Over the July 4th weekend, I was doing my patriotic duty as an American by crossing the border to Canada to visit family. When it comes to visiting family in Canada, one thing is for sure, be prepared to eat.
My family lives in Markham, a city located not too far from Toronto with a heavy Chinese population. Chinese restaurants and Asian strip malls are everywhere, which means, there is good food everywhere. This isn’t the run of the mill Chinese food I am accustomed to in America, this stuff is so good that it rivals those of the home countries, especially the Cantonese cuisine. I ate more than I thought I would over that weekend, so much that I was sick of Chinese food for quite a while.
Mei Nung Beef Noodle House, 3229 Highway 7 E, Unit 15, Markham, ON L3R, Canada
This noodle house is not only known for noodles, but also for the stinky tofu. The last time I had stinky tofu was several years ago in the streets of Mongkok, Hong Kong. I thought it’d be fun to take my fiance to her first stinky tofu experience. Well, it was also her last. It wasn’t the initial smell that got to her, but the aftertaste. The finish isn’t clean, and it can get rather pungent, especially when it hits the olfactories. I was waiting for her to hurl, but that never happened, thank goodness. I ate my fair share, but it was too much, I took the leftovers home for my cousin. His eyes lit up when I told him I brought back stinky tofu.
Fisherman Wharf Seafood, 4080 Steele Avenue E, Markham, ON L3R 3N8, Canada
One of the family dinners was at Fisherman Wharf Seafood. Naturally, I was excited, but I had no idea what my aunt had in store for us. I thought she would just order the standard fanfare, but I was blown away with dinner that night. Before the start of the meal, one of the waiters walked up behind my seat holding an off-white plastic container. He set the container down on the floor and right then and there, I knew dinner was going to be amazing. The dinner set included a nine pound Alaskan king crab and an eight pound lobster.
The top of the papaya is topped with bird’s nest, which is essentially bird saliva. It is a much coveted consumable in Chinese culture that I seldom get to eat. Inside is sweet milk that pairs perfectly with the papaya flesh. My sister didn’t want hers, she was crazy, so she gave it to me.
Goose Webs with Sea Cucumbers. This dish doesn’t exactly look appetizing, but is downright delicious if prepared well. I haven’t had sea cucumbers since I was a kid and some may have to get over the whole texture thing in order to enjoy it.