*Restaurant is now closed*
Originally, I had promised Pomegranate some good Xiao Long Bao last week. He got the XLB cravings from watching the XLB episode of Bob Blumer's Glutton for Punishment. He really wanted to try Lin's XLB since it was featured in the show. Alas, I was a bastard and went to Lin that night instead. He was so disappointed that I promised to take him somewhere with good XLB. Once again, we ended up eating Japanese food instead at Victoria Sushi. Watching his expression was like ripping an ice cream cone out of a child's hand. Fine, this week, we were determined to get some XLB action. For some reason or another, we were led to believe that this little mom & pop joint called Golden Fortune on Joyce had some pretty good XLB. Imagine Pomegranate's reaction when we found out it was a vegetarian restaurant! Our quest for good XLB had led us to the land of meatless horror... Oh the pain, the agony! We considered leaving; but we decided to stay and take our poison.
Honestly, there a few vegetarian items that I truly do like. So, it wasn't all that bad. However, Pomegranate had never eaten Chinese vegetarian before. This was going to be interesting. Well, at the very least, there is no threat of him popping raw pork dumplings into his mouth like he did at Fu Lin! So we started with the Hot & Sour Soup. Naturally, it lacked depth since the soup base did not have any meat. However, it was not devoid of flavour as it was both quite spicy and tart. I liked the addition of enoki mushrooms since it provided some chewy texture. Next up was the "Shrimp" Rice Noodle Roll. The mock shrimp was actually not bad since it imitated the meatiness of shrimp quite well. Of course the flavour was not even close; yet it really doesn't matter in this case. The addition of celery added some crunch to an otherwise soft noodle roll.
The next dish was something that I absolutely love and can eat practically anytime (even snacking on it while watching TV!). In fact, I would drive all the way to Chinatown to pick up some Assorted Fried Gluten from Bodai on Hastings. Now you can get it easily from T&T. However, Pomegranate had no reference point for fried gluten. I tried explaining it was a textural item which is flavoured with curry, sweet & sour and sweet soya broth. It wasn't until it showed up that he could really understand the final product. He was only marginally okay with the gluten, while I enjoyed it thoroughly since it was just like all the other ones I've had. From that we head over to a dish that he chose - Fried Wontons with sweet & sour sauce. Yes, insert joke here. Anyways, the fried wonton skins were not as crisp as we would've liked. However the sweet & sour sauce was plenty flavourful with assorted veggies and some more fried gluten.
Our last dish was something that is quite standard on Chinese menus, even though it has a name that would mean otherwise. The Singapore Fried Noodles were a tad on the dry side; yet there was a good amount of curry flavour. The lack of BBQ pork hurt this dish; however, it was good for what it was. By virtue of not ever considering on converting to vegetarianism, I am a bit biased. Yet, the food was decent enough to eat, prices were good and the service friendly. Not particularly my cup of tea while I can see those who are vegetarians, enjoying the food here.
- Friendly, homey service
- Good portions
- Food lacks depth (but that would be the lack of meat too, not necessarily their fault)