Chinese Beef & Lamb House restaurant (Scarborough) - my review (w/ photos)
Chinese Beef & Lamb House restaurant
3591 Sheppard Ave East
After seeing the initial review on the Toronto Star, my wife and I decided to try out the newly opened Chinese Beef & Lamb House restaurant located at Sheppard and Birchmount in Scarborough. We arrive at around 3pm and the restaurant was about 1/5 full (it's a huge place). There appeared to be a few other non-chinese Muslims eating there as well, since I assume all of their meats are Halal.
The first thing we noticed was the scent of cumin, lamb and other spices in the air. The ambiance was as if we had literally stepped back into mainland China, right from the scenic wall painted art to the various laterns hanging from the ceiling. Surprisingly, the chef also came by and greeted all of his guests... I was shocked and impressed, since this is literally the first time I've seen a chinese chef come to socialize with his customers.
Please excuse some of my poor quality photos, since it was the first time I'd used my Motorola Razr for food pics.
Restaurant decor photos:
The menu is quite extensive, and features various forms of lamb preparations. Sorry, all of my menu photos were too blurry to be readable. They had photos of each dish in both Chinese and English, which made it a bit easier to order. We decided to try the following:
Lamb Skewers ($2 each) - rich with cumin spices, very tender and juicy with just the right amount of fat. There's a few places in Scarborough that are doing similar skewers, but this one was certainly the best by far.
(skewers in photo seem dark & burnt, but they're actually perfectly brownish in color
Lamb Soup noodles - came w/ 2 types of noodles, the hand made flat/wide noodle was quite tasty, and a thin glass noodle on the bottom. Soup was light yet flavourful, reminded me of the soup that you drink after a hotpot meal. My wife wondered about MSG, since she was quite thirsty afterwards.
Lamb pan fried buns - looks big and bottoms were nice and crisp, but not much meat inside (you could take a full initial bite and still not have a single piece of meat in your mouth). Meat also seemed a bit bland, and it seemed to taste more like pork than lamb to me.
Deep fried fish pieces in dark sauce (can't remember the exact menu name) - fish was not fresh at all, lots of bone and sauce was boring. Definitely AVOID this one.
Chinese mushrooms surrounded by bok choy - nicely presented, dark rich sauce for mushrooms and buk choy was fresh. Whole dish was soaking in a clear broth of oil/water and ?corn starch. A good dish but nothing outstanding.
Our final bill, after tip and tax, was $35 for the 5 dishes. They even accept Visa cards. Will definitely need to try it one more time to get a feel for a few more dishes.
Please post if you've also been there and can recommend any of their other dishes.
The only other time I've had a good cumin lamb skewer like this was in a Halal-Muslim food court place in Vancouver (also another all-Mainland food court).
There's another lamb skewer place in Toronto that somewhat resembled this one at Pharmacy & McNicoll, but the rest of the food was very poorly done. I haven't been back since.
Great Posting! Photos attachments made reading even more enjoyable. Fellow chowhounds should adopt this more. I noticed there is a sudden explosion of this type of restuarants in Markham/Scarborough. First, the one near Steeles and Midland, then Sheppard and Midland then this one. Anyone made a food comparison?!
I think I found a new Chinese favourite restaurant! This owner actually has a large business sign that signs “Halal” (we’re talking you can see it from two blocks away).
The food is NOT Hakka style, it is NOT Desi Chinese – it is authentic Chinese food from Northwest China. The food was hot, spicy and flavourful. We (my wife and two young boys) had a great dining experience. We had Beef noodle soup. The noodles were hand made (we saw it being made). We had 4 lamp skewers and loved it. We had lamb fried rice, chicken fried rice, spicy beef, spicy chicken and four lamb buns (yes I ordered waaaay too much food!).
The service was excellent. The waitresses were friendly and helpful. The owner, Mr. Li, could not speak a word of English but his Salaam and mannerism spoke volumes. It was a big, clean and busy restaurant and the price was good. The décor was nice and the place had a great atmosphere. We will definitely go there again. I’m sure that it this restaurant will become one of the busiest Halal Chinese restaurants in Toronto – enjoy!
I'm excited to give this place a try. In case anyone's interested, here's their website:
The menu offerings look interesting.
Their second new location is at: 101 Ravel Road, Scarborough (416-498-9800
)Btw, there's also a 10% off coupon that you can get via flyerland.ca that's only good for dinner and valid thru Jan 31, 2011 (cash only).
Finally went there today, good lord the service was horrid, it took us almost an hour to get everything that we ordered, took at least 10mins to get our tea, while the food was tasty but the portion was tiny for the price, the worst part was the washroom, it was fairly disgusting.
Another thing my family noticed was the fact they were so busy, but the owner had the time to walk around and chat to people, how about go to the back and hurry up a little bit?