Saturday, January 26, 2013

Phoenix Restaurant - Markham, ON

We were informed Phoenix Restaurant served a great Hainanese Chicken dish and so it became a primary destination.  We had thought Phoenix Restaurant was a single restaurant but eventually learned Phoenix is a local chain of three restaurants in the style of Hong Kong cafes offering hundreds of menu items.

We started off with a seafood chow mein (fried noodle) dish.  It was competitive and crispy as to be expected but not ravenously good.  It was light on the sauce and having more would have offset the dryness and provided a textural contrast of crispy and soft noodles. It was decent enough and whetted our appetite for the Hainanese Chicken, our raison d'etre.

Many dishes abound for the foodie but at a glance Hainanese Chicken and Rice would not appear to fall into this category. On the surface Hainanese Chicken is an ordinary looking dish of pale chicken with an even more pale bland looking heap of white rice.  At the core, the chicken is boiled and the rice is cooked with an oily chicken stock. And yet this chicken dish is classic, comforting, and addictive when done right.

Phoenix has a name spin on this dish calling it both Hainan Chicken and Steamed Chicken on Rice with Ginger Sauce and Phoenix Restaurant does it right. In fact, Phoenix Restaurant a fantastic job of preparing this dish for those with a fixation. The chicken was succulent, moist, and tender.  The chicken alone was great and then the spicy garlic dipping sauce took the chicken to stratospheric crack addicting level.  All of were chopsticking the chicken as fast as we could down a piece.

As great as the chicken was, the rice could not match the chicken.  The rice preparation was mildly oily, moist, and fluffy as expected but disappointed in the flavor department.  It was essentially close to well prepared standard white rice, not the accompaniment of flavored white rice expected.

Bottom line: Phoenix Restaurant offers literally hundreds of menu option. The house specialty is the Hainanese Chicken and justifiably so.  If I need a Hainanese Chicken fix, this is where I'll be.

Restroom Rating: 7.2

1 Raymerville Drive
Markham, ON L3P7N7

Phoenix Restaurant on Urbanspoon

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