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Warden & Steeles For Dinner???

p
Porto Jan 9, 2009 07:48 AM

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,
Porto

  1. n
    nicopop Jan 9, 2009 08:26 AM

    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
      T Long Jan 9, 2009 09:32 AM

      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
        b
        blitz Jan 10, 2009 01:38 PM

        i think ur referring to Fortune Stone?

        1. re: blitz
          T Long Jan 10, 2009 03:27 PM

          That sounds right....nice little place

        2. re: T Long
          u
          ultimate4g63 Jan 13, 2009 05:50 PM

          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
            T Long Jan 13, 2009 06:30 PM

            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
              Chester Eleganté Jan 15, 2009 12:08 PM

              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
                Charles Yu Jan 15, 2009 04:24 PM

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

                1. re: Charles Yu
                  Chester Eleganté Jan 15, 2009 08:48 PM

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

                  1. re: Charles Yu
                    Chester Eleganté Apr 2, 2009 05:33 PM

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

              2. re: T Long
                red dragon May 16, 2009 03:23 PM

                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.

                TIA!

                1. re: red dragon
                  T Long May 24, 2009 04:38 AM

                  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
                    red dragon May 30, 2009 04:36 PM

                    Thank you - I will give it a try!

            2. t
              tygrr_lily Jan 9, 2009 08:36 AM

              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
                c
                curiouslurker Feb 2, 2009 06:53 PM

                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
                  a
                  auberginegal Mar 31, 2009 04:05 PM

                  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
                    t
                    tygrr_lily Mar 31, 2009 05:49 PM

                    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

                  2. re: tygrr_lily
                    n
                    neighborguy Apr 1, 2009 08:35 PM

                    Where is Pho Viet?

                    1. re: neighborguy
                      Wahooty Apr 1, 2009 08:51 PM

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

                      1. re: neighborguy
                        t
                        tygrr_lily Apr 2, 2009 06:07 AM

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

                      2. re: tygrr_lily
                        aser Apr 8, 2009 08:42 PM

                        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
                          t
                          tygrr_lily Apr 8, 2009 09:24 PM

                          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
                            c
                            curiouslurker Apr 18, 2009 10:31 PM

                            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
                              c
                              curiouslurker Apr 18, 2009 10:50 PM

                              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
                                aser Apr 19, 2009 01:45 PM

                                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
                                  skylineR33 Apr 19, 2009 01:55 PM

                                  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
                                    aser Apr 19, 2009 02:01 PM

                                    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
                                      skylineR33 Apr 19, 2009 02:02 PM

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

                                      1. re: skylineR33
                                        aser Apr 19, 2009 04:05 PM

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

                                        1. re: aser
                                          skylineR33 Apr 19, 2009 06:10 PM

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

                      3. Royaljelly Jan 9, 2009 09:20 AM

                        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
                          s
                          spine64 Jan 9, 2009 11:00 AM

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

                          1. re: Royaljelly
                            s
                            szw May 17, 2009 08:51 AM

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

                          2. TorontoJo Jan 9, 2009 01:48 PM

                            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
                              f
                              Fishchip Jan 9, 2009 05:09 PM

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

                            2. BokChoi Jan 9, 2009 07:50 PM

                              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: http://www.flickr.com/photos/bokchoi-snowpea/3174718213
                              Chicken curry: http://www.flickr.com/photos/bokchoi-snowpea/3175553294
                              Entire meal: http://www.flickr.com/photos/bokchoi-snowpea/3175553192
                              Closeup of Roti: http://www.flickr.com/photos/bokchoi-snowpea/317471810

                              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: http://www.flickr.com/photos/bokchoi-snowpea/2953208824
                              Peanut butter French toast: http://www.flickr.com/photos/bokchoi-snowpea/2953209358
                              Inside PB FT: http://www.flickr.com/photos/bokchoi-snowpea/2952358171
                              Menus: http://www.flickr.com/photos/bokchoi-snowpea/2953209320
                              Menu#2: http://www.flickr.com/photos/bokchoi-...

                              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.

                              Cheers!

                              7 Replies
                              1. re: BokChoi
                                w
                                warlock Jan 10, 2009 08:26 AM

                                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
                                  p
                                  Porto Jan 10, 2009 01:47 PM

                                  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.
                                  Porto

                                  1. re: warlock
                                    BokChoi Jan 13, 2009 08:39 AM

                                    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
                                      aser Jan 13, 2009 12:31 PM

                                      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
                                        m
                                        mightykc Mar 29, 2009 11:10 PM

                                        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
                                        a
                                        Apple Mar 31, 2009 05:10 PM

                                        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
                                          BokChoi Apr 1, 2009 08:06 AM

                                          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.

                                      3. Otonabee Jan 11, 2009 01:46 PM

                                        I used to live on Bamburgh. The suggestion for Pho 88 is an excellent one. Also my other favourite was Sam Woo BBQ in the same plaza. Great BBQ pork!

                                        1. s
                                          Statick Jan 13, 2009 02:49 PM

                                          If you like Japanese Ramen, try Ajisen Ramen at Warden/Steeles (T&T Plaza but in the strip mall). For about $10 its a filling and satisying meal... try the grilled sirlion ramen its the best!!

                                          1 Reply
                                          1. re: Statick
                                            m
                                            mightykc Mar 29, 2009 11:08 PM

                                            their japanese curry chicken w rice is very nice.

