Kind-of Secret: Delicacy Kitchen, a brand new Chinese language restaurant at Dufferin and Lawrence with an award-winning Cantonese chef
The type-of secret: Delicacy Kitchen, a Chinese language restaurant specializing in hen and Peking duck
You could have heard of it if: You’re an enormous fan of Cantonese-style cooking, or in the event you’ve been to the restaurant’s Guangzhou location
However you most likely haven’t tried it as a result of: It’s model new and hidden amongst Italian bakeries and markets
In a metropolis like Toronto, with a wealth of unbelievable Chinese language eating places, it may be arduous for brand spanking new expertise to face out—particularly if it’s faraway from the foot site visitors of Chinatown or Scarborough and Markham’s in-the-know aunties. However Delicacy Kitchen, the Toronto outpost of a Guangzhou restaurant well-known for its hen, is price taking the Dufferin bus for.
Award-winning Cantonese chef Wenqiu Kuang opened Delicacy Kitchen, his first restaurant in Canada, final July. Kuang has household in Toronto, so opening up a location right here made sense. Again in China, he owns 11 eating places within the southern metropolis of Guangzhou in addition to others in Shanghai and Beijing. All of them focus on one thing referred to as qingxin (“clear coronary heart” or “clear centre”) hen. The dish is made by poaching complete chickens in a vat of broth flavoured with recent aromatics and spices to create a succulent and savoury hen that’s served with a ginger-scallion sauce. It’s the right illustration of Cantonese delicacies’s emphasis on preserving the pure flavours of recent substances, and it made Kuang a widely known participant in China’s culinary scene.
And he’s not shy about it: the very first thing you discover upon getting into the restaurant are all of Kuang’s awards, framed and proudly displayed on the partitions together with a smattering of newspaper clippings, all singing the praises of his hen. However Delicacy Kitchen is a little bit of a departure for the embellished chef.
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“Chef Kuang needed to tailor this location’s menu to the shoppers’ tastes,” explains restaurant supervisor Terrance Huang, who provides that solely about 5 per cent of Delicacy Kitchen’s friends are Chinese language. As such, the menu right here is expansive and features a little little bit of all the pieces. There are dim sum favourites—siu mai, har gow, steamed sticky rice, spare ribs—in addition to American Chinese language takeout staples like fried rice and chop suey.
Apparently, Kuang’s well-known qingxin hen will be ordered provided that you understand to ask for it. The award-winning hen is on the restaurant’s dine-in and takeout menus, however solely in Chinese language. And it’s not seen on meals supply apps, so it needs to be ordered instantly from the restaurant. However it’s price the additional steps: the hen is completely moist and, opposite to its fairly plain look, bursting with flavour. The fragrant broth—redolent with star anise, white pepper and ginger—seeps by in every chew.
One other menu standout is the fried pork hock, a wealthy counterpart to the comparatively mild qingxin hen. The pork is deep fried till the pores and skin is crispy and the meat (which, let’s face it, is usually fats) is melt-in-your-mouth tender. It’s paying homage to siu yuk, the crunchy pork stomach dish discovered dangling within the home windows of Chinese language eating places.
However again to poultry for a second. Delicacy Kitchen can be fairly well-known for its Peking duck, particularly since they serve half parts, which Huang says makes it a well-liked takeout dish. It’s succulent, moist and served with all of the basic trimmings: flour pancakes, hoisin sauce, inexperienced onion and cucumber.
For many who love the classics, the yang chow fried rice—chock stuffed with veggies, eggs, hen and shrimp—is successful. As is the garlic black pepper beef tenderloin. It’s a basic, sure, however Delicacy Kitchen elevates the dish utilizing recent substances and intense flavours. Wok hei, that toasty style imparted from utilizing a wok over a scorching flame, is well-harnessed by the cooks right here.
When requested about Kuang’s ambitions in Canada, Huang says that the chef intends to open 4 extra eating places. He’s wanting ahead to introducing his signature dishes to the town and changing into a Toronto takeout staple.
2899 Dufferin St., 416-551-5558, delicacy-kitchen.com, @delicacykitchen.to