Pacific Mall and Market Village and I go waaaay back. Even before I moved to Markham when I was 13 and still living in Scarborough, these two Chinese malls hold so many childhood memories for me. Even though I don’t go as often as I used to, stepping inside feels like HOME. The kind of feeling you get when you know you can find your way around even if you were blindfolded. The kind of familiarity that leaves with you a deep sense of nostalgia.
I used to buy Sailor Moon trading cards here as a kid. In high school, I would buy packs and packs of cute Asian stationery to write letters to my friends. My mum and I used to get custom made crystal bracelets from this wonderfully nice lady in Pacific, who would go out of her way to make me custom pieces because she said I was sweet. My parents would order Chinese vegetarain trays for dinner. My doctor used to be in Market Village and my brother’s orthodontist is still there, popular and successful as ever. And if you want a real way-back-playback, I still have memories of the Chinese movie theater that used to be where the giant One’s Better Living now stands! That’s what you call old school.
Over the years, things have simalatanously changed and stayed the same. Stores have come and gone, but that feeling of home still exists for me, welcoming me every time I go. And one of my favourite parts of Pacific Mall is the Pacific Heritage Town on the 2nd floor, which is where I ate my good eats yesterday on Chinese New Year!
Not only do I love the food, I love the atmosphere. I love stepping into this area of the mall and being welcomed with a waft of warm egg puff waffles, looking at cute Chinese coin purses, and enjoying the snacks that I love so much. I asked myself yesterday, “it’s Chinese New Year today, what do I really want to eat? What would I enjoy more than anything?” I briefly considered getting a Japanese sushi bento box full of my most favourite spicy salmon maki rolls from Japanese Express (trust me, these rolls deserve a post of their own so sit tight for one in the near future!) but instead, I chose my absolute favourite Shanghai dim sum that gets me happy-squishy just at the mere thought of it: my beloved siu long bow, aka. Shanghai pork dumplings!! *cue extreme salivating*
These little dumplings are my favourite Chinese comfort food and I can’t ever seem to get enough of them. They are such a treat to me and they are so deliciously yummy with their warm, juicy soft pork and steamed dumpling envelope. Among many other Chinese “siu sic” snacks and Shanghai dishes and dim sum from Shark’s Fin City (like the yummy green onion pancakes which are a favourite of both my mum and grandma!) , they come in sets of 4 priced at $3.50 and are freshly made right when you order. You normally may have to wait about 10 minutes or so, but they are sooo worth it. Other than TianJin Fine Food at the food court in First Markham Place, I don’t enjoy these mouth-watering dumplings anywhere else. And do I ever enjoy them. I douse them in red vinegar and wiggle and make “mmm” noises after every bite. Oh my god I love them so much ❤
And for dessert? Green tea ice cream waffle cake!! 😀 Purchased from the nearby candy shop and egg puff waffle vendor, there are over 10 flavours of ice cream to choose from (vanilla, cookie, pineapple, mango, among others) and I intend to eat my way through many of them. They are wrapped in a warm, crispy egg waffle and sliced into wedges. A dessert that is both warm and cold, and soft and crispy, it is absolutely delightful!
It was so much fun and it was just a wonderful feeling being there yesterday. I may not shop there as much as I used to, but I look forward to each and every trip and leave with fond memories every time. And I am so looking forward to tomorrow: celebrating with my grandparents! I’m going to be getting up at the crack of dawn to bake them surprise cupcakes, and my parents and I will be running around like crazy chickens picking up food along the way to my grandparents in preparation of tomorrow night’s awesome new year feast. I’ll see you all tomorrow for part III, happy celebrating!
Pacific Mall and Market Village are located at 4300 Steeles Ave. East, right at the intersection of Kennedy Rd. and Steeles. Pacific Heritage Town is on the upper level and houses a food court with traditional Chinese, Shanghai, and Japanese and sushi, as well as a bakery and plenty of bubble tea and Chinese snack vendors. Food is also available on the upper level on the other side of the mall in an alternate food court.