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In search of a great authentic wonton noodle place ?

skylineR33 Jan 26, 2008 10:45 AM

I am still in search of a great wonton noodle place with HK authentic style in
GTA/Richmond Hill/Scarborough area with :
- noodle (flexible, thin, elastic)
- soup based with strong flavour in shrimp, ground flounder and pork bones
- wonton (small with good balance in prawn and pork, not overpower to each other)

Have tried Jim Chai Kee, V2, Richmond Court, Kings', Hello, Congee Queen, Kenny ........ but still have not found one that is even comparable. Am I asking for too much ? Or any suggestion of a great place ? Thanks.

  1. T Long Jan 26, 2008 02:19 PM

    This is almost like asking who makes the best hamburgers....doubt there will be a clear winner. The places I go to regularly and enjoy are Sam Woo BBQ on Bamburgh Circle and Keung's on Midland, N of Finch...not just for the Wonton Noodles, but for the whole Cantonese Noodle House experience. Personally can't relate to "authentic HK" style...I thought that's what most of the places in Markham/Scarborough do serve and there are so many places!!. I like more wrappin to meat ratio to my wontons....so places like Hello with their huge meat fillings is not what I typically like to see, but they have their own charm and I would return. My biggest complaint about wonton soup is when the noodles retain that "soupy" residue...I almost am surprised when its not present.

    What is really hard to find is good Wonton Soup....Canadian style which I first enjoyed in Calgary in the 60's....think Wonton Soup from the Mandarin, but prepared fresh with a much better bone (not MSG stew) broth and a tasty shrimp/pork filling...

    8 Replies
    1. re: T Long
      skylineR33 Jan 26, 2008 06:43 PM

      Well T Long, I think you may have misunderstand my question. I am not asking who make the best wonton noode and I am specifically asking for just "wonton noodle".

      What I am saying is after trying so many places in Markham/Scarborough that serves wonton noodle, I cannot find a good one that is close to the "authentic" noodle in HK, so I post here to ask for suggestion. I can tell you most of the places in Markham/Scarborough are not serving wonton noodle like those you can find in HK, although they are trying to do so.

      You have to understand Wonton noodle is a type of cantonese noodle which means that some of the best you can find is in Hong Kong.

      I have also tried Sam Woo BBQ on Bamburgh Circle and Keung's on Midland but sorry to say that they are are not even close.

      1. re: skylineR33
        T Long Jan 26, 2008 09:01 PM

        As you want the best place that is similar to what you remember from Hong Kong, and not what might be deemed the best in the GTA, then yeah I have no clue as I cannot relate to your memories....and I still don't know if you are talking about just the noodle or "wonton and noodle"...look at your original post again.

        1. re: T Long
          skylineR33 Jan 26, 2008 09:23 PM

          In my original post, I am asking (in simple english) if there is any place in GTA serves authentic wonton noodle with quality comparable to HK, if you do not know what HK authentic wonton noodle is, you don't have to reply. The word "best" is never mentioned.

          This thread is all about "wonton noodle" which means wontons in a bowl of noodle with soup, in case if you still don't know.

          1. re: skylineR33
            T Long Jan 27, 2008 05:34 AM

            I am not asking who make the best wonton noode and I am specifically asking for just "wonton noodle".

            You have to understand Wonton noodle is a type of cantonese noodle which means that some of the best you can find is in Hong Kong.

            This thread is all about "wonton noodle" which means wontons in a bowl of noodle with soup,

            1. re: T Long
              skylineR33 Jan 27, 2008 09:07 AM

              ??? But looks like you finally get what it means from Charles's clarification of "wonton noodle". It is a just terms so commonly used in Hong Kong and Canton.

              Here is the definition from Wiki :

              http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wonton_n...

