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Best Hot & Sour Soup in Toronto

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iheartfood May 4, 2006 12:52 PM

I've had a couple of mediocre Hot & Sour soup experiences lately (mainly swimming in grease) so I'm putting out a request for the best!

Downtown places would be preferred, but I'm up for a drive...

thanks,

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  1. d
    Derksen RE: iheartfood May 4, 2006 02:36 PM

    Wow.... great question. Wish I knew. I love hot and sour soup!

    Places that are mediocre at best:
    Xam Yu
    Kim Hoa
    Wah Sing

    1 Reply
    1. re: Derksen
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      LisaLe RE: Derksen Apr 26, 2012 08:37 PM

      I agree with xam yu!!!! But I believe the management changed so the chef is gone :(

    2. j
      jill RE: iheartfood May 4, 2006 02:41 PM

      I had the Hot and Sour Soup at Lai Wah Heen recently. It was quite good.
      Not exactly a quick takeaway meal, but you never know if you don't ask.....

      1. x
        xtal RE: iheartfood May 4, 2006 03:17 PM

        Great Hot & Sour soup at Baldwin Palace, which is on the SW corner of Baldwin & McCaul.

        I recently had some terrible Hot & Sour at Rol San. It basically tasted like red chicken ball sauce. Ugh.

        3 Replies
        1. re: xtal
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          innercitykitty RE: xtal May 5, 2006 04:56 PM

          I agree on the Rol San hot and sour. it is terrible! and bright pink.....ugh, i couldn't even finish it...

          1. re: innercitykitty
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            somechick RE: innercitykitty Jul 19, 2006 04:36 PM

            Thats too bad, Their dim sum is top notch!

          2. re: xtal
            food face RE: xtal Jan 28, 2008 11:44 AM

            Oh I know xtal, what's up with the icky Rol San H&S soup? Some of the worst ever.

          3. j
            Jo RE: iheartfood May 4, 2006 08:12 PM

            I like the hot and sour at Chung King (Spadina, south of College). It has the same flavours and ingredients as the soup my mom made while I was growing up. The only thing I don't like is that they use too much corn starch, so that it has that slightly overly thick consistency. Otherwise, it's yummy.

            7 Replies
            1. re: Jo
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              estufarian RE: Jo May 5, 2006 07:02 AM

              I get my fix at Peter's Chung King on College just west of Spadina. To confirm, this is a different restaurant - Peter used to own the Chung King on Spadina.

              1. re: estufarian
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                dannyboy RE: estufarian May 5, 2006 11:02 AM

                I second the peters chung king rec, I also think urban thai on college does a nice veggi one as well

                1. re: estufarian
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                  Jo RE: estufarian May 5, 2006 12:19 PM

                  I've always meant to try Peter's Chung King. How's the Szechwan shredded beef there? It's the one thing I crave from Chung King (but always as carry out, of course!).

                  1. re: Jo
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                    estufarian RE: Jo May 15, 2006 05:04 PM

                    NO! Never 'take-out' the szechuan shredded beef. Always eat it there. It's the one dish that HAS to be eaten straight from the wok. Otherwise you lose the crispness of the outside of the beef (steam from the veggies will soften the beef). I won't even order this dish if the restaurant is close to full as they sometimes make two portions together for different tables, and the heat is diffused, meaning that the beef isn't as crispy.
                    And if the place is quiet I ALWAYS order the Szechuan Shredded beef - one of my favourite dishes in any restaurant in Toronto.

                    1. re: Jo
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                      ekammin RE: Jo Sep 13, 2007 08:12 PM

                      To me, the specialty at Peter's is the dumplings - I never eat there without ordering them. Sort of a Platonic ideal of the dumpling, you might say.

                  2. re: Jo
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                    DDD RE: Jo Sep 3, 2006 07:16 PM

                    I 2nd szechuan chung king

                    1. re: Jo
                      dannyboy RE: Jo Sep 20, 2007 11:44 AM

                      i second that, i think it's better than peters' up the street as well.

                    2. j
                      Janine RE: iheartfood May 4, 2006 10:32 PM

                      I had a really good one at Ambassador on Hwy7.

                      6 Replies
                      1. re: Janine
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                        TwinklyTerrapin RE: Janine May 5, 2006 02:08 PM

                        Where on Hwy 7? I work in that neck of the woods now...

