In search of good authentic Chinese eats
When hubby and I were going to school in Buffalo, Toronto was the place to satisfy our cravings for home cooking and great authentic Chinese food. After moving to NYC we still visit the darling city every couple years. We will be driving there for a five day trip next week and are looking for good authentic Chinese eats. We haven't been there for about two years and are out of touch with the Chinese eating scene there. We need help from fellow chowhounders to locate good eats. This is what we are looking for:
1. Good dim sum restarants. What are the good ones that Chinese families flocking to on weekends these days? Years ago we liked the Grand Yatt in Richmond Hill but the last couple times we went there the quality of food and service had dipped and we could see the business had suffered a bit as a result. What's the place to go nowadays?
2. Hubby wants some abalone. Any restaurants that cooks good abalone?
3. Bubble teas. Where can we find good bubbles? I don't so much care about the tea but more about the bubbles. I like good chewy, cooked through, al dente textures. There's nothing worse than biting into a soggy or not thorougly cooked, still hard in the center bubble to ruin a good tea. Any of these places make good snacks to go with the tea?
4. Read about Ding Tai Fung on other thread. Is it in anyway assoicated with the real McCoy in Taiwan? If you've tried Shanghai Joe's in NY, how does Ding Tai Fung in Toronto compare to Shanghai Joe's?
5. Lychees and logans. Is Chinatown still the place to get the best and cheapest ones? How is the quality this year?
Any help will be appreciated. Thanks!
dim sum: Dragon Dynasty at Brimley/Huntingwood
the best place for seafood: Highway 7 restaurant (it's called Hwy 7 and is located on north side of Hwy 7, west of Leslie, before Bayview, on the same side as the Jenny Wong Spa/Beauty Salon...) This is THE BEST place for seafood, the cook/owner has awesome ability/timing w/ sea creatures of all types! only problem is that the menu is all in chinese and very few staff actually speak english.
another good seafood place: Big Mouth Kee, on Highway 7, also west of Leslie (east of Hwy 7 restaurant)
For your question #4: I just went out to Ding Tai Fung today as part of a long, long quest to replicate Joe's Shanghai (heaven on Pell St.). Its a tough comparison, as I was tempted by the mini xiao long bao, rather than the larger ones that would make for a better comparison. But they were very very good...the best I've had in NY. There was also an impressive array of Shanghai dim sum--much more than Joe's. All the other dumplings I tried were first rate. In addition, jellyfish was firm, crunchy, and nicely blended with fresh grated turnip. Beef tendons were cut in small chunks, rather than thin sliced like Joe's, but very good, nonetheless. I will not be tempted by the unbearably cute (and tasty) soup dumplings next time and will have the regular sized ones...But, in the end, I feel increasingly that there is life outside of Pell and Mott streets for those of us who love Shanghai cooking.
#2: I second the recommendation for Big Mouth Kee on Hwy 7. I was there last week and the dishes were good. Now is the season for soft shell crab is you like it.
#5: Lychees are good because they have a good harvest in Asia this year. The ones I saw in downtown chinatown are more or less the same as the ones they are selling in uptown supermarket. So you dont have to go to downtown chinatown to get it. Prcies ranges from 1.99 to 2.99 per pound. Logans are also selling for the same price and they are pretty good.