Chinese Restaurants

Finished dinner and washed dishes. Suddenly I feel like posting something. But this time, I am not gonna rewrite the topic on education, which was accidentally deleted 2 hrs ago.

Chinese restaurants… as Shane requested long time ago.

Tonight I’m gonna talk about some nice Chinese restaurants in Toronto that I’ve been to. These aren’t the high-end ones only for the people w/ deep pockets. These are the ones that you and me can afford and go to whenever we want to.

(A) Tea Houses
1. Ginger & Onion Cuisine (嘉仁宮); 7131 Kennedy Rd., Unit E3-4, Market Village, Markham
– This is a place where you’ll constantly see a big crowd near the entrance, waiting for tables. Why? Wide selection of good dim sum + reasonable price. You can even say it’s just a bargain. Since there’re so many customers, the food is freshly cooked. You will expect a lot of little trolleys moving around. I always prefer this type of Tea Houses to the “modern ones” where you have to order using a form with a limited selection of food. You get the “feeling” of “yum cha”, and you get to see what the food before ordering. Plus you can order whenever you want to, instead of submitting the order form and get all the dim sum on your table all at once.

2. Dragon Dynasty (龍騰金閣); 2301 Brimley Rd., Chartwell Centre, Scarborough; 416-321-9000
– This is a much neater place compared to the previous one. You can get pretty good food there. You can expect line-ups during weekends. However, the price will be a bit higher than the first one of course. People said the quality of food now isn’t as good as several years ago. I’m not sure if that’s true or not, but I think this place is pretty nice. (and close to my home too)

3. Ruby (紅寶石); 1571 Sandhurst Cir., Scarborough; 416-298-1638
– A pretty old style Cantonese Tea House, with a capacity of 800. When I first went there, it was so crowded. Maybe it’s because of its layout (not divided into rooms/sections), you can see a sea of people having dim sum in a big hall, and trolleys moving around. Well, this image can be a bit overwhelming. But overall, the food there is pretty good and average priced. During weekends, you can see a lot of big families there. Maybe elderly just adore the style there.

4. Spring Villa (渝園新閣); 7301 Woodbine Ave., Markham; 905-940-2888
– The time I went to this place, there weren’t a lot of people. We ordered w/ a form. I think one of the selling points is that all the food is MSG-free. Well, I didn’t really see the difference in taste… maybe a bit more oily? You can give it a try.

(B) Restaurants
1. Rol Jui (龍?軒); 472 Dundas St. W., Toronto; 416-971-8885
– Seafood dinner combo is the one we’ve always gone there for. You can select as many main dishes as you want from the Seafood combo menu (of course price increases with the no. of dishes). However, there’s a limit of 1 dish of lobster or 1 dish of crab per table. Other than there, there’s no restriction. We always like its thousand island shrimps and its fried oysters. And you’ll also get the Cantonese soup before dinner and dessert (sweet soup) after dinner. You’ll get the value for sure.

2. Markham Peking House (松運樓); 3225 Hwy 7 East, First Markham Place, Unit 1A; 905-479-0818
– 99 cents per oyster, tasty “xiao long bao” (even better than the ones you get at Ding Tai Fung, which is located at the same plaza) and a lot of dinner combos and daily specials; a high value family restaurant with TVs, so you won’t miss your favourite TV shows during dinner time.

3. Fantasy Eatery (銀星小廚); 3320 Midland Ave., Unit 14-16, Scarborough; 416-332-0288
– Selling points: big, tasty dishes reasonably priced (good for big guys), open late (maybe til 3-4am). The thousand island pork chop is good, and lots of other things like “chou zhou” congee, crabs…

4. Asian Legend (味香村); see websites for various locations.
– I always like its “northern-style” dim-sums, and its cold dishes such as the drunken chicken. Not pricy. You can see lots of westerners at the North York location. But the bad thing is that you have to expect delays in order-taking and bill-handling… coz there always seem to be under-staffed (especially @ the North York location)!

5. Congee Wong (天皇名粥); 3 locations:
(1) 8390 Kennedy Road, Unit B1-B3, Markham, 905-305-1660;
(2) 3235 Hwy 7, First Markham Place, Unit 18-19, Markham, 905-474-1844;
(3) 10 Ravel Road, Finch & Leslie Square, Unit 5-6, North York, 416-493-8222.
– It’s a enigma to us that Congee Wong is always packed w/ ppl. Because its quality is dropping. Its stir fried “luo bo gao” 炒蘿蔔糕 was once pretty good, but these 2 yrs, everything seems to be not-right. Not as good as it was before. The 麻婆豆腐飯 we ordered yesterday was just terrible! But still, there’re lots of ppl. Try it when you have a chance and tell me what you think.

(C) Fast Food
1. Taipei Chin Yuan Pai Ku Fast Food (台北金園排骨)
– to be continued –

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