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Help me with my Richmond Hill food tour

themiguel Oct 31, 2011 10:31 AM

I am setting up a Richmond Hill area food tour and would love some help to see if pacing and food wise we are going to be ok. I am a total neophite when it comes to this area, and Chinese food is not my specialty - so I have been relying on chowhound reviews and yelp for this.

LUNCH - Judys Cuisine (any must order dishes?) or should I try some dim-sum instead like Dragon Boat Fusion?

SNACK - Johns BBQ King of BBQ Pork (Char-Siu)

DINNER - OMei lobster 5 ways as the grand finale

DESSERT - Try the famous Durian pancakes at Full House dessert perhaps.

There can often be 10-12 of us on these tours so I am hoping that most of these places will take reservations. How much should I tell people to budget for this itinerary? Assuming there is lets say 12 of us.

Thank you so much for any help.

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

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  1. l
    LJS2 RE: themiguel Oct 31, 2011 01:46 PM

    i would try to squeeze in Northern Dumpling which is 2 or 3 doors over from Judys.

    1 Reply
    1. re: LJS2
      themiguel RE: LJS2 Nov 1, 2011 06:37 AM

      Great idea - can totally do this!

    2. m
      ManAbout RE: themiguel Oct 31, 2011 03:30 PM

      Why only Chinese? Restaurant Malaysia at Major Mackenzie and Bayview is a good option if you are up for trying something different.

      1 Reply
      1. re: ManAbout
        themiguel RE: ManAbout Nov 1, 2011 06:37 AM

        Well I am focusing on cuisines or dishes that we just cant get from downtown. By all accounts these are some of the best that Richmond Hill has to offer.

        If there is better italian, mexican, whatever available in Richmond Hill than what I can get downtown I am all up for it - but that doesn't seem to be the case.

        I have heard of Restaurant Malaysia! Maybe we will hit that up!

      2. Charles Yu RE: themiguel Oct 31, 2011 08:55 PM

        Six good choices and that doesn't even include a good Dim Sum lunch at say, Yang's or Ambassador and the 'Curry Crab' at Saigon Star?!! May be you should make it a two days outing?!!

        7 Replies
        1. re: Charles Yu
          themiguel RE: Charles Yu Nov 1, 2011 06:39 AM

          Here is the man I was waiting to hear from! Curry Crab at Saigon Star sounds spectacular - maybe we should definitely visit that establishment!

          What is your personal favorite right now for Dim Sum - Yangs or Ambassador? Or rather, what does each do best?

          I am not travelling with any chinese friends so really esoteric or unusual dishes might not go over well.

          1. re: themiguel
            aser RE: themiguel Nov 1, 2011 08:37 AM

            For dim sum I like Yang's or Casa Victoria, which is creeping into Markham territory.

            I also like the fish noodle spot Omega 3 at Kennedy & Hwy 7. Wonton Hut in the same plaza as Casa Victoria might be worth a go.

            Another option for seafood dinner besides O'Mei is Win's on 16th ave close to Warden.

            The Malaysian stall in Metro Square (Warden & Steeles) food court serves a great curry brisket.

            J-town has the ramen spot, the izakaya and the udon/curry rice food court stall.

            Perhaps save room for some Chinese desserts?


            Omega 3
            8362 Kennedy Rd, Markham, ON L3R, CA

            Metro Square Cafe Restaurant
            3636 Steeles Ave E, Markham, ON L3R1K9, CA

            Wonton Hut
            Unit 2A, 3760 Hwy 7 East, Markham, ON L3R 0N2, CA

            1. re: themiguel
              Wil RE: themiguel Nov 1, 2011 09:26 AM

              Have to agree that Ambassador is very soso for dim sum. Yang's or Casa for me as well. Curry crab is their standout dish, worth the trip there just for it, so definately squeeze it in if you can!

              1. re: Wil
                themiguel RE: Wil Nov 1, 2011 10:14 AM

                how many people can one order feed?

                1. re: themiguel
                  ragged25 RE: themiguel Nov 1, 2011 10:22 AM

                  One haha...it's pretty damn good!!

