Location: 31 Main Street North, Markham
There are a whole bunch of really good bakeries doing fancy French desserts in the GTA, so if you want to stand out, you’d better be really good.
Cho-Kwok-Lat stands out.
They have two display counters; one with tasty looking croissants, and the other with fancy cakes. I wanted to eat everything in both displays immediately. The woman behind the counter said that the chocolate rum almond croissant is their most popular, so I figured that was probably a good choice.
It’s immediately clear why it’s so popular. It’s basically like an almond croissant and a pain au chocolate had a baby, and it’s just the absolute best. The combination of the tasty almond paste and the great quality chocolate is so good, and the croissant itself is buttery, flaky, and perfect. I was worried that it might taste overly boozy, but if “rum” weren’t in its name, I don’t think I would have known it was there.
The woman behind the counter heated it up for me, which I don’t think I’ve ever seen with a croissant like this before, but which is clearly the way to go. The croissant was just barely warm, but it had been heated up enough to really emphasize the pasty’s exterior crisp-factor, and to make the chocolate nice and gooey. Good stuff.
Location: 3621 Highway 7, Markham
They serve brown sugar boba milk at Bubble Lee; like I mentioned in my review of Tiger Sugar, this stuff is basically bubble tea without the tea. It’s delicious.
The secret are those delightfully chewy tapioca balls and the tasty brown-sugar-infused sauce that they serve them with. I don’t even need the drink; just serve those things in a bowl with a spoon. Serve them on top of ice cream (actually, that’s an amazing idea. Restaurateurs: feel free to steal that).
I think I liked the version at Tiger Sugar a little bit better — they serve it with a “cream mousse” that makes it indulgently rich — but there’s absolutely nothing wrong with what they’re serving at Bubble Lee. On the plus side, it’s not as heavy, so it feels more like a regular drink and less like something you have to take a nap to recover from.
Location: 3621 Highway 7, Markham
I actually visited Wuhan Noodle and wrote this post back in December, well before all the coronavirus shenanigans and racism that put this place in the news. To be clear: no, you won’t get the coronavirus by visiting this restaurant. I wish I were a bit more positive about it now, but here’s what I originally wrote back in December:
I think I’ve become spoiled by the abundant availability of hand-pulled noodles in the GTA. Case in point: Wuhan Noodle 1950. They serve a very tasty bowl of noodles — but it’s hard not to compare them to the places that make their own in-house.
It probably doesn’t help that the dish I ordered — the Wuhan Dry Noodles — is basically all noodles and sauce, which means that the noodles themselves are front-and-centre.
And the noodles here are perfectly cooked, with a nice firm bite — but they lack that addictive chewiness that you only get when you make them fresh.
Still, the creamy sesame- and peanut-infused sauce is very tasty; the included spoonful of chili oil gives it a mild kick, and the herbs and pickled veg bring some nice pops of flavour that compliment the creamy sauce.
It’s probably not reasonable to expect every place like this to make their own noodles, and yet… here we are.
Location: 3160 Steeles Avenue East, Markham
I mentioned recently that I generally prefer checking out restaurants I haven’t tried over revisiting ones I have. There are, however, exceptions to that rule, such as: Shiso Tree Cafe, a restaurant that fuses Japanese and Italian cuisine with some seriously delicious results.
On this visit I had the shoyu mushroom spaghetti: “shimeji, enoki, king oyster mushrooms in mentsuyu butter sauce.”
It’s so good. It looks a little bit dry in the photo; a lot of the sauce is at the bottom of the bowl, but once you mix it up, it becomes creamy and amazing (and the sauce is rich enough to cling perfectly to the pasta — there wasn’t any left in the bowl when the spaghetti was done).
It has an incredibly satisfying buttery/savoury flavour, and the various types of mushrooms add a nice variety of textures and flavours. It’s a top-notch bowl of pasta.
It’s also an incredible deal; every pasta on their lunch menu costs twelve bucks and comes with a salad, soup, and a slice of garlic bread. The salad looks a little sad, but features a sesame-infused dressing that’s a cut above the standard Japanese-inspired salad dressing you’re expecting. The creamy seafood soup is rich, flavourful, and packed with tasty chunks of seafood — it’s way better than a free soup has any right to be. The garlic bread is quite tasty, too.
Location: 550 Highway 7, Richmond Hill
Sometimes, Asian desserts can be a bit of an acquired taste. With their emphasis on ingredients you don’t necessarily associate with sweets (like beans or tofu), unusual spices, and a very restrained level of sweetness, they can seem a bit odd if you’re not used to them.
If you are used to them, however? They’re delicious.
Sweet Turtle Desserts in the Times Square plaza in Richmond Hill is an absolute cornucopia of various Chinese puddings and sweet drinks (there are easily over a hundred items on the menu). I ordered the soya bean jelly with sesame, which is a creamy tofu-based pudding topped with a black sesame sauce.
The tofu itself is completely unsweetened, with a luxuriously silky texture but very little flavour. It doesn’t seem like much, but that silkiness is surprisingly addictive.
The black sesame topping suits it very well, with a nice hit of sesame and just enough sweetness to keep things interesting. It’s quite good.