wish they could nail the sweet/salty combo as well as these little guys.
Location: 190 University Avenue, Toronto
I don’t really have a favourite restaurant in the city — I have a tendency to want to try something new every time I eat out, so it’s rare that I’ll go to the same place more than a couple of times.
So I guess Momofuku Noodle Bar is one of my favourite restaurants by default, because I’ve been there several times, and it’s consistently very good.
On this particular visit I tried a couple of their buns — chicken burger and cod cake — and both were quite tasty. The chicken burger, which featured a generous spread of pepper hummus, was the more interesting of the two. But the crispy, tasty cod was quite good as well.
I also tried the onigiri, and with its crispy fried bottom layer of nori, it was certainly an interesting take on the ubiquitous Japanese snack. But it was a little bit bland, and probably not something I’d order again.
The Jaja noodles, which the menu describes as “bacon, black bean, cabbage, pickle,” was good, but it was another item I probably wouldn’t get again. It had a meaty, umami-filled flavour, but it felt one-note. It really needed a bit more vibrancy to round out its porky richness (it probably didn’t help that it reminded me a lot of a dish I had in Malaysia called chili pan mee that was superior in every regard).
Location: 4120 Dixie Road, Mississauga
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.
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.
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.
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.