816 cuisine toronto

816 Cuisine

816 Cuisine is a Chinese restaurant serving Sichuan dishes and classic Cantonese banquet hall dishes. 

With white table cloths and a looping soundtrack of elegant tunes, it's a classy affair, with the majority of mains priced upwards of $20. 

chung chun torontoThe restaurant, which is helmed by Yang Gang, an award-winning chef from Sichuan, has a flair for presentation, with a couple signature dishes that definitely warrant some oohs and aahs. 

If you're coming with a group, I highly recommend an order of the wooden barrel crab, from the 'sauna seafood' section of the menu. 

chung chun torontoCharged at market price, this dish involves an entire tableside presentation that involves a custom wooden barrel (made from fragrant cedar that you can actually smell) filled with scorching hot stones from the Sichuan river. 

chung chun torontoKnown to be full of minerals, the stones keep the dish's soup, which is poured three separate times, piping hot.

chung chun torontoThe coolest part is that every new pour warrants three different synchronized chants from the cooks, which go along the lines of wishing good fortune and blessings, but in Chinese. 

chung chun torontoIt's an exhilarating performance full of sizzles and smoke, and the best part is that the soup is deliciously flavourful. Warming and healthy, the crab head's meat dissolves into the soup, adding flavour and a bit of oil to the veggies while cooking the whole crab meat. 

chung chun torontoAnother photogenic dish: 816 Cuisine's ever-popular order of six housemade, panda-shaped mochi. ($18.99). 

chung chun torontoOne of Gang's specialities, these sticky rice balls are stuffed with a mix of minced mango and egg custard, and decorated with chocolate chips.

chung chun toronto The mochi is so chewy and tender, I could almost do without the almost overly sweet flavour of the chocolate. 

chung chun torontoA crystal prawn salad ($26.99) has its crustacean coated in deep fried yam, presented with a cocktail umbrella.

chung chun torontoThe coating is delicious, hampered slightly by a colourful if not unnecessary topping of colourful dessert sprinkles. 

chung chun torontoCumin BBQ lamb ($38.99) brings a strong northwestern Chinese flare, with fragrant, crispy lamb ribs coated in a tasty spread of spices. 

816 cuisine torontoWhile there are a few apps and snacks on the menu for around $10 or under, the majority of dishes here are definitely more expensive than your average Chinese restaurant, but 816 Cuisine is definitely a go-to for special occasions and some performative service. 

chung chun toronto

Photos by

Hector Vasquez

816 Cuisine

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