Hong Hing Chinese Restaurant

Hong Hing restaurant on Ellice Avenue, is a  Chinese restaurant of the type I was familiar with growing up. Lots of dishes featuring chop suey and chow mein. However, there are a few Szechuan dishes available on the menu, and even an eight item Dim Sum list.

This is a place that I’ve often wondered, when I passed, if it is still in business. It’s a squat, rather non-descript, exterior that doesn’t appear all that inviting even in the daytime. However, it is also not far from where I live so I thought I should stop in some time.

Hong HIng Sliced Chicken.

The sliced chicken from Hong Hing. The skin is nice and crispy and the chicken is quite good, if slightly overcooked.

Hong Hing specializes in takeout, but there are a few table and about twenty seats in the restaurant if you want to dine in. Although I dined in on my first visit, I got the impression that they would prefer you to place takeout orders. Continue reading


Dragon Express – Forks Market

Mixed cuisine restaurants are always a bit of an adventure. You might get one style that is done well and one that isn’t. More likely than not you run the risk of neither being all that great. Dragon Express at the Forks is one such place. Dragon Express features both Vietnamese and Chinese cuisine.

Dragon Express sign

The Dragon Express Sign

Having tried both styles, I would recommend the Vietnamese be your first choice. The one area where the Chinese exceeds the Vietnamese is in portion size. I purchased the two item combo and my plate was filled to overflowing. However, from a quality perspective I found the Vietnamese items to be much fresher and more flavourful.

Dragon Express Chinese:

The Chinese portion of the menu at Dragon Express is pretty much typical food court Chinese food. Nothing wrong with it, but nothing in particular stands out. The best thing overall was that none of the breaded items were overly breaded. The dry pork was lightly seasoned and had a good chew to it after the initial crunch. Another thing that slightly elevated the combo was that the vegetables were not as soggy as they are in some places.

combo plate from Dragon Express

My Dragon Express combo plate with noodles, veg, breaded dry pork and ginger pork

Dragon Express Vietnamese:

There are a variety of soups and other Vietnamese dishes on offer at the kiosk. I decided I would go with the spicy beef soup. I was a little surprised when the soup came with the spice on the side. Nonetheless, the soup had a good, hearty broth to it. There was also a good deal of beef. With the addition of the hot sauce adding a really good kick to the dish. As is typical of Vietnamese soups, the small serving size gave me plenty of meal for my dollar.

Spicy Beef Soup from Dragon Expres

Dragon Express Spicy Beef Soup.

Dragon Express hot sauce

Hot Sauce for the soup

One of my favourite Vietnamese dishes is the salad roll. I ordered mine to go along with the Chinese combo on my second visit. I’m not sure the picture below will capture the sense of it, but this was undoubtedly the biggest salad roll I’ve ever been served. Despite it’s size, it wasn’t all noodles and lettuce. There was a sizeable amount of chicken and two large shrimp as well. I ended up eating it with my fingers because I found it too large to handle with chopsticks. In addition to being large, it was also very fresh. They didn’t start making it until after I ordered it, so I know it wasn’t something that they made at the beginning of the day and then pulled out of the fridge when ordered. The one problem I did have with it being so large was that it was a challenge to sauce it. However, being as fresh as it was, the parts I didn’t sauce were still very tasty.

Dragon Express salad roll

The picture doesn’t do justice to the size of the salad roll I ordered.

Both times I went to Dragon Express I found the service to be quick, friendly and efficient. I had a bit of wait for the salad roll, but it was worth every second of the wait. With the announcement of new food vendors and other changes at The Forks, it will interesting to see how places like Dragon Express will adapt. Based on my visits, I think they will do quite well.


Spicy Noodle House

I don’t find myself in Osborne Village all that frequently. Certainly not as much as I did in my immediate post university days, when I lived nearby. Even then I didn’t eat there very often. However, I still get there a couple of times a year. If I’m looking for a bite to eat, especially if I’m a little rushed for time, one of my favourite stops is the Spicy Noodle House.

Spicy Noodle House is located on Osborne between River and Stradbrook. It’s easy to miss because you have to descend to the basement are of the building it’s located in. However, much like Little Sister Coffee Maker, it’s a basement you don’t want to bypass.

The menu for Spicy Noodle House.

One of the things I’ve always liked about the Spicy Noodle House, is that they take the word spicy seriously. They advertise themselves as authentic Northern Cuisine. I’m not overly familiar with Chinese food, but I do believe the Northern Region is the one most known for spice. Continue reading


Dim Sum Victoria Seafood

I’ve written before of my deanery, and the priests (clericus) that I work with. Except for July and August, the clericus tries to get together every month. These  meetings are chances to find out what is happening in our lives. What is happening in our parishes. What is happening in the broader communities that we are a part of. I’ve found this to be a helpful and supportive practice as I’m still getting used to parish life.

Dim Sum Green Tea

Generally we meet in one of the parishes. Once a while, though, we head out to a restaurant. This month our meeting was a little later than most. This made scheduling it for a parish hard. Instead we decided to meet for Dim Sum at Victoria Seafood restaurant on St. Mary’s Road.

Ambience wise Victoria Seafood doesn’t have a lot going for it. It looks like every other Chinese restaurant that existed in the 70’s and 80′. One thing it does have going for it is that it is a fairly spacious room. That means there are plenty of seating choices which give a degree of privacy even in an open room.

Dim Sum MenuIn the end there were four of us, but only three went for the Dim Sum. We tried nine different items between us. One reason for going with the Dim Sum is it’s also great value. Our whole order including a pot of green tea, came to under $32.00 including tax. It was definitely a protein heavy lunch, as there were only a few items on the Dim Sum list that contained more than desultory amounts of vegetables. Continue reading


Friday Night at the Garrick Hotel

The B-SIde Apostles is a country duo comprised of Greg Glatz and Larry Updike.  If you like the music of Hank, Merle and Johnny, with one or two others thrown in, there isn’t a much better way to pass a couple of hours than listening to the B-SIde Apostles. They play a lot of gigs around the city, a good number of them at places like Siloam Mission and Madison Lodge, where they try and bring music into the lives of those who may not have the opportunity to get out and enjoy live music in one of this city’s many venues.

They also play in little places such as The Neighbourhood Cafe, Sam’s Place and most recently the Garrick Hotel.  I missed them the first time that they played there, but this Friday night I wasn’t going to. So off I went to the Garrick. Continue reading