Chinese lobster

The top 10 Chinese lobster in Toronto

The top restaurants to chow down on Chinese lobster in Toronto serve up food that's a far cry from the plain simplicity of the steamed and dunked in butter version prevalent in most North American style seafood spots. The Chinese (or Cantonese) way of cooking lobster is pretty damn impressive and involves infusing these sea critters with seasonings and spices that make the whole dining experience a feast fit for a king. Common ingredients include Chinese cooking wine, soy sauce, and ginger and many restaurants offer the option to choose whether you want the crustacean steamed, stir-fried, or deep-fried.

Here are 10 restaurants to hit up for Chinese (Cantonese-style) lobster in Toronto.

Wah Sing
A staple among Chinese lobster lovers in Toronto, Wah Sing's lobster special (two for $29.95) will easily trump most other options. My personal favourite here is the one done with black bean sauce. Just don't mind the ambience (nobody will confuse this place with Rock Lobster), which is passable at best, but the throngs of on-a-budget UofT students flocking here prove they must be doing something right.

Hua Sang
Located somewhat oddly right underneath Wah Sing (no, seriously), Hua Sang is your other slightly less known (but still excellent) option for two for one lobster specials ($29.95). The interior and overall appearance of the restaurant is, in my opinion, shabbier than its upstairs counterpart.

Fishman Lobster Clubhouse
Often mispronounced as FishERman Lobster, this modest-looking but rather roomy Scarborough joint is the definitive go-to place for Chinese lobster in the 905. The interior is quite fancy but you won't care as you elbow your friends trying to take photos of the towering 8+ pound lobster dish standing on your table, daring you to eat it. Try the deep fried garlic lobster for maximum flavour. Their prices, at $16.99 per pound, are pretty reasonable, too. Definitely one of those places you should visit at least once.

Fishman Wharf Seafood
Another Scarborough gem, this restaurant serves up a number of large lobster and king crab specials. My favourite is the lobster set (2 for $68) which features 5 courses and includes sweet and savoury lobster in Maggi sauce (a delicious seasoning that really should be more well-known in Canada).

Maple Yip
One of the best places for all-around Cantonese food, Maple Yip is well-known for its dated interior, hurried atmosphere, and astoundingly delicious lobster at really cheap prices. The light, steamed garlic variety is my favourite here. And with prices starting at around $15.95 per pound, it's definitely the biggest Value Menu in town. If a smaller lobster is more to your liking, you can snag 'em at $16.95 for the whole dish. Crazy crowds aside, it's a fantastic place to chow down.

Omei
At this long-standing Richmond Hill favourite the must-order is their famous lobster cooked 4-ways ($21.95 per pound) in which each dish features a different part of the lobster cooked with different seasonings. There's the classic deep fried lobster, a stir-fried lobster in Maggi sauce, fried rice with lobster innards (it's a lot tastier than it sounds) plus a whole lot more. The price point is a bit steep but there's a reason why it's one of the most popular lobster restaurants in York Region.

Best Dragon Seafood
Best Dragon's name apropos, considering the Chinese name for lobster is really dragon shrimp. There are two main options for lobster lovers here. Small lobsters are served 2 for $28 while large ones (usually 7+ pounds) go for $15-$16 per pound. Choose one of three ways to have them cooked: stir fried with ginger, black bean sauce, or deep fried with garlic.

Mr. Congee
Despite the chaotic atmosphere, Mr. Congee remains wildly popular with Scarborough residents looking for cheap and good Cantonese food. I've tried their stir fried lobster with ginger here, and at $16.99 can honestly tell you that it's one of the best values you'll get. It's not too big but it's succulent, tasty as hell and good quality. After you're done, walk off the calories inside the always quiet Bridlewood Mall.

Magic Wok
If you want good old-fashioned solid lobster dishes without any of the 4-way or towering madness that you get in some other restaurants, Magic Wok is worth a try. It's the epitome of a solid, no-nonsense Chinese family restaurant that serves up fresh and delicious lobster. The classic stir-fried lobster is the one to order here.

Congee Queen
If you're looking for easily-replicated lobster excellence, look no further than Congee Queen. The only chain restaurant on this list, they win points for their classic stir-fried lobster with ginger (value-priced at $17.99). The lobster may be on the small side but it's still absolutely tasty, which is really all you can ask for given its price and ubiquity.

Posted by Darren "DKLo" Susilo. He hangs out on the twitter and his own mansion.

Photo by Sebastian Ip in the blogTO Flickr pool


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