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Mainland chinese On highway 7 (baview-woodbine)

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I need your help!!!!!

i used to be a very loyal custemer at Big Mouth Key (7 & East Bever Creek), but as I am sure many of you know it has really gone downhill about 4 years ago. i keep on trying to find a replacement for a really good mainland chinese restaurant in the area, but i have not been successful.

HELP!!!!!!!!!!!!

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  1. Why Mainland Chinese? I thiught all the good Chinese/Cantonese ones along the Hwy 7 corridor employ chefs with 'Hong Kong' credentials and serve dishes refined by Hong Kong influence. Unless you are looking for Shanghainese/Peking style cooking? Anyways, O Mei is one of the best in the area abeit a bit expensive. For the 'Big mouth key' type of 'Wok-Hey' stir fry cooking, I would simply head down to Fantasy eatery for good consistent food.

    1. Here's a link for a lot of reviewed mainland chinese restaurants in north GTA:

      http://www.chowhound.com/topics/362881

      On Hwy 7 and woodine, there's Dumpling King. They serve lots of decent stuff besides just dumplings.

      http://www.dumplingking.ca
      First Markham Place
      3229 Highway 7 Unit 3
      Markham, Ontario
      L3R 3P3
      (905) 940 5688

      There's also a tiny little Shanghainese place on 360 Hwy 7 east Unit 10, in between Leslie and Bayview called Shanghai Wok. Nothing fancy, just homey comfort food dishes. DInner service can be slow as heck, so best to get there early rather than late.

      Some people like Ding Tai Fung also on Hwy 7 & Woodbine, but I never really fancied their stuff.

      I only tried Big Mouth Kee once or twice, and didn't consider it to be "mainland" chinese... more like a Cantonese "dai pai dong" style of food.

      After eating primarily Cantonese style chinese food for many years with my family, I never really appreciated authentic "mainland chinese" food, until I married a Bejing girl, who really opened my eyes to what Chinese food outside of Hong Kong has to offer.....

      4 Replies
      1. re: Royaljelly

        Big Mouth Kee is definitely not a Mainland China style resto.

        And as others suggested, there are tons of Mainland China food available, primarily divided by region.

        Royaljelly: what kinds of eye-opening foods have you tried? :) Inspire us!

        1. re: pickymama

          Haha, what I discovered to be "eye opening" might not impress you guys much. When I was living with my parents, our typical cantonese meals would consist of dishes like sweet n sour pork, BBQ chicken (jia jie gai), stir fried beef and veggies, etc etc. you know, the standard fare.

          When I started to have more mainland foods in Toronto (and my tour of China a few years back), I discovered how the sauces for things like sweet n sour was slightly more tangy/vinegar based, rather than the bright orange stuff that you'd get at most Cantonese places. I even developed an affinity to the basic cold shoestring potatoes (especially the ones that are nicely marinated). Then there's the various styles of dumplings (eg. filling w/ fragrant dill weed, etc) that are different to the traditional HK pot stickers I'm used to. Grilled Mutton skewers w/ cumin spices really tickled my taste buds. The real kicker for me was Sichuan cuisine, with all their various forms of mouth numbing peppers they would incorporate into their dishes. I think I've developed some stomach ulcers as a results of those spicy meals...

          We now probably eat out 3-4 times per week, usually alternating between Cantonese and Mainland Chinese cuisines. Variety really is the spice of life and that's why I love Chowhound so much. :)

          1. re: Royaljelly

            Yeah, there are just too many to discover in Chinese cuisine with so many different styles and ingradients. Actually Cantonese cuisine is one of the main branch of chinese cuisine. Hopfully, there will be more and more different kinds of chinese cuisine open up in Toronto !

            1. re: Royaljelly

              Thanks for sharing Royaljelly!

              Yes. Spicy food is definitely a killer - it's so addictive that once I had to order milk to cool down (not a 'cool' thing to do but believe me, it was necessary at the time).

              I envy you to be able to eat out so many days a week ($$$). :P If you feel like cooking, there's this tiny little place on Willowdale and Sheppard where they sell frozen foods like meat dumplings, spring onion cakes, buns etc. My recommendation would be the meat dumplings for pan-frying (not the steamed or boiled types).

        2. Not sure which mainland china cuisine are you looking for ? Or you just look for the style at Big Mouth Key ? Most restaurants in Royaljelly's link are about Szechuan with some Jin Su cuisine dishes, also some North-eastern cuisine. You know, there are more than 10+ kinds of cuisine and branches of cuisine originated from different regions in Mainland China.

          1. I believe some people from Big Mouth Kee opened a noodle shop at the plaza at Kennedy and Highway 7, which if I recall correctly is named "Won Ton Kid" in Chinese. They serve a small menu similar to Big Mouth Kee with various noodles in soup with the giant won tons, brisket, fish balls (and one or two other possible items), "Yau Choi" /w oyster sauce, etc. The food was decent enough.

            3 Replies
            1. re: Blueicus

              I made a mistake when i said mainland cuisine, what I meant was just generally a good chinese restaurant. I have tried a whole bunch in teh area around big mouth key, but nothing is as good as big mouth was 5-7 years ago.

              Thats why i wanted to ask the board where i should try next. i am pretty open to any chinese food (Szechuan, Cantonese, Hong Kong style). just as long as it is really good.

              1. re: Epicure3333

                My wife and I frequently go to Tan Chi Kee and Peaktop, both on Hwy 7. They both have a very good price/quality ratio (i.e. well priced for good quality chinese food). If you really want to treat yourself, there's O Mei and Full House.

                BTW, which places have you tried in the area that you did not like? Always good to have more input about places that I haven't tried before.

                1. re: Royaljelly

                  Tan Chi Kee is operated by the former head chef of Big Mouth Kee. So for those lamenting the downturn at BMK, then I suggest you head there. They're known for their snake soup and excellent wok hei.

                  Personally, I think BMK is still serviceable, but yes not as good as it used to be. I consider myself lucky to have an option like them open till 4/5am in my area.