Address: 328 Wellington St. W, Toronto ON
When I visited: May 2014, dinner
Rating: $$$, 4
I was ecstatic to try Luckee, by internationally acclaimed culinary superstar Susur Lee after hearing countless raving reviews of his previous restaurants Lotus and Susur in Toronto.
Henry Wu, the president of Metropolitan Hotels and founder of the delicious Lai Wah Heen and Lai Toh Heen restaurants was happy to announce that Luckee was launched at the Soho Metropolitan Hotel, taking over the previous Senses restaurant.
With the location of Luckee relatively close to Chinatown, my initial thoughts were that the restaurant was competing with local Chinese restaurants. Luckee stands above the fancy joints in the area and worth the splurge for unique and outstanding Chinese food. The dishes at Luckee were inspired by Chef Lee’s travels to China and has influences from various regions in China including Guangzhou, Szechuan and the Hunan province. It’s authentic Chinese food done exceptionally well!
The décor brings you back to an ancient Chinese dynasty with beautiful accents of red throughout the restaurant. The 18 seat private dining room was stunning and was located behind decorative panels.
As for dinner, there were more than a handful of items that blew me away, including dishes from the “round the clock” dim sum menu. These are must haves dishes while you are there!
From the dim sum menu:
The chicken cheung fun (rice roll with chicken, tofu, ginger, green onion and soy sauce). This was the first rice roll I have seen with chicken and it was beautiful and flavourful.
The braised black pepper beef bao. If only all baos can be made like this. The crispy deep fried exterior made way for a delicious hot filling.
From the dinner/dessert menu:
The sweet soya glazed scallops. O-M-G, these were the best Chinese style scallops off the shell that I have ever eaten. The outside is slightly crispy with a savoury sweet glaze and the scallops were perfectly done. Even at $19 for 5, we ordered another dish to share because we couldn’t just have 1 each.
The Luckee duck with Peking style garnishes for four. A good duck to me must have crispy skin and little fat and Luckee mastered the Beijing style duck.
Sweet and sour chicken with pineapple and rice basket (also available in pork). Having had sweet and sour pork my whole life, I can confirm that this version is outstanding. Rather than having a thick batter, the batter was thin and crispy and the meat was ultra tender. The presentation made it appealing as well.
For dessert, the blood orange and lemon curd tart had the right amount of tartness and sweetness. It was an excellent way to wrap up a filling meal.
Referring to the picture going clockwise, the other items we happily devoured were the hargow (shrimp dumplings), long xia gow (lobster and asparagus dumplings), xiao long bao (pork soup dumplings), 8 spice slow braised beef with lou bok, wok-fried green beans, Cantonese style ginger fried rice and the chocolate custard steamed sponge roll with hot chocolate sauce. The hargow and xiao long baos were comparable to many Chinese restaurants so I will stick with other menu items on my next visit.
I would recommend Luckee as a splurge meal for outstanding Chinese food. My friends and I left ridiculously full and satisfied! If you are not sure of what to order, the servers are friendly and well versed with the menu items and offer helpful recommendations. My next visit will be to try the brunch on weekends at Luckee.
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