I love Hakka food! I can’t say it enough. It’s the only food that can be consistently spicy and tasty at the same time to satisfy my spice palate. The only thing is that while each restaurant of the 16 Hakka restaurants, I’ve sampled each has an awesome signature dish, for example :
- Chung Moi’s has the best Hot and Sour soup ever, although it seems to give me a MSG headache these days, it is still far and wide the best Cilantro Hot and Soup ever. Also their Fried Green Beans are outstanding.
- Federick’s has the best Chicken Pakoras in Toronto, bar none… nuff said
- Lin Garden has the best Beef Manchurian noodles, not too greasy and a decent grade of beef in there.
- Kim Kim has a great Masala Fried Rice, extra on the Masala
- Danforth Dragon, which is the only one of these that is remotely downtown-ish, has a very good Manchurian Chicken
- China Cottage has an awesome Pepper Chicken, which actually makes me sweat a bit … only a bit.
- Chili Chicken seems to be the one Hakka dish that is consistently spicy at most restaurants, but the quality of the chicken meat (chicken thighs, can sometimes have too much fat)
Generally, I have yet to find the one overall “GOD” of all Hakka restaurants in Toronto, where every single dish is consistently great. Of course, my litmus test for this statement is to try the same set of dishes at all the restaurants. My sample menu for comparison would be
- Chili Chicken with sauce
- Spicy Manchurian Noodles (Beef or Chicken)
- Yang Chow / Masala Fried Rice (Pork, Shrimp, Beef or Chicken)
- Dry Green Beans
- Chicken Pakoras
- Chicken Corn/Hot & Sour Soup
My thinking here would be, if all 6 of these dishes are great, then that restaurant should “GOD” of them all, but I have yet to find the restaurant where all six of these dishes was a grade A or better. It is tough to apply that criteria, since there are very few restaurants that can be consistently excellent at each effort.
BlogTO has a good article and map of their top 10 list of Hakka places, it would be an excellent starting resource to explore Hakka food in Toronto.