Cantonese Dinner Downtown
Trying to help arrange a post-Chinese New Year dinner with friends and was wondering if anyone had good recs for the Spadina Chinatown. Lai Wah Heen is most definitely out of our price range and I don't go down there often so I'm at your mercy. It should be a place that seats about ten comfortably (a la large round table) and have a competent family-style dinner menu. Special new year's menu is optional, but it would be nice to know about them. Thanks in advance.
Around Spadina Chinatown, I can't say I would recommend too many spots that would fit your criteria. I've had good experiences at Rainbow (which I think is now called something else, but can't recall at this moment what that new name is) on Dundas, just west of Spadina, but it's really casual (tile floors, bright lights, and terse service folk). I've heard okay things about Forest View on Dundas east of Spadina, but can't vouch for it myself. I've only been to Sky Dragon in the mall at Spadina and Dundas for dim sum so I don't know much about their dinner menu, but what I had at dim sum I found to be quite greasy and overcooked. Same goes for Bright Pearl at Spadina and St. Andrew.
You may actually want to try Dynasty on Bloor (east of Avenue, 2nd floor, in the same building as the Lacoste store), which is more formal than what you'll find on Spadina, but nothing as fancy as Lai Wah Heen as far as decor and menu are concerned. Prices are above average (equal to or a bit less than prices at Casa Imperial or Full House), food is decent but nothing to write home about.
Alternatively, there's Pearl Harbour at Queens Quay Terminal, which I prefer less than Dynasty on Bloor because I find the execution of the food to be a notch lower, and you have to navigate around the North Americanized dishes on the menu. Price-wise, it's slightly less expensive than Dynasty on Bloor.