Journalist Sarah Efron explores strip malls and hole-in-the-wall restaurants in search of the city's best ethnic food

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

One of Toronto's best Asian restaurants gets new digs

A restaurant that served unusually good Asian meals in a food court behind a derelict Scarborough plaza has been reborn. Gourmet Garden made a huge variety of Malaysian, Singaporean and Indonesian street eats its tiny kitchen. It was run by the husband and wife team of Tan "Yummy" Hok Kien (originally from Indonesia) and Amy Lam (from Malaysia).   

Earlier this year, the restaurant moved into new digs across the street at 4466 Sheppard Ave. East near Brimley Rd. The newly renamed Gourmet Malaysia is in a sprawling 6,000 square foot complex that includes banquet space and private karaoke rooms. The new kitchen is set up with work stations for making roti, noodle soups, desserts and wok-based dishes, says employee Jenny Wong.

The food is incredibly good—in fact, it seems to be even better than it was at Gourmet Garden. The Singapore laksa (above), a large coconut-based soup filled with thin noodles, warms the throat with its perfect blend of spices. The tender chicken is covered with golden, yellow curry sauce and comes with an order of light, flaky roti bread. Mee goreng, a classic Malaysian fried noodle dish, is jam packed with bits of fish cake, shrimp and squid. Prices are very reasonable, with many dishes cashing in at $7 or $8. 

There are also many exotic drinks and desserts to try. The winter melon longan drink comes with a crust of ice and potent but sweet melon balls at the bottom. The ice tea is a rich, creamy drink reminiscent of a frappuccino. 

Gourmet Malaysian also sells Asian groceries, such as jars of sambal chili sauce, jack fruit chips, tamarind candy and fresh pineapple tarts.  

Gourmet Malaysia is located at 4465 Sheppard Ave. East in Scarborough, Tel: 416-291-1883 or 647-764-1188. Hours are 11am to 9pm Sunday to Thursday, 11am to 11:30 pm. 

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1 comment:

  1. Hi: just to mind the gap (lost in editing?), naming the dish - photo 4 of 6: Roti Cannai (Cha-nai) - chicken or beef curry with roti (flatbread) and sambal ikan bilis (chili-anchovies).
    As you know, a lot of real estate to fill... current efforts in evening programs, updated here - http://www.facebook.com/ggmsc
    Yummy post - thanks!