Category Archives: General

The Joys (And Not So Much the Joys) Of Cheap Chinese Food

If there’s one defining quality of being a major metropolis, a “world class city” if you will, it is undoubtedly having a hockey team that despite having tons of money and a psychotically loyal fanbase can never win the championship. CORRECTION! It is undoubtedly having heaps of access to cheap Chinese food, preferably of the all-you-can-eat dinner buffet variety.

Sure, you can go to any old strip mall and there’s even odds there will be a Pick-N-Mix inside it. But going to a Pick-N-Mix is like going to a McDonald’s for a hamburger – there is no adventure to be found! There is never the thrill of eating Shanghai noodles that may or may not have been shoelaces, there is never the occasional thought popping into your head of whether the spicy BBQ pork is, in fact, actually pork, and there is most certainly never the thrill of eating a dish that actually turns out to be tasty and delicious. This is because in addition to being boring, Pick-N-Mix also sucks the bag.

One such establishment I recently tried out is the imaginatively named Yonge Street Chinese Restaurant,located at 1290 Yonge Street (north of Davisville). The YSCR, in addition to being a cheap buffet place, also does freshly made dim sum and makes all their own desserts fresh – but I’m not here for that. I’m here for thebuffet, baby.

The only real way to grade a cheap Chinese buffet is to try as many of the dishes served as possible and then go pass/fail on each. If the restaurant serves up more winners than losers – congratulations! You may actually want to eat here again, possibly even when sober!



Black Bean Beef: Solid black bean sauce. Veggies nicely cooked – still firm and crunchy but not too raw. Beef not amazing, but not objectionable either. PASS.

General Tso Chicken: Passable chicken. Sauce a bit too sweet, not spicy enough. Vegetables overdone.FAIL.

Spring Rolls: Unfortunately, like most cheap buffet places, the YSCR alternates daily between egg rolls and spring rolls – and egg rolls hold up a lot better underneath heat-lamps than spring rolls do. Spring rolls get mushy and limp. Like these spring rolls. They’re not bad tasting, implying that originally they probably would have been quite okay before put under the heat lamp for two hours, but… FAIL.

Spicy BBQ Pork: Absolutely horrible. Bland sauce, gristly, unappetizing pork, vegetables limp and soggy.FAIL.

Chicken Balls: I know, I know – how can you grade chicken balls? But you can – these chicken balls, unlike some, have decent-quality chicken in them. And the batter’s okay. PASS.

Steamed Rice: Nice and sticky. PASS.

Spicy Eggplant: I hate eggplant, but the sauce is really nice. PASS, if you like eggplant. I hope you people appreciate that I am SUFFERING FOR JOURNALISM here!

Sweet And Sour Pork: Pleasantly caramelized sauce on the pork, which for some reason is much better than the pork in the spicy BBQ dish. Veggies nicely done too. PASS.

Curry Chicken: A mix of unboned chicken and boneless chicken is not something I enjoy discovering on my third bite. Furthermore, the curry sauce is wimpy and does not even make me shed a single tear in spicy pain.FAIL.

“Golden Fried Potatoes”: Alternately known as “hash browns fried in sesame oil.” Which actually is just as good as it sounds. Delicious, cooked just right, and the sesame flavouring is fantastic with the potato. Probably very bad for me though. PASS.

Shanghai Noodles: Rubbery and overcooked. Lots of onions, though. I like onions. But those noodles – man.FAIL.

Steamed Vegetable Medley: It’s a steamed vegetable dish. What do you want me to say? They put vegetables in a steamer and steam them. There is literally no skill involved in making steamed vegetables.PASS.

Lemon Chicken: Excellent chicken, nice breading, good sweet lemon sauce that isn’t overpowering, and the vegetables are just right. PASS.

My free fortune cookie: “A friend is a soul shared with another body.” First off, that’s mangling the popular cliche, and second, it did not tell me my future even slightly! What a gyp! FAIL.

So, by my count that’s 8 good and 5 bad, so the Yonge Street Chinese Restaurant wins! I celebrate their win with a package of their homemade sesame cookies, which are excellent (they also make butter and peanut cookies, as well as a very sweet mango pudding). And I am alive, for I have tasted adventure. Admittedly, adventure in the form of cheap Chinese food. But adventure nonetheless.


