Simon's Wok

  • Vegetarian Vegetarian
    ( 10 reviews )

797 Gerrard E (at Chinatown East), Toronto, Ontario, Canada, M4M1Y7

Chinese vegetarian food restaurant. Menu such as fried rice, hot pots, and stir frys. Complimentary hot tea. Open Mon-Sun 11:00am-9:00pm.

Categories: Vegan-friendly, Chinese, Take-out

10 Reviews

First Review by dkingdesigndotcom

Veggie magic - Edit

Amazing for your classic takeout chinese food experience. I would especially recommend for a treat, or if dining with non-veg friends as they will definitely be impressed with the faux meat at Simon's Wok. Loved the sweet n sour "pork" and the shanghai noodles.

Pros: cheap, big portions

Cons: limited english, presentation is lacking

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A favourite of mine - Edit

I love Simon's Wok. My favourite is their olive fried rice, tofu skin rolls, and coconut pot. DELICIOUS and creative dishes. The prices are fantastically reasonable, and service is always prompt and friendly. Every time someone visits me in Toronto, I've brought them here. I've since moved away and miss Simon's Wok like crazy, with mad cravings and all.

Pros: Excellent food, Reasonable price, Friendly atmosphere

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lunch specials an incredible deal - Edit

Today for $5: plant based protein platter (5 different flavors/textures); vegetable stir-fry, stem rice and a fortune cookie :-) ; Hot tea is complementary!

Pros: fast, economical , nutritious

Cons: presentation , decoration , Limited English

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Delicious simple Chinatown East fare - Edit

I live within a very short walk of here but never went before now, mainly because it's very easy to miss. Logan & Gerrard is a good couple blocks east of all the other restaurants, so I never noticed it until I explicitly tried to find it the other day.
It's a total hole-in-the-wall style place, very plain, and as previous posters mentioned the waitress simply drops off menus and a notepad to write down the order. She's not terribly friendly, but this really isn't the style of place that waitresses are friendly at, and dropping off a menu and a notepad isn't uncommon in many Chinese restaurants, so I don't personally have an issue with it.

I myself found my order came out both very fast (I got mock duck to start and fried noodles with mushrooms and Chinese greens) and was exceptionally cheap. The food was hot and tasty and had huge portions. I could have probably shared with two if I hadn't been so hungry, and the meal was still under 10 dollars, since there was no pressure to order any drink and I had all the tea I wanted.

I consider this a very good substitute for simple Chinese food that will satisfy your cravings, be inexpensive and most importantly, be 100% assured vegetarian. The only issue is there won't be much in the way of spicy foods and no garlic or onions because of the fact it's Chinese Buddhist. I would recommend using it for take-out if you want to avoid the cons of the indifferent service and dull look.

I especially appreciated the low price, given that I've paid twice as much for similar meals at the nearby Green Earth. It gets a Very Good because of that.

Pros: wonderful food, cheap prices, huge portions

Cons: uninvolved service, boring decor

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One of my local favs - Edit

Simon's Wok is a restaurant where I'll happily take non-veg friends. The food is plentiful and very cheap, the menu is huge, and the staff is family: a great combination.

That said, if you're looking for a bright, well-serviced restaurant with an adequately descriptive/graphic menu, Simon's Wok is not for you. As one indicator, you are expected to write the desired dish numbers on a piece of paper yourself. It isn't located in the most gentrified of neighbourhoods either. The clientelle is beautifully mixed ethnically and the menu is bilingual, so that should tell you something about the authenticity of the cuisine.

I wish I lived next door!

Pros: cheap, delicious, plentiful

Cons: bare bones decor, not the best English

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Overall Pretty Good - Edit

I go to Simon's Wok every Sunday afternoon. I like the variety of dishes available. I try a different one each week. I must say, this is the first restaurant which satisfies my appetite with only one plate. You can get a plate full of vegetables without rice or noodle. The protein portion is generous too. I am glad they wipe the tables after each customer, unlike many other Toronto restaurants. I think they offer good value for your money.

Pros: good portion, fair price, prompt service

Cons: sodium content

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Banned - Edit

I have eaten at Simon's Wok twice. I was unhappy after the first visit, but wanted to give it one more chance.

The waitress was very unfriendly. She did not speak a word to us until the end. Placed the menu and card where customers have to write their orders themselves on the table without a word. Picked up the order without a word. Brought us tea, brought us forks, the food and so on without saying a word or giving us a smilke. Despite being thanked with a smile for each of these acts, she was unfriendly.

Now I"ll talk about the food: The spring roll was frozen in the middle!! It had quite obviously been deep fried at a much earlier time, then frozen, then microwaved (for not enough time) when I ordered it. I never send food back to the kitchen while in a restaurant for fear of reprisal from the staff. The tofu/mushroom dish was nice, I will give them that. The waitress finally got super friendly when she brought the bill and tip time was coming, which definitely did not impress me.

