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crispy Szechuan beef?

bogie Jan 2, 2011 07:11 AM


I was wondering if anybody knows of a Szechuan restaurant in the GTA that serves this dish? I know that most Szechuan beef dishes are simple stir frys with strips of beef and veggies. This is more like a crispy ginger beef, coated with cornstarch, wok-fried and sauced with a spicy/sweet concoction. I enjoyed this dish regularly in Edmonton when I lived there, I'm not sure if it's some local version or if you can find it here too.

  1. justinisthebest Jan 2, 2011 08:19 AM

    I know of two places, one at steeles and bayview at a chinese restaurant called Helena's. it is on the menu as the crispy shredded beef. food at helena's is excellent. dining room leaves much to be desired so i only do take out/delivery.

    also check out the crispy beef at big mouth kee in richmond hill, leslie & hwy 7 area

    4 Replies
    1. re: justinisthebest
      juno Jan 2, 2011 08:49 AM

      Crispy shredded beef is one of the most requested dishes at Szechuan Gourmet, an insanely popular resto on Steeles Ave. W., in a strip plaza a block or so west of Bathurst St. It's a smallish place, with little space between tables, and - especially on weekends - something of a brawl. But it's clean and extraordinarily well-run, so the wait for tables isn't too horrendous. More orderly during the week. I don't go too often, but when I do I always call for the crispy shredded beef. Very, very tasty, and moderate prices. It's the kind of dish that tastes best immediately out of the kitchen, rather than take out.

      Szechuan Gourmet Restaurant
      1033 Steeles Ave W, Toronto, ON M2R2S9, CA

      1. re: justinisthebest
        sumashi Jan 2, 2011 11:17 AM

        Helena's is the first place I thought of when I read the topic... It's been years since I've been there, but our family always ordered their crispy shredded beef. I remember it being really good.

        1. re: justinisthebest
          TorontoJo Jan 2, 2011 12:12 PM

          Ooh, thanks for the this recommendation! They even deliver to my house, which is a rare, rare find. Looking forward to trying the crispy beef. That's one dish that I've been missing ever since Chung King on Spadina closed.

          Is there anything else you'd recommend from Helena?

          1. re: justinisthebest
            TorontoJo Jan 12, 2011 04:35 AM

            I just wanted to thank you guys for the Helena's recommendation! I ordered the dry spicy shredded beef and it was EXACTLY what I've been looking for ever since Chung King closed down. The only issue was that it was searingly hot with a massive amount of dried red chiles in it. :) I love spicy, but this was a bit much (though lots of rice helped the matter). Next time I'll ask them to use half the amount of chiles. The delivery was remarkably quick, too.

            Web site for Helena's:


            Next up, I'll have to try Szechuan Gourmet, though I don't end up in that next of the woods much.

            Szechuan Gourmet Restaurant
            1033 Steeles Ave W, Toronto, ON M2R2S9, CA

          2. s
            sillybuns79 Jan 2, 2011 09:46 AM

            They do a delectable crispy beef at Riz on Bayview.

            1. t
              taterbrandy Jan 2, 2011 04:29 PM

              Yenching Palace in Bayview Village has featured Szechuan Crispy Beef for many years.

              1 Reply
              1. re: taterbrandy
                millygirl Jan 2, 2011 04:47 PM

                Danforth Dragon at Donlands and Danforth has a really good one also. That, and a bowl of steamed rice always makes me happy.

                Danforth Dragon
                861 Danforth Ave, Toronto, ON M4J, CA

              2. Otonabee Jan 2, 2011 05:07 PM

                Szechuan Szechuan in First Canadian Place serves it. Horrifically addictive really...

                1. c
                  c_snapper Jan 2, 2011 05:10 PM

                  had the crispy szechaun beef at Chung King in Markham, behind Market Village.

                  Was there for the peking duck and had the beef while we waited...it was pretty delicious...it's not as battered as ginger beef is but it's pretty close.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: c_snapper
                    LUV_TO_EAT Jun 10, 2011 04:16 PM

                    Had the same two dishes at Chung KIng. Both were very good.

                  2. b
                    bogie Jan 3, 2011 05:33 AM

                    Thanks for the input, folks! I think Im going to start at Szechuan Szechuan at FCP and work outwards.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: bogie
                      pakmode Jan 3, 2011 06:40 AM

                      Most Hakka places have it, it's usually known as shredded beef.