Chicken Noodles


500 gms of Noodles
300 gms Soy Sauce
200 gms Ginger cut into small pieces
300gms Garlic cut into small pieces
Coriander leaves
1 Onion cut into long pieces
pre cooked chicken pieces -200 gms
Pepper & salt to taste
cloves, cinnamon, cardamom – each 3 pieces.


* Boil the Noodles when it is cooked well keep it a side, and let the water to drain
* Heat a little oil in a pan.
* Fry the cinnamon, cloves, cardamom, onions, cooked chicken pieces, ginger and garlic .
* Add the soy sauce and the pepper to it.
* After the soy sauce starts to boil add the cooked rice and mix it well
* Garnish with coriander leaves.

Chinese Food Recipes Tips And Guide

My friend simmon’s family cooks a Chinese food at least once a month. It looks like a tradition. Everyone clears the schedule. He sister, parents, He uncles, He brother gather around the family kitchen to taste meal from the Orient. Yes, Chinese food. They really love it because it is easy to follow. One of our favorite is the sauces. It’s very delicious for our tongue. Our family can adapt with the variety of flavorful spices.

The main taste of Chinese food or Chinese cooking depends on the ingredients of the sauces. If you are fan of Chinese food, you must know it. These cooking sauces are used in a variety of delicious authentic recipes. Fried rice, for example, is made of spices and sauces that make the delicious taste.

Kids really like a delicious meal. There are a lot of Chinese foods for children. Try to serve the dipping sauce in a little bowl to accompany appetizers like egg rolls, spring rolls or pot stickers. Let them choose the bowl and you’ll see their faces light up. By the way, there are so many different Chinese cuisine types of flavors that can be implemented into everyday menu. Some of the famous are sTheyet and sour sauce, garlic sauce, hot mustard and chili oil.

They use chili oil to enhance the flavor. Chili oil is made of chili peppers. Hot mustard and garlic sauce are delicious sauces. It is used for Chinese appetizers. And another favorite in Chinese food is sTheyet and sour sauce. If you interested with those sauces, you can try to give your family Chinese food for dinner. The sauces are easy to make.

Nowadays, the sauces have become very popular around the world because They can make it easily and it has a great flavor when you add to Chinese meals. It’s so adaptable. Chinese cuisine has become our favorite. You can try it out. Happy cooking!

Regional Cuisine: Hunan Cuisine

Hunan cuisine shares many commonalities with its close, more well-known cousin, Szechwan cooking, both cuisines originate in the Western region of China. The climate there is sub-tropical – humid and warm enough to encourage the use of fiery spices to help cool the body, and to require high spicing of food as a preservative. With similarHunan cuisineclimate, the two regions also share many ingredients – rice is a major staple in both diets, and chili peppers are an important part of most dishes. The two styles of regional cuisine are similar enough that many restaurants and cookbooks lump them together under ‘Western Chinese cooking’ or simple refer to both as Szechwan cuisine.

There are some important differences, though. Hunan cooking is, for one thing, even more fiery than most Szechwan dishes. Szechwan dishes often include chili paste for rubbing into meats, or including in sauce. Hunan chefs include the entire dried chili pepper, with its intensely spicy seeds and rind.

The differences in the actual land of the two regions also has an effect on the differences in their cuisine. The Szechwan region is mountainous jungle, with little arable land for farming. The Hunan region, by contrast, is a land of soft rolling hills and slow rivers. Because of its fertile hillocks and valleys, the Hunan region has access to an amazing variety of ingredients that aren’t available to Szechwan chefs. Seafood and beef are both far more common in Hunan cooking, as are many vegetables.

The land, and the hardships associated with it, also give the Hunan more time to concentrate on food. Hunan cooking features complex and time-consuming preparation time. Many dishes begin their preparation the day before they are to be served, and may be marinated, then steamed or smoked, and finally deep-fried or stewed before they reach the table. The same attention is paid to the preparation of ingredients, and it is said that Hunan cuisine is the most pleasing to the eye of all Chinese cuisines. The shape of a food in a particular recipe is nearly as important as its presence in the final dish. Hunan chefs are specialists with the knife – carving fanciful shapes of vegetables and fruits that will be used in preparing meals, or to present them.

