Chez Maxim Oriental review
A friend and I were looking to satisfy some late night Chinese food hunger pangs on St-Laurent a couple Fridays ago (post-Hyatt jazz lounge, natch) when we were excitedly accosted by an elderly Chinese gentleman, entreating us to enter his establishment. I look up. Well, I'll be. It's the that Maxim place I've read about on Chowhound. The entrance has been redone so that it's now a wide, rather grand looking white staircase, with 4-5 steps up to the door.
It's on the second (& possibly third?) floor. Large white room, very spacious, bright, and clean. They've put some money into the place, with real cloth tablecloths and marble counters and window ledges.
We ordered salt & pepper pork chops (Amigo was our original port of call), sesame beef, and chicken fried rice. Well, you can't really fuck up the latter - unless you make it way too dry, which this wasn't. The salt & pepper pork chops were great. Nicely breaded, good cuts of meat, not tough or overly fatty, and most of all, not greasy. Could've used more chili, though. The sesame beef was great too. Again, a better cut of meat than usual, and it had probably been marinated because it was so tender it practically melted in my mouth, and the flavour was deep. Had some good bite, too, with 5 or 6 chili peppers in the dish. Really good.
Prices are a couple bucks more than most places, but that means the mains were $12 instead of ten, and rice was $9 or 10 instead of $7 or 8. Still dirt cheap, portions are as big as anywhere, and the quality is a step up.
This is the kind of Chinese for the people who know who don't really like Chinese because it's usually very greasy. High end, not greasy or heavy, with good cuts of meat, and unlike some other places -*cough*Cristal Chinoise, Kam Fung, Keung Kee, and P.M.*- it doesn't have the absolutely unconscionable shark fin soup on the menu.
There was only one other table when we arrived, and we overheard them joking about being pulled in off the street when they were paying. Two more tables were taken when we left. Hopefully this place gets more people walking in by their own accord soon, it's a notch above the usual.
Open late, til 4a.m. Th-Sat
til 1a.m. Sun-Wed
Chez Maxim Oriental
1059 St-Laurent (a bit above de la Gauchetiere, east side)
p.s. I didn't think to ask if there is a New Dynasty connection.
Glad you had a good meal. Ours, not so great. Had the set Chinese dinner for four: lobster, fish hot pot, beef with Chinese broccoli and boiled chicken. The chicken was dry and tasted like leftovers, the beef was chewy and everything was pretty bland. The corn soup that came with the meal was goopy and similarly lacked snap. Hostess and waiters very nice. Also pretty empty when we were there a few weeks ago.
That sounds great. I didn't even know shark fin soup was still served. It has ghastly consequences and many people of Chinese origin have spoken out against it.
Indeed, it would be nice to have not-too-greasy Chinese without a trip to Markham or Vancouver/Richmond...
Unfortunately, yes, a few restaurants serve it here (& a moronic judge in Toronto overturned the city ban earlier this year)
The list is here, NB it is incomplete. I've sent them an email to add PM, Mon Nan and Tong Sing to the list:
Actually, a separate thread to raise awareness might be in order...