Restaurant: Congee Queen (Thornhill, Ontario, Canada)

I always talk about Asian cuisine after going to Toronto. Its usually the closest place with good Chinese cuisine in particular since to be honest, Montreal has a lot of great restaurants but Chinese cuisine itself is a bit lacking. Its why I tend to avoid it whenever given the option. Sad, because I do truly love Chinese food. I mean, its not hard to imagine seeing as I am Chinese and my mom makes about the best Chinese food in town or its my best friend who also is a master in the kitchen.

Not surprising that the rare time that we all end up in Toronto for a wedding, we meet up for a dinner the night before to hang out. We never do double dates much seeing as we all have funky work schedules and commitments so this was a great time to catch up and have fun.

We lived at the Courtyard Marriott in Thornhill and right next door was the flagship store of Congee Queen. Let’s check it out!

Congee Queen

Congee Queen

Dinner Selections

Congee Queen

Crab Meat & Vegetarian Shark Fin served with Conpoy Rice in Chicken Broth

My best friend was the one who ordered this meal. She wanted to give this a try mostly for the vegetarian shark fin. It actually had a really  nice flavor. The textures are all there and the chicken broth was nice. I was originally worried that it would be too strong like on the salty side as broth sometimes tends to be, but it wasn’t like that.

Congee Queen

General Tao Chicken Rice

My husband mostly focused on eating this meal. General Tao is very much non-traditional Chinese food however, I don’t usually fuss over these things. My husband thought it was good although he did end up not eating all the huge pieces of chili peppers because those were really intense.

Congee Queen

Snow Pea Leaves with King Mushroom

One of my choices for the evening was this snow pea tips with oyster mushrooms. I think my description is the correct one but the one in the description is the one that is shown on the menu in case you ever want to get it at this restaurant. The season for snow pea tips is a little bit past so it was expected that they were more old in texture so it was more stiff and chewy. The mushrooms are always a nice alternative. I actually eat more of these types of mushrooms in Goodfood boxes and I really like them a lot. This veggie plate is a win. If we had it back in April when the snow pea tips were in season, then it would have been perfect.

Congee Queen

Pork Rib with Onion on Sizzling Hot Plate

The second dish that I picked was pork ribs. This is a pretty traditional dish at least for myself when we went to Chinese restaurants when I was younger. I don’t go to Chinese restaurants as much mostly because Montreal cuisine isn’t great but Toronto is a different story so I was excited to see how they would prepare this. This one was okay. I think we all agreed that it tasted okay but it was nothing too fancy and felt a little overpriced.

Congee Queen

Fried Eggplant, Minced Pork with Spicy Sauce

My best friend’s second choice was this dish which is an uber traditional Chinese dish. I was pretty full so I didn’t eat a whole lot of this one but it was fairly good. I’m not a huge eggplant eater but I do appreciate its health properties so I try to eat it more often and learn to appreciate it. This one was slightly spicy also.

Congee Queen had some pretty delicious meal. It does some cool dishes and sometime switches up some traditional meals to something of of a fusion of sorts. I do think that for the experience, it is a little bit more pricier than I would want to pay. I don’t mind so much paying for good food if there is something original but for the portion size and the price of some of the very common dishes, it definitely felt not exactly equal. Luckily, I am visiting and I don’t like Montreal chinese food so I didn’t mind it so much.

With that said, I am aware that for a congee restaurant, I didn’t have congee. We did have dinner but next time, if I was going for brunch or lunch, then that would absolutely make an appearance. Suffice to say, despite little things, Congee Queen is a place that I would go again when I head down to Toronto again.

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Recap: Miss Fresh #9

As I’ve been talking about recently, its been a busy time so what better week than to order another Miss Fresh box. The last one was just two weeks ago. However, this menu fit what we liked so why not, right?

Let’s get cooking! 🙂

Miss Fresh #9

Miss Fresh

Shrimp Rolls with Peanut Sauce

Miss Fresh

Shrimp Rolls with Peanut Sauce

This box was quite the adventure since I found my cooking motivation early in the morning as I scrambled to get this together and prepare for heading out to work. Particularly the first two recipes were made in the early hours however, they did turn out pretty good. The first was this shrimp rolls. I used to my shrimp rolls with my best friend however, she always took point and I just had to put it together so learning how to make this felt great because I’m a huge fan of this plus Miss Fresh’s recipe avocado which is a really nice twist since I don’t eat raw veggies so my husband made them with the cabbage while I had a simple one with vermicelli, shrimps and avocado along with the peanut sauce. The peanut sauce was really awesome and really made this dish delicious.

