Went to Taste of China Friday night. We were a party of 8. I recommended this place to my friends on the basis that Chowhounders had spotted Susur here a few times.
Bottom line: decent, adequate Chinese food. We probably did not order the right things. But, we went with the specials and chef's recommendations, generally. Susur may have been here before, but is probably not a regular.
We started with deep fried crab claw appetizers & hot & sour soup. The claws were good, but in other restos I have enjoyed the actual claw meat that is left attached to the actual claw; in this case, they took almost all of the claw meat out before surrounding it with the mostly shrimp stuffing.
Hot & Sour soup was good. I, personally, don't like Chinese pickles (which Kates wrongly identifies as pickled green peppers). And, I don't like floating, pink pieces of tomato in the soup. But, not bad. Better can certainly be had.
Crispy beef was good. General Tso's chicken was cloyingly sweet. Lobster fried rice had little lobster, but what do you want for $8.95? Spring rolls were quite decent. Deep fried salt & pepper squid was pretty good, but it's better at Wah Sing.
On the day after our visit, I espied Joanne Kates' review of this restaurant in the Globe and Mail. She visited twice, and offered mixed reviews. I felt the same way; most of our dishes were good, nothing more. A "Crispy" duck we ordered was not crispy nor very good. I wonder whether the Chinese know any other good preparation for duck aside from Peking style. The others I have tried have been yucky fatty messes; although I understand that the Chinese may be less averse to eating pure fat than Westerners.
Service was typically surly with one nice guy who was amused at my table's absurdly high aggregate food consumption.
I love Chinatown and still love trying new places down there.
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