There's a new shopping complex opening up just south of First Markham Place (Hwy 7 and Woodbine) and one of the first shops to open up is yet another Shanghainese style restaurant called Ala Kitchen (Unit 18, 21 Fairburn Drive, 1st Markham Centre). We drove by and noticed that the place was packed, even though it had just recently opened in an otherwise wasteland of vacant store fronts.
We came back another day and decided to give it a try with a few of our friends. Ordered a set menu dinner for 4 for $40, and added a few other dishes to try too. Most of the dishes were smothered in a thick brown and painfully sugary sauce. A sweet and sour deep fried fish had overly hard crusty batter about 2-3 times thicker than the stale fish itself, and the sauce was about as neon glowing red as I've ever seen. The dumpling and bamboo soup tasted like hot water with a touch of salt added. The only dish that was done properly was the drunken chicken and cold fish appetizer.
Waitresses there around 3pm were more interested in refilling the vinegar and soy sauce at the emtpy tables and eating their own lunch (at a table right next to us) rather than serving us.
Overall a terrible experience. It's amazing how all these new Chinese restaurants pop up and people (including myself) will flock to try a place like this, only to be dissappointed. I'm guessing this one probably won't survive too long, given the horrible food they serve. Next time I'll know better, and wait at least 2-3 months after opening before trying yet another new joint like this without a previous recommendation.