HOME > Chowhound > Ontario (inc. Toronto) >
Aug 31, 2004 10:49 AM

Best Chinese Restaurant

  • l

While doing my filing, I found an article from the TO Star dated may 26, 04 that I had been saving. (That will tell you how often I do my filing!)
Said article mentions Toronto's Lee Garden and Markham's Magic Wok as Best Chinese Restaurants "for caring enough about quality to serve superior dinners instead of discount lunches. And they are run by brothers. Lee Garden (331 Spadina Ave. 416-593-9524) has been a Chinatown fixture since 1978." Special mention: "the daily soup, the stir-fried Lo-Hong Vegetables in Bird's Nest with Cashew Nuts and specials scrawled on blackboards, i.e. peppered steak with chunks of warm avocado. Cantonese-inspired feast with Szechuan, Hakka and Western touches" - Dinner only, no reservations.
Magic Wok (4331 14th Ave, West of Kennedy Rd., 905-305-6088)is a freestanding eatery opened in 1984 and "relocated to its current digs in 1995". Open only for dinner. Takes reservations. Free parking.
VoilĂ !

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. I, too, think highly of Lee Garden, but a recent thread from a week ago or so had many dissenters. It's been some months since I've been, though, so I guess changes could have taken place.

    3 Replies
    1. re: Ages

      Lee Gardens has not changed.It has a certain clientele.
      It is something like the original Lichee Gardens, (which most of you will not remember).
      It is clean, and dependable.
      The food is good .
      If you are a regular, you are treated "very Special".
      My cousin thinks that it is the "best".

      I like more innovative, Chinese, and there are so many choices, but although I stopped going, years ago(except with my cousin) I have found the food to be quite acceptable.
      My parents thought Lichee Gardens was the best

      Every Sunday we made the pilgrimage for either lunch or dinner.
      There was a hole in the ground with no name, just downstairs.
      The only identification was the Number 10 sign standing for 10 Elizabeth. (They were trendy but didn't know it).
      Never would my parents have stepped foot in the restaurant.
      They would have worried about cleanliness,and atmosphere.
      Lee Gardens caters to a "safer" crowd.
      It is different strokes for different folks".

      1. re: erly

        where is "Lee Restaurant" located and does the menu include "Mongolian Beef" which i loved so much at "Keechie Gardens"

        1. re: erly

          where is "Lee Restaurant" located and does the menu include "Mongolian Beef" which i loved so much at "Keechie Gardens"

      2. Sounds like an ad! Give me Peter's Chung King any day!

        4 Replies
        1. re: John

          I completely agree about Peter's. We've been going there for years, and, unless Peter packs up and retires, intend to do so for years to come. I must say, though, that I wonder about the relative lack of Asian people who go there.

          Sure, it's dingy, but then, it always was. The only change I have noticed is that they took down the collection of foreign banknotes they used to have on the wall, and never put them back.

          Just about everything I have ever had there was delicious. In particular, we never fail to order the dumplings, they are just incomparable.

          I just wish they would finish the repairs to the streetcar tracks in front of the restaurant on College Street. As it stands now, it is very difficult to park nearby.

          1. re: John
            Patricia Wright

            Where is Peter's Chung King?

            1. re: John
              Patricia Wright

              Where is Peter's Chung King?

              1. re: Patricia Wright

                College - south side, just west of Spadina.

            2. I remember eating as a kid at Magic Wok's original location in Scarborough. When I had the chance to dine again but at their new location, I was very disappointed. I guess my tastes have changed and my expectations, in a very competitive chinese restaurant market, have become higher.

              By the way, we had the deep fried black cod with soya sauce, cantonese chow mein, and I believe a casserole dish.

              1. p
                Patricia Wright

                I love the Magic Wok, but hate the long line-ups to get a table. Free Parking? What parking? I usually end up parking illegally at the church next door

                1. Having moved here from San Francisco, I'm still amazed at the medicore quality of Chinese restaurants in Toronto. Places like Lee's and the Magic Wok would be considered average at best in the Bay area. The Hong Kong style that has taken over lately because of all the new immigrants is OK, but is a little on the bland side for my taste. (Must be the British influence.) I'm still looking for some place to get good regional cooking like Hunan or Nanking.