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Eat & Drink

Times Square in Richmond Hill

Posted by Darren "DKLo" Susilo / July 9, 2012

Times Square Richmond HillTimes Square is the largest Asian shopping centre in Richmond Hill. Found at 550 Highway 7 East a few blocks west of the 404, it's a place I like to think of as Richmond Hill's answer to Pacific Mall. Built around 1995 in an architectural style that I would imagine was deemed futuristic 20 years ago, the mall has enjoyed steady, though hardly stellar, success. Many Asian locals see it as the go-to place for their shopping and dining needs, with the mall's expansive parking lot and sprawling physical layout are well-suited for the suburban lifestyle.

With a name as grandiose as Times Square, though, you'd think there'd be plenty of North American chain stores here. Not so. Just like every other Asian mall in the GTA, Times Square is composed primarily of independent shops and restaurants.

Here are some of my favourite places to visit at Times Square:

Richmond Court Restaurant
Taking up what feels like a quarter of the mall's ground floor, this large restaurant has it all. It serves Chinese cuisine, cha chaan teng snacks, dim sum, sushi (seriously) and even has a bakery. The pastel colours of its interior take me back to the 90s but this restaurant is a great place to sit back and enjoy some old-fashioned congee with crispy chicken on the side. The service can be hit-or-miss but there's a reason why this restaurant has been in business since '95. Be sure to try their pineapple bun (with butter of course!), an extremely cheap and satisfying snack at under $2 a pop.

Sophie SpaSophie Spa
With brand names like Chanel, Gucci, and Dunhill, Sophie has been a staple for many Asian ladies (and men!) looking for luxury brand items at reasonable prices. Apart from their large selection of accessories and skin care products, they also have brand-specific promotions throughout the year, and are a great place in the area to get pampered. Service is attentive with friendly staff only too happy to answer my personal styling questions whenever I'm looking for tips to look like a Hong Kong movie star.

Goldsor Restaurant
No, the name of the restaurant is not the answer to the question "What happens to Gold after exercising too much?" It's actually a rather spacious and bright cha chaan teng, with European-style paintings adorning its walls. The menu here is packed with lots of daily specials such as the delicious and hearty fish fillet curry rice (with soup and a drink for $6). Located right across the parking lot from Richmond Court Restaurant, what better way to spend your Sunday morning than by eating a Western-Chinese breakfast while looking across the grounds at those eating a traditional Chinese one?

GTOKGTOK
This small and unassuming new restaurant is the place to go to for hardcore Chinese snacking. The friendly owner here assured me that for Chinese purists, there is no better accompaniment when watching TV than a glass of cold Tsingtao beer and a handful of pieces of marinated spicy duck neck. Despite my initial apprehension, I tried said neck and am glad to report that the overall texture and flavour of this delicacy is not unlike smoked duck meat. GTOK also offers more mainstream Szechuan favourites such as spicy boiled fish (sui zhu yu) or spicy sliced beef.

Ruelo Pattiserie
A French-inspired bakery in the heart of Chinatown North? Why not? This small bakery offers a smorgasbord of French/European-style cakes and pastries made fresh on-site. Ruelo also serves afternoon high tea (just north of $15) complete with scones and cakes, all of which are delightfully light Asian takes on what are quintessentially European treats. Be sure to also try one of their many macaron options (the delightful Lychee Rose is my favourite). It truly is a rather interesting experience, and the recent opening of a second location near Yonge and Eglinton is a testament to the Time Square location's success.

Northern Dumpling Kitchen
Many have said that this place serves dumplings whose quality is only rivaled by First Markham's Ding Tai Fung and it's easy to see why. The xiao long bao (soup dumplings) are hand-made and very juicy with a delicious broth inside, while the onion pancake and sliced beef is tender and nicely balanced with the sweetness of the hoisin sauce within. All this for prices that are around $1-$2 cheaper than its fancier Markham counterpart. Also worth trying are their non-dumpling dishes. The crispy la zi ji (chili chicken) is a perfect illustration of what KFC's popcorn chicken SHOULD taste like, with its perfect mix of tender yet crisp meat with a slightly spicy coating.

Pun Cao Tong Herbal TeaPun Cao Tong Herbal Tea & Desserts
Ever wondered what the Chinese had for dessert and late night drinks before the invention of bubble tea? While it may be hard to believe, Chinese desserts didn't always come in a tall glass filled with tapioca balls. Featuring a bright and cheerful interior alongside a rather formidable menu resplendent with options, this popular Times Square spot has provided me with a new appreciation for traditional Chinese desserts. In the mood for something warm? Try the simple and healthy stewed egg white with fresh fruit. Seating here is at a premium so be prepared to share a table with other customers.

Posted by Darren "DKLo" Susilo (he hangs out on the Twitter).

Discussion

14 Comments

jacs14 / July 9, 2012 at 12:54 pm
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Oh please...stop writing these vague pieces and attempting to pass these malls/plazas off as anything more than they really are to make your pieces seem more legitimate. If you're going to actually do a review it should be more thorough...focus on one restaurant and its best dishes. They are poorly written and uninformative to your readers...blogto is going downhill fast.
Simon Tarses replying to a comment from jacs14 / July 9, 2012 at 01:07 pm
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Nasty much? BlogTO is just informing their readers about a great new place or places to eat. Nobody said that you had to go there, or read about them.

I like Times Square myself, and would go there to eat, but the only thing is, there's no place to buy film for a camera when it's needed.
Sean / July 9, 2012 at 02:22 pm
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There's enough happening in TO instead of spilling out in the GTA!

GOT THAT?
Rich replying to a comment from jacs14 / July 9, 2012 at 02:40 pm
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"blogto is going RICHMOND downHILL fast" [fixed]
Nixon / July 9, 2012 at 03:10 pm
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Why are y'all on this blog if all you're going to do is hate on the posts. Leave now and never come back.
REALPOW / July 9, 2012 at 03:35 pm
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RICH, YOURE REALLY FUNNY. REALLY.

ALSO, IM DOWNTOWN. NO CHANCE YOU WONT BE SEXUALLY ASSAULTED

ALSO, NO COVERAGE OF VIRTUAL DOMAIN? CMAN SAN
JESSICA / July 9, 2012 at 03:43 pm
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Even though I live downtown, I come all the way up here about once every 2 months to get a facial. I usually like to go to the restaurant that's across the street. I can't remember the name of the restaurant but you can get macaroni soup for like $5! My fave!
JP / July 9, 2012 at 05:36 pm
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A) Nobody is forcing you to read this.

B) You are reading this for free.

Not sure the hostility is justified.
Ok replying to a comment from jacs14 / July 9, 2012 at 05:43 pm
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Well then, please enlighten us all and explain why you are still here? If you think this place is going downhill and the articles are garbage, why do you visit? To troll? Figures..
Ok replying to a comment from Sean / July 9, 2012 at 05:45 pm
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Live exists north of Steeles, in case you haven't noticed.
Now get back to sipping your $5 latte
Raj / July 10, 2012 at 10:01 am
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Another quality post! I am going to make a point to visit GTOK for some cold Tsingtao beer!
DKLo replying to a comment from JESSICA / July 10, 2012 at 10:06 am
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I think that's actually the Goldsor restaurant :) I can't pronounce it without laughing a little inside.
MCheung / July 10, 2012 at 09:15 pm
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It's nice to get an overview of the restaurants in a plaza such as Times Square. This way it's easier to figure out whether or not a trip to the northern GTA will be worth it. Although it's not a new plaza, the area is still foreign to many people who live downtown. Good stuff.
MofUsene / September 12, 2012 at 12:30 pm
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