Green Tea Restaurant Toronto
Green Tea Restaurant is the second, more low-key location of the popular Markham restaurant specializing in Huangzhou cuisine.
With a much tinier storefront than its larger, more elegant counterpart, this Chinatown version caters more to downtown diners with a compact look.
The Green Tea chain already has more than 80 restaurants in China, with only two locations overseas—both which happen to be in Toronto.
Focusing on the fresh, slightly sweet dishes that Huangzhou is known for, the pricey menu is massive, with over 80 items like their popular fire shrimp skewers or towering brick toast.
There are three items at this downtown spot that aren't available uptown, the most interesting being the Curry Chicken Pot Pie ($22.99).
Rip through this housemade puff pastry to access the curry chicken inside.
As per most Southern Chinese-style curry, the dish is more oily than spicy, so don't expect much heat.
It takes about half an hour to make, and there's a limited number available per day, so keep that in mind when ordering.
Another new menu addition is the abalone with marinated pork ($36.99).
Sitting in a sweet sauce, this traditional pork dish is given a twist with the popular shellfish abalone, a luxurious seafood most commonly eaten at Chinese banquets.
Another luxurious sea-dweller available is the teppanyaki green bass ($22.99), a whole fried largemouth bass served on a heated grill.
Considered a high-quality, freshwater fish, green bass is the favoured fish at Green Tea since it has fewer bones, hence the high prices.
A steamed whole pumpkin stiffed with sticky rice ($11.99) is basically a dessert, but could be eaten as a main.
Mixed with honey, the dish is a very sweet and gooey dish that works as a filling way to crave your sweet tooth.
A layered cube of preserved egg and tofu ($8.99) is really unique, fusing two classic Chinese ingredients that are usually extremely subdued in taste. Combined, the flavours are very light but surprisingly fresh.
A trip to any Green Tea location isn't complete without an order of the Bread Temptation ($11.99), the hulking multi-layered bread that's baked for 30 minutes before being filled and covered with ice cream.
Most dishes at Green Tea are far more expensive than other affordable restaurants on the Spadina strip, but you won't find Huangzhou-style dishes like these elsewhere.