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Oct 23, 2007 06:59 PM

Chinese Traditional Buns

Went to Chinese Traditional Buns (536 Dundas West, at Kensington) the other day for lunch. I ordered the Dan Dan Noodles and they were AMAZING. I'm definatly headed back. I've been trying alot of of the cheaper Chinese restaurants in China town for lunch. Alot of the the lunch menus are decent but this place really stood out so far. I have to recommend it so other folks will try it.

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  1. ever been to MELEWA on dundas? really good buns
    also vietnamese saigon subs, really cheap on spadina west side close to dundas, i forget the name

    1. Actually we just went tonight too. After reading about "lamb soup with dried cakes" - you have to break the cake into little bits to soak in the soup - I always wanted to try it. It's not so good here, the soup is too light in lamb flavour, and the cake was broken by the cook into uneven sized bits, so the small pieces were nice and moist but the larger pieces stayed cakey. (In the authentic version in China you break the cake yourself). The "soup filled buns" has no soup inside, but still were moist and tasty (they didn't call it xiao lung bao). The chive and egg pastries were the best overall.

      13 Replies
      1. re: Teep

        "lamb soup with dried cakes", you mean 羊肉泡馍 ? A special dish in Shaanxi, 陕西. Actually in Shaanxi, you break the cakes in to finger nail size pieces into the bowl, and the server takes it back to the kitchen and bring you back a boiling hot 羊肉泡馍 !

        1. re: skylineR33

          Yes, the original way is for the customer to spend up to half an hour breaking up the cake manually. I've also read there are machines to do it now.

          Any other places in Toronto serve this?

          1. re: Teep

            This was one of my favourite experiences in Xi'an during my visit to mainland last year. Actually Xi'an is a fantastic city, but I digress. I didn't know Toronto had a restaurant that served this dish. Isn't it unleavened dough that turns into dumplings once immersed in soup?

            1. re: Apprentice

              That's it, although "turn into dumplings" sounds a little magical, since the Chinese version of dumplings usually have fillings. But yes it is like the British version of dumplings when the dough soaks up the soup.

              I'd be very curious to hear how the Toronto version compares with the real thing, please let us know if you get a chance to try it.

              1. re: Teep

                LOL...Touche! Yes I did not mean 'chinese style dumplings'.

              2. re: Apprentice

                There are 2 other places serves:

                *(Shaanxi Lao Tang Jia)
                87 Silver Springs Blvd, Unit 203 (Finch & Birchmond
                )Tel: 647-430-0594
                Note: this is a family restaurant. I haven't been there though.

                *(Changan Northwestern Chinese Cuisine)
                240 Alton Tower (Steele & Macowan)
                Tel: 416-916-2634
                Business Hours: 5pm-11pm
                Note: If you go on Saturday and Sunday, better to book in advance. It's a fairly small restaurant. I was there once about 2 months ago when it newly opened. We waited for the seats for 1 hour until around 8:30pm and they've run out of the above 2 items. Here you could see pictures of some dishes:

                1. re: chutchut

                  my gosh, I'm drooling over that last fatty pork dish photo... my wife will be pleased.

                2. re: Apprentice

                  I had this a few times in Xi'an last year as well. I thought it was okay, but I'm a broth fan, and the bread soaked it all up.

                  Here's a photo I took for those that want to know what it looks like, although I think the bread is usually ripped up smaller than this:

                3. re: Teep

                  No, I am not aware of anywhere else serving this in TO, I am surprised to see this in TO too.

                  1. re: skylineR33

                    My assumption was that this was a dish mainly consumed by the Chinese Muslim population (hence it's popularity in Xi'an) so that's why it wouldn't be popular outside mainland. Please correct me if I'm wrong. Are there a lot of Chinese Muslim restuarants in Toronto?

                    1. re: Apprentice

                      This is not really a main dish consumed by Chinese Muslim population. It's a popular dish in northwestern area of China. I would say that there might have muslim influence though. Also, northwestern area produces lamb.

                      There's a restaurant operated by the muslim? chefs from Xianjiang Province of China:

                      Silk Road Restaurant
                      438 Horner Ave. Etobicoke M8W 2B3 
                      Tel: 416-259-9440
                      They close on Sundays. Also, better to book in advance before you go, they mostly use the materials on the daily basis. You could see pictures of some dishes in the above link. I like 2 items there most - see last 3 picture from the link.

                      1. re: chutchut

                        There's a few Chinese resto that serve halal meats/dishes:

                        Xinjiang Restaurant (near IBM @ Steeles/Warden)

                        Chinese Beef & Lamb Restaurant (Sheppard/Pharmacy

                        Prairie Mutton Diner (Scarborough

                        1. re: Royaljelly

                          Thanks for the info chutchut and Royaljelly.

            2. Chinese Traditional Buns has a sign on the door that says they are on vacation for 2 weeks. Is it me or has that sign been up for a month? I really hope they didn't go out of business. I love that place.

              3 Replies
              1. re: JaPe

                They are likely closed for Chinese New Year. In China, businesses and factories may close for a full month to allow employees to go back to their villages and celebrate with their families. Chinese New Year is the biggest holiday - not like New Year in North America.

                1. re: chocabot

                  I hope it's just for new year! That sign has been up for ages, hurry up and open again! has anyone tried their jellied bean curd dish? It's this little bowl of pungent garlicky broth with soft, silky white bean curd and cooked scallions and garlic on top. I think it's 2.50 as well, it's divine!

                  1. re: mia_wallace

                    OK Its open again and they've renovated. . . BETTER THAN EVER. Good Spot.

              2. I always hear about this place, and recently have read about it in one of those Toronto Cheap eats books. my SO and i went early on this week and it was great!! def lives up to the hype. it was so refreshing to go to a small shop and support the owner, who was so nice! she came over 2x to ask if the food was good, and told us to come back as we left. haven't gotten attention like that for a long time. as had 2 trays of wonderful dumplings (beef and pork, and pork and chive.), braised beef noodles (thick fresh noodles in a very simple soup), soup filled meat buns (my SO loved them), and we ended the meal with red bean buns (hot and fresh, the bun was soft and fluffy, the inside was light and sweet). the dumplings were the best in toronto (the other really good dumpling house i go to is by steels and kennedy). we were stuffed for about $27 (tax and tip). everything was fresh and i will def be returning. i want to try the mutton dumplings, the onion pancake, and a couple of the other noodles. i can't wait!!

                1. Everything we ordered at CTB was WAAAAAY too salty. Pretty disappointing after all the rave reviews.