HOME > Chowhound > Ontario (inc. Toronto) >


Want some brilliant Cantonese food? Try ' Brilliant Chinese Restaurant', Markham!

Just when I thought I have exhausted all good Chinese restaurants in the GTA, another new discovery emerged out of the blue that is definitely worth a visit!

Tugged inside a small obscure plaza next to the Burger King, 'the Brilliant Chinese Restaurant' on 7220 Kenndy Road, Unit 18 indeed possesses a kitchen that can churn out some 'brilliant' Chinese dishes.

Tonight, our party of six, led by my foodie brother-in-law had a great dinner comprising of a few special 'advanced order' and normal a la carte dishes. We had the following:

- Braised Fish Maw and Goose Web with baby mustard greens in abalone/oyster sauce. Fork and off-the-bone tender, this dish was seasoned perfectly and yummy, so much so that, we even divide up the sauce on the main plate!

- Steamed minced seafood 'egg white wrapping guava shape' dumpling. Unlike most version of this dish, where emphasis was placed on the dumpling stuffing, here, the chef also enhanced the sauce with a tasty pseudo-western Bechamel style sauce'. Light dumpling paired with a fairly rich sauce resulting in a nicely balanced delicious dish. ( advanced order )

- Baked Stuffed Scallop with a French/Portuguese touch. Chopped up sea scallops with diced vegetable in a 'Portuguese style sauce'. This Sino-Western fusion dish was very tasty but a bit heavy for my liking. ( advanced order )

- Crispy skin, de-boned chicken stuffed with diced Chinese preserved sausages and meat glutinous rice. A very labour intensive dish, the ultra crispy skin and the flavourful stuffing was surprisingly non-greasy and extremely delicious! ( advanced order )

- Stirred fry beef flank steak with ginger juice and rice wine infused Chinese broccoli. Great wok-hay technique. The photo I posted speaks a thousand words!

- Bone-in and skin-on mutton hot-pot stew with Chinese mushrooms, winter bamboo shoots, water chestnuts in a herbed bean-curd/miso broth. This is the star of the evening. A great tasting and body warming dish, perfect for a frigid winter evening. The dipping sauce condiment was addictively tasty!

- Complimentary taro, sago rice and coconut milk dessert

Total bill comes to $170 inclusive of tax and tips.

BTW, service was extremely friendly and efficient.

If one would like a change of scenery from the usual, O'Mei, Yang's, Emperor, Casa's...etc. This, slightly more csaual place with some pretty good food is definitely worth a try!

Brilliant Chinese Restaurant
7220 Kennedy Rd, Markham, ON L3R0N4, CA

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. Wow Charles, you must have ordered all the right dishes there ! Completely different from my experience there a few months ago. We were a table of 10, and just picked the dishes from their regular menu, maybe a off night ?!! Anyway, if I have a chance to visit there again, I will remember to order these.

    4 Replies
    1. re: skylineR33

      Hello skylineR33,
      I find, dining out nowadays, even in reputable restaurants, can be a hit and miss affair! Let alone unfamiliar ones!
      It can be extremely frustrating, when 'gambling' with one's valuable time and money, to end up in a restaurant that happens to have a kitchen that is unpredictable and inconsistent!
      I recall one of the worst meal I ever had was actually in a highly touted Michelin 1* Scandinavian restaurant ( Copenhague ) in Paris! On our night, the cooking and food was so mediocre that the only thing enjoyable during that meal was the potpourri of rare Scandinavian mixed berries used as decoration for the dessert!!

      For our meal at Brilliant yesterday, we were fortunate that one of our party actually knows the manager of the restaurant in person. As such, he was in the position to make recommendations to us, in advance, on dishes that are the chef's forte! Hence, we have so many 'advanced order' dishes on our menu!
      One observation I made during our time there was that at least three tables ordered the ' Wok-fried lobster in supreme top soya sauce'. The aroma from the dish coming out of the kitchen was so mesmerizingly good!! Unfortunately, I was told they were charging $18.88 per pound which in my opinion is a bit too steep! Guess I'll stick with O'Mei for lobster until someone reliable tells me its worth the money to give the Brilliant version a try!

      1. re: Charles Yu

        Wow Charles. You tried lots of the signature dishes.
        I would suggest you also try: spicy salt sliced eel, large 'black grouper' 2 ways/3 ways(with soup) and double boiled soup (yun nam ham with 4 treasures).
        Even the simple steamed fish is good too.

        1. re: ace123

          Thanks chowfriend! I'll give your recommendations a try next time I head out there. Meanwhile, my son just reported back today and told me Dim Sum lunch was pretty good as well!

          1. re: Charles Yu

            Yes. Dim Sums are pretty good (at that price point) as long as you avoid some not-so-good ones. Ha gau's wrapping is just average. Sui Mai, rice rolls, Steamed bbq pork bun and chicken bun are good. Fried rice/noodle dishes are hit and miss.
            For dinner, we order 2 Peking ducks for table of 10. We all love it.

