Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Royal Teahouse

After hosting dinner on Saturday, we were exhausted. So it was so wonderful for our friends to invite us out to dinner Sunday, at Royal Teahouse in Markham. We don't eat out often, and at least when it comes to Cantonese food, we still struggle with understanding how to order. We eat too differently, you see. So it's always good to eat out with Hong Kong natives, who can show us authentic Cantonese cuisine.

The meal was stunning. Heavy in seafood, we started with the most amazing fried fish - what they call bamboo skewer fish, in reference to the single bone running through it. Then, eel prepared two ways: steamed with a citrus/green onion dipping sauce, and deep-fried. Greens to cleanse the palate, before we continued on to lobster in Magi sauce. Finishing with fried glutinous rice. Amazing all the way through, reminding me once again that I've got love for the food we cook in Shanghai, but the finest Chinese cuisine belongs to the Cantonese.

My friend brought a few bottles of 2008 Groth Chardonnay, a great Napa Valley producer. Complex, beautifully integrated oak, austere and well extracted. Lots of intensity and impact, perfectly balanced; it would be fabulous to taste it again in 10 years. The restaurant owner joined us halfway for a drink. The man loves wine - a shame that I have yet to eat at a Chinese restaurant who provides the correct stemware. He graciously stepped into the kitchen himself to prepare us fresh egg tarts for dessert. They were extraordinary . . . piping hot, so tender, perfect in flavour and texture. Dim sum king indeed. Many thanks for dinner.


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