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Family Dinner suggestions wanted -- Chinese

My family tends to go to the same restaurants -- the Perfect, Elegant View, and the (not very) Grand on Gerrard and we have another occasion soon to have a meal out. While I like these places, I think there are others out there with a notch higher as far as presentation and service.

I'd like to try somewhere different but the family tends to go back to the same-ole, same-ole. I've been to Dragon Dynasty, the Ambassador, and City Inn wiht friends, but likely these are on the fancy/pricy side for the folks. If anyone can suggest something more modest, but consistent and authentic, this may even get on the 'favourites' list.

Thanks.

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  1. I would suggest Asian Legend - whcih has several locations: www.asianlegend.ca Don't let the menu on their website put you off, the menusite is incomplete and really they have an extensive menu with everything but dimsum. The food is authentic, consistent, prices are far more modest than Dragon Dynasty or Lai Wah Heen, and ambience is clean, comfortable. I usually go to the Sheppard/Yonge location and have taken several family groups there, who have always been very satisfied.

    1. Try Dynasty on Bloor, we always have fun there.

      1. For really really good food but not so good service, go to Magic Wok. They have the best "flavour of the wok" (a chinese term that refers to the searing in of flavour) there. Get something in a taro basket. For good service and food, go to Wah Sing (On Baldwin). Best green onion and ginger crab/lobster and "jer jer chicken pot". If you want to spend more money, go to Golden Court Abolone Restaurant (you don't have to get the abolone) in Richmond Hill, really good fish soup that is not on the menu but EVERYONE orders it. In the same plaza is Big Mouth Kee, huge post-clubbing joint with Hong Kong Style street restaurant fair, best sweet and sour pork. But I haven't been there for five years now, and I remember the tables and chairs are sticky/greasy (just like the outdoor restaurants in HK).

        6 Replies
        1. re: eco987

          Although I've only been there once a long time ago, I know my family disapproves of Magic Wok. For a more casual/inexpensive place for dinner (along the lines of Magic Wok), there's a place at the plaza at McNicoll and Midland (not the place that serves dim sum, but the other large Chinese restaurant there) that's pretty decent. The not Cantonese restaurant at Market Village right by the Champions horse betting place (and a few stores to the right of the Mongolian Grill) serves pretty good dishes too (though to our dismay they served a Cantonese dessert of Red Bean soup).

          I liked the Chiu Chow food at Chiu Chow boy, on Kennedy just south of Steeles too.

          1. re: eco987

            I'd recomment Golden Court as well. It's actually in the same plaza as Ambassador, also upscale, but tends to get overlooked. It doesn't even have to be that pricey there if you order selectively. I'd try to stick with items from the smaller menu under the Chef's Specialty heading. Many interesting dishes to choose from. Braised Eggplant with conpoy (dried shredded scallop) and enoki is one. Another really interesting one has a generous plate of salted fluffy egg whites (yolk in the centre) encased with broccoli. I'm probably not nailing it right but it's really good. Both are just $10-12. And yes, be sure to get that grouper soup as you sit down. It's the best around.

            Big Mouth Kee...meh. Yup, if you want to get that grubby street feel. Late-nighters would head moreso to Train for some pho at Wong Gum nowadays.

            I really like 369 for Shanghainese over at Kennedy and 7.

            Oh! I know where's the place to go. On Steeles near Warden, where Devonsleigh used to be...dunno the name though. My friend mentioned that most of Sam Woo's chefs went over there, and their dim sum is amazing, and their dinner stuff must be great as well. Definitely go there.

            1. re: Chester Eleganté

              Ah..neglected to mention the main draw of that egg white dish: it's actually flecked with chunks of crab meat, and topped with thinly sliced shrimp. Douse it with a touch of the accompanying Chinese black vinegar and it's sweetness all around.

              1. re: Chester Eleganté

                I am new to canada. I've tried Big Mouth Kee and I like them, but if you feel that Wong Gum is better - can you tell me the location of it so I can give it a try. Thanks =)

                1. re: foodie422

                  Oh, 'Wong Gum' is actually the name of the plaza on the northwest side of Hwy. 7 & Chalmers (three lights west of Big mouth kee). The Train restaurant in that plaza is just a Vietnamese soup noodle place there - it's not special, I just mentioned it because it happens to be open till late. Actually in that plaza there is a really good Viet place called Saigon Star, and they make an excellent curry crab!

              2. re: eco987

                I have to highly agree about Wah Sing (downstairs)...family favourite...I was recently at Pearl at Harbourfront - it was really nice there, the view is great. Prices a little higher than most. http://www.squidoo.com/TdotRestaurants

              3. i think congee queen is your answer. it's on lawrence just east of don mills, in the plaza just west of the dearly departed don mills centre. it's a notch down from the places you listed in terms of price/fanciness, but not in quality. beware that they're usually busy, so there can be a bit of a wait especially on the weekend.

                here's their website:
                http://congeequeen.com/

                1. I recommend "Royal Teahouse" for family dinner. It is located on Woodbine and Applecreek, east side of Woodbine, north of Highway 7. It's in a strip mall next to Wendy's/Tim Hortons.

                  Royal Teahouse specialty is dim-sum and now they extend the business to include traditional Chinese dinner. I tried both of the dim-sum and dinner. Above average. Some of the specialty are pretty excellent.

                  Their price is a bit higher compared to others. But I don't mind the extra for the comfortable seating, clean washroom and clean plates.

                  1. There's another place at Finch and Midland - in the Pizza Hut/Taco Bell mall. The restaurant is located in the corner at the furthest north/east corner of the mall. They have this dish called "Sauna Shrimp". Where a closed bucket of hot coal arrives at your table, the waitress than dumps a handful (a dozen probably) fresh shrimps with spicy soy sauce in the bucket. It steams for about 7 minutes, you open the lid and happily peel away on hot tasty shrimp. It's regularly $7.99, but only $3.99 after 10pm! Another thing to try while you're there is the whole fish soup. It comes the size of a basin (seriously) and it's the freshest fish I have ever tasted!

                    1. Szechuan cuisine. There are 4 of them in and around Midland and Finch. There are definitely some different from the typical Cantonese and Beijing food going aorund.

                      http://grocerygoblin.blogspot.com