A Torontonian restaurant review
It is common practice for most Cantonese restaurants to offer up whatever that’s available in the kitchen , but once in a while one of these restaurants would focus on one staple and become pretty famous for it. On one chilly Toronto evening I decided to satisfy my craving for some warm grub by paying a visit to King’s Noodle House, a long-standing noodle joint right at the corner of Spadina and Dundas. And I walked out a decently satisfied customer.
Squeezing into a four-seat “booth”- the Cantonese lingo for a boxed seat or any table which offers some sort of shield from the hustle and bustle of the fast-moving waiters- my Swiss friend and I decided to share 2 dishes. We ordered a plate of barbequed pork on rice, and the scrumptious-looking beef and veggies on noodles.
Surprisingly, the beef noodle arrived first, and was most certainly visually pleasing to the eye:
I took a bite and was instantly impressed. One way to tell whether stir-fried noodle was well-done is to see whether or not they managed to stack one layer of noodles “dry” on top of the “wet” (i.e. sauce-soaked) layer of noodles. Most restaurants manage to pile up a tasty pile of veggies and meat on top of that bottom layer of noodles, but pick it through with your chopsticks and you’ll see the noodles are literally stuck in a pool of sauce. King’s Noodle House did a real decent job though. The dry layer was actually tasty, the texture doesn’t taste like it’s been too deep-fried, and for the ones who love mixing egg noodles in with a sauce, the bottom layer of noodles remain fresh in taste despite having a lot of gravy poured over it. Plus, the pieces of beer were tender, seasoned just about right, and the veggies decently fresh. My only complaint about the dish was that it was not hot enough. Given the chilly weather outside, somehow the dish cooled down rather quickly.
The barbequed pork on rice, however, did not meet up to my expectations. It was all a little too dry and tempered with too much sugar, and as much as I love having BBQ pork that’s not too lean, there was just too much fat. It’s as if I could hear my own fork squishing down the fat (insert “ugh” here). The rice came as the biggest disappointment, though. Too dry, too cold, and that drizzle of soy sauce on top made the whole dish a sad affair. You certainly won’t find me going back to King’s for their BBQ meat dishes.
Still, the price was decent, the location prime, and service as decent as you’d expect in a busy Chinatown restaurant. My advice? Ask the servers to make sure your noodles come out sizzling hot, and add a pinch more tea leaves in that communal tea pot next time.
King’s Noodle House
296 Spadina Avenue, Toronto, ON