    2. I was with Charles' party who dined at Brilliant Chinese Restaurant tonight. My foodie friend who recommended this place insisted that it had the best Peking Duck and especially the accompanying pancakes in GTA. We wanted to try but had too many advancd ordered and the manger suggested we already had ordered enough. We did order a plate of the pancakes and they were fresh and delicious. We plan to go back for the duck soon.

      Brilliant Chinese Restaurant
      7220 Kennedy Rd, Markham, ON L3R0N4, CA

      1 Reply
      1. re: Caneast

        We tried the peking duck a few nights ago and just loved it. The skins really are some of the best we've had anywhere. I like it better than the nearby Chung King in market village, as you'll not only get better duck/skin, but also superior service (at least we did that night) and a more comfortable setting.

        Also tried a fried rice dish with fish roe, egg white, scallops and veggie, which was a bit dry. The regular sized shrimps w/ shells in supreme soy was flavoured beautifully (almost as good as some places I had while in Vancouver), but unfortunately the shrimp was not fresh. The stir fried snow peas was very fresh and large portions.

        We'll go back to try other dishes when my parents are in town next month. But if we're having the peking duck, probably will skip the chicken w/ glutinous rice as it'll be repeating the cripsy skinned meat theme.

        http://img189.imageshack.us/img189/78... (duck and shrimp photo)

      2. I like how they made the chicken look like a fish.

        1. Maybe the a-la-carte food is better than the set dinners for 10?

          I have been here many times in the last year or two for family gatherings and I've found the food to be very ordinary (and admittedly, I groan when we're dragged there). I'll admit though that the chicken stuffed with glutinous rice is amazing!

          1. Do they have braised whole sea cucumber (2lb) and have anybody tried it.

            1. That fried chicken stuffed with glutinous rice looks delicious!
              What is the Chinese name for that ? (Just so I can preorder it in advance) =)

              3 Replies
              1. re: pubo

                We went back a second time yesterday w/ friends. When I asked for that Fried chicken dish stuffed with rice with my rusty Cantonese, the waiter just replied "Lor Mai Gai"... glutinous rice chicken, I believe. Beautifully done, reminds me of the stuffed chicken wings with wild rice that my dad used to make at his restaurant. I had a non-chinese friend there (meat lover) who kept commenting on how much he loved it.

                The lamb hot pot was fantastic as well, the broth was amazing rich. The spicy salt deep fried squid was crisp and tender, not oily at all. Their fish belly soup is pretty good too. The crab with noodles was boring and overcooked.

                Looks like I'm bringing my parents there next week when they're in town, to try more peking duck.

                1. re: Royaljelly

                  Apparently Maple Yip in Scarborough also does the "Lor Mai Gai" deboned fried chicken stuffed w/ glutinous rice. Not sure about the price and whether you need to preorder.

                  My parents are in town and we went there tonight and we tried their regular "oil drizzed chicken" which was amazingly juicy with a very thin and crispy skin. My parents loved the meal.

                  1. re: Royaljelly

                    My parent's last day in town and we took them out again for dinner, back to Maple Yip for a huge feast. The highlight was the "Lor Mai Gai" which we ordered in advance. It trumps the one at Brilliant, as Maple Yip does the whole chicken. Skin was super crispy and meat was still juicy and tender. Glutinous rice was well done too with plenty of ingredients (chinese sausage, etc). $35 for the whole chicken, I believe.

                    http://img26.imageshack.us/img26/7572... (234kb


                    The only other advance order dish was the winter melon soup, which was rather bland.

              2. Hi Charles !!
                As always, you're the advance scout for good Chinese dining. How about organizing a Chowhounders dinner here at Chinese New Year? That would be an awesome treat!

                2 Replies
                1. re: Big Kahuna 1

                  Sorry my chow-friend! To have a chowmeet in a Chinese restaurant around Chinese New Year is a really BAD idea!! Not only will they be extremely busy, most of them will put away their a-la-carte menu and have 'set banquet type menus' instead! These are usually overpriced and the dishes, mass-produced!. I would wait for this seasonal tsunami to pass before doing anything?!
                  Besides, there'll be another chowmeet on the 27th January, organized by TorontoJo! This is only one week before the Chinese New Year!!

                  1. re: Charles Yu

                    Actually, it's Azulh that is organizing it. Otherwise, I'm in deep trouble, because I have nothing on my calendar. :)

                2. Charles, once again, you have not let us down. We went to Brilliant to try the duck and it was so good! We also had the scallops with special sauce and it was just perfect! We are not Chinese but love Chinese food. When we went to Brilliant, we were the only non-Chinese people there and since we look Chinese, they kept on trying to speak to us in Chinese. Oh how I wish I could speak! It would certainly make eating out and ordering much easier!

                  We discovered Emperor and Omei because of you too. I agree the duck is better than the one at Emperor. But you can't beat Emperor when duck is on special!

                  Keep the reviews coming!

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: ctl98

                    You're most welcome! Glad you loved the food!

                    Guess you folks are not the only one. Even Joanne Kates went there, ordered all my 'advanced order' food' and also raved about them! Ha!!