Fortune House Restaurant

We just arrived as an entire family to Toronto and just in time for Chinese New Years. Well, it’s kind of hard to miss as festivities go on for about 2 weeks! We went to Fortune House Restaurant on Birchmount and celebrated Chinese New Years.

The first dish we ordered was Silky Egg with Shrimp and they used really large shrimps in this dish. The egg was made perfectly as the egg was cooked such that the omelette was silky and soft.

Our next dish was half a Marinated Chicken with Ginger Oil and this is one of my all time favourite chicken dishes. I like a cold chicken and I absolutely adore Chinese ginger oil sauce as it tastes good on anything!

Here, we have this clay pot which is filled with lots of goodies – from shrimp, tofu, bbq pork and veggies.

As this was still apart of CNY dinner, anything long is good, so we had some Long Beans and it’s sauteed with chilies. It’s a simple dish, and when dishes are simple, it’s crucial that it’s done perfectly! This was definitely one of the hits of the evening!

Another dish with veggies was Beef with Mushrooms and onions and to be honest, I can’t remember much about this dish, so it wasn’t anything extraordinary – but, I don’t remember not liking it either. So, it must have been a decent dish that we enjoyed! 🙂

I personally don’t eat a lot of eel, but when it comes to these dinners, you’re required to at least have something of everything, and when the Black Bean Eel came out, I was a little hesitant to try, but I must say, it was pretty good! I think the sauce was a perfect compliment, and even though it was full of bones in the eel, the meat was really soft! The eel was fresh enough that there wasn’t any fishy tastes or smell to it, so it worked well at the end.

My parents were stating that they eat more dishes now days without meat (even though I want to say it’s not true), regardless my aunts ordered Lo Hon Braised Mixed Vegetables in Hot Pot for them. It was full of Chinese fungus and greens, but the flavour they used in the sauce was really quite good! I think they used “fu yu” which is a type of fermented bean curd. It would’ve been even better of a dish if they added more fu yu in as it was really subtle tasting… when it should be more prominent!

Pork is an important dish for Chinese New Years as some say pork symbolizes progress. We ordered Pig Feet and this one was prepared such that the flavours was infused into the meat and it’s very tender. There are many ways to make pig feet, but often it’s quite time consuming – whether you braise it or use the pressure cooker.

Overall, the food was really good and the service was quick too – as they were really trying to turn tables to seat more customers. We later came back another day for lunch and the food was also really delicious! They do everything at this restaurant, so it doesn’t matter what you’re craving – they’ll have it!

Fortune House Restaurant on Urbanspoon

Fortune House Restaurant in Scarborough

2598 Birchmount Road
Toronto, ON M1T
(416) 292-1260

Fruity Juice Bar

This is a little stall/stand inside Pacific Mall in Toronto. We walked by the stall in the morning, and we could smell the freshly brewed, newly steeped tea for milk tea. Immediately, we knew when the booth opened, we would need to purchase some sort of milk tea from Fruity Juice Bar. This stand is located on the second floor, through the beautiful Asian arch on the left.

We tried the Jasmine Iced Milk Tea with no pearls. I’m not usually a fan of the pearls (boba) in my drinks. It was a really good tasting milk tea flavoured tea, and you do get a jasmine flavour as a background. The drink was a little sweet, but overall it was an amazing drink.

Fruity Juice Bar (Pacific Mall) on Urbanspoon

Fruity Juice Bar – Pacific Mall in Markham

4300 Steeles Ave E
Markham, ON L3R0T4
(905) 470-8785

Chiu Chow Boy – Toronto, Ontario

We didn’t know where to go for dinner as it was a family dinner with lots of people. It isn’t easy finding place for a large party over the weekend and still during Chinese New Years. We ended up making a reservation at Chiu Chow Boy in Scarborough located in a strip plaza on Kennedy Road. This was one of the best dinners we had as the food was very flavourful and well made.

We ordered lots of dishes, as mentioned, there was an entire army of family for this dinner. We ordered Duck in Marinated Sauce which is like a soy sauce marinated duck. We had a half order and it was still quite large! The lo-sui flavour was infused into the duck meat thoroughly and made it really good.

This is an interesting dish that we enjoyed, it’s a Stir Fried Pig’s Intestine with Sweet & Sour Preserved Vegetable and it was really good. The sweet and sour flavours was balanced really nicely with the preserved vegetables and the intestines. I really like eating the intestines and the texture is really unusual. It’s important to eat intestines only when they’re cleaned properly and they cleaned it thoroughly.

I really liked the dish of Deep Fried Baby White Fish with Spicy Salt from Chiu Chow Boy as the fish was deep fried perfectly. The tenderness of the fish meat and the perfectly crispy coating was delicious. The spicy salt sprinkled on top was so good it was one of my most memorable dishes from this restaurant. It’s soo good that I didn’t even need any other dipping sauce or anything!

An all time favourite dish for me in “late night – da laang” style (which is a Chiu Chow style eating with white congee) is Pan Fried Oyster Patties Chiu Chow Style! This was great because we ordered it as a normal dish and I pretty much ate a quarter of the entire dish! Sometimes, this dish is called an Oyster Omelette, but those tend to be thinner. This omelette has just the perfect amount of oysters and stuff ratio to egg which is a nice treat as most places have an omelette with a few oyster pieces floating around!

