Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Casa Victoria

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Went out to Casa Victoria last night for dinner, in Markham. Opened for less than a year, I believe, but I've been impressed every time I go. It's easy to find acceptable Chinese food in Toronto - it's far more difficult to find exceptional Chinese cuisine.

Dinner with my friends. Eating and drinking with JC is always a lot of fun. He's a serious wine collector/drinker, mostly into the great growths of Bordeaux. Lately, he's been buying into Napa, and he brought over a few bottles for dinner.

I really enjoy this restaurant. Great food. Tacky decor, but there's really no such thing as a well-designed Chinese restaurant. We started with a beautiful seafood soup. It's difficult to describe in English what it is, but it's almost like a thickened stew. Very savoury, with a perfect balance. Followed with a fried oyster on a mini-flatbread, with a sweet sauce. Maybe a bit too sweet, but good structure. Next course, a deep-fried pigeon. Extremely lean, but cooked well enough that it remained juicy. A beautiful crab was next, sauteed in dried herbs and chili peppers. Amazing texture. This was my favourite dish of the night. A diced meat and cashews dish came next, on a fried noodle basket. Well enough. Finished the meal with a noodle dish in a pork broth, and fried rice with shrimp and oysters. Lovely. Dessert was satisfying, a mix of a sweet bean soup, and coconut milk tarts. A full meal.

Of course, we enjoyed dinner with a 2006 Duckhorn Vineyards Merlot, Napa Valley. Good, ripe fruit, very New World, but with a surprisingly light elegance. Alcohol is well hidden for such a young wine, and tannins are quite integrated. Lacks a bit in complexity at the moment, and the oak is very clunky. Extremely spicy, with lots of cedar tones. JC gave me a bottle, so we'll see how this does in a few years.

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