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Sep 21, 2007 08:26 PM

What's happened to Chung king on Spadina?

Last Friday it looked dark when I passed by, but I thought it might just be closed. Today I tried to order take out and the phone number was not in service. Does anybody know what's up?

We had a hankering for our ususal Chung king dinner so decided to try Peter's Chung King on College St. It was awful! From the shredded beef to the crispy beef to the spring rolls to the garlic eggplant to the lemon chicken... It doesn't hold a candle to Chung king on Spadina!

If that's gone, where to go for good shredded beef?

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  1. I'd love an answer to your question, as well. Chung King was our guilty pleasure stop for szechuan shredded beef. It was often over cooked and chewy, but we actually liked that aspect of it! When I called a couple of weeks ago, the number was in service, but the mailbox was full.

    Anyone have a suggestion for good shredded beef? Downtown or Markham?

    4 Replies
    1. re: TorontoJo

      The owners of the original Chung King on Spadina (not to be confused with Peter's Chung King...yuck) moved a while ago north to Markham. They have a place there called Chung King Garden (4394 Steeles Ave E at the pacific mall plaza)

      1. re: jaymh

        We also tried Peter's Chung King, but it wasn't as good....any one have any suggestions for similar type pseudo-szechuan downtownish or west end

        1. re: jaymh

          this is the best news that i have heard today. we were customers for over 25 years at their spadina spot. the whole family missed those hot n sour soups, spices chicken and (ofcourse) the szchewan shredded beef.

          i just phoned them and yes, they are the same folks. we will go there tonight and report to you :)

          1. re: phantom363

            We went to the other chung king yesterday. It is not new. It has been around for 10 years. These were the original owners of spadina chungking, who sold it about 15 years ago and moved north to kennedy & steeles in markham.

            The food was very similar, and that was the best part. The hot n sour soup even excelled the best version of the spadina chungking. The spices chicken in garlic sauce was good, though the spadina one thickened the sauce a bit more and crystallized the sugar. There were more pieces of chicken and more cashews.

            The Szechuan shredded beef tasted the same, sweet with the chewy texture.

            The tea came in china pots and tasted good. It was also free.

            All in all, both the beef and chicken meat was of a better quality.

            But missing were the two dour male waiters. And the pleasant lady owner.

            The d├ęcor was bright and the carpets, washroom clean and bright. Quite a change from the spadina one.

            This too is owned by a lady, who was on hand supervising, and ensuring the welfare of the guests. On the whole, it was a happy experience, as evidenced by the fact that we took home the leftover szechewan shredded beef. We would go again, even though it is about 40 minute drive from home.

      2. damn, i love that crispy beef . . i can understand why they moved though . . i'm sure they'll do a good business if they are at the Pacific Mall.

        as someone who has gone to Peter's Chung King on College ( . .yuck?) for more than 20 years, i'd have to say that i like the food there . . and i've been to lots of chinese places over the years. the all-time big seller is the Spicy Chicken with peanut sauce . . the best i've ever had.

        i'm not as thrilled with the broccolli and beef but so what . . .

        there's a whole army of people that go to Peter's and they've all been happy with the food.

        let's face it, when you're near chinatown, there's lots of competition . . including Peter's and Saigon Palace just a few doors down.

        1. I miss Chung King downtown, but have been getting my fill at the PacMall for years. Part of the reason I enjoy going there is that Connie, the owner, still remembers my family from when she owned the downtown (and then Eglinton/Bathurst) location.

          It really was sad when the plaza owner @ Eg/Bath wanted to hike the rent too high. That was my favourite Chinese food ever. Connie owned the restaurant. Peter was the chef. When it closed, Peter opened up on College and took the other Peter with him and Connie disappeared.

          It's funny how I used to drive from uptown to downtown to have their food, and now I go the other way (living midtown now, and going to Markham).

          1. It's such a heartbreak that Chung King has gone from the Spadina strip. My sister and I have been going there regularly for over a decade. We started going for Friday lunches when we worked at UofT. Then, when our schedules changed, we still went back for the Szechuan Shredded Beef special twice a year - on Good Friday and whatever Friday we had off near Christmas.

            This year we were so dismayed when we arrived and simply found it closed - no note, no explanation, no shredded beef! We didn't even have a chance to say goodbye.

            1. Hurrah. The Chung king moved north and is now Chungking Garden Restaurant in the Pacific Mall in Markham. Better decor better service. Sadly, the menu is not quite as good...but the hot and sour soup is still the best...spring rolls aces too!

              9 Replies
              1. re: Skywalker123

                Funny, I was just asking my wife the other day "what was the name of that other Chinese place we used to go to on Spidina, just north of Spadina Garden restaurant?"

                It was Chung King!

                In the 90s, One set of my friends were Chung King devotees, the other Spidina Garden, so depending on who we were hanging out with we'd go to one or the other.

                Ultimately I really preferred Spadina Garden - I just felt the food was better prepared in every way. The one exception for me was the spicy green beans (with shredded pork) at Chung King. It was my favorite green bean dish I've had anywhere and I really miss it. It's not quite the same at Spadina Garden which we still go to, on Dundas.

                1. re: Skywalker123

                  Is the restaurant actually in the Pacific mall area or just nearby?

                  1. re: Herne

                    Technically I think Chung King is part of Market Village which is the mall that shares the same parking lot as Pacific Mall. Note that it is an outdoor access store, that is there is no access from the indoor part of Market Village mall.

                    1. re: T Long

                      yes it is the original chungking owner who started the spadina restaurant in early 1980s, and who then sold it to one of her staff, a couple. the original lady true to her roots, still accepts only cash. the restaurant is right behind pacific mall in a strip plaza, with a BMO ATM and a chinese supermarket nearby. the food is still the same yum stuff...the best hotnsour soup in toronto. and those szechwan shredded beaf are worth to die for. :)

                      1. re: phantom363

                        They accepted credit when they first opened but Connie had to stop because there was too much fraud. They were losing money hand over fist. It was sad.

                        1. re: phantom363

                          ?"her" staff?.
                          The original Chung King was started by two waiters from Pauls Deep Sea Shantung (IIRC), one of whom was Peter and the other my memory doesn't recall but he was older and stockier (and his English was less accomplished). They then split up (I think, but not sure, that the older guy retired) and Peter opened the series of Peter's Chung King's with the final one on College.
                          Essentially all those mentioned above had the same menu - even the specials were numbered identically, and all were in place at Deep Sea Shangtung. Peter's wife worked in the kitchen at PDSS - that's where they met.
                          I'm not aware of who the 'she' (?Connie) is - but she doesn't enter into my memory anywhere along the way. Neither do I have any recollection of credit card issues - that was the business I was in at the time and I knew Paul (and Peter) well (and, for the record, was personally responsible for adding the green bean item - special #27 - to the menu; Paul's wife served it at a private function to which I was invited and I begged him to add it to the menu - he didn't think it was an item that would suit western tastes).

                          1. re: estufarian

                            Man I miss Paul's Deep Sea Shantung... :(

                            1. re: estufarian

                              Wow, that's crazy! I have you partially to thank for a dish that set the bar for green bean dishes (for me). I often order similar attempts at other restaurants, but all disappoint in comparison. Sigh. (Though it's been a long time since I've had the Chunk King version).

                              1. re: estufarian


                                My family knew Peter quite well...If indeed THE Chung King has opened in pacific mall, I must head there in earnest to see if my beloved crispy shredded beef is the same, oh - I can dream.....

                                I still remember the days that he wore his bullets sitting by the cash....