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Good eats in Toronto, Chinatown

I was recently in Toronto's Chinatown on a rainy day. My family and I were hungry, so we headed over to House of Gourmet on Dundas Street. I think this restaurant is known for being one of the cleaner restaurants in the Chinatown area. The establishment certainly looked clean... the room was spacious and everything felt very open. My mom and grandma had various types of congee, while I, as a vegetarian, ordered the salt pepper tofu and a bowl of rice. Although it looked plain, I was surprised at the flavour of the salt pepper tofu. Too often, the salt pepper tofu I've tried is basically just deep fried tofu with very little salt pepper flavour, but the one at House of Gourmet had a very distinct and pleasant taste. There was also some small red chili in the mix, which added a nice and light spiciness to the dish.

Are there any other good (and relatively clean-looking) restaurants like this in the Chinatown area? I used to visit Bo De Duyen (the Chinese vegetarian restaurant on Spadina), but it closed down and I'm not even sure where/if it has relocated somewhere else.

Jul 01, 2009
voraciousbookworm in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Favourite Places in Hamilton?

One of my favourite places to eat in Hamilton is Affinity Vegetarian Restaurant on John St. South. In fact, I just dined there today for lunch and it was enjoyable as always. Even meat-lovers I've brought there absolutely love it. Their faux meat dishes are convincing and delicious, especially the Kung Pao soy chicken. They have lunch specials in which you get a bento box, a main entree, two soy nuggets, a garden salad, and soup. It's a pretty good deal and you're sure to be satisfied afterwards. All in all, a great place -- one of the finest vegetarian restaurants in Hamilton.

Jun 05, 2009
voraciousbookworm in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Hamilton (and area) eats

I like Pho Dau Bo for Vietnamese. For Thai, I would go to Thai Coconut in Burlington (on Fairview Street). I've tried most of the Thai restaurants in Hamilton, and they just can't compare with Thai Coconut Restaurant. I hope this helped.

Aug 30, 2008
voraciousbookworm in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

New Thai Restaurant in Burlington

Hi everyone,

I posted a reply about Thai Coconut restaurant in a previous thread, but thought I would give a full review now since I was just there last night.
Apparently, Thai City Restaurant (located on Fairview Street, in Fairview plaza) has been sold and is now operating under a new name and new management (Thai Coconut Restaurant).

I was at Thai Coconut Restaurant last night, and it was absolutely packed. While I had to wait a little longer for my food, it was worth it. I ordered a Pad Thai, and thankfully the sauce did not seem like it was merely made of ketchup (something I find too often in many pad Thais) - it was very flavourful, and since I requested a spicy one, I was pleasantly surprised to find that it matched what I was in the mood for. Service was understandably a little slower - the waitress was running around trying to do everything, but nevertheless she was friendly and polite. After I devoured my pad Thai, I ordered banana fritters as well as mango ice-cream. The fritters were heavenly - crispy, deep-fried balls of banana drizzled in honey. It just melted in my mouth. The mango ice-cream was a nice dessert that cooled my tastebuds off!

The decor was tasteful and not too overdone, with authentic Thai decorations adorning the walls, and there were also partitions that afforded customers a little privacy. Although the restaurant is not very big, it is nevertheless quite cozy and romantic.

When I was there, the place was definitely buzzing, and there was a queue of people waiting to be seated.

Thai Coconut is now my favourite Thai restaurant. Just the food alone is enough to keep me coming back.

Just thinking about the pad Thai I had at Jack Astor's the other day was terrible. Although it was a large portion, the sauce was bland, flavourless and seemed very ketchupy. Even the "hot sauce" that was provided was disappointing, as it was merely sour and not even a tad spicy. I'm glad now that there's a restaurant in the Burlington area that can sate my appetite for good pad Thais!

