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Old School Chinese Restaurant (like China House,RIP)

emq Sep 23, 2013 02:53 PM

When China House on Eglinton closed it left a void in my life. It had been our "go to" place for all family celebrations for at least 15 years. Please Chow Hounds, I need your help. We don't need authentic chinese, just good food and family style. Banquet seats or big round tables. We live downtown but willing to travel for the sake of the family.

  1. Dr. John Sep 23, 2013 08:17 PM

    The closest thing I've found to that style is Sea Hi up on Bathurst. I like their steamed pork at very least.

    32 Replies
    1. re: Dr. John
      e
      erly Sep 24, 2013 12:31 PM

      Lee Garden on Spadina is our answer to Canadian Chinese.
      We Went to Sea Hi, about a year ago, and could not believe how bad the food was.
      Loved the ribs (honey garlic especially) from Lichee Gardens, and sort of liked China House, but find ourselves at Lee Garden at least once a Month.
      No fancy round tables, or dried noodles on the table, but no MSG, and it is the only Chinese restaurant that we are aware of that doesn't steal the Lobster Roe for their dim sum.
      They are also very nice, and the menu is in English as well as Cantonese.

      1. re: erly
        justsayn Sep 24, 2013 12:54 PM

        I agree on Lee Garden but I didn't want to piss a lot of people off by comparing them to the old China House. I know many who think LG is the best Chinese restaurant in the world.

        1. re: justsayn
          justxpete Sep 24, 2013 01:10 PM

          No you don't.. seriously?

          1. re: justxpete
            justsayn Sep 24, 2013 02:03 PM

            Quite seriously.....

            1. re: justxpete
              prima Sep 24, 2013 03:48 PM

              I know of a family who drives from Thornhill to eat at LG.

            2. re: justsayn
              f
              flonie Sep 25, 2013 05:53 PM

              Holdon, isn't China house old school canadian chinese food (or fake chinese food)?

              1. re: flonie
                justsayn Sep 25, 2013 06:29 PM

                Canadian Chinese is referred to as old school on CH Toronto. Ja doo chicken wings, Vancouver ribs (dry ribs), egg rolls, chicken balls, chow mein, moo goo gai pan, dai dop voy, house noodles, long glow in the dark pork ribs, sweet and sour pork ribs, honey garlic ribs, breaded fried wings, pork wonton soup, pork slices, general tsao, kung pao chicken, fried rice, fried noodles, plum sauce, hot mustard and a fortune cookie or almond cookie

                1. re: justsayn
                  justsayn Sep 25, 2013 06:39 PM

                  They didn't use corn starch as the breading, it was either a simple flour breading or the chicken ball batter type.

                  1. re: justsayn
                    prima Sep 25, 2013 07:00 PM

                    Don't forget Cantonese chow mein (basically dai dop voy topping crispy fried skinny wheat noodles), beef with broccoli, beef with Chinese greens, Egg Foo Young and Butterfly shrimp (the ones with bacon, egg and onions).

                    Our old school standard order was Wor Won Ton Soup, egg rolls, chicken balls with pineapple or ginger sauce, dai dop voy, beef with Chinese Greens (usually bok choi) and steamed rice.:)

                    1. re: prima
                      justsayn Sep 25, 2013 07:06 PM

                      OH right....Egg Foo Yong !! lol Loved that.

                      And shrimp and snow peas.

                      Egg Foo Yong reminds me there was a place on The Queensway that is still open but I haven't been for over a decade. Perhaps it is still exactly the same? Has anybody been to Ancom Chinese Food near Islington?

                      1. re: justsayn
                        f
                        fryerlover Sep 26, 2013 12:50 PM

                        haha........yes, I have been to Ancom for about two lunches. Would prefer not to go back as the food is very bland. Really bland. Not the same owner as years ago.

                        1. re: fryerlover
                          justsayn Sep 26, 2013 04:06 PM

                          : ) memories

                          1. re: justsayn
                            f
                            fryerlover Sep 26, 2013 08:55 PM

                            You can say that again. My first job was at the Baskin Robbins across the street 22 years ago. Ordered from there twice a week while at work. Great food then. Now not so much.

                            1. re: fryerlover
                              justsayn Sep 27, 2013 05:28 AM

                              Ok! So do you remember the name before Ancom? THAT was good!

