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Food Recs in Toronto for Out of towners?

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iaminvisable Aug 23, 2006 09:48 PM

We are visiting Toronto this weekend. We miss our good asian food from our days living in San Francisco bay area, so want some good Hot Pot, dim sum, taiwanese, etc. Also any other good recommendations for a small family with two young boys.

Thanks in advance.

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    qtxniki RE: iaminvisable Aug 23, 2006 10:13 PM

    How young are your boys? Do they enjoy bubble tea? What part of Toronto are you staying and do you have access to a car? The best dim sum is in Richmond Hill. The best Taiwanese is in North York.

    I would suggest you go to Korean Grillhouse. I'm sure they'll love it. www.koreangrillhouse.ca

    Also, check out Buskerfest at St.Lawrence Market this weekend. Free busker entertainment! www.torontobuskerfest.com

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      artificialard RE: iaminvisable Aug 24, 2006 05:56 AM

      For great traditional Cantonese food (large main dishes each person has white rice) Big Mouth Kee is consistently the best place. Everything is made deliciously, especially the whole crab picked fresh just in spring onions, or curry. My extended Cantonese family likes the place so I'd say it's authentic and has interesting decor on the walls that makes it look like a Chinese village.

      Although not in downtown (Beaver Creek/Highway 7 north of the city) the highway 7 'New Chinatown' region is interesting to see if you have a car.

      1. i
        iaminvisable RE: iaminvisable Aug 24, 2006 05:28 PM

        My boys are 2 and 4 and are generally well behaved in a restaurant. They like to eat, so the wait is usually the only time we need to distract them. We will be staying at the radisson that is right by the 401 and the 404. We will have a car as well. My wife is originally from Taiwan, and we lived in the bay area for about 10 years, so we are hankering for some good food. Where is the dim sum and taiwanese food you mentioned? Big Mouth Kee sounds good too, where is it located?

        Also what is a busker?

        5 Replies
        1. re: iaminvisable
          f
          Frenchie RE: iaminvisable Aug 24, 2006 05:41 PM

          I know this is out of subject for for this site, but a busker is a street performer; a person who gets paid by people on the street who like his or her performance. If you go with the kids, I strongly suggest you find Kromatik's tent. Nathalie is a body painter and a friend of mine, and she paints kids faces beautifully. I might see you there.

          Oh! And there is a Japanese restaurant on site that serves very good asian juices...but I cant remember the name of it! I also had some very good south american food at the buskerfest last year!

          Enjoy!

          1. re: iaminvisable
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            peppermint pate RE: iaminvisable Aug 24, 2006 05:45 PM

            Hi - a busker is a street performer (singing, juggling, eating fire, etc.) - the festival can be quite fun. My 2 current faves in downtown Chinatown are Rol San for dim sum and Swatow for a whole range of dishes, including shrimp dumpling soup and any of their noodle dishes. Both restaurants also make a mean plate of stir fried pea shoots with garlic sauce. You can combine either of these visits with a walk through Chinatown - always a fun experience (the young fresh coconuts which they open for juice have been particularly sweet lately) - as well as Kensington Market just a block or two west. Enjoy!

            1. re: iaminvisable
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              thegreatfoodhunt RE: iaminvisable Aug 24, 2006 10:36 PM

              I have a few Taiwanese friends and they always rave about the night markets back home, so you might want to check out the Toronto International Night Market at Denison Centre(http://www.tonightmarket.com/). It's a month long festival held every weekend from August 11 to September 10 offering Asian street food and entertainment. It probably won't be as good as the ones in Taiwan but hopefully it'll bring back some fond memories for your wife.

              I personally haven't been to the Toronto International Night Market at Denison Centre but I have always had a fantastic time at the original Toronto night market at Metro Square organized by Power Unit.
              http://www.torontonightmarket.com/nm2006

              They have the best stinky tofu every year...the only bad thing is that the lineups are always so loooooong!

              Another great place to get traditional Taiwanese food such as stinky tofu and popcorn chicken is Wei's Taiwanese Food Inc located at Birchmount and Huntingwood. For pictures and review, visit a fellow foodie's blog:
              http://www.xanga.com/item.aspx?user=m...

              1. re: thegreatfoodhunt
                m
                mickeyj RE: thegreatfoodhunt Aug 24, 2006 10:42 PM

                Stinky tofu...?

