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When I first started on my food blogging journey over two decades ago. Here in the GTA, for great Chinese ( Cantonese ) fare with a strong 'wok-hay' stirred fry bias, 'Fantasy Eatery' in Scarborough and 'New Choice' in Richmond Hill were my two favorite go to places. Of course there were other fine establishments like Sam Woo Seafood, Magic Wok or the high end Bayview Garden and Grand Yatt...etc. But when it comes to price/quality ratio, the former two were peerless. In fact, Fantasy Eatery was where I organized my first ' chowmeet '!
Fast forward two decades later. Sadly, most of the above captioned places have since closed down. Fantasy Eatery has moved from Scarborough to some out-of-the-way strip plaza in Richmond Hill. However, to my amazement, 'New Choice' is still going strong and even more surprisingly, still occupying the same location!
Tonight, after a multi-year hiatus, my family and I decided to take a gamble and give this place a long overdue re-visit! Frankly, we were all skeptical and none of us have an idea what the outcome will be?!
Well, I am pleased to report, we all had a wonderful and enjoyable outing. Though not all of the food we ordered were perfect, however, in my book, with 4 out of six dishes all receiving thumbs up from us, I would say our dinner was a success.
The four of us ordered 6 dishes. Soup-of-the-day was complimentary. We ( 2 male+2 female ) cleaned up everything!!
- Sha-Tin style roasted squab (at $13,80, it was a great deal)
- Stirred fry BC Clams with black-bean sauce.
- Sweet and Sour Pork
- Fried scallops and prawns with salted duck egg yolk
- Pan fried veal short-ribs with onions and Teriyaki sauce
- Sauteed water spinach with Malaysian Belachan.
Hands down stand-out was the ' best in class ' Fried scallops and prawns with salted duck egg yolk! Arrived at our table piping hot, every single morsels were perfectly seasoned, crispy/crunchy and totally grease-less! Heaven in every bite!
Sweet and sour pork was also very well executed. Hot and crispy, with just the the right amount of gooey glaze and not to tangy. One of the best rendition in town!
The full of wok-hay sauteed water spinach was tasty and complex. The slight spiciness added a welcoming dimension to the already exotic multi-dimensional taste profile.
Slight disappointment was the roughly prepared, overly chunky Veal short ribs. Compared to my reference yard-stick, that of Fantasy Eatery's version from years back, this version lacked the desired sweetness and smokiness. The Roasted squab, though seasoned nicely was just a touch overcooked and hence a tad dry. What a pity!
Lastly, I have to put in a word for the amazingly professional service we received from the couple of ladies who served us. It was above and beyond anything we experienced from a Chinese eatery in town! Due to a packed front of house and resulting under-performing AC, the restaurant was hot-hot-hot! However, iced water and piles of extra napkins were pre-emptedly provided to us without our making a request for them. What observation and super attentiveness!! Bravo!
Glad to find another top-notch place to replace the now defunct ' Judy's Cuisine '!
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