                              1. re: justsayn
                                f
                                fryerlover Sep 27, 2013 08:48 AM

                                As far back as I remember, it has always been Ancom Chinese Restaurant.

                                1. re: fryerlover
                                  justsayn Sep 27, 2013 08:51 AM

                                  I found it! This was when it was at it's very best! The nicest family ran it too! http://www.restoronto-reviews.com/rev...

                                  1. re: justsayn
                                    f
                                    fryerlover Sep 27, 2013 10:29 AM

                                    Oh yeah, that name does ring a bell. Do you know when the name change happened? Just curious as I'm now wondering what the name was when I was ordering twice a week at my first job.

                      2. re: prima
                        m
                        millygirl Sep 26, 2013 01:38 PM

                        Us too

                        Also BBQ pork ends, fried wontons, and just for good measure, fried rice.

                        Hmmmm, yum!

                        1. re: prima
                          1sweetpea Sep 27, 2013 07:46 AM

                          In our family, every person chose a dish. My dad picked beef with broccoli, my sister, sweet and sour chicken balls, my mother, honey garlic spare ribs and me, sizzling rice soup.

                          1. re: 1sweetpea
                            justsayn Sep 27, 2013 08:05 AM

                            And the North American way was/still is to eat your chosen dish as opposed to family style sharing.

                            My friends loved eating Chinese at my house because my parents would put everything out on the counter for sharing. And of course there was no shortage of food.

                            1. re: justsayn
                              justxpete Sep 27, 2013 08:10 AM

                              Huh? No way. Even my family (read: Very caucasian) shared/s dishes, and has done so ever since we started eating very Westernised Chinese food (which I no longer eat unless forced).

                              I actually find the opposite. People of ethnic backgrounds tend to prefer to eat their own dish as opposed to sharing.

                              1. re: justxpete
                                k
                                kwfoodiewannabe Sep 27, 2013 08:26 AM

                                ALWAYS ate family style. And so did every other suburban family I knew heading down to Elizabeth St. on Sunday evening in the 60's and 70's. Plus it seems that everyone had "their" go to place. Ours was The Nanking, right behind the "New" City Hall. Other friends went to Sai Woo, still others to Lichee Gardens.

                                1. re: kwfoodiewannabe
                                  justsayn Sep 27, 2013 08:48 AM

                                  All I can tell you is this was the "white bread" way that I saw and STILL see. I will have beef and broccoli, I will have Moo Goo Gai Pan etc etc. That's what helped make combo meals so popular - it was for people who wanted a mix because their family hadn't figured it out. I would go to the restaurant with these people and couldn't get them to share plates.

                                  The two of you grew up the way I did, but MANY did not.

                              2. re: justsayn
                                f
                                fryerlover Sep 27, 2013 08:52 AM

                                Our family always shared the dishes......and the same when I ate Chinese at my friends house up the street. And both families are/were all North American born french Canadians with a bit of some other backgrounds in the french Canadian mix.

                                1. re: justsayn
                                  prima Sep 27, 2013 09:16 AM

                                  Not in my family or circle of friends. It's always family-style. I have never seen anyone order their own dish (and not share with others) until having dinner at a Chinese resto in Calgary in 1999 with a classmate from Thunder Bay (who ate half of my dish, when I offered it, but offered none of his). I have never seen anyone do that since, and I'm guessing I've eaten at Chinese restaurants 800+ times (almost weekly for my first 25 years, and at least monthly over the last 15) in the last 40 years ?

                                  1. re: prima
                                    The Chowhound Team Sep 27, 2013 01:14 PM

                                    Folks, we've removed some posts from this thread about whether it's common or uncommon to dine "family-style" at Chinese restaurants, as that topic is getting pretty far afield for this board. If someone wants to start a survey on whether people eat family style or everyone has their own dish in Chinese restaurants, the General Topics board is the best place for that thread. Thanks!

                                  2. re: justsayn
                                    1sweetpea Sep 27, 2013 10:55 AM

                                    We shared all of our dishes, but we each had definite favourites.

                              3. re: justsayn
                                f
                                flonie Sep 27, 2013 03:26 PM

                                What is the translation of dai dop voy? Most of the names seem to be cantonese versions of the dish phonetically.

