Sunday, April 20, 2014

Dinner at Luckee

Run, don't walk, to Luckee... Susur Lee's new restaurant!

I took my friend there for her birthday dinner last night and we were both wowed by the food, the ambience, the decor, and the service. Luckee is an all-day dim sum restaurant but there is an additional (sizeable) menu consisting of other Asian-inspired dishes, including the peking duck inspired Luckee Duck, which was unfortunately sold out last night. I literally wanted to try everything on the menu but we only have two stomachs between us so we opted for the Chef's Choice... basically our waiter asked us our preferences and worked with the chef to bring out a series of dishes to suit our tastes. If ordering a la carte, our waiter recommended we order one dim sum dish per person and then around 2 main dishes to share. He ended up bringing us 3 dim sum dishes and 3 main dishes. Everything was very flavourful and incredibly delicious.

We started with a little amuse bouche type dish. These are soy marinated wood ear mushrooms with pickled cucumbers and bean curd skin (I think)... very tasty with a hint of spiciness. We were also presented with three sauces including a house made Sriracha.

The dim sum menu is on a little tick-off style sheet that is separate from the main menu. I read on blogTO that there is a cart service on the weekend between 11am and 3pm. Here are the dim sum dishes that were chosen for us!

Swatow Chicken and Preserved Vegetable Dumplings - $5 - these are very similar to Ham Sui Gok except they are made with chicken & preserved vegetables instead of pork & mushrooms. These were very yummy - but this is one of my favourite deep fried dim sum dishes as is, so I may be biased.

Long Xia Gow (lobster and asparagus dumplings) - $8 - this was my favourite dim sum dish we sampled. I prefer dishes that are steamed rather than deep fried and the flavour of these dumplings was mild yet delicious. I could probably eat 10 of these.

Chicken Cheung Fun (rice roll with tofu, ginger, green onion and soya juice) - $8 - this was an interesting take on classic cheung fun. This was one of the more generous dim sum dishes and it was very filling. I think I would have preferred it without the crispy tempura, but that's probably because I prefer a lightly filled cheung fun as I love love love the outer rice layer. Can I just say how much I love the cake-stand-esque plates!

We had a welcome break before our next courses - the pacing of the meal was just right. Next up were our 3 main courses. We had indicated we liked tofu but there wasn't a tofu dish in sight. We didn't miss it though because the dishes we sampled were all on point!

Cantonese Style Ginger Fried Rice (with egg white, dried conpoy scallop, asparagus and bacon) - $16 - I love fried rice so this was one of my favourite dishes. I loved the addition of the bacon and the fried rice was also dotted with edamame, which was a welcome surprise. My friend was just ok about this one but I was bonkers over it. I wish I had more of an appetite so I could gobble it all up.

Spicy Hunan Style Fried Lotus Root and Chinese Celery - $11 - this was the biggest surprise for me and another one of my favourite dishes. I did not expect to love this dish so much because I am just ok about lotus root. I would have never ordered this off the regular menu so I'm happy this was chosen for us! The lotus root was perfectly cooked (not too hard, not too soft) and the sauce was perfectly spicy. Our dish was garnished with a chrysanthemum leaf.

Sweet Soya Glazed Scallops with Asparagus - $19 - this was our waiter's favourite dish and I am so glad we got to try this! The flavours were incredible. The scallops were very lightly battered and cooked to perfection. You could still taste their sweetness despite the strong flavours in the sauce. I'm sad I only had enough room to eat one of these. Next time, next time.

The rose scented sangria ($16/glass or $60/pitcher) deserves a special mention! Oh my goodness, if I wasn't pre-cleansing this week (I'm doing a three day juice cleanse next week... yup, it's finally happening), I could have drank an entire pitcher on my own. As it was, I was lemming for a second glass but it's good to know I have some degree of will power.

We saved a little room for dessert... we both had the mango pudding with coconut mousse ($7). It's served in a little cup with a garnish of mint and it was divine... not as sweet as the mango pudding you're used to but the tartness/acidity was a welcome reprieve after a decadent meal. The texture of the pudding is a thick creamy consistency and I would order this again.

Here we are after our meal! We had a bunch of food left so we asked our waiter to split it up so we could doggy bag every last bite. Needless to say, Hubs was a very happy camper when I got home.

Oh, and did I mention Susur Lee himself was in the house for a short while last night! We wanted to take a photo with him but by the time we were finished our meal, he was no longer in sight, gaaaaah! Luckee has not had its official grand opening (the soft opening was in early April), but both the kitchen and the front of house staff seem to be in a harmonious groove. I'm excited to eat there again. In fact, I am going to pencil in some regular visits to Luckee so we can make our way through the entire menu... and then some. Hope to see you there! :)

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