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Jan 9, 2009 07:48 AM

Warden & Steeles For Dinner???

Just starting a new course every Wed evening for 13 weeks at the Warden & Steeles intersection in Markham. I will be having an early dinner around 4:30 - 5pm.

Asian restaurants are all around. Which one are great. Anything goes from $5 to $25 main.
Please feel free to add other cuisines than asian if you know of any gems.

Thanks so much,

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  1. I grew up at that intersection, but it's changed so much that I can't discuss any of the newer stuff. But in Bamburgh Circle (south of Steeles, can't miss plaza) there's a Pho 88, which was always good.

    Search the board for Casa Imperial, too (east of Warden, south side of Steeles). Lots of good recommendations on this board.

    I'm sure others will be able to chime in with what is now the best in Metro Square and that strip on the northwest corner.

    12 Replies
    1. re: nicopop

      Other good options in the same plaza as Pho 88 are D&R Wings (next door to Pho 88) for HK style cafe and either of the two Sam Woo's. At Metro Square (next to IBM), my favorite is a Taiwanese take-out at the food court called Chin Yuan Pai Ku Fastfood. At the T&T mall, there is a good little HK style cafe (don't know the name) behind the Pho place.

      1. re: T Long

        i think ur referring to Fortune Stone?

        1. re: blitz

          That sounds right....nice little place

        2. re: T Long

          I also grew up around Bamburgh Circle. I second D&R Wings (formerly Tin's Restaurant). If you go there, I HIGHLY suggest their baked portuguese chicken on rice (or spaghetti). Best $6 you'll ever spend!

          1. re: ultimate4g63

            I remember Tin's....that place was amazing. I always wondered what happened to the waiter (who I assume was also the owner).

            1. re: ultimate4g63

              Does D&R also make a good baked ham and chicken on rice?? I've been craving one of those for awhile...

              1. re: Chester Eleganté

                Yes, me too! A nice baked ox-tongue on fried rice would be nice too!

                1. re: Charles Yu

                  We could do our next meet here. Attendance may be slightly diminished, haha.

                  1. re: Charles Yu

                    The ham and chicken at Phoenix was pretty bad, and not even baked. I'll try D&R next.

              2. re: T Long

                Is the D&R Wings in the sam plaza/area as the Mcdonald's and the 2 Sam Woo restaurants? We went to the renovated grocery store, but at a glance, didn't see D&R sign.

                Secondly, and no offense to anyone here, just my sensitive stomach would like to know if it's relatively clean.


                1. re: red dragon

                  D&R is in that plaza. It's a few doors from the Seafood Sam Woo and is next door to Pho 88. I also have a relatively sensitive stomach and have had no problems with their food.

                  1. re: T Long

                    Thank you - I will give it a try!

            2. I live down the road from there so often go to that plaza for a quick meal

              The pho restaurant there (Pho Viet i think it's called - it faces Warden) is one of my faves and I'm Viet myself. it's probably one of the cleanest Viet restaurants around, and it's authentically Viet owned instead of Chinese owned - I find this makes a big difference in taste. The 88 at Bamburgh Circle down the road is more popular, but imho, is terrible. The owners are also really nice at Pho Viet. I don't get the pho very often (much better at home), but their #41 is delicious (bun noodles with beef brisket, peanuts, tomato and cilantro in a type of satay sauce), as is their spring rolls and viet iced coffee!

              Typical viet prices so you will eat very well for under $15.

              The other places in the plaza I find very average. Not bad for a quick meal, but nothing great either. The ramen place is always busy, but their ramen isn't very good. They do have black sesame ice cream though which i recently discovered! The Keung's there isn't as good as the Keung Kee at Midland/Finch. I-Cook hot pot we do go to as they have a pretty big selection of food and it's individual pots.

              There's always t&t in a pinch :P

              Do you have a car? That will give you more options

              16 Replies
              1. re: tygrr_lily

                I have to agree 110% with this! Pho Viet is great. I've been going there since it opened a few years ago and it the only authentic Vietnamese in Markham that I can think of (there are plenty of Chinese-run Vietnamese places). The food is tasty (I'm Viet too), it's clean and the owners and servers are super friendly. I once went almost a whole year without going in and they still greeted me by name when I walked through the door. They even make special accomodations for nut allergies.