                                Moo goo gai pan (mushrooms, sliced chicken)

                                Ja doo (Ja is fried, I don't know where the doo comes in)

                                1. re: flonie
                                  prima Sep 27, 2013 09:42 PM

                                  I don't know the direct translation. Dai Dop Voy (大什會 ) contains chicken, shrimp, bbq pork and mixed vegetables.

                                  1. re: prima
                                    T Long Sep 28, 2013 07:44 AM

                                    Not sure either of the direct translation, but I understood it to mean "big assortment of veggies and meat (seafood incl.)". I still usually order it at Yueh Tung downtown and always look forward to the sauteed dried bean curd that they include.

                                  2. re: flonie
                                    kerwintoronto Dec 2, 2013 09:55 AM

                                    Dai Do Voy ... "Large Assorted/Mixed/Misc Meeting" I am pretty sure on the Do being asst/misc/mixed as I have heard other pronunciations as Chap/Chop (as in Chop Suey).

                                    Moo goo gai pan ... "Mushroom chicken slices" (pretty literal). Moo goo ... mushroom and at least from what I learned is button mushrooms (vs dong goo for shitake and so on for other types of 'goo').

                                    No idea on Ja/Jar Doo wings ... Ja would def be fried in Cantonese.

                                    There is an interesting Wiki on this. Please note my credentials in this matter are based on growing up in Toronto as a fluent Canto speaker (HK and other sub-dialect) sorely lacking in literacy.

                                2. re: flonie
                                  MissBingBing Sep 26, 2013 04:25 AM

                                  @flonie That's what the OP asked for.

                          2. k
                            kwfoodiewannabe Sep 24, 2013 06:35 AM

                            Not a lot of places doing this type of thing anymore. Really not much demand for it, I suspect. I like to call it North Americanized suburban Chinese food.

                            What about P.F. Changs? Not exactly old school, but the food style is close, and they can probably handle a large party...

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: kwfoodiewannabe
                              justsayn Sep 24, 2013 08:24 AM

                              I think Sea Chai (Hi) is much closer and PF isn't the same while also not terribly authentic.

                            2. a
                              ammaark Sep 24, 2013 08:35 AM

                              Just north of Bay & College is Crown Princess Fine Dining. It has big round tables, and pretty authentic Chinese food. I enjoyed it!

                              Just be mindful as it is a bit pricey!

                              http://www.crown-princess.ca/english/...

                              8 Replies
                              1. re: ammaark
                                MissBingBing Sep 24, 2013 08:56 AM

                                I doubt they do sweet and sour chicken balls.

                                1. re: MissBingBing
                                  justsayn Sep 24, 2013 08:59 AM

                                  or fried noodles and plum sauce.....

                                  1. re: justsayn
                                    a
                                    ammaark Sep 24, 2013 09:00 AM

                                    Well, I didn't say it was mainstream Chinese food :P

                                    It's a fairly great restaurant, and has the decor and capability the OP wanted.

                                    1. re: ammaark
                                      MissBingBing Sep 24, 2013 09:22 AM

                                      The OP asked for something like China House. Ever eaten there?

                                      1. re: MissBingBing
                                        a
                                        ammaark Sep 24, 2013 10:58 AM

                                        No, I assumed "old school Chinese" meant authentic. Judging by your reaction, I assume that's not the case. My mistake.

                                    2. re: justsayn
                                      f
                                      flonie Sep 25, 2013 05:54 PM

                                      when you say dried noodles, do you mean those orange things they call 'chow mein noodles'?

                                      1. re: flonie
                                        justsayn Sep 25, 2013 06:20 PM

                                        Fried noodles - yes those are them. lol

                                    3. re: MissBingBing
                                      prima Sep 24, 2013 03:53 PM

                                      CP serves sweet and sour pork, listed under chef's recs. Haven't tried it yet. Next time I'm there, I'll order it. :)

                                  2. j
                                    juno Sep 24, 2013 09:02 AM

                                    It seems to me this question - where are the old-school Chinese joints in town? - has been asked before, and the overwhelming consensus was (as Dr. John has noted) Sea-Hi Famous Chinese Food, on Bathurst St., just south of Hwy. 401. It has been around for about 50 years. I haven't been into the joint for at least 30, so can't recall whether it has the requested banquettes or big round tables. But elderly friends - even more elderly than I am - who frequent the place seem to like it a lot, though they point out that it's probably not quite up to China House standards. Its parking lot usually seems busy when I drive by.