Our family loves braised pork belly, and normally with large gatherings, we’d order some. It’s less guilty when everyone has a little bit of pork belly to indulge instead of a big plate to yourselves. This time, we got Pork Belly with Taro Root which is braised slices of pork belly and some fried taro slices and then smothered with some sauce on top. This dish is always an appetizing dish no matter how you make it because the sauce is always delicious over rice!

Anyone who knows me knows I love fish and I eat it no matter how it’s prepared! We ordered Braised Garoupa with Tientsin Cabbage in Hot Pot and this is one of the tastiest fish hot pots! Lots of sauce, deep fried fish pieces, it was just perfect! It’s a great winter dish as hot pots tend to stay hot longer on the table.

Finally, a dish I actually don’t eat since I claim it tastes like “nose bleeds”, but a lot of people in my family likes it… it’s Blood Jello & Chives! Yup, it’s actually what you think it is, and I know the texture as a silken tofu. The texture is great but I can’t get past the taste — the entire plate did disappear so it means it was good, right?

Chicken with Chinjew Sauce which is basically deep fried chicken pieces with deep fried kale. I normally really enjoy this dish, but they over fried everything so the chicken was dry and almost tough. They seemed to have over salted this dish. It was the only dish on the table that didn’t get finished which was really too bad as it’s a simple dish to make – you just got to do it right!

Our vegetable dish was Satay Beef on Gai Lan and the gai lan was cooked perfectly! I never remember how delicious it is to just use plain good quality satay sauce on something like steamed/boiled gai lan! It’s a small picture, but it was pretty much beef in satay sauce poured on top of the gai lan! it was a total hit as you can see, I couldn’t even get a shot of it without chopsticks!

Overall, it was a good restaurant! The service was like any other Chinese restaurant, so nothing special. The rates weren’t too bad either. The food was full of flavour and the quality was really nice! I’d return here as it was a location that I remember a lot from the trip due to the food!

Chiu Chow Boy in Scarborough

3261 Kennedy Rd
Toronto, ON M1V
(416) 335-0336

City Hollywood Cafe – Toronto, Ontario

We took a red-eye flight out to Toronto for a quick trip. When we got there, we quickly picked up our rental can and checked into our hotel room. From there, we took a quick hot shower and went out looking for breakfast as it was only about 9am. We found a place where my cousin took us to a few years back called City Hollywood Cafe located behind Pacific Mall – 太古 on Steeles and Kennedy in Markham, Ontario.

We sat down, and I quickly ordered a cup of Milk Tea – 奶茶 as I was craving a cup – with condensed milk. It was quite strong of a tea and that’s the way I like it. When I got home, I actually made my own version of milk tea, and it’s just as good!

Since I was a tad jet lagged and really sleepy as we didn’t really get sleep from the night before, I opted out for something smaller. I ordered the French Toast – 西多士 I really like Chinese/Hong Kong style French Toast because they usually use Chinese “square bread” which usually is sweeter than your typical sliced bread. The egg batter is always thick and delicious – and the sheer amount of oil they use to make their French toast makes for a crispy breakfast

The breakfast set meals are always fun to order. They normally come with tons of stuff at a really good price – at only $4.99! This meal was also ordered with milk tea, and the set meal was for Cutlet Pork Chop with Egg. This particular meal came with toast, eggs, and of course a deep fried pork cutlet ontop of macaroni’s in soup.

Overall, I really enjoyed the few times I’ve been to City Hollywood Cafe and I’m sure I’ll be back again for any meal during the day! The food has always been really good, and nothing beats their prices and hours.

City Hollywood Cafe in Markham

4372 Steeles Ave E
Markham, ON M1V4S5
(905) 305-8877

Big Smoke Burger – Toronto, Ontario

We went for a walk into downtown Toronto this one afternoon during one of our short visits to Scarborough, Ontario. It was near lunchtime, and wanted something to eat before their downtown lunch rush. We stepped into Big Smoke Burger and it was a cute little burger shop. Right away, we noticed a lot of types of burgers, where we ordered our meal.

I tried the Crazy Burger which was a giant burger that consists of jalapeno havarti cheese, fresh-crisp coleslaw, chipotle mayo, bbq sauce, hot peppers & lettuce. The combination of the spice and the cooling (from the coleslaw) is really nice! It’s a larger burger with great flavours and it’s one of the best burgers I’ve had.

We also ordered a combo – for a drink and a side of onion rings with the Big Smoke Burger, and this burger has horseradish mayo, caramelized onions, smoked cheddar, tomato & lettuce. The horseradish mayo sounds innocent but after eating about half the burger the heat level of the horseradish really kicks in and clears your sinuses! I can’t say there was too much of a “smokiness” to the burger, but it was a wonderful tasting burger on it’s own. I’m suspecting the horseradish mayo numbed all my senses before I could really savour the smokiness of the smoke cheddar.

Big Smoke Burger is a great burger place to go to! They source out great Canadian ingredients that are fresh and they take pride in the quality of their ingredients and product they will present to you. Your burger and meal may take a little longer to wait for, but it’s definitely worth the wait as it wasn’t sitting there waiting for you to order it – made to order burgers, what more do you need?!

Big Smoke Burger – Downtown Toronto

573 King St W
Toronto, ON
(416) 596-6660