The Tao of Leaside dining

Chinese restaurant opens in former home of Leonard’s on Laird

READY TO SERVE: Manager Ada Chen, left, and chef Jerry Lin, hope Leaside enjoys the fresh cuisine on Laird.

Tao Restaurant owner Bill Ha says he wanted to fill a void in the Leaside community: a cosy Chinese restaurant.

So, he moved into 220 Laird Dr., the former home of Leonard’s All Day Breakfast, and renovated the building into a more modern décor.

Another plus is the amount of parking in the area. Customers can swing by after shopping at the centres across the street or after visiting Leaside Gardens down the street and pick up a meal for takeout, or sit and dine in.

Restaurant manager Ada Chen sits in a boot just tucked inside of the entrance. She’s smiling, and excited to talk about the new venture, which opened March 3.

“The Leaside community, people know each other,” she admitted. “They’re really friendly.”

The menu consists of a modern take on some of Northern China’s famous dishes. Those include General Tao Chicken, Grilled Honey Pork Tenderloin and Dim Sum.

That dim sum will be served all day with Xiao Long Bao, Ha Gow, Chicken Pot Stickers, Siu Mai, as well as a variety of buns and dumplings.

The signature dish, however, is Peking Duck, with Hoisin sauce.

There are plenty more opportunities for growth, but in the meantime, the team at Tao is focusing on providing a warm and friendly dining environment.

“I want the customers to relax and enjoy their meals,” Chen said.

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