It had been some time since I’d experienced the upscale Chinese plates at Susur Lee’s Luckee restaurant, in Toronto’s SoHo Metropolitan Hotel, so I headed back to see what the kitchen was up to.
My most recent visit showed that the kitchen is more assured than ever.
Filled with tofu, ginger, green onion, chicken cheung fun rice roll is a must-try, as are steamed dumplings made with spinach and Chinese celery.
Seafood is a strength, as evidenced by quick-sauteed scallops, very tender and wearing a sweet soy-glaze crust, and springy kung pao shrimp with cashews. Delicate Hong Kong-style sea bass is simplicity itself, steamed with soy, leeks and ginger.
Foie gras parfait adds luxury to Peking duck, replete with pancakes, apple, leek and cranberry relish. Fill pancake, roll, devour. Repeat.
Cooked sous-vide for 72 hours, short ribs could not be more tender.
Tiny cubes of pheasant, celery, preserved radish, jicama and mushrooms are compressed into a delicious mound. With lettuce cups, they make a light, satisfying dish.
Among veggies, wok-fried green beans with briny preserved olive stand out.
Desserts are always a highlight of a Susur Lee meal, and Luckee’s are no exception: warm, steamed, chocolate-filled sponge roll; green-tea ginger custard tart; passionfruit pineapple coconut mango pudding.
Conceived by interior design team Bent and Gable, Luckee’s space blend accents of imperial red and wall-to-wall panels echoing dynastic architecture, with a nod to 20th century
Chinoiserie. The vibe is casual and family-friendly, with lots of hard surfaces and bright colours. A glassed-in open kitchen provides a glimpse into the culinary brigade’s efforts.
The restaurant is available for half and full buyouts, and can host up to 120 people for seated dinner. A private dining room can host 12 to 24. Parties larger than 30 are hosted in the Apothecary section and are considered a half buyout.
Luckee can host special events, corporate parties and presentations, and exclusive dining events. The adjoining lounge space can host large parties, complete with DJ.
— Don Douloff has been a restaurant critic for over 25 years and, during that time, has critiqued almost 1,000 eateries. In 1988, he studied the fundamentals of French cuisine at Ecole de Cuisine La Varenne in Paris, France. During his time in France, he furthered his gastronomic education by visiting the country’s bistros, brasseries and Michelin-starred temples of haute cuisine. He relishes exploring the edible universe in his native Toronto and on his travels throughout Canada and abroad.