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Sika Deer in Scarborough - my new Shanghainese fav in GTA

Came here tonight for dinner with the family and now I'm convinced this is the best Shanghainese restaurant in town. Some dishes were spot on and reminded me of my previous two food trips back to Shanghai.

The braised bamboo shoots in a dark brown sauce was tasty, but the bamboo was a bit tough.

Fluffy egg whites and broccoli and shrimp topped with fish roe was steaming hot and nicely flavoured with a touch of vinegar (use the darker bottle vinegar on the side table, not the bright red one they serve it with).

Fish head soup was a milky rich broth that also contained flat clear noodles, bamboo, large pork belly slices and mushrooms.

Chinese veggies and mushrooms in dark sauce was nicely done.

Pan fried buns were some of the best flavoured buns that I've had in a long time. Quite juicy on the inside, only wish the bottoms were a bit more crispy.

Spicy pork belly slices in cabbage was perfectly seasoned and not too spicy.

The only dish I wouldn't order again was their marinated fish, which was dry and rather bland.

Small pitcher of beer for $5 was enough for 2 tall glasses. A nice refreshing lager style beer, probably pretty low in alcohol as I didn't feel it after the meal (reminded me of the low alcohol % beers we often had in china).

Final bill was $71 (pre tax) for food for the 8 dishes, very reasonable.

All the dishes had very fresh veggies which is a must for me, and the sauces were rich and flavourful, but not overwhelming. Very good service, plenty of waitresses unlike some other new chinese places. No MSG effect after the meal either.

Overall a very nice Shanghainese meal, will definitely be returning for more (i.e the sweet n sour whole pickerel, and pre order special chicken). Cash only.

Sika Deer Chinese Cuisine
4186 Finch Avenue E (at Midland)
Unit 32
Scarborough, ON M1S 3V1
416-847-3921

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  1. The XLB is good if you like Markham Ding Tai Fung XLB. Spicy stir fry yellow eel is very good.

    1. Tonight, under abnormally cold wet weather for a Summer day, I finally had a chance to try out this relatively new find. Our party of three deliberately over-ordered so as to allow us the chance to try out and evaluate as many variety of dishes as possible. Overall, I concur with fellow hound Royaljelly's assessment. The Shanghainese cuisine savored tonight was amongst the best the GTA has to offer. Some dishes were spot on authentic in taste and texture. This speaks a lot, considering my wife is Shanghainese and I frequent Hong Kong's famed Shanghai Fraternity Association for Shanghainese fare every year.

      We had the following:

      - Half a dozen Xiao Lung Bao. Fairly well done. The 'boa' was huge and quite a bit bigger than the norm. However, I still prefer Northern Dumpling Kitchen for theiR more flavorful broth and slightly better seasoned,wine infused pork filling.

      - Minced tofu and Chinese mustard green appetizer. This cold dish resembles some of the tasty versions I had in Hong Kong and China. The delicate aroma from the sesame oil was spot on and appealing.

      - Oil Poached Shrimp. Normally, this dish uses only fresh water river shrimps. Unfortunately, since this rare ingredient is not readily available in Toronto, the chef improvised by using sea prawns instead. However, the skill of the kitchen still managed to create the taste and crunchy texture of the 'genuine' version. Bravo! A testament to the skill of the chef?

      - House specialty 'Salty Grass' free range chicken. Flavorful and nicely cooked. The taste was enjoyable but nothing to shout about. Personally, I much prefer the 'Sing Ping' House specialty free range chicken of Judy's Cuisine. IMHO, the best rendition in town for this type of 'healthy' preparation.

      - Shanghainese Clay Hot Pot Soup ( Yin Doak Sin ) of house cured salted Ham, duo bamboo-shoots, Tofu skin bow shape 'pasta', Bok Choi. This was one huge pot! The broth was full of delightful umami flavor. The two types of bamboo shoots offer some very interesting crunchy and chewy textural feel. There was more than enough soup left for my luncheon soup noodle tomorrow!

      - Shanghainese Smoked Fish. IMO the high-light dish of the evening. Reminds me of a similar great version I had at Hong Kong's ' Hong Kong Cuisine'. The sauce was mesmerizingly good!!

      There are so many specials and authentic dishes featured on the menu, I think I can pay them a number of visits, order a whole bunch of new and equally good dishes each time and never worry about duplicating any of the previous visit dishes?!

       
       
       
       
       
       
       
      1. Tonight, under abnormally cold wet weather for a Summer day, I finally had a chance to try out this relatively new find. Our party of three deliberately over-ordered so as to allow us the chance to try out and evaluate as many variety of dishes as possible. Overall, I concur with fellow hound Royaljelly's assessment. The Shanghainese cuisine savored tonight was amongst the best the GTA has to offer. Some dishes were spot on authentic in taste and texture. This speaks a lot, considering my wife is Shanghainese and I frequent Hong Kong's famed Shanghai Fraternity Association for Shanghainese fare every year.

