What’s on the menu at Hutaoli, Markham’s Chinese version of Hard Rock Cafe
Hutaoli is one of the latest Chinese chains to open a Toronto location. The popular spot for spicy Sichuan plates and live music is offering Canadians all the mega mainland hits. A few of the dishes, though, have been tweaked a bit—not because the chefs thought Toronto palates needed coddling, but because certain ingredients (like the cheese used on the durian pizza) weren’t available here.
Signature cocktails, some beer and a selection of worldly wines (bottles of which are priced around the $50 mark). Instead of pop, Hutaoli serves fresh juices and house-brewed iced teas.
Hutaoli is basically the Chinese Hard Rock Cafe: a restaurant chain that fuses music and food, with a stage anchoring every one of the 400-plus locations. The 200-seat room is decked out in faux greenery: fern chandeliers, ivy-festooned walls and wildflower-filled jugs. A random assortment of tchotchkes like vintage TVs, bird cages, lanterns and Grecian-style busts, give the 6,300-square-foot room a quirky, Alice in Wonderland-like air. Chairs upholstered with images of suit-sporting anthropomorphic hares and harts add to the Lewis Carroll vibe, while two cottages hanging from the ceiling (made to look like traditional ’60s-era Chinese houses) complete the surreal aesthetic.