                1. re: tygrr_lily

                  i recently checked out pho viet based on the recs here (and mostly from you tygrrlily!) and really like this. the spring rolls are really good. the pho is tasty too, the broth is better than some other places i've tried (admittedly all mainly uptown places, haven't gotten to the parkdale area). a friend got a pad thai dish, i wasn't that impressed, but it was strange to me that they had a whole page in their menu for pad thai, since it's not even vietnamese food?! only had the hot coffee which was delish, next time will try the iced one!

                  1. re: auberginegal

                    i'm glad you liked it! i live nearby so it's a great, quick neighborhood spot. the owners there are fabulous - they know all their regulars and remember little quirks (like she'll always bring me extra lime w/o me asking, even if i haven't been there in a while)

                    my bf actually gets the pad thai each time :P. i have no idea why either, because it was nothing special to me either. i think it's the page for people that don't like/have never tried viet food

                    definitely try the iced coffee next time! it'll be perfect w/ warmer weather just round the corner

                    1. re: neighborguy

                      Right at Warden and Steeles, in the cluster on the northwest corner of the intersection in front of T&T.

                      1. re: neighborguy

                        it faces warden if that helps... a few shops down from the ramen place

                      2. re: tygrr_lily

                        Finally got around to trying Pho Viet....

                        I have to disagree, it's average, nothing stellar. They are Vietnamese though, not Cantonese owned like most pho places uptown.

                        Taste wise, the broth had no outstanding characteristics, it was just in the middle. Nothing offensive, but nothing memorable either. Meat was plentiful, rare beef being totally raw, which allowed you to determine the cooking level. I wish more places would do that. The big minus was the less than fresh sprouts, miniscule wedge of lime (smallest I've ever seen) and the lack of saw.

                        For uptown, it is serviceable, competition unfortunately is anemic up in those neck of the woods. I rather withhold my cravings and save myself for pho downtown.

                        1. re: aser

                          i agree with you it's not the best viet food ever, or in toronto, but i think it is better than anything else in the area (as the OP asked for). some of us live in the 'burbs and don't want to trek all the way downtown for viet food. but i do believe that it's much superior to the local competition - pho 88, for example, down the road - ech!

                          i actually don't get the pho often myself. it's hard for me to eat pho outside the home, because i find it's either bland or overly salty in most restaurants. what i do like about their broth is that it is not oily, or overly salty and has a nice subtle flavour. it will suffice if i don't get it at home! if you do ever return, try the #41 which i think is much tastier. it's beef brisket in a tomato based broth garnished w/ cilantro and peanuts. i find it very flavourful and warming to my belly!

                          i agree w/ the tiny tiny portions of lime - they always know to bring me more, and i squeeze almost half a lime in mine!

                          1. re: tygrr_lily

                            going to totally disagree here. every one here raves about Hanoi 3 seasons, which is local to me, but I make the drive to pho viet for 1) the food 2) atmosphere, and 3) owners. The food is superior to the so called "best" of Toronto, the restaurant is clean, and I always have 2-3 wedges of lime per bowl of pho. Perhaps they don't want to waste the valuable goods on people they don't know will use it (i.e. the way Chinese owned "Viet" places think lemon slices are the equivalent of lime when served with pho... wtf). Any who... I used to frequent Spadina joints like Quan Anh Dao since the 80s - and the owners were from the same village as my family - but Pho Viet is clean, friendly and good quality VIET food.

                            1. re: curiouslurker

                              Also going to say here that my mother rarely made pho at home (thick soups yes, pho, no) and I don't recall ever having pho at any Viet homes in my 30 plus years. Plenty of viet food not available at restaurants (authentic spring rolls --you know what I mean--, watercress salad, etc.) but pho was not a homemade regularity. My mother used to own a cafe in Saigon, so any place that reminds me of her is A-OK with me.

                              1. re: curiouslurker

                                pho my duyen, que ling, pho pasteur, pho linh, anh dao, pho mi asia, these are all places serving better bowls than pho viet, by a mile.

                                The point is, they shouldn't be cutting the lime so small that you need 2-3 pieces to deem adequate. They should just give everybody one regular sized wedge like most pho spots.

                                I still say this place is worth frequenting only if you live around the area and can't head to the spots downtown or west end.

                                1. re: aser

                                  I have tried Pho Viet and think it is not bad of a choice for Pho in Toronto area. Anyway, I mostly have Pho at home, the soupbase outside are all too much MSG and those we made at home are by a mile better with the ingradient we use. And we can have endless lime and other veggie for the pho at home. After you tried the Pho at Vietnam, those in here are just more or less the same. Well, at least it is the case for all my family...

