Category Archives: Cuisine (Chinese)

Ten Ren’s Tea Time


111 Times Ave #101, Markham ON L3T 0A2
(Hwy 7 & Valleymede)
T: 905-881-8896
www.tenrenstea.com

You probably recognize Ten Ren’s brand for their tea but very little people know that they also have locations for dining as well. The food was okay but their drinks are amazing. Flavours vary from the exotic fruits i.e. lychee to the more common ones i.e. green apple, available hot or cold.

Recommendations
• Pineapple Lychee Hot Tea
• Soft Ribs Green Tea Noodles in Soup

Good to Know
• Best seats: Booths at the back (for more privacy)
• Service: Slow but server made the effort to appear apologetic
• Atmosphere: Contemporary; trendy
• Ideal for: Casual gatherings; Tea lovers/dates
• Attire: Casual
• Reservations recommended: No
• Patio recommended: N/A

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Ten Ren's Tea Time on Urbanspoon

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Honey Garlic Restaurant


1661 Denison St, Markham, ON L3R 6E4
(Kennedy Rd & Steeles)
T:(905) 470-7730

Ginger & Onion (see older blog) was such a success that the owners opened up another restaurant, Honey Garlic, just up the street of Market Village. The food is almost as good and the line ups are just as long. But Honey Garlic has better promotions (if you’re a deal seeker).

This is one of the few Chinese restaurants that still uses the trolley to push out the dim sum dishes. I tend to like this concept because I can see what it is before ordering. Many restaurants now have a sheet of paper for you to enter your selection instead.

Recommendations
• Steamed Rice Wrapped in Lotus Leaf
• Fried Octopus Tentacles – it is dipped and fried with batter here; tempura style
• Baked Tapioca Pudding

Good to Know
• Best seats: Along the windows
• Service: Mediocre
• Atmosphere: many booths and tables of fours (This place was previously Swiss Chalet. I think they kept the original layout of chairs, etc but redesigned the furniture and decor.)
• Ideal for: Family, smaller casual gatherings
• Attire: Casual
• Reservations recommended: No
• Patio recommended: No
• Promotions: See photos (please call the restaurant for updates)

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Honey Garlic Cuisine on Urbanspoon

Ginger Onion Cuisine


7131 Kennedy Road, Markham, ON L3R 0T4
(Kennedy Rd & Steeles at Market Village)
T: (905) 479-7730

This is a very popular place for dim sum. People are willing to line up for hours during peak times. I admit the food is good but I don’t have the patience. Rather, I would suggest going early, no later than 10am, on the weekends to avoid the rush.

This is one of the few Chinese restaurants that still uses the trolley to push out the dim sum dishes. I tend to like this concept because I can see what it is before ordering. Many restaurants now have a sheet of paper for you to enter your selection instead.

Recommendations
• Fried Octopus Tentacles
• Fried Fish
• Baked Egg Tarts
• Coconut cake

Good to Know
• Best seats: Any along the windows
• Service: Okay
• Atmosphere: Big venue; tables still quiet close to each other
• Ideal for: Family, casual, dim sum lovers
• Attire: Casual
• Reservations recommended: No
• Patio recommended: No

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Ginger & Onion Cuisine on Urbanspoon

The Jade Seafood Restaurant


8511 Alexandra Rd, Richmond, BC V6X
T: (604) 249-0082
www.jaderestaurant.ca

Located on the second floor, this Chinese restaurant looks clean and comfortable.

Recommendations
• Fried squid
• Mushroom dumplings (the taste better than they look)
• Scallop and Fish Maw dumpling

Good to Know
• Best seats: No preference
• Service: Good but was generally difficult to get the waiter’s attention
• Atmosphere: Clean; bright; surrounded by tall windows (which allowed the natural sunlight in)
• Ideal for: Family, leisure dim sum dining, gathering, celebration
• Attire: Casual
• Reservations recommended: No
• Patio recommended: No

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The Jade Seafood Restaurant on Urbanspoon

Spring Villa Chinese Cuisine


7301 Woodbine Ave, Markham, ON L3R 3V7
(Woodbine & Steeles)
(905) 940-2888

A nice clean restaurant with friendly service and good food! Order your items by checking the boxes in the menu sheet only; they don’t have a person going around with a cart or tray to promote items.

