So Scott texted me while I was at work and proposed that we hang out tonight which is not something I’d usually do but I was tempted with gelato. I have a weakness for sweets so I couldn’t resist.
He lives in the west end and has never been to the Danforth before so we had a good time walking around. And despite the disturbing squid video I posted earlier, we had this really tasty grilled squid dish.
And of course, I discovered earlier this summer through Alex that Dolce Gelato opened up a second located on the Danforth so I had to go visit. I tried out lemon/raspberry and Scott had espresso.
Oh and we’re also cool and talk across subway platforms.
My aunt Linda didn’t have to work today so we went out to grab lunch together and to do some grocery shopping.
We ended up at a restaurant that served Shanghai cuisine and as you can see, she helped me out by getting me an English menu complete with pictures!
We started off with a couple of cold dishes. The first being a spicy salad of soy beans, preserved vegetables, and thinly sliced tofu and bamboo shoots. I’m not generally a fan of spicy foods, but in this dish the flavours between the red chili and sesame oil were nicely balanced.
The next dish we had was a cold jellyfish and shredded daikon salad. When I’ve had this at other restaurants, the jellyfish tends to be in thicker ribbons and daikon isn’t usually a part of the dish. However the daikon was a really nice addition because it was crisp and nicely complimented the chewy texture of the jellyfish.
A meal that encompasses Shanghai cuisine isn’t complete without the ubiquitous soup dumpling or “xiao long bao”. These little guys are one of my favourite types of dumplings despite their high level of consumption difficulty. You have to be extremely careful when lifting them out of the bamboo steamer baskets because if the skin rips, all the tasty meat juice inside spills out.
The trick is to use your chopsticks to gently grab the little nub of dough at the top of the dumpling and gentle wiggle it free of the paper lining the basket. Then you dip it slowly into a dish of vinegar and sliced ginger before eating.
I think that anyone who has had these dumplings before has also had the awful experience of hastily biting into one and having the juice explode everywhere. I tend to place the dumplings into my spoon (as shown in the picture) and then tentatively taking a bite from the top so that the majority of the soup stays inside of the dumpling instead of ending up all over my clothes. If you’re ever in a restaurant that serves Shanghai cuisine, I highly recommend that you try these!
And of course, I had to take a picture of the receipt just because our server’s name was Kitty. It’s a pretty typical “Chinese” name!
Kit spontaneously treated me out to dinner last because he is awesome. We ended up at a restaurant called La Palette which is located on Queen West and Augusta.
Here is a photo summary of our meal and I apologize for the poor quality of the photos. The restaurant had dim lighting and I was mostly working with a candle!
Duck pate with house brined pickled vegetables and grainy mustard
Duck confit with a mixture of spring vegetables and spaetzle
Horse tenderloin served medium rare with oat “risotto” and roasted carrots
Tarte au Citron
Plum creme brulee
Dorky happy food face
And this man is both a gentleman and a scholar!
Overall the meal was fantastic and Kit and I both left feeling quite happy. What I loved most was the quality of service coupled with the food. The food itself was classy but the atmosphere of the restaurant was really comfortable and relaxed as opposed to the stuffiness I’ve felt from other upscale places. This is a restaurant that I would not hesitate about visiting again.
Also horse meat is delicious and I don’t care what you say. (I used to go horseback riding so I felt a little bad about it. Just a little.)