Local Tourist: Wonton Chai Noodle 雲吞仔 – Strange Comfort Food

I don’t know where this post falls under, but I really wanted to talk about a restaurant that I’ve been going to for years.

Obviously, when eating in restaurants food comes first — but atmosphere is also very important.

The Atmosphere Just Makes Me Think of Hong Kong

Atmosphere can sometimes evoke different emotions, and memories. It may bring you back to places in time that you cannot trigger by simple memory.

The restaurant I am talking about is the Wonton Chai Noodle 雲吞仔 in Markham. It you don’t know what wonton’s are, they’re basically meat filled dumplings. But instead of pan fried or steamed, they’re boiled in broth.

Every time I go and eat there, it evokes memories of my birth place: Hong Kong.

What’s strange is I don’t know why it makes me feel this way, cause never in my youth did I stay in Hong Kong long enough warrant these feelings.

As I mentioned before, growing up, I was never quick to accept or embrace my heritage. It was only until having a daughter that I started to think about the impact her cultural would have on her.

This restaurant is not going to win a Michelin Star anytime soon, but for whatever reason it just puts me in a good place every time I eat there.

The obvious reason would be the food, as this place makes really delicious shrimp wontons and dace wontons. Along with extremely quick service — Hong Kong people are always in a hurry, so speed is expected. Once you order, the food comes before you have a chance to take few sips of the tea.

 

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One thing that I’ve gravitated towards is the immediate mood when going to the restaurant. From the menus being under the glass table, to the Hong Kong radio station they place in the background, this restaurant just hits the right notes for me.

Now I am over 20 years removed from visiting Hong Kong, and it could be that nothing is authentic about this place, but that doesn’t really matter, because every time I step into this restaurant, I am just filled with strange but comforting vibes.

If you ever find yourself in Markham, look up this place (I also believe there’s a busier location in Scarborough as well).

I do not have any affiliation with this place, so it would seem a bit strange to write a food post about it, but I just felt like sharing something that gives me such joy and pleasure.

Do you have a comfort food restaurant that gives you inexplicable memories? If you do, it would be interesting to hear what place brings you to another place.

Let me know in the comments below or Tweet me your favourite and unlikely place!