Lee Chen Asian Bistro

Lee Chen Asian Bistro on King

Lee Chen Asian Bistro has two locations in Toronto including this one in a subterranean spot near King and University. They serve modern takes of classic Chinese dishes along with a smattering of Asian fusion.

Lee Chen Asian BistroWhile the ceilings are low, the modern and uncluttered decor make the space much more welcoming than I expected.

Lee Chen Asian BistroThe Pork Belly Bao ($7.95) is a fantastic dish to start. It's a freshly steamed bun with juicy pork belly, mixed with shredded lettuce and a dab of spicy mayo.

Lee Chen Asian Bistro

The Soup Dumplings ($6.95) here are excellent. It's one of the best xiaolongbaos that I've ever had, with a very flavourful soup. The miniature size make it a one-bite indulgence.

Lee Chen Asian BistroThe Almond Fish ($7.95) is fried white fish encrusted with almonds. It's nicely crisp without being too oily.

Lee Chen Asian BistroThe Salt & Pepper Chicken ($6.95), often dubbed Popcorn Chicken at other restaurants, features white meat only (most other places use dark meat) and is amazingly tender.

Lee Chen Asian BistroThe Spicy Beef Tendon and the Braised Bamboo Shoots ($6.50 each) are chewy and could have been spicier.

Lee Chen Asian BistroI'm very happy to see that a dish that I have previously only eaten at my in-laws is available here. The Sparerib Bites in Rice Powder ($7.95) is a lightly spiced dish of tender small spareribs, served over a small bed of sweet potatoes. It's a humble dish that satisfies.

Lee Chen Asian BistroIf you like ribs, be sure to try the Wuxi Spareribs ($18.95). This entree feature ginormous cuts of pork spareribs that fall-off-the-bone.

Lee Chen Asian BistroAnd don’t forget the Braised Short Ribs ($22.95). Smaller beef prime rib is cooked with various herbs inside a claypot and served to the table over a small open fire pit. It goes great with steamed rice.

Lee Chen Asian BistroThe Szechuan Scallops and Shrimps ($22.95) might be one to pass on. The reddish seasoning features hints of fermented rice and is probably an acquired taste.

Lee Chen Asian BistroDrinks-wise, the bubble teas here are solid if not spectacular ($5.50), but my recommendation is the Unfiltered Ginger Ale ($4.50) which is made with real ginger.

Lee Chen Asian BistroFor dessert, don’t overlook the humble Tang Yuan. Available both in clear ($5.95) and wine soup ($6.50), they are made in-house and are some of the most delicate versions of the dishes I’ve ever had.

Lee Chen Asian BistroThe Passionfruit Custard ($4.95) is a light pudding-like dessert which mixes passionfruit with mango. The result is a very fruity flavour combination that's perfect for finishing off the meal.

Lee Chen Asian Bistro

Photos by

Hector Vasquez

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Lee Chen Asian Bistro on King

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