It’s about time I finally featured food from Scarborough on the blog! I’ve been trying my best to represent as many areas of Toronto (and Markham) as I can and I’m well aware how quiet it’s been on the Scarborough front. Trust me when I say that the lack of yummies from Scarborough hasn’t been intentional though; there’s a number of reasons why it’s taken me so long to post about the great food here.
First, I’ve lived in Markham for 13 years now and during those 13 years, school and work stayed within York Region boundaries during high school and undergrad university. If I wasn’t at school I was at work and when I wasn’t at work I was at home. Scarborough activities were mostly relegated to appointments, errands, and visiting family. Second, if I wanted to head into Scarborough (i.e. the 416), I would have to pay double transit fares, so I had to be very careful with how much money I spent to get around. Even though parts of Scarborough are very urban and city-like, much of the area is suburbanized which means you can’t exactly walk around place to place on foot. Without a metropass, I would have been spending all my money (which wasn’t very much to begin with) on tokens alone.
Finally, even though my grandparents still reside in Scarborough (along with a number of old friends and classmates), have you ever attempted to take photos during a large family meal? It’s virtually impossible. There was no way to take and post photos without getting either half-eaten, messy dishes or hands and arms all over the place. Not the most attractive for a food blog, yes?
Things are a little different now though. I’m older, I have my own camera (the idea of taking photos of my food at the age of 10 never even occurred to me!), and years of working has given me a tiny bit of extra breathing room to explore, money-wise. I may not be aware of every nook and cranny in Scarborough, but I know a lot of the area and the food like the back of my hand. If we’re talking about areas outside of both Chinatowns in Toronto, Scarborough is where it’s at if you want great dim sum and Chinese food. Sure, Markham is great for this too, but Scarborough has a bit more of the old-school feel to it and considering how the majority of my childhood was spent here, it always feels like home.
I have fond foodie memories of the Finch and Midland neighbourhood especially. Growing up, I’d eat Chinese food and noodles in this area with my mum and dad, I remember going to Korean BBQ with my aunt and uncle, and I even remember dribbling taco sauce on my favourite dress when I was 5 in the old Taco Bell. Even though things change over time, in many ways, things have stayed completely the same. If you’re familiar with Scarborough you know which area I’m referring to when I say, “rows of hanging triangular rainbow flags”. I don’t have a photo for you all right now, but the iconic rainbow flags hanging over this plaza is the hallmark of this foodie district along with all the Chinese food.
I can’t remember the last time I ate around here. It’s been years. So it was such a treat coming back here with my family for some breakfast. We found this fantastic place called Made in China Hot Pot with awesome HK style diner food and breakfast! Obviously since this was my first time here, I can’t tell you anything about the hot pot, but I can tell you about the breakfast.
I looove HK style breakfast. Popular favourites includes congee with either different meats, seafood, preserved egg, or things like pork bones, noodles with eggs and mixed veggies, macaroni in soup with sliced beef, eggs with toast, ham, sausage, or luncheon meat, egg and meat sandwiches, baked bread and pineapple buns, cheung fun dim sim, and a number of others.
My favourite dishes are instant noodles with egg and luncheon meat, macaroni soup noodle bowls, and HK style toast with the crusts cut off and spread with butter made with sweetened condensed milk. Made in China Hot Pot has a great breakfast menu with a ton of options and the prices are ridiculously awesome for the portions you get! Prices range from $2.55 to $5.95 and all menu items come with your choice of HK style tea or coffee (lie cha, ling cha, yuen yeung, etc.).
My mum ordered the oatmeal with two eggs and toast, my brother ordered the omelette with ham, mushroom, and cheese with toast, my dad was in conniptions over his salted pork bone congee and fried vermicelli noodles with bean sprouts, and I ordered my favourite HK breakfast comfort food: instant noodles in soup with luncheon meat (mmm chan yok) and egg. The portions and presentation of food are both fantastic. My dad literally got this ginormous bowl of congee and a full square plate of noodles, my mum got a nice meal-sized bowl of oatmeal with her eggs and toast, and my brother’s omelette with thick and stuffed to the edges. Since the meals came in “two-parters” with the exception of mine, we were honestly expecting side dish sized portions for each “part” of the meal given the fab prices and we were blown away and so happy and satisfied with our food.
Even though my meal is very run-of-the-mill in terms of content (instant noodles are instant noodles no matter how you spin it, and so is luncheon meat unless somebody decides they want to be cute and starts to use cookie cutters), I loved my dish. Instant noodles in soup is one of my most favourite comfort foods, the luncheon meat was delicious with its savoury, smoky, slightly salty flavour, and it wasn’t overly seasoned (they didn’t drizzle soy sauce over it which was a very good thing!), and I adored how cute my egg looked! It was a gorgeous sunny-side up egg (some dishes will come with an overeasy one) and the fab part was that the yolk didn’t explode everywhere. I love me some overeasy eggs where I can dip my toast or bread in the yolks, but in noodle soup, I like it more cooked so it doesn’t get lost in the soup.
Made in China Hot Pot is beautiful on the inside and so big and spacious. I’m so happy we found this place and we’re already looking forward to our next visit! They have HK style spaghetti and rice dishes, a slew of different dumpling sets, and of course its namesake, hot pot. When it comes to food, Scarborough hasn’t lost its touch.
Made in China Hot Pot is located at 3280 Midland Ave. in the Scarboro Village Mall plaza near the intersection of Finch and Midland Ave. The plaza is north of Finch and south of Silver Star Blvd. They serve all-day breakfast, lunch, dinner, and their specialty, Chinese hot pot.