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Golden Lotus – Niagara Falls

Sometimes work takes me to the randomest places. Like Niagara Falls. But on the Canadian side. I hadn’t been there since those junior high orchestra trips to Toronto. We stopped there both times for rides through the falls. Those are some fun memories.

And at these randomest places, sometimes you have to stay across the street from a casino, because that’s where your conference is. So when it came time for dinners, I went across said street and ate. Golden Lotus is a chinese restaurant and buffet at the Fallsview Casino. I was in no physical position to eat my money’s worth at the buffet, so I just dined a la carte.
This is a rather fancy place, so they actually have porcelain dinnerware. And tablecloths! I got hot and sour soup. You know it’s my favorite of the chinese soups. This soup looked amazing! It was super duper hot. It was good, but not nearly as amazing as it looked. It just lacked a certain zest. But you could definitely taste fresh and high quality ingredients.
I love dduk (korean rice cake) and I know that they have it at chinese restaurants sometimes, so I was happy to see it on the menu here. Here is the Seafood Shanghai Rice Cake. Basically, if I had ordered chow fun or ho fun or something, it would have been the same, except instead of a wide flat rice noodle, they used the rice cakes. Yum! The doughy and chewy and hot rice cakes were exactly what I wanted. There were tons of big scallops, shrimp, and squid to. The squid was a little bit funky for my liking (something I often experience when I try squid at chinese places, which doesn’t happen at other types of restaurants when I order it) but the rest of it was great. The other options around my hotel ran the gamut of not-so-amazing chain restaurants. For whatever reason, both the casino and Niagara Falls, in general, were rampant with Chinese tourists. And there were lots of them at this restaurant. So if there’s a chinese restaurant and there’s lots of chinese people dining there, I feel pretty safe with that decision.

Mandarin Palace

When’s the last time I ate chinese food in the city not in chinatown? I’m not sure if that’s ever actually happened. Mandarin Palace is a random chinese joint near rittenhouse. And you know what? Their food is damn good.
The crab rangoon. I’ve never had these before, although they’re typically found in menus at chinese joints in america. Who wouldn’t like deep fried cream cheese and crab wrapped in wonton? I love cream cheese. I love crab. I love fried wonton. Put it all together, I say!
General Tso’s chicken… served with egg roll and fried rice.
My chicken with asparagus, fried rice, egg roll. I don’t care how unauthentically chinese this is. I love me some americanized chinese food. Even after the crab rangoon and soup, I ate all of this.
And how can you not love a restaurant who hangs this type of art on their walls?
Mandarin Palace on Urbanspoon

SangKee Asian Bistro Visit

When it comes to an easy meal out near home, SangKee is always one of the top choices. The last time my mom and I stopped by, they had brand new menus with a fancy and colorful cover. It doesn’t matter what day or what time I go to this place. It’s always busy! And it makes sense, because their food is always consistently good.
Here’s something I’d never tried before in all of my previous visits – the fried shrimp dumplings. These suckers are hot, stuffed with yummy shrimp, and serviced with a sweet and savory dipping sauce.
My mom got the whole bronzino with ginger and soy sauce. This was a huge whole fish! Neither of us expected it to be this big. It was light and flaky and fresh. The sauce was a little boring and bland, they certainly could have kicked it up a notch. But it was well worth it. My mom got several more meals out of the leftovers!
I always like their big broth noodles bowls, so I mixed it up from my usual and got the stewed beef with udon noodles. The meat was tender and strong with 5-spice flavor, and I’m a total sucker for thick udon noodles. Service here is always good.

Sang Kee Asian Bistro on Urbanspoon

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