Recommendations
• Grilled octopus tentacles
• Japanese mango roll
• Black bean spareribs rice in ceramic pot

Good to Know
• Best seats: No preference
• Service: Nice and professional (especially for a Chinese restaurant)
• Atmosphere: Clean; reds and golds; white table cloths
• Ideal for: Family, business, casual, friends gathering,
• Attire: Casual, smart casual
• Reservations recommended: No
• Patio recommended: No
• Parking: Lots of spots in parking lot in front of restaurant
• Special: If you order between 9am to 11am, all items are considered “small” (price) dim sum items. Maximize this offer by ordering “L” or “XL” menu items that you’d like to try during this time period.

Spring Villa Chinese Cuisine on Urbanspoon

Mongolian Hot Pot


5300 No 3 Road, Richmond, BC, Vancouver
(604) 231-8966
littlesheephotpot.com

Hot Pot is also known as Chinese fondue. It is a stew that is simmered in metal pot positioned at the center of the dining table. (This is a popular meal during cold winter months.) Raw ingredients – including thinly sliced meat, vegetables, seafood, mushrooms – are placed into the pot to cook (in front of you) while the stew/soup is simmering.

You are usually given two sets of utensils. In my photos, you’ll see I have a black pair of “common” chopsticks and a beige pair for personal use). The black “common” pair of chopsticks is intended to pick food from the pot and transfer it onto your bowl. The second pair, the beige ones, are used to dip the cooked food into the dipping sauce (you generally get to create your own sauce by combining sesame oil, oyster sauce, soya sauce, chili oil, etc) and into your mouth. (A more hygienic way of sharing food.)

I loved this restaurant. The soup base was tasty, seasoned with various Asian spices and herbs. They also have a huge selection of toppings and ingredients, which was nice and fresh.

Recommendations
(Dipping sauce)
• Satay sauce
(Ingredients)
• Sea Cucumber Intestines
• Enoki or Shitake Mushrooms
• Thinly Sliced Beef (premium)
• Cilantro – adds a nice flavour to the soup
(Drink)
• Sour plum drink (there is a strong fragrance of herbs in this type of drink)

Good to Know
• Best seats: No preference
• Service: Friendly and attentive
• Atmosphere: Basic but was very noisy.
• Ideal for: Friends, large parties/gathering, birthday, foodies, something different
• Attire: Casual (I don’t recommend wearing clothing that absorbs odour, i.e. wool or cashmere, to a Hot Pot restaurant.)
• Reservations recommended: Yes
• Patio recommended: N/A

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Mongolian Little Sheep Hot Pot on Urbanspoon

Grass Mountain Villa Seafood Restaurant


3555 Don Mills Road, Toronto, ON M2H 3N3
(Don Mills & Finch)
T: (416) 756-7773

Located in a plaza beside No Frills, this Chinese restaurant has a constant flow of traffic. Although busy, I never had to wait long.

The food is generally good. I enjoyed many of the dishes, except the Siu Long Bao (steamed soup-filled dumplings). Even though the skin was very thick, it was impossible to keep in tact when lifting from the bamboo containers. This spoiled the experience since the dumpling should be consumed in its entirety – meat and soup together in the same bite.

