Tag Archives: Chinese

Lychees and Pennywort

Lychees and Pennywort

Perhaps I should start a new blog that is solely dedicated to eating in places I get to by bicycle around the GTA… but for now I will just continue to post these events (of which there have been many lately) here. If it gets annoying, let me know.

Pavillion of Friendship

Mississauga. A territory I have rarely ventured. As a downtown Toronto kid, I am saddened to say, and feel like a bit of a snob, but I really don’t know the ‘burbs. Of course, Shawn Micallef’s recent book “Stroll” is helping to open my eyes to the beauty of these vast landscapes, but what is truly getting me out of my comfort zone is my training and cycling all over the GTA. I had no idea where I was going to go yesterday, and wanted to avoid all multi-use recreational paths and trails as beautiful days mean high pedestrian traffic. Nice for pedestrians out for a stroll, not so nice for cyclists trying to increase their average speed.

Juicy

The previous night I had ridden on the back of a motorcycle all the way out to Guelph Line on Dundas and had noticed an mysteriously elaborate gate leading into the Mississauga Chinese Centre just west of Tomken Rd. I took notice, was intrigued but didn’t think I would ever go there.

'nough said. "Perviously frozen duck"

The next day, however, when I headed in a westerly direction on two pedal powered wheels without knowing where I would end up, it dawned on me that this would be an excellent destination and probably a decent lunch. It was only 20km out of the city, so I probably shouldn’t have turned around there or taken a break that early, but the beckoning of the red and gold rooftops, the lions so proudly welcoming in visitors to the mall, and the hustle and bustle of families doing their Sunday errands was too exciting to ignore. I did a loop around the parking lot sussing out the scene, and decided to park by a grocery store sporting piles of fruit outside the front door. The security guard was less than impressed that I wanted to lock my bike up to his precious fence, and after I asked him three times not to touch my bike, he finally backed off. I don’t think there are many cyclists around those parts… kinda sad that mine was the only bike I could see in the whole place. Didn’t stop me from fully enjoying the cheerful music, open air meat freezers, styrofoam and cellophane wrapped piles of produce, and quizzical looks I was getting walking around in my spandex cycling gear.

After sucking on six perfect lychees and taking one regrettable sip of a pennywort drink, I moved on to dim sum. The cavernous Sun Sun Seafood Restaurant was nearly empty, save a few tables at the front, but I sat down and eagerly awaited the rolling carts bringing little packages of joy to my table. I opted for chicken

Sun Sun Dim Sum

feet, steamed shrimp and scallion dumplings, and shrimp cheong fun. The chicken feet were tasty, and fatty and juicy, but didn’t quite live up to Pearl at Queen’s Quay Terminal. The dumplings were very good, and my body was craving the simple carbs of the casings like crazy, so they disappeared quickly with a bit of help from a dip in some hot sauce and chinese mustard.

Shrimp Cheong Fun

Cheong fun is by far my favourite dim sum dish, and the slimy rice noodles rolled up around chewy shrimp and coated in oil and sweetened soy sauce. These ones were good, but cold, and had lost some of the slimy quality that I adore, the qualities that make the rice noodle roll slip around your mouth and down the hatch like an oyster. I managed to finish almost all of what I had chosen off the carts, took my full belly back to my bike and had a sluggish ride home. Not sure I would venture there alone again for dim sum in the late afternoon, but perhaps at peak hours with a table of ten, the experience would be awesome!

I wish I had a mom who made dumplings…

Today friends and I went for a celebratory dumpling snack session at the newly located Mother’s Dumplings. My very excited friends have just bought a house, and wanted to tell me the news in person, over coffee, about this BIG step. I am so proud of them, and can’t actually get my head around the fact that my contemporaries are buying houses, but that’s besides the point. (Last night my very dear old friend from Georgia also told me that she had bought a house in a subdivision in the suburbs of Atlanta, complete with two car garage…so very different scenarios, but it seems to be a burgeoning theme…).

Steamed Dumplings

So, food, of course, to celebrate. As we were already in the market, Kensington that is, we decided to head over to Spadina and check out the new location and test out the scrumptious little dumplings. It took us all of about 2 minutes to read the menu, decide on a smattering of yummy sounding dishes, and then gab about the house and life until our order was brought to our table, freshly rolled, filled, and pinched.

We shared “Boiled Vegetarian Chives and Noodles Dumplings”, “Steamed Vegetarian (bak choi, mushroom, tofu) Dumplings”, “Smashed Cucumber Salad”, and “Da-lu noodles (meatless option)” and “Wonton (northern style) Soup”. Unfortunately there is liberal use of cilantro at Mother’s Dumplings, which I wasn’t expecting and which I loathe, as a garnish on many of the non-dumpling dishes. The Smashed salad that I was so intrigued by from the listing on the menu was inedible because of those delicate green leaves, and I couldn’t partake in the Da-lu or Wonton Soup, so I’ll refrain from commenting on those. My friends seemed to like them very much, for what it’s worth, albeit they did add a lot of hot sauce, soya sauce, vinegar, and chili oil to everything.

But the DUMPLINGS! O My My, they were good. Three ladies worked side by side at the same counter churning out the pretty packages. One made the balls of dough for the skins, the next lady rolled them out and the third lady filled and pinched them closed. Filled up generously in 18 different variations, there’s something for everyone (as long as you can eat wheat). Customers also have the option of taking the little parcels home as take out, or frozen.

I wish I had had more time to watch the ladies in the kitchen work their magic through the glass pane that kept us apart, but had to eat and run.

Avoid the tea which smells and tastes like moth balls. Do eat the dumplings.

Dipping Sauce Preparations

Gregory’s Special Dipping Sauce Concoction

1 1/2 Tbsp Soya Sauce

1 tsp Vinegar

1 tsp chili oil

Mix in the appropriate little dish and use to dip your dumplings. (If not spicy enough, Gregory also suggests using “cock sauce” or Sriracha)