Restaurant: Yunnan Rice Noodles (Brossard, Canada)

Asian food is having this nice interesting wave on the Montreal South Shore lately, especially in the Chinese noodles sort of thing. Yunnan Noodles has also picked up especially in Chinatown so its nice to see it come into the South Shore as well. Yunnan Rice Noodles hasn’t been opened for a long time (I don’t remember when it opened) but finally got a chance to go check it out.

Yunnan Rice Noodles are also known as “crossing the bridge” noodles which derives from a Chinese tale about a wife bringing lunch to her scholar husband. The menu actually had the story written out for those who didn’t know about its origins before. However, while noodles is the focus, the traditional style rice noodles is the actual experience while the other ones feel like it is more like the normal experience. I’ll explain later when I talk about the food. At the same time, there is a free helpings of noodles (just the noodles, not the ingredients). Also, there are other foods on the menu such as appetizers and such as well as a pretty good selection of tea as the back has something like a tea “bar”.

Appetizer

Peanut Butter Dumplings

Slightly spicy because of the chili oil and mixed with peanut butter sauce, these dumplings are pretty good. They definitely have a nice kick to them. The taste of the actual dumplings are a little mild and perhaps for some, even bland, but then my taste buds are adapted to the milder flavors so it was alright for me.

Main Meals

Traditional Rice Noodles

Traditional Yunnan Noodles Traditional Yunnan noodles

The concept of the Yunnan Rice Noodles is that the noodles is separate from the ingredients and the soup so everything is added in in sequence with the meats going in first, the veggies and I honestly can’t remember if you put the noodles first or last. Point is, everything ends up being added to the broth and it gives it this more crispy sort of taste and the noodles don’t get as soaked up in the broth. Its an interesting concept and as with many soup noodles style, the broth is really the key to all the flavors as well as the texture of the noodles and this one delivered on both of those elements.

Chicken Leg Rice Noodles

My friend got the Chicken Leg Mushroom Noodles (something like that..can’t remember the exact name) and its one that already has everything inside like normal noodle bowls. I had a little taste of the broth and its a little more salty and other flavors mixed in. My friend said that its good. It looks interesting especially as it has goji in it as well.

Overall, Yunnan Rice Noodles is a decent spot. The service was good, the decor was comfortable and the food was pretty good and the prices are relatively good as well.

Have you had any Yunnan rice noodles before?
Is the noodle/ramen phase hitting wherever you are?

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Goodfood Recap #38

goodfood

Welcome to the next Goodfood recap! Its been about a month since the last box. This time is mostly all new recipes, except for one but I think that one had changes but can’t be too certain.

Honey-Glazed Salmon
with Roasted Pepper & Corn Salad

honey glazed salmon

Easy to make and very delicious. The husband loved this meal a ton as did I. There’s a freshness to it especially with the spinach mixed into the rice and then having other parts of it cooked separately and put together in the end. Its always a nice little addition when the rice is spiced up with whatever ingredients. Plus, we love salmon but don’t usually eat it a lot since its still a bit pricey. To be fair, I have a hunch its only supposed to be one fillet usually but we got doubles for two of our recipes. If thats a case, a happy accident for us and a huge thanks to Goodfood for giving us more food. If not, the portion was extended a little for us which is always nice. 😉

Fresh Shanghai Noodles
with Peanut Sauce, Yu Choy & Cucumber Ribbons

fresh shanghai noodles

I’m always attracted to making the more Asian style meals. Its mostly because I understand the flavors but not usually sure how to execute it myself. While my mom has great cooking skills, she hasn’t been very articulate on how to replicate it. Its why a lot of Chinese cookbooks don’t really work. However, we have had the Shanghai noodles before. however, it feels like this one changed a little as well. I can’t be certain if its actually different but it feels a tad different but its still really good. I like the thick noodles used in Shanghai noodles as well as the peanut sauce mixture. The cucumber ribbons were the part that took the longest to do.