Recommendations
• Puffy milk tarts – the custard wasn’t too sweet and the pastry was light and flaky
• “Kwun Tong Gao” (steamed soup-filled dumpling served in a bowl) (see photo)

Good to Know
• Best seats: No particular preference
• Service: Friendly (for a Chinese Restaurant)
• Atmosphere: Traditional Chinese restaurant decor with burgundy carpets, a gold dragon on the wall, red lanterns; but quite noisy
• Ideal for: Casual gatherings, large parties, birthdays, etc
• Attire: Casual
• Reservations recommended: No
• Patio recommended: N/A
• Specials: 20% from 9am to 11am and 2pm to 4:30pm

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Grass Mountain Villa on Urbanspoon

Diamond Banquet Hall


3225 Hwy 7, Markham, ON  L3R 0J5
(Woodbine &  Hwy 7)
T: (905) 944-8288

This is a great dim sum restaurant to dine at if you are with a large group. The venue is so big I’ve never had to wait in line. The food is okay but I appreciate the space (lots of room between tables), which is uncommon for most Chinese restaurants. While you’re there, I recommend checking out the shops (Bowring Outlet, Roots Outlet, etc) and malls (First Markham Place) nearby.  

Recommendations
• Dim sum favourites including rice rolls (shrimp, beef or BBQ pork), egg tarts, fried calamari, chrysanthemum tea, leaf wrapped sticky rice

Good to Know
• Best seats: Anywhere in the main dining room
• Service: Good
• Atmosphere: Big venue; spacious; beautiful chandeliers, TV screens installed in several spots (mainly for ads)
• Ideal for: large parties, family gatherings, casual,
• Attire: Casual
• Reservations recommended: N/A
• Patio recommended: N/A
• Parking: Big parking lot in the plaza but even so, it is hard to find a spot on the weekends (you need to be very patient … or fast to react!)

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Diamond Banquet Hall on Urbanspoon

Dong Hoi Tong Bakery and Cafe


Kennedy Road
(Kennedy& Steeles)
T: (905) 470-0898

Here’s a hidden gem located just north of the city. This place is a steal! Two bowl of noodles and two (large) cups of lemon tea for $10.06 only. That’s just $5 per person!!

(Warning: If you don’t speak or read Chinese, it may be a bit challenging to find and order from the menu. Hopefully this post will help you out.)

Recommendations
• No. 11 – Kwai Lum Noodles (spicy but very tasty)
• Hong Kong style lemon tea

Good to Know

• Best seats: The tables along the wall (a little more space and not as packed)
• Service: Straightforward and honest. The servers speak mostly Cantonese or Mandarin (and very limited English). After you order and pay at the counter, find a table and have a seat. They will bring you your food.
• Atmosphere: Very small space and the tables are very close together
• Ideal for: Casual, quick eat and go, take out
• Attire: Casual (anything goes)
• Reservations recommended: N/A
• Patio recommended: N/A
• Getting there: Located in Markham/Unionville, look for a Burger King on the west side of Kennedy Rd, between (north of) Steeles Ave and (south of) Denison Ave.  Tucked behind BK, you will find a small plaza. On the south end, you should see Dong Hoi Tong’s red sign, as shown in the photo. (Unfortunately, the name of the restaurant in English is not prominent.)
• Parking: lots of spaces available in the parking lot (never packed, unlike most of the Chinese malls in the area)

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Asian Legend


125 Ravel Road, Toronto, ON
(Leslie & Finch Ave E)
T: (416) 756-9388
www.asianlegend.ca

Asian Legend has six different locations across the GTA. (Please see their website.)

I expected more from this restaurant and was disappointed that it didn’t meet my expectations. Nevertheless, it is still a very popular place and has long lineups on weekends.

Recommendations

• Spicy fried tofu cubes
• Egg whites pastry – very light and fluffy (you need to eat this while it’s still fresh)

Good to Know
• Best seats: By the windows at the back of the restaurant. (Try to sit away from the main dining room where you can hear the loud clanging of chopsticks, bowls, etc.)
• Service: Average
• Atmosphere: Large restaurant with many different tables for various sized parties. (Even so, there are often lineups.)
• Ideal for: Casual, family, large groups, quick eat
• Attire: Casual
• Reservations recommended: N/A.
• Patio recommended: N/A

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Asian Legend on Urbanspoon