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Apr 26, 2010 11:24 AM

The best of Markham and Richmond Hill


I've been living in Markham for about a year now, and I've prowled the internets and the old thread on chow about the best places to eat in Markham (which seems to be dated around 2007). Basically, I'm trying to find the best food in Markham/Richmond Hill (the overly prevalent Chinese, and not) that covers everything (cheap, and expensive).

I could list everywhere I've gone, but it would be long. Suffice to say, I've tried all the majors that I could find mentioned a lot: Akina, Kaze, Wasabi (mistake), Tsuikiji sushi, Madras, The Host , Royal Teahouse, Ding Tai Fung, The Sugar, Pho Viet, etc.

While some places have their moments, I'm still having trouble. I'd say I'm not really overly impressed with the findings in this area. There are some restaurants I like downtown (Daybreak, Mengral Thai, Diner's Thai, Kaiseki Sakura, Hiro Sushi, etc), but it's too far for me to constantly go from where I am in Markham now.

I need your help, all of you. Because I trust you chow users. I want to find places that are *consistently* good, that put effort into their food, and basically don't suck 90% of the time. I know some of you know where they are in the area. Please, share, so I don't die. If you have a suggestion that is outside the region ever so slightly (i.e. borderline north york/scarborough), then by all means please still suggest it. But don't suggest things clearly in downtown, or far away, as it will just make me sad.

I'm looking for:
- The best dim sum (all day seems non existent, so I'll settle for weekend) restaurant(s)
- The best sushi (AYCE and not) restaurant(s).. as a side note, Aoyama south on victoria park is amazing, but it's expensive, and not overly close.
- The best Chinese (non-dim sum) restaurant(s)
- The best general (like, "north american", if you want to group it) restaurant(s)
- The best Thai restaurant(s)
- The best Indian (AYCE and not) restaurant(s)
- The best Vietnamese restaurant(s)
- The best Korean restaurant(s)

Yes, I eat out a lot.

2766 Victoria Park Ave, Toronto, ON M2J4A8, CA

Royal Teahouse
10 Apple Creek Blvd, Markham, ON L3R 5Z1, CA

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  1. Looks like you have missed out a lots of good chinese (Cantonese, dim sum) restaurants in Markham/Richmond hill such as Omei, Yangs, Regal 16, Emperor ....., try to do a search on these restaurant and you will get more details and review.

    Maybe you need to be more specific on what type of Chinese food you want because there are tons of different kinds, (ie. fresh seafood, dried seafood, wok hay stir fry, Northern cuisine, Cantonese, Szechuan ...............etc), then people can give you better suggestion.

    Aoyama's price point is definitely cheaper than Hiro's, and provides similar quality sushi. So if you are ok with Hiro's price (as it is in one of the restaurant in your reference list), then Aoyama should be fine too. What kind of Japanese food are you looking for ? Inatei is an ok Japanese restaurant in Richmond Hill, maybe you want to give it a try. Again, try to do a search, there are post on Inatei.

    15 Replies
    1. re: skylineR33

      Thanks, a lot of those restaurants I have not heard of before, so that is exactly what I'm looking for :)

      As for your question of types, for Chinese I don't know a lot about it, to be honest, so I can't answer that very well. But I will search the ones you listed.

      For Japanese, I'm not going so far as to look for okonomiyaki or anything, just Sushi and maybe some udon offerings. Sushi, more or less. Actually I haven't really seen Japanese offerings in the area outside of sushi, teriyaki and yakitori.

        1. re: TorontoJo

          Zen is not exactly in Richmond Hill, if suckfail thinks Aoyama is too far, Zen is probably not for suckfail.

          suckfail, there is ramen you can find in North York area such as Kenzo and Ajisen, although Toronto in general is not a city for ramen. Japanese curry Pork cutlet rice bowl which is really well-prepared in J-Town. When you say Teriyaki, do you mean Teppanyaki ?? There is a good one called Akasaka in Richmond Hill (expensive though) for Teppanyaki. Or Japanese fusion stuffs ? Akasaka is pretty good at it too.

          1. re: skylineR33

            hi skylineR33, ya i meant teppenyaki. i've heard of akasaka, but i've never checked it out.

            the only Zen restaurant I can find is in scarborough, on eglinton. if that's the one you mean, ya that's kind of too far. I mean, I will check it out, but it's not exactly a weeknight dinner.

            do you have any suggestions for good Korean restaurants? you guys are so full of good information.

