Welcome to our family restaurant run by two generations.
Our family story is not much different from all other Torontonian immigration stories, except that ours involves a restaurant that ended up becoming another member of our family.
Our parents, Mei & Michael, said goodbye to their loved ones in Kolkata, India and came to Toronto hoping to start a new and better life for their little ones.
In 1986, a restaurateur who wanted to sell his 15-seat restaurant in Toronto’s Old Chinatown on Elizabeth Street approached them. And although this restaurateur was Hakka, our parents realized that he didn’t have any Hakka items on his menu.
Proud of who they were, and understanding that Hakka people didn’t have any representation in Toronto, they decided to set aside their fears of opening a business and took this as an opportunity to preserve their own culture and introduce our city to its very first restaurant serving Hakka-Indian foods.
The first item that mom and dad introduced to their menu was Chili Chicken; a childhood favorite they grew up on in India. Chili Chicken is a staple dish that you can find in all Hakka restaurants in India — it is the perfect dish that exemplifies what Hakka cuisine truly is; a fusion of traditional flavors, modified and altered to satisfy the palettes of their hosting country. The second dish that mom and dad introduced was their own creation, Manchurian Chicken. Noticing that Torontonians were intimidated with the name “Chili Chicken”, they decided to create Manchurian Chicken — a dish that includes all the herbs and ingredients of a curry WITHOUT the addition of any chili. Never did our parents imagine that their recipes would have such a huge impact in the Toronto food scene.
We hope that you fall in love with all our parent’s dishes!
We hope you adore our Hakka-Indian dishes like Chili Chicken, Manchurian Chicken, and Chicken Pakora. And that you crave our traditional Hakka dishes like our slow braised Muy Choy Bacon (Hakka Pork Belly), Fung Mi Mein (Sweet and Savory Hakka Noodles) and our Special Hakka Chicken Noodle Soup with our fermented rice wine paste (dzao tsui) made specially in house.
And, that you dream about our Hakka-Cantonese cult favorites like our Hot & Sour Soup, Ginger and Green Onion Lobster, and our Spice and Pepper Chili Tiger Shrimps.
Running a restaurant can sometimes be exhausting but what has kept our family going for over 33 years is being able to serve all the families we’ve seen come through our doors. It is truly an honor for us to be given the opportunity to feed multiple generations and see these families grow right before our eyes.
Life can be hectic but we believe food always brings us closer.
Our hope is that our restaurant does the same for you and your family.
Inspired and proud of what our parents have done to preserve our Hakka culture, we made the decision to leave the careers our parents had hoped for us and instead keep mom and dad’s legacy going. We are so happy to join our parents and continue the art of multicultural storytelling in our city through the tasty lens of food.
TSO-YI-HAT, SET FAN
Sit a while and enjoy your meal with us,