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Oct 7, 2011 06:42 AM

Okaaaaaaay, we get it. HOLIMA CHINESE FOODS really is the best chop suey delivery joint in west Scarborough

We've been practicing the definition of insanity, ordering Chinese food from many different places over and over again expecting different results. Well nothing's changed. Every time we do it, what gets delivered is Chinese food as bad as it was when we were kids in the suburbs. Cheap and massive quantites of greasy, flavourless, clumps using pet food grade meat and surprisingly crisp (hello, chemical additives) vegetables.

We're sorry Holima. Your (and now I know the term for it thanks to Charles Yu) wok hay tinged foods will be the only ones ordered from now on in.

Holima Chinese Foods
1734 Lawrence Ave E, Toronto, ON M1R 2Y2, CA

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  1. I have loved Holima since the '80's and I suspect through 4-5 owners and same number of cooks--or maybe a lot more. Cantonese Chowmain being my favourite.

    How did it go with Mr Bridges and the soda bread mix?

    7 Replies
    1. re: Herne

      That Cantonese Chow Mein is Beau's fave. We get that just about every time we order. I used to think it tasted of grill until I found out what wok hay was. The two have similar yummy results.

      We never did make it to that mall last weekend. Did you find what you were looking for?

        1. re: Full tummy

          Thanks! That YouTube link from Cheongi shows wok hay at its finest! What I don't truly understand in Cantonese is "yeet hay".

          1. re: syoung

            My simple and lay take on Yeet Hay (heat) from a food perspective is consuming too much fried/deep fried/roasted foods. Too much yeet hay and your face will break out and you will have bad breath. The yang in yin/yang. Watermelon is best example of a yin (cooling) food. A Chinese herbalist can go into much more detail.

        2. re: Googs

          Holima was shut for a good few months before reopening. I'm surprised they managed to keep up the standards. During the past 5 years or so I have been going to the "real" Chinese places on Spadina near Dundas (Chinese girlfriend). But Holima is not far from my mind.

          I didn't get to Mrs Bishops to look for Soda bread mix either.

          1. re: Herne

            What Spadina & Dundas spots do you consider "real"?

            1. re: iMarilyn

              E-Pan and The new Sky are very good and the Diamond now defunct was the best for years. Major tip off before you start to eat is a menu in Chinese. Usually has dishes not on the English menu--I'm told.

              Best food outside of the city core-in my opinion- is Congee Queen at Lawrence and Donway West.

              369 Spadina Ave, Toronto, ON M5T 2G3, CA

              Congee Queen
              895 Lawrence Ave E, Toronto, ON M3C3L2, CA

      1. Wow, haven't even thought about Holima since I was a kid in the '70s. My parents would get Holima takeout about once a month as a Saturday night treat. Great memories. Now I want a big plate of Holima, egg roll and plum sauce, and watch Planet Of The Apes on the 26" colour TV!

        4 Replies
        1. re: toboggan3

          Ah yes, the Zenith 26" tv with an aerial on the roof for the finest reception!

          You had it lucky, my friend, if Holima was your local. My local back then was almost enough to make me never eat Chinese again. Thank goodness things have improved greatly since. You gotta love this city.

          1. re: toboggan3

            Toboggan3, did you grow up in my house? We also ordered from Holima in the 70s as a Saturday night treat when I was a kid. Also whenever it was somebody's birthday. The deep-fried shrimp was my favourite. They were actually a pretty respectable size considering.

            1. re: Sparky777

              No, I would've remembered having a sibling named Sparky. : )

              When I saw the word 'Holima' in the thread it was instant nostalgia. I think I will definitely head back to Scarborough and pick up some takeout very soon.

            2. re: toboggan3

              Ohmigosh! My folks used to order from Holima once a month on Saturday night! We would watch Bugs Bunny/Road Runner cartoons and eat off of trays in front of the tele; something we never did otherwise! Our favourites were mushroom fried rice, s&s chicken balls, vegetable chop suey, egg rolls and beef with broccoli. Oh how I miss Holima in Scarberia! Thanks for conjuring up some great foodie memories...

            3. its been our go-to order spot since we moved back to TO about 7 years ago. consistently good.

              1. My parents would drive there in the 60's. Egg rolls, honey garlic ribs. I drive by regularly. Maybe I should try again. I'll skip the ribs tho.

                1. Do you know if they deliver as far as Don Mills and Sheppard? I have been looking for a good Chinese delivery in the area for the last year or so and the only acceptable option I have found is Helena's. I used to be in the High Park area and miss Westwood Grill dearly!

                  5 Replies
                  1. re: LTL

                    I know how you feel. I used to live in the Cork- Cabbagetown area and dearly miss my sweet, sweet Peking Express. Holima may not be PE, but it does alright by me.

                    I checked the menu and there's no delivery area described. They also don't have anything quite as 21st century as a website. I'm afraid you'll have to call and ask them. 416-759-1147

                    1. re: Googs

                      Thanks, I will try that! And somehow track down a menu sans website...wish me luck :)

                      1. re: LTL

                        Well my scanner at home is dead at the moment, so I can't really help with a menu. We didn't have one for our first order. We just asked if they had a couple of dishes we liked, they did, and the menu came with our delivery. Alternatively, if you want to tell me what some of your favourites are, I can always look them up for you.

                        1. re: Googs

                          Thanks, Googs. My favs are sweet and sour soup, shanghai noodles, cantonese chow mein, beef tenderloin (preferably on a hot plate), salt and pepper shrimp, and a variety of chicken dishes. I'm sure they probably have these dishes as they are quite basic. Probably be easier and more helpful if you tell me what your favourites are :)

                          1. re: LTL

                            Hot & Sour Soup $3.00

                            Shanghai Chow Mein $8.25 (vegetable $7.25)

                            Cantonese Chow Mein $8.50

                            I hear the shrimp with lobster sauce $10.00 is the shrimp dish to order, but I haven't tried it yet

                            Dunno about beef tenderloin.

                            Me, I'm pretty simple. I like the Bean Cake Village Style ($8.25), Kung Pao Chicken ($8.25), and the Cantonese Chow Mein. There are others, but those are the main ones.