                    2. TOchowgal Jan 10, 2011 10:46 AM

                      Faleys (indian chinese) has the best crispy fried beef. I am not a fan of their other dishes but they make the best IMHO. It is called crispy beef on their menu.

                      Closest Intersection: Rexdale & Islington


                      1. Moimoi Jun 9, 2011 07:35 PM

                        Spadina Garden, 116 Dundas Street West is where Greg Couillard personally recommended I go to try the crispy ginger beef - a personal favourite of his. I haven't been there in a while, but I can still taste it. Yum! Not sure however if this addresses your Szechuan beef question, but I'm hankering for Szechuan crispy shrimp and just about to start a new post. Oh... I do remember once going to Rol San on Spadina and having a crispy Szechuan beef dish - another one that I can still taste - very good! p.s. I used to work downtown and also have fond memories of Szechuan Szechuan - great chow for the biz district! Would love to hear if you ever satisfied your desire.

                        Rol San
                        323 Spadina Ave, Toronto, ON M5T2E9, CA

                        Spadina Garden
                        116 Dundas Street West, Toronto, ON , CA

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: Moimoi
                          bogie Jun 10, 2011 05:00 AM

                          Hi, Moimoi! I did satisfy my crispy beef craving at Szechuan Szechuan's location in the Financial District. It's quite good, perhaps not compared to what you can get up north, but we commute from Hamilton so we don't find ourselves in the northern environs of Toronto very often.

                        2. s
                          stephen Jun 10, 2011 06:00 AM

                          At 2140 Yonge Street, C'est Bon does a really good Crispy Ginger Beef. Too good in fact.

                          C'est Bon
                          2685 Yonge St, Toronto, ON M4N2H8, CA

                          C'est Bon Chinese Restaurant
                          2140 Yonge St, Toronto, ON M4S2A8, CA

                          4 Replies
                          1. re: stephen
                            Moimoi Jun 10, 2011 06:18 AM

                            I live near C'est Bon and have been a fan for years, so thanks for the info - I'll try it next time. A bit off topic, but just wondering if you ever find the food inconsistent there... I've been told that there's a master chef, and I swear I can tell when he's not cooking... have noted significant differences in sauces, etc., from time to time... Have you??? Also terrific Shanghai Noodles, General Tso chicken (I know... a very pedestrian dish) and braised tofu, by the way...

                            C'est Bon
                            2685 Yonge St, Toronto, ON M4N2H8, CA

                            1. re: Moimoi
                              stephen Jun 10, 2011 07:04 AM

                              Haven't had any dramatic inconsistencies so far, but have been happily surprised when I try something new on the menu, even though I mostly default to the Crispy Ginger Beef. Thanks for the recos!
                              Pan fried dumplings, Moo Shu, and Broccoli with garlic are good choices as well.

                              1. re: stephen
                                petek Jun 10, 2011 07:24 AM

                                Is the location south of Eglinton better than the one further north,near Lawrence?

                                1. re: petek
                                  stephen Jun 10, 2011 08:01 AM

                                  I've only been to the northern location one once, but it was the same good food. The service at the southern location can be spotty, but that's what I find to be the norm in Toronto.

                          2. Moimoi Jun 10, 2011 08:07 PM

                            I was inspired to comment on this posting based on my own quest for crispy Szechuan shrimp, so I posted a separate query but haven't had one reply. How embarrassing. So, in keeping in line with the crispy Szechuan theme here, does anyone know where I can find this in a "shrimp" format???

                            1. j
                              jayzen25 Jun 14, 2011 03:18 PM

                              Hot Wok in Scarborough, progress/kennedy has Crispy beef and it is excellent

                              1. b
                                bandbme Feb 20, 2013 07:11 AM

                                Oddly enough SzechuanSzechuan at First Canadian Place serves this dish - and it is very good. Go for the take out version with rice combo(about $11 - Feb 2013) but can easily feed 2 normal appetites...and their version of Ginger Beef is better! Even Calgarians that I know who (naturally) HATE EVERYTHING about TO think it's pretty good! LOL


                                1 Reply
                                1. re: bandbme
                                  Chester Eleganté Feb 20, 2013 10:27 PM

                                  Not really odd...their version has long been a staple dish down in the Path.

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