Hong Shing Chinese Restaurant, Toronto

by Stevie on September 27, 2010

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Hong Shing Chinese Restaurant

Hong Shing Chinese Restaurant

While planning our visit to Toronto, my work colleague, Lila, the same woman who suggested the recipe for vegetarian Szechuan eggplant, kept talking for weeks about how delightful Chinese food is there. That has to be a strong recommendation, as Lila is originally from Hong Kong, so I’m confident that she knows what she’s talking about. In fact, she and her husband have visited Toronto more than once in part to dine on Chinese food.

Hegui’s not that big on Chinese, preferring instead, Indian and Southeast Asian, but Toronto and Hong Shing might have finally opened his eyes.

We went to Hong Shing on our first night in the city simply because we were starving, it was quite close to our hotel and it was packed with people. The restaurant is not much to look at: a hole-in-the-wall kind of place with minimal décor. They’ve a big neon crawfish in one window and some cheery red Chinese lanterns hanging inside, but that’s about it. The tables were all covered with multiple flimsy plastic cloths. I couldn’t help but observe staff wrapping all the dirty dishes up in the topmost cloth after the table emptied to make a sort of bag, then they hauled everything back into the kitchen all at once: functional but not elegant. We were not even offered chopsticks so made due with our forks and knives. That said, the food was delicious! We liked it so well that we ate there twice during our week-long stay.

neon crawfish in Hong Shing window

neon crawfish in Hong Shing window

Molsen Canadian beer at Hong Shing

Molsen Canadian beer at Hong Shing

We couldn’t help ourselves so we started with the Molsen Canadian beer. The name and the label seemed so perfect and kitschy! Plus the beer was pretty refreshing. The staff brought us a steaming pot of jasmine tea as well.

My favorite dish had to be the spicy soft-shell crab. It was deep fried and then tossed in this spicy red chili sauce. The portion was huge for two, but, somehow, we managed. We ordered this both times we were there.

Hong Shing spicy soft-shell crab

Hong Shing spicy soft-shell crab

Hong Shing Chinese broccoli in garlic sauce

Hong Shing Chinese broccoli in garlic sauce

Hong Shing vegetarian fried rice

Hong Shing vegetarian fried rice

The spicy deep fried tofu was served like the soft-shell crab, and was equally magnificent. One night we ordered the shitake mushroom and bok choy in brown sauce (I think that it might have gone by a different name there), which was great. On the next visit, we tried the sautéed Chinese broccoli (gai lan) in garlic sauce. Both times we had a large plate of vegetarian fried rice.

We never had dessert (and I’m not even sure that they offer any) but they do give fortune cookies. These were enchanting simply because the fortune comes in French on one side and English on the reverse. I’d never had the pleasure of seeing that before: “Votre personnalité dynamique ne laisse personne indifférent” or “Your intense personality can make quite an impression on people.” I’m not certain that that’s the same in translation but, by golly, it sure is true.

The food was filling, very tasty and fairly inexpensive. We spent about $40 Canadian each time we went for two rounds of Molsen and four dishes for two people. The staff was reasonably attentive. If I lived in Toronto, I’d probably go to Hong Shing once a week. Try somewhere else if you want atmosphere.

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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Colin Li December 27, 2013 at 11:15 pm


I am the marketing director of Hong Shing Chinese Restaurant and I stumbled upon your blog recently! I know you wrote this 2 years ago but it is still a very good read and we like to say thank you for taking your time and writing a review of your experience to our restaurant. We have been established in Toronto for 19 years and recently we are pushing into social media to reach back to all our customers and that is how I have manage to read your blog. We are currently designing a new website and would love to feature this particular blog in our customer’s review section if you won’t mind. As signs of appreciation, contact me whenever you come back to Toronto for some Hong Shing! Also, you can follow us on our twitter @HongShingRest or our facebook page https://www.facebook.com/HongShingChineseRestaurant

Thank You,

Colin Li
Marketing Director Of Hong Shing Chinese Restaurant
Toronto, Ontario

Heguiberto December 29, 2013 at 1:19 pm

Hi Colin,
Thank you for finding us and yes please feel free to feature this post on your site. We really enjoyed your food 🙂
Thank you!

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