Originally published in Swerve magazine on June 10, 2011

My favorite cheap eats  (Chinese Restaurant)

- John Gilchrist  CBC Radio restaurant critic

I've largely been off Cantonese buffets and dim sum dishes lately. It has to do with the number of places that bring in pre-packaged, frozen foods from fast-food factories around the city – the food from these places cSan be bland and oily and often all tastes the same. But not every Chinese restaurant does this. There are many good ones that make their food in-house, places like the Magic Bowl.

Own by a Guangzhou-born couple who also took their culinary training there, the Magic Bowl handcrafts all their dim sum. The shrimp dumpling are packed with crustaceans, rolled in rice dough and steamed to a tender, tasty perfection. The pork and chive dumplings are equally good, rolled, wrapped and steamed just the way they should be. (The work that must go into these helps me understand why many restaurateurs out source.) At lunch, each dim sum order is only $5.00; there’s a limited selection at dinner for $5.50 each.

The dim sum and other menu items epitomize the elegant, sublime food of Canton, handcrafted to bring out the simple, natural flavours. For more intensity, the Magic Bowl includes some dishes, such as Szechuan beef and Shanghai-style noodles, drawn from the spicier areas of China.

The Magic Bowl is all of twenty-eight seats, with little décor. That’s OK-it’s all about the quality of the food. Which is more than enough to bring me back.


    #12, 1215 Lake Sylvan Drive S.E.
John Gilchrist
@ CBC Radio
For giving us
 8.5 out of 10
at the review

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