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Crown Princess - An inconsistent and disappointed Chinese meal!!

Charles Yu | Dec 22, 201308:41 PM

As promised to fellow hound 'sloweater', here is a brief review of my dinner at Crown Princess tonight!

Yes! You heard me right! Tonight, 5 crazy foodies, with 'yours truly' included, braved GTA's worst winter ice storm ever, drove all the way down town to have dinner at Crown Princess - supposedly the Best downtown Chinese restaurant these days!

We ordered the following dishes:

- 'Great Grand Father' smoked soya free range chicken.
- Stirred fry Flank steak strips with Thai Sweet Basil
- Sweet and Sour Pork with fresh Pineapple.
- Stirred fry king prawns and sun dried shrimps with Chinese
preserved Olive Tapanade.
- Braised Yuba skin wrap with Asparagus and mixed mushrooms and
Lotus roots
- Stirred fry Beef with rice noodles, premium soya and yellowing
chives - aka Gone Chau Ngau Ho

By downtown standard, some of the dishes like the chicken was more than acceptable. In fact, even superior than its uptown brethren in taste and plate presentation. The chicken really exuded lovely smokey aroma and taste.

Unfortunately, disappointing dishes that followed far out weighed this single positive item!. The beef and prawns, for example, were both overly-impacted by the use of tenderizers, resulting in artificially tasting and funny textured protein morsels. The Yuba skin wrap was a total 'tasteless' disaster! Overly thick, chewy skin were used to wrap around strands of bland tasting vegetables and finished off with an equally bland tasting gravy! What an unappealing concoction! The Sweet and sour pork tasted good but the pork totally lacked the desired crispiness. Either the 'double fried' step was skipped or the batter recipe was a total failure! Terminology used to describe the stirred fry noodle was taken from a page of some of Hong Kong's best noodle specialists' menu, resulting in our high expectation. Unfortunately, the end result was another bland and lack luster effort. At $16, this overpriced and underwhelmed dish costs twice as much as 'Richmond Court' but offering only half the enjoyment!

For tasty and more reasonably priced Chinese fare, I would stick with uptown establishments! Once again, IMHO, the 2.5* Toronto Life rating was way off and totally misleading!

Though the food was a major disappointment, thank God the company was great and we all got home safely!!

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