Iron Chef America and great food aren’t typically what you expect to see taking off while you’re waiting for a flight, but Toronto Pearson International Airport upped its game with the arrival of Lee Kitchen. Helmed by Chef Susur Lee, Lee Kitchen is a welcome respite from the congested iPad infested food hall landscape of Pearson’s international departures terminal.
Given that Lee’s hometown is Toronto and since Toronto is a city that’s known for its incredibly diverse cuisine, it makes sense that Lee is taking a crack at bettering airport food fare in the 416. Lee has a total of five restaurants in Toronto: Lee, Bent, Luckee, Lee Kitchen and Fring’s. He also oversees TungLok Heen in Singapore.
First things first, try not to drool over the dumpling steamer at Lee Kitchen. It’s pretty awesome. If visions of dumplings steaming in a basket isn’t enough to get you salivating, head back on over to those iPad ordering tables in the terminal.
Second, if you’re going to indulge at Lee Kitchen make sure you ask your server how long the items you order will take to pop up. Given that Lee and his team create delicate dishes like har gow, you’ll want to ensure that you have ample time to chow down and still make your flight. Unless you’re lucky enough to have an insanely good dim sum joint like Din Tai Fung in your neighborhood, Lee Kitchen is a wonderful opportunity for you to give unique dishes like shao mai a whirl.
One of our favorite dishes at Lee Kitchen is the lotus leaf steamed pork and shrimp sticky rice. It’s a dish that’s not common outside of Asia and Lee Kitchen executes it on the fly beautifully.
Lee Kitchen’s har gow shrimp dumplings were also scrumptious.
The dish that surprised us the most was the cheeseburger spring rolls. The rolls come served with a chipotle mayo and fresh delicate Asian herbs. At first we hesitated before ordering the cheeseburger spring rolls thinking they might be a tad bit too gimmicky, but they were our favorite item on the menu by far. For airport food, the cheeseburger spring rolls really knock your socks off.
We never thought we’d say this, but Lee Kitchen actually has us looking forward to our next layover at Pearson, so we can get our paws on those delicious cheeseburger spring rolls.
Address: Terminal 1 International Departures *After security on level two, near gate E73.
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Hours: Monday Through Sunday 5:00am to 11:00pm
Phone: (416) 776-3100 *Extension eight.
Email: email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org
Pricing (All in Canadian Dollars): Breakfast $11.00 to $16.00, Dim Sum $7.00 to $9.00, Other Dishes $7.00 to $27.00, Dessert $12.00 to $15.00