Monday, January 10, 2011
Quote of the week from Judge J.W. Quinn, Province of Ontario Family Court, Bruni v Bruni (November 29, 2010): "Despite the involvement of Niagara Family and Children’s Services, Ms. Katz [the psychologist], Mr. Leduc [the attorney for the children] and the court, the parties repeatedly have shown that they are immune to reason. Consequently, in my decision, I have tried ridicule as a last resort."
Tuesday, January 11, 2011
It would be an exaggeration to describe Lee Chung Café, 82 Madison Street, as modest. The very small space looks like a street coffee wagon that has lost its wheels. The counter on the left holds baked goods in plastic wrap. Opposite is a cooler for soda. In between are eight small, square-topped tables pushed together with no room to spare. The menu is a plain computer-printed sheet with machine-added yellow highlighting on about half the items. A handful of dishes are noted as Coming Soon.
On the other hand, Lee Chung is the only place where I’ve seen any reference to Myanmar cooking. Three soups were listed as Myanmar Fish Broth Noodle Soups and I ordered the basic model ($4.00). In case this wasn’t enough to keep me going, I asked for Fried Fish Balls on a Stick ($1.50), "too." I didn’t mind and wasn't surprised receiving two sticks of fried fish balls, five to a stick, about 1" diameter, lightly fried, closer to quenelles than gefilte fish. The soup was equally appetizing, a large bowl of hot, opaque broth with cilantro, a little onion and little fried clusters of something. There were lots of vermicelli and two hard-boiled egg halves (in turn, half a Marx Bros. line).
Wednesday, January 12, 2011
Too cold and snowy to go far, so I had a very good plate of chicken in curry sauce over chow fun noodles at Wo Hop upstairs.
Thursday, January 13, 2011
Don’t stop to read this; go immediately to C&L Dumpling House, 77 Chrystie Street (the name of Second Avenue below Houston Street). C&L is the best deal in Chinatown. Its dumplings (5 for $1.25) are as good or better than those at Fried Dumpling or Tasty Dumpling, and its premises are bright and airy, with room to seat 16 or so people. Its menu, unlike the other guys, is large (11" x 16") with 64 hot dishes. I had, in addition to the dumplings, a scallion pancake ($1) and Flat Noodle w. Peanut Butter Sauce ($2). My total bill was under $5 and I had more than enough to eat. The scallion pancake was closer to a warmed scallion bialy than the crispy creature I enjoyed at Shanghai Café last week, but it was very good and very filling. The medium portion of noodles, fettucine, not chow fun or vermicelli, had a mild peanut flavor; it was well-prepared but could have been more peanutty. No item exceeds $5.50 (Rice Noodle in Taro and Duck Soup – just a coincidence Marxists), and 50 dishes are under $5. Hurry, hurry.
Friday, January 14, 2011
Hop Shing Restaurant, 9 Chatham Square, is brand new; it opened today. While there were floral tributes, there was no sign of dragons, so I’m not sure whether the evil spirits had been properly dispelled when I entered. Dragons, however, seemed to be the only ones not crammed into the medium-sized rectangular space. I had to wait several minutes to be seated, needing to throw an occasional elbow or hip to maintain my position against aggressive avaricious Asian octogenerians.
I was seated at the table closest to the front door, furthest from the kitchen. I was initially concerned because the wagon ladies were rarely able to work their way through the crowd with their dim sum. Fortunately, the waiter was able to retrieve just about any of the 18 dim sum items listed on the menu from warming ovens in the front of the restaurant. I had 3 deep fried dumplings, 1 medium sticky roast pork bun (I saw some giant ones later), 3 beef balls, and shrimp rolled in rice noodles. The quality was average, but that’s not disappointing because it means average Chinatown food, not average Rte. 46 strip mall Chinese food. Now, here's the best part. The whole meal cost six bucks. Welcome Hop Shing. I enjoyed not spending much money with you.