A couple months back I was in Toronto for a quick weekend trip and it was timed perfectly with the delivery of my new camera. I spent the trip getting to know my camera (Canon RP) a bit better and because it was so light and portable I ended up bringing it everywhere I went. And of course, while in Toronto, all I do is eat so I have a plethora of food photos to share with you!
My relatives in Toronto are always scoping out the best places in the Markham area and they never fail to deliver on wonderful Asian cuisine. I love that in Toronto you are able to find many different regions of chinese food. When I was younger, Chinese food was just Chinese food, I didn’t have this notion that different regions within China had their own cuisine and unique styles. Toronto has definitely opened up my taste-buds but I could only imagine the amount of different tastes I could experience if I were to visit China!
Read on for my Food Diary of my weekend Toronto trip!
Oriental Gourmet 潮陽食軒
First night in, we arrived in time for dinner and went to a Teochow or Chiuchow Chinese style restaurant called Oriental Gourmet 潮陽食軒 . They’re known for their smoky duck which is absolutely delicious and hard to find back home in Ottawa. In fact I don’t think you can find it so it definitely is a must try if you’ve never had it! Other highlight dishes of the night were the complimentary soup, the beef stir-fry and the lobster. The lobster with the green beans was something new and unusual but super yummy!
Sam’s Congee Delight
Mid morning we all gathered for food stop #1, Sam’s Congee Delight. Upon arriving, you are greeted with a wall that depicts the original Sam’s Congee Delight, which coincidentally, as I learnt, on the same street as where my grandma use to work back in Hong Kong back in 1973. Such a cool coincidence!
Sam’s Congee Delight of course, serves congee, which is absolutely delicious, but they also offer up other classic congee accompaniments that are just as good! I highly recommend getting the deep fried donut wrapped in rice noodle. It’s a favourite at all congee restaurants and taste best dipped with a little bit of hoisin and peanut sauce. The curry fish balls were a surprise find for me; they instantly transported me back to my time in Hong Kong eating curry fish balls from a street stall. They perfectly recreated the spicy and flavourful sauce I’ve craved, and clearly others at the table because we were fighting for the last one!
An early congee morning meant I was hungry soon in the afternoon and that is when we made a stop to Keung’s Kitchen! I’m 100% a noodle soup person and Toronto has some of the best! Perfectly priced, Keung’s had a lot of different dishes to offer and we went with an egg noodle with everything soup noodle and some wontons. The noodles weren’t the least bit soggy and it definitely hit the spot for an afternoon snack!
I also highly recommend the milk tea here!
Casa-Imperial Fine Chinese Cuisine Ltd.
Dinner at Casa-Imperial was definitely a different experience. They serve a wedding style, multi-course meal. In fact, while we were there I’m pretty sure there was a wedding reception in another section of the restaurant. The restaurant presents itself on Steeles Ave. as a lone house… mansion I should say, behind a gated entrance. The interior is stunning, very Victorian styled with chandeliers, embroidered tapestry and carpets. Very unusual and unexpected for a Chinese restaurant. We had a peking duck meal and it was delicious! But I always love peking duck and not often, so maybe I’m not the best judge of that dish.
The dishes were large and plentiful, I definitely felt very well fed by the end of the meal. Presentation was great but I think I would be more intrigued to come back here to try out their dim sum service than to revisit for a dinner setting. It just seemed a bit stuffy and over the top for just another Saturday night dinner. But it was still super fun to try!
Ming’s Noodle Cafe
One last meal before we hit the road, we went to a classic favourite Ming’s Noodle Cafe. I wouldn’t say the food is amazing here, but the price… it simply can not be beat! It’s become a tradition to get a Hong Kong style breakfast every time before our long drives back to Ottawa. We come back to this place because their service is super fast and its close by with amazing value. It really is a comfort food place for me. I love the Satay Beef on vermicelli noodles. Their Milk Tea is really good, but if it’s hot out my usual order would be the Iced Lemon Tea. You can get combo breakfast meals where you get a noodle plus egg of choice and bread with a drink for under $5!
Most of the time, I stick to my usual order or noodles, it’s not often that I stray but I have also tried the macaroni with ham and the omelettes. I would recommend the omelet, and to sandwich it between the bread to make a sandwich for on the go! The bread served is an Asian style bread which is super light and fluffy, it also a sweetness to it which makes it super yummy!
If you’ve made it to the end, I applaud you for reading through this long post! Leave me your Markham food recommendations and I’ll be sure to check them out next time I’m in Toronto! Or if you’ve ever visited these places, let me know what your favourite dishes are!