"If they dimmed the lights, Lido would be the ultimate Chinese restaurant. Still, you can put up with the glare for this food. "Review Rating: Reviewed by T.A.O
If you don’t mind placing ambience to one side and embracing the food then Lido is a good call for some of the best food in Chinatown. Open early, open late, serving dim sum and some authentic Chinese cuisine, this Gerrard Street stalwart does it all.
Spacious and relaxed are two words you might not often associate with Chinatown restaurants. It can often feel like you’re in on the conversation beside you, that is if conversation can even be
conducted, with staff forever busily trying to hustle you out if your chopsticks aren’t in hand and working. Lido doesn’t go for that. Spread across two floors, there is space between tables and a staff who seem content to allow you to be content before you leave. This is such a positive that it can’t be stressed enough. Whitewashed with hints of pale green in places, Lido could benefit with a more interesting décor to assist the atmosphere. The super-bright lights are seemingly never dimmed and that only increases the slight soullessness of the space. However, the food is the tops.
People come far and wide for the simple roast duck and rice, not to mention the Peking style duck with pancakes. There’s something about the way that Lido cook it apparently. While we can’t claim to be duck fanatics, going on taste we’d have to agree with the widely held belief that this is some of the best in Chinatown. We steer clear of rice and noodles and opt for some interesting dishes. The aubergine stuffed with prawn is excellent, with the plump prawn complimenting the moist, puffy aubergine perfectly. We try the minced pork, which comes served with jumbo lettuce leaves – the idea is that you spoon the meaty mixture into the leaf and wrap into a bundle before stuffing it in. It’s the lighter version of the Peking duck pancake and every bit as good. We finish with Chinese greens, which are served in a garlic and ginger dressing that is so rich you can almost taste cheese – except it isn’t really there. Strange, yet delicious.
With two bottles of red wine and dishes brought to the table as and when, we spend just over two hours at Lido, which must be a record for Chinatown. The service makes this is a good place for family meals and big groups. If only they’d dim the lights…
T.A.O reviewed Lido on Fri 18 Oct 2013