On a summer weekend, we visited the punjabi market area to try Shoom restaurant on Fraser Street between east 49th and east 50th avenue.
We had reservations and arrived a few minutes early. It was a full house, and there a couple of groups waiting for a table outside the restaurant doors.
The place looks like it had undergone renovations recently, and it looked pretty nice.
The menu is quite expansive, with a selection of cantonese dishes, punctuated with helpful photographs.
We ordered the prawns with scrambled eggs
These are large butterflied white shrimp, stir-fried with white scallions and eggs. The prawns were nicely cooked, and the eggs had a light fluffy texture. The dish was properly seasoned and of generous proportions.
We also ordered the sizzling chicken hot pot
This is bone-in chicken, stir fried with shallots, garlic, scallions, chinese sausage and dried preserved pork. It was finished with a savory sauce, and served in a hot iron pot. The chicken was still a little crispy (either from a shallow fry or from blanching in hot oil prior to stir frying). It’s savory, aromatic and a little bold (from the preserved pork).
We also ordered some plain rice to go with these dishes.
After the meal, we were given some complementary dessert. From the options provided, we chose the mango pudding.
The mango pudding was lightly sweet, and delicate, with some creaminess from the evaporated milk on top.
The dining room was clean and modern
albeit, very crowded and cramped (it was necessary to squeeze between chairs as we were entering and exiting the restaurant). And the reason why there were parties waiting outside for a table, was because there was no place to wait inside the restaurant. The tables and chairs use all the available floor space.
The food was very good, if a little expensive, but the large portions compensate for that. Bring friends, or a big appetite.
The service was better than average (by my double standard for chinese restaurants). It was efficient and polite.
This update represents a second visit several months later.
Since the previous visit, the restaurant expanded into the neighboring retail space. The resulting maze of hallways and dining rooms makeds for confusing navigation, especially if your party was seated in a remote corner of the expanded dining space.
We did reorder the some of the same dishes we enjoyed the first time, but added these dishes.
This soup is a chicken broth base, swirled with beaten eggs and creamed corn, seasoned with salt and white pepper. This was a pretty good soup. It was sweet and savory, with a little texture from the corn and the egg strands.
stir fried yi mein with mushrooms
This is stir fried yi mein, with thin slices of dried shiitake mushrooms (rehydrated) and dressed with sesame oil, oyster sauce and soy. Yi mein is a egg-wheat noodle with a spongy texture. These were good noodles. They flavors are on point, and the seasoning was about right.
stir fried beef and gailain
This is marinated beef strips, stir fried with garlic and blanched gai lan (chinese broccolli). This was pretty good. The seasoning was on point, and the beef had a really good “wok-hei”. The vegetables were a nice al-dente, but a little oversized. This is a strange tendancy with chinese restaurants… they serve the gailan in huge pieces that are a little cumbersome to pick up with chopsticks or serving spoon. And they are certainly too large to consume without biting down multiple times (which kinda runs contrary to the stir frying convention of “bite sized pieces”).