                                    1. f
                                      farmgirl1836 Sep 24, 2013 09:18 AM

                                      We would love an answer to your query, as we are also having an issue finding a replacement for Lichee Gardens, China House, etc. We do get Sea-Hi take-out occasionally and also Cynthia's take-out, which is much less expensive than Cynthia's dine-in. We live in Thornhill, but are very willing and able to travel. We do also go to authentic Chinese restaurants, but would love a replacement for China House, especially their ribs and plum sauce! Now I'm hungry.

                                      1 Reply
                                      1. re: farmgirl1836
                                        emq Sep 24, 2013 09:50 AM

                                        Thanks to everyone for their suggestions. We have tried Sea-Hi, and while I love the decor, the food was not nearly as good as China House. Crown Princess Fine Dining is good for weekend dim sum, but is definitely not old school. I want the fried noodles, the long ribs, and a really fat egg roll with meat in it!

                                      2. p
                                        Pincus Sep 24, 2013 09:24 AM

                                        C'est Bon has the good Canadian-Chinese cuisine, but I don't know about the table sizes.

                                        1 Reply
                                        1. re: Pincus
                                          m
                                          magic Dec 3, 2013 01:10 PM

                                          Just adding my support on C'est Bon. Good old school Canadian-Chinese seems to be harder to find (RIP Tasty) and this place does it nicely in a very pleasant environment.

                                          Most of my experience has been with the south Yonge location but the more northerly original Yonge location seems good too.

                                        2. m
                                          millygirl Sep 24, 2013 10:27 AM

                                          Someone just mentioned Cynthia's in Thornhill to me. I checked the menu and it looks old school. Not downtown but apparently it was very good.

                                          They do the gong thing for the peking duck if you like that kind of thing.

                                          20 Replies
                                          1. re: millygirl
                                            k
                                            kwfoodiewannabe Sep 24, 2013 10:54 AM

                                            My Mom is a big fan of Cynthia's. Food is ok... I wouldn't call it "old school"... but I suppose it qualifies as "North American Chinese".
                                            Always prefer Sichuan personally, but I do miss those China House BBQ pork slices of my youth with the weird burgundy colored glaze...

                                            1. re: millygirl
                                              justxpete Sep 24, 2013 02:14 PM

                                              DO NOT, I REPEAT, DO NOT go to Cynthia's in Thornhill for any reason. Just trust me on this one.

                                              If you want some Western-style Chinese food, try either "The Great Wok of China" (ugh. I know) in Mississauga, or preferably, "Emerald Chinese Restaurant" at Eglington and Hwy 10.

                                              I haven't been for quite a while to the latter but it was always packed with Asian and others alike. The authentic food *was* that good and they also served all the western-friendly options (read: Chicken balls).

                                              If you don't mind the drive, it would probably be worth it.

                                              1. re: justxpete
                                                m
                                                MargieEv Sep 24, 2013 02:53 PM

                                                Have ordered a few times from Peking Express on Parliament. It was pretty good for what it was.

                                                1. re: justxpete
                                                  Kagemusha Sep 24, 2013 04:51 PM

                                                  Emerald in Miss. isn't "Western-style." Dim sum and Cantonese.

                                                  The buffets dug the grave for Chinese Canadian restos in the GTA.

                                                  1. re: Kagemusha
                                                    justxpete Sep 24, 2013 05:38 PM

                                                    And yet, they serve chicken balls. Or used to.

                                                    1. re: justxpete
                                                      Kagemusha Sep 25, 2013 04:08 AM

                                                      When was your last meal there? Current clientele isn't the "chicken ball' crowd.

                                                      1. re: Kagemusha
                                                        justxpete Sep 25, 2013 09:21 AM

                                                        See "Sweet & Sour Chicken Ball" under "Poultry".

                                                        http://emeraldchineserestaurant.com/d...

                                                        And yes, you're right. Not the chicken ball clientele for the most part, but still serve them. That was largely my point.

                                                        "but it was always packed with Asian and others alike. The authentic food *was* that good and they also served all the western-friendly options (read: Chicken balls)."

