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Saturday, October 9, 2010

Wah Sing Seafood Restaurant :: Baldwin Village

"What do you want for your birthday dinner?" - Me

After a few too-salty experiences at our usual Chinese-style lobster haunt, Yueh Tung, my family has officially ditched it. Wanting to stay downtown, we headed for Baldwin's Wah Sing for the double-lobster special and seafood specials.

Wah Sing Seafood Restaurant
Verdict: Eh. Go if you want Chinese lobster and you're in the area. Free parking in the back upon request.
Meal: Dinner
Price: $25pp + tax & tip
Location: 47 Baldwin St Toronto

Patio, interior, &...bubblegum-pink claw machine?!

Let's get started.

Live Baby Boston Crab (Special: $6.95)
Black bean sauce

As expected, there wasn't a lot of meat but it was tender in the black bean sauce. Unlike some experiences at other Chinese restaurants, the black bean sauce wasn't excessively salty. Saucy, but not drowning, it was tasty but I wouldn't go running back for more.

The other current special is "Fresh Mussels", which I assume is cooked the same way. Both are advertised as "Now $6.95, Reg. $11.95". I would've felt a little ripped off at $12.
Spicy Shrimp with Head ($9.95)

Crispy, deep fried, and tasty. These weren't especially spicy, but the scallions and red pepper were a good addition to the dish. I watched another diner carefully peel her shrimp while I just chowed on mine, head first, shell and all. I'm not the fanciest dining companion.

I liked it, but I didn't love it. The best spicy shrimp I had was on Llama Island in Hong Kong (posted pictures at the end of this post) - but you can't find that freshness in Toronto.
Vancouver Crab ($26.95)

Also deep-fried, a big crab came out of the kitchen and everyone dug in. Being the least picky of the bunch, I was happy to eat the brain and lucky to get a juicy claw.

Sauteed Beef with Vegetables ($12.95)
This was okay - tasty on rice. Filling, but not particularly great.

Sauteed Snow Pea Leaves ($12.95)
This was super oily, and I did not enjoy it at all. Similar to my aversion to salad dressings, I prefer my leafy greens to taste like...well, like leafy greens. While the flavour wasn't completely lost, it was mostly masked with the taste of oil. It left that unpleasant slick feeling all over my mouth, similar to the Ji Su Men experience at Kenzo Ramen.

Ginger Double Lobster ($28.95)
Deep fried with ginger and scallions, the double lobster dish arrived last. I was a little surprised at the portion - we've ordered this before, and there was a definite reduction in size. I am not sure if this was a one-time thing, or if they're cutting back. Either way, it was your typical Chinese lobster.

Overall, Wah Sing Seafood Restaurant has friendly service, but mediocre food. Honestly, I left this meal feeling a bit ill because almost everything was deep fried and/or very oily. Should've been smarter when ordering.

It's a decent place to grab Chinese food, and I've enjoyed many leftover Wah Sing meals. Nothing says ballah like lobster and snowpea shoots for lunch.

I think that the next time I have to fulfil a Chinese lobster-dinner request I'll try another place in the downtown core. Suggestions?

Wah Sing Seafood Restaurant
Verdict: Eh. Go if you want Chinese lobster and you're in the area.
Meal: Dinner
Price: $25pp + tax & tip
Location: 47 Baldwin St Toronto

Seafood in Hong Kong
Sampan Seafood Restaurant, Llama Island

Fresh crab & spicy sea salt scampi! BEST meal in Hong Kong. Hands down.

Wah Sing Seafood on Urbanspoon


Anonymous said...

hey came across this page cuz u tagged simon on facebook and it showed up in my news feed.

if u haven't already u should try the place next door, "HUA SING". its funny cuz my father loves this place and picks it for his bday dinner each year too. asian dads love lobster for their bdays apparently.

as such he's gotten to know the owner, and supposedly two brothers used to own it and had a falling out. to spite the other, one of the brothers opened up a restauant right beside with the same name (spelled differently, but in chinese "wah sing" and "hua sing" are prounounced the same).

hua sing is a little grimier, its in a basement, but its the original version. and supposedly the same cook still makes the food at hua sing. the ginger and green onion lobster is great, and i'm not that big on seafood.

a caveat: by the looks of what you were writing, i'm not sure if you'll like it. the lobster is deep fried and pretty salty, but tasty in my opinion. i don't like seafood tho, and i generally only eat it if it doesn't taste or smell like seafood (eg. deep fried and spicy squid/shrimp/lobster, etc).

that being said i think u should still give it a try. hua sing portions are larger and the food is tastier...but of course wah sing is cleaner, and you won't leave smelling like chinatown.

- albert

Erin said...

Asian dads DO love their lobster. I am planning on taking him to OMei next time for their lobster 4-ways. Pricier, but perhaps a lot more satisfying.

We tried Hua Sing once, but he liked it less than Wah Sing - although I can't remember the exact reasoning.

Haha - I love that story though! I used to always wonder why they were named so similarly, and people would always ask me which one I meant. I've been to Hua Sing for lunch - decent lunch specials, it's a semi-regular spot for my work crowd although I personally prefer other options on Baldwin.

Thanks for the tip Albert =]

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