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Restaurants & Bars

"PAPA CHANG'S," Markham - Delicious and outstanding, authentic and fusion Taiwanese delicacies and snacks! (Long Review)

Charles Yu | Jun 15, 201906:25 PM    

I am sure the posting of this review by this aged and seasoned Baby-Boomer will evoke quite a few laughter amongst some of our millennial members for being so passé and antiquated? Since its opening in 2012, "PaPa Chang's" has become a popular and go-to place for younger generations in search of delicious, affordable and homey Taiwanese snacks and food. Sadly, it was only last week that I was made aware of its existence! Sigh!

As one who has savored a fair share of interesting, tasty and exotic food in my life time…..from Haute Cuisine in Michelin star rated gastronomic temples to finger-licking, funky and exotic delicacies in curb-side outfits, hawker stalls, food streets and hole-in-the-wall places around the world. The list of my culinary favorites is long and endless. However, way up on that list are good, authentic Taiwanese street food and snacks…..Tiny bowl of tasty Ta-a or Danzi noodles, Tofu topped with thousand year eggs, pork meat floss, oyster sauce and sesame oil, Crispy and chewy Oyster omelet, Multi-dimensional Braised beef soup noodles, Taiwanese sausages etc….to name a few.

This evening, a few of us made the long track east to this highly anticipated destination. My first impression of this eatery was that, for the supposedly delicious food it offers and its huge popularity, this hole-in-the-wall sure is small and cramped?! At 6.00pm, the place was already packed with patrons waiting in the rain outside. Our phone number was taken by one of the staff to which they will call us once there are vacancies available. Thankfully, turn-over was brisk and our wait time was around 15 minutes.

From an interesting and varied menu that featured both authentic as well as fusion Japanese/Taiwanese specials, we picked a whole slew of mostly tapas sizes snacks and dishes.....including some funky, intriguing and exotic fare! These include:
- Taiwanese Red Sausages
- Rice topped with the iconic ‘ braised mince pork ‘, soy
marinated egg and pickled mustard greens on rice.
- Braised pig’s intestine oyster vermicelli soup.
- Meat floss egg pan cake wrap.
- Curry Beef with rice.
- Green onion pan cake.
- Skewer Chicken.
- Deep fried salted squid balls.
- Par boiled Taiwanese cabbage with minced pork sauce.
- Deep fried tofu with Taiwanese picked mustard greens.
- Marinated Beef Shank Sesame Flat Bread Wrap.

{ photos posted of above dishes are in sequential order }

Apart from the so-so Curry Beef, every other dishes we ordered were praise worthy and delightfully tasty and ‘different ‘. My favorite’s being:
- the flavorful, tender yet chewy braised pig’s intestine.
- the crispy skin, super moist and chewy fried squid balls.
Amazing seasoning and texture.
- the perfectly timed crispy skin and velvety smooth and
moist tofu with a surprisingly wonderful dipping sauce.
- the funky skewer chicken that was coated with yet
another crispy and different batter coating. The trio
of wasabi/mayo/teriyaki sauce that was drizzled on top
was a delectable masterful touch!
- Scallion pancakes were super thin and light. Again, the
accompanying dipping sauce was delicious and different.
……and the praise can go on and on?!

With each of us dishing out less than $20 per person ( all inclusive of tax and tips ) for the afore-mentioned 11 dishes. This place is indeed AFFORDABLE!
Since this time, our party of four only managed to cover less than 1/10th of the menu. That leaves us plenty of excuses for multiple re-visits!

Highly recommended……if one doesn’t mind the drive and wait!

PS: You can check out their full menu on their website.
http://www.papachang.ca/

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