Shuang Xiang BBQ or Golden Stone
Not a bad little joint and a good alternative to the other places in the area.
The leek dumplings were delicious, reminded me of the pork and chive dumplings at dim sum but less greasy. The eggs were a nice touch and I didn't miss meat at all.
The sanxian dumplings are just a wee bit slurpy but man, salty. But, like chips, I couldn't stop eating them! Firm and doughy, the way I like 'em. They only have one kind - steamed pork and I believe coriander - but they'll do until Qing Hua re-opens!
The waiter recommended the "Chinese gnocchi soup" which was tomato and egg drop broth with bits of cabbage and rice noodle dough bits, like the leftovers from dumpling dough tossed into the pot. Simple, homey, tasty stuff.
The cold "Chinese Salad" was refreshing in its vinegary-pepperiness, with shredded pork, shredded cabbage, shredded carrots, glass noodles, and some fried chow mein noodles for extra chew. Like the dumplings, just couldn't stop picking at the plate, which was heaping by the way.
Also heaping, a plate called "Shredded pork and pancake" in the menu but is nothing at all like a pancake: just lots of shredded cabbage (I sense a theme here), pork bits, shredded carrot, and lots of chopped up rice noodles - as if someone took a block of refrigerated, fresh, broad rice noodles sold in grocery stores and hacked it up and tossed it into this stir-fry. Plain but homey and yummy, like the other dishes.
The dumplings in peanut sauce were meh.
The waiter was very nice and helpful with the menu though he forgot our tea but he was pretty busy all by himself with Chinese students coming in and out to eat and pick up take-out.
I noticed several were having what looked like the "Noodles with Tomato Sauce" so will try that next time.
Almost everyone was having BBQ skewers but we were so full we didn't get a chance. The lamb ones smelled REALLY good.....Next time!
Just a minor note: if you order diet Coke, you're going to get a generic Costo brand but it all tastes the same to me......Bubbles help get the food down!
Shuang Xiang BBQ
1439 St-Mathieu; 514-935-7779
FYI: I have been there recently (after they moved to the new address, across the street from where they were originally) and was quite disappointed.
They were out of a lot of things, including garlic (!) and the baozi.
I got some BBQ skewers: the tofu was delicious. The other ones (beef, lamb) I thought were borderline inedible.and kind of tasted the same (because the same seasoning was used in decent amounts).
I also didn't care for the scallion pancake, which was extremely greasy and lacked flavour (it lacked scallions, salt...).
The Mapo Tofu was ok, not the worst I've had, but not the best (the best, FYI: Maison du Nord, hands down).
Bottom line is: if you've been there before and like it, you may want to exercise caution when going back. Now, those who have never been there should probably just avoid it...
We have been here a few times and it is on its way to becoming one of our favourites. In fact, I am eager to have summer come ONLY to enjoy their salads on hot days. We keep ending up there on cold days after long walks and foolishly ordering chilled things. And even worse, we still haven't tried the gnocchi soup.
The first time we went there we ordered:
THE salad -which was just as amazing as everyone claims, the sanxian dumplings and a noodle soup with a thick anise-y broth and tender cubes of beef
It was all great, but I was less enthusiastic about the soup than my hubbie. I liked it, it just didn't wow me like the other two things had.
The next time we went, we had the spicy tripe, the potato slice and a lamb, a kidney and a shrimp skewer.
This was more interesting. First of all, I would like to state that obviously only a lunatic would order a shrimp skewer in a place like this, and it was, not surprisingly, disappointing, with a sweet gicky sauce. However, my hubbie wanted to try it, and I have to humour him because otherwise he gets grumpy about getting dragged all over town in the cold AND being told what he will order, too. Our debate was 3 skewers vs the gnocchi soup, and while the lamb skewer was nice, I think we would have been better off with the gnocchi soup. At the time, however, we also didn't realize that the spicy tripe was a chilled dish, and that would have been the deciding factor, since we wanted something hearty and warming (and thought we had ordered it in the spicy tripe).
The tripe, however, was one of those amazingly flavourful salads and was othe star of the evening.
The last dish we ordered was the potato slice, which neither of us had ever had before, and it was rather surprising. Somehow, when I hear the word "crunchy" associated with potatoes, I assume it is because they have been cooked until golden and crisp. Not so, here, the crunch came from the fact that the potatoes were cooked "al dente" and bathed in oil, raw crushed garlic and whole chilis. At first we weren't sure if we liked it, but then it really started to grow on us. I saw the same dish at Cuisine Szechwan the other day. Hubbie was sure it would be unhealthy to eat al dente potatoes and that it would give us stomach aches, (a thoery which he proceeded to elaborate on at great length throughout the evening, while trying to ascertain if he really did have a stomach ache) but the only untoward effects came from eating absolutely everything we had ordered despite being full halfway through.
I have become a big fan of this restaurant over the past couple of months. It's kind of a greatest hits of regional chinese cuisine that aren't being offered a lot of other places. A bit of the northern Uyghur taste with roasted spices, lamb and thick noodles, Szechuan flavours and stews and some central chinese street and simple food as well.
