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Is there anyplace worth eating in Pickering? Any cuisine - chow-ish rather than fancy.

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  1. Nothing worthwhile in Pickering - all roadhouses and pubs. We go to Whitby where there are a few good spots - Shrimp Cocktail, Mondo Cafe, Pimento's or to Pepperberries in Brooklin.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Dottie

      I guess you haven't really looked around. I wouldn't say that all of Pickering is roadhouses and pubs. There are a few gems in Pickering, but it takes time to weed out all the roadhouses/pubs and chain restos to find them. Unfortunately Pickering is dotted with chain restos and bad pubs so it's hard to notice the good restos.

    2. Well, we had lunch at an Indian place called Mount Everest, on the recommendation of a Chowhound who e-mailed me privately. The restaurant is right on Highway 2, south side, just west of Brock Rd. They have a $7.99 lunch buffet. I'm not a big fan of buffets, but wanted to try the restaurant. The food was tasty, fresh, nicely spiced and there was a small but interesting selection of dishes - meat and veg. I would very much like to try the place during "menu" hours next time.

      Right across the street is a Caribbean place which I'd also like to try. I believe there are chowhound-worthy place in Pickering. You just have to be brave.

      1. I ate at Mount Everest restaurant this evening in Pickering...as usual the food was excellent! The buffet looked good and the smell in the restaurant was heavenly but we decided to choose from the menu and my Chicken Korma in a cashew and almond sauce was absolutely wonderful. My company had an assorted plater which was also very good. I had started with a tomato coconut soup which I enjoyed very much and recommend highly. My son had the Mulligatawny soup that was nicely spiced.

        We always enjoy the food here. Serving sizes are quite generous so we always bring some home. The owner chef comes out to see if you enjoyed your meal. Service is very good, price is moderate.

        Mount Everest
        611 Kingston Rd W, Ajax, ON L1S6L9, CA

        1 Reply
        1. re: heathercheryl

          I highly recommend Bombay Grill for Indian ... it is almost next door to Mount Everest (on the same side, just part of the plaza that is west of Mount Everest. It's a little larger dining room, with fabulous food and service. We have not been disappointed!

          Mount Everest
          611 Kingston Rd W, Ajax, ON L1S6L9, CA

        2. There is another thread going by the title "Whitby/Durham restaurants that don't suck". Check it out as it has recommendations for Pickering. I personally reviewed a Japanese resto called "Kobo" in Pickering (across from the Toyota dealership on Hwy 2 east of Rougemount on the north side in a plaza). It's very good Japanese food.

          3 Replies
          1. re: scarberian

            Kobo, Mt.Everest, and Casa Verde for pasta. Don't know if Sauter's is still good, as they had an excellent Sri Lankhan chef last year .

            1. re: jayt90

              Was there at the Sauter's a month ago, not good

            2. I like Red House Thai. It's a small restaurant, usually packed. I don't know how it compares to some of the bigger named Thai places in the Big Smoke, but I haven't had a bad meal there.... They have some very reasonable lunch specials.


              5 Replies
              1. re: Dr Butcher

                I agree. Better quality and lower prices than that god-awful "Thai One On" chain across the street (if you haven't been, don't bother).

                Other recommendations (which I've posted in the other thread) include Burb's Bistro for fine dining (they're the only Pickering restaurant reviewed by Toronto Life), and for Italian sandwiches, it's a tie between Bellagio's and Sinatra's. Kobo Sushi is excellent, owned and operated by a Japanese chef.

                1. re: TexSquared

                  I used to be a huge fan of Sinatra's at their location in Oshawa. I have tried their location in Pickering on 2 occasions and was not impressed. The quantity is there but the quality seems to be lacking. The veal was quite tough. Perhaps it was "growing pains" but I think that I will be going to Lamanna's Bakery @ 401 & Port Union Rd. in future.

                  1. re: TexSquared

                    Burb's Bistro! thanks Tex. - I was going to recommend that place too but just could not for the life of me remember the name...

                  2. re: Dr Butcher

                    I enjoyed the Glass Noodle dish at Red House Thai, it was nicely spiced but was disappointed in the Pad Thai...it wasn't peanutty at all.

                    1. re: heathercheryl

                      They used to have a spicy beef dish on their lunch special menu I really enjoyed, I usually get the Mee Hoon Goreng, my wife loves the Cashew Chicken. I also really enjoy their Thai chicken wings, I've had them a couple of times, I preferred the hot version over the mild. I also like their squid appetizer and the fried banana dessert.

