http://www.luckeerestaurant.com/ 416-935-0400 $$$ bar open 7 days a week, dining room tues-sun 5:30pm-11, dim sum sat-sun 11am-3pm
This old Senses space in the Soho Hotel has been revitalized in every way. A mix of red, red and red is splashed on dated wallpaper and modern Chinese décor throughout both rooms, quite lovely actually. The open kitchen separated by glass is beautiful; proudly displaying fresh ingredients, alive with colour and contrasts dimly lit dining room. A large fully stocked bar has more than enough to choose from, however more love is needed on the cocktails, not feeling the blandish Ricky rose sangria: rose, lychee, cactus pear, passion fruit lemonade, and soaked fruit. I would come back here in a heartbeat, even if the cocktail list is lame.
Beijing amuse is a crunchy astringent salad of cucumber, spicy soy sesame, black vinegar and crisp tofu that hits with spice but doesn’t linger. Salt and pepper shrimp rock arriving with the sweet aroma of garlic. Peking duck with a side of foie gras is a must, love the sharing aspect of this rich and flavourful dish; building your own crepe so fun, each bite is different and the foie gras elevates Luckee’s Peking duck to a whole new level. Flawlessly fried green beans are plump and preserved in oil vinaigrette. Fried rice lovers can delight in this Cantonese style ginger version of the tradional dish, adding creamy crunch from edamame and smoke from bacon – unbelievably balance in every way.
On the downside: 8 spice slow braised beef falls apart (slightly overcook)and swims in sickly sweet sauce, bland Char Siu beef brisket sided with a hockey puck sized lotus root which may or may not be from a can. All is not lost, a last minute order of General Tao crisp sesame beef stands out mainly because of the melt-in-your-mouth sugary baked walnuts.