More photos. Fewer adjectives.

Konner: Tongue-searingly Good

Smoked Bamboo DishFor those of you who like spicy foods and can get to Midland, just North of Finch, easily enough, let me introduce you to Konner. Dishes from his Hunan restaurant hit that “spicy, but still tasty” strata of eats, which always makes me happy. Located in a gleaming and still-empty plaza (before “The Flag” plaza going North from Finch), this isn’t too hard to pick out among the empty shops.

Deep fried pepper with preserved egg and sesame oil. This is a cold dish and quite tasty… but deceptively spicy. My initial notes were “not as spicy as you’d think” and then there’s this kick at the end. Nice with a hot bowl of white rice. Didn’t think the whole bowl would be finished, but that got polished off while waiting for the next dish to arrive.

Steamed fish head (Hunan Style) with red peppers. I didn’t like this one nearly as much. Came with a bowl of noodles that went well with the broth. I just felt the fish wasn’t all that tasty/fresh. Also: not a huge fish head fan.

This is #94 - Yulou sauteed preserved pork with bamboo shoots (thanks to Trane on chowhound for figuring it out!) You want to order this. Great crunchy texture and lovely smokey flavour from the bamboo. There’s also cured fatty pork (think bacon) and charred/caramelized onions tossed in there. All giving it a really layered flavour and of course, a healthy kick of spice from the chilies. Again, so, so, good with a bowl of hot, white, rice. As a note, I didn’t think it all that spicy when I was eating it, but left-overs the next day proved me wrong. Definitely a re-order for me.

There is an extensive menu (12 pages!) at Konner, and I’ve tried only a small bit of it. They’re also open late (to midnight or later) and will accept credit-cards above a certain amount. I hear there’s stinky tofu as well as interesting-looking hot-pots. I’m already looking to a future visit to eat that smoked bamboo dish again.

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  • Konner Chinese Restaurant 3250 Midland Ave, Unit G126, Toronto
  • Menu – page one of 12 on flickr (or below)..!

More at Konner Chinese Restaurant

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3 Responses to “Konner: Tongue-searingly Good”

  1. Jon Schrieder

    Wow. Wow. Based on your review, we went to Konner on Friday night. Did I say Wow? This is some scarily authentic stuff here. No General Tsao’s Chicken tonight!

    Very interesting food, this Hunan stuff. Would I be out of line to say that it reminded me a bit of my Szechuan experience at Hot Spicy Spicy at Leslie and Finch? Food that was redolent of far-away spices, exotic peppercorns, and very hearty. Very foreign flavours to my tongue, to say the least.

    We had the cold peppers; it seemed more like a condiment than an actual dish, and I think we would have been happy to have a bit less of it. And, ours was a bit more cloudy with preserved egg (compared with your photo). But, it was really good. We couldn’t find the bamboo dish! And, I tried to describe it, but to no avail. We did have some delicious stir-fried beef with cumin and scallions. It was very good and had an almost… Mexican flavour! Not really, but the cumin was surprising for us. We had squid stew which was okay, but lacking in some flavour. And, chicken cooked in bamboo was actually not so good.

    Lastly, the owner was very friendly and seemed to enjoy practicing her English with us, as we were the only white people there. She was lovely!

    All in all, this was a very eye-opening (my friend said “humbling”) experience to taste Chinese food that is so different from the stuff we are accustomed to.

    Thanks for this very interesting recommendation.

    Reply
    • Jen

      I’m glad you enjoyed! The hunt for the name of the bamboo dish continues… It’ll only take forever to get through the menu though… @_@ super-long.

      Reply
  2. Rick H

    Just returned from lunch there — amazing. Best dishes were the special shrimp fried with tea leaves and the lamb soup with caraway, ginger, and chile. Cannot wait to return

    Reply

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