Gourmet Malaysia’s Hainanese Chicken is beautiful to look at but not very meaty.
To Agincourt and Gourmet Malaysia (4466 Sheppard East, at Brimley, 647-764-1188, ggmsc.com, rating: NNN), a sprawling strip-mall banquet hall that someone on the internet claims is the best Singaporean resto in town. Better than Hawker Bar anyway.
To test the theory, we duplicate our downtown dinner, starting with lamb satay (#4, $8.20), four skewers of somewhat gristly halal lamb in chunky peanut sauce. Since they don't do vegan, Gourmet's soupy laksa (#213, $7.80) comes thick with chicken, shrimp and fish cake in a chili-fired broth that builds to a slow burn. But unless you're a fan of skin and bones, pass on Hainanese Chicken (#131, $13.99 half), a whole lotta bother for little meaty reward. And shouldn't there be rice?
Gourmet's fried crispy whole fish in sambal (#68, $18.99) might not be as fancy-pants as Hawker Bar's, with tilapia standing in for bream, but it still packs a spice-tacular punch from little more than a combination of ketchup and chili flakes. Veering away from comparison dining, we try Penang Char Kwei Teow (#191), a fabulous tangle of wide rice noodles in dark soy sauce tossed with unidentified seafood, while a surprisingly tasty pad thai (#205, both $7.80) turns out to be Thai in name alone.
After finishing with rudimentary battery bananas topped with a scoop of store-bought ice cream (#273, $3.99), we hit the Gourmet's gift shop for a jar of house-pickled chilies ($3.80), something that will no doubt come in handy the next time we whip up a batch of multiculti Kraft Dinner.