                        1. re: TwinklyTerrapin
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                          need a beer RE: TwinklyTerrapin May 5, 2006 02:12 PM

                          hwy 7 & west beaver creek, west beaver creek is just west of Leslie.It will be in a plaza on the northwest corner.......great dim sum as well....

                          1. re: need a beer
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                            TwinklyTerrapin RE: need a beer May 5, 2006 02:17 PM

                            Ah, quite close to where I work...have to keep that in mind. Is the Ambassador in the same little plaza as the Michael-Angelo's grocery store?

                            1. re: TwinklyTerrapin
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                              need a beer RE: TwinklyTerrapin May 5, 2006 02:24 PM

                              No the grocery store you mentioned is at the northeast corner of hy 7 & woodbine Amabassador is west of there a few traffic lights west of the DVP, there is also a decent Japanese restaurant; Akasaka & for cheaper Chinese fare you can try Wide Mouth Kee oh, but stay away from the walker hill barbque much better elsewhere

                              1. re: need a beer
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                                TwinklyTerrapin RE: need a beer May 5, 2006 02:46 PM

                                Cool -- gotta try Wide Mouth Kee, just 'cause that's such a great name ;-) Thanks!

                        2. re: Janine
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                          Atahualpa RE: Janine Sep 3, 2006 04:12 PM

                          The soup at ambassador is the best seafood based hot and sour soup in the city IMHO, and I have tried one heck of a lot of them.

                        3. v
                          vinnie Vidimangi RE: iheartfood May 4, 2006 10:34 PM

                          Thai Plate, 3434 Bathurst St has good hot and sour. The owner chefs are Thai and one of them is of mixed Chinese-Thai ethnicity.

                          1. z
                            Zak2 RE: iheartfood May 4, 2006 11:04 PM

                            Yuen Tung Restaurant
                            126 Elizabeth St (On Dundas.St W one block west of Bay.St)

                            Try their H & S soup and their Manchurian Chicken

                            3 Replies
                            1. re: Zak2
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                              KAREN RE: Zak2 Jul 9, 2006 01:38 PM

                              Yuen Tung is beyond overrated, the food there is disgusting... i understand that it is cheap but come on, i'd rather pay more for quality.

                              1. re: Zak2
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                                Tout Garni RE: Zak2 Sep 8, 2006 05:24 PM

                                I second this. The H&S haunts me to this day.

                                1. re: Zak2
                                  Finnegan RE: Zak2 Sep 20, 2007 11:01 AM

                                  I'm with you Zak2...the H&S soup is very good. For a quick cheap meal, you cannot beat Yeuh Tung...most be doing something right since its been around for at least 20 years that I now of.

                                2. k
                                  kathleen RE: iheartfood May 5, 2006 02:48 PM

                                  "Thai House Cuisine" on 2213 Queen St. E in the Beach...it's absolutely amazing...great...now I'm craving it AGAIN!

                                  www.thaihousecuisine.ca

                                  416-686-8541...I have it on speed dial...

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                                    innercitykitty RE: iheartfood May 5, 2006 04:22 PM

                                    I love the hot and sour from Szechuan Chung King on Spadina, just south of oxford. And on thursdays at lunch the garlic eggplant is delish as well - lunch special is only 4.99....

                                    1. j
                                      JDJay RE: iheartfood Jul 7, 2006 11:21 PM

                                      I'm not a fan of Szechuan Szechuan at First Canadian Place, but their hot and sour soup is good.

                                      1 Reply
                                      1. re: JDJay
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                                        Sweet Pea RE: JDJay Jul 20, 2006 04:01 PM

                                        Blech! I made the mistake of having their H&S once, and only once. Overly oily, overly cornstarched, and overly not good. I'd rather get t/o there for lunch than Manchu Wok, but really, I've never understood what all the fuss was about with this place.

                                      2. tuqueboy RE: iheartfood Jul 8, 2006 01:58 AM

                                        On the rocks (front and sherbourne) has pretty good hot and sour. the soup itself is delicious -- decent heat, and just sour enough. also has a smokey kind of flavour -- perhaps from some of the mushrooms?

                                        1. z
                                          zuluqueen RE: iheartfood Jul 10, 2006 07:24 PM

                                          Swatow! Hands down! Makes your sweat perspire. It's that good!