          2. re: T Long
            Charles Yu Jan 27, 2008 06:35 AM

            I believe when Chinese foodies mention about wonton noodle, its always the ' morsels of won ton with 'alkaline water egg noodles' in soup broth' version. Since the best tasting version originates from Hong Kong/Canton, I guess its only logical for skylineR33 to use the 'original' as yard stick for comparison. Authentic won ton noodle is not authentic unless all the 'major components' click together!! A simple mis-step like replacing yellowing chives with spring onion immediately renders the taste different! Almost all GTA noodle joints are side-stepping this and more!
            As another example, if I am to seek help in finding a great authentic 'Boullabaise', I too would refer to the 'southern France/Marseilles' version as my measuring yardstick. Here in town, people claim to make a 'boullabaise' and put it on the menu. For most, they just dump a whole bunch of one or two fish ( salmon, cod or halibut ) with some shellfish in a tomato saffron base broth and call it boullabaise. However, the 'real authentic version' features NO shellfish at all, just fish consisting of conger eel, rascasse, St. Pierre, monk fish etc. The soup has to have aoile compliment too.

            1. re: Charles Yu
              T Long Jan 27, 2008 07:04 AM

              Hey Thx for the clarifications Charles...I will aim to try Jen Jen soon...but should I expect the broth to be prepared from scratch (eg. from bones) or is it more likely the instant stuff (what I call MSG stew). Given that the pricing is so competitive, do any local Wonton places still prepare broth the old fashion way? BTW, I usually order the Dumplings Noodles rather than Wonton Noodles, as I think I get the same noodles and broth but the Dumplings have that crunchy (from fungus I think) aspect to them that I like.

              1. re: T Long
                Charles Yu Jan 27, 2008 07:31 AM

                Jen Jen's dumpling is actually better than their won-ton!. Based on the taste of the soup, I do believe they make it from scratch using chicken and pork bones, prawn shells, budha fruit and dried tilefish/flounder. Have fun!

      2. Charles Yu Jan 26, 2008 02:41 PM

        In addtion to your above captioned criteria, the finish product also has to have shrimp eggs and chopped yellowing chives sprinkle on top! Meeting 'all' these criteria, there's only 'one' place in Toronto!! Thats 'Chicken and noodle house' ( Jen Jen in Cantonese ) at the corner of Sheppard and Glen Watford. Reminds me of Mak Un Kee or Jan Dao in Hong Kong. I too have tried your list, 'none' of them even come close to Jen Jen!!

        8 Replies
        1. re: Charles Yu
          skylineR33 Jan 26, 2008 06:46 PM

          Jen Jen, I almost forget it ! It has been around for years, have not tried their wonton noodle before though !

          If it reminds Mak Un which has been making wonton noodle for over 100 years, then it must be real good, will have to try it, thanks !

          1. re: Charles Yu
            3
            325i Jan 26, 2008 06:58 PM

            Not to threadjack but what is the portion and price at Jen Jen's? Are they as tiny as Mak Un's?

            1. re: 325i
              Charles Yu Jan 26, 2008 07:18 PM

              I believe its about $3.75 a bowl. Noodle portion is slighty smaller than your typical 'Toronto' Won Ton noodle but definitely bigger than the 'stingy' Mak Un Kee's or Mak Man Kee's of Hong Kong. But then, for Won Ton noodle, I would prefer quality over quantity any day!

            2. re: Charles Yu
              m
              minto Jan 28, 2008 05:19 PM

              where exactly is Jen Jen? Which plaza? What is the english restaurant name?

              1. re: minto
                Charles Yu Jan 28, 2008 05:45 PM

                The plaza at the corner of Sheppard and Glen Watford (next to the railway bridge ). Believe English name is 'Chicken and Noodle House'

              2. re: Charles Yu
                g
                gtafoodie Feb 17, 2008 06:40 PM

