Tagged as 'Chinese'

Luosifen Reviews: Snail Rice Noodle Showdown

Originally a regional specialty from the southern Chinese city of Liuzhou, Luo Si Fen (螺蛳粉) has quickly become the rage in China over the last few year, spawning a crop of restaurants and ready-to-eat products in supermarkets across the country. I was, like many people, initial skeptic quickly turned believer with my first taste.

Per Wikipedia:

The dish consists of rice noodles boiled and served in a soup made from a stock made from river snails and pork bones which are stewed for hours with black cardamom, fennel seed, dried tangerine peel, cassia bark, cloves, white pepper, bay leaf, licorice root, sand ginger, and star anise. The soup does not usually contain any snail meat but pickled bamboo shoot, pickled green beans, shredded wood ear, fu zhu, fresh green vegetables, peanuts and chili oil are usually added.

As I’m not in China to make a personal pilgrimage, I’ll have to settle for instant packaged versions to be cooked at home; specifically, a little comparison between the five brands that was available in Yamibuy at the time of writing:
柳全(Liu Quan) VS 好欢螺(Hao Huan Luo) VS 螺霸王(Luo Ba Wang) VS 螺状元(Luo Zhuang Yuan) VS 嘻螺会(Xi Luo Hui)

(There was also 寄杨轩 and 桂之印 but they were out of stock at the time and has been ever since).

(I’m not getting a commission from Yamibuy, although I probably should be…)

For those of you lazy asses who don’t want to read all the details and look at all the (pretty) pictures, the TL;DR overall ranking is 柳全/Liu Quan (best fu zhu/rice noodle/soup base) > 螺霸王/Luo Ba Wang (best chili oil) > 好欢螺/Hao Huan Luo > 螺状元/Luo Zhuang Yuan (best peanuts) > 嘻螺会/Xi Luo Hui

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Bad Photos Club

The last entry was such an effort post between translating fish names into three languages and editing photos until my eyes bleed that this one will just be cleaning out some places & photos not good enough to warrant their own posts

Sichuan Garden

It’s a bit of a shame that I’ve been eating here long before I started recording tasting notes and photos of food, because while it’s not the most delicious or authentic Sichuan in the area, it’s super consistant for the last 10+ years I’ve been here. Just a really reliable place when when you want to fall back on something familiar, with it’s artifical garden in the entrance way and checkerboard carpeting, somehow pulling in just enough customers to stay afloat.

Tofu Fish (豆花鱼), Left: Okay, not as tender as their water cooked fish, flavor a tad too simple and lacking depth
Pork Blood & Intestine Stew (五更腸旺), Right: this had barely any intestines, but the flavors are nice and deep and the other offal pieces were tender and plentiful

Fuqi feipian (夫妻肺片): probably the best dish of the night; slices of perfectly cooked offal and meat infused with the flavors of peppercorn and chili oil, topped with peanuts and sesame seed. Spicy, aromatic and a smorgasbord of texture

Sichuan Garden – Yelp
359 Spadina Avenue
Toronto, ON
M5T 2G3

Dark Horse Espresso Bar

Nice coffee place to hang out on Queen St., forgettable coffee though, not much to talk about other than the comfy ambience

Dark Horse Espresso Bar – Yelp
Dark Horse Espresso Bar
215 Spadina Avenue
Toronto, ON
M5T 2C7

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