Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >

Charles Yu's Profile

Title Last Reply

Food Tour 2015 Singapore, Hong Kong, Macau

My only comment is your Day 8 brunch venue. 'One Dim Sum', IMO is kind of so-so. Besides, since you will be having more superior offerings from Man Wah the next day, I would give ODS a pass and have a bowl of iconic Won-Ton noodle plus some Braised Beef Briskets and Tendons at one of the Mak's or Tasty's ( Mak's, Mak An Kee, Mak Sui Kee...etc )instead.

Dinner not schedule for Day 11? Have some nice Shanghainese food at ' Liu Yuan Pavilion '.

High End Asian Anniversary Dinner

Thanks dachopstix!

about 18 hours ago
Charles Yu in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

High End Asian Anniversary Dinner

Ref: Casa Victoria:
The content of this thread should give you some good ideas:

As for Korean, since you are staying in Markham, the few inside ' First Markham Place ' on Hwy#7 are all pretty decent. Personally, I like the one next to the Chinese 'Diamond Banquet Hall'.
Have Fun!

about 22 hours ago
Charles Yu in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Markham/Richmond Hill Hounds Rejoice - 3 Top Japanese eateries coming our way!!

What did you have in Touhenboku? But then, I found even my once favorite Santouka has gone done hill after opening for a while.

High End Asian Anniversary Dinner

Casa Victoria

Markham/Richmond Hill Hounds Rejoice - 3 Top Japanese eateries coming our way!!

The followings are planning to open this year in Markham/Richmond Hill:

- Sansotei Ramen ( next to whole Foods on Hwy#7 East )
- Kiu, an offshoot of Kingyo ( next to Cineplex on Enterprise Blvd, Markham town center )
- Touhenboku Ramen ( Walmart Plaza, Major Mac & Bayview )

Wondering who else will be coming?

Any good Indian restaurants in North Toronto?

Fellow hound Manabout gave 'Adrak' a luke warm review a while back. However, recent visits from a couple of foodie relatives gave it an enthusiastic thumbs up. Today, I decided to see for myself since its just a short drive from home.

As previously eluded to by Manabout, the place is minimalistic modern, decorated in different shades of grey.

For lunch, we each had a Thali platter of Bhuna Chicken, Chicken Tikka and a choice of either lentils or chickpeas. Naans, Basmati rice, two different salads and a rice pudding completed the collection. On top, we also ordered a Gosht Rogan Josh to share.

All the curry based dishes possessed their own individual characteristic and taste and are nicely spiced and flavorful. Both the Naans and the Chicken Tikka were nicely charred and exhibit wonderful smokiness from the kiln oven. Dessert, however, was the stand out. The mango/yogurt based rice pudding with almonds and raisins was so delightfully fragrant and delicate. A lovely finish to a wonderful meal. BTW, unlike previous reporting, dishes, though a touch more expensive than the norm, are pretty generous in size.

Service by our server was friendly and attentive.

In addition to Chauhan's, I now have one more go-to Indian place to choose from, up north.

Buying great olive oil

@ Sadistick & mrsleny!
Wow! Small world! We should have a chowhound meeting there! Ha!
Will be there tomorrow to get organic Kale for my smoothie.
BTW, have you folks tried the ' cocoa powder coated Pumpkin Seeds from Austria ' - sold by booth next to the EVOO?! Loaded with anti-oxident and so addictive!

Buying great olive oil

We have been buying great ' GREEK Organic single vineyard extra virgin Olive Oil with super low acidity ' at the farmer's market inside the Toronto Waldorf School ( 16th Ave and Bathurst ) for years. Unlike some hyped-up products from Italy or Spain, this Greek elixir is very reasonable price as well.

Declining quality at Costco?

Just came back from Costco this afternoon. Noticed a huge increase of ' Organic ' products being offered. Australian Wagyu Striploin and Ribeye looked amazing. Rare 'Virgin Organic Avocado Oil' at a great price....
So, IMO, as far as Toronto is concern, things still look good!

Aug 27, 2015
Charles Yu in Chains

' The Emperor ' - Closed for renovation! True or false?

Realtor friends of mine told me this is the common practice of Chinese restaurants who had problems with their rents. Just packed up, locked the doors and go!

" The Guilt Trip ", Redmond - Gimmicky and Disappointing!

Incorrect description or wrong definition aside, the fact is, both my partner and I simply did not find the food tasty. Its one thing if we both were novice to Indian cuisine. However, since we both have been eating Indian food in London, SE and S Asia for over 30 years of our life, we believe we know the difference between delicious Indian food and unattractive ones?!

