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Absolutely HORRENDOUS meal at.......wait for it!..........'Fantasy Eatery, Scarborough'!!!

After eating out for the past couple of weeks on mostly Japanese and Western food, my wife and I decided to go for some Chinese 'wok-hay' stirred fry this evening. Fantasy Eatery, being one of the most consistently good and popular Cantonese restaurant in this category ( as attested to by quite a few fellow chowhounders ) was our obvious choice. The result?!.... A TOTAL DISASTER OF A MEAL!!

We had the following dishes:

- 'Deep fried Dungeness crab with peppered spicey salt'. At only $9.99 for a whole crab, this was their special of the day. It was fairly well done, non greasy but a touch too salty. But hay! How can one screw up a deep fried dish?! Right?!

What follows was a Total Horror Show!

- ' Stirred fried beef tenderloin strips with Chinese preserved mustard greens and fermented black beans'. What a mess of a dish! This plate of thick gooey concoction resembled something from the Hungarian toxic sludge spill! Totally unappealing in look, this dish of mutated corn-starch must have been cooked by some green trainee cook or by a chef who is undergoing his monthly period!!... Just our luck!

- ' Stirred fry Chinese broccoli ( gai lan) with Cantonese preserved meat and sausages'. What can go wrong with a simple dish like this, you may ask?! Well, how about this corn starch loving cook is at it again?! Instead of a dry finish, the dish was 'swimming' in another pool of tasteless corn starch gravy. All 'wok-hay' flavour was smothered by another bungled effort!

- ' Braised tofu with a duo of enoki and Shitake mushrooms' . Oh No!!! The 'corn starch maniac' is at it again! Supposed to be cooked with a shrimp roe and oyster sauce glaze, the mushrooms were once again ladened with the now ' getting frightening' bland and tasteless corn starch gravy. The whole dish was totally void of flavour. And I thought salt was cheap??!!

Lastly, for dining in customers only, if one spend over $20 per table, one can order the other daily special ' Steamed 'crystal' free-range chicken' at a whopping price of $3.88! Just another fancy name for boiled chicken with a translucent gravy, this was a total waste of a fine free range chicken. Another dish MURDERED by the corn starch maniac, I should have save the $3.88 and donated to the Food Bank instead!!

As of tonight, this 'Chow favourite' is off my list!! Period!!

I cannot imagine Chinese 'wok-hay' cooking can be THIS BAD!! Even Mandarin Buffet can do a better job!

Finally, imagine the first chowmeet I organized at this place a few years ago served up food like tonight??!! I will be the first chowhounder to get lynched by his fellow fraternity members!! Ha!!

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  1. Thank you. Someone agrees. OMG, the Hwy 7 location is horrendous, yes, it's just utterly disgusting. It's so bad that even the rice we ordered - I spat it out at first bite. It has come to my attention that even the original location is not up to fluff as well - rumour has it the chef has left. Mom alerts me that he's gone to another location.. and we tried that other location out. This is the restaurant at Kennedy and Sheppard, I believe it's got a tacky name like "Very Fair REstaurant" or something like that.. And it was the pits as well. Service was horrible. Please, Toronto.. give us back the wok power!

    1. Hey Charles, yes Fantasy Eatery is not the old good Fantasy Eatery anymore, I have also stopped going there since the beginning of this year after a few bad meals there last year.

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      Fantasy Eatery
      505 7 Hwy E, Richmond Hill, ON L3T7P6, CA

      3 Replies
      1. re: skylineR33

        Should have consulted with the 'master' before going!! With the money, I could have eaten 10 bowls of won-ton/beef brisket noodles at V2 instead!! Sigh!!!

        1. re: Charles Yu

          Where is this V2 you speak of? Those noodles sound delish.

          1. re: petek

            First Markham Place, next to Ding Tai Fung.

      2. I APOLOGIZE to every chowhounder who has been to Fantasy (Scarborough) in the last 2 weeks. I had a terrible meal (for the first time in 10 years) but was too busy with work travel and didn't post. Not sure if Charles is talking about they Hwy. 7 or Scarborough outpost of Fantasy but Mr. Cornstarch is was definitely in charge of the kitchen when we were there. Coincidentally, Charles, you and I had almost the exact same meal ... and apparently were served the exact same mess. They must have re-written their chef training manual. My wife and I joked that the chef was probably on break until 2pm when the resto gets really busy and jr. prep chef was in charge. The half empty restaurant at 11:30pm should have been clue. Fantasy is never empty. I hope Charles was posting on the Scarborough location because we thought there would be a chance that the chef there had been moved to Hwy. 7.

        1 Reply
        1. re: theel

          Apparently BOTH outposts SUCK!!!

          BTW, the knife work of one of their cook at their Hwy7 outpost was really something too! The 'cut up' soya free range chicken we had a while back had most pieces still connected. Sizes were totally inconsistent with some pieces as thin as a piece of sahimi fish whilst some were as big as the size of a lemon!! Small pieces of splintered bones were also every where! Should have brought my camera along!!

        2. +1 on the over-cornstarchiness.

          I've given up on the Midland location of FE because they love to ignore the queued lines and give tables to their 'nearest and dearest' while others (us, lesser folks) sometimes wait in ignorance (or frustration).

          1. Any recommendations for other restaurants to go intead? I find Big Mouth Kee is not bad. Better than fantasy but still not that great. Looking for better options, opening late is a big plus.

