Friday, March 11, 2011

Sam's Congee Delight ("黃三記")

I have the weirdest cravings sometimes, cravings that come from nowhere. 

Sunday morning, my boyfriend and I were thinking of doing some errands in the afternoon and thought it would nice to grab something to eat beforehand. And you know when it comes to "brunch in uptown" I'm always at a total loss; besides Bluestone Bistro, I do not know of any good brunch places in uptown (I have yet to try Fraticelli's and please, please do not tell me to go to Cora's). Besides, that morning I wasn't feeling French toasts, or eggs benedict, or pancakes / waffles - I wanted something Chinese.

Usually when my boyfriend asks me where I want to go for lunch, I draw a blank. This time around, I replied right away: "Let's go to 黃三記". Hmmm I actually said "Let's go to that congee place at Market Village".

Sam's Congee Delight is located inside Market Village, a Chinese mall in Markham (Kennedy & Steeles). It is a small "hole-in-the-wall" type of restaurant where you go in, eat, and then leave (I know technically, it shouldn't be considered a "hole-in-the-wall" as it's located inside a mall LOL but it is trying to give that effect). You won't find anybody lounging around, reading newspapers, sipping tea at this place - it is not dim sum.

There were a lot of people waiting when we went.

Sam's Congee Delight is known for their fried dough sticks ("油炸鬼").

It's great how you can see them up close making everything. Here he is preparing the dough sticks for frying.

The dough sticks are then fried in this big wok full of hot oil.

The guy here is making "炸两", which is rice noodle roll wrapped around a fried dough stick. 

These perfectly round sesame balls were on the counter. I knew for sure that I will order these; I love them, especially these hollow ones (no filling inside).

We finally got a seat after a 15-20 minute wait. Once we put our order in, the food came out very quickly.

This is the assorted congee ("艇仔粥") which contains a variation of things such as intestines, century eggs (preserved), dried squid, pork mince, pig's blood jelly, peanuts, and spring onion. I normally do not like congee as I always associate it with me being sick (my mom makes me plain white congee whenever I'm sick). But if the congee is packed with goodies like this then I don't mind it at all (especially if there are fried dough sticks).

Fried Dough Sticks - Hot and super fresh, super crunchy 

On the left is another kind of fried dough but it is sweeter than fried dough sticks. If I had to choose, I like these ones even better than the fried dough sticks  On the right is the sesame ball which is cut in quarters  Everything here is again extremely fresh.

Braised Beef Brisket - My boyfriend needed some meat and so we ordered this. No complaints, meat was tender. 

Stir-Fried Noodles - Noodles were great as it wasn't too oily. It had a lot of flavor, well mainly soy sauce flavour, which is mandatory as it is supposed to complement the lighter taste of congee.

Pig's Blood Jello with Chives - Another one of my favourite dishes 

I really like pig's blood jello as it is soft and slimy, and when it's served with chives only you can really taste the blood jello. I know that description sounds really disgusting but it's the truth =D

I walked out of Sam's Congee Delight a happy girl. Everything that I ordered totally hit the spot =)