                  I believe they come in 2 sizes with the larger one being 6 or 7 dollars more. You typically order some bread/rice with the crab because you don't want to waste any of the sauce. So given the extra carb, I would say it feeds 3 for a large. Because it's so creamy it does fill you up fairly quickly. I've shared a large with my SO once, but I don't recall us ordering anything else that night, maybe some spring rolls. So it really depends on what other dishes you order along with the crab.

                  Btw, the crab really isn't that cheap, I think mid to high $30s for small, maybe $40 something for a large.

                  1. re: themiguel
                    aser RE: themiguel Nov 1, 2011 10:26 AM

                    At least 2, depending on how much stomach real estate you're saving for other places. They charge by weight, so you can get exactly how much you want. It's also served w/ a baugette for dipping up the SAWSE.

                    I also wouldn't recommend you go during peak hours if you're a table of 10-12 just ordering 2 crab dishes. They won't take kindly to a big group hogging the dining room ordering so little. I would go have a moderate dim sum meal, then move to the crab afterwards.

                    I assume you want to order very little at each place so you can try many things.

                2. re: themiguel
                  Charles Yu RE: themiguel Nov 1, 2011 04:14 PM

                  Ref: Dim Sum
                  Ambassador is pretty traditional whilst Yang's is more ' avant-garde' with creative dishes using western ingredients like truffles and foie gras. ( not unlike Hong Kong's Michelin 3* Lung King Heen, but the food obviously quite a few notches down! ). Casa Victoria over in Markham would be a better choice than Ambassador if you don't mind expanding your territory! Actually, Empire Court inside the Hilton Suite is pretty OK too. More cozy but a smaller menu.

              2. t
                toronto guy RE: themiguel Nov 1, 2011 06:24 PM

                Is Chili crab (Singapore style) available in the area?

                Thanks in advance


                9 Replies
                1. re: toronto guy
                  Charles Yu RE: toronto guy Nov 1, 2011 07:58 PM

                  I wish!!

                  1. re: Charles Yu
                    aser RE: Charles Yu Nov 1, 2011 08:23 PM

                    The closest parallel will be typhoon shelter crab, which is hk style. That's available at quite a few of the wok hay spots mentioned in this thread.

                    Judy might have it, I know for sure Fantasy and Big Mouth Kee will. BMK's version is better than Fantasy's.

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

                    1. re: aser
                      Charles Yu RE: aser Nov 1, 2011 08:29 PM

                      IMO, best is the version at Fisherman Club House!

                      Club House Cafe
                      2 Bloor St W, Toronto, ON M4W3E2, CA

                      1. re: Charles Yu
                        ace123 RE: Charles Yu Nov 1, 2011 08:42 PM

                        Not sure if it's authentic, the Singapore crab at Delicious Restaurant (next to ex-Tang Chai Kee) is very yummy. Needs advance order. The new owners are very friendly. Hai Nan Chicken with rice is probably the best in Toronto. Bake stuffed conch (advance order) is not the regular ones with lots of filler, but with well chosen ingredients that you can identify and taste. It's a small restaurant with about 30 seats.

                        1. re: ace123
                          Wil RE: ace123 Nov 2, 2011 05:37 AM

                          Seen this place many times when going to Tan Chai Kee, but never tried it. I can always have some good Hai Nan chicken so might have to check it out.

                          , Toronto, ON M5G, CA

                          1. re: ace123
                            Charles Yu RE: ace123 Nov 2, 2011 06:18 AM

                            Is this the place that serves the 'Hainan chicken rice ' on the Tuesday as a special using free range chicken?

                            1. re: Charles Yu
                              ace123 RE: Charles Yu Nov 2, 2011 07:04 AM

                              Hainan chicken rice is served only Monday lunch, or dinner Wed to Sun. They are closed for Monday dinner and all day Tues. They make everything fresh daily, better call ahead to make sure. The Chinese name for Delicious Restaurant is 'Ho Ching Heung'.
                              Some of the pre-ordered dishes include: stew yellow fin grouper with bitter melon or eggplant, lobster with cheese sauce, bake stuffed conch, Singapore crab, stew lamb belly, curry lamb etc.
                              Items on the regular menu that I enjoyed and all made from scratch: pan fried black chicken, Sticky rice, rice dumpling (triangle with leaf wrapping), fish mouse noodle, fish ball, fish ball with mince meat filling (bau sum fish ball), steam stuffed tofu with top soy sauce, etc.
                              Reservation recommended for weekend dinner as the seating capacity is about 35 only.

