I made it! I took the red-eye to Toronto on Saturday night and a few hours later on Mother’s Day my sisters and I headed to Mandarin to honour our mom who loved that restaurant so very much.
It was a mad house! We had reservations but there was still quite a wait and man, was it ever hot and humid. Good old Ontario heat for Mother’s Day and the air conditioning did not seem to be working. Luckily we were seated at the back of the restaurant where it felt cooler.
We did debate over whether we should we start with soup considering the intense temperature but tradition won. I got the hot and sour soup. Yes, I am a masochist.
We started with cold plates and of course I attacked the seafood. They had crab legs at the buffet which Shannon and I devoured and Jamie politely watched us brutally break the legs with vigour. The seafood salad had wonderful zing, the mussels were crazy-huge and I got lots of sushi which was excellent.
I started to feel guilty about not eating many vegetables so I indulged in the carrot salad and broccoli for my hot plate. The mango salad was quite refreshing but my favourite was the Peking pork. Absolutely delicious. I went back for more sushi and Peking pork and Jamie was right, the spicy chicken was also delicious.
I had eaten so much I knew decadent desserts would be pushing it so I got lots of fruit, including chocolate-covered strawberries of course. One of my favourite things in the world. I also tried their mini creme brûlée which was good but I was not super impressed with their cappuccino ice cream. It just did not have a lot of flavour.
I could not sleep on the plane so I was crazy tired but nothing would keep me from joining my sisters for such an important day out. We took our time, enjoyed catching up and our mom would have been proud over all the feasting we participated in.
This is the first time I have been back in Toronto in two years, since Mom passed away. In that time we sold our house and moved to the west coast. Everything had changed but two years is a long time. It was time to come home and be with family for a while.
This fortune cookie is hysterical considering I am also going to my high school reunion! I hope it is a good sign.
The Mandarin is a family tradition that I am thrilled to have continued.
What a great way to start my on-the-road foodie adventures.