Volume 95, Issue 31
Friday, October 26, 2001
ARTS AND ENTERTAINMENT
Sumtimes vegetarian is good
All-veggie Ching Sum worth the tripMike Zogala/Gazette
MMM -- TASTES LIKE CHICKEN. Ching Sum has all the vegetarian goodies that will have you exclaiming, "I can't believe it's not meat!"
7-699 Wilkins Street
Four stars (out of five)
By Dale Wyatt
If you're willing to make the journey, Ching Sum is one restaurant more than worth the inconvenience of getting there.
Located in South London past Commissioners Road, Ching Sum offers a unique and diverse menu that happens to be completely vegetarian. Whether you are vegetarian, vegan, interested in healthy eating or just adventurous, the restaurant is sure to satisfy your palate.
The small and cozy dining room is intimate and relaxing. The walls are not full of silly old garage sale items like Joe Kool's or Kelsey's. Instead, they are kept simple and clean.
Parking is easy to find and always available; the restaurant is nestled snugly between two other stores in Lockwood Plaza, which has a large parking lot.
Perhaps the restaurant's most incredible feature is its gigantic menu that offers "mock" (i.e. no meat) Chinese dishes, including everything from chicken to shrimp to eel. Yes, mock eel.
In all, there are over 70 items available to suit any of your tastes or desires.
Reasonable prices are another great feature. There are eight different, personal-sized combos available, all for the low price of $6.99. Each combo comes with five items, including an appetizer, an entree and, of course, a fortune cookie. The combos are all different and it may prove difficult to choose one.
For that reason, try ordering a bunch of things to create your own combo.
The egg rolls and the spring rolls both make great appetizers and, at the low price of $1.00 each, they can be very tempting. However, don't fill up on these tasty little treats because the main dishes are more than generous.
Next, you might want to try some fried rice. The menu offers a variety of fried rice, served with anything from mixed vegetables to mock ham. Prices range from $5 to $6 and the portions can feed at least three hungry people.
Two items of special mention are the mock sweet and sour chicken balls and the mock chicken with lemon sauce. Both are delicious and quite filling. Whether or not the mock dishes taste like the real versions is of little concern once one of these delicious items enters your mouth.
Ching Sum also has a large egg and rice noodles section. The filling Singapore-style vermicelli ($6.50) is a spicy treat sure to clear the sinuses and please the taste buds. But be careful, if you're not a fan of spicy foods, some of the dishes may not be for you.
The main entrees showcase the restaurant's unique flare. Any of the spicy tofu entrees are definitely worth a try. The well-prepared tofu releases all kinds of pleasant juices into your mouth.
Despite the wonderful tastes, there are some notable drawbacks to a meal at Ching Sum.
Located between Wellington Road and Upper Queen Street, near Commissioners Road, the restaurant may be difficult to reach for most university students. It may also be difficult to pay for your meal, as they only accept cash.
Still, Ching Sum offers a fantastic dining experience and will leave your stomach full.
Copyright © The Gazette 2001