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Globe and Mail top 10 new restos

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themiguel Dec 13, 2013 09:16 AM

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/life/h...

All in all a pretty good list. Not much to complain about. Charles and other Markham specialists, is Dayali worth the trip? I feel like it has been reviewed here before.

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  1. t
    themiguel RE: themiguel Dec 13, 2013 09:20 AM

    Found the Dayali reviews...seems pretty mixed. Can be solid or can be terrible.

    1. w
      Wil RE: themiguel Dec 13, 2013 12:42 PM

      Dayali is ok , but nothing special compared to other places that make peking duck

      1. g
        gembellina RE: themiguel Dec 13, 2013 01:12 PM

        "TAKHT-E TAVOOS It is run by Alireza Fakhrashrafi and Danielle Schrage, who also own Pomegranate and Sheherzade farther east on College Street."

        Tahkt-e Tavoor sounds incredible - how do the other two compare?

        4 Replies
        1. re: gembellina
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          gembellina RE: gembellina Dec 13, 2013 01:15 PM

          I should add: the threads I've found are very old, so any recent experiences?

          1. re: gembellina
            y
            ylsf RE: gembellina Dec 13, 2013 02:00 PM

            I haven't been to either recently but had good experiences at both. It is one of my Persian friends go to spot in the city (and she lived further north closer to the Persian community on Yonge north of the 401). I really want to get to Takh-e Tavoos, maybe soon!

            1. re: ylsf
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              gembellina RE: ylsf Dec 16, 2013 08:45 AM

              It sounds amazing, something I'm sure my parents would love when they're here for the holidays. Only brunch and lunch though, if I'm reading other reviews correctly?

          2. re: gembellina
            happycamper RE: gembellina Dec 16, 2013 09:54 AM

            I have been to Pomegranate for dinner over the last few years, and recently fell in love with TeT for their brunch.
            Delicious food, gracious service - can't wait for them to get licensed and serving dinner.

          3. Charles Yu RE: themiguel Dec 13, 2013 08:40 PM

            Dayali presents a 'different' approach to the Peking Duck that Toronto is used to. Its more 'Beijing Authentic'! As such, the skin portion of the dish is excellent whilst their second course lacked the 'wok-hay' attractiveness usually associated with the 'Lettuce wrap' approach adopted by the Cantonese clone.

            1. Charles Yu RE: themiguel Dec 15, 2013 09:46 AM

              With most established Cantonese restaurants in town becoming complacent and going down hill these days, In the past year, the one bright 'new' star that is holding things up IMHO, is ' Fung Lam Court' ( Kennedy/Denison). Some really great Canto and pseudo-fusion dishes, especially the 'Dungeness Crab in Creamy Rum sauce', the 'Wok Grilled Aromatic Garlic Lamb chops' and the ' Herbed Premium Top soy braised Squab'.
              If I am CNS and FOOD taste is the main selection criteria over novelty or gimmicky approaches. Then, I would pick FLC over the 'one dish' Dayali any day ( though I must admit the style of food is different. ) Nowadays, I find almost every decent restaurants can churn out more than half decent Peking style Duck! The uniqueness and novelty factor has long gone!!
              Apart from the duck and just the crispy skin for that matter!! Other dishes offered by Dayali are pretty middle of the road.

              2 Replies
              1. re: Charles Yu
                o
                orick RE: Charles Yu Dec 18, 2013 08:22 AM

                Different strokes for different folks, I really dislike Fung Lam Court for how overpowering they flavour everything and way too much MSG.

                1. re: orick
                  Charles Yu RE: orick Dec 18, 2013 10:43 AM

                  Well! You are right! To each his own.
                  May be you would like to know that you are the first person I know who dislike the place!

              2. Royaljelly RE: themiguel Dec 18, 2013 05:27 PM

                Being married to a wife who originates from Beijing, we eat out a lot at many mainland china style restos in Toronto. While I don't think Dayali will impress those with a palate for more of the Cantonese style fare (myself included), there are the few who long for the comfort style of mainland Chinese food that Dayali can offer.

                On our last two trips to Beijing we had a lot of Peking duck (some great, some terrible) and soon you realize that it's quite different than the Peking duck that is served at most Cantonese restos. The BJ style duck is more smoky, drier and just more flavourful (if done right). When you dip the skin in the granulated white sugar and eat it alone without the sauce, you'll know what I mean. Go for the Gold Medal duck, don't bother with the cheaper ones. How it's cut is also a bit of an art to, as you want the perfect mix of skin/meat/fat ratio. The biggest problem with Dayali is their wrapper skins are terrible (thick and dried out). I long for the ones at the old Brilliant restaurant.

