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O'Mei 'Giant Lobster 5 Ways' Chowmeet - A Brief Summary!

Charles Yu Feb 5, 2013 08:05 PM

When unique Chinese dishes are being discussed on this board, O'Mei's one-of-a-kind 'Giant Lobster 5 ways' almost always got mentioned.Though popular and well known amongst regular Chinese patrons, this off-menu item has yet to be discovered by most western populous. Due to the intimidating size of the beast, it also require a group of people to devour the monster!

Tonight, a group of 24 die-hard foodies, braved the frigid weather and lousy traffic, descended on O'Mei for a pre-arranged 'Giant Lobster 5 ways' chowmeet. Between the two round tables, we shared a total of 36 pounds of the pre-historic monsters!

The meal consisted of:

- Steamed lobster claws with fried minced garlic, ginger & scallions on a bed of rice vermicelli

- Stirred fry lobster tails with premium top soy-Maggi sauce and shredded onions.

- Deep fried head and body with spiced chili garlic peppered salt.

- Steamed egg custard ( Chawamushi ) with tomale ( lobster brains )

- Fried rice with egg white, string beans, minced dried scallops and tomale.

- Braised E-Fu noodles with Chinese mushrooms, Tomale and lobster broth.

- House special Crispy skin free-run Chicken with special dipping sauce

- Authentic Cantonese sweet and sour pork.

- Stirred fry Chinese Broccoli ( Gai Lan ) with mince dried Tile fish and garlic

- An array of complimentary Chinese dessert that included: Chinese egg-white doughnut puff with red-bean filling, Fresh Mango Mochi, Red bean and black glutinous rice soup, mini Chinese sesame paste filled mochi ( Tong-Yuen ).

Due to the shear quantity of lobster involved, the kitchen actually came out with a rare 'Lobster 6 ways'!!

All dishes were competently executed with the majority of attendees pointing to the 'Maggi Stirred lobster tail dish' as their favorite! The deep fried version came a close second.

Overall, I think everyone was stuffed and had a great time!

Value and 'quantity of lobster' wise, I believe our meal beat the current Scaramouche's $62 Lobsterlicious 3 course dinner, hands down!!

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  1. justxpete RE: Charles Yu Feb 5, 2013 08:33 PM

    I also loved the sweet and sour pork, but everything was rather delicious. Thanks for organizing, Charles! I may drive all the way to RH just for the pork!

    1. Full tummy RE: Charles Yu Feb 5, 2013 09:05 PM

      Wonderful meal! Thank you for organizing it. Look forward to future events.

      1. k
        klyeoh RE: Charles Yu Feb 6, 2013 01:47 AM

        The tomale chawanmushi sounded fab! Wish I live in Toronto, Charles.

        3 Replies
        1. re: klyeoh
          Charles Yu RE: klyeoh Feb 6, 2013 08:13 AM

          I have been extending invitation to you and Fourseasons for years to pay us a visit! For sure skylineR33 and I will arrange a special treat for you both!!

          1. re: Charles Yu
            klyeoh RE: Charles Yu Feb 6, 2013 06:10 PM

            I guess FS (in-between his gourmet trips to Japan) and I will have to make concrete plans to come to Toronto soon. Sorry to have to miss you (again!) in HK this month. I'll be trying to picture the dishes and the fun you guys are going to have on the HK Chowmeet whilst I'm in New Delhi this time.

            1. re: klyeoh
              Charles Yu RE: klyeoh Feb 6, 2013 06:36 PM

              I won't mind exchanging some HK food for some of those yummy authentic Indian cuisine you will be enjoying!!

        2. d
          Degustation RE: Charles Yu Feb 6, 2013 02:27 AM

          It was all delicious but the lobster tails with Maggi sauce was really terrific - is it possible to order extra onions? Would return just for this dish.

          The steamed lobster claws were quite good as well - cooked perfectly so the tender meat easily pulled right out of the shell.

          Thanks so much for organizing, Charles!

          1 Reply
          1. re: Degustation
            Charles Yu RE: Degustation Feb 6, 2013 08:16 AM

            Yes!! One can pick a smaller lobster and have them do it just the Maggi way!
            Hee! Hee!! You love the onions too?!! Foodies think alike!! That's exactly what my family do everytime we have lobster there!! Onions sauteed in Maggi sauce! An awesome combo!

          2. estufarian RE: Charles Yu Feb 6, 2013 05:28 AM

            Adding my thanks too.
            Agree with everyone else on the top dishes (except I'll add the E-Fu noodles).

            1. a
              autopi RE: Charles Yu Feb 6, 2013 05:31 AM

              it was indeed a lovely meal, with great company as well. the lobster dishes were all terrific -- the stir fried lobster tails were a highlight, as was the salt & pepper lobster. the lobster & egg custard had a lovely silken texture that would have made a fantastic meal in its own right -- a pity that i was too full to have more than a nibble!

              i also greatly appreciated the multi course desserts -- i'd never seen the egg white donut before, and that plus the mango mochi, black rice soup and sesame mochi really put the meal over the top.

              thanks again, charles, for organizing the outing!

