June 27, 2012

Back at Linda for a revisit

I frequent Shops at Don Mills way too often for my own good, but I haven't eaten at Linda for more than a year.
Linda offers a three-course $25 prix fixe menu that changes monthly. Two of the appetizer options included shrimp cocktail and spring rolls with a sweet and sour dipping sauce. I only tried the spring rolls and they tasted more Chinese than Thai. My favourite is still Vietnamese style spring rolls.
There were a lot of dishes that evening and unfortunately I didn't get to try every one of them. I did, however, sampled Henry's scallops with red chili paste ($20)- scallop, seasonal vegetables, home-made red chili paste and fish sauce. We were warned that this dish was "extra-spicy", but I could only taste the slightest hint of heat.
Thai-style seafood bouillabaise ($24) was one of the special offerings of the month. I didn't try any, but Kelvin didn't seem full from it. I was told that it was also not spicy at all.
Two of us ordered beef panang ($17) as the main for the prix fixe menu- crispy beef, bell pepper, peanut, Asian basil, lime leaf in a rich creamy curry made from peanut, coconut milk, and Panang curry paste. I've always enjoyed the crispy beef very much and my boyfriend almost orders it every single time he comes!
Mona ordered something decidedly not spicy- chicken with king oyster mushroom ($17)- chicken breast, carrot, king oyster mushroom, cashew, baby bok choy, goji berry in light soy sauce. She reported that she enjoyed the cashews, but the rest of the dish was pretty ordinary.
My choice of entree was the crispy duck with steamed pancakes ($20)- braised duck leg with crispy skin, sauce. From the description, I imagined that this would be like an alternate version of Peking duck, and I was right! Substitute greasy roasted duck with a crispy duck leg! The duck leg actually arrived in tact, but our waitress broke down the meat before I had a chance to snap a picture. The accompaniments were also very similar, with the exception of the celery and the mushroom. I quite enjoyed this preparation of duck as it felt less greasy (though my cholesterol level might say otherwise). The meat was moist and flavourful, but my one complaint was that the pancakes hardened considerably when cooled. Moreover, there weren't enough pancakes, though I didn't mind eating the duck on its own at all.
We had two desserts from the prix fixe deal to end off the meal- lychee ice cream and mango sticky rice. I loved the lychee ice cream, and it's a pity that I don't see many restaurants offering that. In comparison, the mango sticky rice was less popular. I was surprised that the dessert was served warm, and the warm mango was a little off-putting. However, I did like the coconut flavours in the sticky rice. All in all, we had a good meal, and the $25 prix fixe menu is pretty good if you're into that sort of thing. I just wish that they could kick up the spice level for several dishes (or at least give you the option to make it spicier, like Salad King).
Linda Restaurant on Urbanspoon

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