                            2. re: ace123
                              Demeter RE: ace123 Nov 2, 2011 06:20 AM

                              I was just going to rec the same thing! They can also do a chinese-omakase of sorts.

                          2. re: aser
                            vidkid RE: aser Nov 2, 2011 06:15 AM

                            Ah, Big Mouth Kee! I loved this place but haven't been in over 7 years.

                            I distinctly recall the incredible fried eel - still the best I've ever had. Not to hijack this thread, but besides the typhoon shelter crab, what else might you recommend aser?

                      2. j
                        junkie RE: themiguel Nov 2, 2011 05:32 PM

                        definitely switch judy's for a dim sum place like yang's, casa, premiere, legend. to be honest johns is not bad but the seasoning has been way too salty for all their bbq which all include msg, and wouldnt really serve a "wow i had the best bbq pork in richmond hill".

                        for chinese desserts i'd recommend herbal 3 at times square because its the only decent place that would accommodate 10-12 ppl comfortably. keep in mind, full house is strictly a takeout place, overpriced and not worth the trek. if you like artificially coloured yellow thin pancakes filled with whipped cream and imported low quality frozen durian, then i guess its worth a try?

                        random snack recommendations: first markham place (food court), bubble tea houses: go for tea, destiny, ten ren's

                        3 Replies
                        1. re: junkie
                          Charles Yu RE: junkie Nov 2, 2011 07:08 PM

                          With good wok-hay places becoming far and few in Richmond Hill, if time allows, I would keep Judy's cuisine on the list. However, I would make it a dinner destination. In fact, before Tan Chi Kee closed down, a dish by dish comparison between the two places often resulted in Judy's version coming out ahead. Poached 'concubine' free range chicken, Deep fried honey glazed oysters, Stirred fry beef with Gai-Lan....to name a few.

                          With fellow chowhounder 'junkie' mentioning about First Markham Place. If by chance you folks are there around 5-6 pm on a weekend, get the ' roast suckling piglet' from Peak Top!! Get a few pounds to share and use your fingers!!

                          1. re: Charles Yu
                            themiguel RE: Charles Yu Nov 3, 2011 02:23 PM

                            Thanks for the insight junkie - and charles, should I switch up john's for peak top?

                            1. re: themiguel
                              Charles Yu RE: themiguel Nov 3, 2011 04:05 PM

                              To munch on some crispy skin suckling piglet from Peak Top as snacks would be great. However, due to its popularity, availability might be inconsistent. Better to call ahead and reserve a portion. Personally, for take out, I prefer the suckling pig over the b-b-q pork. Less messy. Besides the king of b-b-q pork char siu is great eaten hot with all the honey sauce.

                        2. t
                          themiguel RE: themiguel Nov 25, 2011 07:37 AM

                          Thanks everyone for your help - here is the final version of our tour with some questions:

                          Lunch - Reservation made for Dim Sum at Yangs (what do they do best for Dim Sum?)
                          Snack - Dumplings at Northern Dumpling (Soup Dumplings and BBQ Pork Dumplings anything else?)
                          Snack - Curried Crab at Saigon Star (can I/should I make a reservation?)

                          DIGESTIVE BREAK - We're doing a fun activity

                          Apperitif - King of Char Siu at John's BBQ (they don't take reservations do they? Also we are all non chinese speakers - if we say King of Char Siu will they get our drift? dont want the regular BBQ Pork)
                          Dinner - Lobster 4 ways at Omei

                          Thanks everyone for you help!

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: themiguel
                            LTL RE: themiguel Nov 25, 2011 01:39 PM

                            RE: Northern Dumpling - I know it's not a dumpling dish, but I loved the stir-fry green beans. The dish is topped with minced pork and onions, and the entire thing is sauteed in this really addictive spicy black bean-based sauce.

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