Betty and I had our eyes on this restaurant and I’m really glad that we tried this place out! This hole in the wall serves Asian fusion and authentic Taiwanese food which is hard to find in the GTA in my opinion (the authentic food, not the restaurant 😉 ). Papa Chang’s grew to fame during last summer’s annual Night Market where food stands galore take up entire parking lots for foodies to join together under the summer sky to eat various munchies for a couple of dollars per order. Papa Chang’s serves various Taiwanese snacks, rice, noodles, soups, pancakes, flat breads sandwiches, and drinks.
We ordered several different dishes to share, including the highly recommended popcorn chicken and always popular beef noodle soup. I was very excited to find out that the popcorn chicken definitely lives up to the hype and it was thoroughly delicious! The carefully seasoned and breaded chicken bites were boneless and tender. As a lover of all savory foods, this popcorn chicken is definitely a new favourite!
Like the popcorn chicken, the Japanese Style Tofu was served in a paper carton. It really resembles the street food found in Taiwan’s night markets where everything is disposable (even our chopsticks and spoons were of the disposable type) despite it being a sit-down restaurant. The tofu were in big puffy pieces that were lightly fried and drizzled with a light soy sauce and wasabi sauce. The inside of the tofu was exceptionally smooth and soft. It was very, very well done. I loved the wasabi sauce that was a little spicy too. Also, there were thin strips of bonito flakes on each piece that waved timidly in the air.
The Japanese Style Fried Shrimp was prepared similarly as the tofu. Each individual shrimp was fried lightly with a soft batter, drizzled in sweet soy sauce, and then run over with wasabi sauce. This was a great snack since the shrimp was crispy and the wasabi sauce definitely added a kick to the overall flavour.
Papa Chang’s serves a variety of egg pancakes. Egg pancakes are well known in Taiwan and I remember eating one for breakfast when I visited Taiwan last year in March. Out of the ham and egg, bacon and egg, corn, vegetable, and beef pancakes, we ordered the Meat Floss Pancake. It arrived on an actual plate rather than on a paper carton like the previous snacks. It wasn’t as steaming hot as I thought it would be, but it tasted pretty good. There was a good amount of meat floss in it (meat floss is another word for rousong which is a dried meat product that is light and fluffy). It was quite yummy and I liked how they cut it up so that a piece was easily eatable in one bite. Looking back at my photos of when I ate the egg pancake in Taiwan, I also ordered the meat floss one. Here’s a picture of it. 🙂 It looks almost the same as the one we ate here at Papa Chang’s; this is a sign that Papa Chang’s definitely serves authentic Taiwanese food. ^_^
Lastly, we finished off the munching with the Signature Beef Noodle Soup. Beef noodle soup is famous in Taiwan and Betty had heard mixed reviews about it at this restaurant. We ordered a bowl for ourselves to try, and I liked it! There was a generous amount of preserved vegetables on the side, lots of tender beef, thick noodles, and a flavourful soup. Betty wasn’t a huge fan of it since she prefers thin noodles such as vermicelli. I also prefer thinner noodles, but I do have to say that this was a well done bowl of soup noodles.
We didn’t have enough room in our bellies for the fish skewers which also attracted our attention. Perhaps we will try them on our next visit or even when Papa Chang’s hits up the Night Market again this coming summer.
If you decide on visiting this restaurant, be aware that you may have to wait for a table. There are literally less than 8 tables in the “room”. The entire restaurant is made up of a single room that is easily the size of a small living room in someone’s house. We were lucky to not have to wait for a table since we arrived quite late in the night to eat. It’s a very popular spot and definitely worth a try. It might be one of the closest things to eating at a Taiwanese night market in Canada! 🙂