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Does anyone remember the eggrolls from Lichee Gardens?

z
zoohort2 Dec 15, 2006 11:07 PM

Is there anywhere in the Toronto area that makes eggrolls like that? They were soooooooooooooo good!!!!!

  1. r
    Rina_1972 Jun 7, 2012 11:52 AM

    I am also desperately searching for 1) Lichee Gardens, 2) alternative place who makes the smae egg rolls from Lichee Gardens, or 3) A recipe for The Lichee Gardens Egg Rolls.. Have you had any luck?? Thanks!

    1. Wee Mousie May 8, 2009 01:33 PM

      Lichee Garden is now in the process of moving back to Toronto . . to the Theatre District. I think this is a good move for them as their Thornhill locations wasn't a very good one. However the food there is so good that they could locate anyplace (with the exception of China Town in Toronto which is so disgustingly filthy) and I would follow them there. Check out their web site at: http://www.licheegarden.ca/

      I'm looking forward to going there when they reopen even though it will be a good hour and a half drive to get there. Like they say in the advertisement for some coat factory ... "It's worth the drive to .... "

      3 Replies
      1. re: Wee Mousie
        Chocaholic May 9, 2009 10:08 PM

        oooohhhh I can't wait to try it when it opens. All these rave reviews! I visited Toronto when my friend was in school. I never went to Lichee Garden, but I do rmmbr seeing the entrance around the Atrium.

        1. re: Wee Mousie
          h
          Herne Feb 13, 2012 04:58 PM

          Any recent information on the anticipated move of Lichee Garden to the Theatre District?

          1. re: Herne
            T Long Feb 13, 2012 05:36 PM

            I'm going to take a wild guess that this is not going to happen!

        2. Wee Mousie Jul 27, 2008 08:08 AM

          Egg rolls from Lichee Gardens restaurant are not cooked in an egg roll wrapper, they are wrapped in an egg wapper (like an egg crepe). I don't remember the egg rolls from when I was a child but I do remember how famous the restaurant was and how good the chow mien was.

          Lichee Garden Cantonese Restaurant used to be located in Chinatown in Toronto when I was young. We're talking the 50's here folks. It opened around 1948 and was such a popular restaurant that people came from miles around, even from New York City, to eat there. They moved a few times and are now in Richmond Hill, ON

          We just found them again and have been there twice. The food is every bit as good as I remembered it to be. Everything arrived piping hot in covered dishes. The chow mien was incredible! The chicken was moist and flavourful, I can't say enough about it. The won ton soup is incredible; although it is served in a small bowl there were at least five big won tons in it. The egg rolls though were a surprise, instead of being wrapped in a traditional egg roll wrapper they are wrapped in an egg wrap. this is good for people who follow a low carbohydrate diet. They were twice the thickness of regular egg rolls.

          The service was wonderful, the server was extremely attentive but was never intrusive. We had eaten our soup & egg roll then asked if we could be moved to a different table as being short in stature we found the table a tad high and uncomfortable. He was very accommodating and moved everything in such a manner that we felt he was totally enjoying doing this. Needless to say we tipped him heavily.

          I was a tad unsure when we first arrived because their new location is in a strip mall with a bit of construction going on in front. However when we went inside I was so glad that we decided to go there. It is tastefully decorated and clean. They apparently don't serve lunch during the summer months, only dinner. We arrived during the lunch hour; the staff was just arriving and getting ready for the dinner crowd and they graciously offered to serve us. it was a very tasty lunch.

          I am a Chinese foodaholic and can inhale a complete dinner in an instant but after eating the won ton soup & GIANT egg roll (did I mention it was a GIANT egg roll?) I could only manage to eat a few forkfuls of the combo plate. We ended up with a doggy bag that fed me for 2 more servings.

          I'm so glad that Lichee Gardens is every bit as good as I remembered. We will definitely go back, especially for dinner.

          The only thing I didn't care for was the fried rice but that's a personal issue as I prefer plain rice and don't care for fried rice from most Chinese restaurants.

          If you're ever in Richmond Hill you just gotta try this place. What a trip down memory lane this was. They're on Centre Street in Richmond Hill.

          1 Reply
          1. re: Wee Mousie
            l
            LorrieK Nov 2, 2008 06:26 AM

            I wanted to write in and tell everyone that yes indeed Lichee Gardens is still as good as it ever was. We just returned from a trip back to Toronto and made a point of checking out the new digs.

