On days where the sun refuses to come out, and I can't feel my toes, I head straight to King's Noodle, the perfect place to drown my tears and mourn the end of summer.
I like to think of Congee as the Asian version of a bowl of warm oatmeal. It is essential a savoury rice porridge. Like oatmeal, you can have it plain or you can spice it up with an endless amount of condiments and toppings. Congee does a great job of warming up your bones and making you feel well rested and full - without putting a dent in your wallet!
Noodles & bbq meats are their specialty but they also have great rice and congee dishes as well as the occasional dim sum item. Don't be intimidated by the meat hanging in the window, it's all excellent cuts of good quality bbq. The roast duck, bbq pork and roast pig here are excellent and make great to-go meals if you're on the run.
On this occasion, the Sok Sister and I decided to order a bowl of congee each with a few side dishes to share. The portions here are excellent and we could have easily shared a bowl but decided to get greedy and eat with our eyes instead. She ordered the bowl of century egg (salted preserved egg) congee and I had the bbq duck congee ($4.95).
The rice flour doughnuts ($3.75) are made, fried and rolled in house so what you get is a nice crispy and flakey doughnut, instead of the usual greasy, hard log you find sold in asian stores. I like to dunk my doughnut logs straight into my congee so I have floating "dumplings" to look forward to while I'm chowing down. You can also get these without the rice flour sheets rolled around them.
We also shared a plate of stuffed bean cured (tofu) and fried eggplant ($6.98) and deep fried shrimp dumplings ($2.50) with salad sauce, aka sweet mayo. I loved the sweetness of Chinese eggplant, and when its deep-fried the skin gets nice and crispy and chewy. I had a few dollops of the sweet hoisin sauce on the fried tofu, which was smooth and silky. The fried shrimp dumplings are always my favourite during dim sum. There is just something beautiful about a hot shrimp dumping with lashings of sweet cold mayo!
My bowl of congee came with paper thin julienne pieces of raw ginger and chunks of roast duck. They do a great job making sure you get a few meaty pieces of duck as well. I like to drizzle hot chilli oil on top before I dig in.
King's Noodle is definitely one of my favourite Cheap Eat's in Toronto and a great go-to spot for some comfort food. This place gets pretty busy and if you like to dine alone, be prepared to be sat at one large community table. The service could be a lot friendlier but they're definitely efficient and fast.
296 Spadina Ave