                  3. Cielito Lindo:Authentic Mexican Restaurant

                    Very small family own restaurant, very friendly owner and staffs, always fresh, tasty and cheap, one downfall is if you see that they are busy when you walk in, i mean if there are four five tables already sit, I would suggest you to may be go back another day, because they have a very limited kitchen and staffs, you may end up waiting more than an hour for food, big mistakes I made for couple of times, otherwise they are excellent

                    3 Replies
                    1. re: ToxicJungle

                      Not impressed with the Lindo's at all (any of them, they have several in Durham Region) Overpriced given the quantity and quality. And the slow service is the icing on the cake.

                      1. re: TexSquared

                        are you sure Cielito Lindo is related to the other ones in Whiby call Mexico Lindo, as I know they only have one location and one owner here in Pickering? Yes, slow service but usually when I go out and eat, I am not in a rush, so I can stand it

                        1. re: ToxicJungle

                          All owned by the same family, same menus, everything. And equally bad.

                    2. Sakura and Kobo are very good in Pickering.
                      Fratelli's Pizzeria is great but just over the line into Scarborough.

                      14 Replies
                      1. re: MDMD

                        Makimono Sushi is fantastic. I love the spicy salmon rolls!

                        I don't think any has mentioned The Black Dog (technically scarborough) but the food and the atmosphere is really good. Definitely one of the only places I've been to in Pickering that I haven't hated.

                        Black Dog
                        5540 Main, Manotick, ON K4M, CA

                        1. re: hpeever

                          I did research for this one and I was highly let down. I went online to look up a place close to or in Ajax for me to take my girlfriend out for Sushi at. My gf and I just had our first child and this was our first time out in a while. They close at 10:30pm. We got there at 9:30pm. That is more than enough time for a meal (all you can eat). From the time we walked in, you could see they were ready to close for the night. There was nobody there sitting in the place. Our waitress comes to our table with this attitude like us being there really bothers her. We then had some questions regarding portions, and our server went on to say we don't want those items and the all you can eat buffet is for only 1 of each. I knew that was a lie. We continued to get the items we wanted regardless, and as soon as I said "we would like to see a manager" she ignored me and simply proceeded to get out food items that we selected. Very weird. She brings it out, never replied to any of my thank-yous, was very rude still, and acted lke each food item we continued to order was coming out of her paycheck.

                          Being my girlfriends and mine, first time out in a while I think we did a fantastic job of ignoring how rude the service was here and have fun regardless...or at least try to.

                          We decided to go out and have a cigarette outside, we informed our waitress of this, she nods to understand, We are standing outside and this other woman runs out and says "Where are you going"! IN A VERY RUDE WAY. We were shocked by this. We went back in,

                          They demanded we pay our bill at like 10:15pm when they close at 10;30pm. We agreed to. The wait staff then left right away an the left some cook guy behind. We still had our soup and drinks left over. We had already told them that we are not interested in orderinng anymore food. The guy that was siting there watching us finish our drink and soup then stands up at 10:35pm and tells us we have to leave they are closing. I couldnt beleive this guy was sitting there watching us, and he had the nerve to standup, walk to our table and tell us we had to go. 5 minutes after they close.

                          All in all, food quality was fresh and good. the service stunk. We felt rushed and we felt like we were being treated poorly because we got there a full hour before they close.

                          I will never recommend Makimono Ajax to anyone. The service stinks.

                          1. re: Philip T

                            If you want good sushi in Pickering, go to Kobo Gourmet on Kingston:

                            Thanks for the heads-up on Makimono in Ajax. I've been to their Pickering location (Liverpool north of 401) and never had a problem, but it's been awhile.

                            1. re: Philip T

                              Kobo rocks. Best tonkatsu I've had in the GTA. Sushi was very good quality. My favourite mid-range sushi place is still Zen in Scarborough, but Kobo is right up there.

                              1. re: Philip T

                                Hmm, this is unfortunate. I've never had bad service from the Ajax location. I actually prefer it to the Pickering location, some dishes are prepared slightly differently here which I like better. Perhaps give them another chance. Saying that, there are other places you can try.

                                I will look into Kobo Gourmet. I've never tried it.

                                1. re: Dr Butcher

                                  I've been to both and they both seemed ok to me. Theres also a place called Tokyo Sushi by the tim hortons/wendys on kingston rd.

