After spending two months eating my way through Europe this summer I returned to Toronto with a craving for sweet meets sour Chinese food. On the road I’d been living on a strict diet of Swiss fondue, risotto Milanese, Polish pierogie, and Spanish tapas…with not a spicy Asian-inspired morsel in sight.
What I love most about living in Toronto is that I can always return home from a trip to feast on whatever my daydreams have me salivating over. Last summer I organized a road trip to explore Scarborough’s most raved about ethnic eats and it was during my dinner at Frederick’s that I fell madly in love with Hakka cuisine.
Hakka is a style of Chinese cooking which concentrates on the texture of the food. The skill in its preparation lies in the ability to cook meat thoroughly without hardening it. Believed to have originated from Northern China’s Yellow River, the Hakka people have a long history of migration with their distinct Chinese cuisine found in Malaysia, Indonesia, Singapore, Hong Kong, Taiwan, and India (with Kolkata considered the ideal place to pilgrimage).
Lucky for me one of Toronto’s most popular Hakka restaurants can be found a short walk from my apartment. Located in the heart of Toronto’s China Town, Yeuh Tung Restaurant sits perched over Elizabeth Street. Skip up the stairs to this unassuming Chinese restaurant and you’ll find a simple yet spacious dining room that fills to the brim during the weekday lunch hour.
The restaurant’s owners offer a Kolkata-style Indian Chinese Hakka menu, where you’re encouraged to enjoy the best of both worlds. A Chinese meets Indian love story in your mouth. Highlights include the restaurant’s signature Chili Chicken, crunchy Shrimp Pakoras, my fave Crispy Beef, and classic Hakka Sweet Soy Noodle (Fung Mee Mien) featuring plump Shanghai noodles, BBQ pork, onions, beansprouts, and sweet soy sauce.
Hakka Sweet Soy Noodle (Fung Mee Mien) | shanghai noodles, BBQ pork, onions, beansprouts, sweet soy sauce
Cantonese Fried Rice with shrimp and BBQ pork