Every year for my mom’s birthday, we always end up at her favourite Shanghai-nese restaurant in Markham, A LA KITCHEN. Frankly speaking, I’m not entirely a fan of the service here (and it gets a little worse every visit) but the food is solid hence why we always end up coming back. A LA KITCHEN is constantly packed whenever we visit (Saturday nights). We always expect to wait around 10 minutes before being seated but its totally worth it.
The interior with galore of hungry people being fed
So we decided to opt for their Combo for 4 people which includes: 1 soup + 1 appetizer + 3 dishes + 1 fried rice OR noodle – all for $47.99. I also placed the original prices for each dishes if we hadn’t have chosen the combo for 4 people!
Seafood & Tofu Soup 海鮮豆腐羹(小) ($8.99)
- Although the soups that my mommy cook are fantastic, I always enjoy the ones at Chinese restaurant. Why you may ask? Well because some restaurants always add some MSG to make the broth/soup tastier! Although its not as healthy and makes me very thirsty after, I always enjoy a good hearty msg soup from A LA KITCHEN
2 assortments of meat 雙色拼盤 ($11.99)
- the chicken on the left was average – but I don’t really recall eating the meat on the right
Pan Fried Pork Dumplings 鍋貼(4) ($4.95)
- We usually opt for steamed pork dumplings (小龍包) but we wanted to try something different and opted for the pan fried pork dumplings.
- Unfortunately these didn’t meet my expectations. I was hoping for something less dry and more crispier. The “fried colour” was there but it wasn’t the same when I bit into it. The pork inside was tasty but the dough was a bit thick.
Kung Pao Chicken 宮爆雞丁 ($10.50)
- Sometimes I just wish I have a higher tolerance for spicy foods. And if i did I would inhale this dish.
- Infused with the kung pao chicken, there are chunks and chunks of peanut giving this dish some texture and crunchy bits. In terms of the flavour profile, the spicy sauce infused with red peppers gives you a good kick
Green Bean with Minced Pork 乾燒四季豆 ($9.99)
- The seasonings for this dish is simple and yet they give the pork and the beans a complex and savory flavor.
- This is probably one of my favourite green dishes – the beans are lightly stir-fried giving it a semi crispy texture
Fried Shanghai Noodle 上海粗炒 ($8.99)
- Of all the dishes, this was a slight disappointment this time. I felt like this dish was bland. The noodles were learning towards the softer side.
Overall my experiences at A LA KITCHEN are consistent minus a few hiccups this particular time. As I mentioned earlier, I not a fan of their service. It’s not a surprise that Chinese restaurants aim to have a higher turnover rate so sometimes they tend to rush your dining experience. But its another story when you have to keep calling after the server and he looks like he’s being bothered by you. Not sure if my parents want to come back after this dining experience…