Cantonese Cuisine Chowmeet at Maple Yip - Great food and Great Company!!
Tonight, a group of 20+ die-hard foodies descended on Maple Yip for a long overdue chowmeet. The meal was per-arranged and contained many 'off menu' and labor intensive dishes. Overall, food was delicious with a few stand outs like the pork belly, soft shell crab, Chinese ' Huevos Fritos' and Crispy skin de-boned chicken...etc. Only misstep was the lobster, which was a bit dry.
Full menu are as follows:
- Fried Soft Shell Crab tossed with garlic chili peppered salt.
- Chinese 'Huevos Fritos' ( egg tortilla ) with Silver Ray Fish and diced Chinese preserved Radishes.
- Slow cooked Pork Belly with Chinese preserved Mustard Greens. ( Mui Choi Kau Yuk )
- Double boiled whole Winter Melon Seafood 'Pot-au-Feu'.
- Whole de-boned Crispy Skin Chicken stuffed with flavored Glutinous Rice and Chinese wind-dried
- Stirred fry filet of Floridian Yellow Fin Grouper with Yellowing Chives.
- Stirred fried Beef Tenderloin Cubes with Cashew Nuts in a Taro Bird's Nest.
- Sauteed Duo Lobsters with Maggi Sauce.
- Dungeness Crab fried Rice wrapped in whole Lotus Leaf baked in Bamboo Steamer
- Five grain Barley Congee with Sesame stuffed Mochis
Great value for $50 per person inclusive of tax and gratuities!
However, as mentioned in my title, in addition to the good food, the COMPANY was even better!!!
What a lovely way to spend an evening!!!!
Thanks again for organizing this, Charles. Dinner was great and as you said, a great value. My favourite dishes were definitely the pork belly and that crazy stuffed chicken. I could eat a LOT of both of those. A LOT. The black sesame paste filled mochi balls in the dessert soup were kinda awesome, too and were a really nice way to end the dinner.
Nice to put faces to some familiar chowhound names and to meet some new people, too!
Great pics, looks absolutely mouth watering. Is there any chance of posting a pic of the name of each dish in Chinese. (with the goal of presenting a print-out of the 'Charles Yu' menu to Maple Yip in future reservations)
Thank you Charles for organizing this dinner. It was a memorable experience. Speaking of memories, my favourite entree was the stuffed chicken. Wonderful flavour, and wow, how did they get the skin so crispy?!? Each appetizer was unique and delicious and I enjoyed your explanations immensely. Looved the black sesame mochi balls too! I will be craving those. Honourable mention goes to the Florida Grouper with Yellowing Chives. Loved the subtle sweetness.
It was my first 'chowmeet' and I admit I was a tad nervous, but everyone was friendly and made me feel welcome.
First, my thanks to Charles – and great seeing all of you too.
But, of course, we must follow the rule of discussing the Chow, not the Hound. Otherwise we risk this thread being deleted.
And I’m pleased to report that this place (Maple Yip) is well worth a visit – as long as you can speak the local language. Not an English (or French) sign in the place (didn’t see a menu as Charles had pre-ordered). Which means this feast is not available to many of us – not that there would be any room as the place was packed. So that was the most frustrating part for me – in essence not sure I could ever return for a comparable meal – although certainly worth checking out to see what the regular menu is like.
Certainly talent in the kitchen – I was particularly impressed with the textures in almost every dish – crunchy, chewy, crispy, where appropriate – although the aromatics were more subtle. The grouper dish however WAS superb aromatically – and the winter melon broth similarly appealed. Textures were outstanding in the Beef tenderloin dish and ALL the appetizers. I was particularly impressed with the egg tortilla - don’t ever recall being struck by the texture of egg dishes in general (OK I except Spain – and this dish reminded me of Spain) – only criticism was the temperature was a bit cool – but they divided it for us, which took some time. The chicken was spectacular in presentation, but ‘glutinous’ isn’t my favourite texture, although the lardons of meat were superb.
Charles also thought the lobster was ‘dry’ – the most disappointing course, for me – but easily overcome by the other amazing dishes. The crab ‘slightly disappointed’ – certainly aromatically – I expected more, given the lotus leaf preparation – but I still finished my entire portion (of everything actually, except a little of the glutinous rice).
And the desert congee was a total surprise (pleasant). I’m not a congee fan at the best of times (too many meals of porridge as a child), so I approached this with trepidation. But possibly the best dish, texturally, of all. The different grains were exactly that – different. The overall texture was certainly well suited to support these textures – not sure I can find a polite word for ‘gluey’ but I’ll just say ‘it worked for me’. And I’ve never been a great fan of mochi (or sesame balls) in the past – but these were the best I’ve had – although the slight sweetness seemed a bit jarring to my western-trained palate – I’m more accustomed to all-out sweetness or fruitiness with dessert – this sensation was more of a rosewater – not sure if I liked it (in particular) but I certainly enjoyed the dish overall.
Maybe there is something to this Cantonese cuisine after all!