What’s For Dinner #87 - the Holiday Menu Planning Edition - November 2022

“ DICKENS, Apple Creek Blvd, Markham “ - An enjoyable, long-overdue revisit……welcomed by ‘Robots’!!

This iconic Hong Kong Style Western Food establishment has been serving the HK immigrant community with some yummy, nostalgic and traditional fare for nearly 3 decades. The current Markham location is their third outpost….the previous two being at Highway #7 & Chalmers and Richlane Plaza ( Leslie & 16th Ave ).

Unlike the afore-mentioned locations, this new place occupied a bright, spacious and contemporary decorated front-of-house, with high ceilings and well spaced, comfortable booths and tables. Incorporation of a high-tech theme resulted in myriads of wall-mounted large screen HDTV, playing up-to-date HK Soap Opera and waitresses augmented by remote ‘ROBOTS‘!..R2-D2 cousin?! Ha!

Based on previous experiences, our party of three automatically ordered two of our former favourites dated back ‘eons’ ago!..Deep fried jumbo chicken wings and Hong Kong style Russian Borscht. The former, still perfectly seasoned, super crispy, ultra juicy and arriving piping hot! The Borscht?! Hands down, still the BEST rendition in town. The multi-dimensional, aromatic elixir brought back some nostalgic memories from Russian restaurants like Cherikoff or Chantecler dated back to the British colonial Hong Kong era!

In addition, we ordered:

  • ‘ Braised ox-tongue and cheese spaghetti in house-special gravy ‘ ( A nice savory/tangy flavor mix with chewy yet tender Ox-tongue slices ).
  • Chicken a-la-King with rice (Smooth and creamy sauce laden with umami)
  • Baked coconut infused Portuguese Chicken rice ( Slightly disappointed, the under-seasoned sauce lacked curry and coconut aroma and flavour )

…….BTW, all dishes were delivered to our table via ‘remote robots’!! Cool!!

Overall, an ‘ interesting ‘ and tasty food and AI experience!
Won’t be long till our next visit!


Leek and potato soup, made “Friday night easy” by the fact that I had sautéed leeks in the freezer and rich chicken broth to hand. Dicing potatoes and adding cream was about what I had energy for. Scotch rocks for afters.


Mmm yum! Cold-weather food.


Tonight I made slow-cooked sirloin-tip roast over cauli-converted rice. It had the usual Midwestern suspects of cream of mushroom soup, dry mushroom-onion soup, onions, butter, thyme, bay leaf, Worcestershire, and lots of black pepper. With the meat sliced thin and plenty of gravy, it was really tasty.


Aldi shrimp & crab ravs in a sauce made with half a shallot sautéed in kalamata olive oil, RPF, a nub of tomato paste, a splash of white, 1/4 cup of BTB lobster base (the only thing I measured out hahaha), 3 blobs of TJ’s frozen parsley, and cream freeeeesh. It was a little runny so I mounted with butter. Did the trick. Really nice, easy dinner. Salad on the side as ever :wink:


Last night’s dinner was a gathering of NYC Onions in Chinatown with too much sake and plenty of (mixed-review) food.

As I do when possible, I went early so I could do some Chinatown grocery shopping – vegetables and assorted things. I also picked up some chicken, duck, and char siu.

Tonight I made soup from the duck bones and skin, and then put the skin into the oven to render the rest of the fat (so there should be some duck fat potatoes in my future).

Cooked up some rice in the soup for Hainan-ish chicken and rice. Also drank some soup, of course. Very comforting in this insane weather.


Looks delicious!

How do you manage the salt when using onion soup mix with other things like canned mushroom soup?

(It made the most fantastic pot roast during the pandemic, but despite not adding any actual salt, the result was much saltier than we eat).

I used 2 cans of cream of mushroom, 1 envelope of mushroom-onion soup mix, maybe 2/3 c. of water and the herbs, onion, Worcestershire, a sprinkle of Montreal steak seasoning, granulated garlic, and butter. It wasn’t too salty but I didn’t need to add any, either. I could see it being too much for sensitive palates but with a bland starch, it worked.


Pretty atypical for me, I followed 3 different recipes for dinner. The greek lemon potatoes upthread (good), and 2 recipes from a 11/99 F&W mag. They were chicken in sherry sauce and caramelized brussels sprouts with pistachio. These 2 were ok but not that special. But it was all very pretty!


Saturday’s leftover spiced lamb with Wednesday’s leftover lentils.


Seared pork chop, seasoned with my special blend and then basted with butter, garlic and rosemary. Corn sauteed in butter with red pepper, onion and parsley. Salad of Mediterranean greens with creamy Greek dressing. There were Bombay Bloodies and wine.


Well shoot, I’m actually IN NYC and I missed this!

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From a tiny Brooklyn storefront joint, I had a “Bulgogi fatboy,” which is a huge Korean scallion/kimchi pancake rolled burrito-style around bulgogi, rice, lettuce and bibim sauce. It was OUTRAGEOUSLY huge and delicious.


Torta on bolillo roll with beans, fried halloumi cheese, ham, pickled jalapeños, onion, tomato, avocado, and mayonnaise, and a side of refried black beans.


Sign me up!


It was really fun. Greasy though!


A wonderful evening with friends at Dali tonight. It felt SO good to be out and about with friends, as it’s been awhile.

Roast Duck with Berry Sauce

Baked Goat Cheese with Tomato and Basil. (They changed this up somehow and it was very meh.)

Garlic Shrimp

Lamb Chops with Peach Sauce

Patatas Bravas

Beef Tenderloin on Toast with Roasted Peppers

Cuarenta y Tres

Julio and Churros with Creme Catalana and Chocolate sauces


Simples tonight here. I bought a little pork leg roast, the BF put a rub on it, seared it, and then roasted it. I also found these cute little honeynut squashes, which he also rubbed and roasted with a lot o’butter. They were super yummy and sweet.


That sounds outrageously yummy!!! :yum:

Did you eat at SYKO? We just ate there on Wednesday and my husband is still thinking about it!