              1. T Long RE: Charles Yu Feb 6, 2013 05:58 AM

                What was the per person cost?

                1 Reply
                1. re: T Long
                  prima RE: T Long Feb 6, 2013 06:46 AM

                  $60, including tea, tax & tip. Cash bar for other drinks. ;-)

                2. prima RE: Charles Yu Feb 6, 2013 06:45 AM

                  Thanks for organizing, Charles.
                  Loved the lobster with Maggi sauce!

                  1. jlunar RE: Charles Yu Feb 6, 2013 07:22 AM

                    Yes, thank you Charles for organizing!

                    1. a
                      auberginegal RE: Charles Yu Feb 6, 2013 07:23 AM

                      great report! hopefully i can meet you at a future chow related meet!

                      never thought to try the egg-white donut with the red bean filling at O-mei. i love these and looking for opinions on where there best ones are. i've had the ones from Asian Legend (decent) and Ding Tai Fung (not a fan, also as they use powdered sugar on top instead of granulated)...any suggestions?

                      3 Replies
                      1. re: auberginegal
                        jlunar RE: auberginegal Feb 6, 2013 08:29 AM

                        Chung King Garden in Market Village has these donuts. They were quite good fresh. Their Peking duck is supposed to be good too, but I didn't have a good experience with duck there.

                        1. re: jlunar
                          auberginegal RE: jlunar Feb 6, 2013 09:26 AM

                          good to know. though my last meal of peking duck there left me unimpressed as well (it has been great before, but perhaps not consistent?), so i'm not sure i'd go all the way there just for the donuts.

                          1. re: auberginegal
                            jlunar RE: auberginegal Feb 6, 2013 09:34 AM

                            My duck - the skin was nice enough, but the meat was tough and the pancakes were meh and the scallions and cukes were dried out (like they'd been sitting there forever).

                            So nope, probably won't go back! I have only started noticing these donuts on the menus, so will report back if I find a good place.

                      2. y
                        ylsf RE: Charles Yu Feb 6, 2013 07:53 AM

                        Great meal and I am glad the weather held off so I was able to join. Thanks to Charles for organizing and nice to meet everyone at my table.

                        The egg custard donut was pretty unique for me but also it was my first time having the e-fu noodles and very interesting texture/flavours on that. I had never had tomale before and it was great in the fried rice as well. Overall I wouldn't say there was a bad dish, just all gradients of "tasty".

                        The evening ended with some amusement and entertainment as well with the owner (?) singing some BeeGees for us. That was truly unexpected. Ha.

                        If Charles is still doing a 2nd sitting later in February I would highly recommend it to all who missed out this time.

                        3 Replies
                        1. re: ylsf
                          ylsf RE: ylsf Feb 6, 2013 07:56 AM

                          Actually, a follow up. Was there another dish that came out that wasn't crisp chicken?? Like, another chicken dish. I thought I saw a dish out of the corner of my eye that was chicken that they kind of put down but maybe they took it away again? The skin looked almost like it had been steamed or something.

                          1. re: ylsf
                            Charles Yu RE: ylsf Feb 6, 2013 08:22 AM

                            Yes! but that 'cold' version was a bit blend and more suited to the Chinese palette so I requested the whole 'more savory' crispy chicken for the group instead.

                            1. re: Charles Yu
                              ylsf RE: Charles Yu Feb 6, 2013 09:13 AM

                              Ah okay.. Great.. Yeah, the crispy one was delish.. but, I thought I had maybe missed something after I was reflecting on the meal :)

                        2. f
                          fickle RE: Charles Yu Feb 6, 2013 08:12 AM

                          Highlights for me were the lobster with maggi, chawanmushi and egg white donuts. Absolutely delicious. Many thanks to Charles for organizing and my fellow hounds for the great company. Attaching pix of the red bean soup and e-fu noodles to complete Charles' collection above.

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: fickle
                            Charles Yu RE: fickle Feb 6, 2013 08:57 AM


                          2. Charles Yu RE: Charles Yu Feb 6, 2013 08:41 AM

                            THANK YOU ALL FOR YOUR KIND WORDS!!
                            Glad the weather was cooperating, the food was good, the company great and the end result a successful one!

                            Some of you were mentioning an encore: How about a ' BC Jumbo Spotted Prawns ' chowmeet at 'The Emperor' when the season arrives in a few months time?
                            To wet your appetite, a few proposed a la carte and/or off-menu dishes I have in mind:

                            - Sauteed Spotted Prawns with Maggi sauce a la O'Mei
                            - Fried jumbo BC Oysters with peppered Honey Glaze
                            - Peking Duck ( their version is currently best in town?! )
                            - Sauteed Angus Filet Mignon cubes with walnuts in Teriyaki

                            You can BYOB. Corkage I think I can negotiate to $5 or less and they use Riedel stem ware! ( they'll even give out 'Sommelier series' if you bring a Petrus! Ha! )

                            Hope to see you all soon!