            1. re: suckfail

              Can't think of recommendation in Richmond Hill/Markham for Korean food. There are some ok ones in First Markham Place. I usually go to North York for Korean food such as Oh Geul Boh Geul and Nakwon. For AYCE, there is a good one for Korean BBQ which called "Chako" at Leslie/Hwy 7.

              1. re: skylineR33

                ah ya I actually went to Chako before, i forgot about it. it wasn't half bad. i will have to check out the north york one. for a while i was hanging around bloor and christie when i was in a korean food obsession mode. but again, too far now :(

                1. re: suckfail

                  Yeah, cannot complain much on a AYCE. I use to go to Mississauga for Korean food, but I guess it is too far away for you too.

                  1. re: skylineR33

                    ya, more or less, for sauga. it's not that i can't go there, but i like to go out during the week, and i don't really want to have to drive for more than 15 minutes :)

                    sometimes i have to though, for krispy kreme. i wish they'd bring one here. that's the other thing i dislike, i can't find good donuts. there's tiny toms, but it's never open, so i haven't even tried it yet.

                    1. re: skylineR33

                      Much appreciated if you could list some Korean joints in Mississauga as I work in that area.

                      1. re: aliangwb

                        Wow, Man Doo Hyang on Dundas are good when I still hung around Mississauga, but that's a while ago.

                2. re: suckfail

                  At Yonge & Clarke you have two good K options, Sariwon and Cho Sun Ok.

                  Sariwon is a higher class spot w/ prices to reflect, but the food is executed well and ventilation is good for a Korean restaurant.

                  Cho Sun Ok does a great cold noodle dish, nice on a hot summery day.

                  There is also Miyabi for Japanese food (same plaza as Wasabi), but I only go for cooked dishes. Inatei's shari has decent texture but needs stronger flavour, I find they cut their sashimi way too thick for my liking.

                  7388 Yonge St, Vaughan, ON L4J, CA

                  280 West Beaver Creek, Thornhill, ON L4B3Z1, CA

                  1. re: aser

                    Last time when I was at Miyabi, I found out they do not even use Japanese rice in my Gyudon (beef rice bowl), I never visit it since then.

                    1. re: aser

                      Hey aser, I haven't tried Cho Sun Ok yet, and my wife LOVES cold noodle. Is it located near Tavazo (the nut store)? Also does their cold noodle come in a spicy variety?

                      She goes hunting for cold noodles, sometimes even in middle winter. The ones she gets from Oh Guel Boh Guel and Han IL House are ok, as well as the Japanese version we sometimes see pop up on the menu at Kenzo ramen.

                      suckfail, also try the suckling pig at Peaktop on weekends (their dinners are decent too). I also like some of the fried rice dishes at Fantasy Eatery in RH. Empire Court in the Hilton for high end dim sum. Tanchikee has cheaper but very good wok hay cantonese dishes. Wu Yi Villa has some more refined Fujian/Fukienese cuisine.

                      BTW, there's also a new Chako that opened up on McNicoll just west of Midland (same complex as that huge Rona), I didn't try it yet. The signs at the front said "Izakaya", but isn't it basically a AYCE Korean BBQ joint?

                      1. re: Royaljelly

                        It's in the plaza at the SE corner of Yonge & Clark, w/ the Viva bus stop right in front of it. Yes, there's a spicy option.

                        These are another fellow ch'ers (jlunar) pics....


                  2. re: skylineR33

                    Sorry, I had Scarborough on the brain, not Markham!

            2. This post makes me smile because although I live in midtown, we'll often drive to Markham/Richmond Hill to eat!

              Our regular haunts:
              1. Emperor for their sunday lobster special and monday duck special.
              2. Inatei for really good all around Japanese (not the best sushi but they have a big menu, all competently prepared).
              3. Izakaya Ju for yakitori. Been there 3x and have had good experiences all 3 times.
              4. Go for Tea for well...tea, and yummy condensed milk toast.
              5. The only Jap AYCE I will willingly go to is Sushi on 7.
              6. The chinese pastry shop in Times Square has the best pineapple pork buns.

              Those are the ones I can think of right now.

              We also drive to Zen (a lot!) and Aoyama once in a while. And Shawarma Empire. But these are all in Scarborough.