                                          3 Replies
                                          1. re: zuluqueen
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                                            tbone187 RE: zuluqueen Jul 19, 2006 06:28 PM

                                            I have to disagree, I was at Swatow last week, and although most of their dishes are great and cheap, #92 beef in satay sauce is out of this world, their hot and sour soup tasted like a bowl of hot vinegar.

                                            1. re: tbone187
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                                              Atahualpa RE: tbone187 Sep 3, 2006 04:14 PM

                                              Absolutely, Swatow's soup is possitively inedible. Their Szechuan prawns and their fried special noodles are very good, though. But, anything else I have tried so far has been very, very dissapointing. I'd give them another try if someone with more experience with their menu could help me avoid the pitfalls that obviously exist.

                                              1. re: Atahualpa
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                                                Puusa RE: Atahualpa Sep 22, 2007 11:21 AM

                                                I have to chime in on this one. I LOVE Swatow H&S. It is the ONLY hot and sour I like in this town. In fact I am wondering if anyone could recommend a resto in the east end (danforth/beach area) that serves a similar style. I love the fact that it is so vinegarry, and the heat is always just right for me. Every time I feel under the weather this is the food I crave. Yum!!!

                                          2. z
                                            zuluqueen RE: iheartfood Jul 10, 2006 07:27 PM

                                            Swatow, 309 Spadina, north of Dundas, East side. Also makes a wicked Wonton Noodle Soup. Always open late. Always busy. Service is fast, portions are abundant!

                                            1. Olivia RE: iheartfood Jul 19, 2006 05:12 PM

                                              I like the one they serve at E-On (Dundas West at Chestnut). Doesn't taste like dishwater and has a good "broth" to tofu/mushroom/fungus ratio.

                                              2 Replies
                                              1. re: Olivia
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                                                amaretto RE: Olivia Jul 20, 2006 12:53 AM

                                                St. George and Dundas - just a bit west on Dundas. Asian Legend all the way. So many kinds of hot and sour soups. Alllll delicious.

                                                1. re: Olivia
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                                                  neighborguy RE: Olivia Jul 21, 2006 04:16 AM

                                                  Ever tried the soup at the place at the corner of Dunday and Elizabeth (?) Ho Shin (?)

                                                  It's thick, full of meat and veg and is on the right edge of being spicy. The red food colour I could do without, but tasteeeeeeeee still.

                                                2. a
                                                  Atahualpa RE: iheartfood Sep 3, 2006 04:21 PM

                                                  As I said above, the Ambassador at West Beaver Creek and Hwy. 7 makes what I consider the best of the seafood-style Hot and Sour.

                                                  For the best of the veggie based Hot and Sour soups that I have had (with the wood-ear mushrooms and bamboo and fried tofu sheets) I go to this take-away place on Pape north of the Danforth just south of Mortimer called Number One Chinese. I know, I know, a take-away? But, really it is absolutely excellent soup -- lots, and lots of Wood ear -- fresh wood-ear!! Plus, they have nice fresh sheets of the tofu and the bamboo and good and crunchy. Also the broth isn't too heavily flavoured -- nice and fresh in taste.

                                                  Number one also has really good, made to order, pot-stickers, good noodles, excellent buddhist's delight, excellent wonton soup and some other good dishes. The rest of the menu is very good for a take-away with about 6 tables in the whole place -- but, does have some pitfalls and a bunch of dishes that don't rise above "good". They could be a great place if they edited their menu down and only did what they do great.

                                                  1 Reply
                                                  1. re: Atahualpa
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                                                    pouletsecret RE: Atahualpa Sep 14, 2007 06:23 PM

                                                    First of all, I would like to thank iheartfood for starting this post. I have been on a Hot and Sour Soup quest since 1996.
                                                    So far in Toronto, E-Pan is the best I've tried. They are also to be commended in just about every way. Do go and eat there.
                                                    And Atahualpa - thanks for an excellent post. I'll check it out for sure.

                                                  2. g
                                                    ggom1 RE: iheartfood Sep 5, 2006 08:43 PM

                                                    My favourite is the soup at Asian Legend. It's not very spicy - more on the vinegary side. But I love the shredded chicken and all the other ingredients (carrots, bamboo shoots, wood ear (?), tofu...). Tried Swatow once, but the soup grossed me out.

                                                    1. h
                                                      h2o RE: iheartfood Sep 5, 2006 10:00 PM

                                                      My favorites: Dumpling House on Spadina. It's also worth the drive up to Spicy Mama around Highway 7 and Kennedy for their soup.

