Best Friend Chinese Restaurant

When I was younger, it was always a treat for us to venture off into Toronto and go to Chinatown. We would always make a day of it and start with a brunch at one of the many dim sum restaurants, some shopping, a lot of groceries and then an early dinner before heading home. Somewhere along the way, my parents discovered the Chinatown in Mississauga and we started going there instead. Albeit a smaller variety of stores and restaurants compared to Toronto, the distance was much shorter and we could always find what we needed closer to home.

While out and about running errands all day, we found ourselves close to the Mississauga Chinatown around dinner time. We decided that a Chinese meal was exactly what we needed after a long day driving here and there, and ended up at the Best Friend Chinese Restaurant. The restaurant itself looks like it was recently renovated with dark floors, dark tables and warm lighting. The tables are placed extremely close together in an effort to have as many seats as possible in the dining room. There are booths along the left wall and small tables along the right.

The restaurant was about half full when we walked in, but we were seated immediately and offered tea. Flipping through the menu, there is a large variety of dishes that range from traditional Chinese offerings such as congee, to common dishes such as fried rice and barbeque pork. There are also set menus for large groups of four to twenty.

In the mood for a lot of carbs, we chose the Beef Ho Fan ($8.99): stir-fried flat rice noodles with beef, bean sprouts and topped with chopped green onions. The portion size was large enough to feed both of us with plenty to spare. The dish had a smoky smell from cooking with high heat in a wok, and was very flavourful. The beef was tender and cut into large pieces the size of matchbooks, but the bean sprouts were few and far between. Although rice noodles can be greasy, the dish as a whole was fairly light and I would get it again.

Our second dish is one of my favourite things to get from a Chinese restaurant. Sometimes called Ying Yang rice, it consists of a bed of fried rice with two sauces on top: a cream sauce with shrimp and a sweet sauce with chicken. The vegetables in the dish can vary from peas to bok choy to onions and carrots. Best Friend listed the dish as Fried Rice with Chicken and Shrimp in Two Sauces ($10.95), and served the sauces with broccoli and onion cooked in. This is a very wet dish, and I only recommend it if you are not hesitant of a risotto-like texture for your fried rice. At this restaurant, the dish was a slight letdown. The white sauce was not as flavourful as I have had from other establishments and reminded me of a cornstarch and water mixture without much more seasoning. There were plenty of small shrimp and sliced broccoli stems cooked to a tender crisp. The red sauce reminded me of a muted “red” sauce you get from most Chinese restaurants to pour over chicken balls and other fried items. The boyfriend said the sauce reminded him of a watery barbeque sauce, which I could understand his reference as the only seasoning that I really tasted in it was black pepper. The rice was plain fried rice without anything added to it. I would probably pass on this dish again the next time I came back since there are so many other things I would like to try that I would likely enjoy more.

Near the end of our meal, there was a large group of about 25 people that came in and were seated at the large tables down the middle of the dining room. Since the tables are in such close proximity to each other, I, sitting with my back to the middle aisle was constantly being jostled as people walked by or settled into their seats. Thankfully we were just finishing up and quickly made our way out the door.

If you’re looking for an inexpensive Chinese meal that tastes decent and has extremely large portions, I would recommend you go to Best Friend Chinese Restaurant the next time you are passing by the Dixie/Dundas area.  I do recommend that if you are claustrophobic you ask to sit in a booth or you come early before the dinner rush. If you’re feeling sociable, you may even make a new friend with the person that is sitting very closely next to you!

The Best Friend Chinese Restaurant on Restaurantica
Best Friend Chinese on Urbanspoon
Best Friend Chinese Restaurant
888 Dundas St. E., Mississauga


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