LEE for Dinner
I have had both lunch and dinner at Lee's on several occasions...all were fabulous....we tried different selections every time and were very happy with the food/service/wine and ambiance...it's a one of a kind experience nothing else like it anywhere...does that help ....Miranda
The hoi polloi version of Susur's next door makes one feel one is in a thai baroque version of Fran's,doomed to serving trendoid vaguely Asian themed ersatz tapas. At heart it is just a lesser over-priced but just as pretentious mini-version of Susur's, appealing only to the most impressionable and indiscriminate wannabe foodies who feel they have arrived if they can say they have eaten there.
As a recommendation that rarely fails, the now not so trendy La Wah Heen Dining Room in the Metropolitan Hotel still provides a superbly elegant meal that gives you the real deal of a superb Asian meal and faultless masterful unobtrusive service with generally far more satisfying results.
re: Mike Tigg
I've been to both La Wah Heen and Lee. It's really apples and oranges we're talking about. One is an urban, noisy, tapas style fusion dining room, and the other is a traditional and conservative dining room with swift and slient silver service.
Lee is good, but seems to be a little hit and miss depending on how busy it is and how good your servers are. I've had nice things to eat there (Coconut/Thai style soup was fabulous..), and some minor disappointments. But I'd go again.
La Wah Heen I found to be disappointing. It's a stuffy room, and rather silent - you can hear every clink of a glass. We did not go for dim sum, but rather a standard dinner (apparently the dim sum are fabulous). The dishes they served were good, but certainly not spectacular, and were quite expensive. I was there with a well-travelled couple from Hong Kong, and while being polite, it was obvious that they were not blown away. We had lots more fun in Markham/Chinatown at The Ambassador and other large format Hong Kong style chinees dining halls.
Lee keeps getting a bad rap from some people on this board and while I don't believe it's the best dining in the city, most people seem to hate it simply because it's more popular to hate the famous chef.
On that note, I've enjoyed the food at Lee but would go to Jamie Kennedy instead in a heart beat. Some of the dishes were too rich/sweet and I'm a fan of a dish with a cleaner palette. For example, he mixes duck confit with goat cheese rolled into a savory crepe. That's too much for me personally.
I did however love the following dishes:
thai coconut soup with shrimp
Also, I have found the service there very very good. While you may have several servers bringing out the food, they're very attentive and eager to please. And if you want a tour of the kitchen (and Susur's kitchen) they'll be more than happy to oblige.
Lee's is a great experience...the waiter/tress will suggest trying the Chef's menu and also will suggest number of dishes...Susur is usually there overseeing...one member of our party was in a wheelchair....the washrooms are downstairs...Susur told our waiter....that if we needed we were welcome to use the staff washroom on the main floor...who could have a problem with him...no attitude ...only fab one of a kind food and service...Miranda
Would NOT recommend it.
If you go, order the soup -- I've never heard anyone complain about it.
Do NOT, I repeat, DO NOT order the wontons in tomato sauce. It's memorable as the worst dish I have ever eaten in Toronto.
Also, do not go in the summer, it's poorly airconditioned.
I truly dislike this place. Go, only if you feel you must.
Having been to Lee twice myself it now seems that it is currently trendy to dis Lee due to its chef. Yes he is overexposed and acts like he is all that but truth be told I personally found the food overall very good to excellent and the service the best on the King West strip. Both times we had very professional and easygoing servers and staff which was a surprise considering the posers and wannabees that eat there.
Sure its pricey but running a high design restaurant ain't cheap.
completely agree with the trendy lee-dissing thing- it's odd. you can't argue with the guy's technical expertise. You really can't- we have had to be firm about refusing to order the food all at once though- cause i've noticed they don't bother to time it properly- going late is a help as they aren't trying to get you out for the next seating.