Pacific Mall, 4300 Steeles East, 905-470-8785, www.pacificmalltoronto.com. Rating: NNNNN
Getting to Pacific Mall on the edge of Toronto where Scarborough morphs into Markham is the easy part (cruise up highway 404 and head east on Steeles or ride the 43 bus north from Kennedy Station or the 53 bus from Finch Station). It's navigating through its 400 stores to track down a mix of traditional and modern Asian goodies that can bruise your brain.
Grocers stocked with bins of dried up ginger root ( SBS Sino-Canada Products Inc. , 905-305-9699) neighbour fancy-schmancy jewellery stores hawking Swarovski crystal cockatoo figurines ( Howard Jewellers , 905-305-8689).
Tech shops still lay out thousands of bejewelled mobile faceplates while fashion boutiques are more likely to sell Juicy Couture bags and designer denim than Old World Chinese garb.
Pacific Mall picks: Embroidered pink silk-and-nylon Chinese jacket with faux fur cuffs and collar, a modern take on a traditional silhouette, $110 at Styleasian.com, 905-480-9624; computers stacked to the ceiling at Notebook Outlet, including LG's XNOTE LW40 laptop (80 GB hard drive and 14-inch monitor), $1398, 905-415-1182; handmade (right in front of you) noodle dish from Sun's Kitchen in the Pacific Heritage Town Food Court to fill you up mid-shopping, combos from $5.50.
Look for: Chinese New Year countdown party Saturday (January 28) from 9:30 pm until 12:30 am featuring kung fu, lion dance and god of fortune appearance.
Hours: Sunday to Thursday 11 am to 8 pm, Friday and Saturday 11 am to 9 pm.