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[Chinese] Swatow


Restaurant: Swatow

Cuisine: Chinese
Location: Chinatown
Address: 309 Spadina Ave
Price Range: ~$10
1: Poor 2: OK 3: Good 4: Very Good 5: Excellent
Food: 4
Service: 3
Ambiance: 2
Overall: 3
Extra information:
*Middle of Chinatown
*Open till late
*Specialize in Cantonese noodles
*Cash ONLY


Recommendations: Fried Rice, Sizzling Meat Dishes


Swatow is another busy Chinese restaurant located near Dundas and Yonge. It's usually packed with people but the wait wasn't bad when I went. It's only cash at Swatow so make sure to check your wallet before coming here.
We had to wait around 5 minutes before we were seated. Waitress here actually spoke proper english! I love it :) Anyways, their menu varies from the typical soup noodles, dry noodles, fried rice, seafood and meat dishes. Once we ordered, food came very fast so there was not much wait time there.
You guys know I love my hot sauce...and I was surprised to see a different brand of Sriracha chili sauce here! It's by this brand called Uncle Chen and it was spicier than normal Sriracha sauce I am used to (the one with the green cap)
Ordered: Beef Stew (Ho Fun) Noodle Soup - 2/5
  • This came in a small snack size bowl and was $4.88
  • Soup was a clear light broth made from vegetables and meat
  • Rice noodle is thin and soft so it breaks very easily
  • Veggies and Meat pieces on top of the noodle
  • Meat was tender but too soft
  • I prefer thicker noodles and stronger spicy broth
Ordered: Yeung Chow Fried Rice - 5/5
  • Fried rice is always a safe option at Chinese restaurants especially Yeung Chow style because it has meat, seafood and veggies.
  • This fried rice was big in portion and had lots of shrimp + BBQ pork pieces
  • Stir fried egg is added when the rice is cooked and it gives that yellow color
  • Overall well seasoned and I didn't even need hot sauce for this
  • This was one of the best fried rice I ever had and I've tried so many different fried rices!
Ordered: Sizzling Beef Stew - 4/5
  • This seemed to be one of their specialty dishes as many tables around me were ordering them
  • Notice the name 'Sizzling', it comes in a hot black stone bowl and takes extra 5-10 minute to prepare
  • It comes covered in tissue paper because it's so hot the sauce can explode in your face
  • This dish came with lots of beef and turnip pieces
  • I would eat this with plain rice since it is heavily drenched in sauce
  • The sauce is based on strong soy sauce flavor
  • Beef pieces were soft and tender
  • Turnip was cooked thoroughly and seasoned all the way inside with the sauce
  • Green onion that was added to the dish was fresh and went well with the dish
The only issue I had with this restaurant is that they rush you out. Yes, I understand that it's a Chinese restaurant in Chinatown and to be honest why would I want to sit there for hours....BUT just let me take my time paying and wipe my mouth with a tissue Ok? But then I guess it is a very busy restaurant and they don't care to shower you with ambiance so it's somewhat understandable.
Summary: Note that it's not one of the cheapest chinese restaurants located in Chinatown but I would come back to Swatow if I wanted some good ol fried rice!

Swatow on Urbanspoon


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    Response: Sweet Basil

Reader Comments (1)

Wait. So you visited Swatow and didn't even try their inhouse chili oil? They stack them right near the door behind the register and it is the best in TO, They infuse garlic, chilis, spices and sesame oil into a flavourful oil and paste that sinks to the bottom of the container. It is a slow burn but a tasty one. I'm surprised by your hot sauce comment... this is Hong Kong style street food and I hope you understand that sriracha is of Thai origin.... you missed out!
February 10, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterChili Oil Fan

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