With everything going on regarding COVID-19, the food and hospitality industry in Toronto along with many other industries has taken a big hit. Many Asian businesses in particular have suffered greatly the last few months because of various societal opinions regarding the virus. It’s hard enough for small restaurants to survive in big cities like Toronto that boast hundreds of chain restaurants, but to lose valuable business due to race just isn’t right.
Obviously, right now going out isn’t recommended, but when we won’t have to social isolate again, I’ll probably be visiting one of these Asian restaurants first and maybe you will too! Here’s some of my favourite places to eat:
A childhood favourite, Swatow always gets it right. Whether you’re visiting for a quick lunch or craving a bowl of noodles late at night, the extensive menu here has got you covered. Normally, I’ll grab a bowl of shrimp dumpling noodle soup or fish congee depending on how I feel. If they’re not already sold out, make sure you get an order of fried dough to soak up your soup. Pictured is the fried dough, fish slice noodle soup, and shrimp dumpling noodle soup.
Kwan Dim Sum serves great dim sum and has a variety of different options on their menu. This dim sum restaurant is especially welcoming to those with a vegetarian diet, so if you’ve always wanted to try dim sum, but haven’t because there’s not a lot of choice, this is your spot. If you visit on a weekend, see if you can get your hands on their specialty bao. Here’s their cha sui bao, ordered through Foodora! That’s right, they’re offering delivery still so definitely check them out.
Originally based in New York, this Japanese udon restaurant is worth the line up. The noodles have great texture and the broth carries great flavour. I had the Sansai udon with maitake mushroom tempura in it and let me tell you, that mushroom tempura was amazing. For a solid bowl of thick udon noodles in an aesthetic environment, Raku is your place.
Affordable dumplings that taste so good. Juicy Dumplings is in Dragon City Mall in Chinatown and they offer a variety of dumplings (mainly pork based) that can be the perfect snack or meal. I would go with friends and order different types of dumplings to try as they vary in texture, flavour and contents. Pan fried juicy pork buns should be on your list to order here for sure. Pictured are the pork soup dumplings.
Second dim sum place on the list, the Pearl comes around serving dim sum on carts on the weekends, so you can order by visually seeing the food you want. They have a large variety of menu options that are affordable considering their downtown location! If you go, request a window table to see a nice view of the lake and don’t leave without ordering “hockey puck” dumplings, which are pan fried and filled with shrimp and Chinese vegetables. They’re also available to order take out from right now!
Pho Rang Dong
Run by a husband and wife team, Pho Rang Dong serves great pho and a nice variety of other Vietnamese dishes. Everything is cooked fresh per order and on a chillier day, that pho broth is perfect. Pictured is a crab and fish noodle soup and a rare beef and chicken pho. Not pictured is a mango smoothie, a must order during or after your meal here.
This place gets packed fast. This sushi place is known for its super affordable pricing, yet still delicious sushi rolls. My go to at any sushi restaurant is normally a spicy salmon roll, so naturally pictured is a spicy salmon roll, a black dragon roll, and an ocean spicy roll. They also offer tempura ice cream as a dessert – yes, it does taste as good as it sounds.