                So I decided to try the wonton noodles at Chicken and Noodle House after the big push from some Chowhounders and I have to say...HUGE DISAPPOINTMENT! It was Sunday around noon and the restaurant had a steady flow of customers, what you would call 'peak time', and when restaurants should be at the top of their game. We ordered beef brisket noodle soup, pig liver congee, dough fritters, steamed gai lan, and of course the wonton noodle soup. We didn't have to wait long before our food started to arrive. First up was the congee and beef brisket noodle soup. The congee was nice and hot but the noodles were only warm. The flavor of both dishes were OK, but nothing to rave about. You can get better tasting congee at Congee Wong or Congee Queen. Same goes for beef brisket noodle soup, although the texture of the noodles were good, better versions can be found elsewhere at Kenny's Noodle or Yau Kee. Now for the wonton noodles...I was sooo looking forward to trying some 'authentic wonton noodles'! Like the beef brisket noodle soup, the bowl of wonton noodle soup came out warm instead of hot. Again, while the texture of the noodles was nice and 'al dente', the wonton morsels small enough to fit in your mouth, the flavor of the wontons and the soup was only mediocore. If this is considered 'authentic wonton noodle soup' like the kind you would find in Hong Kong, I'll stick to my 'mutated' and always tasty versions from Kenny's Noodle, Jim Chai Kee or Wonton Chai!

                1. re: gtafoodie
                  Charles Yu Feb 17, 2008 06:55 PM

                  Most interesting?!!!

                  1. re: gtafoodie
                    skylineR33 Feb 17, 2008 08:23 PM

                    Hi gtafoodie, Jim Chai Kee is actually from HK, I have to say HK beats this branch in Richmond Hill in all 3 categories : soup base (much tasty), noodle (al dente) and wonton (the shrimp in HK has better quality and the size is more normal). And actually Jim Chai Kee style is also popular in HK with its bigger size wonton especially towards the yonger generation.

                    But Kenny's Noodle is just quite bad in general (not just noodle) in my experience.

                2. h
                  halugii Jan 27, 2008 04:40 AM

                  what about the dry wonton noodle with the dark sauce and the soup on the side?? does anyone know where to find it at all?? i've had it at gold stone and merlion in chinatown and they were terrible ..

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: halugii
                    Charles Yu Jan 27, 2008 05:59 AM

                    The style you refer to is called 'lo-mien' in Cantonese. All eateries that make a decent version of the noodles in soup will also feature this option in their menu as well. The dark sauce you refer to is just your ordinary 'oyster sauce'. Next time, try the version with julianne spring onion and ginger. When mixed together with the 'al dente' noodle and oyster sauce, they form an awesome combo!
                    The list of restaurants mentioned by skylineR33 should all have it. Cheers!

                  2. jennjen18 Jan 27, 2008 07:31 AM

                    I would suggest Yau Kee at Middlefield and Steeles. Although not as "authentic" as it could be, that is, with all the ingredients clicking together, it still comes quite close. The noodles are very close to what would be served in HK. Al dente, and not soggy at all. They also serve really nice lo mien as well.

                    25 Replies
                    1. re: jennjen18
                      a
                      acd123 Jan 27, 2008 09:25 AM

                      How about Jim Chai Kee on West Beaver Creek? I tried it for the first time last week and I loved it.

                      1. re: acd123
                        Charles Yu Jan 27, 2008 01:01 PM

                        Jim Chai Kee, trying to stand out from the norm, created their 'mutated' version years ago in Hong kong. However, this idea never caught on by others since authentic Won Ton are supposed to be dainty bite size morsels and not baseball size monster. Its like trying to make Nigiri sushi the size of a hotdog. It just not the same! In this case, size does matter! Ha!

                        1. re: Charles Yu
                          skylineR33 Jan 27, 2008 01:33 PM

                          The wonton at Jim Chai Kee in Richmond Hill has even a bigger size than the counterpart in HK ! The soup base and noodle are obviously not the same as the HK counterpart too. Baseball may be too exaggerated, how about ping pong ? haha.

                          1. re: skylineR33
                            redearth Jan 27, 2008 01:43 PM

                            I'm sorry, but what is exactly the problem with having a larger wonton? I love Jim Chai Kee's wontons - the more shrimp the better, IMHO! I would agree that the soup and noodles are not stellar at Jim Chai Kee, but I have yet to find a tastier wonton in T.O.

