416-977-3909 | $2-$24 dishes, $5-8 for six dumplings
The downtown location of this GTA Chinese restaurant chain was recommended as a good spot with a killer onion and beef pancake. It is exactly that.
Typically large menu with variations on all the usual items with your choice of protein. Not expensive but there are surely cheaper spots in Chinatown.
Heres what I’d go back for…
- Onion pancake with sliced beef: served a wrap/roll in foil. The pancake itself had a flaky, doughy texture reminiscent of roti, the sliced beef was tender, sauce isn’t very pronounced but addictive and the generous portion of green onions rounds everything out. Could eat this for lunch 3x a week.
- Hot and sour soup: this one’s all about the broth. There’s a comforting spice level accompanied by moderate tartness and a bit of earthiness. It’s not amazingly complex, but really hits the spot on a chilly day.
- Pea shoots with garlic: dead simple but executed well. Not cooked to mush, not overly oily, and pleasant bitterness accompanied by pronounced garlic. Another comforting, warm option.
- Shrimp dumplings: I described it as a bite of wonton soup packed with tender shrimp. Fresh, juicy, meaty. Enjoyed.
What I’d forget I tried…
- Pork dumplings: served with a diluted peanut sauce and pork sausage inside was just ok. needed some chive flavour or something.
- Fried veg dumplings: full of bitter greens which is fine, but not much else. In the vinegar dipping sauce they improved. Would have liked more thorough and even frying, weren’t crispy.
- Chicken fried rice: it is what it is.
- Spicy shredded beef: pretty bland, beef was chewy, no spice in sight (marked with two chilis on the menu).
Service and Ambience
Nicer, more modern look than most Chinatown spots which is appreciated. There’s a good three or four private rooms downstairs which would probably be good spots for small parties too.
Food was brought out within 20 mins for the five of us during busy lunch. Servers polite, but I wouldn’t use the word friendly. Grabbing cheque was quick as well. I know they also deliver in the area, so that’s an extra service to consider as winter approaches.
No stories will be passed through generations about it, but I’d go back. 50/50 hit and miss dishes, but when it hits, its really nice and the misses aren’t so bad. Final words: seriously, try the pancake.
Toronto Life - “The rolled onion pancake with sliced beef is irresistible”.
Posted by: Jacob, Visited Oct 17, 2011