Journalist Sarah Efron explores strip malls and hole-in-the-wall restaurants in search of the city's best ethnic food

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

If you love lamb, you will be crazy about the Chinese Halal Restaurant in Scarborough

Along the Markham/Scarborough boundary there are endless rows of modern strip malls filled with Chinese restaurants. Chinese Halal Restaurant, which serves the food of northwest China, is truly special.

Chinese Halal Restaurant, also known as the Chinese Beef and Lamb House, is located at 668 Silver Star Blvd (see map below). It was founded by Chef Li, who ran several halal restaurants in northwest China. It says it's the first halal restaurant for the Toronto Chinese community. There is also another location in North York, at 101 Ravel Road.

Reading through the extensive menu is an experience to itself. Where else can you get fried ox tongue, spicy jellyfish and lily-fried celery?

I came here for the lamb and I wasn't disappointed. Every part of the animal is on the menu in endless combinations. You can get lamb organs soup, lamb dumplings, barbecue lamb, curry lamb, fried lamb tongue, friend lamb lungs, jellied lamb, and "special lamb bones," just to name a few.

This intense and yummy soup has bits of lamb skin and organs in it. 
These cumin lamb skewers are to die for. Perfection.  
Beans with garlic and of course bits of lamb. Wonderfully crisp.
These pancakes are filled with spiced lamb and green onion. A bit on the greasy side. 
They went a bit too crazy on the cumin in this beef dish. 
The bottom line: If you are a fan of lamb, you'll love this place, particularly the skewers.

Chinese Halal Restaurant is open seven days a week, 11:30am to midnight.

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