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Needs dish suggestions for O-Mei and Fantasy Eatery

Royaljelly Feb 9, 2008 01:45 PM

My parents are in town these next few weeks and I want to take them to a few Chinese restaurants.

What kinds of dishes should I order if I plan to go to O-Mei as well as Fantasy Eatery? There's only going to be 4 of us and a 2 yr old, so getting the 9 lb lobster x4 ways from O-Mei is probably out of the question (although I'm dying to try it). Maybe I should call up more friends...

  1. BokChoi Dec 15, 2008 03:32 AM

    Finally returned to Fantasy Eatery after a long hiatus (I dislike long lines). I used to be a huge proponent of this restaurant as their value is second to none in the city (IMO). Unfortunately, the night was a complete disappointment. The food was exceptionally greasy this time and the food was just not executed well. The fat was not rendered off the pork belly, the calamari was oil-slicked and soggy, and the fish pieces were not crisp in the casserole dish. Good thing was that the lines have significantly lessened since my last weekend dinner visit about 2 or 3 years back. I am not sure whether this is a factor of the new branch opening up on Hwy 7, or their general drop in quality. I will probably return once more before I rule them out for dinner completely. I have been once on a weeknight recently and their execution was much better. Perhaps their performance was diminished by the weekend dinner rush? But maybe it was just an off day.

    I know that this comment will probably incite many opinions to the contrary, but I wanted to warn some new diners to not go during the weekends as it may taint their opinion of Fantasy.

    I have not had a chance to post the photos yet, but will do so soon.


    9 Replies
    1. re: BokChoi
      Charles Yu Dec 15, 2008 04:44 AM

      I've learned never to eat at Fantasy on the weekend. Even on a week day, I'll try getting there before 7. The same principle applies to other wok-hay restaurants like Magic wok, Tanchaikee and Big mouth kee...etc
      Better luck next time!!

      1. re: Charles Yu
        BokChoi Dec 15, 2008 10:15 AM

        That's very true. I try to also avoid it when it comes to wok hay centric restaurants. Unfortunately, that was the only time that could work with my schedule. Alas, I tried to go at 6PM before the dinner rush. But it was already too late. That's why I'll give them another shot sometime hopefully soon.


        1. re: BokChoi
          Chocaholic Feb 16, 2011 08:15 PM

          Hi Posters,

          I was wondering if any of these places still exists? And still worth a visit. If so, please provide me an address! Much appreciated!

          Fantasy Eatery
          Magic Wok
          Tan Chai Kee
          Big Mouth Kee
          Ngua Kee

          , Toronto, ON M5G, CA

          Fantasy Eatery
          505 7 Hwy E, Richmond Hill, ON L3T7P6, CA

          Big Mouth Kee
          280 West Beaver Creek, Thornhill, ON L4B3Z1, CA

          1. re: Chocaholic
            Charles Yu Feb 17, 2011 05:37 PM

            Fantasy Eatery - Scarborough location sucks! Chef left!. Richmond Hill location passable.

            Magic Wok - Horrendous service! Try at your own risk!

            Tan Chai Kee - Inconsistent! Food can be GREAT but then can also be mediocre!

            Big Mouth Kee - OK food but IMO, over-rated! Giant lobster at $9.99 a pound might be enough incentive to give it a try?!

            Ngau Kee - Out of business since last year. Chef opened up another restaurant at Steeles and Midland. ( Fisherman...something?! )

            Nowadays, I quite enjoy the food of Judy's Cuisine inside Time Square. However, prices a bit over-inflated! Still, some wok-hay dishes are very well done! The advance order 'Premium herbed Soya sauce free range chicken' is one the best in town!!

            , Toronto, ON M5G, CA

            Big Mouth Kee
            280 West Beaver Creek, Thornhill, ON L4B3Z1, CA

            1. re: Charles Yu
              Chocaholic Feb 17, 2011 08:24 PM

              Thanks Charles.

              Hmm looking for new places to try. Any suggestions? For dim sum, lunch, and dinner places.