              2766 Victoria Park Ave, Toronto, ON M2J4A8, CA

              Go for Tea
              230 Commerce Valley Dr E, Thornhill, ON L3T7Y9, CA

              Shawarma Empire
              1823 Lawrence Ave E, Toronto, ON M1R2Y3, CA

              8 Replies
              1. re: ctl98

                Thanks for the hints! Your recommendations seem to correlate pretty well with what others are saying here, especially Zen and Emperor and Inatai. So I will definitely check them all out. And I love condensed milk toast, so it looks like Go for Tea is a must as well for me.

                Go for Tea
                230 Commerce Valley Dr E, Thornhill, ON L3T7Y9, CA

                1. re: suckfail

                  For Lobster, the best bet in Toronto is Omei's 4 to 5 ways Lobsters on a 8 to 13 lbs lobster. I found this to be the most impressive dish in Toronto's Cantonese dining scene for live seafood. However, the service at Omei can be spotty.

                  Just had a peking duck at Yang's last weekend, very good preparation !! Highly recommended.

                  Chung King at Pacific Mall is also very good for peking duck. It is a restaurant which serves Northern chinese cuisine.

                  1. re: skylineR33

                    Any comparison between Yang's, Chung King and Emperor's peking duck?

                    1. re: aliangwb

                      I like the one with Yang's ($38 which include the 2nd "wrap" course) and Chung King (~$32 with the 2nd course) more than Emperor, but it is more expensive as there is no monday duck special like Emperor. The skin and the meat is better at Yang's and Chung King's, then followed by Emperor.

                      The second course (the wrap course) is done very well at Yangs, it just taste better with better preparation and is presented in mini crispy nest beautifully , just it yourself !

                  2. re: suckfail

                    I always go by this go for tea place, and now I have a reason to go inside!! Never tried sweet milk toast but I'm interested. The website says desserts are half price between 3 and 6 with purchase of a drink, is that true?
                    How much does that toast go for by any chance?

                    1. re: BamiaWruz

                      I can't recall how much exactly but I think it's around $5. I've never been there between 3-6 so I can't comment on the dessert prices during that time. We often go there for a late evening snack and it's always green apple tea and condensed milk toast for me! The hubby always orders the watermelon juice and it's very good too.

                      1. re: ctl98

                        Thank you!! I'll give it a try at the discount hours with SO. Can't wait!

                        1. re: BamiaWruz

                          Had the sweet condensed toast. YUM!! Could barely eat it all myself. A good item to share.

                          The chicken pop corn balls were very peppery and we tried beef hot pot too. A nice atmosphere. Thanks all for the recommendation.

                2. As an update, I tried Sushi on 7 finally last night. It was pretty good, but I personally didn't feel it was so far above Akina or Kaze. To me, it seemed kind of similar in quality. The service, however, was definitely better.

                  Question: when you guys talk about "Yangs", which one do you mean? I get many hits for Yang's Kitchen on google, which I assume you are not talking about. Chowhound brings up several hits for Yangs, but I don't know which one you mean.

                  In addition, does anyone have suggestions for good dim sum? I have read that Spring Villa is good, but I don't really want to go at 8am to get a seat..

                  3 Replies
                  1. re: suckfail

                    The 'Yang's' at 9665 Bayview Avenue, Richmond Hill

                    For Good Dim Sum, you can try out, Yang's, Emperor, Regal Palace, Empire court and Casa Victoria.

                      1. re: Charles Yu

                        Charles - are these still the best places for dim sum? How would you rank them?

                    1. You didn't mention it, but for Malaysian if you haven't tried yet there is Restoran Malaysia at Bayview and Major Mac

                      Vietnamese there is also Saigon Star, although I don't think it's as good as it once was.

                      Oh for everyday chinese, try TanChiKee

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: Wil

                        You're right, i forgot Restoran Malaysia. I have tried it, and it was quite good.

                        1. re: Wil

                          The Curry Crab is still quite good at Saigon Star. Doesn't always come out piping hot though. It is so popular they have quite few ready to go in the back, just ladle on the sauce from a giant vat. Hard to beat the Monday dinner special at Emperor ($19.99 Peking Duck). It is a pretty darn good duck too by Toronto standards and the staff are all very nice. Sababa (Steeles just west of Hilda) has great falafel and a very good shwarma. Their fresh made pita is also great.

                          390 Steeles W, Thornhill, ON L4J6X6, CA

                        2. Miu Garden for Chinese. The dim sum isn't bad (went yesterday) and there's already good reviews about their evening dining. I have yet to try dinner there though.