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Malaysian uptown?

red dragon Oct 8, 2010 02:04 PM

I posted awhile back about South Asia Malaysian Cuisine (Midland/McNicoll), but the title was mixed with a pho place nearby, so I thought I'd start a new thread.

Recommendations for Malaysian food uptown requested.

I read in other threads that Restoran Malaysia was going downhill ...

We would like a very clean restaurant where the food is not too greasy (not easy when fried foods and noodles are involved I know). We haven't tried any of these?

Restoran Malaysia
South Asia Malaysian Cuisine (Midland/McNicoll)
Gourmet Garden Malaysian and Singaporean Cuisine

Any others? (Scarborough, Markham, or Richmond Hill only).

Thanks in advance!

Gourmet Garden Restaurant
4465 Sheppard Ave E, Toronto, ON M1S, CA

South Asia Malaysian Cuisine
3380 Midland Av, Toronto, ON M1V5B5, CA

  1. Moimoi Sep 25, 2011 07:02 PM

    I'm confused... Isn't "uptown" around Lawrence Avenue? Sounds like all the recos are in the burbs.

    1. vincechan Sep 25, 2011 11:35 AM

      One2 Snacks at the Dynasty Centre (Glen Watford Drive, Scarborough) is a little known Malaysian food vendor. The owners are from KL and offer some specials on the weekend. I gave it a shot on Friday as I was craving some Nasi Lemak, but that's one of the weekend specials. I think they also make a few Nonya desert cakes on weekends.

      I recommend their KL Loh Mee, best I've had in a while, bold taste and generous portion (if you eat in). Their CKT was just alright, Wok Hei not enough. Their Mee Goreng is not as good as Gourmet Garden. I hope to be go back soon for more, or hear more from other ChowHound experiences. :)

      Gourmet Garden Restaurant
      4465 Sheppard Ave E, Toronto, ON M1S, CA

      1 Reply
      1. re: vincechan
        jlunar Sep 25, 2011 01:34 PM

        SHHHHhh...!! XD I can recommend the Laksa and their Kuih Dadar from One 2 Snacks. Go with a lot of time. They can be slow. Photos: http://flic.kr/s/aHsjtm72NN

      2. j
        jackabooboo Apr 19, 2011 03:29 PM

        Do people like Green Lemon Grass in the plaza at 9425 Leslie St? I liked it when I went there. The decor is really plain and the atmosphere is super casual while the prices are not particularly cheap, but the food was quite good. Several people I know recommended it.


        4 Replies
        1. re: jackabooboo
          Charles Yu Apr 19, 2011 03:43 PM

          Like it a lot. In fact some of their curries tasted better than Restoran Malaysia. Their Pho is surprisingly passable too!

          1. re: Charles Yu
            caitlink Apr 19, 2011 05:01 PM

            Since coming back from Penang, we have had a fascination with Malaysian food. Our favourite is Gourmet Garden (one of Charles' recs), followed by the FMP food court stall. We liked Villa Malaysia as well, found the dishes to be more fusion and fancier than Restoran Malaysia.
            South Asia is good value. Lemongrass we tried - but found it to be average.
            I think lowest on the list would have to be Coconut Island at peachtree.

            Gourmet Garden Restaurant
            4465 Sheppard Ave E, Toronto, ON M1S, CA

            1. re: caitlink
              torontobelly Apr 20, 2011 05:10 PM

              Gourmet Garden used to be a lot better. The chicken curry is still quite good, stay away from the beef curry which I find too grisly to eat. The best thing they have is the poh pia which they only make on the weekend. Satays here are better than Restoran Malayan.

              Gourmet Garden Restaurant
              4465 Sheppard Ave E, Toronto, ON M1S, CA

              1. re: torontobelly
                julesrules May 13, 2011 08:10 AM

                My impression from a recent visit after a long absence is that Gourmet Garden has changed hands, or concepts at least. The signage is all new and they seem to have fewer Malaysian menu items. My lamb curry and roti were still good (and enough lamb meat for two small meals) but the roti didn't seem quite as perfectly fluffy as before.... could be I'm remembering it too fondly but then I found this thread and see other comments that they have gone downhill. Too bad.

                Gourmet Garden Restaurant
                4465 Sheppard Ave E, Toronto, ON M1S, CA

        2. Charles Yu Apr 3, 2011 02:07 PM

          I would add 'Malay Thai' inside First Markham Place to the list. Very decent food at very decent price! eg., Nasi Goreng tasted better than Restoran Malaysia but almost at half price!!

          1 Reply
          1. re: Charles Yu
            Tony8952 Apr 4, 2011 08:42 AM

            Definitely on my list now. Thks. Btw, I've found good bah kwa (pork jerky, especially the hot/spicy version) from Bee Kim Heng in Vancouver (Fraser st)

          2. t
            Tony8952 Apr 2, 2011 10:29 PM

            We ate for the first time at the Gourmet Garden yesterday. From a taste and authenticity perspective, it was not worth the drive from Mississauga, despite their generous portions and ingredients (benefit of operating in a lower-rent food court, though they have raised prices on several popular dishes). The Char Kway Teow was bland (it tasted like typical fried rice noodles from a typical Chinese restaurant). Singapore Laksa was, well, not very “Singapore laksa” (though it was a decent bowl of chicken curry with rice vermicelli in its own right). The Hokkien Mee was tolerable. The Seafood Hor Fun was almost good (it could have been more flavourful and the flat rice noodles should have been fried). Ice Kachang was ok, except the green thingies were stale (they were crunchy, yuck). Rojak had potential but was too sweet and lacked dried soy bean. The box of kueh was decent. Bottom line: it was just so-so.No wow factor. Their stall was part of a small food court, but their set up was messy (the inconsistent signage and colour made it appear their stall was two separate stalls; as well, they took orders, dispensed food and replenished trays all in one crowded area). On the bright side, the order takers were cheerful.