                            9 Replies
                            1. re: Charles Yu
                              ylsf RE: Charles Yu Feb 6, 2013 09:14 AM

                              I shouldn't have read this before eating lunch :) I will be anticipating your future clarion call :)

                              1. re: Charles Yu
                                Full tummy RE: Charles Yu Feb 6, 2013 10:39 AM

                                I'm in!

                                1. re: Charles Yu
                                  prima RE: Charles Yu Feb 6, 2013 06:19 PM

                                  Count me in for the spot prawns + Peking Duck ;-) Chester Elegante has also recommended the pea shoots at O'Mei, so I'd like to try some of their pea shoots on my next visit.

                                  1. re: prima
                                    justxpete RE: prima Feb 6, 2013 06:20 PM

                                    me too. :)

                                    1. re: prima
                                      Charles Yu RE: prima Feb 6, 2013 06:41 PM

                                      Pea Shoots can be 'temperamental'!! If not young and tender enough they could be tough, chewy and very fiber y.
                                      May be I'll add a Sauteed King Mushrooms with Pea Shoots with oyster sauce in our next gourmet adventure?!
                                      How come Chester Elegante hasn't been joining our chowmeets? Has he moved?!

                                      1. re: Charles Yu
                                        justxpete RE: Charles Yu Feb 6, 2013 06:54 PM

                                        He was at the one last month!

                                        1. re: Charles Yu
                                          prima RE: Charles Yu Feb 6, 2013 08:43 PM

                                          Sounds good, Charles. Hopefully, Chester Elegante will attend the next one. :-)

                                      2. re: Charles Yu
                                        autopi RE: Charles Yu Feb 6, 2013 07:21 PM

                                        yes -- absolutely! that would be lots of fun!

                                        1. re: Charles Yu
                                          DUH CAR RE: Charles Yu Feb 7, 2013 05:12 AM

                                          Linda and I will go!

                                        2. m
                                          mrsyumyum RE: Charles Yu Feb 6, 2013 09:29 AM

                                          Wow great review! Looks great. Thinking it would be a great place to take my mother in law for her birthday. The chinese interpretation of Scaramouche lol!!

                                          btw...tomale is actually the lobster's liver. One of my favourite parts of the lobster. I hate going to seafood restaurants and people don't eat it....what a waste!

                                          1. buttertart RE: Charles Yu Feb 6, 2013 10:48 AM

                                            Next time I'm in T.O., could we do this? Looks like HEAVEN.

                                            9 Replies
                                            1. re: buttertart
                                              Charles Yu RE: buttertart Feb 6, 2013 10:52 AM

                                              Sure!! Its only a short drive from New Jersey to Toronto!!

                                              1. re: Charles Yu
                                                buttertart RE: Charles Yu Feb 6, 2013 04:43 PM

                                                :) used to live there, went to UofT...time to get back!

                                              2. re: buttertart
                                                TorontoJo RE: buttertart Feb 6, 2013 05:10 PM

                                                Come for a visit, buttertart! I had to miss this dinner, so would welcome another chance at it! :)

                                                1. re: TorontoJo
                                                  Charles Yu RE: TorontoJo Feb 6, 2013 05:45 PM

                                                  Buttertart, agree with TorontoJo!
                                                  2nd sitting will be on Thursday, 28th February, 2013.
                                                  For some unexplained reason, so far chowhounders expressing interests in attending are all ladies??!!

                                                  1. re: Charles Yu
                                                    magic RE: Charles Yu Feb 6, 2013 05:54 PM

                                                    I'm a lady?!

                                                    1. re: magic
                                                      justxpete RE: magic Feb 6, 2013 06:21 PM

                                                      and to think, all this time...


                                                      1. re: justxpete
                                                        magic RE: justxpete Feb 6, 2013 07:09 PM


                                                      2. re: magic
                                                        Charles Yu RE: magic Feb 6, 2013 06:43 PM

                                                        That was before you e-mailed me with your reservation!! Sir!! Ha!!

                                                        1. re: Charles Yu
                                                          magic RE: Charles Yu Feb 6, 2013 07:10 PM


                                                2. l
                                                  Lau RE: Charles Yu Feb 6, 2013 04:50 PM

                                                  that looks great...i love that steamed egg custard, i havent had it in a while

                                                  i need to make it up there soon to go eat chinese food, alot closer than going to HK haha

                                                  1. y
                                                    Yimahaji RE: Charles Yu Feb 7, 2013 04:31 AM

                                                    Looks and sounds amazing, absolutely mouth watering!

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