                                                      1. sierramum RE: iheartfood Sep 5, 2006 10:16 PM

                                                        Pearl Court on Gerrard, east of Broadview. Every time we order from there, the one item on the menu that we MUST order is the hot and sour soup. Even my hubby, who is not a h&s soup fan, orders one for himself!

                                                        1. Non Doctor RE: iheartfood Sep 5, 2006 11:20 PM

                                                          I am going to try out Chung King this evening methinks...

                                                          1. koko RE: iheartfood Sep 13, 2007 12:29 PM

                                                            So on you people's recommendation, I've just returned from Peter's CK and I must say, I was VERY disappointed... I agreed, decent flavour, good heat, but it was basically a light brown broth with bamboo, egg, tofu and (a faint scattering of) dried mushroom... average, nothing substantial/superbly tasty (the sour part was VERY faint) but honestly NOTHING to write home about... the place didn't even provide chili oil, vinegar or other condiments to 'tweak' your soup, just soy salt and pepper

                                                            Lee Garden's H&S soup is very good, but the best I've had has yet to be tried by myself, and I try the H&S soup where/whenever I travel...

                                                            here's another similar thread...
                                                            http://www.chowhound.com/topics/101933
                                                            PLEASE take Peters Chung King off the list, anyone else agree with me?

                                                            1 Reply
                                                            1. re: koko
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                                                              Danybear RE: koko Sep 13, 2007 03:35 PM

                                                              The Hot and Sour soup (vegeatarian) at E Pan is quite good. With th eclean looking decor and smartly dressed servers it ups th eante for a Spadina chino resto.

                                                            2. eller RE: iheartfood Sep 13, 2007 05:22 PM

                                                              I'm partial to what's served at Thai Princess. Its hot, sour but not gloopy shiny yellow or overly vinegary. It's got great sesame tones, amazing heat (although I love to take it higher with their garlicky chili sauce) and a serving combined with their cold traditional spring roll is absolutely heavenly.

                                                              -----
                                                              Thai Princess
                                                              387 King St W, Toronto, ON M5V1K1, CA

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                                                                foodjunky318 RE: iheartfood Sep 17, 2007 07:12 AM

                                                                The Chinese Deli place on the bottom floor of St Lawrence Market has excellent hot and sour soup, IMHO. Cheap, lots of tofu, the right color, level of spiciness. Has anyone else tried it?

                                                                1 Reply
                                                                1. re: foodjunky318
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                                                                  cheesegal RE: foodjunky318 Sep 19, 2007 03:05 PM

                                                                  I just tried the hot and sour soup at Chinese Deli at St L Market yesterday, and while I liked the flavour of the broth, I found the ingredient list a bit thin (only mushrooms and tofu). Would be better if they added a shrimp or two...

                                                                  What really compelled me to add to this thread was the comment about the soup at Pearl Court on Gerrard st E. I used to really like it and considered it a "standby" (I live nearby), but went there this past Sunday night and it was truly awful! Spoon and bowl smelled strongly of bleach, but even after we requested new spoons, I couldn't even finish my portion. Broth was watery and totally lacking in flavour, few ingredients and very very bland. Something has obviously changed in the last while - to be avoided at all costs.

                                                                2. Recyclor RE: iheartfood Sep 22, 2007 11:28 AM

                                                                  Just a side note since there is such disatifaction and range of what people like, I started making my own based on a recipe in the Bamboo Cook's cookbook, it is easy and I had great results the first time, then was able to tweak it to my tastes, for me, now mine is the best...although my GF thinks it's too hot and has too much vinegar...

                                                                  1. s
                                                                    Stevieb44 RE: iheartfood Jan 28, 2008 11:53 AM

                                                                    Pearl Court. China town east.

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                                                                      Bobby777 RE: iheartfood Jan 29, 2008 09:53 AM

                                                                      The best hot and sour soup I've ever had is at Yueh Tung's. It's downtown near the Eaton centre off Dundas and Elizabeth. Their lobster in black bean sauce is also pretty great.

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                                                                        SJFoodie RE: iheartfood Feb 8, 2008 03:50 PM

                                                                        It may sound odd, but I'm convinced the best H&S soup can be found at the Chinese restaurant in Bayview Village Shopping Plaze (Bayview & Sheppard). The restaurant has been there for years and years, the food is always exceptional - especially the soup, and there are generally more Chinese people in there than anyone else.

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