By Anne DesBrisay
A renovation closed 1766 Carling Avenue for four months. The grand reopening last fall revealed the long-running Mrs Le’s Vietnamese Restaurant (now missing its front deck, exchanged for an interior addition) had a menu that included Thai dishes.
Mrs. Le had a new chef from Bangkok, you see, and just as we were developing a serious fondness for the red curry of tilapia and the deep fried tofu-wrapped purses of pork and shrimp (and always the house pho in all its various permutations) seemingly overnight the Mrs Le’s sign came down and a “Kim’s Restaurant” sign went up. Mrs. Le retired, we were told.
Kim’s has decluttered a bit, but this is otherwise the same post-renovation space. They’ve filled the built-in shelving units with Chinese objets d’art and the menu with Peking duck and moo-shu pork and egg drop soup. There is still a lengthy Vietnamese section and still a bit of Thai fare (always, the must-have pad thai) but the bulk of the long menu is now Chinese.
The “Handmade Dumplings (6)” caught my eye — available in two styles: steamed, stuffed with minced pork and vegetable, or the same noodle bundles pan-fried and served with “chef sauce.”
Might I possibly have both? Two of each, say?
They made a fast and satisfying lunch, the pale, thin cases plumped with a well-seasoned filling, three of them still soft and slippery, and three others crisp-skinned, scattered with scallions.
The new Kim’s was two weeks old when I lunched here. There will be time to delve deeper into the exhaustingly long menu in due course.
Cost: for six dumplings, $5.75
Open: daily from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.
Kim’s Restaurant, 1766 Carling Ave., 613-798-5697.