                                                        And I haven't dined there for years.

                                                        1. re: justxpete
                                                          justsayn Sep 25, 2013 09:40 AM

                                                          Looks very Western friendly to me too...maybe some people didn't know Poultry is the appropriate category for chicken dishes?

                                                2. re: millygirl
                                                  f
                                                  flonie Sep 25, 2013 05:55 PM

                                                  I've never seen that, do they ring the gong when your duck comes out?

                                                  1. re: flonie
                                                    m
                                                    millygirl Sep 26, 2013 05:37 AM

                                                    Yes, apparently so. I've never been, but I've been told.

                                                    This is quite common, or at least used to be. Not sure what the origins of this are.

                                                    1. re: millygirl
                                                      k
                                                      kwfoodiewannabe Sep 26, 2013 06:33 AM

                                                      ahhhhh.. the gong. I seem to recall a mini version on top of the cart.

                                                      Brings back memories of Champion House Downtown (scrawling on the wall) and Missisauga (decor too nice to do that!) crispy skin and hoisin...mmm...

                                                      Speaking of which, anybody have a current reco for the classic Peking Duck experience?

                                                      1. re: kwfoodiewannabe
                                                        m
                                                        magic Sep 26, 2013 06:51 AM

                                                        Peking Duck: Emperor Fine Chine Cuisine on Bayview, north of Hwy. 7.

                                                        1. re: kwfoodiewannabe
                                                          m
                                                          millygirl Sep 26, 2013 06:52 AM

                                                          Yes!!!! Champion House!!! That shrimp dish....omg!!! So good!!!!

                                                          1. re: millygirl
                                                            m
                                                            magic Sep 26, 2013 07:37 AM

                                                            Champion House still around?

                                                            1. re: magic
                                                              k
                                                              kwfoodiewannabe Sep 26, 2013 08:08 AM

                                                              Unfortunately, long gone, Magic.

                                                              Mississauga location was still around about 10 years ago?

                                                              Thanks for the reco re: Emperor. Next time I have a craving...

                                                              1. re: kwfoodiewannabe
                                                                m
                                                                magic Sep 26, 2013 08:21 AM

                                                                So no more Champion House eh? Ok, thanks for the info.

                                                                Hope you check out Emperor. I believe the Peking Duck is half price on Mondays ($19.95?)!

                                                                1. re: kwfoodiewannabe
                                                                  Kagemusha Sep 26, 2013 08:54 AM

                                                                  Yup. Located at Hurontario and Matheson. Never really took off. Emerald killed 'em.

                                                                  1. re: Kagemusha
                                                                    k
                                                                    kwfoodiewannabe Sep 26, 2013 09:14 AM

                                                                    Second floor of an office building IIRC. Used to take a small elevator to the second floor. Beautiful space. Dark Mahogany wood and beautiful furnishings (unlike Dundas St. with more spartan decor and the names all over the walls) Come to think of it, Dundas (Chinatown location) was always crowded and Mississauga was usually kinda quiet... I just remember always being happy to get a table on a weekend evening... assumed it was because of the bigger space and less demand for "semi high end" Chinese in Miss back in the day.
                                                                    There was that Champion House shrimp (per mg above) and the Peking Duck service. Fantastic! All the food was quite good as I recall.
                                                                    Kagemusha, I have never been to Emerald. Is it worth a special trip into Mississauga?

                                                                    1. re: kwfoodiewannabe
                                                                      m
                                                                      magic Sep 26, 2013 10:06 AM

                                                                      Champion House's shrimp sounds a lot like the "Palace Sauteed Shrimp" at Tasty Chinese Restaurant on Eglinton, which are delicious.

                                                                      Might be worth checking out for those that miss Champion House's shrimp. I never made it to Champion House so cannot fully comment on how similiar the two dishes are, but they sound similar.

                                                                      1. re: kwfoodiewannabe
                                                                        f
                                                                        flonie Sep 27, 2013 03:32 PM

                                                                        I personally don't think Emerald is worth the trip, I haven't been in a long time but from what I've read on here it's not very memorable. In Mississauga, Golden fountain by creditview and eglington is as close as you can get to ok chinese food.

