Cynthia's Chinese Restaurant - what's the scoop?
Took a little night drive and noted a new restaurant in Oakville - Cynthia's Chinese Restaurant. Looked fancy, the staff were dressed in costume so I picked up a take out menu. The prices blew me away half a roasted duck $18.95, chinese broccoli with garlic $13.95, spicy tofu cubes $11.95. They have two other locations in Thornhill and Newmarket. So what is the story - pricey but authentic tasty chinese food or fancy chicken balls?
We tried the one in Thornhill, first with delivery. It was O.K. Then we went for supper and it was a disaster, service wise, food wise. And the bill was astronomous, compared to what we got.
Never had a problem with Cynthia's, but I do agree with previous posters that it's a little too expensive, especially in today's economic times.
What we do now when we want Chinese food is order a pick-up from Cynthia's, and go with one of their individual combinations. Reasonable prices and large enough portions that we can leave some for the next day.
I went there a number of years ago with my boyfriend's family for a casual Christmas eve steamed lobster dinner. They served us each 1 1/4 lb lobsters with drawn butter. I was hoping for something a little more along the stir-fried with ginger and green onions lines, but whatever. The lobster was okay, but some of them were obviously more than 1 1/4 lbs in weight, because three of us received lobsters that had had one claw mysteriously missing. They told us that some of the lobsters only had one claw, but I think they were weighed and the extra claw removed for use in another dish. I thought that was so tacky. If it's true that the lobsters only had one claw each, why would they serve them as "whole" lobsters?
One person in our party was not a lobster eater and instead ordered a Chinese-Canadian standard from the menu. It was pretty blah looking. I thought for sure the owners were not Chinese, but in fact, they are. I guess they've cornered the non-Asian market. Nonetheless, I'm shocked to hear that they have 3 restaurants!
Cynthia is a bearly passable Chinese restaurant ( foodwise) with branches located in obscure locations with no nearby competitors. Casing point, the Thornhill restaurant located in the middle of a Jewish area, close to Center Street Deli. If one can relocate it to the Richmond Hill Hwy#7 strip, I doubt, for the calibre of food and price they are charging, they can survive! No costume, how elaborately fancy, can camouflage the mediocre and overpriced food they serve!
This will be my first time ever disagreeing with Charles, especially on asian food, but Cynthia's is my go-to Chinese food delivery spot. Now, let me be clear, this place isn't authentic asian nor can it rival the better asian restaurants that we are priveledged to enjoy in the northeast of Toronto, but those places also don't deliver to my home :-)
Think of Cynthia's as old-school Canadian-style chinese food, but MUCH better than you remember. I would not go here for a big celebratory dinner out, there are much better places, but when you're craving the old-school chinese food of your childhood - vegetable fried rice, lemon chicken, egg rolls, cantonese noodles, chicken chop suey, and sticky BBQ pork, they really are THE VERY BEST chinese delivery in North York, by FAR.
Until I found Cynthia's I had virtually given up on finding a Chinese food delivery joint worth a 2nd try anywhere near my Yonge-Sheppard home. I'm fussy and I enjoy an Omei Lobster or Yang's Peking Duck as much as anyone, but sometimes I crave egg rolls, fried rice and lemon-chicken, and nobody does those better in North York than at Cynthia's.
Now I just need to find a decent Pizza delivery joint :-)