For those fluent in Tagalog, I mean mahal as in expensive, not love (the same word is used for both).
As my readers know I like to try local restaurants. It’s always great to be able to recommend great food that is so nearby. This was the reason we tried Bing Sheng Restaurant on Renfrew.
We arrived for an early dinner and were a bit suspicious when we saw no one else in the restaurant. However, as the evening passed, a few more families were seated so it didn’t feel like such a no man’s land.
The restaurant must be going for the authentic feel, because the menu begins with all pictures and Chinese characters. In the back there is an English menu, but it is hard to match up the picture with the English, so we were guessing a bit. We also asked our server, but still couldn’t get really descriptive ideas of what the dishes were.
We ended up ordering three dishes: cod in sweet and sour sauce, beef with gai lan, and shrimp ball as an appetizer.
This shot is of the plate as it was served for the shrimp ball appetizer. No joke, that was all that was on the plate and it cost me $3.50! Now, I’ll give it to them that at least the batter was thin, and the ball was actually filled with shrimp and not dough, however, this thing was smaller than a golf ball and there is no way it is worth the money.
The cod in sweet and sour sauce was pretty good. Very similar to our fish escabeche dish with the thinly cut bell peppers. I enjoyed the batter and how the cod was very light, despite being deep fried. Also, the sauce wasn’t overly sweet. Again, I had to raise my eyebrow at the price.
As for the beef with gai lan. I thought it was an average dish, nothing stand out. We would have tried more dishes if the prices were more favourable, or if we could get a better sense of what might be a “more authentic” dish to try from the restaurant. Those three dishes and two steamed rice totaled more than $40 all together!
I did wonder whether their dim sum experience would be better, but as a possible destination for Chinese food in my neighbourhood, unfortunately, I think I’m going to have to walk on by and find another spot.