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Xi'an/Northwest Chinese cuisine in (downtown) Toronto?

So I am not usually even a fan of Chinese food, but I just returned from a trip to New York where I found myself eating at Xi'an Famous Foods. I had the most transcendently amazing food--not just Chinese food, but food--I've ever eaten. Only got to try two dishes, the Spicy Cumin Lamb Hand-Ripped Noodles and the Tiger Vegetables Salad, but both were incredible. I have been fantasising about them ever since. I know Toronto has a large Chinese community so I am wondering if there is anywhere I can get food like this, preferably in downtown Toronto?

I'm thinking especially of the unusual combo of the lamb and cumin, which I've never seen in Chinese food before, and those incredible hand made noodles--they were wide but not thick, uneven, scraggly, chewy, tender and...just mind blowingly good. The spice and oil levels of the dish were pretty intense but beautifully cut through by the fresh vinegary salad. The whole thing was just superb. Please, please, please tell me there is something this good here!

We live at Dundas and Spadina so downtown Chinatown recs would be great if you have any--or even if you know of any regular Chinese places that have great, chewy, fresh noodles, I'd like to hear about those too. Thanks!

House on Parliament temporarily closed while moving next door

An addition to my post above: right now, I am trying to think of somewhere to go for a pint, to read a book, and maybe have some delicious food. I'm stumped. Before, I didn't even have to think about it--it was always the HoP. It was cosy enough that I could settle in for awhile and sink a couple of beers before getting something tasty to soak up the booze. But sadly, I just cannot imagine doing that in the new space. It may be smarter, but it's also more uncomfortable, louder, and more formal. You can't sit at the bar to eat your dinner as you could previously. And every single time I've looked in the window or thought about going in, the line up and the noisiness have put me off straight away. Tellingly, while I'm still enamoured of the HoP's food, I haven't actually been back since the meal described above. I would love a basket of their awesome chicken wings and a pint right now, but it just wouldn't be as pleasant an experience, which makes me so sad that I don't think I even want to go back at all.

My forlorn hope is that they will re-rent their old space next door and keep it open as a sort of sister-HoP, a less fancy version of the restaurant they are now operating. Why not? It works at the Ben Wicks. Then we could once again have the best of both worlds: the cosiness and comfort of places like the Wicks, Stout, and the old HoP, AND the excellent food the HoP is known for--plus, there might actually be room for everyone, and we might--gasp--get a table without lining up out the door.

Ben Wicks Restaurant
424 Parliament St, Toronto, ON M5A3A2, CA

Merryberry on Parliament. Anyone been yet?

I noticed a new cafe on Parliament in Cabbagetown today called Merry Berry or Merryberry. It's north of Winchester on the east side of the street. Never seen it before, has anyone been? The only thing I could find on the web is one Yelp review which looks very much like it was written by the owner, so I'm not paying much attention to that. This is right round the corner from me so it would be great if it turns out to be a decent, reasonably priced food and drinks option (I note they have applied for a liquor licence)... All the twee "imported French products" (girly stuff like tea and aprons) for sale have already put me off a bit though, I must say. And I'm a girl!!

Merry Berry
559 Parliament St, Toronto, ON M4X 1P7, CA

Stout Irish Pub

That's really great to hear, kayehm. if your burger was 9.99, you definitely had the new menu (the old burger was 17.99!). i'm looking forward to heading back to try the new menu--fingers crossed!

House on Parliament temporarily closed while moving next door

We went last night. I agree, egnaro. Glad to see the prices and menu haven't changed and the food was stellar as always. Service was top notch too--there's a new female server who's lovely. (I never understood all the complaints about service at the HoP--I've always had friendly, pleasant service, with the notable exception of the girl with the short brown hair who is usually downright rude.) The new place is classy and attractive, but you're right--definitely not as cosy as the old place. Much more restaurant-like, and a LOT noisier! (Although we did have a very large table of very loud drunk people next to us.) I'm hoping that once it calms down a bit and the novelty of the new location has worn off it will get a bit quieter. Although this is the HoP we're talking about, so maybe not.
I was disappointed to see the tiny size of the patio... trying to get a seat on that come summer is going to be a nightmare!!

House on Parliament temporarily closed while moving next door

Has anyone been to the new location? What's it like?

Stout Irish Pub

Sad to say, Stout's food can be summed up in two words: mediocre and overpriced. Wait, make that three: mediocre and outrageously overpriced.

I've now been for three meals here and the food is blah, at best. Worse, it is massively, almost gobsmackingly, expensive for what it is. The $17.99 burger is just the start. $23 for a prime rib dinner when I can get an excellent Sunday roast--including homemade bread pudding for dessert--for $15 at House on Parliament around the corner? Who came up with this menu, at this price point? Did they not even research what their competition are offering, much better and much cheaper? When I scanned the menu the first time I immediately discounted ordering about a third of the items, simply because they were too expensive. The second time, after I knew what the quality of the food was like, I discounted about two-thirds of the items. The third time, I gave it one more go, and after being disappointed again I won't be back to eat. Lovely place for a pint--just a shame about the food and the blatant price gouging. I can only conclude that they are they trying to make back the money they spent on the refit.

Stout Irish Pub
221 Carlton St, Toronto, ON , CA

Best bets on the Danforth

Amen to that. I recently went in at about 4pm and tried to make my way to the back patio. I was actually stopped, and asked whether I planned to eat. I had only been planning on having a drink, and so I was told I was not allowed to sit on the patio because "it's our busiest time"!!!!! Excuse me?! It was four pm--and the place was EMPTY. Naturally, I left straightaway. Such a shame that many of the places with decent patios in Toronto (Victory Cafe, I'm looking at you) also have Nazis in charge of them.

143 Danforth Ave, Toronto, ON M4K1N2, CA