Jan 19, 2008
voraciousbookworm in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Vegetarian restaurants in Spadina Chinatown

Thanks for your suggestions! I ended up going to a small place called Buddha Vegetarian Restaurant on Dundas St. West. It was recommended to us by a vendor. The place was extremely small and narrow, and kind of squished, but you get great value for your money. We ordered taro rolls, imitation duck, and Singapore stir-fried noodles. It was all appetizing. The portions are huge, and the prices are really inexpensive. It seemed pretty busy when when got there, and we had to wait until a larger party finished eating and left the table. The atmosphere wasn't as nice as other Chinese veg. restaurants I have been to - it seemed very white and sparse, but I'm not complaining. Overall, lots of great-tasting and inexpensive food! Will definitely be going there again next time I'm in the area!

Jan 01, 2008
voraciousbookworm in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Vegetarian restaurants in Spadina Chinatown

Hi everyone, I'm going to be in Chinatown (on Spadina) tomorrow, and was wondering if anyone could recommend a good vegetarian restaurant in that area. We usually go to Bo De Duyen, but since I heard they have moved out of that location, I am looking for other vegetarian restaurants.. something not too pricy, but with good food :)

Any help/suggestions much appreciated. Thanks in advance!

My apologies for the multiple postings - I did that accidentally because when I tried posting the first time there was an error.

Dec 29, 2007
voraciousbookworm in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Plain Chinese Breads

I love T & T's wide selection of bread.. I always get the raisin tray buns whenever I go there, but they've got other unique and delicious flavours, too! You could also try My Lee Hoa (sorry, I know I totally butchered that) in the Mississauga Chinatown plaza; they've got a pretty good variety of breads/baked goods there as well, and I think they even have the plain ones. Good luck!

Dec 23, 2007
voraciousbookworm in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Thai in other Ontario cities

I have also been searching for good Thai food.. It's hard to find, but there's a new restaurant that just opened up on Fairview Street in Burlington and I just went there the other day with a friend. It's called Thai Coconut Restaurant. I had a pad Thai there, and I have to say it was great.. the flavour was just right - not too sweet and not too spicy, either. It had a nice texture to it and everything in it was fresh, too. It left me feeling satisfied.. for dessert we had deep fried banana fritters (definitely one of the better ones I've tasted) - they were crispy and had honey drizzled lightly over them.. scrumptious. I think I have found a new favourite Thai restaurant! I think this one is definitely worth checking out. The atmosphere looks authentic and exotic, and the service was polite and very friendly. The prices are pretty reasonable, too. I would recommend this one if you're ever in the Burlington area.

Dec 23, 2007
voraciousbookworm in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Thai in Hamilton?

No, although the location isn't very good (are you referring to the one downtown)? If I'm not mistaken it's located in a basement somewhere, and I don't think they're very busy. We always pass it when we go to Pho Dau Bo.

Oct 11, 2007
voraciousbookworm in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Thai in Hamilton?

Yes, I went there sometime in August. The atmosphere was quite nice, but the food was just ok, not phenomenal. I ordered the vegetarian pad thai, and although it was creative (wrapped in an omelet) I found the taste to be lacking in flavour. It also was not as spicy as I had hoped, even though we told the waitress I wanted it extra spicy. The service was very friendly, though, and the waitress was dressed in a traditional Thai outfit, rendering the atmosphere more authentic.

Oct 07, 2007
voraciousbookworm in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Thai Restaurants in Burlington

Hello,

I am looking for good Thai restaurants in the Burlington area.

I have heard good reviews about Siam Dish and Bahn Thai. I have also passed by a restaurant called Thai City on Fairview Street, and have thought about going in but wanted to check its reviews and the reactions of other customers that have visited this establishment first. From the outside it looks fairly small, and perhaps it's not well-known (it is inside a plaza).

Has anyone been there, and, if so, what can you say about the quality of the food, atmosphere, service, etc?

Any help would be much appreciated.

Thanks!

Oct 07, 2007
voraciousbookworm in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

URGENT Rex Saigon Buffet directions

I just visited the Rex Saigon buffet on Sheppard and Brimley yesterday, and have to admit I was disappointed. The place was busy since it was around lunch time. I didn't have much to choose from since a lot of the dishes were meat-based and I am vegetarian. However, I tasted their pad thai and was disappointed to find that it had no flavour whatsoever.. even the tofu was plain. The noodles themselves were an orange-y colour and did not look too appetizing. I also tasted the sushi, which was not pleasant at all. It was almost as hard as a rock and did not seem fresh. The chow mein was regular-tasting. The food also seemed to get cold really quickly. By the time I got back to the table, most of it had lost all warmth.

