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Sep 2, 2012 08:23 PM

'Golden Shanghai', 7750 Kennedy Road, Markham - Tasty Shanghainese food worthy of a visit

Once offering some of GTA's best Shanghainese cuisine, the former chef and owner have since moved on, resulting in my removal of this establishment from my culinary radar screen.

However, after hearing from the grape-vine that the 'new' owner/chef was a former chef of the famous Hong Kong Shanghainese restaurant - TST Prat's Avenue 'Shanghai Restaurant', I decided to give it a try.

The place was packed at around 7.30pm but we were lucky that a 'table for 4' opened up after just a short wait. Ordering from both the special menu on the wall as well as from the a la carte menu, we selected a potpourri of traditional and contemporary Shanghainese dim sum and entree dishes

Service was understandably slow, the food took a relatively long time to come out from the kitchen, but we were fortunate to be rewarded with some really delicious and well-executed food.

We ordered the following:

- Pan fried pork buns ( an alternate to the traditional pot-sticker )

- Crispy sesame coated crepe pocket with diced pork and spicy Szechuan preserved turnips filling.

- Spicy peanut sauce base 'Dan-Dan' noodles

- Crispy aromatic duck ( duck con fit style ) 香酥鴨

- Stirred fry Pea shoot topped with baby bamboo shoot in brown sauce

- Szechuan spicy double cook pork belly with cabbage 回鍋肉,

- Fried heads-on prawns in garlic butter with crispy garlic chips and leek Julianne

Apart from a misstep in executing the 'Double cooked pork belly' ( too much starchy gravy and mushy texture pork belly slices ), the rest of our dishes were nicely done and tasty - some even uber-tasty!!

Worth mentioning were:

- the nicely seasoned pork filling of the pan-fried buns. (The rice wine used was intoxicating).
- The incredible wok-hay of the pea-shoot dish.
- The duck! Totally grease less, ultra crispy and perfectly seasoned. We devour even the crunchy and tasty bones!!
- The intensely flavorful Dan-Dan noodles with its home made noodles and great broth. Make sure to mix the noodle completely with the peanut base sauce/soup.
- High light of the evening - The 'Garlic butter fried prawns'! Soooo good! You have to taste it! Period!!

Total bill came to only $66. Absolutely a steal!!

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    1. re: smfan

      Yes! From 11.00am on weekdays and 10.30am on weekends.

      1. re: Charles Yu

        Thanks Charles. Had xiao long bao, chill oil dumpling, scallion deep fried pancake, braised beef shank noodle in soup, drunken chicken leg, half crispy duck with an extra drumette, dried tofu sheet stuffed with minced pork in soup with vermicelli, and soy milk for lunch. $50 including tips. Didn't taste any MSG. Wanted to try the smoked fish but sold out.

        1. re: smfan

          Have you tried 'Northern Dumpling Kitchen' inside of Times Square? How did the Xiao Lung Bao and Scallion pancake compare? Love GS soy milk. Not too sweet and pretty dense and concentrate. Guess I have to try their smoked fish next time! Sold out that early is always a good sign!

          1. re: Charles Yu

            Haven't tried NDK. The Xiao Lung Bao at GS has very thin skin and juicy filings but doesn't taste like those at Ding Tai Feng at First Markham Place or HK old school Shanghainese restaurants. GS scallion pancake is deep fried. Crunchy with very little scallion. Personally I like pan fried with lots of scallion and layers. Like the soy milk. I got there at 2pm that's why the smoked fish was sold out. But heard one of the staff ordering eel on the phone from a supplier.

    2. Thank you for the report. The place sounds like a must try, although too bad about the double-cooked pork belly, which is a dish I always look forward to at a Shanghainese restaurant. Is it so bad that it is not even picture worthy?

      1. Hey Charles, thx for finding this place. We've been in a bit of a Shanghainese food withdrawal after our trip to China back in June.

        We tried all your dishes and really enjoyed the Dan Dan noodles, the shrimp, the veg & bamboo, and the duck (not dried out at all like many of the other Shanghainese places in GTA).

        The xiao long biao was decent for Toronto standards (thin enough skin, good tasty broth).

        We tried the pork belly dish but with the fermented tofu sauce and it was surprisingly good. The meat was nicely cooked, still juicy on the inside and not too soft, and the sauce wasn't too overpowering. My non-chinese friend, who didn't want any fatty red meats tonight due to some cholesterol problems, had a tiny piece that I cut for him, and he ended up gobbling up the rest of the large slice from his girlfriend's plate.

        The beef and vegetable soup was a bit too light for my taste.

        The pan fried buns were ok, but still no one in GTA can match the ones in Shanghai for some reason.

        The biggest disappointment was the smoked fish. It was dry and hard, and the flavour was quite lack luster. Even the one at Ala Kitchen was better.

        Kitchen was fine when we ordered early by 6:30pm on a saturday night, but after we added a few more dishes, it took forever to get our dishes once they got busy.

        We didn't try any of their pre-ordered dishes, but apparently they have some speciality seafood dishes (I didn't ask which dishes in particular though, as my Cantonese isn't good enough over the phone).

