Toronto T-Storms (part 4): eating our way through ‘suburban Hong Kong’

I have not been in China for nearly two years and my wife not for a few months. Way too long for both. Fortunately, a spacious version of Hong Kong’s suburban New Territories is only one hour flying time from New York: Toronto’s northern suburbs of Richmond Hill/Markham.

New York’s Chinatown/Flushing/Sunset Park have their advocates, but we also wanted space and relaxation. NY offers neither.

We based ourselves in a bland hotel in the area, avoiding the generally shocking parking and internet charges for downtown Toronto hotels.

We had no idea of the scope of the community, hinted at by Toronto colleague Stephanie C, her recommendations, in part:

Any of the Asian Legends

Any of the Congee Queens

Any of the T&T Supermarkets for quick snacking – I think they may have the rolls of sticky rice (with the dried pork and other pickles in the middle) and may have the savory soymilk (though I may be mistaken)

Indeed we passed strip mall after strip mall wholly dedicated to Chinese businesses, without even making it to super mall Pacific Mall and adjacent Market Village.

We had a Sunday of meals and religiously followed Stephanie’s many excellent recommendations.

Breakfast at Jim Chai Kee, “Only serves noodle soups. Limited menu. No ambience. Low price. Don’t miss the 100% shrimp wontons.” My wife was so enamored of the shrimp wontons she forgot to sample the fish balls.

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Jim Chai Kee

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Jim Chai Kee - beek noodles and shrimp wontons

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Jim Chai Kee - oodles of shrimp

Lunch at Sam Woo Seafood Restaurant, at the tail end of Sunday dim sum. Dinner at counterpart Sam Woo BBQ, “get the BBQ duck and BBQ pork.” Eating at Sunday 9:30 pm we missed out on the crispy skin BBQ pork for the day. Both of Sam Woo’s venues are top notch.

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Sam Woo Seafood - clams, scallops, and dim sum

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Sam Woo BBQ

We did not make it to Crown Prince Fine Dining & Banquet due to stomach capacity. “They’re trying to target more high end.”

Capped off with ‘First Love’ at Tea House 168, durian milk tea with passion fruit jellies and a sinful funnel cake with ice cream. Memories of dates as students in Shanghai.

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Tea House 168 - like our dates as students

Readers, we will be back, what restaurants in Toronto do you recommend? Now that our immediate appetite has been quenched, on next visit we plan to more widely explore Toronto’s culinary diversity.

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  • Fun, fun, fun! Jim Chai Kee shares the same name as the famous “hole-in-the-wall” shrimp wonton noodle shop near Lan Kwai Fong in Hong Kong. Wonder if the two shops are in any way related, or is it just a Toronto copy cat.

  • Peter S

    Very Fair restaurant. Best dimsum in Toronto. period.

  • JohhnieD

    I was at the Staybridge in Markham on8/11 on a 5k points break night. We’re you there also???

  • @JohnnieD – I wish I had seen that, would have been a great deal. I booked last minute, I thought I checked the list and only saw one in New Brunswick, maybe I was mistaken or required earlier booking. I used Priceline for 3 stars and was given the Monte Carlo Inns which was 2, possibly 2.5 stars, a rare time I have been really disappointed with Priceline. The bed was fold-down.