Looking for Taiwanese restaurants in Toronto. More specifically : sway jiow
Ever since my loved one returned from teaching English in Taiwan, he has pined for a dish called "sway jiow" (my phonic interpretation) which is some form of steamed dumpling.
We'll be in Toronto next month and we think this might be our best chance of finding a Taiwanese restaurant that serves this dish. Any leads would be most appreciated!
I'm not 100% sure about this, but I believe Lucky Seven on Spadina south of College on the west side serves Taiwanese food. I say this because when we went the owner said he serves Szechuan, but our server only suggested Taiwanese specialties. We were very confused, needless to say.
Confirmed with my wife who is Taiwanese; this is just a generic term for any dumpling that is boiled. That said, places that serve Taiwanese or at least northern chinese dumplings in Toronto: Asian Legend is one, this is a chain that is pretty decent and there is one downtown on Dundas near Chinatown. Up north at Highway 7 there is Ding Tai Fung (which some say has gone downhill recently) and I think even Fang's serves good northern chinese style food including dumplings.
Actually, "sui" = water, "giao" = dumplings, so "sui giao" is boiled dumplings. Steamed dumplings is "jing giao". However, some restaurents don't really make the distinction and call them all the same. Cantonese "sui gao" is different than Northern Chinese which is the style of cooking in Taiwan. Unfortunately it is not always apparent whether a restaurent is Cantonese or Northern Chinese style until you've seen their menu or even until you ate their food.
Just search for "dumplings" on this board and you'll get a lot of hits.
Shui jiao isn't particularly Taiwanese, so you really don't need an identified Taiwanese restaurant. It's considered a specialty of Shandong province, and sometimes attributed to Shanghai. Any casual restaurant serving northern Chinese food is likely to carry it. I haven't been to TO in ages and can't recommend any specific places Note that Cantonese restaurants will often serve "Sway gao" or "Sway Kao" which has the same name in Chinese but is something quite different; more like a flattened won ton with bamboo and "wood ear" inside. If they serve the northern version, they may label it "San Tung Sway Gao."
sway jiow or dumplings(as widely known among americanized chinese population) are just delicious.
The one on Spadina around Dundas's flavour is more similar to Taiwanese style. However, they still taste a bit different. I believe it is because the restaruant use different kind of soy sauce and less garlic, ginger and rice sake in the recipe. Not to worry, they still taste good.
The restaurant in Metro Square around Steeles and Ferrier is a bit more different not just the recipe but also the cooking style. Metro Square's restaurant they cooked the dumplings by steaming them in a bamboo basket. Hence the pasta part taste differently and has a different texture. When dumplings are cooked in the boiling water, the pasta taste like, well, pasta such as spaghetti or fettucini. But when they are cooked by steaming in a bamboo basket, the pasta seems to be firmer and less watery.
If your loved one likes sway jiow, I would suggest him to try these pan fried dumplings in these restaurants. They taste pretty much the way I remembered in Taiwan.
Or, you can go to a large Asian supermarket-T&T at Steeles and Warden and purchase ready made dumplings. You can cook them at home. It cooks the same way as you cook ravioli and parogy. You can also buy sway jiow sauce in the supermarket.
Or, you can go to a Taiwanese specialty store to purchase these sway jiow in packages. It is on Ferrier Street in a blue color building on the west side of the street and north of the Steeles.
I'm not sure if they are Taiwanese, but here are a couple of restaurants that I have enjoyed dumplings at: "Chinese Dumpling House" (I think that's what it's called) at Metro Square, on Steeles west of Warden (Scarborough). and "Mother's Dumplings" on Huron Street, off of Dundas east of Spadina (Toronto). Both restaurants are very reasonably priced. You can request the dumplings to be steamed, boiled or fried. The onion pancakes are good as well. IMO, Chinese Dumpling House is the closest to being Taiwanese since their menu is more extensive with what looks like Taiwanese dishes.