Korean-Style Fried Chicken Thighs
with Kimchi-Cucumber Salad & Sticky Rice

Korean Style Chicken Thighs

Our spicy meal of the box! Korean-style Chicken Thighs are pretty awesome actually. I’m not sure the husband agrees since he only said that its good. However, I thought it was pretty nice. I did however tone down the sauce because in the recipe it specified to only use half of it for medium spicy and I followed that and it turned out to be at the borderline of where I found it acceptable. The rice adds in the spice blend as well and boy, did that work out great. Plus, I love Sticky rice and this time was probably the time that it turned out in texture as I like my sticky rice. Everything else was pretty good here. The sauce was a bit of a hectic job since its a bigger pan (should have used a saucer) and the oil was just hopping everywhere. Either way, at least the hard work reaped this really delicious outcome.

Crispy Pork Cutlets
with Homemade Ranch Dressing & Salt & Vinegar Potatoes

Crispy Pork Cutlets

I can’t say that Goodfood has given out some spectacular pork chops/cutlets recipes yet. They never are my first place This one was okay. The salad was alright and the salt and vinegar potatoes were pretty decent. The pork cutlets were decent as well but nothing that will make me want to do this recipe again. However, my search for more pork chop recipes are in the horizon. Don’t get me wrong though, it was still good. I’m just not a huge fan of panko crusted anything so its more of a personal preference.

That’s it for this Goodfood Recap!
Have you been trying out any new recipes? Do you order meal subscription boxes like Goodfood?

Goodfood Recap #36

Goodfood (19)

Its been a month and time for another Goodfood box! This time had one repeat recipe and a few that I’ve seen but never found enough in the previous times to want to order the box. This time, we wanted to give it a go.

Let’s check it out!

Braised Cod
with Roasted Garlic Chickpeas & Blistered Cherry Tomatoes

braised cod

Kicking us off for any box is the fish recipe! This time we have braised cod. This meal was absolutely delicious. It would be paired perfectly with a baguette to just eat all the remaining sauce. I actually ending up making the closest thing I had: toast. The flavor is fantastic and the lentils give it such a nice bite. My husband cooked the fish perfectly. He actually took care of this one as he had a spontaneous day off. This is one that I’m definitely getting again if the opportunity presents itself.

Chipotle-Honey Chicken
with Pineapple, Cucumber & Tomato Salsa

Chipotle-Honey Chicken

This menu was pretty spicy. The chipotle completely covers any honey that was in there. To be honest, I think the meal works well because it has the whole rice and salsa so balance it out. Its still fairly intense (but that could be because I don’t eat spicy food a lot in the first place). My biggest issue of why I wouldn’t do this again was that I spent a good part of my time, extending the prep time a lot just taking out the seeds from the chipotle pepper and then chopping it up. That took a ton of time since it was my first time doing it.

Spicy Peanut Tofu Bao Buns
with Charred Miso Broccoli & Chili Mayonnaise

Tofu Bao Buns

Bring on the next fire-breathing dish. The chili mayonnaise was extremely spicy because of the sambal oelek which I only used half of the portion in the first part and then my husband also used half of the portion in the second part of when we had to use it. Props to the instructions for the broccoli being pretty accurate and it turned out to be pretty good. Plus they gave us much more than the recipe asked for. Bao buns are something that I don’t have frequently and a Taiwanese street food style and in this recipe, it is pretty decent. Its spicy but the different elements and the sauce and everything really pulls it together.

Fresh Udon Noodles
with Ground Pork & Napa Cabbage

Udon Ground Pork Napa

The last meal is the repeat meal that we’ve had before. I love udon noodle meals and this one is really easy to put together. Its almost like a one pan dish aside from the having to cook the noodles in advance and then it just basically turns into a stir fry. Plus, it tastes really great.

That’s it for this Goodfood recap!
Some new stuff and one repeat meal!
My favorite meal in box had to go to braised cod but then everything else worked well. 

Goodfood Recap #35

goodfood

We took a little break from the normal cooking so managed to order in 2 boxes this month for Goodfood. We’re definitely enjoying it while it lasts because if I remember correctly, we will be skip for the next month or so. This box has been some really interesting meals and to be honest, I saw most of them as being fairly successful.

