Confucian Restauarant - new Northern Chinese worth trying
Tried to pop in ChangAn restaurant in Alton Towers to get a quick bite to satisfy my northern Chinese food cravings but found it closed for lunch - so that was why we chanced upon the new Shan Dong style restaurant 孔府家宴 in the same plaza (just on the east side of the supermarket).
Ordered minced lamb/leek filled crepes, water fried pork buns, Dezhou chicken and an eggplant stirfry. Impressed! I am not big on garlic, chili or MSG so the chef really has to know his stuff to impress me :).
Lamb crepes 老妈肉饼 - greaseless crunchy skin w flavorful and juicy filling, it actually looked like a panini on the plate. Owner/Waiter explained they used a griddle? press to make the skin from batter, but then I still couldn't figure out how they put the filling in. A first in Toronto that I have seen.
Water fried buns 水煎包- similar to the shanghainese panfried buns but with thicker skin and more heft - which is what you usually expect going to a Northern restaurant. Skin is dry outside but as you bite into it the texture is slightly mushy. A bit weird for me but I have never had the original buns (famous in Yangzhou?) so maybe it is authentic. But I liked it that the dough is not sweet like the usual Cantonese version.
DeZhou chicken 德州扒鸡 - I have fond memories of this dish from my childhood being visited by relatives bearing a hot bundle of this as gifts. Usually it was made by local peddlers selling them at the DeZhou railway station - people would pay and get them passed through train windows still hot and steamy...Anyways this was very close to the way I remembered! It is usually marinated in herbs and spices (not spicy) and then smoked in a ?sealed package so it is falling-off-the-bone tender but yet smoky and dry. Very impressed.
This is a still very young restaurant since they just opened a month ago - some of the wait staff don't quite know the stuff but the young guy who waited on us is probably the owner. Lunch time was not busy, but there is a 20%off on all items. Looks very promising and I do hope they survive and keep up the standard. Don't get depressed by the slightly dingy decor...Thumbs up!
My wife forgot to add the resto's address in her post. They just opened in mid January and it's hard to find on google.
250 Alton Towers, Scarborough (Milliken Wells shopping centre)
It's the strip mall at Alton Towers, on McCowan just south of Steeles. It's the south side of the strip mall. Same mall as the Oriental Food Mart.