              1. re: Chocaholic
                Charles Yu Feb 18, 2011 04:45 AM

                Have you tried Brilliant at Kennedy and Denison yet?!

                1. re: Charles Yu
                  plug Feb 18, 2011 04:58 AM

                  charles do they have dim sum at brilliant?
                  if so, any early dim sum specials as well?

                  1. re: plug
                    Chocaholic Feb 18, 2011 06:17 AM

                    No I have not tried Brilliant. Will go try it out then. Put a star next to my list of places to go this weekend.

                    More suggestions welcomed. And also looking for a GrrReat roast duck. Even to take home. I like to take it home, then I can eat it however I want? :D

                    1. re: plug
                      Charles Yu Feb 18, 2011 06:20 AM

                      They do Dim Sum quite well! No specials but price pretty reasonable already!

      2. a
        afici0nad0 Dec 12, 2008 08:59 AM

        how is the customer service at o-mei?

        wait staff very attentive, regardless of whether you can speak canto/mando or not?

        1 Reply
        1. re: afici0nad0
          tjr Dec 12, 2008 11:21 AM

          I've been both with groups of Cantonese speakers, and groups of English speakers. Staff were equally attentive no matter who I was with.

        2. d
          DanDan_Mian Mar 22, 2008 11:06 PM

          I love Fantasy - i ate there over 100 times last yr (I kept the receipts). I'll try to write down some of my favourites. Most of the stuff I've tried I like. In fact I may go there right now - it's 2:06am and i'm getting hungry.

          I love those photos of the lobster whoever did that below. Those pictures are stellar - i can't believe you took a camera in there - it's hilarious.

          1. pinkprimp Mar 7, 2008 07:26 AM

            Where are these restaurants? Now I'm DYING to try the lobster and eggplant hotpot!!

            2 Replies
            1. re: pinkprimp
              skylineR33 Mar 7, 2008 09:42 AM

              Omei - 420 Hwy 7 East, Richmond Hill - (905) 881-8188
              Ngau Kee is in the First Markham Place plaza on Hwy 7.

              1. re: skylineR33
                Royaljelly Mar 7, 2008 01:32 PM

                Here's Fantasy Eatery, tel: 416-332-0288. They have those weird reservation systems where you can "reserve", but it only gets your name on a waiting list. When you arrive, you still end end up waiting for a table anyways. The restaurant's main entrance is actually facing the small parking lot, not Midland ave.

                Fantasy Eatery
                3320 Midland Ave, Toronto, ON M1V5E6, CA

            2. Royaljelly Mar 5, 2008 06:19 PM

              Finally got a chance to try O-Mei's lobster for the first time and we were blown away. My wife commented half way through the meal that this was the best lobster she's ever had in her life.

              There was just 4 of us there, so we decided after some suggestions from fellow chowhounders to order a "smaller" lobster... being in the 5+lbs range.... the thing looked like a monster compared to the puny ones we're used to eating.

              First lobster dish was lightly fried w/ finely diced garlic, green onions and a bit too much oil. Flavour was still subtle and really let the lobster's freshness come through.


              Second course was the standard stir fried method that I'm used to and it was delicious. Interestingly the sauce was a bit sweet, which my parents didn't like too much but I didn't mind.


              Third course was the brains etc cooked w/ fried rice (sorry no photos, since they served it right away for us). Again, not too heavy but rich enough to balance the mild bitterness of the lobster brains. A real treat.

              We also ordered a veggie dish as a forth and had some free soup to start which was also very good. Dessert was also a highlight, this ultrafresh and soft yet perfectly chilled mango ball w/ coconut shavings.

              A week later my parents had a king crab done 4 ways in vancouver and they reported to me how it was not too different than the O-Mei one, and they really liked both restaurants.

              8 Replies
              1. re: Royaljelly
                jennjen18 Mar 6, 2008 08:34 PM

                Royaljelly, thank you for the pictures!!! There is absolutely no excuse for me to not go to O-Mei anymore!!! I just need to get enough friends to go with me now.................... :)

                1. re: Royaljelly
                  skylineR33 Mar 7, 2008 05:34 AM

                  Glad you like it. The 4 ways of preparing the lobster are quite popular.

