Showing posts with label Chinese. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Chinese. Show all posts
A couple of weeks ago, I was invited to attend a private tasting at Origination Noodle House in Markham (North Scarborough, South Markham). This is their second location as the original one is located in downtown Chinatown. The restaurant specializes in cuisine from the southwestern Chinese province of Yunnan.

Walking into the restaurant, it looked really colorful and cozy. The walls are clad in ceramic plates, and diners are greeted with hanging bright lights. Its refined designs has strong Yunnan inspirations, as several decorative pieces and items were brought over from the city.


Our group of 7 started off with some drinks; passion fruit soda and lime soda. The drinks were served in plastic bags, which is reminiscent of the night markets in China. Not the best for the environment, but the drinks themselves were refreshing and sweet.


In addition to noodles, Origination Noodle House has a pretty good selection of appetizers. Out of all the ones we sampled, my favorite was the Deep Fried Squid Balls ($6.50). I enjoyed its chewy  texture and the flavoring was on point.



I am actually not a fan of Marinated Pork Hock ($6.90), so I didn't really like this dish.



We opted for the Cucumber Salad ($6.90) - with soy and sesame sauce as our vegetable appetizer. Cucumbers add a lot of crunch and refreshing flavor to many salads such as this one. The large chunks of cucumbers were covered with shredded carrots, drizzled with peanut butter sauce, and topped off with peanuts.



The Chilled Shredded Chicken ($5.50) - Chinese vinegar, green onion and tofu slices was simple, but it was the perfect appetizer for summer. However, there should be a little more pieces of chicken and less of the tofu slices.


One of their specialties is the Origination Yunnan Rice Noodle, which is their version of the "Crossing The Bridge" noodles. No MSG is added and it's made completely from scratch.  They have a few soup options, but my go-to soup will always be the Tom Yum Goong ($11.90) - rice noodle with coconut milk, lemongrass, bass, fermin serrano ham, pork, black fungus and tofu skin. The soup base had a nice spicy kick to it without being overwhelming, and no additives. Additionally, the portion was very generous, and one bowl could easily feed two people. You can also customizes your noodles with the complimentary cart carrying an array of spices and sauces.





The Tofu Rice Noodle ($8.90) - tofu, pickle, and minced pork was a rather bold dish with a lot of flavors. It came with a lot of vegetables and tofu. Make sure to mix it well before you enjoy the dish.



Another favorite of mine was the Yunnan Style Fried Rice Noodle (beef) ($11.90). Rice noodle is a staple in Yunnan cuisine, and this dish was relatively vibrant in flavor.





Chilled Rice Noodle ($9.50) - with chicken with cucumber, carrots, chicken and minced pork


For dessert, I got the Bubble Lu ($3.20). It had a pleasant coconut flavor (from the coconut milk), and was pretty sweet. I find that the Asian palette towards desserts is that they like subtle sweetness. So, some people might find this dessert too overly sweet.


Red Bean Yogurt ($4.20)



Overall, Origination Noodle House is a pretty solid restaurant as it's affordable, portions are generous, and their food was good that I'd come back again.

Address: 633-661 Silver Star Blvd, Scarborough, ON, M1V 5N1

 Social Media:

Disclaimer: The food provided in this post was complimentary. However, all of the opinions expressed in this review are of my own.

Origination Noodle House

by on Wednesday, July 19, 2017
A couple of weeks ago, I was invited to attend a private tasting at  Origination Noodle House  in Markham (North Scarborough, South Markham...
Morals Village is a hot pot restaurant chain with over 600 locations in China. They opened their first Canadian location in 2015, and has since grown at a relatively rapid pace. About 1.5 weeks ago, I had the pleasure of attending the Morals Village Mississauga Grand Opening Event. The Mississauga location is their 5th Canadian location, and they have plans to open another in Ottawa. With that being said, Morals Village prides themselves in providing top-notch quality and Szechuan cuisine influenced flavour with their hot pot offering.



 Hot pot is not only a great dining experience with either small or large group of people, but it's perfect for the cold months ahead. At Morals Village, customers are able to experience Szechuan style hot pot. Combining traditional flavours and innovative cooking techniques, Morals Village offers a more fun and innovative way to enjoy hot pot in the city. Here, they provide a more upscale hot pot experience, and it does reflect in their pricing. Dinner is $25.99 on the weekday for adults, and +$2 for weekends. Price-wise, it is higher than other hot pot establishments, but the quality ingredients are definitely noticeable.

 There was also a customization aspect to doing hot pot at Morals Village Mississauga, as you are able to create your own sauce. A wide variety of sauces are available at the designated sauce station, and include options like chili oil, sesame oil garlic, satay, soy sauce, and more. You are more than welcome to mix and add different sauces to your liking.



The evening started with some snacks from the front including my favorite golden buns with condensed milk. These buns are so good when they're fresh out of the oven!


