Top 5 Congee in Mississauga

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All Asian cultures have their own type of congee; from Filipino or Korean to Japanese and Chinese. Even within China there are various styles of congee like Fujian, Taiwanese, Hong Kong and Cantonese. One thing all these cultures share is their love for this simple and affordable comfort food. Traditionally, congee is served for breakfast or to those who are unwell, as it is easy to digest. It is a versatile dish that can include many different types of meats and vegetables. It is also great if you are on a budget—a meal for two is under ten dollars! A simple accompaniment to congee is deep-fried bread or fritter called Youtiao, directly translated to "Oil Stick." To determine the best congee in Mississauga, I took into consideration the consistency of it (thick and creamy), the amount of flavour in the congee (both ingredients and porridge), how it stood out as a complete meal and the fritter accompaniment. Here are the top five congee restaurants in Mississauga.

5) Bashu Sichuan

Bashu Sichuan is the only non-Cantonese restaurant that made the list. The restaurant is very bright and clean with nice decor. The menu is on an iPad, allowing for easy ordering as every dish had a picture. The dishes are served as they are made so you might finish one plate before the next one arrives. Bashu has a good selection of congee options including all the usual flavours. I ordered minced pork and preserved egg. They are not a congee specialist so it took some time before the dish arrived; they were also sold out of fritters. The congee was hot, had an excellent consistency and a mild flavour.

4) Best Friend Chinese Restaurant

Best Friend Chinese Restaurant had very nice decorations and a quiet atmosphere, with occasional shouts from servers. The booth was not completely clean and the tables had brown paper covering white table cloths. They have half a page of congee dishes; I ordered preserved egg and pork. The presentation was not great, the porridge was spilling over the edges of the bowl and the spoon looked as though it had been tossed in as an afterthought. That said, what it lacked in presentation it made up for in taste. The congee had green onion shaved on top as a garnish and bits of ginger and onion cooked into it. There was a single preserved egg cut up into it with the pork. The pork pieces were very large and well flavoured with pepper. The congee had a good consistency and good flavour. The fritters were not overcooked and were served hot.

3) Fritter King

Fritter King is the first of three congee restaurants located within the same plaza in Mississauga. Its appearance is minimal except for a small deep-fryer kitchen located at the front window of the restaurant. Here you can watch the staff make fritters. They are the only restaurant on the list to make their own fritters in front of you. The servers were abrupt but pleasant and the food arrived quickly. I ordered the chicken and duck congee. It was served with roasted peanuts and green onion as the garnish. Ginger and onions were mixed throughout. The porridge was not as flavourful as other locations but it had an excellent consistency and a pleasant flavour. As its name suggests, Fritter King is the number one place to go for fritters.

2) Bayview Garden

Bayview Garden was bright, clean, and not too busy for lunch. They had fish tanks at the entrance of the restaurant with happy looking fish to greet you. They have a full menu of options to suit both western and Asian tastes and offer a very full selection of congee. I ordered the "house special," which turned out to be seafood and chicken. This option is only available as a super size so make sure to bring some friends to share. The porridge was garnished with cilantro that was mixed throughout and the chunks of chicken and seafood were large and numerous. Both the flavour and texture were excellent and the fritters were served soft and hot.

1) Chi’s Congee & Noodle House

Chi's Congee & Noodle House is a congee specialist offering two full pages of congee including styles of broth congee (Chiu Chow). It is always busy at Chi's, you may wait up to 30 minutes for a table. The servers are exceptionally fast and will sometimes seat you at a large table with strangers to move you through more quickly. My favourite congee here is the "preserved egg and pork" but I have never been disappointed and decided to try the "assorted meat and mushroom” super congee. It came garnished with cilantro and green onions and included lots of ingredients. There were different types of mushrooms, pork, beef and seafood in it. The super size was slightly smaller than other restaurants on the list but is still more than enough to share. The fritters at Chi's are average but still make an excellent accompaniment to this number one congee.

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