Needed to grab a mid-evening bite last night and we were around Spadina, so decided to try Swatow based on a few positive comments here. Oh my God, I repent! I do not understand how this place stays open. I have never had such an unmitigated mess served to me in the guise of 'Chinese' food in my life.
I ordered my comfort food standby, Chili Pork Lo-Mein, not a complicated dish and received one of the weirdest platters I have ever seen. Strips of what I assume was pork (there was no flavour to confirm it) swimming in a pool of luminous red sauce atop very dry clumps of noodles. There were also strips of what appeared to be picked black fungus. I usually forego the accompanying broth as i like my lo-mein dry, but in this instance I had to drown this mess just to get it down and possibly add some flavour. If there was any chili hiding in there, it eluded me. The whole thing tasted like it came from a packet.
My wife ordered sliced fish with mixed veges, but despite ordering in Chinese received deep fried fish with sweetcorn sauce instead. Too tired and hungry to argue, we tackled it anyway. The dish should be renamed 'Cornstarch with rice and bits of corn and fish topped with more cornstarch'. The fish was obviously frozen and was mushy. The sauce was so thick and starchy as to be inedible and the whole thing completely lacked flavour. In two words: Bloody awful.
This is the kind of sub standard faux Chinese that was probably par for the course 30 years ago, but should be extinct by now, surely? I wasn't expecting gourmet cuinine from a Spadina joint, but this was beyond gross. Who goes here? And why?