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Best Sweet & Sour Pork south of Steeles

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smfan Nov 20, 2013 01:47 PM

Guess where I had it.
Spoon & Fork 865 York Mills Rd.

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  1. T Long Nov 20, 2013 02:05 PM

    When did they open....and why was the S&S so special?

    1 Reply
    1. re: T Long
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      smfan Nov 20, 2013 02:48 PM

      The pork was pipping hot, not fatty or dried out. The batter was light & thin. Just enough crunch. I could taste the pork. No MSG shock for me. I am very sensitive to MSG. The website said it opened on Nov 7. I went today for lunch. The Chinese Brocolli was good too. I would skip the oyster sauce next time.

    2. p
      plug Nov 20, 2013 02:15 PM

      Better than maple yip?

      2 Replies
      1. re: plug
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        smfan Nov 20, 2013 02:42 PM

        Yes better than maple yip.

        1. re: smfan
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          smfan Nov 20, 2013 02:58 PM

          Only a couple of good chefs for dim sum or chinese cuisine in TO and they move onto new establishment fairly quickly. My advice is don't wait to try it out.

      2. Charles Yu Nov 20, 2013 04:42 PM

        Interesting smfan!!
        A common but most challenging dish to perfect! IMO, there are a few components that need to be combined well in order to make a 'great ' Sweet & Sour Pork dish. The glaze/sauce playing a major part. In the S&F version, can you taste the 'Hawthorne' tablets, that traditional authentic recipe calls for, to add that special aroma and sweetness as well as to cut down the acidity of the vinegar use?!
        I would love for you to give the slightly hole-in-the-wall, 'Fortune House - Huntingwood/Birchmont' or the more upscale, 'Dragon Dynasty - Brimley/Sheppard' or 'Casa Imperial - Steeles/Warden' a try to compare! Very authentic and 'Hong Kong' like! If and when the kitchen was not overly busy, the end product churned out can be a real killer!!
        Enjoy!

        18 Replies
        1. re: Charles Yu
          duckdown Nov 20, 2013 05:06 PM

          Spoon & Fork is part of a large chain of restaurants, some bearing the same name and some that do not.. Most of them AYCE fusion with sushi.

          I would never crap on a restaurant simply for being part of a large commercial chain but in my experience the food at S&F and sister restaurants are always quite generic at best.. I'd be pretty surprised if somehow they've got the most authentic recipe around, but hey, stranger things have happened I guess!

          1. re: duckdown
            T Long Nov 20, 2013 05:23 PM

            Good observation. One thing to note though is that this is their first real foray into a territory where authenticity (hate using that word, but...) may start to make a difference.

            1. re: T Long
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              smfan Nov 20, 2013 06:02 PM

              I saw the chef. Cantonese in his 50's. And with new establishment they always have good food and chef in the beginning.

              1. re: smfan
                T Long Nov 20, 2013 06:09 PM

                This chain is run by a pretty shrewd guy. He has the financial muscle to hire and to retain the best. He has stayed away from the RH/Markham/N.Toronto highly competitive marketplace up until now (and is actually still on the edges of that territory) but must realize that to capture the "Hong Kong" stomachs so to speak, he must deliver more authenticity (that word again) than was needed in places like Oakville, Mississauga, Etobicoke, and Woodbridge.

                1. re: T Long
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                  smfan Nov 20, 2013 06:11 PM

                  The Chinese dishes are very limited at S&F.

                  1. re: smfan
                    T Long Nov 21, 2013 09:15 AM

                    Did you get the S&S pork as a separate entree dish or was it part of an AYCE deal....? (not a big fan of AYCE places)

                    1. re: T Long
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                      smfan Nov 21, 2013 02:08 PM

                      You can order it from menu. I got it with AYCE

                  2. re: T Long
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                    smfan Nov 20, 2013 06:14 PM

                    York Mills is a food wasteland. S&F is only 10 mins by bus so I am thrilled.

              2. re: duckdown
                Charles Yu Nov 20, 2013 05:30 PM

                Oh!! Didn't realize that?!!
                Well, may be they can brag that their version is much better than the 'Mandarin''s?! Ha!!

              3. re: Charles Yu
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                smfan Nov 20, 2013 06:03 PM

                I tried Dragon Dynasty 2 wks ago for dim sum and roasted pigeons. Very disappointing.

                1. re: smfan
                  Charles Yu Nov 20, 2013 07:10 PM

                  Ref: Dragon Dynasty. Thanks for the heads up!! Another inconsistent story!! Sigh!!

                  Ref: Roasted pigeons. Will be giving Casa Victoria's Roasted pigeon ( and suckling piglet ) a try in the near future. Heard chefs responsible for these Cantonese roasted meats honed their skills at Hong Kong Michelin star rated iconic restaurant, 'Fook Lam Moon'!!

                  1. re: Charles Yu
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                    smfan Nov 20, 2013 08:29 PM

                    I loved Metropolitan seven years ago then it spiral downhill. Then I found New Sky. Same thing happened. So I figured TO only has a couple of good chefs for chinese cuisine and they don't stay put.

                    1. re: smfan
                      Charles Yu Nov 20, 2013 08:47 PM

                      Agree!! Another fine example was 'The Emperor'! The food was so spectacular when I held a multi-table chowmeet there a few months ago. Now, I heard from a few friends that some of the dishes were just not the same??!!
                      So far, IMO, O'Mei is still the most consistent!! At least when it comes to their Giant lobster 4/5 ways!

                      1. re: Charles Yu
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                        magic Nov 21, 2013 07:12 AM

                        Oh that's unsettling to hear about Emperor :S

                        I loved that place.

                  2. re: smfan
                    TorontoTips Nov 22, 2013 03:01 PM

                    Just a counter-note - I'm a DragonDynasty regular, and I find them consistently one of the very best in the city for DimSum, but admittedly I've not had the pigeon.
                    Yes, it's carts (which I personally love) so you do have to use your head and not order the very last item on a near-empty cart, and instead focus on the full carts with fresh product, but I always have consistently excellent dishes there, typically better than the 'ultra-premium' places that charge twice as much to make me sit and wait for swan-shaped dumplings in martini glasses :-)
                    And yes, their S&S pork is excellent, and much of their BBQ fare is quite good, too.

                    1. re: TorontoTips
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                      smfan Nov 22, 2013 06:40 PM

                      I went to DD on a weekday around 230pm and ordered from menu. No cart. It was $2.8 per dim sum. I wasn't expecting quality like Casa Imperial. But I will not go back.

                  3. re: Charles Yu
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                    smfan Nov 20, 2013 06:07 PM

                    The Sweet & Sour was very balanced in S&F version and I liked it.

                    1. re: Charles Yu
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                      plug Nov 20, 2013 07:03 PM

                      My favourite for ss pork is lychee bay cuisine.

                    2. m
                      magic Nov 21, 2013 09:33 AM

                      Funny, S&S pork does not seem to be listed on their website menu. Unless I missed something.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: magic
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                        smfan Nov 21, 2013 02:10 PM

                        I checked their website. They haven't included York Mills branch yet.

                      2. s
                        smfan Nov 22, 2013 02:11 PM

                        Sigh!! Went with my DH today and the S&S was just average. Batter was thick and the pork was a little bit over cooked. The sauce was the same though. The great chef not working today??

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