        We had the following:

        - Half a dozen Xiao Lung Bao. Fairly well done. The 'boa' was huge and quite a bit bigger than the norm. However, I still prefer Northern Dumpling Kitchen version for their more flavorful broth and slightly better seasoned,wine infused, pork filling.

        - Minced tofu and Chinese mustard green appetizer. This cold dish resembles some of the tastier versions I had in Hong Kong and China. The delicate aroma from the sesame oil was spot on and appealing.

        - Oil Poached Shrimp. Normally, this dish uses only fresh water river shrimps. Unfortunately, since this rare ingredient is not readily available in Toronto, the chef improvised by using sea prawns instead. However, the skill of the kitchen still managed to create the taste and crunchy texture of the 'genuine' version. Bravo! A testament to the skill of the chef?

        - House specialty 'Salty Grass' free range chicken. Flavorful and nicely cooked. The taste was enjoyable but nothing to shout about. Personally, I much prefer the 'Sing Ping' House specialty free range chicken of Judy's Cuisine. IMHO, the best rendition in town for this type of 'healthy' preparation.

        - Shanghainese Clay Hot Pot Soup ( Yin Doak Sin ) of house cured salted Ham, duo bamboo-shoots, Tofu skin bow shape 'pasta', Bok Choi. This was one huge pot! The broth was full of delightful umami flavor. The two types of bamboo shoots offer some very interesting crunchy and chewy textural feel. There was more than enough soup left for my luncheon soup noodle tomorrow!

        - Shanghainese Smoked Fish. IMO the high-light dish of the evening. Reminds me of a similar great version I had at Hong Kong's ' Hong Kong Cuisine'. The sauce was mesmerizingly good!!

        There are so many specials and authentic dishes featured on the menu, I think I can pay them a number of visits, order a whole bunch of new and equally good dishes each time and never worry about duplicating dishes from previous visits?!

         
         
         
         
         
         
         
        7 Replies
        1. re: Charles Yu

          Thanks for the reviews, this is really helpful. I frequently work nearby, but hadn't tried this place yet due to dodgy yelp reviews.

          One thing to note, the parking lot is a nightmare at the best of times (particularly lunching hours), and for the next few weeks the lot will be under construction, making it much much worse - strongly suggest parking at the Skycity mall one block north on Midland instead, for now.

          1. re: gimel

            Great advise about the current parking problem situation!

            1. re: gimel

              Would you know if there's any signage to indicate when this parking nightmare would end...?

              1. re: jennjen18

                I tried looking for a signage a couple of times that I was there in the plaza but could not find any unfortunately..

                1. re: warlock

                  passed by today while doing errands. half the parking lot was already paved and they were putting in the yellow lines at around 4pm...not sure when the other half will be started.

                  warlock...the place is located at the SW corner of the L-shaped plaza (the unit closest to finch). it's right beside the tim hortons...and for the locals...it's located where taco bell used to be.

                  1. re: blitz

                    Blitz...lol..I was actually referring to jennjen18's post regarding "signage to indicate when this parking nightmare would end"

                2. re: jennjen18

                  Was craving pork bone soup so went to Owl in the plaza...Construction work is over and full parking lot is back in business just in case if anyone was wondering...

            2. Hello Royaljelly
              Good place for skylineR33, your's and my family for a long overdue chowmweet?! We can order much more things to try?!

              4 Replies
              1. re: Charles Yu

                Hey Charles, my parents are in town and we did a full table dinner about 2 weeks back, so may have to hold off on the chowmeet there again. But the meal was not as great as our first meal (still better than most shanghainese places in town. The pre-order lotus wrapped top grade chicken was just ok, nothing special.

                Since my parents are in town, we've also tried the newly opened Xiao Long Biao that's across the parking lot from Dragon Dynasty, and found it pretty bad (now second meal there for me). Ala Kitchen was better.

                1. re: Royaljelly

                  Have you tried this?!
                  Not really Shanghainese but some tasty and interesting food. The smoked duck and pot stickers are stand outs!
                  http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/963635

                  As for our next long overdue chowmeet, may be we'll wait for the fall and split an Alaskan King Crab when they are in season?!

                  1. re: Charles Yu

                    when do the Chinese places start getting Alaska King Crab?

                    1. re: grandgourmand

                      Most of the good, expensive and hyped-up ones like Yang's Markham, O Mei, Dragon Boat and Fisherman's Lobster Clubhouse still have them. However, season is October, so quality and price hopefully is better then?!

              2. Pan fried pork buns are good if you are not after crunchy crispy fried bun bottoms.