                1. re: mickeyj
                  t
                  thegreatfoodhunt RE: mickeyj Aug 24, 2006 10:58 PM

                  Although it smells really bad (some people even say it smells like garbage), it's actually really tasty. It's just fermented tofu served typically with kimchi and soy sauce. The tofu can be steamed, stewed and my personal favourite, deep fried. You just have to get over the smell...it's tough but it's worth it! Don't worry, it doesn't taste anything like the way it smells :)

                  For a more detailed description, visit
                  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stinky_tofu

            2. pescatarian RE: iaminvisable Aug 24, 2006 05:48 PM

              For casual fare, there was a string on this site recently where Noodle Concept at Richmond Adelaide Centre in the food court was recommended for it's great Pho. Could be good if you are walking around downtown with the kids.

              p.s. 404 and 401 don't meet - perhaps you meant 404 and 407? If so you are very close to all the Richmond Hill places people are recommending around East Beaver Creek and Hwy 7.

              1 Reply
              1. re: pescatarian
                TorontoJo RE: pescatarian Aug 24, 2006 06:14 PM

                The 404 and the 401 DO meet... it's just that the 404 turns into the Don Valley Parkway. I know the Radisson... it's just east of the DVP, near Victoria Park (used to be the Delta), on the 401. So iaminvisible is still in Toronto, not Markham.

                Regardless, the you are in a good location to head up to Chinatown in Markham, where there are lot of great restaurants, including a couple of hot pot places. I'll see if I can find some earlier threads to point you to.

              2. i
                iaminvisable RE: iaminvisable Aug 24, 2006 05:55 PM

                hmm. my windows live map must be funky. I am a little south of the 407, but not too far. off of the Macdonald-Cartier Fwy

                2 Replies
                1. re: iaminvisable
                  pescatarian RE: iaminvisable Aug 24, 2006 05:58 PM

                  yeah, you're in Markham/Richmond Hill, about 20 minutes south of the 407 - 404 turns into the Don Valley Parkway, which meets the 401 and you can continue on the Don Valley Parkway downtown.

                  1. re: pescatarian
                    Chester Eleganté RE: pescatarian Aug 24, 2006 06:15 PM

                    Here check this out:

                    http://maps.google.ca/maps?f=q&hl...

                    Big Mouth Kee is on the NW corner of Hwy. 7 & West Beaver Creek (West Beaver is called Commerce valley south of hwy 7.. ya, it's silly). In that same plaza there's excellent Japanese (Akasaka) two upscale Chinese places (Ambassador, esp. for dimsum and Golden Court) plus Jim Kai Kee where you get huge shrimp wontons in soup noodles (closes at 8pm though). Hot pot is directly across the street (SW corner of Hwy. 7 & Commerce) at Dow's Hot Pot.

                    ok too many posts by me.

                2. j
                  josamania RE: iaminvisable Aug 24, 2006 06:12 PM

                  If you have a car, there's a whole stretch of Chinese malls along Steeles Ave you have to check out. When you come off Hwy 404 (Steeles exit), go east. Your first stop will be just after Pharmacy Ave (past the IBM buildings). Make a left onto Ferrier St. and you will see a Taiwanese mall with an HSBC in the corner. There's a few Taiwanese restaurants, bakeries and bubble tea places there. Walk around first before deciding on a place to stop for lunch. My favourite resto there is Asian Legend (which is northern Chinese). Be prepared for line-ups.

                  Next stop is T&T - a gigantic Asian supermarket and mall. You leave through the same exit you came in on Ferrier St. turn left, follow the street and make a right onto Gibson St. which will lead you to the back of the mall/supermarket. For out of towners, the "foodcourt" and Japanese junk food snacks section is a major attraction. If you like Japanese ramen, there's also a small diner (next to the Boston Pizza) that is quite famous.

                  And the grand finale is Market Village/Pacific Mall at Steeles and Kennedy. When you come of T&T, go south on Warden, turn left onto Steeles. The sprawl of the Chinese mall is just east of Kennedy (can't miss it). Be patient with parking and don't even attempt to do underground parking. It's not worth it. Pacific Mall is a typical shopping mall you would find in Hong Kong - lots of little interesting boutiques. However, my favourite part is the second level food courts (yes, there are two). Stop for a snack of street noodles or curry fish balls. Dynasty, a more formal restaurant offers dim sum.

                  And after you're done all that and is looking for a place for dinner. I second the rec about Big Mouth Kee. Simply go west on Steeles, hop back on the 404 and go north to Hwy 7 and go west past Leslie. It'll be on your right hand side with its front kinda in the mezz/basement.

                  Sorry for the lengthy recommendation - but I get excited about stuff like this. Have fun!

                  1. p
                    peppermint pate RE: iaminvisable Aug 24, 2006 06:27 PM

                    If you're up in that neck of the woods, try Congee Wong at Finch and Leslie. There's a "Congee Wong Rocks" thread that I started a few months ago and recently revived after a recent visit. I can't think of that place without getting hungry.

                    1. i
                      iaminvisable RE: iaminvisable Aug 24, 2006 06:31 PM

                      Wow, thanks everyone! Keep it coming, It is so nice to be posting to a board in a chow-friendly area again.

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