Inside Dragon City Mall
Dragon City Mall is Chinatown shopping with a roof and free WiFi (don't mind the Dairy Queen/Orange Julius on the main level). It offers the same sort of bargains, unique merchandise, and incredible volume of items as sidewalk Chinatown, but here it's all encased in a glass building on the corner of Dundas and Spadina. You can count on lots of imported goods in small areas of space, and authentic Asian meals for when the shopping is done. Here are some places to check out in Dragon City Mall.
Dai Kuang Wah Market
I've never seen boxes of teas stacked so high. Literally, it's floor to ceiling at Dai Kuang Wah. Ginseng, herbs, and teas to regulate nearly every human function, including but not limited to: stress, energy, weight control, hypertension, liver detox, and smooth skin. The shop can probably accommodate five customers tops.
Owl of Minerva
This is the Chinatown location of the famed Korean restaurant with the curious poster of a woman in a graduation cap. On the second floor of Dragon City, the Owl has a fairly large dining room in which to enjoy its pork bone soup to the delicate soundtrack of Korean pop TV. The staff is super friendly, and each meal comes with a complementary yogurt drink.
Dragon CD store
Though Dragon doesn't carry any English CDs or DVDs (made clear by the "No English" sign displayed on the front rack), it's interesting to peruse the racks of movies from Japan, the Philippines, and more, and see if you can find the Asian equivalent of Kate Hudson. You can also find anime flicks for $2 each. Don't wander into the backroom unprepared, however; it's all porn, and I found out the hard way.
Chin Sak has to be some sort of Hello Kitty superstore. Though, now that I think about it, I have seen stores solely dedicated to Hello Kitty. In that case, consider Chin Sak a superstore for sparkly Hello Kitty merchandise. Earrings, rings, key chains, necklaces, barrettes, headbands and more, decorated with that impervious white feline, and all glistening in the harsh flouresent light.
Sugar Marmalade is a drink and dessert cafĂŠ in Dragon City, with a menu of puddings, jellies, slushes and teas. Along with traditional items such as sweet almond soup, soya bean jelly, and mango custard sweet dumplings, Sugar Marmalade offers a surprising array of toasts, including roasted cheese and garlic toast and roasted bacon and salmon toast.
Janet's Collection is the source for miscellany at Dragon City. There's a wall of clocks, tables of shoes (mostly women's strappy sandals), another table of watches, and linens, drapery, and bedding by the back. In the market for some Thinsulate gloves? They're here, for $12. Lacy panties? $5. Men's boxer shorts? $5. A wallet in one of countless colours and styles? Look under the glass. Indecisive minds beware.
Timhou Inc. is one of the newer businesses in Dragon City, offering a small collection of trendy women's fashions. The problem is, of course, that everything here seems to come in "extremely petite," so while the little cropped blazers and frilly daytime dresses look cute on the hanger, that's where they might stay for many people who drop by. Dresses are generally $20 to $40, and some skirts and shirts come two for $15.
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