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Toronto Dim Sum and Other Chinese Cuisine

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Can anyone recommend any dim sum restaurants in Toronto's Chinatown, or any other really good restaurants?


-- Jason

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Lai Wah Heen is great, but very pricey. I was there in August and was impressed with the artistic presentation and the subtle flavours of the dumplings. I had buttefly shaped dumplings and the bumble bee crab claws. 2-3 people would be around $100.

The new Tand T location on Steeles in Markham has a great Dim Sum counter with a large variety of items. They are in the north end though. Omei on Hwy 7 also has a good Dim Sum menu on Sundays and is always very busy.

I know of two in Chinatown. I used to eat at two different restaurants on Kensington Ave on the West Side just north of Dundas. Both were very good and very very cheap. I don't know of any restaurants that use the trolleys though. I am still looking for one of those.

Mark


Edited by Librarian_chef (log)

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There's one at Yonge & Eglinton that's surprisingly good, but I can't for the life of me recall the name. It's north of Eglinton on the west side....could be convenient if you're in the area.


Barbara Laidlaw aka "Jake"

Good friends help you move, real friends help you move bodies.

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The best and cheapest dim sum places are not downtown but in the Scarborough/Markham area. Try Grand Lake (Kennedy, south of Hwy 7), or the place beside the bowling lanes on Old Kennedy Rd just north of Steeles on the west side. New Century on the north side of Steeles just west of Warden (hidden in a white plaza, on the inside) isn't bad.

For downtown, try Rol San (East side of Spadina, south of College). Good dim sum, but menu only, no carts,( which are half the fun imho), and fairly limited selection.

For a great Chinese bakery try Yung Sing on Baldwin St. Try the egg tart (dan tat) and steamed bun with pork, and shrimp wonton.

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Is the one north of Dundas, West side of Spadina that Librarian Chef is referring to Bright Pearl?

There's a dumpling shop along Spadina as well. I also frequent House of Gourmet (on Dundas) and Swatow (on Spadina). I saw Susur Lee at Swatow once, so it must be good! :raz:

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There's one at Yonge & Eglinton that's surprisingly good, but I can't for the life of me recall the name.  It's north of Eglinton on the west side....could be convenient if you're in the area.

It's called Cha Liu. 2352 Yonge, 2nd floor. Pricier than downtown Dim Sum but better in quality and atmosphere.

Here's a link to a previous discussion. The menu's changed a bit since with more items.

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There's one at Yonge & Eglinton that's surprisingly good, but I can't for the life of me recall the name.  It's north of Eglinton on the west side....could be convenient if you're in the area.

It's called Cha Liu. 2352 Yonge, 2nd floor. Pricier than downtown Dim Sum but better in quality and atmosphere.

Here's a link to a previous discussion. The menu's changed a bit since with more items.

Thank you kindly, Degustation. :biggrin:


Barbara Laidlaw aka "Jake"

Good friends help you move, real friends help you move bodies.

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Swatow is fabulous, but not for Dim Sum. I love their noodle dishes. I can totally understand why Susur would go there. The two dim sum shops that I go to are on Kensington, kinda dumpy on the west side.

Mark

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the best dim-sum in the GTA is called "ding-tai-fung".

it's located in the plaza just east of woodbine, on Hwy.7 in markham.

infact, markham has much better chinese food overall compared to the chinatowns in toronto. (spadina, and gerrard respectively)

booo-ya! :biggrin:

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the best dim-sum in the GTA is called "ding-tai-fung".

it's located in the plaza just east of woodbine, on Hwy.7 in markham.

infact, markham has much better chinese food overall compared to the chinatowns in toronto. (spadina, and gerrard respectively)

booo-ya!  :biggrin:

Well.. they used to be pretty good.. but only for dumplings.. not their other food. They don't offer dim-sum. Dim-sum is a south-eastern China / Cantonese thing for lunch. Dumplings is a northern China thing.

However their dumplings has gone downhill since they opened few years ago. My friends and I wouldn't even go there anymore. My brother went there last week and all he can say is bad thing about that place. Their dumplings has way too much fat last time I went there.

That said, there's a small dimsum place a few restaurants to the left of it. And it is quite good.

In Chinatown, a very nice and clean looking restaurant on Dundas (50m east of Spadina) (Sorry I forgot their name.. they have two floors, and you kinda walk up a few stairs) IMHO is one of the better dumpling and noodle place around town (They have a few more restaurants uptown but the chinatown one has the best noodles).

M

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Visiting from the Montreal area and want to go for Dim Sum, bien sur. We almost always go to The Emerald in Mississauga. If anyone has any other recommendations I would appreciate it. Thanks a lot!

Alex Shandling

(sukiyumyum)


A.R.Shandling

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are you bound to the Mississauga area, TTC service, or any other constraints? If not then I suggest you try Ambassador, which is on the north side of Highway 7, between Bayview and Leslie. They share a plaza with a CIBC and what used to be (is? a Just Desserts). High-end dim sum, no carts though. Still fairly traditional.