Aug 26, 2015
Charles Yu in Greater Seattle

Serious Toronto Foodies need help with one great lunch and grocery store in Buffalo

Thanks for the tips! We'll try out Schwabl's then. May be grab a box of Fried Chicken from Nett's for the road?!

Serious Toronto Foodies need help with one great lunch and grocery store in Buffalo

Thank you all for the helpful inputs!

Right now, deciding on whether to have Beef on Weck at either Schwabl's or Charlie the Butcher.
Question: Which of the above offers a tastier product especially the 'Au Jus'.

Will be heading to both Wegman's and Trader Joes. BTW, any of them have Fried Chicken for take-out like Publix in Florida?

' The Emperor ' - Closed for renovation! True or false?

A whole group of my wife's friend went to 'The Emperor' for lunch today only to find a ' Closed for Renovation ' notice posted at the door.
Is this true or false?

In most cases like this, the restaurant is either bankrupt or the owners have left due to problem with the rent. Funny thing is that, they have just spend a bundle recently putting up an array of fish tanks to house live seafood?!

Wow! First 'Dragon Dynasty', now 'The Emperor'. Wonder who's next?

Serious Toronto Foodies need help with one great lunch and grocery store in Buffalo

Four serious hounds from Toronto, equipped with car and GPS would need help with one great lunch in the Buffalo area. Any food except BBQ, Asian and Chinese. Something not readily available in Toronto would be great. eg., Good Puerto Rican, great Southern Fried Chicken?
Initially thinking of trying out Southern Fried Chicken at 'Shango' (?) but noticed they only open for dinner. Nett's may be?
We are open to both casual or fine dining ideas.

Also, apart from 'Whole Foods', which is the biggest and best super market and/or grocery store in the Buffalo area that stock the most varied selection of products? Looking for cool stuff not readily available in Toronto eg., Award wining BBQ sauces, Crab meat and crab cakes from Maryland...etc

Thanks in advance!

Dragon Dynasty Closed

Nowadays, so many people can do more than a decent job. Some of the best tasted so far ( besides Emperor ) include Yang's Bayview, Dragon Boat, Skyview, Casa Victoria, Casa Imperial. All light, crunchy and crispy.

Dragon Dynasty Closed

Huge surprise! They used to offer the best Roasted Suckling Piglet in town. Didn't mind driving all the way from Richmond Hill for them!
Wonder what is replacing that location?! Guess nowadays, anything can happen. Casing point: just noticed the other day, the Taiwanese 'Go For Tea' next to DUO on Hwy7 and Beaver Creak has turned into a Spanish Tapas place!!

SKYVIEW Fusion Cuisine - A worthy addition to GTA's Better Chinese List

Recent renovation, the third in three years, has transformed the dining room of this upscale Chinese eatery into a bright and cavernous space. The project also added an impressive array of fish tanks to house their stock of live seafood.

Since their third metamorphosis, I have eaten there twice. Both times involving wedding banquets that offered surprisingly good and high caliber food. As such, I decided to chose it as venue for our ordinary family dinner gathering tonight.

To enhance our dining experience and make the dinner more fun, our party of five decided to single out and order dishes that are also offered by some of Skyview's major competitors like Yang's, The Emperor and Dragon Boat...etc and perform some comparative horizontal tasting.

We had the following dishes:

- Poached free range chicken in rose essence infused premium honeyed soya sauce.
- Braised whole Yellow fin Grouper tail with veggie medley.
- Wok-fried live BC Spot Prawns with Maggi sauce.
- Stirred fry beef with Chinese Broccoli. ( Gai Lan )
- Soup of the Day ( Fish with pork, Kudzu and mung beans )
- Complimentary dessert of Red beans and Black Sesame jello plus Mung Beans and Taro root dessert soup.

The delicious chicken dish was head and shoulder above those offered by the aforementioned list of restaurants. Even bested Yang's award winning version. However, IMO, it still lacked the complexity and gorgeous taste of Fantasy Eatery's discontinued peerless offering. Still a pretty fine effort though.

At $39, the giant braised Grouper tail dish was an amazing value. Fish meat was firm and fresh, the vegetable accompaniment, especially the spinach, was delicious. A much finer product than our current preference, the version from The Emperor.

Since we are quickly approaching the tail end of the spot prawns season, we decided to splurge and had a pound of the live prawns. Execution was quite acceptable but unfortunately it has to play second fiddle to Maple Yip's, which IMHO offers the best tasting rendition in town.

