Being raised on Cantonese dishes that were largely simple and devoid of complex spices, I must confess that I really was never aware that other variations of Chinese food existed until I first encountered P.F. Chang's while on a trip south of the border. Not particularly keen of the odd Westernized twists on traditional classics, nor overtly enthusiastic about another trip to my regular Cantonese "greasy" diner, the opening of Foodie North in my neighbourhood was greatly anticipated and appreciated.
The restrooms themselves were also of very high interest to me: they replaced standard doorknobs with lion-adorned ring handles and even crafted the stalls with rivet-trimmed unfinished wood. The most creative aspect was the inclusion of modern elements such as automatic soap dispensers and air hand dryers; the implementation of modern technology in such a wholly tradition setting was contradictory, yet very refreshing.
We had wandered into the restaurant around 2:30 pm, amidst the heat of a series of nearing thunderstorms. The waitresses were exceedingly friendly - considering that this was a Chinese-operated establishment, I hadn't had the highest expectations for customer service so this also proved to be quite noteworthy. Immediately being seated, we were asked to place our orders as swiftly as possible as 3:00 pm was kitchen's last call for the afternoon.
Being pressed for time, I opted to ask for recommendations instead of analyzing the vast selection of categories. This wasn't a common practice, so our waitress appeared a tad confused at first, but later began flipping through the menu and pointing to all of the dishes that were pictured on its laminated pages.
Ultimately, we settled for a Crispy Pancake with Chives and egg, a Stir-Fried Pancake with Pork, a single Black Truffle Xiao Long Bao, along with a Fresh Mango Grapefruit Slush from the Presotea menu.
Next up was the single serving of Black Truffle Xiao Long Bao. It carried a fairly hefty price tag of $3.99, but this cost was later found to be decently justified with an extremely juicy dumpling of pork, crab roe, and rich truffle aroma. The addition of a straw was also rather amusing.
A Fresh Mango and Grapefruit Slush had also been ordered. It was automatically provided in a plastic takeout cup, which was actually for the best since I couldn't even make a dent in our third order. As with all Presotea locations (with the exception of the horrid spot in Square One), the beverage was tasty and as fairly priced as bubble tea can be in North America. My dining partner-in-crime had also provided input that Foodie North's tea was more fragrant than that of other Chinese restaurants (ahem Summit Garden)