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徒步多伦多郊外,遇见地道中国美食

更新时间:2016-10-13 11:47:02 来源:纽约时报中文网 作者:佚名

Trekking to the Toronto Suburbs for Excellent, Cheap Chinese Food
徒步多伦多郊外,遇见地道中国美食

I was trudging through calf-high grass in an industrial zone just a couple of miles north of Toronto’s city limits. Having crossed through a car dealership, I sprinted across a highway and traversed a seemingly endless mall parking lot. There were now large swaths along the road where the sidewalk completely disappeared; construction was constant, and new buildings appeared to be popping up everywhere. I made a mental note to drive next time.

在多伦多市区范围以北两英里多的一个工业区,我步履艰难地在小腿高的杂草中穿行。经过一个汽车经销商店后,我快步跑过一条公路,走进一个看似没有尽头的购物中心停车场。现在的沿公路地带有很长一段根本没有人行道;建筑工地一个接着一个,似乎到处都是新建筑。我告诉自己下次得把车开过来。

Why would I bother to spend time in Markham and Richmond Hill, when Toronto and its wonderful restaurants, welcoming public spaces and extraordinary cultural diversity were so nearby? Because I was looking for good — really good — Chinese food. And everyone I spoke to told me that the classic Toronto Chinatown, with the intersection of Spadina Avenue and Dundas Street West as its nucleus, while charming, had begun to decline in terms of quality. And so I was headed to the suburbs, to the corridor along Highway 7, an unscenic but pulsing artery of high quality, delicious and inexpensive regional Chinese cuisine.

多伦多市内有那么多出色的餐厅、吸引人的公共空间,以及非凡的文化多样性,为什么我偏要花时间来万锦市和烈治文山呢?因为我在寻找好的——真正好的——中国美食。我问过的人都说,以士巴丹拿大道与登打士西街的交叉路口为核心的多伦多唐人街虽然迷人,但那里东西的质量已经开始在走下坡路。于是我前往郊区,到了七号公路沿线一带,这里没有风景可看,但却是一条富有活力的大动脉,沿路都是优质、美味且廉价的中国地方美食。

Watson Zhang prepares hand-pulled noodles at Sun’s Kitchen, Markham, Ontario, Canada.
加拿大安大略省万锦市拉面王餐厅的沃森·张在做拉面。

Back to my trek through the weeds: I finally made it to my destination, an enormous, generic-looking strip mall called First Markham Place. I wanted dumplings, and xiao long bao were prominent in my mind. I walked into Ding Tai Fung (not Din Tai Fung, the famous Taiwanese chain) for an order of the soup dumplings, which are shaped a bit like a flattened onion and pinched together at the top, and come steaming hot in a bamboo basket. The dried scallop and pork version (8.49 Canadian dollars, or about $6.40), served with a red-tinged vinegar and slivers of ginger, were small explosions of flavor.

回到我穿越的那片杂草,我终于到达了目的地:一个名叫“万锦广场”的没有任何特色的巨型购物饮食街。我想吃饺子,也很想吃小笼包。我走进了丁泰丰(不是台湾著名连锁店鼎泰丰)要了一份小笼汤包,它们的形状有点像压扁了的洋葱,顶部被捏在一起,装在一个竹蒸笼里,冒着热气。我点的是干贝猪肉馅儿(8.49加元,约43元人民币),配上一碟红色的醋和一些姜丝,吃到嘴里味道十足。

Peaktop restaurant, in the same mall as Ding Tai Fung, specializes in Cantonese cuisine, particularly barbecued meats. I paid 11.50 dollars for a half duck that was covered in crispy skin, glistening and deep brown. I don’t love the fattier meats, but this duck was quite flavorful, if heavy. My dining companions and I were licking fat off our fingers on the way back to the car.

和丁泰丰同在一个购物中心的峰顶餐厅(Peaktop)擅长粤菜,尤其是烤肉。我花11.50加元买了半只脆皮鸭,深褐色的鸭皮闪闪发亮。虽然我不喜欢油腻的肉食,但这种鸭子的味道很不错,虽然油比较多。在走回我们车子的路上,我和一起来吃饭的同伴们都在舔着手指上的油。

One companion was Suresh Doss, a local food writer and journalist who had directed me to a number of the places I visited. “Over the last 10 or 15 years, uptown Markham has quickly become the best place for Chinese food,” he said. Rising costs led business owners in the downtown core to spread out toward the suburbs. “The result — you have a large cluster regionally specific restaurants that use the commuting conduit of Highway 7 as home base,” he said. Additionally, he said, families coveted the larger, newer homes that were being built in northern Toronto suburbs.