Chinese Hunan CuisineHunan cuisine is noted for its use of chili peppers, garlic and shallots, and for the use of sauces to accent the flavors in the ingredients of a dish. It is not uncommon for a Hunan dish to play on the contrasts of flavors – hot and sour, sweet and sour, sweet and hot – pungent, spicy and deliciously sweet all at once. Hunan chefs are noted for their ability to create a symphony of taste with their ingredients. A classic example is Hunan spicy beef with vegetables, where the beef is first marinated overnight in a citrus and ginger mixture, then washed and rubbed with chili paste before being simmered in a pungent brown sauce. The end result is a meat that is meltingly tender on the tongue and changes flavor even as you enjoy it.
More and more, restaurants are beginning to sort out the two cuisines, and Hunan cuisine is coming into its own. Crispy duck and Garlic-Fried String Beans are taking their place alongside Kung Pao Chicken and Double Cooked Spicy Pork. But there is no battle between the two for a place of honor among Chinese Regional cuisines – rather, there are only winners – the diners who have the pleasure of sampling both.

Chinese Culinary Culture

Being one of the important fruits of China‘s age-old culture, the Chinese food and drink culinary art enjoys a high prestige both at home and abroad. The whole world looks upon eating a Chinese meal as a high-leveled enjoyment. The Chinese people whether living in or outside the county all share a proper sense of pride for such a rich Chinese food and drink culinary culture. Thus, to regard the Chinese food and drink culinary art as a culture, a science, or an art is entirely justifiable.

The Chinese culinary culture has a distant source and has become well established. The legend has it that the Chinese culinary culture originated with Yi Yin, a virtuous and capable minister of the Shang Dynasty (15th – 11th centuries B.C). It can be seen that China initiated the culinary art as early as the Shang and Zhou (11th century to 221 B.C.) times. With the growth and development of production and economy during various periods, the culinary techniques too registered step by step heightening and improvement—-from brevity to variety, from rudimentary to advanced stage, from day-to-day snacks to feasts, even to palatial dishes and delicacies. During about the time from the Spring and Autumn Period (770-476 B.C.) and the Warring Stated Period (CA. 475-221 B.C.), to the Sui-Tang period the Chinese dishes began to be marked apart by Southern and Northern tastes. During the period of the Tang (618-907 A.D.) and the Song (960-1279 AD) dynasties, people went in a great deal for eating and distinct local colors were added to the Chinese dishes, such as the Northern food (”Lu” or the Shandong dishes), the Southern food (”Yue” or the Cantonese dishes), the Chuan food (Sichuan dishes), Wei Yang (Yangzhou) and the vegetarian foods. Records respecting each kind of dishes have been handed down. No matter the four oldest groups (i.e., the Sichuan, Cantonese, Shandong and Yangzhou groups) or the eight groups that gradually matured after the Tang and Song Dynasties (the Sichuan, Cantonese, Shandong, Yangzhou, Beijing, Anhui, Zhejiang and Hunan groups) or the Fujian, Jiangxi, Hubei, Henan, Liaoning groups, as well as the Muslim feasts prevalent throughout the country. Each of these famous groups has its own long history and characteristic traditional techniques; these put together have truly for the Chinese culinary culture produced a rich, sublime fruit borne out of the policy of letting a hundred flowers bloom and a hundred schools contend.

Shanghai is China‘s biggest port city. Since the Opium War and the opening of the five ports to foreign trade, it was thronged by traders from all over the world and was densely populated by the Chinese and foreigners, and the city became thriving and prosperous. In the wake of economic growth, the several big culinary blocs poured into Shanghai one after another. Till the 1920s, restaurants featuring the various kinds of dishes, like the Cantonese food, Sichuan food, Beijing food, Yangzhuo food, Ningbo food, Anhui food, Muslim feast, Tianjin food, Suzhou and Wuxi food and Shanghai‘s local dishes together with Western cafes, numbering near a hundred, had emerged in Shanghai. So the saying “Satisfying eating is in Shanghai” is actually not coined by the Shanghailanders of today, but prevailed already some 80 years ago. Undoubtedly local people would enjoy their own food quite much. each of these sayings is correct, because in each place there are distinctly-colored regional culinary blocs and the delicacies of different tastes available in Chinese food, a fact acknowledged the world.