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Friday, May 13, 2011

Rol Jui Seafood Restaurant :: Chinatown Mystery

RolJui-17 RolJui-13 RolJui-23
Mmm…longtime readers (well long relative to the life of this blog) may remember an unsatisfying visit to Wah Sing Seafood Restaurant. Complaints of too-salty and greasy dishes turned me off from this type of dinner altogether for a long time. However, when the dog-loving, visor-bearing, food-noshing dragonboat steersman called me up for a random Chinatown lobster run…why not? I mean, honestly, who really says no to lobster?

RolJui-1 Rol Jui Seafood RestaurantVerdict: Chinese-lobster, downtown! With pork!
Meal: Late night dinner
Price: $25 pp
Location: 476 Dundas St W
RolJui-14 Why was this "mysterious"? Well, I honestly had no idea what we were ordering for most of the time, nor could any of my fellow diners identify the items on the menu. We laughed when we realized that the items on the wall did not always appear on the menu.

As it was all foreign to me , I trusted the HKers to order well…and that, they did! Some items I can identify with proper names…the others will be a bit more haphazard :-). If you care to try them, I suggest just bringing your phone and pointing at the picture and hoping for the best…haha or better yet, if you recognize a dish below with the wrong (or missing) name…feel free to reply :3
Cantonese-Style Lobster
RolJui-19RolJui-20Sauteed with ginger, garlic and a side of ground pork, this arrived on a bed of shrimp chips. I took a close look at the menu, which is when we realized that it was simply missing. My friend pointed at the wall, but for all I know the writing could have said “Chinese-readers only, muthasuckas” and I’d happily agree.

Anyways, this was a vast improvement to Wah Sing’s lobster, and my faith in Chinese lobster in Toronto was restored. I was very curious about the side of pork – I mean, how random is that? This and the next dish were not listed on the menu.
Sometimes we like to believe that eating out can be healthy – so it was a pleasant surprise to see something green on the table. However, the great thing is that it was not covered in heaps of oil [ahem, sorry to pick on you Wah Sing], and the vegetables could always be taste. Still oilier than my personal preference (I like to steam/bake vegetables), but for a late night Chinatown nosh – not bad. Anyways, bamboo shoots, sliced carrots, snow peas galore – this is a typical Chinatown plate, in my mind.
Crab Meat & Fish Maw Soup
We also ordered the standard seafood soup – crab and fish maw yes! I actually love Chinatown soups. I could have them all day, and I will admit that I horrify older generations (and die-hard “keep it authentic” squares) by adding some soy sauce in there. Just cause. I actually did not do that this night, perhaps because my palette had experienced enough salt for the day, but nonetheless just looking at these bowls makes me want to drop everything and run over for another taste. Standard…but the standard is good.
We also ordered some more vegetables:
Yum! Mushroom caps and sliced white mushrooms absolutely drenched in a sea of sauce. I love mushrooms – it’s the perfect vegetable, really. I love it bbq’ed, mixed with my eggs in the morning, sautéed with some butter, cooked up with my steak, in patty-form, on my pizza, in my salad…there’s not many things that mushrooms don’t compliment! Anyways, this wasn’t bad but would have been much more enjoyed with some white rice to soak up some of the sauce. Okay, a lot of the sauce.

RolJui-24We finished with a bowl of soup…nobody knew what it was (in English, anyways) but it was enjoyable and the “jelly” was chewy. Wait! Was it jellyfish? Hm. Jellyfish soup for dessert? If so, that’s a one-up for Rol Jui!

Overall, Rol Jui isn’t o’mazing but it certainly didn’t have me leaving like a gross, oily mess. For downtown core Chinese offerings, it’s a good standard to have but nothing to go out of your way for. Pop in if you’re in the area and want Chinese, and don’t expect to leave raving about the food.

When the bill arrived, I was wondering if I would have a chance to decipher some of the names of the dishes. I laughed at my naiveté:
Nice try, Cookies and Tomatoes, nice try. I didn’t really mind – it was a great night and I love having someone way more knowledgeable than myself order!

I just discovered offline blogging tools (you know you’re a n00b when…), and this is the first post I’ve made using one! Go technology!

Rol Jui Seafood on Urbanspoon


Michelle said...

Hey Erin ... The 'jelly' in the sweet soup is actually a type of fungus called tremella fuciformis (according to wiki). The Chinese name literally translates to 'snow ear'.

Erin said...

AHHhh...I'm a dolt :) Thanks Michelle!

Michelle said...

Hey Erin ... The 'jelly' in the sweet soup is actually a type of fungus called tremella fuciformis (according to wiki). The Chinese name literally translates to 'snow ear'.

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