Aroma Food Hall
Aroma Food Hall is open for takeout and delivery. A maximum of 10 people are allowed at a time. Masks are mandatory and hand sanitizer is at the counter.
Aroma Food Hall is an Asian food court serving up loaded crepes, meat and rice dishes, soup bowls and bubble tea between the same four walls.
Before the space at the corner of Yonge and Isabella was drawing in lines for lunch, it was home to House of Lords Hair Design for five decades.
It's been transformed into a food hall with four stalls for plenty of food and boba options and a make-your-own-bowl station at the back.
Old high school friends and owners Cindy Wang and Sherry Liang opened the spot when Wang, who owns the noodle and soup bowl restaurant Spice and Aroma, approached Liang with the idea.
Liang, a laid-off Air Canada flight attendant, brings plenty of customer service experience after 10 years of serving drinks in the sky.
The first stall you'll see when you enter is Jumbo Crepe for crepe rolls and crepe-and-salad bowls. The open concept means Wang or Liang will be whipping up your crepe right before your eyes. Just place your order and head over to the side of the counter to see the magic happen.
Wang makes the entire process look easy, though she says it takes a lot of practice to get the flour batter laying smooth and tear-free on the cast-iron griddle.
After twirling the batter with a crepe spreader until it covers the entire skillet, one egg is cracked in the middle and spread around. Once it's flipped, another is cracked underneath the crepe so that it cooks right on the outer layer.
The Aroma signature chicken crepe ($13.95) is slathered in a homemade sweet Chinese barbecue sauce and comes piled with crispy fried wonton strips, meat floss with dried seaweed and fried chicken, with the option to add cheese.
Another top seller is the pork belly and kimchi spice ($13.49), which is always made with the freshest kimchi from the local Galleria supermarket. It's prepared in a similar way with two eggs and also comes fully loaded with fillings.
Right next door is the Mr. Bone stall where you can get meat and rice dishes best enjoyed when both are mixed in with a bit of pickled cabbage or chopped pepper.
Meat options include baby back rib, beef rib, chicken gizzard, braised minced pork and pork backbone or the "big bone."
We go for the beef rib ($23.99). The price is steep but the piece of meat is absolutely massive and it also comes with a good amount of sides including vegetables, marinated tofu, and a choice between pickled cabbage or chopped pepper.
Moving right along you'll find a soup bowl stall. Wang has been making soup bowls at her other restaurant since 2014. Again, the portion sizes are worth noting. Each order comes with a bowl of toppings and protein while another carries the noodles.
The tom-yum soup bowl ($14.50) contains many different kinds of seafood like squid slices, baby octopus and quail eggs, as well as black fungus, purple sweet potato, cabbage and bean sprouts.
If you'd prefer to create your own, a fully stocked section of possible add-ons is at the back. Although there's a great selection, I wouldn't recommend going this route as it can get quite pricey ($25 and up) if you're not strategic about it since everything is priced by weight.
A selection of bubble teas and smoothies complete the food court. The Aroma fruit tea ($6.75) is Liang's personal concoction. Apple, strawberry, peach, grape and passion fruit are just a few of the fruity notes you might pick up on.
Between the four menus of food and drink options at Aroma Food Hall, you're pretty much guaranteed to find something you'll enjoy.