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Looks like Sushi, but...

Posted: 11/09/11


Looks like Sushi, but...

Restaurant: Joe_Yee_Vegetarian_Cuisine Toronto

Nelson @ Richmond Hill: Loretta is the first to get the right answer, congrats! Everything at this restaurant, including the last post is vegetarian!!! Incredible! They did such a good job imitating real sushi, that I was fooled at first and some people were completely fooled by the pictures! Thanks for leaving the comments and guesses, it was fun having a mystery :)

You can tell that the sushi is fake because the lines are too regular, too perfectly straight and too evenly spaced. Also, it doesn't have the right texture, looks a little too rigid and not soft like real fish. Perhaps it is hard to tell from the pictures, but it is evident in real life. The salmon and tuna are actually a jelly-like substance and not very sticky, so that's why they had to use the seaweed to bind it to the rice. As for taste, it tasted a little like the real thing, but some of their other dishes were much more impressive.

The shrimp you see is completely vegetarian as well. It has a similar texture as real shrimp, but the taste was of something else entirely. But the squid (in the previous post) tasted similar in addition to having the exact same texture. Not sure how they did it, but I was impressed. The rolls tasted pretty similar to real rolls - a bit of a mishmash of tastes and textures.

To round out our meal, this is a tofu and vegetable dish, with fake roe. This one was only ok and was a little bit cold.





























The fake meat platter was impressive because of the taste. In the front is "roast pork" Impressively they made a distinct crunchy skin layer on top, with a "fat" layer next (was some sort of root vegetable) and then a tofu "meat" base. So much attention to detail and it actually tasted really good. If you weren't playing attention, the textures definitely simulate the real thing. The top right are some deep fried "chicken". Mostly batter, but with a bit of substance on the inside to simulate the chicken. Honestly, it was difficult to tell that there was no chicken in this one, as the taste and texture were exactly like the real thing. The back is some BBQ pork, and although the taste and texture are different from the real thing, this one is very tasty on it's own. Lastly is a "spring roll", but this one didn't taste or look like the real thing. Overall a great tasting plate, even though there is no "real" meat.















A stir fry vegetable that is not that unique. Had to balance out the meal and at least it had a good variety of ingredients.
































This kinda looks like a whole deep fried fish with the eyes and gills, but inside is just taro. The outside is a deep fried battered shell. This one tasted very similar to the dim sum dish, but just larger and shaped like a fish. I was expecting this one to taste really good, but it was a little underwhelming, perhaps because it became cold quite quickly. Still quite creative.

Lastly (scroll down) is the dessert, just a soup with I think tofu. Different from most other Chinese restaurants.

Overall they did a great job serving a completely vegetarian meal. I wonder what it means that Chinese vegetarians try to replicate meat so exactly. Although the restaurant was very small, it was really busy and had a good atmosphere. The food tasted good, even though it might not have been what you were expecting. I would definitely come back again just see how creative they can be with their other dishes.

Joe Yee Vegetarian Cuisine on Urbanspoon

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Categories: Chinese,  Deep Fried,  Japanese,  Vegetarian,  

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