                                                      2. z
                                                        zeva Sep 24, 2013 03:58 PM

                                                        Check out Szechwan Gourmet in the Kivas plaza at Bathurst and Steeles. Been there for about 100 years. Very old school and very good. Awesome prices and portions. Always busy.

                                                        3 Replies
                                                        1. re: zeva
                                                          j
                                                          juno Sep 25, 2013 06:29 AM

                                                          Szechuan Gourmet is a solid Szechuan resto, if you can put up with the noise and crowds in a smallish space (especially on Sundays, when diners seem to be sitting on top of each other), but I don't think it's what the OP is looking for. I read his/her request as a nostalgic yearning for the Chinese restos of yesteryear, when the usual order was for something like consommé soup, pork ends, chicken with pineapple, and sweet and sour ribs - old-fashioned North American Chinese dishes that have long since been bypassed. In those days, we'd never heard of hot and sour soup, or even Szechuan cuisine, which is what's on display at Szechuan Gourmet. (Though with, as zeva points out, decent prices and substantial portions.) But as I take it, the OP is seeking a throwback to simpler times, when menus were shorter, less complex and more straightforward. Downtown's Elizabeth St., in Toronto's original Chinatown, used to be studded with such restos wall-to-wall. All gone now. Only the uptown Sea-Hi stands alone, impervious to substantial change. Most of the other resto suggestions here, though sincerely presented, are mere poseurs that have sneakily added more modern choices to their expanding menus.

                                                          1. re: zeva
                                                            e
                                                            evansl Sep 27, 2013 05:50 AM

                                                            Szechwan Gourmet is greasy and horrible. There is no first rate Szechwan in Toronto. And believe me I've really looked.

                                                            1. re: evansl
                                                              MissBingBing Sep 27, 2013 07:35 AM

                                                              !

                                                          2. m
                                                            magic Sep 25, 2013 10:16 AM

                                                            Two short blocks away from where China House used to be is Tasty Chinese Restaurant.

                                                            Go there. It's my go-to. Good stuff! Been there for 20 years.

                                                            Certainly not the ambiance of China House (but then, what could compete with that atmo?!) but good food. Ribs are meh, but most other food nice and old school... tasty. Delish spring rolls (prolly not so much for the egg roll though, sorry).

                                                            6 Replies
                                                            1. re: magic
                                                              k
                                                              kwfoodiewannabe Sep 25, 2013 11:43 AM

                                                              China House atmo LMAO!

                                                              That little bridge you crossed between the front door and the dining room! Classic!

                                                              1. re: kwfoodiewannabe
                                                                m
                                                                magic Sep 25, 2013 03:12 PM

                                                                The interior of China House was incredible. A rare gem, of an era long gone.

                                                              2. re: magic
                                                                Ediblethoughts Dec 1, 2013 06:56 PM

                                                                Darn, wish I'd noticed this before I went there today... had a yen for egg drop mushroom soup and really Yonge and Eglinton is pathetic for such things... and now even more so!

                                                                1. re: Ediblethoughts
                                                                  m
                                                                  magic Dec 1, 2013 08:16 PM

                                                                  Sorry Ediblethoughts - not sure which post you're referring to :)

                                                                  1. re: magic
                                                                    Ediblethoughts Dec 2, 2013 07:33 AM

                                                                    Tasty. I tried to go there last night (and when I posted, it looked like I was posting under Magic's post and now, not so much...)

                                                                    1. re: Ediblethoughts
                                                                      m
                                                                      magic Dec 2, 2013 07:35 AM

                                                                      Yeah, Tasty has closed apparently :-(

                                                              3. Ediblethoughts Sep 25, 2013 05:24 PM

                                                                House of Chan? They are kind of old school though not as neat-o classic inside but they are close.

                                                                5 Replies
                                                                1. re: Ediblethoughts
                                                                  MissBingBing Sep 26, 2013 04:27 AM

                                                                  Don't most go to HOC for steak?

                                                                  1. re: MissBingBing
                                                                    1sweetpea Sep 27, 2013 08:18 AM

                                                                    My only order at HOC is lobster.

                                                                    1. re: 1sweetpea
                                                                      k
                                                                      kwfoodiewannabe Sep 27, 2013 08:22 AM

                                                                      Then you're missing out on a good steak (LOL)

                                                                      RE: Lobster, Broiled, steamed, Ginger and Scallion or Cantonese?

