- Address: 108 Chestnut St, Toronto
- Visited: 10/11/2016, Dinner, 12 people
- Cuisine: Chinese
- Rating: 4.0 5.0 Excellent, worth every $
4.5 Good, food & value
4.0 Good, but $$, would re-visit
3.5 Meh, good $, would re-visit
3.0 Meh, would not re-visit
2.0 Did not like $$$ [$] <20; [$$] <40; [$$$] <80; [$$$$] >80
- Website: http://laiwahheen.com/
When The Hubby proposed, after saying yes, our first biggest decision was where to host the wedding. We knew we wanted a Chinese style banquet and with Lai Wah Heen’s reputation as Toronto’s best dim sum restaurant, they were one of our top choices. When I was invited to attend Lai Wah Heen’s Fall Tasting Dinner, I cleared my calendar.
Atmosphere: Lai Wah Heen is located in the Double Tree hotel and has been the standard for upscale Chinese food in the city for over 20 years. The classic restaurant is frequented often by Chinese celebrities visiting Toronto and is still the go to place for my parents friend when celebrating a special occasion. On a Tuesday night, the restaurant was quiet with only a few tables filled. Decor was elegant and traditional with white table cloths and warm lighting.
Food: We were treated to a 10 course meal, including 2 giant lobsters cooked 4 ways, Peking Duck carved tableside and two types of claypot rice. A few of the dishes featured more Western ingredients like foie gras, which were interesting. To me, I found Lai Wah Heen excelled more with the traditional Cantonese items, but every dish was delicious.
Our full Tasting Menu consisted of the following dishes:
- Peking Duck with shredded Scallions and Cucumbers on Steamed Rice Crepes
- Foie Gras and Seared Scallop
- Fried Truffle wonton in Clear Consomme
- Deep-fried Lamb rack with Truffle and Assorted Mushrooms
- Wok-Cooked Boneless Chicken with Fish maw in Chinese Wine Broth
- Wok-Cooked Quail flavoured with Soy Bean Sauce
- Nova Scotia Jumbo Lobster cooked 4 ways
- Claypot Rice with Quail
- Claypot Rice with Eel
- Glutinous Rice Ball
- Chinese Pearl Glazed with light Osmanthus Syrup
With the Foie Gras and Scallop appetizer, I liked the seared version over the deep fried ones. With the foie gras, the simplicity of the cooking technique focused the dish on the quality of the ingredient while the deep fried version was a bit heavy on batter. The clear consomme with the crispy fried truffle was savoury and the filling of the wonton was bursting with flavour. Of the 4 lobster dishes, my favourite was the steamed lobster with garlic. The simple seasoning highlighted the natural flavour of the tender lobster.
My favourite dishes were the Wok Cooked chicken with fish maw, served over a hot flame, which reduced the broth as we ate. After some time, the fish maw had soaked up a ton of flavour and the broth was thick and concentrated. I also really liked the flavours of the wok-cooked quail, which was savoury and incredibly tender. The deep-fried lamb rack was lightly battered, gamey and the hint of truffle oil added a punch of umami.
Currently, Lai Wah Heen is offering 2 coupons allowing their customers to enjoy their Peking Duck and Lobster dinner at a special discounted price. Simply present the coupon before ordering (be sure to double check the fine print). Lai Wah Heen continues to serve up delicious, elevated, Chinese cuisine while testing out new innovative menu items.