            First let me get the two negatives out of the way. The location is a drag. It is so far away from everything, horrible traffic and a ton of traffic lights. And secondly the strip mall where it is located is unsightly. That aside, once you step in the door it feels as lovely as it always did. It is very clean, the staff is incredibly friendly and food was delicious. We ordered all of our favorites...honey garlic ribs, egg rolls, beef chow mein...etc. and nothing has changed. Yum, yum, yum!!

            The woman who is now the owner came over and introduced herself. My impression is that she also is a longtime fan and has no intention of changing anything but is struggling to bring it back to what it once was. I'm worried about this and frankly I am not sure how she will pull it off. Back in the 50's and 60's when you went out for Chinese food this style of cooking was all there was and in my opinion Lichee Gardens was the best at it. Now there is Hunan and Schezuan not to mention all of the other Asian options such as Japanese, Thai, Korean, and Vietnamese cuisine. Cantonese style cooking may be a thing of the past. I know my own kids don't eat it, they find it to bland.

            I think that all of you Lichee fans really ought to get out to Richmond Hill, give it a whirl and let's all try to lend this struggling establishment some support. Long live Lichee Gardens!!!!

          2. l
            LorrieK Mar 4, 2008 02:46 PM

            Oh my gosh, this is too funny. It's so nice to see so many fans of Lichee Gardens. My parents started taking us to there when we were little kids (1950's!!). My Dad told me this cute story that I never forgot and I ended up with my own very similar story.

            When my parents were married in 1954 they couldn't afford to buy a car so my Dad would take the bus home from work. On their first anniversary my Dad decided to surprise my Mom by bringing home an order from Lichee Gardens. It was a cold November night and he said that the delicious smell from the Chinese food had everyone on the bus stealing glances at him as their mouths were watering. Well my family ended up moving to Boston in 1970 and whenever we came back to Toronto for a visit Lichee Gardens was always our first stop . We had a few favorite dishes but the Egg Rolls were our very favorite. Several years ago I made a trip back to Toronto by myself and decided to surprise my family by bringing back a bunch of Egg Rolls. While I was on my way to the airport I stopped at the restaurant and ordered 50 Egg Rolls to go. While I was waiting for my order I got talking to one of the waiters who had been working there for years and he remembered my Dad and even knew what his favorite dishes were. Anyway, I got my big bag of Egg Rolls and went off to the airport. It was absolutely hilarious when I was going through customs and had to declare my 50 Egg Rolls. The Customs guy had a big laugh and said "people usually brought back tea, Smarties and crumpets...Egg Rolls was a new one on him! " Well it didn't take long for everyone on the plane to be able to smell the food from Lichee Gardens and of course it took me back to the story that my Dad told when he was bringing home food from Lichee Gardens as a surprise for his family. I have so many fond memories of this restaurant and I am very happy to hear that they are still in business. Honey garlic ribs, Chicken Soo Guy, Sweet and Sour Chicken, Beef Chow Mein....ummmm!!!!

            6 Replies
            1. re: LorrieK
              j
              JesseJensen Mar 4, 2008 03:29 PM

              The food is just as you remembered it..Mongolian Beef is fabulous!!!
              Event the carpet reminded me of the old location on Elizabeth Street.

              1. re: JesseJensen
                l
                LorrieK Mar 5, 2008 05:25 AM

                Okay, so remind me. I was young enough that my Dad let me stand on the seat to look out the window and I remember the restaurant was on an upper floor. I'm guessing that was around 1958 or so. Where was that? Then they moved to Atruim on Bay (I think that's right??) Now Thornhill? My Dad will be thrilled to hear that they are still open because he was under the impression that they had closed their doors for good. He lives in California now and doesn't get back to Toronto as often but he is planning a trip back this summer.

                1. re: LorrieK
                  e
                  erly Mar 5, 2008 08:18 AM

                  Lichee Gardens was on Elizabeth a few doors from the Dundas corner on the west side on the street.
                  Just below it in the basement, was an excellent real Chinese restaurant with no name only the address No.11
                  My parents would eat at Lichee Gardens only.
                  We ate their almost every Sunday, for years.
                  There was also New Nanking a little further south on the west side of the street..
                  Once Lichee moved, my parents moved on, as they swore, it just wasn't the same.

