It’s been a hot week – which made the thought of cooking at home particularly unappealing! We did the normal “I don’t know what to have for dinner” routine at our place, then jumped in the car hoping to get to Anton’s, but the lineup there was bananas! Heading back south on Willingdon, we decided to go to Tasty Village at Willingdon near Moscrop (in the same plaza as No. 1 Beef Noodle House).
After confirming that they take debit or credit (both, with a minimum purchase of $25), we walked in. The place was not too busy, but there were a few larger groups enjoying dinner. The inside decor was much fancier than the outside lead on – with details like the chopsticks that matched the chairs, etc.
The menu was riddled with typos, and layout problems (e.g. words cut off by ill-placed pictures). Despite this, we managed to find three dishes to try.
Being that this is a Shanghainese restaurant, we had to get Xiao Long Bao. They arrived first, piping hot in a steamer basket. There was a booth near the cash register which looked like an XLB-making station, however, I didn’t see anyone in there making our order (perhaps they were fresh-made in the kitchen? Perhaps these had been prepared earlier?). In any case, the look of these was very impressive, with many tight folds and zero leaks.
We each got 3 (!) which is great – the first two I had were not very “soupy”, though still juicy with lots of flavour. The third one was freaking amazing – tons of soup!
Next up was our big carb dish – the House Special Chow Mein. The waitress asked if we wanted the noodles soft or crispy. We replied “crispy” and boy were they ever!
The dish was very big, with lots of veggies and seafood on the top of the mound of super crisp noodles. The shrimp were excellent, clean with lots of snap. The veggies were well cooked, and I have to note, nicely cut not to be too big for a single bite. I didn’t try any scallop or squid – I just wasn’t in the mood for these, but Chris said they were excellent. There was also some Chinese Sausage and BBQ pork – which I found strong flavoured, but good. The dish’s individual components were excellent, but I think I prefer the chow mein at Golden Sparkle better.
Our final dish was not quite what we expected! We had seen a picture in the menu that looked quite interesting – it was primarily composed of edamame, then some beancurd strips cut like noodles. We asked the waitress, and she pointed to the “Braised Tofu with Vegetables” item on the menu in the vegetables section. We said yes to ordering this, and the above is what we got (it looked nothing like the picture!). I think a less-saucy version (similar to what Chowtimes had here) would have been good. I didn’t care too much for the weak sauce, or what it did to the mustard greens, the strips of pork, or the beancurd skin. Maybe with a bowl of rice this would have been better. 😦
Anyhow, Tasty Village seems to have some good point for sure (like the XLB!) but I might be a bit more choosy next time about what else to get to go with this star dish.