                            1. re: redearth
                              skylineR33 Jan 27, 2008 01:56 PM

                              No, there is no problem with this. Many people like the larger size wonton, both economical reason or taste. It is just there are also other people prefer the authentic version. I think the wonton with too much shrimp is too bulky and too "rich" for me.

                              1. re: skylineR33
                                redearth Jan 27, 2008 02:18 PM

                                Fair enough. I'm just partial to large quantities of shrimp, I guess....

                              2. re: redearth
                                Charles Yu Jan 27, 2008 02:23 PM

                                The size impacts on the exact way how the Won ton should be cooked. Considering the fact that won tons have a bit of pork fat and pork mixed into the prawns. If the porion is too huge, by the time the interior is fully cooked, the outside layer will be 'overcooked'. So, instead of a crunchy then chewy sensation, the overcooked exterior layer will render the texture a bit tough and less refine.

                                1. re: Charles Yu
                                  redearth Jan 27, 2008 02:30 PM

                                  While this may be true, I have not found that the Jim Chai Kee dumplings were of such a size as to result in an overcooked exterior layer. While "ping pong" size may seem large compared to what is generally considered an acceptable "traditional" won ton size, it is certainly not so large as to prevent the bundle of shrimp within the dumpling from being cooked quickly and evenly. For a dumpling to be affected in such a way as you describe, Charles Yu, it would have to be significantly larger than the Jim Chai Kee won tons.

                                  1. re: redearth
                                    T Long Jan 27, 2008 02:42 PM

                                    Not certain, but I think the Jim Chai Kee wontons are the same as Hello's on Yonge....and if so they did not seem to have any pork in them - only meat I recall is shrimp....meaning the cooking time can be less. They did taste pretty good, even though I normally prefer smaller wontons. I ate similar sized large wontons at the home of a Chinese-Cdn friend in the 70's. Unlike other families, they were not from the Canton (next to Hong Kong) region....I was told that this is how they made the wontons back "home".

                                    1. re: T Long
                                      w
                                      Wil Jan 28, 2008 06:27 AM

                                      In fact Hello and Jim Chai Kee are the same owners

                                      1. re: Wil
                                        T Long Jan 28, 2008 01:52 PM

                                        Thx for the confirmation.

                        2. re: jennjen18
                          Charles Yu Jan 27, 2008 01:11 PM

                          Thats the one next to T&T right? Tried it once, found it just OK. In fact, the noodle place in the T&T food court makes a better version. And their beef brisket is awesome too! I would also like to mention that, 'Big Joy' on Hwy7, in the same plaza as Full House, is also very good as well. Their Pig's liver congee is the best in town!!

                          1. re: Charles Yu
                            redearth Jan 27, 2008 02:33 PM

                            Regardless of the won ton debate, I'm definitely going to try that pig's liver congee! Sounds great!

                            1. re: Charles Yu
                              jennjen18 Jan 27, 2008 06:26 PM

                              is big joy still there?? .. oh goodness, they've existed since forever. i used to go to the location at alton towers (mccowan and steeles), and yes, their pig's liver congee is the best. best of the best. congee so smooth and silky, liver and kidney cooked just right. im craving for that now ... !! thanks for reminding me that big joy still exists!

                              1. re: jennjen18
                                c
                                caitlink Jan 27, 2008 06:36 PM

                                I love my wonton noodle too. Which is why I ate my Mak Un noodle whenever possible when I was in HK (Causeway Bay) over christmas. The other one was the curry beef brisket noodle at 'Nine Gai" in central. Yummy!

                                I used to eat Mak Un whenever i was in vancouver as well. Not sure if it is still there since it was a couple of years ago.

                                1. re: caitlink
                                  o
                                  oracle347 Jan 28, 2008 01:21 AM

                                  MMMM "Nine Gai" Beef Brisket noodle....