Asian Tofu Stir-Fry

Asian Stir-fry

 The first two meals are very easy to make. In fact, they are delicious as well. I’m a huge fan of stir-fry and its not only because I’m Chinese and grew up with it. The idea of tossing a bunch of stuff together in a wok and it turning into a meal is efficient. Of course, it is never as simple as tossing it together but how to cook what and when. We don’t get a lot of tofu and my husband’s not a huge fan of mushroom although he does tolerate shitake mushrooms. This dish made the house smell so nice and it is incredibly easy to do. Maybe one of my faves Miss Fresh recipe.

Shepherd’s Pie with Cauliflower Topping

Miss Fresh

Miss Fresh

Shepherd’s Pie

My husband loves Shepherd’s Pie. I just never make it because its a bit of a hassle. I hate meals where I need to cook and then bake. As you see, I’m all about efficiency. Shepherd’s Pie also has that mashed potato aspect which only is good with a decent amount of milk or butter. While I digest butter, I know my husband prefers milk and then there’s the whole corn issue. My health is ridiculous, I know. The price for not taking better care when I was studying in university. Now I’m getting preachy, so I’ll stop and get back on track. However, this one does a nice twist with a mix of mashed potatoes and cauliflowers. I do like the texture of it even though it only uses butter. The minced meat is seasoned well and its all very tasty. Definitely one worth giving a go a second time.

Pork Tenderloin with Apples, Brussel Sprouts and Rice

Miss Fresh

After the searing part…

Miss Fresh

Pork Tenderloin with Apples & Brussel Sprouts

The pork tenderloin is pretty easy to put together and it does taste good with just coating with coriander and a spices blend (cinnamon and something else). The searing part after 10 minutes each side gets about that look up in the top picture. Sorry for the blur. However, we’re not much for seared foods so I decided to cook it through instead in making the veggies portion. It turned out for the better and I really liked this one a lot as well. The apples add a little acidity to it that works well with the dish. I’m not huge on the apple cider vinegar part. I’ve tried it out a few times in some other Miss Fresh recipes and it adds a weird taste to it that takes time to like. Overall though, this one is good. I’d redo it but maybe change out the apples or maybe use something else than vinegar.

Overall…

Miss Fresh doesn’t fail us. I’d venture to say that this is one of the better boxes because all the meals were winners even if I would have tweaked it to match our tastes a little better. Shrimp Rolls definitely take the win for this one. That peanut sauce is to die for and the rolls are good even in its simplest form. I’m actually craving it as I write this up (not only because it is during my lunch break).

Toronto: Asian Legend & Sugar Marmalade

Toronto is a heaven for food, especially in Chinese or Asian food.  It probably has other stuff also, like I really like the baked goods also.

This time around, the time really pushed everything together so my food adventures really just was on Saturday evening.

If you want to see my other food adventures, you can see it HERE, HERE, HERE, HERE!I didn’t even realize I had that many posts about Toronto food…hmm…

Anyways, lets get the show on the road!

Saturday for dinner, we went to Asian Legend in Chinatown.  I’ve been to that one and the one in Markham a lot of times.  It has awesome food! The must-have is the Steamed dumplings..

asian legend dundas

Steamed soup-filled dumplings

I had my fave green beans as well but didn’t take pictures of it.  My cousin added on two other dishes: Sauteed Eggplants with House Sauce and Fried Rice Cake with Pickled Vegetables.

Asian Legend

Sauteed Eggplants with House Sauce

Asian Legend

Fried Rice Cake with Pickled Vegetables

All of the dishes were pretty delicious. I was obsessed with the eggplants dish. I’m not much of a fan of eggplants but the sauce was so tasty. 🙂  It was perfect for us three.

After that, we took a little 8-10 minute stroll to get dessert and my cousin took us to try a new dessert place called Sugar Marmalade.

I chose the Herbal Jelly.  My mom took the Black Sesame Paste while my cousin took the Almond Paste.  They eventually ended up mixing the two together.

Sugar Marmalade

Herbal Jelly

Sugar Marmalade

Almond Paste and Black Sesame Paste

The herbal jelly was actually pretty bitter, which makes the quality a lot better than I had expected for a dessert place.  I liked it a lot.  The texture was good as well 🙂 It had a pretty nice atmosphere also.  The service was decent.  I’ll probably go visit again if I was in the area.

Today’s a short post but maybe I’ll be back later tonight with another one!

Any food adventures that you had this week?