If you don’t have plans for Christmas dinner or need some post-NYE food therapy, here are some Chinese spots that are open if you’re too lazy to plan something, don’t celebrate, are having trouble finding something that’s open, or, quite wisely, just love you some Chinese food…
Make your way to Chinatown and hit up Mon Nan on Rue de la Gauchetière. They do an awesome traditional three-course roasted Peking duck. Starting with a soup made with the duck bones, it’s aromatic and warm. With pillows of tofu and silky strands of noodles, this dish is preceded with a duck meat stir-fry with bean sprouts and scallions.
This ritualistic “dish” is concluded with a plate of teeth-shattering roasted duck skin, served with piping hot and freshly made Chinese pancakes, a side of pickled carrots and daikon, and shredded scallions and cucumber. This is wrapped up and eaten with like a taco with a schmear of hoisin… a “Chaco”. Open on Christmas and New Year’s Day.
Looking for a hot bowl of something to warm your bones and sooth the soul? Head up to Restaurant Phouc Ky in Villeray for their specialty Phouc Ky noodle. A mix of yellow wheat udon noodles and rice vermicelli noodles in a rich pork bone broth is armed and ready to curse the weather away. Topped with ground pork, slices of fish cake and fried shallots, the pièce de résistance is a fried shrimp chip. Open on Christmas and New Year’s Day.
La Maison Foo Lam on L’acadie is the place you want to go for fresh seafood. This spot features live tanks of sea creatures that you can name before you watch the chef catch them and throw them in a screaming hot wok.
Two must-orders are the ginger and scallion fried lobster and salt and spicy pepper fried shrimp. The smokey kiss of the wok is distinct in every piece of crustacean on either dish. The savory lobster that’s spiced with ginger and aromatic with green onion and the spicy shrimp is fried to a crusty perfection – the shell is edible for the adventurous. Either dish are ones that deserve to be washed down with an icy bottle of Tsingtao. Open Christmas and New Year’s Day.
If dumplings is what you’re after, Qing Hua Dumplings has you covered. Offering awesome little bundles of soup dumplings of a variety of fillings made fresh to order, Qing Hua has two locations to help you get your fix. The lamb and coriander dumplings are a personal favourite; fill your bowl partway with vinegar and place the dumpling in and let it cool. Resist the urge to bite into it right away, as the dumpling will challenge you by squirting its contents all over you. Nibble a little hole and suck the soup out, and let nature lead you the rest of the way. Open New Year’s Day at both locations.
Restaurant Mon Nan, 43 Rue de la Gauchetière East, (514) 866-7123
Restaurant Phouc Ky, 7495 St-Denis, (514) 278-8288
Restaurant Maison Foo Lam, 9394 Boulevard de l’Acadie, (514) 383-7878
Qing Hua, 1676 Avenue Lincoln (438) 288-5366 & 1019 St-Laurent Boulevard & (514) 903-9887