            15 Replies
            1. re: szw

              Based on the past couple of times, I found Big Mouth Kee to be fairly mediocre.
              The small cozy place next to the Taiwanese ' hand cut' noodle place in First Markham place is not too bad! Forgot its name though?! skylineR33 might help?!

              1. re: Charles Yu

                The "siu yea" crowd uptown has officially died w/ the shift of demographics from HK'ers to Mainlanders. There just aren't many Canto late night options anymore other than Big Mouth Kee. I find BMK decent but overly expensive, their prices are on avg at least 1/3rd higher than Fantasy.

                Sorry to hear about your poor dinner. I've experienced heavy cornstarch on a few dishes at the hwy 7 location also.

                -----
                Big Mouth Kee
                280 West Beaver Creek, Thornhill, ON L4B3Z1, CA

                1. re: aser

                  Yeah really looking forward to another place to go to instead of BMK. Too expensive, not that great.

                2. re: Charles Yu

                  Agree Big Mouth Kee is mediocre. Their seafood is not good eventhough they have a big selection. I had the 4 pounds lobster (9.99 /b) and the steamed jumbo sized "Hakkaido" (what they called) scallop on shell there recently, the lobster has no wok hay and scallop is not hot ! Taste lacks flavor.

                  I would rather go to Royal (避風塘小炒) for wok-hay dishes if I am in Scarborough area, similar pricing to Fantasy Eatery.

                  1. re: skylineR33

                    Looks like we chowhounders have been eating in a lot wok-hay places that are lacking the flames!! Time to pay Hong Kong a visit for the real thing?!! Ha!
                    BTW, I recall Royal moved its location from Sheppard and Midland to somewhere else. Can you refresh my memory regarding the new address?!! Its still on Sheppard right?! Also, have you tried ' Tung Kee' on Midland further north from Fantasy? Heard they have a 'Smoked soya free range chicken ( Tai Yeh Geigh )' thats pretty good?!

                    1. re: Charles Yu

                      Is Royal the one on Sheppard next to the Agincourt GO Station? If so, I went there based on some chowhound recs and did not find the wok-hay dishes.
                      For wok-hay, still prefer Magic Wok.
                      One place that we go to is Full House at Midland and Finch. It belongs to the CASA chain /family. Good for late night snack and good prices.
                      Another one for wok hay dishes is the restaurant at Kennedy and Finch. Good lobster at cheap prices.
                      Or we stick to Judy's Cuisine at Times Square.

                      -----
                      Full House Restaurant
                      328 7 Hwy E, Richmond Hill, ON L4B3P7, CA

                      1. re: caitlink

                        Not sure what you are talking about. There are tons of wok hay dishes at (避風塘小炒) Royal on Sheppard (4128 Sheppard Ave E ). "小炒" simply refers to wok-hay. I am talking about prices that are similar to Fantasy Eatery. Magic Wok and Full House (at Midland and Finch) are more expensive than Royal. Judy is even in a more higher price in comparison.

                        Magic Wok is ok but seafood is not good, have you tried their Alaska crab and Geoduck ? Alaska crab is done 3-ways. They are all done very rough, it is chopped in a way that it is very hard to get the meat out, the deep fried with chili pepper way is all covered with batter ... geoduck duck is cut in the size of a char siu.

                        1. re: skylineR33

                          I have been avoiding Magic Wok for years! Why bother if food was mediocre and service atrocious!

                          1. re: Charles Yu

                            Aren't you guys still going to Maple Yip? I still find their cooking to be bang on consistent in quality. Even their noodle dishes are pretty good.

                            I've given up on the Fantasy Eatery (both locations), Royal Chinese, Magic Wok, Full House, etc for quite awhile now (used to eat at all those places quite often after a long day at the office).

                            I probably need to revisit Tan Chi Kee and John's BBQ, haven't gone there in awhile though.

                            1. re: Royaljelly

                              How about 'Sun Star'? Haven't been for a while. Still good?!

                              1. re: Charles Yu

                                Sun Star is still decent (if you order the right dishes), as the head chef hasn't left yet.. I have a few foodie Chinese friends that I keep running into there every so often. But for us, we don't mind the drive to Maple Yip, even though Sun Star is closer for us.

                            2. re: Charles Yu

                              The servers can be downright nasty.
                              We stopped going to Magic Wok for the same reason.
                              We were totally ignored the last time we were there because we asked about the Whole fish specials.
                              (they sometimes have pickerel)
                              The server told us that everything is on the Menu, which of course it isn't.
                              We left.

                            3. re: skylineR33

                              I saw a banner where Chinese Beef Lamb House at Birchmount/Sheppard used to be now saying (避風塘小炒) Royal - Opening Soon. I'm assuming they are moving rather than having a 2nd location so nearby, right?

                              1. re: Learn2CooknEat

                                Ah! Thats it! Thats what I saw too!

                              2. re: skylineR33

                                I guess the purpose of forum is for everyone to express their own opinion and there is no right or wrong answer. So I will continue to express that our family enjoys going to Magic Wok and Full House - which is a fact. And the family standard/dishes that we order we always enjoy.
                                Maybe that's why we are lucky in TO there is so much variety to choose from. Not everyone has the same preference.

                                -----
                                Full House Restaurant
                                328 7 Hwy E, Richmond Hill, ON L4B3P7, CA