- Address: 38 Buttonfield Rd, Markham
- Visited: 04/05/2015, Lunch, 2 people
- Cuisine: Hong Kong
- Rating: 4.5 5.0 Excellent, worth every $
4.5 Good, food & value
4.0 Good, but $$, would re-visit
3.5 Meh, good $, would re-visit
3.0 Meh, would not re-visit
2.0 Did not like $ [$] <20; [$$] <40; [$$$] <80; [$$$$] >80
- Website: N/A
Continuing my adventures with Hong Kong style cafes, The Fiance and I stopped by Hai Tang Cafe over the Easter weekend. Located near 16th Ave and the 404, we drive by Hai Tang Cafe on our way to his parents’ house, making it an easy stop. From the outside, the restaurant looked to take up a large corner of the strip mall. Walking in however, the space was actually narrow and quite tight. There were two dining areas and both were packed. At one point, a woman walked in and asked to seat 17 people, the waitress gave a pretty big sigh and an estimated wait time of at least an hour.
The restaurant decor was a little worn but the space was clean and tidy. We were seated at a table right by the front doors and a cold draft swept in each time it was opened. There were many better seats, but we were in a rush and didn’t want to wait. Service was quick and efficient. I liked that the servers stood around the centre of the dining area making them accessible and easy to flag down. While the restaurant was constantly packed, it didn’t feel as hectic and rushed as other Hong Kong style cafes, where I feel like I needed to eat and clear my seat quickly.
Hai Tang offered breakfast, lunch and dinner specials. The menu items were standard, (hainanese chicken, curries, club sandwich, etc.) but highly customizable. For their baked dishes, you can choose the type of carb and sauce to completed the dish. The Fiance ordered a baked pork chop with black pepper sauce on spaghetti and was only $5.50. There was lots of pasta, a rich sauce full of flavour and three hefty pork chops. I had the beef brisket in soup with thick rice noodles for $3.99. The noodles were soft, the soup tasty and the beef brisket tender. Usually, I add a few spoonfuls of chilli oil to my soup, which adds a lot of chili fragrance without much heat. At Hai Tang, the chili oil was hot. Two spoonfuls had me sweating. Delicious, but potent. Of the Hong Kong cafes I’ve been to so far, this bowl of noodles is close to the best for value and taste.
Our total bill came to $12 (before tip) for both dishes and two milk teas. A great deal for a great meal.