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Toronto Life - - Where To Eat -

Tao North­ern Chi­nese Cui­sine

CHI­NESE The food at this very pretty new Lea­side res­tau­rant isn’t wildly bet­ter than at any num­ber of less-glam­orous joints on Spad­ina or Ger­rard, but some­times it’s nice to ap­pre­ci­ate modern decor be­tween bites of per­fectly com­pe­tent north­ern Chi­nese cui­sine. Four har gow are un­re­mark­able, but fried cala­mari is nicely spiced and sided with a de­li­cious ginger dip­ping sauce. A half­por­tion of duck with three sauces (green co­conut curry, hoisin, sweet and spicy) is served with a stack of steamed crêpes, but the bird’s flabby skin dis­ap­points; lob­ster flavoured with caramelized gar­lic, shal­lots and beer, how­ever, is wok-fried to per­fec­tion. The bar menu is an afterthought, and desserts are the usual sus­pects, but an in­ter­est­ing black rice pud­ding made with co­conut milk and gar­nished with juli­enned mango is a real treat. 220 Laird Dr., 416-421-3888. $$V

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