The chinese salad is indeed amazing, the seaweed salad is take-no prisoners spicy, and though the skewers can vary day to day in quality and spice, there are a steal for the price. I personally think that the in-house dumplings with pork and chinese cabbage (not the Sanxian) beat out Qing Hua when they're on target. But the one dish they really smack out of the park is the hot and sour potato slice; this is a long running favourite of mine and Golden Stone does it so well: matchstick potatoes and red chilies with copious amounts of garlic, black vinegar and some of the best wok breath I've found in montreal (they also offer a cold version, and a hot one with green peppers and no vinegar). If you get it on a good day, it's probably my favourite comfort food of all, and I can simply not stop eating it.
Recently, all the chinese-only menu items have been translated by hand, revealing some exciting sounding dishes to try next time.
Last visit, the waiter recommended a new addition which he said was his favourite - the sweet and sour pork. It seemed a bit on the north-american side of things (crisp slices of pork in a potato starch dredging with a thin sweet and sour sauce, topped with green peas (!?) for garnish) compared to most of the dishes there, but for General Tao-hounds, you could do much worse.
Once you suss out the star dishes here, it's another very viable go-to in the ever-more wonderful Chinatown2.
I tried a few things my parents got one night as take-out, and that "Chinese Salad" is so addictive, it's a good thing they got 2! I couldn't help picking at it too, even after I slurped and got some of that spicy sauce in my eye. Ouch!
Oh, btw, the meat in it was beef :) Not-so-coincidentally, I think they ordered everything in the Hour review minus the skewers, because my sister brought it home one night after class. Everything was tasty, but I imagine far better hot out of the kitchen. Hubby and I are going to stop in for dinner one night as a result of this tasting, however.
Mmmm, that salad...
We had a great dinner at Golden Stone tonight. We started with "local-style" shredded tofu. A cold salad of light yellow tofu strands (maybe tofu skin?) with raw white onion in a sweet and vinegary dressing with flecks of dried chile and a few coriander leaves. I loved it. The very firm tofu was lovely to chew on and the dressing and onions made it a bright and savoury dish.
We also ordered lamb, chicken neck and tofu brochettes. The lamb was very tender and moist with less seasoning than the first time we had it, which made them all the more lambalicious. The chicken neck was really tender and flavourful. Getting the meat off is a bit of work, but to me it's all part of the fun. The tofu was crisp on the outside and fluffy inside and was both hot and sweet. Quite good.
Next we had the Sanxian dumplings. A big plate of boiled deliciousness these dumplings were filled with pork, leek and something fishy we suspect to be shrimp. Very good with a healthy dousing of black vinegar.
We followed that with steamed pork buns. At one dollar each these things are huge. You could easily make a meal out of two of these suckers. The dough was fluffy and slightly sweet. the filling was juicy seasoned ground pork. I don't have much experience with bao, but I really liked these.
The last dish we got was the shredded pork and pancake. This is a very homey dish of pancake cut into strands and stir-fried with cabbage and carrot. Like a Chinese version of kottu roti. I'm pretty sure sweet bean sauce is involved here. It was really good, but we barely made a dent in it. We were so full from the rest of the meal.
Overall, this was a great dinner. I hope it doesn't take me another year before I go back. There are so many intriguing items on the menu. I definitely want to eat my way through the whole thing.
I went here last week as well and was pleasantly surprised! We took the lamb skewers and although a bit overcooked, were great. We had the chinese salad (a must) and seaweed salad, both fresh and delicious. We were all drinking up the liquids at the end! We had noodles with eggplant (the weakest dish imho) and a cold salad of pigs ears...peppery goodness. The Sanxian dumplings were a real winner, but sadly I forgot to ask or use the black vinegar. Next time!!!
I'd just like to add a bit of an update. We went back not long after our previous visit. Here's a rundown of the dishes we sampled. The local-style tofu was still awesome. I tried the chicken stomach skewer (pretty certain it was gizzard). It was tasty but tough. Not something I would order again. The squid was not bad at all. It was not super tasty, but not overcooked either. The yu xiang pork was goopy and a bit boring. I would not recommend it. The one at Oui & Oui is so much better. While I liked the filling of the leek dumplings, the pancakey wrapper didn't do much for me. We also ordered Chinese bread, something we'd seen a large group order on our previous visit. They were large slices of toasted bread spread with hoisin. There was nothing wrong with it, but I won't be running back to order it again. The star of the evening was the flour gnocchi soup: a soothing tomatoey broth filled with egg strands and the aforementioned flour gnocchi. That soup was a real treat and I'm sure we'll be having it again.
If you're playing at home here are the dishes I recommend:
"Local-style" shredded tofu: Mmmm, yummy, tangy savoury goodness.
Sanxian dumplings: Don't forget the vinegar
Flour gnocchi soup: Rich and soothing, it's everything soup should be.
Chicken neck: It's definitely the tastiest part of the chicken.
Shredded pork and pancake: Simple, homey and very comfort-foodish.