Saturday, April 01, 2006

Hong Shing's

195 Dundas St., West
Toronto, Ontario

Closest Subway Station: St. Patrick
Dress Code: None
Price Range: $7-15, (bring more for delicacies)

Sunday to Thursday: noon – 2:00 a.m.

Friday and Saturday: noon – 4:00 a.m.

Considered by some to be ‘the greatest Chinese restaurant this side of the Great Wall,’ Hong Shing’s Chinese Restaurant has almost achieved cult status amongst some University of Toronto students. However, the love for Hong Shing’s is not unanimous, as some (former) customers vowed a ‘lifelong boycott’ after allegedly waiting over an hour for takeout food. The opinions on Hong Shing’s vary considerably, and you’ll probably either love it or hate it.

Synonymous with Hong Shing’s is their General Tao’s (Sweet and Sour) Chicken. It is quite possibly the brightest, reddest chicken ever served. I’m quite surprised the takeout box doesn’t have a radioactive label on it, because there is no way it could be naturally red. However, don’t be fooled, it is easily the best General Tao’s Chicken in Toronto. It is very crispy, and has a little bit of a spicy kick to it. It is easily the best dish on the menu. Another good dish is their Szechwan Chicken; however it is not for the weak-tongued. It is very spicy, and I have even seen ‘true men’ panting in vain, trying to get the waiter’s attention, in need of a glass of water to put out the fire in their mouth.

On the topic of waiters, the service at Hong Shing’s is less than spectacular. You don’t come here to be pampered. If you are the type of person who feels customer service trumps all, stay away. I’m lucky to get a ‘have a nice day’ as I leave, and I’m a VIP customer here. Once, a good acquaintance of mine was ordering takeout, and paid with it using his credit card. After swiping it, the waiter proceeded to throw the credit card back on the ledge! It was unprovoked, but I believe this is a result of not understanding how to treat their customers properly, not necessarily being rude. Customer service section is definitely not in the training manual at Hong Shing’s.

To reiterate, nobody goes to Hong Shing’s expecting to be treated like royalty. It’s the Chinese equivalent to the Soup Nazi. You go in, take the abuse from the waiters, and order dishes of General Tao’s and Szechwan Chicken. I promise you’ll be impressed, and become a fiend. The only people that don’t like it are weak and sensitive, as they cannot take the abuse from the waiters. I can almost picture them saying “No General Tao’s Chicken For You!”


At April 02, 2006 1:44 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm very disappointed in your review. I'm going to spit into your food the next time you come here.

-Wang, your friendly Hong Shing's waiter

At April 12, 2006 10:40 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...



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