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“Pros and Cons”

Green Tea Restaurant
Ranked #443 of 702 Restaurants in Markham
Price range: USD 8 - USD 46
Restaurant details
Reviewed 6 April 2018

My husband and I went for lunch at Green Tea on Good Friday. Strangely, when we called a week in advance to make a reservation in anticipation of a big crowd on a holiday, the restaurant said that we didn’t need a reservation for a party of two; we could just walk in. That proved not to be the case; the restaurant was packed when we arrived at 11:40 am. We were lucky enough to grab one of the last few remaining tables, and people who streamed in after 12 pm had to wait in the restaurant’s tiny foyer. Considering the restaurant’s reluctance to accept reservations for small parties, it would be a good idea to avoid weekends or holidays or to arrive early.

We recommend the following dishes despite small dissatisfaction:
1. Teppanyaki Green Bass (绿茶烤鱼) was very tasty but full of bones. One has to be very careful when chewing to avoid choking on them.
2. Fried Rice Cake with Shredded Pork (绿茶招牌烩年糕) was equally delicious except that there was not much pork to begin with and one has to dig to the bottom of the plate to get the paltry amount hidden there.
3. The chicken in Spicy Chicken with Peanuts (非一般的辣子鸡) tasted even better than the ones I’d had in Beijing; it helped that the chicken pieces had no bones. However, the peanuts were not crunchy enough.

We do not recommend the following dishes:
1. The appetizer, Steamed Lotus Root Stuffed with Sticky Rice (西湖藕韵), was too sweet even for a dessert, which it was not supposed to be.
2. The specialty drinks, Water Chestnut and Coix Seed Beverage (马蹄薏仁水) and Bamboo Cane and Temperate Beverage (竹蔗茅根水), were so diluted that one couldn’t taste any of the ingredients.
3. The dessert, Mochi in Brown Sugar (手工红糖糍粑), was also very bland.
4. The dessert, Bread Temptation (面包诱惑), was nothing special other than a gimmick. Only the top layer of the bread was slightly toasted; the other layers were simply dry. If you like sweet, dry bread with ice cream, then it’s a dish for you. However, you may want to order it at the end of the meal. Otherwise, the server will bring it in the middle of the meal, forcing you either to eat a dessert before finishing the entrees or wait till the end of the meal to eat it in proper order, albeit risking the ice cream melting.

Our biggest complaint about the restaurant is the fact that it doesn’t accept credit cards. What’s more, the policy is neither announced on the website nor posted anywhere in the restaurant. It was entirely coincidental that my husband happened to carry his debit card with him on that day; otherwise, who knows what would have happened? It is extremely inconsiderate of a restaurant to inconvenience its customers in order to save fees to credit card companies. The least it should have done is to give fair warnings to its customers about its payment policy so no one will be caught off guard and embarrassed as a result.

    • Value
    • Service
    • Food
Thank Huan Z
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 24 January 2018

The prices at Green Tea Restaurant are quite high for a Chinese restaurant considering that most Chinese restaurants offer cheap to moderate prices for shareable plates. Their menu also indicates a "regular" price and one for "VIP members". Apparently their VIP card is $20 and good for one year (don't quote me on this). We paid the regular price since we didn't buy or have a VIP card.

After placing our order, the first dish arrived so quickly! This was the Stir Fried Lamb on Sizzling Hot Stone Plate. This was indeed on a sizzling hot stone plate! The lamb was sizzling so loudly when it arrived at the table! The hot stone plate was heavy in weight and it kept the dish warm right up until we left the restaurant pretty much (an hour later).

There were substantial slices of the stir fried lamb mixed with lots of green onions and chives. If you like green onions and chives, this is definitely your dish. I adored the seasoning of the lamb slices! It was so well done and cooked. It was such a savory dish to my liking. I ate so many of the slices.

The second dish to arrive was the Steamed Pumpkin Stuffed with Sticky Rice and Mixed with Honey. This was such a unique dish and I've never seen it anywhere before. This was more of a dessert since it was a sweet dish. The steamed pumpkin's "lid" was lifted open to review the sticky rice inside. You could use the spoon to scoop out the sweet pumpkin flesh along with the sticky rice to eat together. It was a really homey and comforting dish! Although the sticky rice was plain in flavour, the sweetness of the pumpkin enhanced it.

Our third dish was the Assorted Mushroom Baked with Cheese. I had been curious about this dish since seeing it on the menu last time when we were waiting for a table. It turned out to be a not-so-authentic Southern Chinese dish as I'm not sure if authentic Southern Chinese dishes from Hangzhou actually use baked cheese in their food? Even if they do use cheese, I highly doubt that they use American style cheddar and mozzarella cheese in their dish.

This was essentially what it was. There was a layer of assorted mushrooms (king oyster mushrooms and other types) with a huge layer of cheddar and mozzarella cheese baked on top of it. While the amount of cheese that was used was ample and generous, it wasn't the best dish since it seemed a little out of place in a restaurant like this. As a cheese lover though, I definitely loved the huge layer of cheesy cheese that stayed warm throughout the visit too.

The service here was good. A server kept walking over to our table to check on us to see how we were doing without interrupting us. Even when we weren't able to log into the free wifi network, the server followed up with us. Alas, the free wifi network didn't work no matter how many times we tried to input the password.

While I enjoyed the food and flavours here at Green Tea Restaurant, I think their prices are very high for elevated Chinese food (unless you get the VIP card and split it with a lot of people when dining in, I guess). Their interior is gorgeous and all imported from Hangzhou, China!

    • Value
    • Service
    • Food
Thank stenoodie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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