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TanChiKee in Richmond Hill

Charles Yu Feb 7, 2009 04:46 PM

There's a great write-up of the above captioned restaurant with some really 'mouth-watering' food photos on: http://www.blogto.com/restaurants/tan...

  1. k
    KevinB Feb 7, 2009 05:48 PM

    Thanks, Charles. My daughter turns 15 later this week, and that's where I'm going to suggest we dine. It looks great.

    1. t
      theel Feb 7, 2009 08:04 PM

      I believe I've been there a couple of times but can't say I was a wowed as this guy was.

      2 Replies
      1. re: theel
        Charles Yu Feb 8, 2009 12:06 PM

        It is not uncommon for the kitchen to kick it up a notch when they realize there's a food critic/restaurant reviewer sitting at the front of the house. However, the few times I ate there, quality has been very consistent.
        However, I don't think the same can be said to restaurants like Marc Thuet's - Bite Me or Leroy's Didier. When James Chatto dined there, recognising his presence, they always put in special efforts in their cooking in the hope of gaining better reviews and more stars from him for their new establishments. Unfortunately, for us regular no-name patrons, cooking are very often 'souless' and the food mediocre. IMO, Chatto should put on disguises if he is to do any more reviews!

        1. re: theel
          BokChoi Feb 24, 2009 06:18 AM

          Great interview Charles. Sounds like you guys had a blast over some good food. I would say that I wasn't wowed when I went back in November. Doubt I'll go back, but they're not bad for the price. Maybe the chef pulled all the stops during your visit.

        2. t
          tksh Feb 7, 2009 08:49 PM


          Looks like we'll have four more eh Charles? ;)

          1. skylineR33 Feb 7, 2009 09:37 PM

            Thanks for the review, remind me of the nice pigeon I had in there !

            1. Matt H Feb 8, 2009 02:44 PM

              I had a really good meal there a couple weeks back when I was in Toronto. We ordered the Chef's special chicken, OxTail hotpot, Sweet and sour pork chops and the Snake Soup.

              All the dishes where really good so I assume we caught the kitchen on one of their good nights.

              is it true that they are owned by one of the former chef's from Big Mouth Kee? That was one of my favorite places to eat when I was living in Toronto.

              8 Replies
              1. re: Matt H
                aser Feb 8, 2009 06:02 PM

                Yes, he and his wife runs the place. Problem w/ Tanchikee like most Chinese restaurants is that a lot of the good dishes are posted on the wall only. On the garish pink or yellow paper.

                It's a good place, not amazing, but dependable, fast and affordable. Places like these are the closest approximation of the dai pai dong wok hei experience in Toronto.

                Correct me if I'm wrong Charles, but the writer seems like the typical gwailo that eats Chinese food mainly on the Spadina strip. Nothing wrong with that, but that might explain his enthusiastic review. Plus it didn't hurt to have a native Cantonese speaker accompany him.

                I find the honey oysters at Magic Wok to be better than Tanchikee's.

                1. re: aser
                  Charles Yu Feb 8, 2009 06:39 PM

                  Havn't been to Magic Wok for a long long time! Can't stand their service!

                  1. re: Charles Yu
                    aser Feb 8, 2009 06:49 PM

                    I find that I get better service at Magic Wok if I'm w/ a gwailo, haha. Weird huh?

                    1. re: aser
                      theel Feb 10, 2009 07:49 AM

                      I don't think I will ever return to Magic Wok. I can't believe they are still in business. The last time I was there, it took 2 of us 2 hours to be served 2 dishes. The dishes were also served roughly 45minutes apart so we had to eat each one singly or let the first one go cold. The restaurant was packed (which I can never understand). We weren't the only ones. No one was eating, no food was coming out of the kitchen. Then all of a sudden, six of the same dish would come out and be served to various tables and then nothing again for another 20min. I hate it when chinese restaurants do that, wait for more than one order of a dish to come in before any cooking gets done but Magic Wok took it to the extreme. I think several tables got up and left. I must have been in a fantastic mood (well, I was cuz I was dining with my SO) to have sat there and put up with it.

                      1. re: theel
                        tksh Feb 15, 2009 08:00 AM

                        Yes! I also don't understand why people put up with Magic Wok. Their cooking is decent but the service is poor and the menu boring. Yet I frequently see people lining up outside when I drive by on the weekends. I'm almost convinced those are just diehards who have frequent them since their old location on Brimley.

                        1. re: tksh
                          caitlink Feb 15, 2009 10:08 AM

                          I know people on this board aren't crazy about Magic Wok but it's still one of our favourites. The service is not what you would call fine dining but at least now the waiters smile and check to make sure the orders all came. So in our opinion, the service is acceptable. I am willing to put up with it because the grandfather chicken is still the best chicken in town. Wok hay for the snowpea shoot is great - the dish is still hot fto the last bite. The fried oysters are always cooked perfectly - not too done. And the mango beef with the birds nest or the seafood birds nest are always a big hit with the kids.
                          I have tried Maple Yip, Big Mouth Kee and am a regular at Ruby's and Fantasy. I would choose Magic Wok over those any day. Just need to try Omei one of these days.

                  2. re: aser
                    BokChoi Feb 24, 2009 06:20 AM

                    I love the honey oysters at Magic Wok. Definitely one of the best dishes I've found in Toronto. Rest of the food I tried was good, but didn't blow me out of the water. Those oysters were amazing though. Incredibly crisp and the sauce was not too sweet. Very nice and juicy.

                    Honey Oysters: http://www.flickr.com/photos/bokchoi-snowpea/3202208486
                    Honey Oyster Plate: http://www.flickr.com/photos/bokchoi-...

                    1. re: BokChoi
                      yaddayadda Feb 26, 2009 10:32 AM

                      Magic Wok is magic. Too bad about the service.

                2. w
                  Wil Feb 9, 2009 03:55 AM

                  I finally tried this place based on everyone's suggestion on Friday. It was so good. Thanks for the suggestion!

                  1. mogo Feb 18, 2009 05:51 PM

                    Charles, you are officially famous now! Great interview. :)


                    3 Replies
                    1. re: mogo
                      Royaljelly Feb 18, 2009 09:01 PM

                      Charles, you're in trouble now...every time one of us chowhounders find you at a chinese resto, we'll be begging you to translate those on-the-wall menu items and to order some dishes for us. :)

                      BTW, great write up!

                      1. re: Royaljelly
                        aser Feb 19, 2009 03:45 PM

                        haven't read it yet, but the gwailos certainly need all the help they can get in locating good Chinese food. Kudos to you....

                        1. re: aser
                          tjr Feb 19, 2009 04:20 PM

                          Or a few good friends!

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