其中一个同伴是苏雷什·多斯(Suresh Doss),他是本地的一位美食作家和记者,我去的一些地方就是他指点的。他说,“在过去的10年或15年里,万锦市住宅区已很快变成了吃中餐的最好地方。”成本上升导致市中心的餐馆老板向郊区迁移。“结果就出现了一大群具有各种地方特色的餐馆,它们以7号高速公路为枢纽,”他说。他还说,另一个原因是,华人家庭喜欢多伦多北郊正在修建的,面积更大、更新的住宅。

Or as my Aunt Grace Kwan joked, “Chinese people like new things.” (It is a traditional Chinese belief that old houses, used cars and the like have the potential to be contaminated with bad history or disagreeable spirits.) She lives in Toronto and we shared a meal one evening at Congee Queen, which sounds like something you might read on a sash at a county fair. Regardless, the southern Chinese cuisine there is excellent, particularly the namesake congee, a hearty rice porridge to which any number of toppings can be added. We ordered the House Super Bowl Congee and received an enormous bowl packed with surf clams, shrimp, scallops, salmon, grouper and other sliced fish. It was a dish to bring tears to the eyes of any seafood lover, and, at 12.95 dollars, a fantastic bargain.

或者就如我的阿姨格雷斯·关(Grace Kwan)的那句玩笑话:“中国人喜欢新东西。”(根据中国传统观念,旧房子、二手车之类的东西有可能受到不幸的经历或者邪灵的污染。)她住在多伦多,我们到皇后名粥(Congee Queen)共进了一顿晚餐,它听起来就像是你会在县里大集的绶带上看到的名字。不过,这里的中国南方美食真的很棒,尤其是其同名粥品——让人有饱足感的米粥可以加入任何数量的配料。我们点了家常大碗粥(House Super Bowl Congee),端上来的碗超级大,里边堆满了蛤蜊、虾、扇贝、三文鱼、石斑鱼以及其他鱼片。任何一个爱吃海鲜的人看见这道美食都会热泪盈眶吧,而且只卖12.95加元,简直太便宜了。

The other direction down Highway 7 and a short detour off Kennedy Road, one finds the Pacific Mall, a huge structure housing hundreds of businesses, including an excellent food court. At Sun’s Kitchen, I watched as a man prepared hand-pulled noodles with a satisfying thwack on the steel countertop. The beef noodle soup (6.99 dollars) with thick, chewy noodles and chunks of tender meat had a pleasantly savory broth that tasted of star anise. The other item I got there, the dandan noodle soup (6.50 dollars), was a riff on the traditional fiery Sichuan dish. The noodles sat in a spicy, peanuty broth that went well with a free glass of soybean milk.

沿着七号公路的另一个方向,从肯尼迪路拐进一条短短的岔路,就能看到太古广场(Pacific Mall)了,这座巨大的建筑里驻扎着数以百计的商铺,其中包括一个很棒的美食广场。在拉面王(Sun’s Kitchen),我看到一个男人很响亮地把做拉面的面团弹到钢制台面上。牛肉汤面(6.99加元)里的粗面条十分筋道,嫩嫩的肉块饱含鲜美的汤汁,带着点八角的味道。我在拉面王还吃了一种非常流行的火辣四川传统美食:一碗担担面(6.50加元),这里的版本味道厚重。面条泡在辛辣的、有着花生的汤里,配上一杯免费豆浆刚刚好。

Nearby in the same complex was Fortune Star, a stand serving Hong Kong-style small bites. I ordered a small plate of spicy grilled squid, both tender and satisfyingly chewy, for 5.95 dollars that caused beads of sweat to form on my temples. I drank an ice-cold Hong Kong milk tea (2.75 dollars) to quench the fire on my tongue.

同样是在这座建筑里,不远处便是幸运星(Fortune Star),一个供应港式小吃的摊位。我花5.95加元点了一小碟既鲜嫩又有嚼头的香辣烤鱿鱼,吃得鬓角冒出了汗珠。接着喝了一杯港式冰奶茶(2.75加元),好让冒火的舌头缓缓劲儿。

Enjoying familiar old standbys is great, but it’s always a pleasure to be introduced to a type of cuisine you’ve never tried before. At the Federick restaurant in the New Delhi Plaza I experienced a mash-up of Indian and Chinese cuisine. (They call it Hakka Chinese, though that term usually just refers to an ethnic group in China. The origins of the term in relation to Indian food may lie with Kolkata-born Chinese chefs.) The combo pakora (11.50 dollars) contains the items to get — big chunks of chicken, scallops and shrimp rolled in chickpea flour and deep fried. They go fantastically with soy sauce and black vinegar.

