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Omnivore - Canton House: $15 Sichuan-style, almost fleshless lobster

A city-favorite for weekend dim sum

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The boys and I hit Canton House last Friday. I had not visited the restaurant in years, although I was a frequent dim sum diner on weekends. It has long been reputed to serve the city's best meals on cart wheels.

I did try a couple of dim sum dishes Friday, including fried tofu skin wrapped about pork, mushrooms and shrimp. Also: the ubiquitous glossy buns filled with barbecued pork.

Then I took advantage of the whole lobster (above) offered as a special for $15. You get your choice of spices with which the lobsters are rubbed. I went for the Sichuan-style, while another person at the table ordered a tamarind one.

I gotta say that the best part of my lobster was the spicy coating. Even though the server kept telling me it was going to be "too hot," it was in fact barely lip-burning at all. Unfortunately, the hacked-up lobster didn't offer much flesh, so the dissection was exhausting and, of course, messy. No Chinese lobster bib offered.

Other friends at the table did their usual thing of poring through the menu to find basically Chinese-American dishes. Next time, I'm tying them up and force-feeding them jowls, stomach and chicken feet.

The restaurant, by the way, was nearly empty Friday night, with half the dining room closed. Our server said most of their business still occurs weekends for dim sum.





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