I have an ongoing commitment to try all of the restaurants in the T&T plaza at Warden & Steeles, and Fortune Stone, recently opened, was the next on my list.
I think this is the style of restaurant that my brother's fiancee told me is called 'Hong Kong Cafe' but I could be misremembering. In any case it's an asian-owned restaurant serving an approximation of western styled foods like spaghetti and meatballs.
I ordered one of the dinner specials - black pepper steak, with soup, bread and dessert. I also ordered a grass jelly and redbean drink.
The best thing served came first - the bread. Served hot (though no doubt reheated rather than fresh out of the oven), it was slightly sweet and reminded me of the 90 minute bums my mother made when I was a child.
The second best thing served up came last - dessert. It was a serviceable mango custard with good intensity, though of a fairly artificial flavour.
Everything in between was varying degrees of disgusting. Cream of mushroom soup was canned mushrooms floating in an insipid white broth. The salt the soup lacked was apparently used in the masses of slightly congealing black pepper sauce that drowned the seriously undercooked and very, very tough steak. Blah steamed veggies were almost as mushy as the overcooked spaghetti which would not have seemed out of place in a can labelled Chef Boyardee, but had no place in a restaurant. Even the drink was bad - not sweet or rich and creamy as it is at the Pho place on the other side of the building, it was dull and flavourless and watered down even before the copious ice melted into it.
I was left with the overwhelming impression that it was all a bad joke. We've been eating such badly bastardized chinese food for so long, somebody decided to inflict badly bastardized american food on the mostly chinese clientele instead.
I'm not leaving an address or phone number for this place. I wouldn't want to run the risk that one of you might accidentally go there.