                                          2. s
                                            snoopy12 Jan 13, 2009 04:49 PM

                                            I used to live on Bamburgh, and the one thing I really miss is the chicken curry with rice at DR Wings in the Bamburgh plaza - best in the city as far as I can tell. Portugese chicken with rice is good too.

                                            1. Bobby Wham Jan 15, 2009 07:10 PM

                                              Sam Woo Seafood baby! Bamburgh Circle

                                              1. a
                                                ayl Jan 21, 2009 10:16 PM

                                                I may be repeating many suggestions, but it's always good to know that people actually love these places.

                                                1) Metro Food Court
                                                -Second that Jin Yuan has great Taiwanese bentos for take out. The most authentic I've ever had. For $6 or $7, you can get a big bento (I usually share it with someone...) with either a soup or soymilk.
                                                -The curry vendor, especially the chicken rice on the opposite side of Jin Yuan is also reaaaally good and I think a takeout box for less than $6.
                                                -There is a fantastic family run dumpling house restaurant in Metro, not in the food court, but an actual restaurant.

                                                2) Keung's
                                                -We usually go there for quick family dinners.

                                                3) Bamburgh
                                                -Definitely PHO88.
                                                -Sam Woo has the best BBQ glazed chicken wings. We've been having them since I remember as a kid. Loooooong ago.

                                                4) T&T
                                                -sushi
                                                -take out bentos
                                                -dimsum

                                                If you go to Ajisen, try their black sesame ice cream!

                                                1 Reply
                                                1. re: ayl
                                                  Wiley Mar 31, 2009 05:09 PM

                                                  Also, don't overlook T&T just because it's a supermarket--today I had an amazing bowl of pork bone soup ladled from a large cauldron and a dish of rice for a mere $4.49--well worth it!

                                                2. m
                                                  methebit Mar 29, 2009 12:13 PM

                                                  I was in Sam Woo this morning - boy, was I disappointed. Sam Woo used to have decent dim sum in early morning. But this morning, the dim sum was awful, the service was rude. When we asked to return a dish because the pastry dough smelled like ammonium bicarbonate, the manger argue that the food was okay, but only the dough was the problem. No apology was given. With my 30 year of dim sum experience in Toronto, this is the rock bottom.

                                                  The price is good, but with that kind of lousy food and service, I would rather starve.

                                                  2 Replies
                                                  1. re: methebit
                                                    p
                                                    PhuFighter Mar 31, 2009 12:50 PM

                                                    Ahh I haven't been there in ages. But the last time I was there, it didn't really impress me enough to actually want to go back. It must be like 2 or 3 years ago now. Of course, since I gotta watch my cholesterol now, Dim Sum is going to be few and far between..

                                                    1. re: methebit
                                                      BokChoi Mar 31, 2009 02:13 PM

                                                      I have always thought Sam Woo was of poor quality. I went there last year with some coworkers and was appalled at the amount of oil and salt used in their dishes. I would never dine there again. Not sure why so many people love it. Granted, I have only had one of the locations in Bamburgh Circle - and there are apparently two locations there.

                                                    2. LovelyAsia Apr 1, 2009 01:19 PM

                                                      I used to work in that area and I am amazed at how much it has changed!

                                                      My suggestions would be:

                                                      J-Town - http://www.japantown.ca/
                                                      3160 Steeles Avenue East on north side of Steeles between Victoria Park and Woodbine

                                                      Has a small cafe with basic and inexpensive Japanese foods like udon and soba, katsu, tempura, etc , http://www.japantown.ca/cafe/e.html';

                                                      and you can also find sushi and Japanese style sandwiches from the other stores inside if you wanted something to take out.

                                                      George's Tastee Bakery and Deli
                                                      600 Denison Street on between Pharmacy and Warden sells everything from Jamaican Patties, Jerk Pork or Chicken on rice, and even BLT's and Westerns... it is a cheap and popular spot for a quick lunch and they are open until 6 during the week.

                                                      These are the only things that come to mind that I have been to lately, there is also

                                                      Swiss Chalet on Denison at Woodbine
                                                      and
                                                      The Fish House on Woodbine just south of the 407
                                                      http://www.thefishhouse.ca/en/locatio...

                                                      1 Reply
                                                      1. re: LovelyAsia
                                                        a
                                                        Apple Apr 1, 2009 06:28 PM

                                                        I grew up eating George's Tastee Beef Patties (red dot for extra spicy...) gosh they are good. (I haven't eaten those in years either...)

                                                      2. l
                                                        LUV_TO_EAT Apr 1, 2009 07:00 PM

                                                        If you're willing to drive a bit...

                                                        Akina Japanese Cuisine on Dennison & Kennedy. Went there first time for lunch. Bento boxes for were very reasonable $5.99.
                                                        Bamiyan Kabob Markham Rd and 14th Ave for Afghan Kabob....Yumm.
                                                        Tangerine also very close by to Bamiyan for Hakka Chinese.

                                                        Of course, can't forget First Markham Place food court.

                                                        2 Replies
                                                        1. re: LUV_TO_EAT
                                                          c
                                                          caitlink Apr 2, 2009 03:34 PM

                                                          what would your order at Tangerine? I drive by there all the time.

                                                          1. re: caitlink
                                                            l
                                                            LUV_TO_EAT Apr 2, 2009 04:59 PM

                                                            For hakka chinese, I usually order Chili chicken on rice/manchurian fried rice.

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