Toronto foodies offer their top picks for AsiaLiciousTO

The first AsialiciousTO Food Festival will run from September 11 to October 11, 2020 with over 200 Asian restaurants, cafes, bubble tea shops, and bakeries participating. Mirrored after the city’s highly successful Winterlicious and Summerlicious programs, AsialiciousTO will celebrate the diverse range of Asian cuisine in Toronto and surrounding GTA. From Taiwanese and Cantonese foods to  Japanese, Korean and Philippino cuisine. Casual dining, take out and delivery will be available at accessible price points for both lunch and dinner promotional menus ($10, $20, and $30). The initiative is also part of the city’s recovery program to help support the local restaurant industry that has been one of the most economically hit by the pandemic. There are lots to explore!

Where do you start? Here are a few recommendations from food loving friends and myself:

Hakata Ikkousha Ramen
Hakata Ikkousha Ramen

Hakata Ikkousha Ramen: Queen Street West. I have several favourite ramen shops in the city and this one tops them all for me personally. Behind their name of the three characters are “one, happy, space” and that makes me smile. There is a lot of love in every delicious bowl of Tonkatsu ramen from this famous noodle shop.  Choose the base broth (I love the Black my kid loves the God’s Fire), noodles and additional toppings. Perfect comfort food for cool fall nights.The fried chicken pieces and gyoza are worth adding on.  Pre-covid there were always line ups outside the door. Now is a great time to visit as they’ve physically distanced all the tables and are careful with keeping protocol. Recommended by @theculturepearl

Sansotei Ramen:  (Dundas Location and others) Fall cooler weather has us craving delicious savoury ramen and Sansotei’s broths are made daily. Diners can choose the type of noodles (thin or thick) and there is a variety of options and toppings to try. Recommended by @michellejobin

ZenQ
ZenQ

ZenQ: 171 Dundas Street West (and other locations) This is one of my favourites for Taiwanese desserts. Known for their modern take on traditional desserts and generous portions. They are famous for their grass jelly desserts (maybe an acquired taste) that’s made fresh in house daily and served hot or cold over ice with a variety of toppings. I grew up enjoying grass jelly and this is one the best in the city. But if that idea of grassy tasting jelly isn’t so appealing then you’ll definitely want to try their yogurt shaved ice desserts! Bring a friend and order up the ZenQ Super Bowl or Fruit Supreme.  Recommended by @theculturepearl

Yi Fang Taiwan Fruit Tea: (Downtown location): The brand was built on traditional family recipes including thirst quenching pineapple water used in their fruit teas. They use the freshest fruits of the season. Michelle tells us she had this when she was in Taiwan before they arrived in Canada. Recommended by @michellejobin

Tsujuri
Tsujuri

Tsujuri: 4909 Yonge Street. One of the best tasting green teas in Toronto can be found at this Japanese Tea and dessert shop. You can get loose leaf teas for home from this world-renowned tea company. They also have refreshing desserts like green tea matcha sundaes that are not just delicious but presented beautifully. Recommended by @theculturepearl

Grandeur Palace: In the summer they had an amazing crab rice combo and lobster noodle special. Really one of the best and has been for many years. They have a dim sum menu and a great dinner offering. You get alot of quality and value for your money here. They’ve also adapted with patio seating for now. Recommended by @mrwillwong

Lai Wah Heen: Definitely a great choice downtown for fine dining. Their dim sum menu is outstanding. Their seafood and Peking Duck are favourites for dinner. Recommended by @jon_mrdimsum

HotStar Large Chicken
HotStar Large Chicken

HotStar Large Chicken: 374A Yonge Street (and other locations) If I was a still a Ryerson student today, you’d probably find me here often. Their deep-fried chicken is larger than my hand. Freshly cooked to order, it’s easy to grab and go (no bread needed) basically the best part of the chicken sandwich without the sandwich part. Chicken is super juicy and you can order up sauces to spice things up. A guilty pleasure for sure.  ~ Recommended by @theculturepearl

The full list of participating restaurants can be found here at asialiciousto.com 

 

 

 

Sonya Davidson
About Sonya Davidson 671 Articles
Born and raised in Toronto, this city girl covers the latest in arts, culture, food, and style. She also shares interesting stories about Toronto's people, places, and things. Follow @theculturepearl on Instagram and Twitter.