Wonton v Wonton

My first week of work was a deluge of new information, but I feel that I am absorbing a lot. One thing I am amazed with Markham, which is a suburb north of Toronto, is how delicious the Chinese food is here. This fact is practically a given, but whenever my family goes to Markham we go to the same places so I don’t have much of a chance to experience other Chinese restaurants.

On my first day, one of my supervisors at the firm took me and the other summer student for Hong Kong-style Chinese food for lunch. I didn’t expect to have milk tea so soon after my trip. It was like being back in HK: the milk tea was creamy and strong. My Portuguese chicken rice was tasty too. Yesterday one of my coworkers picked up bubble tea for some other co-workers and I tried red bean bubble tea. It had real red bean in it! It is true that some of the best “ethnic” foods are found in the suburbs.

This blog continues my series of posts about Hong Kong from Toronto.

Like many food-inclined tourists before me, I conducted a brief comparison of two wonton mein (noodle) places in Hong Kong. One of my best personal “discoveries” in Hong Kong was wonton noodles. Before, I never really understood the appeal of wonton noodles. I thought the noodles were bland and I couldn’t get a hold of all the different “dumplings” in Cantonese or Chinese cuisine. Now I find myself craving them for their simplicity.

First, we have Mak’s Noodles. The main restaurant is located in Central but I went to their branch in Jordan, Kowloon. Anthony Bourdain went to this place to get wonton mein in Hong Kong.

These came in a relatively small bowl compared to other HK eateries. It is a good portion though if we are talking about serving size. The broth was hearty, although on the salty side for me. The highlight was the noodles which were springy and practically al dente. The wontons were also small with only a few shrimp, but they were juicy and burst with flavour. For $30 and the size, Mak’s is not the best deal you can get in HK, even though it’s still a fine price in Canadian dollars.

And the competitor is Tsim Chai Kee another famous place to order wonton mein. Interestingly, this is located directly across the street from Mak’s Central location.

I was given a big bowl of noodles and shrimp wontons which were large and juicy. The large wontons were comforting. The broth was flavourful, but also on the salty side. There was a relaxed atmosphere. This was a deal at HK $20.  They were always very busy at lunch time so I went around 7 pm. I still had to wait a bit, but it was worth it.

I honestly couldn’t choose between the two, which I know is a cop-out. It’s completely preference. For something lighter, Mak’s is a good choice. For something homier, I’d go to Tsim Chai Kee.

Mak’s Noodles is located at G/F, 77 Wellington St, Central, Hong Kong and G/F, 51 Parkes Street, Jordan, Kowloon.

Tsim Chai Kee is located at 98 Wellington St, Central, Hong Kong.

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