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Roadmap for Chinese Outside the Downtown Core

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I read so much on this forum about all of the great chinese to be had outside of the downtown core (be it Richmond Hill, Scarborough, Markham, etc).

My wife and I tend to eat at places like Lee Garden but only because we don't know where to go outside of downtown and don't have significant time to go exploring without direction.

I can't seem to find a consolidated thread with a map of the finest chinese establishments in the greater GTA and would greatly appreciate anyone who can help me out with a list and what I need to order at each place.

As an aside - I will eat anything but my wife restricts herself to primarily vegetarian and fish dishes - so if there are any standouts that have a few dishes for her, that would be extremely helpful.

Thanks,

Jordan

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Lee Garden Restaurant
331 Spadina Ave, Toronto, ON M5T2E9, CA

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  1. Wow, well, our resident experts will weigh in soon but the usual suspects are (since you didn't mention what kind of chinese or price point, I just jumbled them all in here :))

    John's BBQ
    Win's Seafood (new but getting good reviews)
    Casa Victoria
    Casa Imperial
    Yang's (although recent reviews haven't been as good)
    Brillant
    Ambassador
    Spring Villa
    Fantasy Eatery
    Shangri-la
    Maple Yip Seafood Restaurant
    O-Mei
    Emperor
    Judy's cuisine

    I am sure I missed a few...letting us know what kind of chinese you are interested in will help narrow down/add others

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    Casa Imperial
    4125 Steeles Ave E, Scarborough, ON M1W 3T4, CA

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

    11 Replies
    1. re: Wil

      I'll throw in Northern Dumpling Kitchen for awesome dumplings.

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      Northern Dumpling Kitchen
      550 7 Hwy E, Richmond Hill, ON L4B3Z4, CA

      1. re: TorontoJo

        Mmm, haven't been in awhile but yes, awesome dumplings!

      2. re: Wil

        I really wish I could tell you what kind of chinese I typically eat and enjoy but I suppose that I am not well versed enough (even though I eat it regularly).

        I can tell you that I love dim sum and that I used to eat at Bright Pearl regularly and now find myself at the Pearl most often.

        My wife and I often eat steamed fish and varieties of mixed veggies at Lee Garden.

        Once upon a time - my family ate regularly at a place called Young Lok on St. Patrick, at Wah Sing and at O'Mei (when there was a more south bathurst location) - with the occassional Sea-Hi on Sunday nights.

        I really enjoy congee and have ventured to congee wong on a recommendation which I liked.

        I have read much about expensive meals at O'Mei (Lobster/Crab served 4 ways) - I don't have a problem with eating at that price point on occasion but am more comfortable with Lee Garden or cheaper for regular dining ($12-25 entrees)

        does this help focus?

        Any way to "rate" the above list in order of where I need to go first?

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        Bright Pearl
        346 Spadina Ave, Toronto, ON M5T2G2, CA

        Wah's Restaurant
        23 Simcoe Plaza, Terrace Bay, ON P0T2W0, CA

        Lee Garden Restaurant
        331 Spadina Ave, Toronto, ON M5T2E9, CA

        1. re: glickjor

          If it's not a special occasion and just doing a tour and starting out, John's is still good, Charles Yu just posted an up to date review and he's one of our best/well known/trust worthy users.

          http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/796340

          1. re: Wil

            I've read the post, mouth dripping over the pork dish described.

            What about for special occasions and for dim sum?

        2. re: Wil

          To Wil's pretty comprehensive list, I would add:

          'Fishermen Club House - Steeles/Midland' ( seafood) and Regal16 - 16th Ave/Spadina ( sharksfin!!, abalone and stuffed crab shell).

          For really good, authentic and spicy Szechuen style Northern Chinese cuisine, add 'The Old House - Sheppard/Glen Watford to the list.

          I would also treat 'Brilliant' as an 'unsure' due to the recent movement of the chef.

          My previous experience at Fantasy Eatery's Scarborough location was a total disaster. I would avoid it for now!

          1. re: Charles Yu

            Thank you all for the help -

            let's say that I really wanted to impress my wife with a single night up north such that she was certain to want to return to the area.

            and let's say that she was only interested in fish and vegetable dishes (no seafood or meat - though I will be ordering those dishes for myself)

            and let's presume that we have americanized tastes (such that authenticity is not quite low on the totem pole of priorities)

            If you had to choose 2-3 places to recommend (or just 1) - what would you say should be our first target for a no-miss meal.

            (I know this may be asking a lot - or WAY TOO MUCH)

            1. re: glickjor

              Take her to Maple Yip in Scarborough. Btw, I think Lee Garden is one of the better options in the GTA, so you may find that the grass is not aways greener....

              1. re: T Long

                Second this rec. I'm also a downtown Chinese food eater with infrequent trips to Markham, Scarborough, etc. A couple of years ago, I posted a similar request on this board and followed up on the many recommendations to eat at Maple Yip. It was a Saturday night and my husband and I were the only non-Asians in this packed restaurant. Our dinner was delicious. If I recall, they specialize in steamed fish dishes so that would be great for your wife. The only thing I regretted was having only one other dining companion - we wanted to try so many other dishes but were limited by the space in our ultimately overstuffed tummies. I really do enjoy Chinese restaurants best with a larger group.

              2. re: glickjor

                Totally agree with T Long and Peppermint pate!
                However, since Maple Yip is ultra busy on the weekends, I would suggest picking a week day . If weekend a must, then try arriving BEFORE 6 pm!! If ordering ' steamed whole fish like Turbot, Garoupa or Sea Bass' do ask for the market price before ordering to avoid 'shock'! eg., 'Live' Turbot from France can run you around $28-30+ per pound for a two pounder.

                1. re: Charles Yu

                  Thanks for all the help - Can't wait to try it.