                  1. re: erly
                    T Long Mar 5, 2008 09:47 AM

                    Like most restaurants, consistency in Chinese restaurants is all about chef continuity. That is why what was once good is good no longer and even vice-versa. In the heyday of Lichee Gardens in the 60/70's, movement of staff was limited, not like these days. Can't imagine the new Lichee is anything like the old one on Elizabeth. Btw, Chinese friends of mine tell me that the old Lichee and its contemporary Sai Woo preferred Caucasian customers and were actually rude to ethnic Chinese customers...perhaps another reason why they no longer exist today downtown.

                    1. re: T Long
                      e
                      erly Mar 5, 2008 10:20 AM

                      Lichee dates way before that.
                      I was a child when my parents began their love affair with this restaurant.
                      That would be late forties .
                      There were few Chinese in the city at that time, as immigration was restricted.
                      I have never tried the new Lichee, as the Atrium version was a great disappointment.

                      1. re: erly
                        T Long Mar 5, 2008 10:41 AM

                        Thx for the info...I only moved to Toronto in the late 60's when Lichee was still going strong...

            2. b
              balthazar Jan 11, 2007 04:27 PM

              I haven't seen a place yet in recent years that makes a good, old-fashioned egg roll (other than homemade from my own mother's kitchen). Years ago the restaurants that made them switched to using cabbage which is cheaper, and can be prepared ahead/keep longer than bean sprouts which pretty much have to be made same-day and have no shelf life. Now it seems that you can only get spring rolls, and if there are egg rolls they are the nasty/heavy cabbage ones. And they shouldn't be soggy, no. A bit oily maybe, but definitely crisp and fresh. Mourn the poor eggroll!

              1. m
                mikebird Jan 11, 2007 11:12 AM

                Thanks to Dimbulb & fleisch, I now again believe in the eggroll fairy... I'll be on Lichee's doorstep before the weekend is out...

                Regards,

                Mike.

                1. f
                  fleisch Jan 10, 2007 04:10 PM

                  I'm happy dimbulb replied.
                  I was about to be AMAZED that the thread went so deep without anyone realizing Lichee still exists.
                  They reopened in Thornhill about two years ago now. And, yup, it's the same huge, greasy egg rolls.
                  Hopefully that'll hit the spot for your "Lichee-style egg roll" cravings...

                  fleisch

                  1. Dimbulb Jan 10, 2007 12:32 PM

                    They don't serve them at their latest location?

                    Lichee Garden
                    1416 Centre Street, Thornhill,
                    905-709-2111

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: Dimbulb
                      Wee Mousie Feb 8, 2008 06:37 PM

                      I'd heard that Lichee Garden moved to Thornhill. Has anyone been to the new location? If so, is it the same as it was when it was located in Chinatown? My mom used to take me there for special occasions. If I remember correctly it was a huge dining room. I must check out their Thornhill location as Chinatown is much too dirty for me nowadays.

                    2. m
                      mikebird Jan 9, 2007 08:42 PM

                      I do remember the eggrolls at Lichee Gardens. And the Mongolian beef and the Moy Tun stoves. For a while they had a booth in a corner of the Food Building at the CNE. I remember when Lichee's was behind the City Hall, before they moved to Dundas, then Eglington then University. Was a sad day when I stopped by to pickup food and found them closed for good. I used to go to night school at Ryerson. One night after school I stopped by Lichee's to pickup 4 eggrolls to go. While I was waiting, none other than Red Skelleton walked into the lobby. He visited Lichee's every time he played Toronto.

                      1. j
                        Jar Dec 18, 2006 10:53 AM

                        If ever near Malton, at the 4 corners, hidden up on the hill in a small plaza is a Hakka Restaurant at one end. While the food is more enormous than great/good, the egg roll is worth enjoying. They make a chicken egg roll and slightly flat with a very tasty wrapper, very different and original for a small adventure! The cook staff are Chinese, while the wait staff Indian!

                        1. f
                          FlavoursGal Dec 16, 2006 05:24 PM

                          Didn't Dinah Koo do soft eggrolls at Tiger Lily's? She now has a take-out place on Mount Pleasant north of Eglinton, together with Wanda Beaver (of "Pie in the Sky"). Perhaps you should try there.

