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Mar 15, 2008 10:37 AM

Any good Chinese food within a half hour drive from Yonge & Eglinton?

I've read here about how awful C'est Bon is so I've steered clear. Chong's down on Yonge near Summerhill used to be good but it's apparently gone. I missed Happy Buddah--never got there before it went under. And Tai Pan is pretty uninteresting (the takeout was so appalling I couldn't look at Chinese food for a month). I'd really like more authentic Chinese food but I'd rather not have to drive too far from Y & E and downtown near the old China Town is so hard to find parking (and I'm going out with someone who can't walk too, too far).


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  1. If you're game for dim sum, Cha Liu at Yonge and Eg is actually very good. It's pricier than places in Chinatown or Markham, but the location makes it worth it in this case. Just a note, though, it's up a steep flight of stairs, so I don't know if that would cause any problems for your friend.

    1 Reply
    1. re: TorontoJo

      I do like dim sum (and I've been to Cha Liu and I like it--though I prefer the more traditional dim sum---it's sacrilege I know but to me Lah Wah Hen is vastly over-rated) but I was looking more for main course Chinese--sorry, I should have said that in my question!

    2. In a pinch I usually go to Congee Queen on Lawrence near Don Mills. It's located in a small strip mall so there's always parking. If traffic is good it will take me about 20 min.

      9 Replies
      1. re: Degustation

        I never thought of that area--thanks! I'll try it.

        1. re: Ediblethoughts

          I agree -- Lai Wah Hen is over priced and over-rated.

          We love Congee Star (and prefer it over Congee Queen). Don`t let the name fool you -- they`ve got a good variety of food (esp. FRESH seafood) besides congee.

          Besides relatively inexpensive great food, the service is fantastic -- friendly, attentive waitstaff who speak English fluently. Congee Star is also in a plaza on the west side of Don Mills, between Eglinton and Lawrence. It's located in the same plaza as Tilley's Endurables, Harveys, Mongolian Grill and Memories of Japan.

          1. re: DishyDiva

            Thanks DishyDiva. I'll make a note of that one also.

            (Glad to know I'm not the only one who thinks that of LWH!)

            1. re: DishyDiva

              Hi Ediblethoughts & DishyDiva,

              I can understand when people complain LWH is expensive or overpriced, but when you compare it with Congee Star, do you mean the food at Congee Star is superior to LWH, or is it just a better value to eat at Congee Star ? What do you order in LWH to make you think it is over-rated ?

              I have eaten at Congee Wong, Congee Queen, Congee Star .. etc, their food is average at best, good for a quick bite, economical and casual, but that's about it, nothing to shout about.

              LWH's dinner is not very consistent, same as many Chinese restaurants in Toronto, but LWH's dim sum is some of the best in GTA, comparable to some of the good restaurants in HK. Where do you recommend for dim sum in downtown area that is better than LWH if price is not an issue ? Please don't recommend me somewhere in China town or Old China Town, they are just not in the same league.

              1. re: skylineR33

                SkylineR33, I think it's a matter of different tastes and different backgrounds. I'll try to answer your question but I've been to LWH for dim sum on 3 or 4 occasions so bear with me because it's been at least a year or two since the last occasion and I can only recall two choices that made an impression. They had some dumpling with mayonaise mixed in (a trend in Chinese cooking that I personally detest so that turned me off right away) and a combination of lobster and scallops for chow fung (forgive my spelling--I know that must be wrong) where basic dim sum gives you shrimp or perhaps greens. I just didn't feel the flavour of the lobster/scallop held up compared to the more standard shrimp--forgetting how much more expensive the former combo is compared to its more ordinary shrimp cousin.

                I also admit I don't go out to dim sum that often; I work downtown and New Treasure tends to see my business quite a lot. The only other place I can recall visiting in the last year is New World (Victoria Park and north of Steeles, I believe) and that was quite good. Much more variety than NT but doing the basics well. Maybe all this comes down to how much dim sum I've had versus how much you have had. If I had it more frequently, I might find myself yenning for the different. Though still, I can't see myself liking LWH one way or the other. I have friends who have familiarity with dim sum in HK---which I most definitely don't--and they like LWH more than me though I don't think they are major fans of it either.

                Hope that answered your question.

                1. re: Ediblethoughts

                  Very interesting to hear from someone with a different background. I am not a big fan of LWH either and I do not mean every items on LWH's are great, but it is pretty obvious to me (and all my HK foodie friends) that LWH is easily one of the best "overall" dim sum place in GTA, but with a high price.
                  It still not quite up there with the high end dim sum of HK, but probably the closest in terms of quality, creation/preparation, presentation/appearance.

                  Give it another try after you tried out more dim sum, maybe you can see the differences.

                  1. re: skylineR33

                    Have you tried King's Garden on King Street W? I haven't been there for 2 years, my impression is that their quality is camparable to LWH. I like their Bejing duck very much.

                    1. re: pokerdan

                      King's Garden closed 6 months ago.

                      1. re: pokerdan

                        Yes, in my opinion, dinner at King's Garden is comparable to LWH, both are good, both also have consistency issue sometimes.

                        However, LWH still win at dim sum, there are more creativity in LWH's dim sum, plus don't forget they also have a pure classic dim sum list besides the "new wave" dim sum, which is pretty well done overall.

          2. Of course, there's Lai Toh Heen on Mt Pleasant, south of Eglinton near Soudan. But that's another price bracket and more upscale dining experience.

            1. depending on how fast you drive, you can make it to Markham/Richmond Hill in 30 mins.

              it's worth the drive if you want good solid authentic chinese food.

              2 Replies
              1. re: c_snapper

                Yeah, I don't think I can drive quite that fast! (My experiences in that area has also been frustrating with the poor English translations, though if I'm over-generalizing here based on the 3 or 4 I've been to, someone tell me. If I'm accompanied by a Chinese friend who can help me out with the menu, then it's more do-able.)

                1. re: Ediblethoughts

                  yonge/eg, you can jump on the dvp, get off at steeles and be in the centre of dim sum in under 30 mins.

                  Try Casa Imperial, it is at Warden & Steeles, formerly of Devonshire Place. It has a sizable parking lot, no other cars fighting for spots since it's on its own property. The dim sum menu is english friendly, it is a checkbox list w/ good english translations.

                  It straddles the groove between reg dim sum and high end LWH nicely. Most dim sum places avg $15-20 per person, Casa will be roughly $25 per person. So slightly more expensive but worth it.


                  nothing much on its website though.

              2. If you don't mind driving a little, I would definitely recommend Bamboo on Danforth and Logan (Greek town). We tried Cha Liu at Yonge and Eg the other day and it was disappointing. I am Chinese, born and raised in Hong Kong, so I know it's good Chinese food when I see it. Cha Liu was ok, a little stingy on the sauces and the number of items in each steamer. Bamboo's dim sum is fresh/home-made and definitely great for the money. More importantly, their regular dishes are quite good for a place that's far from all the regular Chinese food joints. I would highly recommend it.

                2 Replies
                1. re: Popdoggy

                  So Bamboo would be good for both dim sum and a regular dinner? I do like the Danforth but it's always quite the challenge parking there (and the person I generally eat with has the issue with too much walking). But I'll still keep it in mind. Subway- accessible good dim sum is always worth making note of.

                  1. re: Ediblethoughts

                    Yes, but I like their dim sum better. Try the fried squid tentacles from the dim sum menu. Their siu mai (pork and scallop dumplings) are great too. If you want traditional dishes, try their cripy beef - to die for! Yum!