Mushroom Dan Dan Noodles
with Yu Choy

Mushroom Dan Dan Noodles

The last Dan Dan Noodles weren’t awesome. I’m going to be honest that they weren’t but this one tastes fantastic. The two types of mushrooms used and the yu choy as the veggie base with the noodles and the sauce all turned out so great. I really enjoyed this noodle bowl a lot.

Skillet-Roasted Chicken Thighs
with Meyer Lemon, Zucchini & Olives over Zesty Quinoa

Skillet-roasted chicken thighs

We rarely cook with quinoa unless its for one of these boxes so its always refreshing to eat it. Its something that I have thought about incorporating more into our lives outside of these meal boxes. This meal was pretty good in general. Chicken thighs are always super tasty to eat but then my biggest issue with it was the olives and that is based on preference as I don’t like olives but my husband loved this because he loves them and loves everything else about it.

Coconut Chicken & Sweet Potato Stew
with Roasted Brussel Sprouts

Coconut Chicken Stew

So..this meal was considered somewhat of a fail on my part. I’m not sure if I just didn’t follow the recipe properly or the recipe didn’t quite work with my appliances but this meal took about 3 times its estimated time. Usually for me, if there’s more cooking involved, it might take almost double the estimated time. It tastes pretty good and stews are always very comforting to eat. The idea of coconut milk base and then having carrots and sweet potatoes is really nice as well. It just was an incredibly long time to cook..oddly.

Pork Chops
with Homemade Maple-Bacon Jam, Sauteed Bok Choy over Spinach Rice

pork chops

Welcome the star of this box. This meal is amazing! For one, the maple bacon jam is awesome. Literally, the best thing I’ve made from these boxes. Then the pork chops turned out good and paired with the jam is delicious. I like the spice blend that was mixed with the rice and the spinach. Then there’s the bok choy which always was great. I love this meal so much.

That’s it for this recap!
It was a pretty solid batch of meals.
It should be a month or so before we get another one of these boxes.
Just because of selection and time conflicts. 

Goodfood Recap #33

goodfood

After an over-extended break from Goodfood, we finally got back to one of these boxes. It was a huge help to get back to cooking some Goodfood meals especially with some cool new recipes to try out. They all looked very delicious so I was excited to give all of these a go.

Let’s check it out!

Shrimp Ramen
with Quick-Pickled Ginger, Spinach & Mushrooms

Shrimp Ramen

Seafood meals are always the first to be done. Its been a while we’ve done anything with shrimp. Its winter and ramen is a great option as a nice cozy food to warm up. Another really great about both shrimp and ramen and spinach because these foods all cook very quick so its a nice efficient meal. The only thing here that needed a different pot was to make the pickled ginger which is also a fairly easy thing to do also. In terms of taste, the broth here is what stands out. The pickled ginger has always been the portion of these meals that I don’t quite care for. Everything else from the fresh ramen to all the flavors here is pretty good.

Polenta-Crusted Chicken Breasts
with Endive-Spinach Salad & Honey-Herb Dressing

polenta-crusted chicken

I don’t normally make food thats heavy on the crusting and stuff. So, its a nice little change in pace to do this one. What really adds to this is that its actually pretty easy to put together. Plus for something with both the oven roasted and frying in pan, everything times together really well to do simultaneously and not feel too rushed. However, I didn’t actually try the salad on the side. It does look fresh and good, plus it uses endives which I’ve only ever cooked with once and still wondering how to incorporate it into other meals when possible.

Agedashi Tofu & Sweet Soy Dipping Sauce
Garlic-Furikake Green Beans, Daikon & Rice

Agedashi Tofu

I’ve only had Agedashi Tofu in restaurants. In my memory, it uses the softer tofu than the one used in this recipe. However, it is a fun little one to put together as well. On top of that, I’m a big fan of daikon but never know how to make it so this is a lovely way to do it especially since the seasoning in the rice as well also makes it mega delicious. I really liked this one a lot. Agedash Tofu’s magic is also in the sauce and this one is very similar to the Japanese restaurant around my area. Not my habit to cook a lot of Japanese food at home except with these boxes, however, its a nice change in pace from the normal. I’m probably going to make the rice, daikon and green beans outside of the box and make the fried tofu instead of the agedashi one though.

