Yu Guo Yan
Yu Guo Yan is all about steamed dishes, something that has become somewhat of a trend in Chinese cuisine.
The restaurant has a bold and somewhat garishly decorated dining room with an entrance adjacent to the popular World Bowl bowling alley in Richmond Hill.
Walk a few steps further and you see many private rooms of varying sizes, several with karaoke sets.
Every table at Yu Guo Yan has its own steamer. The restaurant doesn’t exclusively serve steamed dishes, but they overwhelmingly specialize in them.
The bulk of the offerings here are in set menu format, and the one I choose is the Lobster and Beijing Duck Set Menu ($298 for 6-8 persons) which comes with everything from fried lobster to steamed mussels and oysters.
The Beijing Duck here is served two ways. The first is the conventional way, with crispy skin and moist duck meat served with freshly steamed wrappers and vegetables. Slather a bit of hoisin sauce and you’ve got yourself some bonafide mallardian excellence.
The second way is no less delicious, where the bones of the duck are steamed with rice noodles and tofu.
The freshly steamed lobster meat can be had with a range of DIY dipping sauces. My secret? Lots of garlic and cilantro.
The jaw-dropping spicy fried lobster with dried fish seems meant to underscore the fact they do more than just steamed dishes here. Calling it spicy is a bit of a stretch, but the garlicky seasoning and tender meat is gustatory nirvana at its finest.The steamed free-run chicken is a bit gamey and comes with a nice plate of steamed vegetables.
Be sure to also try the steamed dim sum, ranging in price between 50 cents to about a dollar per piece.
I'm pretty sure Yu Guo Yan is the only place in the GTA where you can actually order dim sum by piece, with each one steamed right at your table.