        11 Replies
        1. re: Royaljelly

          one more pic of the XLB, opened up

          1. re: Royaljelly

            my experience was quite the opposite ...i had the XLB 3 weeks ago and it was utter disappointment... virtually no soup inside and the skin was too thick for my liking....

          2. re: Royaljelly

            Hello Chowfriend!
            Really glad to hear you enjoyed 'most' of the food. Considering how 'inconsistent' restaurant food can be nowadays, I was satisfied with what we were offered. For you, must be tough to compare with all those gorgeous authentic Shanghai food in the mainland?! I shared the same sentiment each time I returned from Hong Kong! Food over there can be so so much better. Especially seafood dishes! No farm raised Talapia or Basa and shrimps for the oil poached dish are genuine river shrimp and not some South American clone!
            Nice to hear your 'smoked fish' warning! Will consider something else next time, though its one of my favourite dish ( if done well and use the right fish! )

            1. re: Charles Yu

              Charles Yu, this is outstanding news and a delightful share. My dad is a super fan of Shanghai cuisine and tries to make his own 'smoked fish' (also dry and not my fave) so I will tempt him with this idea. I am a dandan mien addict. Sounds like it will be worth the drive from downtown for me and from Mississauga for them. What would I do without CH? Thanks also to you and Royaljelly for the foodie fotos. I'm drooling all over my keyboard... wish I could go today. BTW, Charles Yu, did you eat at this chef's original place in HK?

              Off topic (sorry) request: I used to live in Taipei in the 90s and had the most amazing "Cha Chang Mien" at a place called Lai Lai. The chef made all the noodles by hand in house (lots of prizes on the wall from competitions won all over China, etc) and the sauce on top was like a fat free pork & root veg ambrosia, just 100% quality. At this spot, apart from a few small appetizer dishes, the cha chang mien was the only dish on the menu. Serious stuff.

              Anyhow, I'm still dreaming about those noodles, and have tried lots of spots all over TO and everytime we travel to major cities, but am always sorely disappointed. Korean friends have recommended various Ja Jang Myun places, but it's just totally not the same. The sauce is all starch! If any of you expert Chinese foodie chowhounders out here know of any good spots worth trying, or other threads I could check out, I'd be forever grateful. Many thanks!

              1. re: dameems

                If you ever come up Richmond Hill way, you should also give ' Northern Dumpling Kitchen' a try too. Their Dan Dan Noodles is also very very good. Slightly different taste profile. May be they add peanut as well as sesame paste to their broth. You can do some 'noodle tasting'!??!!
                Also, NDK's Szechuan sliced pork with garlic chili sauce 蒜泥白肉 is 'to die for'!! Have not encountered a better version in the GTA!

                1. re: Charles Yu

                  ok, Charles Yu, I'm drooling into my keyboard!

                2. re: dameems

                  "Minced Meat with Noodles in Peking Sauce" at Asian Legend is the type of noodle that you're looking for: The noodle has both machine made and hand made. The hand made costs $1 more if I don't remember wrong. The Korean version is totally different.

                  1. re: chutchut

                    chutchut, I have tried the Asian Legend version and was disappointed (especially because they're taiwanese... no one in Taiwan does "gan mien" like that!). The sauce is just kinda bland.... correct me if I'm wrong. Did you like them?

                  2. re: dameems

                    Shanxi Legend also has "Cha Chang Mien"炸酱面, i.e., dish# 11.1 on this menu:

                    1. re: chutchut

                      chutchut, have you been there/tried the "Cha Chang Mien"? Any good?? I think maybe what I need is a plane ticket to Taiwan....

                      1. re: dameems

                        Dumpling King, Chang An Northwestern Chinese Cuisine, Chinese Traditional Buns mentioned in this post also have "Cha Chang Mien"炸酱面. All these restaurants which have "Cha Chang Mien"炸酱面, except for Asian Legend, are restaurants which offers dishes from north/northeast/northwest regions. Chang An is the ancient name for Xi'an. Asian Legend offers dishes from north, Shanghai, and Sichuan. I only tried "Cha Chang Mien"炸酱面 at Asian Legend. It's pretty good though a bit sweet if I don't remember wrong. All in all, Cantonese restaurants in Toronto are the best among Chinese cuisines. Foods from other regions are slowing coming to the scene, though we couldn't say that the flavor/quality is up to what we would expect from homeland yet. However, they're acceptable and for sure that you could get a taste of the authenticity.

              2. Dear Charles and other posters,

                Which of the places mentioned in this thread are good for dinner and for three ladies who have not eaten authentic Chinese before?

                Headed somewhere for dinner tonight so responses are appreciated!


                3 Replies
                1. re: TeacherFoodie

                  Personally, I like Northern Dumpling Kitchen the most.

                  1. re: Charles Yu

                    i still have to try that outfit out, Charles.

                    The "New Northern dumplings" in scarborough on silver star blvd. is pretty good for dumplings and other dishes. The last few times i've gone they made (rolled the skin/filled the dumpling) the dumplings only when the order has been received which is a plus in my books vs establishments such as dumpling king who make dumplings throughout the day and put it in the steamer when its ordered.

                    1. re: Charles Yu

                      Thanks. We ended up trying Asian Legend for an early dinner and it was great. Will try dumpling kitchen next.