Spiced Pork Bowl
with Blistered Cherry Tomato & Pepita Salsa over Red & White Quinoa

Spiced Pork Bowl

The last meal we made was this bowl. We always love to make bowls because they are so convenient to put together. Credit goes to my husband for putting this together on the weekend when I had to go to work for some overtime and it turned out to be the star of the box for myself. The pork had delicious seasoning. The crunchiness of the lettuce and the acidity of the cherry tomatoes plus the quinoa blend all matched together so awesomely. I ended up eating both of the meals for dinner and lunch the next day. That is how good it is. Definitely one that I’m going to try to make on my own time.

Overall…this week was pretty good.
It had a lot of fun meals with all kinds of different spices and meats. 
Also, all the meals were within the 30 minutes cooking mark so efficiency also gets it some points.
My favorite goes to the Spiced Pork Bowl but everything was really good this time. 

Recap: Goodfood #27

goodfood

Welcome to the next recap of Goodfood for last week’s box! One repeat and a few that sounded pretty good. Bowls usually are surprisimg winners, burgers always have a nice twist and well, sometimes meatballs and couscous are the simple combo that we need.

Grilled Tofu Dragon Bowls
with multicolored carrots, snow peas & red rice

grilled tofu dragon bowl

Tofu isn’t our cooking specialty so a lot of it is either at my mom’s or when we get a Goodfood box. My husband isn’t a huge fan of it either. We ended up getting this because we have loves past meals in bowls. Granted, usually it is something I have generally tried before and this one, I haven’t. However, the tofu and the red rice is super nice. The sauce here is amazing. My only issue was the raw veggies which I went ahead to cook because I had a part of it raw and honestly didn’t enjoy it at all. I’ve always liked my vegetables cooked so that is honestly a personal preference.

Chicken Yakitori
with roasted carrots, chinese broccoli & miso butter

Chicken Yakitori

The repeat here is this chicken yakitori which still remains as delicious as what I remember. On top of that, I always forget to do it for the Battle of Ingredients but the recipe calls for roasting chinese broccoli in the oven and the leaves turns out like making kale chips. It comes out some delicious flavors and its mostly seasons with salt and pepper which is all very awesome. Plus, Jasmine rice is my favorite variety of rice so everything here really justifies why I like this meal a lot and enjoy making it also.

Paprika-Garlic Chicken Sandwiches on Pretzel Buns
with horseradish mayonnaise & green salad

paprika-garlic chicken sandwich

The husband took care of this meal and the next. Its been a crazy week for us so these meals had a lot of it just being myself eating it and him only tasting it. I’m not going to lie that I ended up skipping most of the salad because of the horseradish. They gave a warning of the spiciness of it and washing hands afterwards. Luckily, my husband put together only a little bit of horseradish so it worked really well without burning my mouth. The chicken spicing with the paprika and garlic is really delicious. I’m adding this recipe to my chicken burgers ideas whenever we ever think about it and want to change up from beef.

Pork Meatballs & Roasted Vegetables
with wild jungle peanuts & lemon balm couscous

pork meatballs & roasted vegetables

Finally, we wrap up with the pork meatballs and roasted vegetables on couscous. I have to say that the entire meal here is pretty well balanced. The tomatoes add a more acidic taste as tomatoes usually do with their more sour flavor but it works to give a lot of balance with the other vegetables added in here. The highlight here is the wild jungle peanuts which are specially picked from some region (Amazon, maybe? I can’t remember…) but taste pretty much like a peanut. The couscous is my issue as I had to pick out  the lemon balm because it was just too much in it and was so strong. Other than that, this was a pretty decent meal. I just need to remember to cut the onions into smaller pieces so the meatballs don’t have such coarse onions, making it stand out a ton. However, the spices are quite delish.

Overall, this was a pretty decent box. I liked everything fairly well. There were some issues here and there that makes me say that I love it with the obvious exception of the Chicken Yakitori. One more box next week and then we made the decision to drop the meal boxes to monthly basis for a while so we clear up some of our frozen meats in the freezer and eat some garden veggies from our garden and my mom’s garden, which she’s been sharing with us.

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.