                While I've had many poor dishes there (like the tofu and crab brain soup that my wife keeps ordering, which I hate), a few of the better dishes that I liked were

                - Pork Belly on sticky rice with steamed buns
                - Skewered Bullfrog fried legs - get the spicy cumin style
                - Baked Pumpkin fries coated with egg yolk batter
                - Lion's head meatballs in rich broth
                - Trio of veggies/mushroom in hot oil and soy

                other decent dishes were
                - spicy diced eggplant
                - spicy lamb on sizzling hot plate
                - various meat pancakes

                So if you are
                A) adventurous and want to try a different form of peking duck (Bejing style) or
                B) love food from Beijing and need your fix of comfort food
                then for sure Dayali is worth a trip for you.

                As for Fung Lam Court, I've had two bad meals there but likely ordered all the wrong dishes. Charles seems to know what to order.

                1 Reply
                1. re: Royaljelly
                  Charles Yu RE: Royaljelly Dec 18, 2013 06:14 PM

                  Apart from the two chef's award winning 'fusion' creation - 'Dungeness Crab in Creamy Rum sauce' and the 'Aromatic garlic wok fried lamb rack", Fung Lam Court is known amongst 'Cantonese' patrons for offering really authentic 'heritage' Cantonese fare. The Pig's lung, almond milk soup being a fine example! Delicacies like the $900/box Preserved salted Threadfin fish from Hong Kong is another!
                  So, in a way, Royaljelly, you are right. One would need to know what to order to take advantage. Furthermore, I also learned not to go there during 'peak hours' and weekends. (Can be really chaotic!) That way, a lot of the dishes will be handled by Chef Lai himself!

                  { May be, skylineR33 and the two of us can have a mini-chowmeet there, with me doing a pre-dinner chat with Chef Lai to 'make sure'?!! }

                2. d
                  Dean Tudor RE: themiguel Dec 20, 2013 04:56 PM

                  OTOH, which of these top 10 will be in the 2014 version of this article --

                  http://www.blogto.com/eat_drink/2013/...

                  Just sayin'

                  1. Gastroworld RE: themiguel Dec 21, 2013 08:54 AM

                    Personally I really didn't like Dayali but it could be because they don't lightly fry the skin before serving so it's not as crispy as the other Peking duck places I prefer - but it is more authentic. I think there's way better places out there to get Peking duck - Cheung King in Markham is better in my opinion.

                    If you care to read more about my experience in depth - Dayali (http://gastroworldblog.blogspot.ca/20...)

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: Gastroworld
                      Charles Yu RE: Gastroworld Dec 21, 2013 10:17 AM

                      FYI, the judging panel plus the organizer of the ' 2013 Chinese Restaurant Award - Toronto ' went for a tasting of the duck at Chung King in Markham early on this year. The duck was a major disappointment, borderline disaster! Meat and pancake were dry. Condiments were wilted. Some skin were acceptable, some too chewy!
                      When was your last Chung King experience?

                      BTW, I do agree that most Cantonese clone Peking Duck found all over town do generally have crisper skin due to the 'short cut' approach adopted by the chef in frying the bird in oil ( similar to their Crispy Fried Chicken ). However, in the case of Dayali, where business is brisk and approach 'authentic' the result is less 'artificial'!

                      Best 'Peking style duck skin' was actually prepared by the Michelin 3* Hestor Blumenthal of Fat Duck fame. He dissected the skin from the duck in one piece, mounted it on a big metal grid mesh, prepared it the usual way by using a molasses, vinegar and cooking wine coating mix, air dry and then 'blow dry' before doing a 'double' roasting /frying procedure. The result was a perfect piece of lacquered Gossamer thin 'unbelievably crisp' membrane!

                      1. re: Charles Yu
                        Gastroworld RE: Charles Yu Dec 21, 2013 01:33 PM

                        Charles, are you part of the judging panel? I've only been to Chung King three times and only once the duck was a bit overdone for my taste, I think it was too lean. The other two times it was great and the pancakes thin but still large so I could properly make my pockets.

                        If you care to read the intricate details I wrote up my first visit here - http://gastroworldblog.blogspot.ca/20...

                        I really want to go to Fat Duck. Was recently in London but we didn't have time to make the trip outside of London to visit his restaurant. Mmm... kinda sad that the best place for Peking duck isn't even in China! :)

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