I often like to take walks through the city in hopes of discovering new and cheap Chinese food.
This afternoon, I was strolling through calf-high grass around the mechanical zone, a few miles north of Toronto’s city limits. I passed by a large car dealer and crossed the road onto a pathway that led me into an interesting shopping area located inside a parking lot.
It was a bumpy ride on my way there as the roads appeared to have worn out. That’s the only reason I would have to think twice before going there again.
Development work seemed to be going on everywhere, new buildings being constructed all around.
I have always preferred eating at new and open spaces that Toronto had to offer instead of investing my energy and money in fancy places like Markham or Richmond Hill.
Since I was searching for good — better than average — Chinese food. Also, most of the locals told me that the great Toronto Chinatown, located at the crossroads of Spadina Avenue and Dundas Street West had lost its original touch and didn’t the food wasn’t as good as it used to be.
Thus I decided on traveling to suburbia, to the hallway along Highway 7, an unscenic yet filled with various offerings of brilliant, scrumptious and reasonable territorial Chinese food.
Back to my trek through the weeds: I made it to my goal to explore this not very pleasant looking strip shopping center called First Markham Place. I needed dumplings, and xiao long bao was noticeable in my brain.
I strolled into Ding Tai Fung (not Din Tai Fung, the renowned Taiwanese chain) to request for the soup dumplings, which are in the form of a straightened onion and squeezed together at best. These dumplings are served steaming hot in a bamboo wicker container.
The dried scallop and pork rendition (8.49 Canadian dollars, or about $6.40), presented with a red-tinged vinegar and fragments of ginger, adding little blasts of flavor.
In any case, the southern Chinese cooking there is fantastic, especially the namesake congee, a healthy rice porridge to which any number of add-ons can be served.
We requested the House Super Bowl Congee and got a huge bowl stuffed with surf shellfishes, shrimp, scallops, salmon, grouper and other cut fish. It was a dish to convey tears to the eyes of any fish sweetheart, and, at 12.95 dollars, it was an absolute bargain.