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Sep 12, 2006 03:06 PM

Out of the Ordinary Chinese dishes in Toronto

I'm on a hunt for chinese dishes out of the ordinary in Toronto.
Any suggestions?

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  1. I've eaten a lot of dumplings in my life....but the pan fried pork dumplings at Swatow on Spadina are like no other I've tasted. I order them well done with the sauce on the side(normally they serve them ontop of a sweet soya sauce which detrats from their cripnesss) Crispy, not greasy (ok maybe a little greasy) with incredible flavor-they come 4 in an order.

      1. re: superchick

        I'm looking for real authentic chinese food. It means "no holds barred" it terms of animals and organs. Or maybe Hakka food which I can't get in New York. I'll settle for a restaurant with a lot of older chinese people and do a crap shoot on the off menu items.

        1. re: designerboy01

          I think Danforth Dragon, on the Danforth at Jones, serves Hakka food. I don't know if they have any dumplings there or not, but it's okay takeout food for a quick dinner.

          1. re: designerboy01

            Pig stomach soup.
            Chiu Chow style - there's a number of Chiu Chow restaurants around the northern part of the city. Chiu Chow Place/House - something like that. There's one right beside the Congee Wong @ Finch & Leslie (same plaza as Jerusalem). It's usually spiced w/ whole white peppercorns.

            Delicious Restaurant - small place on Hwy 7, in the same plaza as Fisherman's Villa (incidentally, there's a chiu chow place right next door too), I think these days they're only open for dinner. Great Fukien food. Try the stuffed fish balls - they're made of white fish, about the size of your fist, stuffed w/ ground pork. It comes w/ fish noodles too. Their ginger & chicken wing hot pot is also very good. Try their mashed taro w/ ginko nuts and water chestnut jelly cake for dessert. Super cheap but definitely msg enhanced.

            Congee Wong or any other restaurants of that ilk e.g. Congee Queen, Congeestar, etc etc. Beef tendon noodles, either in soup or lo mein style. Big Joy on Hwy 7 use to do a pretty good one too.

            1. re: superchick

              yes, that is what I want. More if you got them.. I'll eat that! Thanks superchick! You saved the day again!

              1. re: designerboy01

                Wait I won't have a car out there so places in the downtown area would be better. Delicious Restaurant sounds can I say...delicious...but seems not accessible for me.

                1. re: designerboy01

                  Yah, too bad. Delicious is a good call. Famed for their rude service as well, though I haven't really experienced it. Last I saw though they were only open for lunch (something like 11:00-1:30) not dinner cuz they didn't want to bother staying there for longer than that. It's really good though.

                  1. re: designerboy01

                    Downtown chinese just doesn't have the same variety nor the same level of skill. Neither of the china towns have anything that interesting aside from Asian Legend, Traditional Chinese Buns and Lai Wah Heen.

                    Get a zip car ;)

                    1. re: designerboy01

                      There is nothing exciting, unique at Asian Legend. I would avoid that one.

                      There is a great hot pot place on Baldwin West off of Spadina (in Kensington Market) that gets very good write ups but the place looks its up your alley! I don't know the name of it, perhaps someone else knows of it.

                      1. re: bestandworst

                        try the hot pot place mentioned above. it's an experience.
                        there is also one on spadina.

                    2. re: superchick

                      If youre talking about soups, try a good brewing of mustard greens soup with pork. There's just something hearty about a mustard greens soup that really hits the spot. But its an acquired taste though--its a bit bitter, but its quite genuine in Chinese cuisine.

                      Beef tendons can be chowed at either Swatow or King's in Chinatown (on Spadina, but I'm sure you know where they are). I find Swatow portions may be a bit smaller ... but I havent gone in a while...

                      If not beef tendons, try beef innards. My mom LOVES them, with a good helping of chili oil.

                      If you like fish, a good dish to try is fried grouper skate with sauce (direct translation: red broiled, braised grouper skate). This is a must have whenever my family visits a Chinese restaurant. The dish is very savoury, with the fish, as well as seasonal veggies and tofu.

                2. Jellied Bean Curd at Chinese Traditional Buns?

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: xtal

                    Isn't it really just a mislabeled Hot and Sour soup variation? Alright, not quite -- but is it really "out of the ordinary"?

                    That said it is really good. Traditional chinese buns isn't a bad suggestion for a place to go.

                  2. There is a really good Hakka place on Kennedy in Scarborough (can someone else remember the name?). But, again, not downtown.

                    Really, consider renting a zip car.

                    But, if you must stay in downtown, just go into a couple of places and look through the menus.

                    If you're willing to have unusual Vietnamese, Pho Hung in the heart of Chinatown has a pretty pedestrian menu in general, but, a few of their drinks are quite unusual (sweetened, pured pennywort 'shake') and they have a hot&sour fish soup that is certainly out of the ordinary. Kinda like Hawaian pizza with fish as a soup.

                    1. I can't think of any places in Toronto, but as I mentioned in another post (about weird food). I was surprised at the unusual dishes at Dumpling King (First Markham Place HWY 7 east of woodbine). There are pictures of almost all the dishes, so the bad english on the menu won't throw you off. They had lamb dumplings, fried rice in a bucket (not sure why it is in a bucket), braised pigs feet, some unusual noodles like sweet and sour cold noodle.
                      There are several Hakka places I have tried in Scarborough, one at Pharmacy and Sheppard (don't know the name), one on Ellsmere near Bellamy (Frederick's I think)