Friday, September 21, 2012

New Food Inspirations - BBQ steam buns

Try something new

For the past few months I have been trying to get inspired by taking on new Food Missions that are posted on the GASTROPOST website that appears in the National Post on saturdays.   Every week they post new food theme missions that you can try to do and post onto their site.

This weeks food mission was to TRY SOMETHING NEW.  I started thinking about ethnic foods and if there was any ethnic restaurants in Toronto that I have never tried or things that I have been wanting to try.  There wasn't anything extreme and new that popped into my mind and it seems that Toronto goes through food trends.  The current trend is Tacos, which isn't anything new but it's just people experimenting with the things they are putting into tacos.

There are lots of things I will probably never try like Chicken Feet, fried crickets, fish eyeballs and other assorted weird animal products.  At least that I know of.  Considering the GMO food these days you never really know what you are eating anymore.

But anyway I thought it would be a challenge to try and think of new things to try and when I eat out over the next week I will try and look for new things if I can.   But last night I went out for dinner with a friend and we wanted to have
Dim Sum and since I live in a very Asian neighbourhood in North York we ventured out to a fairly new place called MANDARIN GARDEN Restaurant on Yonge Street just south of Finch Ave.   We had a glance at the photos posted in the front window and saw that they had a few different dim sum dishes so we decided to check it out.  I really like the nice Chinese Lanterns hung on the front of the restaurant.  They caught my eye when I drove by when they first opened.

The interior was clean and bright and the lady that served us was very friendly and efficient.   We ordered 3 dim sum dishes.  An egg and green onion pancake, a leek and pork potsticker dumpling and a steamed shrimp and pork dumpling.   
They were all made really well and the dumplings were perfectly seasoned and really flavourful.  The way I would have made them if I made them myself.  
Really authentic and tasty.

The people next to us ordered something that was very curious looking.  It looked like two flat white things skewered onto 2 bamboo sticks.  I asked our waitress what it was and she said it was BBQ steam buns.  So I decided to order it to try it.  I saw BBQ steam buns on the menu and thought it was the typical dough bun filled with BBQ pork and steamed.  But I was so wrong in this one.

It was a BBQ steam bun cut in half and then sprinkled with chilli spice and maybe other spices and then it was cooked BBQ style so it had a BBQ smokey flavour.  There wasn't any meat inside but you got the taste as if it was kind of meaty from the smoke.  I suppose this would be a great vegetarian substitute.  I never would have thought of something like that.  It was really interesting and so simple at the same time.

While it may not have been an adventurous new food sampling it was a good food inspiration on things I would never have thought to put together.

I am going to be on the look out for new things this week in my own hometown.   This new thing was right in my neighbourhood so you don't have to travel to China to try new foods,  just head to Chinatown North in Toronto.


  1. Dum Sum is great to eat with a large group of people because then if you try something new and you don'y like it, you can let the other people eat it. You should swing by Danforth East to sample Tunisian or Moroccan or Ethiopian or Turkish food. I've tried all 4 and loved the Moroccan the best. Turkish is a close second. It great to be a tourist in your own city.

  2. 1 typo: Dim Sum
    2 typo: don't
    3 typo: It's

    I blame it on the wine :)


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