During this time, bloggers and media guests were given the opportunity to take pictures from a fully decorated table with all of the menu items before the dinner commenced.

There are now 14 broths to choose from, and they do come with an extra surcharge (starting at $3). There are three new broths on the menu including an exclusive spicy soup base (pure oil extract) with a rating of 8 chili peppers. I wouldn't recommend getting that one unless your spice tolerance is extremely high. Instead, I would opt for either the Original Spicy Soup Base (+$3) or their house special, The 10-year Special Spicy Soup Base (+$8).

HOW TO EAT HOT POT:

1) Choose soup base.
2) Create your own favorite dipping sauce mix.
3) Drop hot pot meats & veggies into boiling soup.
4) Dip well cooked meats and veggies into dipping sauce and enjoy.

10 Year Special Spicy Soup Base



The restaurant itself was very spacious with plenty of group seating. I also liked how each table has their own individual hot pot stove, and that you can control the heat intensity. Browsing through their extensive AYCE offering, I noticed that the Certified Angus Rib Eye Beef Slices is now on the menu without an added surcharge. Speaking of meat, all the meat are of higher quality then you tend to expect from a hot pot restaurant, and there are a great variety of options. With that being said, Morals Village offers an extremely wide selection of food to order from, which was nice.


Signature Green Pepper Soup Base


Sweet Tomato Ox Soup Base


Mountain Cliff Wild Mushroom Soup Base


Homemade Pork Bone Soup Base


 Please enjoy the pictures from our dinner at Morals Village Mississauga.







The drinks menu consisted of several juices like watermelon juice and kiwi juice. I opted for the Watermelon Juice, which was super refreshing, and it was freshly made. I don't believe that they have their liquor license yet, but I was told that it was in the works.










Our entire table was extremely full by the end of dinner. However, a few of us still had room for desserts. The only dessert that was on the menu was either chocolate or vanilla ice-cream. The one downside is that each customer is limited to only one ice-cream cone, which is odd for an AYCE place. Overall, it was a very well thought-out event with a lot of entertainment (live DJ, face changer dancer, and hip hop dance crew), and there was definitely a lot of food for everyone. I had an enjoyable evening, and I can't wait to return to Morals Village Mississauga for another night of hot pot.



 Thank you to Sweven Media for the invitation and Morals Village Mississauga for hosting a great event!

Address: 2-1177 Central Parkway W, Mississauga, ON, L5C 4P3

 Social Media:

Disclaimer: The food provided in this post was complimentary. However, all of the opinions expressed in this review are of my own.
Morals Village Hot Pot Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Morals Village Mississauga

by on Monday, November 21, 2016
Morals Village  is a hot pot restaurant chain with over 600 locations in China. They opened their first Canadian location in 2015, and has ...
In Chinatown, there is a plethora of Asian dining options to choose from. Recently, I had the opportunity to check out the newly opened 98 Aroma where they offer refined Northern Chinese cuisine. The prices are higher than some of the neighboring establishments, so I highly recommend going with a group of 3-5 people to offset the costs. This way, you can order several dishes to share, as most plates are served with generous portion sizes and are meant for sharing. 

The outside may look unassuming, but the interior was designed to replicate traditional Chinese decor with its elaborate wood ornaments, and Asian-inspired craft works. The dimly lit restaurant sets a very relaxing ambiance, and there are several private booths available along with tables.

The menu consisted of several popular Northern Chinese dishes like dumplings, scallion pancakes, and spicy seafood and beef dishes. Most of Northern Chinese dishes are characterized by its bold flavors, and dishes are served in big portions. So, you can expect both at 98 Aroma. My friend and I started off with the refreshing Summer Breeze Salad ($9.99) - a colorful mixture of sweet-potato noodles, julienne leeks, bell-peppers, red cabbage, radishes, onions, and carrots with a sweet vinaigrette


Northern Chinese cuisine is very wheat-based, so I had to order the Pan Fried Pork and Chives Dumplings ($9.99), which was very good. The crispy potstickers were filled with a generous amount of pork, and the chives gave it a nice aroma after being pan fried.  


 Next up was their signature dish, the Steamed Tilapia with Chopped Bell Chilies ($29.99) - the dish arrived in a considerable sized bowl with the bone-in tilapia slathered in a rich yet spicy sauce. The fish was juicy and flaky, and the chili-based sauce complemented it beautifully. However, there were just way too many bones, so be extra careful when eating. 


 
I enjoyed the crispy texture of the Fried Salt and Pepper Calamari ($15.99), and it was perfectly spiced. 


Out of all the dishes, my least favorite was the Signature Chicken Wings ($15.99). Pricewise, it's pretty expensive for wings, and it was lacking in flavor. The peppers were sporadically spread out to the side, so it wasn't spiced very well.