The sauteed beef dish was the sole disappointment of the evening. Though the Gai Lan was nicely trimmed and perfectly cooked. Same cannot be said about the mediocre tasting and dull colored stirred fry beef. Though tender, they lacked the essential ' wok-hay' smokiness, under-seasoned and possessed an unwelcome component to the taste profile caused by the addition of diced yellow peppers. Judy's Cuisine, Yang's and the Emperor's version were way better.

Winner of the evening has to be the dense, complex and full of umami soup of the day. Rarely do restaurants offer such a fine product at such cheap price ( $8 for a huge bowl. Enough for at least 7-8 persons. So nutritious and good! )

Apart from some minor hick-ups, overall the meal was quite satisfactory and enjoyable. Worthy of being added to my list of reliable and good Chinese restaurants in the Richmond Hill/ Markham and Scarborough area.

Gastro tour

If you have a car, use the GPS and head up to Richmond Hill/Markham for some amazing Cantonese cooking. You will not get pristine fresh live Giant Lobster, King Crab, Geoduck Clams, Dungeness Crab,.....etc, all wonderfully prepared and at wonderful prices ( Canadian $ on the slide ) in London's Soho or Bayswater!
O Mei, The Emperor, Dragon Boat, Casa Victoria, Yang's are just a few suggestions.
Have fun!

Toronto area pasta dish

Whilst I anticipate most fellow hounds will recommend you 'Italian' places down town, I am going to venture outside the box and suggest ' Shiso Tree Cafe' - a Japanese/Italian eatery in Markham ( Steeles/Woodbine) that SPECIALIZES in only pasta dishes ( plus a terrific tasting Italian Seafood/Fish Soup that IMHO is better than NYC's Michelin 2* Marea's version! ). And yes! their Spaghetti con Vongole ( white, rose or red sauce ) comes with fresh clams in the shell!


Did you study in Glasgow where they first introduce it in Fish & Chips shops? Did you also add a ' Fried Mars Bar'?!

Aug 20, 2015
Charles Yu in General Topics

BEST Liver and Onions

Yup! Agree with Herbs!
I almost did the same as you until I discovered the version at 'pastis'. That version was mighty fine too. Unfortunately, even the latter closed down! So..... :(
BTW, please do not try the version at Batifole! Very greasy dish with overcooked liver!
Lastly, on a side note. Had a ' Pig's liver with onion ' at Paris Michelin 3* Lucas Carton years ago. Haven't a clue what Chef Sandaren was thinking but he destroyed the dish by using a dark chocolate sauce! Ah!!!!!

Favorite discontinued food items

Heinz's canned - ' Spaghetti with Meat Sauce '
Stouffer's - ' Chicken Casserole '

Aug 17, 2015
Charles Yu in General Topics

Line caught wild salmon, ok to eat raw?

Why not fillet it and make ' Gravlax ' instead? Salt, sugar, peppercorn and Dill. Easy! Process should also kill any parasites.

Declining quality at Costco?

Frozen Organic Wild Blueberries used to be the authentic small and ' packed with flavor' varietal. Recent batches are all large, plumb, 'farmed' type?

Aug 17, 2015
Charles Yu in Chains

Frog legs in Toronto?

I had frog legs at La Palette years ago and noticed they are still on their current menu. One dimensional and nothing fancy. Just fried and served with remoulade. Prefer mine prepared Provencals style or Burgundian style with lots of garlic and parsley.

In the winter time, a few up town Chinese restaurants also serve clay-pot rice with ' frog legs, Chinese 'lap-cheong' sausages and Chinese mushroom ' topping. If prepared right, the combination of the aforementioned ingredients with shredded ginger, cooking wine and premium soya sauce can really create an amazingly tasty dish!

First time in Toronto

Totally agree with you that everyone's personal preferences are merely subjective opinions that cannot be right or wrong. However, since every individual Congee Queen makes their own chili oil. If by chance you happen to come up Richmond Hill way, do give the one at ' Beaver Creek' a try. Somehow, its different from the rest and really good?!

Stunned by my own action! - A posting of an AYCE Japanese

Photos of Kaka's food posted actually looked much more appealing than Spoon & Fork's! Review on the whole seems pretty positive!
My only concern is that parking at First Markham Place sucks!!

Stunned by my own action! - A posting of an AYCE Japanese

Yorkmills location. Next to Korean Supermarket Galleria