The definition of comfort food varies per person, and reasonably so, as different combinations of aromas, flavours, and presentations have the ability to summon forth specific memories. Perhaps it's your grandmother's tried-and-true deep dish apple pie that always made family gatherings seemingly cozier, or the late-night pad thai that you once ordered after a sobfest with your closest buddies. Regardless, it's the feelings associated with the dish that matters most.
When a close friend of mine became overjoyed at the opening of Congee Queen in Heartland, I couldn't comprehend the reason why. "It's just Chinese food." I mumbled to myself.
But the general community seemed to think otherwise.
As amusing as it may sound, it was a revolutionary bowl of rice porridge.
Securing a spot in Heartland before 6PM was a cinch. It was the waiting game that proved frustrating.
Word had apparently gotten out about Mississauga's only location, prompting the masses to flock forward and flocculate on the opposite side of the revolving door.
On a chilly Sunday evening, a small table (such as ours) was in for a 20-minute wait, while larger parties estimated approximately one hour
Without a doubt, we had lucked out in regards to wait time. Congee Queen was ridiculously spacious, even boasting an intricate centrepiece in the midst of its tall ceiling, though severely suffering from interest overload.
- Sliced Fish & Blood Jello Congee/魚片豬紅粥 (B8)
- Snow Pea Leaves with King Mushroom/皇子菇扒豆苗 (K5b),
- Pork Rib with Onion on Sizzling Hot Plate/皇后鐵板豬仔骨 (CQ5)
- Shrimp & Chive Rice Noodle Roll/韮王鮮蝦腸粉 (P3)
- Chicken & Chinese Mushroom with Rice in Hot Pot/北菇滑雞煲仔飯 (L3) >
Enveloped within thin, chewy rice noodle sheets were vividly pink pieces of fresh shrimp that emitted a delicate crunch with each bite. "Definitely better than Summit Garden." I silently thought to myself.
A small jug of soy sauce accompanied the pot, served in a similarly scalding manner as the rice noodle rolls.
Layered within the pot was a layer of white rice, followed by chunks of chicken and assorted Chinese vegetables. The chicken was quite bony, although tender; just-softened veggies ensured the meal was healthy as it was hearty.
Personally, my favourite aspect of the entree is the rice. The grains, which if compacted sufficiently, crisps up under heat of the ceramic pot, making them extra enjoyable.
Washrooms are situated in a corner of the restaurant and take the form of lofty individual stalls. With the exception of one, average cleanliness was witnessed in all five units. Toilet paper had yet to be refilled for one, while questionable smears found themselves in another. The sink featured a joint basin and three faucets that were situated in close proximity to one other - too close if you ask me. A single air dryer replaced paper towel dispensers, which caused lineups to form during period of heavy traffic.