                          Here's a blurb about it on the Wanda's website, http://www.wandaspieinthesky.com/

                          Wanda is happy to announce the opening of her newest store Wanda's in the Kitchen with Dinah, at 1057 Mt. Pleasant Rd. (just north of Eglinton). Dinah Koo of Koo & Co. and Wanda's Pie in the Sky have teamed up to offer Wanda's signature pies, cakes, cookies and tarts as well as Dinah's full line of catering and home meal replacement in one location.

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: FlavoursGal
                            e
                            embee Dec 17, 2006 04:15 AM

                            Dinah made delicious eggrolls at Tiger Lilys and probably makes them today. Since she's a caterer, I would assume that you could order some if they aren't part of the regular stock. But Dinah's eggrolls definitely didn't have burnt ends and, if I recall correctly, had some real finesse. I don't associate Lichee Gardens with finesse :-)

                          2. a
                            Aardvark Dec 16, 2006 02:50 PM

                            If you want great eggrolls you have to go to Ottawa or Montreal. In my experience good eggrolls are non existant in Toronto.

                            If you happen to be in Ottawa go to Golden Palace on Woodward. Best eggrolls I've ever had and a bit of an institution in Ottawa.

                            5 Replies
                            1. re: Aardvark
                              z
                              zoohort2 Dec 16, 2006 04:16 PM

                              But are they the soft eggrolls that Lichee Gardens had or are they hard?

                              1. re: zoohort2
                                a
                                Aardvark Dec 16, 2006 07:28 PM

                                They are soft and round and burnt crispy at each end rather than the flattened down bean sprout variety that you get in Toronto. I can't remember the Lichee Gardens ones. It's been a long time.

                                1. re: Aardvark
                                  f
                                  FlavoursGal Dec 16, 2006 09:52 PM

                                  Oh...these sound just like the ones we used to get at House of Wong (long gone) on Queen Mary Rd. in Montreal. We called them egg rolls with burnt ends.

                                  Oh, the cravings!!!

                              2. re: Aardvark
                                tuqueboy Dec 17, 2006 12:21 AM

                                great. another montrealer whining about how great the food is back home. i got news for ya pal, even montreal food ain't what it used to be. see what happened to ben's?

                                1. re: Aardvark
                                  o
                                  Ottawagy Jan 10, 2007 04:57 AM

                                  The Egg Rolls at Golden Palace are truly fantastic. Open ended crispy egg rolls (hence the burnt ends that everyone remembers) with just the right aount of filling. The restaurant itself is a throwback to the 50's - 60's and the food hasn't changed much since then. Chicken chow mein (same as the chop suey but with dried noodles), Almond Guy Ding, "Canadian" sweet and sour chicken balls, and garlic spare ribs are some of the classics. It's a little on the pricey side, but the egg rolls are worth it. I prefer szechuan style chinese food, but if you're a fan of this style of food you'll enjoy the Golden Palace. It's actually at 2195 Carling Avenue, near Woodroffe. If anyone in the GTA knows of a place that makes this style of egg roll, please share with your fellow chowhounds.

                                2. r
                                  robb Dec 16, 2006 02:36 PM

                                  I never said the food was that impressive. In my opinion most dishes are quite average. Just wanted to point out the Lichee similarity on a few dishes.

                                  1. f
                                    FlavoursGal Dec 16, 2006 01:51 PM

                                    I don't know about the ribs, but we tried Ken Fong's when they first opened a few years ago, and were not impressed. The egg rolls are, indeed, "egg" rolls, made using an egg crepe, but I found them to be a soggy, greasy mess.

                                    1. e
                                      erly Dec 16, 2006 03:34 AM

                                      They made the best honey garlic spareribs (going back to the original location).
                                      Does Kenny Fong make these as well?
                                      I would love to find similar crispy sticky ribs with a "tooth".
                                      Whenever I try them in other restaurants I get overcooked stewy sweet ribs that are inedible.
                                      I had given up, although I replicate their ribs at home, I would love to find a restaurant that serves them for lazy times.

                                      1. r
                                        robb Dec 16, 2006 03:27 AM

                                        Try Kenny Fongs on Eglinton between Bathurst and the Allen. Kenny was a big time waiter at the original LG and has borrowed many of the old dishes... Mongolian Beef, Shrimp and Scallop Rolls and Egg Rolls almost identical to what you remember. They also make a good Crystal Fold (Lettuce wrap).

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