So my success in baking this week is inversely proportional to my success in finding good Chinese food this week. Whereas all my baking projects have been stymied, I have been exceedingly lucky in getting some good food tips. Hot off the successful "Quest for Ming", I bring you "Lost and Found: The Tapioca The Chef"!
SO I happened to be talking to this lady about Chinese food (it turns out she might be pretty good at cooking Shanghai style cuisine - and I might even have another tip for Shanghai cuisine - but I am still working on that one), when she says "do you like spicy Chinese food?". She then tells me about a new Szechuan resto that has opened up, and mentions that "the female cook left another restaurant recently and opened up this new place". Upon further questioning, she tells me that she thinks the previous resto was Tapioca The! She makes a little map, writes the name of the resto in Chinese, and says "very spicy food".
So I went for lunch. This is a very nice space, very airy, very modern. I was only able to try one dish as I was alone. I had the garlic sauce eggplant with rice. I was told it was only mildly spicy, but I beg to differ, I would call it moderately spicy (very encouraging if you are a spice head!). The eggplant was silky smooth, and swimming in a pool of hot chili oil studded with garlic and chili seeds. At first I was worried about the puddle of oil, and that the dish might be too greasy. But no - the chili oil is glorious with the eggplant, the whole dish is spicy and pungent and belly-warming. I can't wait to taste more dishes!!!
The menu is full of very intriguing items, such as the beloved cumin beef, chili chicken, ma po tofu, lotus saute, and items featuring pig tongue, pig heart, pork ear, braised swamp eel, pork stomach, tripe, etc. A quick perusal of the dishes on other tables revealed large quantities of chili peppers strewn throughout the dishes. They also have the usual suspects like beef with broccoli and General Tao chicken for those of you with less adventurous eating partners.
Prices are a little higher than the usual Chinese resto, with prices ranging from $6 -16 per plate, but the portions seem very generous, so I think you could feed a crowd with less than one dish per person. They also offer a lunch special, $10 for soup, main, rice, tea. They are open 7 days a week, from 11:00 to 23:00 Monday to Friday, and 14:00- 23:00 weekends. I enquired about the chef, and I believe she indeed worked at Tapioca The before (although anyone who speaks the language may want to confirm this fact, I am not so good at communicating in Chinese of any dialect).
I am going to have to go back very soon!!!
2350 Guy ( just south of Sherbrooke)
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