                                  I like the Red house Thai place, and Mt Everest is good too.

                                  Mt Everest Restaurant
                                  469 Bloor St W, Toronto, ON M5S1X9, CA

                                  1. re: ricoboxing

                                    I've been to the Ajax location once (take-out) and they do make their rolls differently from the Pickering location. Pickering rolls were better.

                                    I've been to both Tokyo and Kobo and much prefer Makimono.

                                    1. re: hpeever

                                      Makimono over Kobo? You can't be serious...

                                      Chinese/Korean-made AYCE beating out stuff made by a Japanese-born and trained chef? Come on...

                                      1. re: TexSquared

                                        I should try Kobo again. The last time I was there was over a year ago, I didn`t love it. Bad day?
                                        I get spicey salmon rolls from Makimono quite a lot. They have nice big chunks of fresh salmon (not chopped w/ mayo) slices of ripe avocado, a nice tight thin layer of rice and just the right amount of tempura. Those chinese/Koreans can make a good salmon roll.

                                        1. re: hpeever

                                          *yawn*... nothing impresses me less than yet another variation of the California roll.... restaurants that specialize in that sort of dreck are a dime a dozen in this market.

                                          When I tried Kobo and then Zen I finally "saw the light" -- Japanese food by Japanese chefs. Not Chinese or Korean poseurs. If Kobo wasn't good enough for you, go to Zen.

                                          1. re: TexSquared

                                            We just tried Kobo for lunch yesterday. Came in at 1230 and it was empty...not a good sign. By the time we paid our bill the place was half full. The Rainbow roll was very good, service was polite but a tad slow at the end. I was very impressed with the freshness of the fish. What really impressed me though was the Tempura. I have not had Tempura that light , crunchy, and devoid of any oil in years. Try it. It is special. We will be coming back soon.

                                            1. re: Torontotonto

                                              I usually go for lunch and it's never busy. They do really well during dinner hours which more than makes up for it obviously.

                                              I love their sushi while my wife prefers their fried items and, as you and another poster above mention, yes, their tempura and tonkatsu are among the best we've had. We live in the area and it's great to have real authentic Japanese right in the neighborhood. Anybody who says that Durham is a wasteland of AYCE dreck needs to visit this place.

                                            2. re: TexSquared

                                              Been to Zen, so I guess I've already "seen the light". Very good. Read my previous post I think I said I may have to give Kobo another chance. I actually tried to go a couple weeks ago but it was closed at a time when it should have been open.
                                              I like "Dreck" bit I also like traditional Japanese. Apparently on the day I went Kobo couldn't even do "dreck" well. So that didn't instill any confidence in me to go back again for more complicated dishes.
                                              But thanks for the advice.

                                2. re: hpeever

                                  Black Dog is in Scarborough but I agree, food there is pretty good. The last time I was at Makimono Sushi the service was not so good but food was as good as ever!

                                  Black Dog
                                  5540 Main, Manotick, ON K4M, CA

                              2. If you like Samosas, a new store has opened up in Pickering. Been open about 6 months.
                                1211 Kingston Rd. West of Liverpool. Same plaza as M&M meats.
                                It's called Samosa Empire.
                                During the week, only Samosas and pakoras are sold, on the weekend, they have a specials.
                                If you go, try the Ghulab Jamun, they are to die for.

                                1. I just tried an Indian restaurant called Zeera By The Bay. It's down south on Liverpool Rd behind Big M Burgers and the Petro Canada on the east side. It'd be easy to miss, and, other than locals wouldn't get a lot of drive by business. It actually looks more like a pub on the outside.

                                  I thought the food was great, although oily. The portion sizes were adequate but not huge. So far I think it's the best Indian I've tried in Durham (beating out Mount Everest in Ajax and Signature In Oshawa).

                                  They need to work out the oiliness of the dishes I tried, then I'd probably rave. As it is, it's very solid, not perfect.


                                  Mount Everest
                                  611 Kingston Rd W, Ajax, ON L1S6L9, CA

                                  Big M Burgers
                                  711 Krosno Blvd, Pickering, ON L1W1G4, CA

                                  1. http://www.durhamsavourtheseason.ca/

                                    I don't know the 3 Pickering restaurants so I have no opinion to offer other that this: Port has wine list to be reckoned with.

                                    1 Reply
                                    1. re: Googs

                                      Of the participating restaurants, in terms of overall quality Burbs is head and shoulders above the rest.