The only things that were not a disappointment were the sweet sticky rice with mango.. the coconut wasn't as flavourful as I have tasted in other restaurants, but overall it was quite satisfying; also, the deep-fried bananas weren't too bad either - crispy on the outside and sweet on the inside.

They had some tasty-looking items for dessert, including cakes and cookies of various kind and also ice-cream. The ice-cream freezer didn't look very clean, however.. the glass was dirty and dripping with water, and most of the ice-cream looked like it had been tampered with and a lot of it was melting. I took a small scoop of green tea ice-cream and mango ice-cream. The mango ice-cream was standard but I didn't much enjoy the green tea.

Overall, I wasn't too satisfied with the experience. I suppose it's pretty cheap, though. The all you can eat lunch buffet for one person was around $8.95, I believe, so it's worth it if you're looking for some value. But the quality of the food is mediocre at best.

Also, I believe the Rex Saigon on 90 Eglinton Avenue East has closed down. We were originally going to go there, but was told by the lady who answered the phone at Rex Saigon on Sheppard and Brimley that it had closed down.

Aug 16, 2007
voraciousbookworm in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Thai in Hamilton?

Thanks for your suggestions! I will keep them in mind next time I go out for Thai food. I remember going to Lemongrass once, a long time ago, but all I had was a fried rice (and it tasted just like any other fried rice), so I don't think I've truly tasted their Thai dishes.

I, too, have not found a great-tasting Thai restaurant in Hamilton. My favourite was Bali Thai restaurant (located in Stoney Creek), which served the best Pad Thai I have ever tasted. It changed owners, though, and the food simply isn't the same.

I recently went to a new Thai restaurant called Thai Memory located on King William Street. I had a veggie pad thai there, and while it wasn't bad there was nothing really special that caught my attention. The place was elaborately decorated, though, and the service was polite and friendly.

Aug 07, 2007
voraciousbookworm in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Thai in Hamilton?

I was wondering what are some good Thai restaurants in the Hamilton area? I know there are a couple, but I was wondering which ones are worth trying out.

Any comments or suggestions appreciated.

Thanks!

Jul 29, 2007
voraciousbookworm in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Pacific Mall- what do you eat there?

I'm a vegetarian and initially I had some trouble finding food I could eat at Pacific Mall. I've also never heard of Graceful Veg restaurant in Market Village. I was there last time and hunted all over for a vegetarian restaurant, but to no avail. My grandma remembered there being a veggie restaurant there before but we figured it must have closed down.
A lot of the dishes in P-Mall's food court are meat-based, and if not that, are most probably fried in the same oil as the meat. This is a minor complaint, though, and when you're vegetarian it's hard to be picky or else you'll have nothing else to choose from!
I gravitate towards Pacific Mall's Heritage Town and go to Japanese Express, where they have the Vegetarian Maki Combo. It comes with 6 avocado rolls, some cold sesame noodles, sushi rolls with vegetable tempura in them, soup and green tea. It's around $6-$7, and it's pretty delicious.

There is also a tofu place within that vicinity, but I'm not sure how good it is. I lined up there to order something once and the only guy who was serving was occupied with the same woman who had been standing there for at least 15 minutes! After waiting around 10 minutes just to order, I became so impatient that I just left. Again, not sure how the food is but can say that the service is pretty horrible.

Jul 17, 2007
voraciousbookworm in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Sushi in Hamilton?

In my opinion, Matsu Sushi is the best sushi I've had in Hamilton. The sushi is fresh and delicious, plus the chef and staff are warm and friendly. I love the atmosphere as well - it is serene and relaxing - very Zen-like. I strongly recommend that if you want to have the best sushi in Hamilton, Matsu Sushi is definitely the place to go. No question about it.

Jul 17, 2007
voraciousbookworm in Ontario (inc. Toronto)