Overall, I had an enjoyable dining experience at 98 Aroma. The restaurant was bustling with customers that Friday evening, and I thought that the wait staff did a good job of handling the customer service. Since they are a new establishment, there were two new waiters on staff training around that time. They were relatively slow, but it's understandable since they're new. 98 Aroma is a welcome addition to the area as they offer a more refined take on Chinese food, and is sure to please the people in the area looking for a nice place to dine.

Address: 440 Spadina Ave, Toronto, ON M5T 2G8

 Social Media:

Disclaimer: The food provided in this post was complimentary. However, all of the opinions expressed in this review are of my own.


98 Aroma Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

98 Aroma

by on Saturday, November 19, 2016
In Chinatown, there is a plethora of Asian dining options to choose from. Recently, I had the opportunity to check out the newly opened 98...
 Summit Garden Chinese Cuisine is an authentic Chinese restaurant on Winston Churchill Blvd and Dundas St in Mississauga. They have been in business for about 18 years, and have a reputation for being consistent with their food and service. I can definitely see the reason why they have been a successful for so long, as many of their diners are returnees with their family members.

In addition to their lunch and dinner menu, they also serve weekend dim sum. I had the pleasure of attending a menu tasting at Summit Garden a couple of weeks back where I tried several of their popular dishes. I was greeted by the owner and director of Summit Garden Chinese Cuisine, Kenneth Choi, who also works the floor. I think it's great when the owner or manager take the initiative to wait the tables, so that they are able to have a first-hand experience of what it's like.


 Summit Garden Chinese Cuisine's interior was spacious and rather stunning with its ornately decorated Chinese decor. Like several mid-upscale restaurants, Summit Garden has an open dining area that is also available for large parties, weddings, and private parties. The space allows diners to have an enjoyable and comfortable experience without being seated in a cramped space.

Upon entering, we were welcomed by the hostess and seated at our reserved table. Due to the extensiveness of the menu, we decided to get recommendations from the owner, Kenneth Choi, who chose all of the following items for us to try. The extensive menu consisted of several traditional Chinese dishes, but they do have set meals as well. I would say that the set meals offer more of a value, and is highly recommended if you want to try more items.



We started off with the Peking Duck; one of the most popular menu items at Summit Garden Chinese Cuisine. The Peking Duck was sliced table-side, and served with pancakes, sauce, and scallions as toppings. The pancakes came in a steamer basket with several ingredients as garnishes. The pancakes were rather big, and soft, which went well with the crispy and well-seasoned duck skins. Don't forget to pack the pancake with a piece of scallion and cucumber each to enhance the flavor. This was a great first course, and I was looking forward to the next few courses.


As seen above, the Peking Duck was served in a traditional two course meal. First out was the duck skins with pancakes, and the second course was duck meat sautéed with vegetables to be eaten as a salad wrap. The portion was more than enough for two people, and arrived beautifully plated.


Another popular option was the Wok-Fried Beef Tenderloin with Asparagus in Maggi Sauce ($17.95). Please note that pictured below is of the half portion, as we wouldn't be able to eat the full one considering that there was also a lobster. The beef tenderloin was tender and well-flavored with the Maggi Sauce.


 One of the highlights of the night was the lobster, which was served Hong Kong style, where the lobster was fried and seasoned. I love seafood, so the Wok-Fried Jumbo Lobster (2 pounds) was quite an impressive feast. The lobsters at Summit Garden Chinese Cuisine was served Hong Kong style, but they modified it slightly. It wasn't the traditional fried lobster from Hong Kong. Rather, I was told that their version was more of a modified version, as they use deep fried fish as well to create a balance in flavor. The lobster here was not super salty, which I enjoyed! Additionally, the lobster meat was tender and succulent. 


There are some Japanese-inspired dishes on the menu including this Fried Japanese Style Tofu ($11.95). Japanese tofu is a popular Japanese appetizer that is often found in many restaurants and izakayas. Summit Garden Chinese Cuisine's interpretation of the tofu dish was not the traditional style. Rather, they made it their own with a hint of Chinese flavoring in the sweet and savory sauce. The portion was very generous, and the tofu themselves were nice and plump.



We ended the night off with a light dessert; Mango Pudding. The dessert wasn't overly sweet, and there was a nice aroma of mango despite no mangoes being used in these desserts.


 Summit Garden Chinese Cuisine is a lovely Chinese restaurant in Mississauga, and perfect for all occasions. They are open for weekend dim sum, lunch, and dinner 7 days a week.

Social Media

Disclaimer: The food provided in this post was complimentary. However, all of the opinions expressed in this review are of my own.


Summit Garden Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Summit Garden Chinese Cuisine

by on Saturday, September 24, 2016
  Summit Garden Chinese Cuisine is an authentic Chinese restaurant on Winston Churchill Blvd and Dundas St in Mississauga. They have been...