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What the XXXX....'Big Mouth Kee' - Richmond Hill's top-Ranked Chinese Eatery!!!! [moved from Ontario]

With dozens of fine Chinese restaurants in the Richmond Hill area, I am having difficulty in grasping the logic behind Joanne Kate's latest selection of Big Mouth Kee as Richmond Hill's highest ranked Chinese restaurant!! Having eaten there a few times in the past, IMHO, the food of BMK WASN'T REALLY THAT GOOD!!

Compound with this mystery, she also placed the absolutely mediocre Chinese owned Japanese ramen noodle chain 'Ajisen Ramen' into her 100 best Toronto restaurant list! Meanwhile an excellent Indian restaurant like Copper Chimney was totally ignored!

Lastly, none of our Chowhounders' favourite Chinese restaurants such as O'Mei, Maple Yip, Yang's, Emperor, Brilliant, John's B-B-Q, Judy's Cuisine, Casa Victoria....etc made it into her top Chinese restaurant list!!??!!

Not to be rude, but I really think that her taste buds and palette must have gone down hill with age!! May be its about time for her to hang up her hat?! May be she should stop reviewing cuisines that is not her forte or may be she should simply stop reviewing and putting out restaurant rankings!!! Why??!! Chinese food aside, she rated Lee #19 in her list and one of TO's best, Canoe only #79???!!! Go figure!!

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  1. Yes, Big Mouth Kee is indeed not good at all now. I have also written a bad review on it not too long ago.

    1. Big Mouth Kee is where all the clubbers went at 2 am when they are half drunk!! May be JK rated BMK after she went clubbing! Ha!

      1. Ajisen Ramen....oh my god.....I would honestly love to hear her defend that choice. Perhaps its the only "ramen" she's ever had? I use quotations because its not really real ramen!

        1. Joanne Kates knows very little about ethnic cuisine. Just ignore her. I don't even bother to read her reviews in the Globe and Mail anymore, unless someone points out a specific one. She should stick to reviewing Jewish restaurants, I'm not sure why the Globe finds her usfeful 35 years after she started writing for them. Remember what happened to Ruby Resstaurant after that rave review by Kates?

          12 Replies
          1. re: foodyDudey

            Totally agrrees with your observation!
            A few more 'mysteries' from her:
            No The Fifth Grill or Jacobs ans Co in her list but 'Mortons' instead!
            No Zen or Japango but 'Edo' instead.
            No C5 or Opus but a downhill Celestin instead!!

            1. re: Charles Yu

              Whenever I read one of her reviews of a restaurant that has been praised or panned on this board (i.e. with an opposite view of CH posters) I can't help but think of how she's going to be slammed here.

              She had a very positive review of Peak Top a year or so ago, as an aside.

            2. re: foodyDudey

              What does "stick to reviewing Jewish restaurants" mean? Is she known for repeatedly reviewing the same 5 restaurants that fit that description?

              1. re: Everythingtarian

                I was thinking the same thing. What an idiotic thing to write.

                1. re: Everythingtarian

                  How many of her reviews have you read? In quite a few in the past, she would mention what her "Bubbie" (Grandmother) would think of the dish, or say it was similar to her Bubbies, etc. That's all I meant. It's clear she is no expert when it comes to ethnic cuisine, and she even mentions that in her recent review of ARAVIND, but she continues to write about those restaurants and get paid for it. I only charge for what I am good at! That's why I post here for free :-)

                  1. re: foodyDudey

                    Admittedly, I havent read enough of her reviews to suggest segregated write ups.

                    1. re: Everythingtarian

                      I get the impression she goes out of her way to piss CH off. She knows you all hate her so if she can get under your skin she will, and her way of doing it is hyping places you hate, and hating places you like, knowing how you'll all react (and you took the bait, again). She's probably laughing at you all now. No such thing as bad publicity.... If you want to get even, ignore her as irrelevant. You talk about her, she's relevant, and she knows it.

                      Remember how she trashed Sado Sushi and made sure to trash CH and Now Magazine in the process? Not saying she's right to do this but hey, she's consistent.

                      Sado Sushi
                      1116 Eglinton Ave W, Toronto, ON M6C2E2, CA

                      1. re: TexSquared

                        I don't think she goes out of her way to get under our skin. And I don't really care about what she says, I just don't take her reviews seriously. They don't influence whether or not I try a place.

                        1. re: foodyDudey

                          The fact remains that she is getting under some of your skin (maybe not you specifically). If she's as irrelevant as you all say she is, this thread wouldn't have started. That was my point.

                        2. re: TexSquared

                          I got irritated enough to cancel my subscription to the Globe.

                          It drove me nuts (still does) how she played favourites with people who were friends and helped her out at her camp and/or at Erewhon etc.. Of course they knew when she was coming to review them and of course she was well treated.

                          Hard to know who got the most love over the years, but Cava's proprietor would be right up there.

                  2. The only food critic I trust completely (when he was doing it) is Corey Mintz. To a lesser extent, I trust Stephen Davey, but he tries to be too smart sometimes in his reviews.

                    1. Her annual list should be called "100 Restaurants I have visited within recent memory that I liked in the order I liked them." No argument there. The reason she didn't include Judy's Cuisine or Copper Chimney or wherever is that she likely hasn't eaten there.

                      If you check the Post City posts, there's a space asking for suggestions.

                      But Ajisen? She recently raved about Kenzo but she must have forgot.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: Herb

                        BAD MOVE, CHOWHOUND!

                        You incorrectly moved this thread from the Ontario, Canada forum to the Mid-Atlantic foum.

                        Richmond Hill (population 190,000) is located just north of Toronto, Ontario.