            I’ve eaten at Restoran Malaysia (nope). Not tried South Asia Malaysian Cuisine or Villa Malaysia.

            Lion City Restaurant in Mississauga still seems to offer the most authentic and tastiest Singapore-Malaysian cuisine in the GTA (and even compared to any Singapore-Malaysian restaurant in Vancouver City). certainly her Laksa, Chicken Rice, Hor Fun, Kway Teow are supetrior to Gournmet Garden's versions. And Lion City is a comfortable restaurant, flanked by two other good restaurants (Chinese and Korean). However it’s in Mississauga, prices are slightly higher and portions slightly smaller (reflecting it’s location in a higher-rent plaza), and the food can be inconsistent depending on the cook (the owner-chef Lillian Ow still does it best). We’ve been so spoiled eating at this restaurant since the late 1990s that we have not felt like we missed the food when we’ve visited Singapore, Malaysia and Thailand.

            Lion City Restaurant
            1177 Central Pky W, Unit 70, Mississauga, ON L5C4P3, CA

            1. doubledown Oct 11, 2010 02:44 PM

              the king of malaysia was in town a couple weeks ago and he was eating at villa malaysia so it can't be all bad. we were eating at the keg and noticed the entourage out front.

              1. jingloh Oct 8, 2010 02:51 PM

                I am aware that Restauran Malaysia opened up a new restaurant by the Destiny Bubble Tea on East Beaver Creek by Highway 7. I passed by it but haven't had a chance to eat there yet, I forget the name of the new restaurant.

                Destiny Bubble Tea
                633 Silver Star Blvd, Toronto, ON M1V5N1, CA

                5 Replies
                1. re: jingloh
                  jingloh Oct 8, 2010 06:07 PM

                  Just passed by this new Malaysian restaurant, it's called Villa Malaysia. Looked pretty empty on inspection, so I decided to go to Destiny instead.

                  1. re: jingloh
                    red dragon Oct 9, 2010 01:23 PM

                    Hi jingloh - we'll look for this place in the food court the next time around.

                    We decided to try South Asia Malaysian Cuisine for lunch today. They have lunch specials that you can order during the weekend, even though the menu says Mon-Fri only.

                    We had the curry beef brisket with roti - beef was tender, but there was a lot of fat, grisle and inedible tendons. Roti was very good

                    The Kuay Teow was quite good as well, very flavorful, and suprisingly, for a fried noodle dish, it was not greasy. It was quite salty though, not sure if it was an excess of salt or other ingredient such as fish sauce or other.

                    The price was very reasonable (5.99 and 6.99).

                    Service was not the friendliest, especially for such a relatively new place.

                    We'll try it for dinner next time.

                    1. re: red dragon
                      jingloh Oct 9, 2010 03:47 PM

                      Sounds like a great meal. I hope the roti was nice and fluffy, not the kind you buy from the freezer at your Chinese grocery.

                      Agreed with the service, it wasn't very friendly on the other times I've been as well.

                      1. re: jingloh
                        red dragon Oct 11, 2010 07:25 AM

                        The waiter said their roti is home made. It was flaky that's for sure, made a mess at our table ...lol

                        I have not had the kind from the frreezer though.

                        We might go back for lunch today.

                        Service in my opinion only, at most asian places can be quite abrasive, I should be used to it by now!

                        1. re: red dragon
                          jingloh Oct 12, 2010 06:42 PM

                          You should be able buy something similar to roti in the freezer section at T&T Supermarkets.

                2. jingloh Oct 8, 2010 02:46 PM

                  South Asia Malaysian Cuisine isn't bad for their Hainanese chicken rice. I also enjoy the appetizer bak kut teh soup they provide for each guest. I've been dying for find another great place for chicken rice.

                  Restauran Malaysia is great, though I agree that it's come a little down hill. But the chicken curry, chow kuay teow, teh tarik, and mee goreng are still pretty solid.

                  I've never been to Gourmet Garden yet, so I would love to know people's review on it.

                  If you're not too picky on fanciness, I discovered a Malay/Singapore stall in the First Markham Place food court that serves SUPERB curry laksa so authentic, it makes me cry with the accompanied sambal chili. It's the stall closer to the Japanese sushi stall.

                  I'm planning an eating trip to Malaysia in January, you've got me all fired up!

                  Gourmet Garden Restaurant
                  4465 Sheppard Ave E, Toronto, ON M1S, CA

                  South Asia Malaysian Cuisine
                  3380 Midland Av, Toronto, ON M1V5B5, CA

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: jingloh
                    TanglinBoy Oct 14, 2010 04:35 PM

                    You'll find some great reviews here on Garden Gourmet. They're probably the best for authentic Singapore-Malaysian food but unfortunately, no decor to speak of.

                  2. b
                    blitz Oct 8, 2010 02:43 PM

                    owners of restoran malaysia opened another location at hwy 7 and leslie/woodbine. called villa malaysia. u'll find some posts on CH as it was discussed i think...


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