Lai Wah Heen in the Metropolitan Hotel downtown, on Chestnut, is more of a departure from tradition and very pricey, but good if you want a twist on typical dim sum offerings. But I wouldn't expect to go there unless one was going out of one's way to find "dim sum" -- it's only interesting in the context of a change from the usual.

downtown Chinatown is mostly a wasteland these days for dim sum. Richmond Hill (IE along Highway 7) is your best bet. I've heard good things about a Richview Gardens, or Bayview Gardens, on 7, but I haven't personally been.

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Didn't know downtown was such a wasteland! There used to be a good dim sum place on Gerrard St. East, south side, about 6 doors east of Broadview. Haven't been there for 2 yrs., however.

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Bright Pearl on Spadina in Chinatown is pretty good.

Chinatown east on Gerrard, I like Pearl Court, though usually I don't have Dim Sum there, but my the foxy lilttle girls at the pharmacy prefer Beijing house. And far be it from me to argue.

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Bright Pearl on Spadina in Chinatown is pretty good.

Chinatown east on Gerrard, I like Pearl Court, though usually I don't have Dim Sum there, but my the foxy lilttle girls at the pharmacy prefer Beijing house.  And far be it from me to argue.

Ditto on Bright Pearl

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The Globe & Mail had a "top 10 Chinese restaurants in the greater Toronto area" section this Saturday. All Toronto unless otherwise noted - in no particular order:

Ba Shu Ren Ha - 4471 Steeles Ave East

Chiu Chow Boy - 3261 Kennedy Road

Congee Queen - 895 Lawrence Ave East

Ding Tai Fung - 3235 Highway 7 East, Markham

Fang's restaurant - 3225 Highway 7 East, Markham

Jim Chai Kee - 270 West Beaver Creek Road, Richmond Hill

Lai Wah Heen - 108 Chestnut St.

Sam Woo Seafood - 325 Bamburg Circle

Scarborough Grand Seafood restaurant - 23 Glen Watford Drive, Scarborough

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Cha Liu on Yonge at Eglinton is very good too, although somewhat out of the way if one is downtown. Not as far as Markham, though.


Barbara Laidlaw aka "Jake"

Good friends help you move, real friends help you move bodies.

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was just at Bright Pearl 2 months ago and it was worse than disappointing. Just about the only thing the place has going for it now is the history -- the former former (former?) restaurant there, Hsin Kuang, was the best Chinese restaurant in Toronto before all the money went up to Richmond Hill (the building is still named the "Hsin Kuang Centre" or something).

we saw an endless parade of dim sum of dubious origin (rice flour roll of...long bean and mushroom and baby bok choy??), washed-out flavour (siu mai so bland that I really believe they used the meat for soup, before forming the siu mai), and servers who wouldn't even speak Chinese to us.

the place is nothing but a tourist trap now. I can see someone terming it "good", but not in the context of the downtown Chinatown of 10 years ago...or today's north-end Chinatown.

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Whoa,

I lived in Toronto 1990-1995 and my memories of downtown Chinatown are pretty good.

I'm now back, been a few months now, but I haven't spent much time in Chinatown since.

I'm sad to read so much bad press here. Has it really gone downhill so fast and so far - 'in the last 10 years' according to someone?

And good heavens, who wants to go all the way to Richmond Hill!

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Toronto has always been like this. Over time one ethnic enclave is replaced by another and a new enclave is created elsewhere. Nowhere can this be seen better than in Kensington. The Jewish community moved up to Bathurst (and now Vaughan), the Chinese are moving up to Richmond Hill and Markham, and the strip is becoming increasingly Vietnamese. It has remained quite Portuguese for some time though.

The food in Richmond Hill really is that good (and significantly cleaner than many of the old bug-infested places on Dundas and Spadina), if lacking the urban feeling. If you are unwilling to try it, your loss. Even in the 90's, Chinatown was increasingly becoming more and more Vietnamese. Even Queen Street is changing with a recent influx of Korean restaurants from the boring pseudo-japanese sushi places that were the norm back in the 90's.

Lai wah heen is phenomenal, but many won't pay the price or appreciate the artistry of making a crab claw look like a bumble bee.

Mark

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Whoa,

I lived in Toronto 1990-1995 and my memories of downtown Chinatown are pretty good.

I'm now back, been a few months now, but I haven't spent much time in Chinatown since.

I'm sad to read so much bad press here. Has it really gone downhill so fast and so far - 'in the last 10 years' according to someone?

And good heavens, who wants to go all the way to Richmond Hill!

I still enjoy my Chinatown jaunts - produce, food, atmosphere - one stop shopping. :smile:

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Worldly's Top Ten List from the Globe contains only 9 - the missing one is my absolute favourite from the Spadina strip NEW SKY, 353 Spadina (near Baldwin). Excellent seafood!

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