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Oct 13, 2012 08:34 PM

One of the best comment by a food critic - Amy Pateki on Susur Lee's 'Bent'

I find the following comment by Amy Pateki on Susur Lee's dish at Bent, exquisite, funny and priceless!

" Asian Chicken Dumpling ($16 ) are HORRIFIC, dry inside and served with goat cheese sauce, Chorizo and Pesto. Its as if France, Portugal and Italy declared war on China" !!!

"NAUSEATING food?! Try the Gorgonzola cheese with oranges on an onion tart. Curdling inside the mouth!!"

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  1. Highly amusing and one of the most damning reviews I've ever read.

    1. What a scalding review.....ouch......

      1. Wow! That is funny but I thought Susur Lee was better than that!

        1. Yes - amusing.
          But my favourite was
          "Susur has jumped the shark's fin soup"
          Although I haven't tried it, AmuseGirl was there and found it 'not bad'. But not great either. She didn't find the dumpling offensive - actually one of the better dishes - and much spicier than the review indicates. Four dumplings per serving.

          1 Reply
          1. re: estufarian

            Wow!!! $16 for 4 dumplings?!!! That's daylight robbery! Its as worse as the $32 bowl of Chicken Congee at Bosk!!
            Up north, in genuine dumpling houses, one can get flavourful dumplings filled with chicken stock for $4 per serving of 6-8 pieces!!

          2. Funny read. But it must be crowded there with all the media attention. Kates, Pataki, Mallet, and the G&M have all reviewed war going on?

            15 Replies
            1. re: T Long

              Didn't find it funny. A Massive put-down for sure.

              1. re: Herne

                yeah the whole thing reeks of personal animosity. i'm not suggesting it's a great restaurant by any means but she gave PF changs a half star better review. i really, really have a hard time with that haha

                1. re: disgusti

                  Disgusti,my thoughts exactly.....what did Susur do to offend her that much.....she does try to justify it by saying that she expects more from Susur but this article almost reeks of personal animosity....

                  1. re: warlock

                    That has always been her style though, she's the most catty/scathing of the reviewers in Toronto.

                    It's her schtick, controversy sells.

                    1. re: aser

                      But is it really such a reach to believe that this reviewer, and all reviewers are just expressing their honest opinions. One can disagree or agree or just don't care what another thinks....but have your own opinion by trying out the place yourself.

                      1. re: T Long

                        I'm sure she fully stands behind her opinions. There has to be levels of narcissism involved to be a professional critic of any sorts.

                        "Listen to me, I'm important, I know my shit."

                        Some say it with style and wit, others with a guillotine.

                        Then it's up to the readers to decide which critic is worth listening. I pass on her.

                      2. re: aser

                        She think's she's simon cowell. Unfortunately, no one respects her opinion,. Her Hey Meatball review was disgusting

                        1. re: Main334

                          I had no interest in going before, and esp. now. Never been a fan of Susur Lee. I hated my meal / experience at I believe it was called Susur way back when. Very overrated.

                          Anyways, whatever her goal, that aside, the food really does sound disgusting IMHO.

                          1. re: Main334

                            I think any four dumplings for sixteen dollars would bring a bad taste to your mouth! And Hey Meatball is Disgusting, more like a pop up trailer party with frozen meatballs from a box. Check out the "napkins" either on your table, or in the bathroom.

                        2. re: warlock

                          Regardless of what our views are of Susur or Pataki, does anyone really think blue cheese and oranges make any sense, or would do anything but curdle in your mouth?

                          1. re: warlock

                            "what did Susur do to offend her that much"
                            He served her really expensive and bad tasting dumplings.
                            I'd have some animosity too.

                      3. re: T Long

                        My wife and I dropped in on a busy Saturday night (couldn't get into Momofuku noodle place just before their big opening) and the hostess (very pleasant) took our number while we sat waiting at the front window. Servers promptly took drink orders and served while we waited. Nice decor, trendy mixed age/mixed race patrons.

                        Food came promptly and was well spaced considering the number of people there and the tapas style of serving. I always thought tapas style would be harder for restaurants to pull off as you're constantly serviceing patrons with their dishes (before they cool too much) and exponentially so when there are food allergy considerations in this day and age.

                        That all being said, our dinner was okay as dinners go, not amazing as was a dinner at 'Susur's' back in December 2000.

                        We started with Peruvian Style Ceviche. I liked it, tasted fresh. Wife didn't like it. She felt everything was too mushed together. Granted we don't know if Peruvians enjoy it that way. Next came the Spinach Custard. It was okay. Very light, cool as I recall. Flavours not too salty. Then came the tartare two ways. First dish I felt failed. The fish itself was nice but the rice cake was a cold, hard (not just cold but break your teeth hard) puck. It was similar to the rice cake found under most sushi pizza but cold and hard. ugh.

                        Next came the unagi sushi. It had cooled a bit. The turnip patti beneath was lukewarm. I enjoyed the flavours but wife didn't. She usually loves unagi (usually in the form of unagi sushi, or as a don buri or even in a dynamite roll but she didn't like this one) (most memorable unagi was in Washington, crispy, warm, tender with a hint of glaze and slightly burnt edge in sushi form). Dish could have been a bit warmer - but I attribute that to needing time to tweak the menu, kitchen and service when everything is super busy.

                        Last on the list was the braised spiced short ribs. Mine was tender - again lukewarm though. Wife didn't enjoy hers - too dry.

                        I would someday try it again. No rush. Too many other places to try first. Places that my wife and I want to revisit include kaji, hashimoto, ici bistro ...

                        Place we have on bucket list include the other two Momofuku, Shangri'la, Four Seasons, all the Ramen places opening up, Trump tower, the other ones on these 'lists' popping up...

                        1. re: Yimahaji

                          Sorry, couldn't get other photos on edit page for some reason and can't figure out why the unagi shot keeps popping up sideways.

                        2. re: T Long

                          They also got tons of media exposure prior to opening, and seemed to be encouraging it. Granted it would be hard to avoid given the set-up of Susur and sons but they didn't do this quietly and it's only natural that Toronto's biggest name chef (to the masses - never mind chowhounds/scenesters who stay on top of these things) would get reviews from all the big outlets. People who ate at his restaurant once 10 years ago remember his name, know his face, have seen him on Iron Chef, etc.

                          1. re: julesrules

                            I personally havn't been to the restaurant but would still like to try having read these reviews. I find it hard to believe it can be so terrible but it's happened before...