What's in a name anyways? Well, if it is an Asian restaurant, particularly a Chinese one, sometimes things get lost in translation. Take the long gone "Fook Yue" restaurant once located on Renfrew Street. It even made it onto Leno! Imagine the staff answering the phone: "Good evening, Fook Yue!". Anyways, I pondered what was the Chinese name for Private Home Chinese Cuisine out on Kingsway. Unfortunately, there was no story to be told here as the Chinese characters cryptically means "a bit of Dim Sum". Then what's with the private home? Isn't one's home private anyways???
With Viv out-of-town (went to Harrison Hot Springs without me, I guess I deserved it...), I gathered up the kids and met my parents at Private Home for lunch. We had the Hot & Sour Soup first and it was pretty darn spicy. So much so, we couldn't even taste the sour part of the soup. The broth itself was a bit thin, in need of more depth while there was a serious lack of ingredients as well. For our next dish, we tried the Drunken Chicken which was soft and moist. The skin was not particularly appetizing while the thin layer of gelatin underneath was missing. Furthermore, there was a lack of xiaoshing wine flavour.
One dish that did not lack impact was the Sliced Pork with Garlic Chili Sauce. It was covered with a spicy and garlicky sauce that was also a bit salty. We didn't mind that too much as that only meant the fatty pork would be amped with flavour. The pork itself was gelatinous, thinly slice and fatty. When the bamboo steamer with the Xiao Long Bao hit the table, it looked legit. In fact, it was, where the thin skin was firm and a bit chewy on top. Inside, there was a plethora of soup which was sweet with a definite ginger and xiaoshing wine hit. The meat pork filling was moist, yet a bit chewy. Overall, these were pretty good XLBs.
Why stop there with the dumplings right? We continued on and had the Potstickers next. These were fried up golden on the bottom, but other than that crispy portion, the rest of the dumpling skin was overly chewy. We enjoyed the moist and well-seasoned pork filling though where it had a slight rebound texture. Onto more carbs, we had the Sticky Rice Dumplings. Encased in a super thin and slightly chewy dumpling skin, the sticky rice was a bit on the wet side, yet it was still fine. I found the flavour to be rather one-note though as it was mostly sweet.
For the kiddies, they really wanted something to wrap in a crepe, so we got the Shredded Pork Beijing Style with pancakes. The shredded pork (more like julienned) was cooked just enough and marinated so it was tender with a nice rebound texture albeit quite greasy. Due to the hoisin sauce, the overall flavour was sweet. The crepes were pretty good being not overly dry. Lastly, we added the Shanghai Fried Thick Noodles which arrived in a light shade of brown. This impacted the flavour as it wasn't really apparent, although there was sufficient wok heat. We found the noodles were a touch soft and the amount of veggies overwhelming. In the end, we enjoyed our meal despite the deficiencies with almost every dish. Like they say, nothing can be perfect.
- Decent portions
- Good XLBs
- Decent service
- Just something a bit off with each dish