Chinese Beef & Lamb House restaurant
3591 Sheppard Ave East
After seeing the initial review on the Toronto Star, my wife and I decided to try out the newly opened Chinese Beef & Lamb House restaurant located at Sheppard and Birchmount in Scarborough. We arrive at around 3pm and the restaurant was about 1/5 full (it's a huge place). There appeared to be a few other non-chinese Muslims eating there as well, since I assume all of their meats are Halal.
The first thing we noticed was the scent of cumin, lamb and other spices in the air. The ambiance was as if we had literally stepped back into mainland China, right from the scenic wall painted art to the various laterns hanging from the ceiling. Surprisingly, the chef also came by and greeted all of his guests... I was shocked and impressed, since this is literally the first time I've seen a chinese chef come to socialize with his customers.
Please excuse some of my poor quality photos, since it was the first time I'd used my Motorola Razr for food pics.
Restaurant decor photos:
The menu is quite extensive, and features various forms of lamb preparations. Sorry, all of my menu photos were too blurry to be readable. They had photos of each dish in both Chinese and English, which made it a bit easier to order. We decided to try the following:
Lamb Skewers ($2 each) - rich with cumin spices, very tender and juicy with just the right amount of fat. There's a few places in Scarborough that are doing similar skewers, but this one was certainly the best by far.
(skewers in photo seem dark & burnt, but they're actually perfectly brownish in color)
Lamb Soup noodles - came w/ 2 types of noodles, the hand made flat/wide noodle was quite tasty, and a thin glass noodle on the bottom. Soup was light yet flavourful, reminded me of the soup that you drink after a hotpot meal. My wife wondered about MSG, since she was quite thirsty afterwards.
Lamb pan fried buns - looks big and bottoms were nice and crisp, but not much meat inside (you could take a full initial bite and still not have a single piece of meat in your mouth). Meat also seemed a bit bland, and it seemed to taste more like pork than lamb to me.
Deep fried fish pieces in dark sauce (can't remember the exact menu name) - fish was not fresh at all, lots of bone and sauce was boring. Definitely AVOID this one.
Chinese mushrooms surrounded by bok choy - nicely presented, dark rich sauce for mushrooms and buk choy was fresh. Whole dish was soaking in a clear broth of oil/water and ?corn starch. A good dish but nothing outstanding.
Our final bill, after tip and tax, was $35 for the 5 dishes. They even accept Visa cards. Will definitely need to try it one more time to get a feel for a few more dishes.
Please post if you've also been there and can recommend any of their other dishes.