Eat Yet is a Chinese restaurant in Toronto that specializes in steaming hot rice bowls.
Located in Chinatown, the small but inviting spot has a semi-modern, exposed brick-lined interior.
The appeal of the restaurant rests entirely on its nostalgic simplicity.
It starts with the name, Eat Yet. The phrase is meant to be evocative of owner Fred Lee's childhood memories when his mother would ask if he had eaten yet when he returned home from school. For many who grew up in Chinese households, it's also often considered an expression of love.
Given the restaurant's specialty in rice bowls, there's great attention given to the rice used. Unlike most restaurants, Eat Yet uses a blend of two kinds of high-quality rice: long grain Jasmine and round short grain.
The combination results in a rice base that is noticeable and pleasing, and is an interplay of textures.
Extra care is used in the assembly of the dine-in rice bowls. Each order is packed with freshly steamed rice and served in a personal-sized clay pot that's pre-heated to ensure the dish arrives piping hot at the table.
My favourite is the BBQ Chicken Rice Bowl ($12.99). The delicious and well-balanced dish is topped with extremely tender chicken pieces that are grilled and coated in a slightly-sweet sauce that blends nicely with the rice below.
Those looking for a vegetable-based option should opt for the Basil Eggplant Rice Bowl ($12.99). The visually striking dish features sauteed eggplant over a dish that includes other vegetables including broccoli, corn and shredded cabbage, plus a stewed egg.
Although I didn't quite get a pronounced basil flavour, the dish did get its flavour from the black bean sauce coating the eggplant.
The Pork and Shishito Pepper Rice Bowl ($12.99) makes for a very satisfying meal that's ideal for those who like things a little spicy. My tastebuds swoon for the buttery smooth slices of pork belly, and the marinated firm tofu strips topping the dish.
Each rice bowl is served with a basic cup of miso soup which is a nice gesture.
Eat Yet's non-rice bowl options include one of the biggest spring rolls I'd ever seen. Aptly called the Jumbo Veggie Spring Roll ($3.99), I prefer the appetizer more as a side to my rice bowls. Dip these babies into either Thai-style sweet chilli dipping sauce or plum sauce.
Pan-fried Pork Buns ($6.99 for four) are cooked properly, with a pan-fried bottom crust on the outside and juicy pork meat on the inside. While tasty on their own, they're even better dipped into red vinegar sauce which cuts through the item's richness.