The last time I dined at Deer Lake Wonton, my son was a newborn and this blog didn't exist. Hence, the unmemorable meal was filed away deep in my subconscious much like Riley's memories in Inside Out (not sure if they were touched by sadness or disgust). However, without a blog post about the place, I did have the slightest urge to return. Now it was never high on my list of restaurants I needed to blog about, so it is no surprise that I finally took the plunge nearly 7 years after my first ever blog post. So we gathered up the family including the grandparents and headed out to busy Canada Way.
We ended up going for one of their set menus and added a few more dishes for good measure. Included in the dinner was the Fish Maw and Crab Meat Soup. The starch-thickened broth was silky and fairly thick in viscosity. It wasn't particularly flavourful except for the abundance of white pepper. There was a decent amount of fish maw that was texturally on point being not too chewy nor soft. The small amount of crab meat was rather dry and lifeless. That would be the best way to describe the Live Crab with green onion and ginger as well. Most pieces were overcooked where the meat was dried out and stuck to the shell. Furthermore, there was far too much starch coating on the crab which resulted in a gummy exterior. The sauce did taste okay though with hits of ginger, garlic and onion.
Onto the main dishes, the Gai Lan with Prawns arrived first. It looked rather impressive, but ultimately was not very good. With overcooked gai lan that was soft devoid of any crunch and prawns that were overly salty, the only good thing about the dish was the buttery cold-water crunch of the prawns. Next, the Sweet & Sour Pork did not appear to be that appetizing. Prepared with little nuggets of pork, the sauce was mildly sweet without any tang to speak of. Furthermore, the amount of sauce and the lack of a crunchy exterior contributed to the the overly soft texture of the pork. Despite being soft, the pork was not succulent, rather, the meat was mealy and dry.
On the other hand, the Pork Chop and Beef Tenderloin with black pepper sauce featured far more tender meat. We found both meats to be marinated and tenderized enough while still retaining natural textures. However, there was a mess of sauce that made things goopy and a tad too salty. That also meant there was no absence of impact including a considerable pepperiness and garlic notes. Our last dish, Cod & Tofu Hot Pot, was probably our least favourite. Coated with too much starch which made the exterior gummy, the mystery frozen fish was hard and dry. On the flip side, the fried silky tofu was really good. The whole dish was dressed in quite a bit of sauce that was garlicky and salty. As you can clearly ascertain, we were not that enthused with our meal at Deer Lake Wonton. Yes, we are acutely aware that it can't compare to the big boys in town and we may not be their target customers. With that being said, the food still needs to be at least average. It wasn't in this case.
- Friendly service
- Sub-par eats
- Awkward parking lot