I asked for the leftovers to be wrapped up, and she just brought them to a table at the back (that people ordering takeout were standing around) and started dumping them in styrofoam takeout containers. I did not feel like that was very clean.

While walking out of the restaurant, I noticed that this resturant had received a Conditional Pass by Toronto's Dinesafe program. You can visit their website to read this information for yourself, as it is public record.

Basically, the service was horrendous, the food wasn't cooked properly, and the hygeine was unacceptable. I love to support vegetarian restaurants, but I cannot support Simon's Wok. I will never go back.

Cons: unfriendly service, improperly cooked food

3 Responses
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dem 11 Nov 2009 - Hi Peasonearth, thanks for the feedback. I looked at the Dinesafe website and I see that they passed their latest inspection (Oct 15, 2009) but I still will not go back. Cheers.  

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peasonearth 22 Feb 2013 - Hi Dem, I liked your review of this place. It is crazy how a restaurant like this is still going, don't you think?  

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tinacoopman 22 Feb 2013 - Umm, I'm not too sure what you expect them to do with your leftovers. I have worked in the food industry for quite some time at many restaurants. When you ask for something to get wrapped up all your server oes is take it to the back and dump it in a styrofoam container. Would you have felt better if she went 5 more feet into the back to do it? I'm not sure what you expect. As for the spring roll, they do not deep fry it ahead of time then microwve it, that is disgusting. I have had their spring rolls and they were crunchy, meaning they were not microwaved, or they would be soggy. They were probably frozen being thrown into the deep fryer and didn't heat all the way through...a lot of places deep fry frozen stuff, just to let you know.....  

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Not great - Edit

Went to Simon's wok last week with a nonveg because I'd heard good things about it. I have to say I was underwhelmed. We got the mock chicken in black bean sauce and a cashew shrimp.
Both were bland and had water chestnut that tasted very tinny. The chicken had very large chunks that were hard to pick up with chopsticks and a fairly bland black bean sauce. The shrimp was easier to eat, but not any more worthwhile.
If you are in the East York area and you are looking for good veg food try Jean's Vegetarian kitchen, it's mainly Thai but with some other interesting dishes as well.

Cons: Food, Staff

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First And Last Visit - Edit

Simon's is not far from where I live. It's not somewhere I would go to do other things however. For which reason I put off checking it out sor so long.

I found the servie to be extremely unfriendly. The gentleman who served me acted like I had the plague. Communication, to say the least, was not sought.

I asked for something with variety. I had in mind a plate with assorted, 'separate' items. I got a plate with a huge mass of rice and mixed vegetables, with the vegetables on the top. There was too much rice (a waste) and no easy way to tend to it with soy sauce, which I like.

There were plenty of vegetables as well, a plus. And they were fine. However, Unless a customer asks specifically for 'bland', they should never serve such a dish. There was all the flavor of boiled vegetables.

Still, The amount of food, otherwise fine, was great considering the price charged, which surprised me. I've got a bad short term memory, but it was $6 and change I believe.

They brought me a pot of Jasmine tea before we began. Maybe to annoy. Even after sitting for 15 minutes, at least, it wasn't more than hot water. Again, it was not thoughtful and it was wasteful. It's not so easy to ask for something else when your host so 'kindly' brings you a free pot of tea. Then again, I somehow doubt there would have been much on offer in that regard.

The gentleman who served me hadn't disappeared. He was hovering around and I did ask him about a vegetable on my plate that I didn't recognized. "Snow fungus," was his dry, simple answer. When I was leaving I pointed out that I probably needed to grab a sauced item and he agreed that maybe something with black bean sauce would have been tastier. There was also a female sitting behind me, who looked like she may have been his wife or something. I mentioned to them, looking at her mostly, since she was looking at me, that the tea was just hot water and no one even responded.

And that's the problem with this place. Attitude. I suppose it's possible that customers who are fortunate enough to order more flavorful dishes are not going to notice the service, at least right away. And there are lots of customers like that. But it is what it is. I won't be returning to Simon's Wok. I can't even get a decent cup of tea with my meal. I don't think I'm asking too much.

Pros: quantity, price

Cons: neighborhood, service, tea

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Yummy Goose (2.5 CND, 'mock abalone' wrapped - Edit

in tofu leaves, fried: yummy)TONS of Ducks (3 CND, real boring though, cause basically just rolled tofu leaves). "Lily buds, tons of cashews, carrots, peas" (10.75 CND): crunchy, :)! Lily buds looks like cut up onions, taste like yam/taro (for you who do not know what it is). All in all (for both of us): 18.... CND (before the gratuity).

Pros: huge portions, yummy, looks clean

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