                                  1. re: skylineR33

                                    I would agree with you that most are the same, especially up north where you (and I) eat a lot.

                                    I still say places like Pho My Duyen, Thien Thanh, Que Ling do serve outstanding bowls way above the rest of the crowd. They are quite far to drive for you just for pho though.

                                    1. re: aser

                                      I use to live out west and work DT before ...

                                      1. re: skylineR33

                                        Try the ones I mentioned if you get the chance in the future, assuming you haven't.

                                        1. re: aser

                                          Will do, if I have a chance in that area. Thanks.

                      3. Walk west towards IBM and you'll hit Metro square, which has Backyard Garden for some decent mainland chinese/taiwanese food (kinda like Szechuan Legend in Scarborough) or Xinjiang place for your cumin lamb skewer fix. There's also a food court there too.

                        2 Replies
                        1. re: Royaljelly

                          Will try Pho Viet. Have been going to Pho Vietnam on Kennedy, looking to broaden my horizons.

                          1. re: Royaljelly

                            I think Backyard Garden is the same restaurant as Szechuan Legend. Never been there but the chinese name is the same.

                          2. If you're ever looking for cheap and fast, you could always pop into the T&T there and grab some prepared sushi or dim sum. It's not fine cuisine, but it can hit the spot sometimes!

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: TorontoJo

                              Chung King Garden is great and not too far from there.

                            2. At Metro Square (just West of Warden by about 5 minutes walk) they have a food court that has this curry place that I have visited a couple of times when I get the curry craving. It is called Lucky Curry House and they have this mutton curry that is served with a deep-fried Roti (?). It's called Malaysian curry and I believe it is option #7. It's about $8 and feeds me for two meals (if I reheat some leftover rice for the next day). They also offer a chicken version ($6.99), but I don't enjoy that one as much. It's dark meat and I find the skin on the legs they use a bit off-putting. The roti, when it's done well, is a guilty pleasure. Great to soak up the curry with.

                              Lamb curry:
                              Chicken curry:
                              Entire meal:
                              Closeup of Roti:

                              They offer it on rice and I believe it's a bit less. I enjoy the roti so I would recommend that option.

                              Another choice for really fast, cheap food is Metro Square in the same mall. They serve a variety of Hong Kong style Western food (if you are familiar with that type of cuisine). By no means is it high-end dining, nor for a discerning palate, but sometimes you want something greasy, cheap and fast. They offer the famous 'peanut butter french toast' for about $3. All meals there are around $6 or $7. They offer one of my favourite guilty treats - the egg sandwich made like nowhere else. Fluffy and incredibly full of margarine. About $2.50.

                              Egg sandwich:
                              Peanut butter French toast:
                              Inside PB FT:

                              I enjoy their Middlefield location much more, but this one is in the neighbourhood you're in. I have not tried many dishes except for the ones I have taken photos of. Might be good if you feel particularly poor and hungry. Beware, there's quite a bit of MSG.


                              7 Replies
                              1. re: BokChoi

                                I thought that place was called Lemon Grass (assuming we are referring to the same place in the food court).It is the one on your extreme right when you are facing the food court.
                                They do a great Beef Brisket Curry too......
                                That food court does give you a lot of options...

                                1. re: warlock

                                  Wow!! Amazing feedback everyone. i will definetly get around to try most of these suggestions. I do have a vehicle have a car tgrr lily so going a bit further out is not a problem.
                                  Thanks so much.

                                  1. re: warlock

                                    It's actually the second from the extreme right. I believe I saw lemongrass as the name, but I have not tried that one. The food court has some traditional Cantonese fare as well. They have many late afternoon specials starting at about $3 or $4.

                                    1. re: warlock

                                      I've been to lemongrass and it's actually pretty decent. I think I had a char kway teow and my gf had the chicken curry. Both were done quite well for a small food court stall.

                                      One place I want to try is the soup noodle stall in the north mall in Metro Square. It's the older mall that not as many people go into.

                                      1. re: warlock

                                        i agree. this place has the best malaysian style curry beef brisket in town. i always have it w rice. a tad oily though but still amazing.

                                      2. re: BokChoi

                                        oh heavens... that PB french toast looked trans-fat artery clogging delicious. I haven't eaten white bread in so long, I am sure no 12 grain flax-seed sprouted bread is used for that! yay for guilty pleasures

                                        1. re: Apple

                                          That sandwich is indeed dangerous. I reserve that meal for times when I'm in serious need of a pick-me-up. Nothing makes you smile like half a cup of fat.