Saturday seems to slowly be turning into a regular fooding affair. I walk the almost 2hrs to Brent’s house and arrive famished, and we head out for food. Last Saturday it was decided that we would go for the best Chinese food and follow it up with best macaron for dessert. So off we went, in the last of the summer heat, to Mother’s Dumplings for lunch. Mother’s Dumplings is located in the heart of Chinatown on Spadina Ave., so it was not a very long walk. The restaurant was much larger than I had been told, and luckily we were promptly seated. We had anticipated the place being packed and having to get our food to go. Which would’ve been a hilarious sight to see, the both of us trying to eat noodles and dumplings while maneuvering crowded city streets.
We decided to split an order of 10 steamed pork & chive dumplings as well as an order of da-lu noodles (going on Brent’s co-workers recommendation). Even still, it was a lot of food. The noodles actually came in a soup (I had thought we were just getting a plate of noodles, which is fine by me, I love noodles, they are wildly underrated)… in a giant bowl! We were each given a smaller bowl to eat out of, and eat I did. I ate 3 bowls of noodles. It was that good. Then on the 3rd bowl I followed Brent and added some rooster hot sauce (I say rooster, because there is a rooster on the bottle) which made it all the better, as if that was even possible. Alas, I still needed room for the dumplings whihc had arrived by my 2nd bowl, just enough time for them to cool to non-burning-my-mouth temperature. Aw man, those dumplings! I have never really liked dumplings, and I absolutely HATE chives so things were not looking too good, but I promised I would try. Best dumplings I have ever had. I actually LIKE dumplings now! It was a lot of fun trying to pick them up with chopsticks, which I eventually succeeded in doing. Nevermind the fact that the first time I just stabbed the dumpling with one chopstick and only made it look like I had in fact managed to pick it up.
What is great about Mother’s Dumplings is that you can actually watch them making the dumplings. They make them right there in front of you, rather than somewhere in the back where you can never be sure if it is just frozen prepackaged mass-manufactured ones. You can definetly taste the difference. The first I tried dumplings they were frozen ones from the grocery store. Needless to say, they gave me a stomachache and soured my views on dumplings. Thankfully that has all come undone now. I have now made myself crave them. Dammit. I am nowhere near downtown as of this writing.
Satiated and full of delicious food, we slowly made our way down to Queen Street in search of dessert. Dessert was not just going to be any old run-of-the-mill sweets, oh no. I had my sights set on something delicious and lavishly fancy from Nadege Patisserie. A french macaron. Not a macaroon. There is no coconut in these delicate french desserts. Macarons are meringues with cream sandwiched in the middle, a sort of super fancy cookie that is delicate and melt-in-your-mouth delicious. The flavours we had: chocolate, cappuccino, cassis, and chocolate-orange.
We started with the cassis (kind of like black currant flavour), passing it back and forth taking little nibbles. Brent made a face, he did not care for the tart flavour. I did like it. When I bit in, I was expecting it to be tooth-achingly sweet, just like the meringues of my childhood, just one and you were halfway to a diabetic coma (it was awesome) but the tartness was a nice surprise. Next was the chocolate, Brent’s favourite. It was one of the best, all the flavour of chocolate without the rich heaviness (and eventual stomachache, a common theme in my life it seems). The cappuccino was my favourite. It was like eating a cup of coffee, and Brent’s lack of coffee love of course showed, he made yet another face. I did not have high hopes with regard to the chocolate-orange. I usually hate orange flavoured stuff (except for IKEA ginger-orange cookies) and even moreso when it is chocolate-orange. Thankfully the orange was subtle and not overpowering, it was just a hint, just enough to give it a zing, no more. The chocolate in Nadege’s macarons is rich and dark, it has a very strong cocoa flavour so it is not ungodly sweet.
Admittedly, this was the first time I had ever tried macarons, so of course they were the best. But this isn’t over. I am going to go out and find some more. I also am returning to Nadege to try their marshmallows, voted also best in the city (except this time by Toronto Life).
NOTE: I cannot believe the word “fooding” has an entry on Wikipedia.