100 Top Restaurants: #42 – Dayali

The service is curt, the wine list basically non-existent, and there aren’t any desserts, but it really is worth lining up outside to share a family-style feast at this Beijing-based Sichuan restaurant. Peking duck is the main attraction, and it doesn’t disappoint. The skin crackles like glass, and droplets of juice and fat glisten on the flesh. It is three-bite perfection when wrapped in a steamed pancake and dressed with fried potato strings, threads of cucumber and scallion, and dabs of a sweet and salty house-made bean sauce. Hunks of white fish shake and shimmy in a tureen of bubbling oil studded with handfuls of sweat-inducing dried chilies and lip-tingling Sichuan peppercorns. Aptly named Amazing Tofu tops wobbly blocks of the vegetarian protein with peanuts and green onions, ringed by preserved black thousand-year-old eggs into an intense blast of textures and flavours. 160 York Blvd., Richmond Hill, 905-886-9592.