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Jan 13, 2007 10:49 AM

Chino Bar - Parkdale

Chino Bar is located at 1378 Queen Street West.
I went there on a Saturday evening.
This place feels College Street hip. Very loungy/laid back.
Nice decor/ambiance.
The food is absolutely delicious.
The Thai/Vietnamese menu is not extensive but it offers a good selection of dishes. It's very easy on the wallet and the portions are generous.
I had pad thai($10) it was amazing.

If anyone has been there, let me know what you think.
I will definitely return.

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  1. Forgot to add,
    After 10pm on the weekends they have DJ's playing dance music.
    I also heard that some nights they have live jazz.

    1. I went to Chino last night. It's been on my list of new places to try. As a west ender and an ardent supporter of Parkdale, I really wanted this place to be good. It is really nice and funky, and I could see it as a great spot for late night drinks.

      The food, however, was another matter. You are right, Weebey, that the prices are not high (entrees around $10), although the portions are smaller than you might expect (for example, pho bowls are much smaller than the massive sizes we're used to at Vietnamese places - which isn't necessarily a bad thing). The flavours though were woefully inadequate. My partner had pho which he loves - he ordered the brisket but the meat was slices of beef with beef balls. Meat was overcooked. The broth lacked the nice combination of savoury and spicy. The garnish consisted of only brussel sprouts. My dish was better. I had the shrimp pad thai. As a pad thai it failed (no tamarind flavour, no moistness in the sauce, no sourness). But as a stir fry noodle dish it was pretty tasty. Nice mixture of veggies, generous proportion of well cooked shrimp, I tasted that nice wok fried flavour in the noodles. I enjoyed it, although my general desire to find redeeming qualities in this restaurant may be colouring my perspective - as I said, the dish does not taste like pad thai. we also had a plate of chicken wings, which were crispy and okay, but nothing memorable. There were only two wines by the glass - a merlot and a chardonnay, not sure how this could be a bar with such a limited by the glass selection.

      I think the place has potential, and I will try it again to taste their other dishes. However, I'm afraid that chino may ultimately just be a bar. they do need to work on their food. by no means i'm saying stay away - the place is new and has lots going for it.

      1 Reply
      1. re: Kasia

        Kasia you know your pad thai... I must admit that I was a bit, shall we say, tipsy. That evening we had a *few* drinks and then decided to order food.
        But I will go back and be more discerning.
        We do agree that the place has lots going for it.
        I hear the owner is very receptive to feedback.
        maybe we can offer some suggestions.

      2. My girlfriend's company had their christmas party there, and the food which was prepared by the kitchen was alright. But it was an open bar so my standards may have dropped a bit. As for being a bar, we had drinks twice and probably wouldn't go back because the music they were playing was pretty weak.

        1. Anyone know anything about Cafe Taste (a few doors down from Chino)?

          Apologies in advance if this post deserves its own thread (it may), but Cafe Taste is a small, Parkdale venue and I thought those visiting Chino might be familiar. Early review in NOW was not-good, but on winter walk-by, this small wine-bar looks charming??

          1 Reply
          1. re: Rabbit

            Charming spot run by a guy with a passion for wine, old school beers and scotch, great cheeses and organic ingredients.


          2. I visited a couple of months back and I have to say that it was one of the most disappointing meals that I had last year.

            The food was for the most part greasy and inedible, the service was not at all good (with the servers so much more interested in chatting loudly with their friends at the bar rather than take any kind of order from the two of us)... and the wine list consisted of some poorly chosen LCBO general list stuff.

            Although I live nearby, my friend and myself vowed never to return...

            1 Reply
            1. re: Non Doctor

              non doc, were you talking about Cafe Taste or Chino?