Around lunch time, I visited Lucky Red (318 Spadina Avenue) in Chinatown for some quick eats. Despite being one of the few not really in love with Banh Mi Boys (it’s good, but I’m not keen on the kimchi fries it’s well known for, and probably just had too high expectations when I first tried it), I was walking past and decided to give them a try.
The interior adapts a lot of red and Chinese elements, and has a colourful and playful mural of animals covering one of its walls. I really like the decorations and vibe of the place, and all of the workers were friendly and attentive.
After a quick glance at the menu (sorry for the unclear picture!), I knew exactly what I wanted to try:
FRIED OYSTER BAO
XO sauce, mayo, pickled fennel and cilantro, no cucumber or carrots
I was so excited to see fried oyster on the menu! I love oyster in general, and my first time trying it fried had been at The Carbon Bar a few months ago. I ordered the fried oyster spicy on a steamed bao bun. I was afraid the bun would overwhelm the oyster, but it wasn’t too bad. The oysters were great and I enjoyed the spice and mayo on them. I’m a huge fan of cilantro and this had a nice amount, which I found refreshing with the oyster. The one bao was enough as a large snack for me.
I ended up coming back to this place during my break to see what else I could try, haha. I’m pretty sure the work staff recognized me. This time, I opted for a side dish and dessert:
I loved the rice balls! They are immediately reminiscent of takoyaki balls, just stuffed with rice. It was filling for the portion it’s served in and pretty delicious.
PANDAN ICE CREAM
on a sweet fried bao
I had heard of the s’mores bao and was pretty eager to try it, but my attention instead diverted to the pandan ice cream bao. I like pandan but had never had it in ice cream form before. After doing a little research, I was pleasantly surprised to find out the pandan and milk tea flavours were supplied by one of my faves, Kekou Gelato House! I really enjoyed the ice cream and the fried bun, but really couldn’t figure out a way to actually eat this as an ice cream sandwich. The ice cream was still too frozen and bun not warm enough. I still enjoyed the tastes individually and in combination with each other, and just used a fork to spread the ice cream on the buns to eat.
Since I guess that wasn’t really enough, I came back again after my placement to meet a friend in the area. That makes for three visits in one day… >_> Having just eaten here, I just got a drink instead:
The lychee lemonade was a good amount of sour for me, but also a little too sugary.
While I’m not totally wowed by this place, I would definitely come back for a casual meal. It’s not cheap for Chinatown, but not extravagant for what it is. All three times that I came here throughout the day, it wasn’t really busy. Great location and nice atmosphere.