享用熟悉的传统佳肴当然很好,但品尝以前从没吃过的某种菜品向来都让人愉悦。在新德里广场(New Delhi Plaza)的福利酒家(Federick restaurant),我品尝了一种兼具印度和中式风味的菜肴。(他们称之为客家[Hakka Chinese]风格,不过这个词通常仅指中国的一个族群。它之所以和印度风味的食物扯上了关系,或许是因为厨师是出生于加尔各答的华人。)这种帕可拉(pakora)套餐(11.50加元)中最诱人的部分,是裹了鹰嘴豆面粉、用油炸过的大块鸡肉、扇贝和虾。配上酱油和黑醋,美味无比。

The series of plazas we rolled through on this food crawl were, not to put too fine a point on it, unattractive. The New Kennedy Square in Markham was no different, a drab and squat complex. But it held one of the better and more imaginative desserts I’d had in a while. Woofles and Cream serves up Hong Kong-style egg waffles with different toppings in imaginative and unconventional flavor combinations. Some tastes are predictably delicious, like a red bean- and coconut-flavored waffle that visually resembles soundproofing in a music studio. Other combinations, like lap cheong (Chinese sausage) and seaweed aren’t as obvious, but work wonderfully as a savory counterbalance to the sweetness of the waffle. Alongside a big portion of matcha-flavored soft-serve ice cream, it’s the ideal treat. Both waffles cost 4.50 dollars.

坦白地说,我们在这趟美食之旅中经过的一系列购物中心并不吸引人。万锦市的新肯尼迪广场(New Kennedy Square)也是如此:一个乏味、低矮的建筑群。不过,这里的一家甜品店,是这段时间来我吃过的格外美味和有想象力的一个地方。Woofles and Cream甜品店供应港式鸡蛋仔,顶料有各种充满想像力的、不同寻常的口味组合。有些组合的美味是可以预见的,比如红豆和椰奶口味,鸡蛋仔的外形有点像录音棚的隔音材料。其他一些组合的美味可能不是那么显而易见,比如腊肠和海藻,但它的咸味可以很好地中和鸡蛋仔的甜味。再搭配一大份抹茶口味的软冰激凌,非常完美。两种鸡蛋仔都是4.5加元一个。

Southern Chinese cuisine is fairly well represented in the area, but there are some good Northern joints, as well. Northern Dumpling Kitchen, or NDK as it is known, serves some cheap and high-quality northern fare. Leek and pork dumplings (4.99 dollars) are savory and teeming with natural juices. The onion pancake (2.99 dollars) is a crispy, oily, reliably delicious stalwart. The cold dishes are where Northern cuisine really shines, though: cold, spicy and garlicky diced cucumbers (4.99 dollars) as well as slivers of savory, sour potato (4.99 dollars).

中国南方美食在这个地区得到很好的展示,但也有一些北方的美味。兴隆轩(Northern Dumpling Kitchen)供应一些物美价廉的北方食物。鲜肉韭菜水饺(4.99加元)咸香味美,饱含天然的汁水。葱油饼(2.99加元)酥脆油香,是绝对值得信赖的美味。不过,凉菜是北方菜真正的亮点:加了辣椒和蒜的清凉黄瓜丁(4.99加元),还有酸辣可口的土豆丝(4.99加元)。

There’s no better place to cap off a day of eating than with a visit to the outstanding Lucullus Bakery in Richmond Hill. My companions and I enjoyed a Chinese smorgasbord, if you will, of fresh baked goods: a coconut bearclaw and a buttery and crunchy pineapple bun (1.35 dollars each), chestnut bao with chestnut purée (2 dollars), and an almost comically bright yellow egg tart (1.35 dollars).

没有比在烈治文山杰出的龙岛饼店(Lucullus Bakery)结束一天的美食之旅更好的选择啦。我和同伴们享用了一顿新鲜烘焙的中式面点“自助餐”,如果你愿意的话,也来试一试:椰子熊爪包和酥脆的黄油菠萝包(每个1.35加元),加有栗子酱的栗子包(2加元),以及颜色鲜艳得几乎没法相信的蛋挞(1.35加元)。

The most enjoyable item, though, was the iced Ovaltine. I’m biased because I drank Ovaltine as a kid. If you didn’t, you may find chocolate milk preferable to the sweet, slightly grainy, almost minerally drink. But if you drank Ovaltine as a child, it’s a must-try. The 2.95 dollars cost will provide you with a cold, syrupy blast of nostalgia worth 10 times the price.

不过,最令人愉快的是冰镇阿华田。我对它情有独钟,因为我从小就喝它。如果你不是从小就喝的话,可能会觉得巧克力奶比这种沙沙的口感、几乎有种矿物味道的甜味饮品更好喝。但是如果你从小就喝,那么一定要尝尝。它仅售2.95加元,但这种冰冷的糖浆带给你的怀旧体验值得10倍的价格。

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