                  There are more ways of preparation for the lobster, such as the Lobster 3 ways in Ngau Kee that is different from Omei. Lobster in Creamy rum sauce with french bread dip, fried garlic lobster and steamed crab brain with garlic and scallion. Flavour are very strong in these dishes.

                  1. re: skylineR33
                    Royaljelly Mar 7, 2008 06:51 AM

                    Sounds really rich but tasty with all that cream and rum! Skyline, did you guys get full quickly after eating the first course or 2? I'm always worried after eating seafood with cream based sauces that I get so full so fast that I can't eat the later dishes. O-Mei's dishes weren't bad at all, just a touch oily for the first course.

                    1. re: Royaljelly
                      skylineR33 Mar 7, 2008 09:41 AM

                      Are you referring to the first 2 courses in Ngau Kee ? Yes, the creamy rum lobster is quite heavy, especially it comes with the bread, or you can order more bread to eat with it. You can also do it one way with a smaller lobster or a crab. However, I think the dishes at Ngau Kee are even more oily and salty (hence strong flavour) than Omei. I have to drink a lots of tea !

                  2. re: Royaljelly
                    f00die Oct 8, 2008 02:53 PM

                    How much does the Lobster 4 Ways cost? Is it priced per pound or per person? And about O-Mei, is it better to make a reservation on the weekends? What about their lunch menu... similar to their dinner choices? All this talk about O-Mei's food is so tempting! I drive by it all the time, but never gave it a second thought ... until now ;-)

                    1. re: f00die
                      afici0nad0 Dec 16, 2008 09:02 PM

                      our cost for the 4-way lobster at o-mei came to $200 before tip.

                      lobster, i would say, was at least 9lbs.

                      we had 3 people on our table, and we were stuffed.

                      1. re: afici0nad0
                        BokChoi Dec 17, 2008 08:36 AM

                        That's impressive eating, afici0nad0.

                    2. re: Royaljelly
                      BokChoi Oct 8, 2008 07:14 PM

                      Thanks for the review Royaljelly - your table size mimics mine, as I usually only have about 2-3 other dining companions on a regular basis. I will try to imitate your dish choices. Photos look great.

                    3. Royaljelly Feb 24, 2008 08:10 PM

                      So I ended up going to Fantasy Eatery... twice! First time around was on family day... the place was fully packed by 6pm, crazy! We had the following:

                      Herb/soy free range chicken - pretty good dish, although not something I would recommend to my non-chinese friends though.

                      dungeoness crab - cooked very well, good value

                      Oil poached "shuen hock" fish - this was a very delicately deep fried dish.. only problem was that by the time we ate up the crab, the soy soaking the fish softened up the batter quite a bit and didn't taste as good as when it jump comes out. Advice: eat it up fast! Apparently they get this fish from Thailand, and according to my dad it's hard to find in fish markets elsewhere (thus the $28 price per fish).

                      Fried rice dish (can't remember the name in english, but in chinese it's something like "fuut loh" i.e. generous person rice), which was pretty good.

                      I saw a lot of tables around me ordering the deep fried stuff tofu, and sweet & sour pork.

                      After my parents browsed through their takeout menu, they decided they wanted to go back and sample a few more of the cheaper dishes. So back again we went, and had these dishes:

                      Hollow veggie - quite a good deal, but you get a bit more stems than leafs

                      Battered deep fried fish fillets in sweet n sour sauce - very thick batter, standard sauce, topped w/ some sour veggies

                      Deep fried pig intestines - hadn't eaten this in awhile, nice and delicately crunchy on the outside, fatty/chewy on the inside. Comes w/ the same sweet n sour sauce for dipping.

                      Duck tongue on veggie shoots - veggies were rather old, but the tongues were very plump.

                      A dish they ordered off the menu, but was a standard "chiu chow" style was some sort of pig part that is located next to the stomach but cut into thin pieces (the chinese wording almost sounds like pig neck?), was topped w/ a spicy bean sauce. The parents seemed to like this one.