                                  Mak Un Gai Noodles are a must when I go back to HK too - but I tend to go to the one on Central - I had no idea that they had one in Causway bay - Must check it out next time I go home... there's really is nothing like Wonton noodles after a night in Lan Kwai Fong!

                                  Now, as for the Toronto Wontons - IMHO - I like Hello. See, I've had different wantons even in HK - more pork, more shrimp, more noodles, but it's all basically the shrimp/ pork dumplings, great noodles in a broth (homemade or no). It's cheap, fast and filling. Hello doesn't do anything else, and for that alone, I like them. Now, I'm of the opinion their beef noodle really suck - but when you see a woman actually wrapping their wontons in the back (which I don't think a lot of shops do) I have a hell of a lot more faith in their product. Are they excatly like what you find in Mak Un Gai? No. But for a North American substitute? I think it's pretty yummy.

                                  1. re: oracle347
                                    skylineR33 Jan 28, 2008 07:00 AM

                                    Actually my concern is more on the noodle itself and the soup base which really not up to par in most places within GTA. This really surprise me as there are so many noodle place (or places provide wonton noodle) in GTA. Probably one of the reason is there is no handmade (or more precisely legmade) noodle in GTA ?!

                                    I still prefer the "one bite one wonton" idea, which the content of the wonton won't fall off to the soup base to mix it all up ......

                                    1. re: skylineR33
                                      jennjen18 Jan 28, 2008 04:03 PM

                                      Thats why I recommended Yau Kee at Middlefield and Steeles in my earlier comment... they make their own noodle!!! In fact, they make their own everything. The noodle is bamboo-kneaded too! But, like most wontons, they're huge. :(

                                      1. re: jennjen18
                                        c
                                        caitlink Jan 28, 2008 04:19 PM

                                        thanks, Jennjen. I always like your recommendations. I usually go to Jim Chai Kee. But I will definitely try Yau Kee next week. I drive by it all the time.

                                        1. re: caitlink
                                          jennjen18 Jan 29, 2008 04:39 PM

                                          haha, caitlink, really? you always like my rec's? .... what other recs have you found useful? just curious! ... :P

                                        2. re: jennjen18
                                          skylineR33 Jan 28, 2008 07:23 PM

                                          Sounds interesting. want to give it a try to see how good they make it, thanks !

                                2. re: Charles Yu
                                  Chester Eleganté Jan 28, 2008 08:11 PM

                                  Along with their congee, Big Joy Noodle also makes a really tasty beef brisket lo mein (egg noodles with the soup on the side), and more authentic than most.

                                  1. re: Chester Eleganté
                                    Charles Yu Jan 29, 2008 05:14 AM

                                    If you like beef brisket lo mein, you should give the noodle/congee place inside the Steeles/Middlesfield T&T food court a try. Its even better!

                                    1. re: Chester Eleganté
                                      jennjen18 Jan 29, 2008 04:40 PM

                                      oh you know what i remember the most from big joy? ... the "special/house" noodle, with beef brisket sauce! .. i remember they have bits of everything ... but i remember most having squid tentacles in it! .... mmmm ... yummy!

                                  2. re: jennjen18
                                    T Long Sep 20, 2008 03:23 PM

                                    Went to Yau Kee this week. We had the Wonton Noodle and Dumplings Noodle soups. Really impressed with the soup's egg noodles....best we've had in a long while. A friend of ours goes here at least once a week for these noodles...he likes them that much!

                                  3. Charles Yu Sep 13, 2009 06:31 PM

                                    Whilst doing some grocery shopping at T&T's Middlesfield location, I tried out ' Congee Original' at the food court ( first shop on the left hand side of the entrance )again after a few months hiatus. I had the Braised beef brisket and tendon lo mien. IMO, the broth and the brisket is amongst Toronto's best, if not 'the best' . The densely coloured broth in particular is very very 'Hong Kong' authentic, with abundance of taste and aroma coming from dried flounders and buddha fruits. The brisket and tendons were both very tender and delicious. Pity the noodles were slightly overcooked.

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