                                                                      Pork Dynamite and dry ribs w/ salt are pretty good appetizers at H of C too.

                                                                      1. re: kwfoodiewannabe
                                                                        1sweetpea Sep 27, 2013 10:58 AM

                                                                        Steamed. I have to beg them not to hack it open and take out the tomalley. I ask for it just cracked.

                                                                        I have tried ginger and scallion, as well as the Cantonese versions. Both are tasty, but greasy.

                                                                        1. re: 1sweetpea
                                                                          k
                                                                          kwfoodiewannabe Sep 27, 2013 11:04 AM

                                                                          Used to order a Cantonese one and have them slice up a 16oz. New York too. That and a Pork Dynamite app (plus onions and potatoes) and 2 of us would be nicely full.

                                                                          ahhh... the good old days when I could still eat. Now I share a plate of pasta and I am stuffed. (probably a good thing)

                                                                2. b
                                                                  blogs Sep 27, 2013 07:58 AM

                                                                  Mandarin Gardens?

                                                                  1. p
                                                                    pearlD Dec 2, 2013 06:04 PM

                                                                    I too, miss the China House, I grew up with it and have not found any 'old school' places to fill that niche..We also miss Peter's Chung King...have recently had good to excellent food at Szechuan Landscape on Spadina.....but not too many dishes available that I would consider 'old school'...whatever you do...AVOID the Lemon Chicken....gave new meaning to the word 'glutinous! My 'heat' tolerance is way less than it used to be and sometimes it's very, very spicy at Szechuan Landscape and not a huge choice of non-spicy dishes...but it is now our first choice of restaurants downtown where we live........

                                                                    1. duckdown Dec 2, 2013 06:55 PM

                                                                      I was just getting crucified on another food forum for standing up for "Canadian Chinese Food" when some dork was making a thread crying about egg rolls, chicken balls, and fried rice not being real Chinese food, and was trying to get people to stop calling it such.

                                                                      I am not Chinese, but to me, this is still Chinese food, and although some call it inauthentic, I am not embarrased to say there are some times where all I want is a couple of those chicken balls with red sauce, pork fried rice, an egg roll and some won ton soup! Maybe some beef and broccolli and chicken chow mein as well?

                                                                      I'd travel for a really good version of it too, so thank you for this thread

                                                                      5 Replies
                                                                      1. re: duckdown
                                                                        kerwintoronto Dec 3, 2013 12:53 PM

                                                                        Hey dd ... just a word of support on "Canadian Chinese Food".

                                                                        What you described IS Chinese food but I would call it authentic Chinese food from a place and time that Chinese restaurateurs had to modify their cuisines to match local market. Hence the Canadian modifier.

                                                                        I am Chinese (grew up here) and hanker after Canadian Chinese food on the odd occasion. There is a lot to be said for a well made egg roll and duck/plum sauce or a chicken ball with a good sauce. Growing up, I only got to eat the stuff once a year at a family friend x-mas party who also once ran a chop suey house.

                                                                        This is a great thread and I wish I could find a place that matched China House. I only went there a couple times near the end of it's run but it exemplified that style of cuisine.

                                                                        1. re: kerwintoronto
                                                                          justxpete Dec 3, 2013 09:52 PM

                                                                          I love a good egg roll. And there was nothing better in the universe than Mr. Pong's chicken balls after a night of drinking at the Phoenix. #amiright???

                                                                          1. re: justxpete
                                                                            kwass Dec 4, 2013 03:57 AM

                                                                            I haven't heard Mr Pong's mentioned in years!! I used to date a guy who LOVED that place :)

                                                                            1. re: justxpete
                                                                              T Long Dec 4, 2013 09:44 AM

                                                                              Is there a picture of Mr Pong's jumbo egg rolls somewhere in the internet universe.

                                                                          2. re: duckdown
                                                                            l
                                                                            lister Dec 4, 2013 12:01 PM

                                                                            My spouse (who is Taiwanese) and I refer to "Canadian Chinese Food" as fake Chinese food. I've known the difference between the two since I was 11-12 when I was introduced to the real deal by a friend (big shocking surprise that was!) My spouse gets a hankering for the fake stuff once in a while particularly when she's been back home for several months.

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