                      Overall the parents were satisfied and told me to bring my sister there when they come visit later this year. My wife and I noticed that they must use some MSG, since we were both quite thirsty afterwards.

                      Next up.. O-Mei lobster!

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: Royaljelly
                        jennjen18 Feb 25, 2008 01:14 PM

                        Hehe, your translation is quite funky there, Royaljelly... ! :) But nonetheless, I'm glad you enjoyed your experience at Fantasy. I take out from there sometimes, and they're just as good for take out.

                        Kay, "hollow veggie", is that ong choy?

                        And yes ... how can any Chinese eatery not use MSG? ... :P

                      2. Royaljelly Feb 10, 2008 05:38 AM

                        Thanks guys for all the recos so far... so for O-Mei, if they only allow me to do the smaller lobster 3 ways, which 3 of the 4 ways should I try? Looks like I may need to go to Fantasy Eatery twice...

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: Royaljelly
                          Charles Yu Feb 10, 2008 07:05 AM

                          Lobster tail done in their 'house secret' stirred fry way. The claws and head fried with pepper salt sans batter. The brain and/or roe for fried rice.

                        2. jennjen18 Feb 9, 2008 10:34 PM

                          Dishes that Mom and I always go for at fantasy eatery are:
                          -deep fried chicken wings with spices
                          -chiu chow style duck (mmmm.... )
                          -spicy pork chops
                          -stir fried gai lan with beef
                          -steamed oyster with garlic
                          -eggplant with olives and minced pork hot pot (reeeeeeally good)

                          1. skylineR33 Feb 9, 2008 08:30 PM

                            Yes, the highlight is the lobster 4 ways in Omei. As Charles said. try a 6 lbs lobsters. I think it can be done in 4 ways for a 6 lbs. Plus 2 "budda jumps over wall" to share or a dish of vegetable, it will be enough food for your party of 4 !

                            1. Charles Yu Feb 9, 2008 08:20 PM

                              Hello Royaljelly. For four people, you can ask the manager at O'Mei to pick out a smaller ( 5-6 lbs ) lobster and do it 3 ways instead! Other nicely done dishes include the Stirred fry Chinese preserve meat with Gai Lan using rice wine and ginger juice and the Steamed mince pork pate with diced/minced waterchestnut, Chinese mushroom and dried squid, The house special free range chicken is pretty good too.

                              As for Fantasy Eatery, my favourite is still their Herbed and Rose flavoured soya sauce free range chicken ( limited edition - usually sold out by 8 pm ). The veal short ribs in a honey sweet 'Western' glaze is very addictive, Stirred fry conch meat with yellowing chives or King mushrooms is good and value for money. Their Dungeness crab ( over 10 different cooking styles ) at around $12 each is a steal. The Oil poached live 'Sheun Hock' fish from Thailand is one of the best tasting fish dishes in town. Though a bit expensive at around $28+.
                              Happy Chowing!

                              1. sweetie Feb 9, 2008 02:29 PM

                                I think Fantasy does a lot of things well. I love the batter fried oysters, the batter fried little fish (whitefish) are great too. The orange pork chops are good, they do a great eggplant hot pot I could go on and on.... the fried rice and noodles there are only mediocre, but i only order those things at Fantasy when there are picky eaters at the table who consider seafood too exotic.

                                2 Replies
                                1. re: sweetie
                                  caitlink Feb 9, 2008 05:10 PM

                                  I would like to know what to order at Fantasy as well. I have not gone in a long time, long lineups. But after reading so much about it on this board, I went for lunch last week. The congee was very watery. The stirfry noodles were less than inspiring.

                                  Maybe I did not order the house specials?

                                  1. re: caitlink
                                    skylineR33 Feb 9, 2008 08:33 PM

                                    I think the stength of Fantasy is not on noodle/congee... The stength is their "wok hay" dishes. Order those from the meat/seafood/vegetable section, with a bowl of plain rice to eat with, it will be great !

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