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Ambasaddor - W. Beaver Creek & Hwy 7

sensualspirit Dec 25, 2006 10:14 PM

Hi all,

Well after reading tons of rave reviews for this place re: their Dim Sum, I'm not very happy.

I drove all the way from Brampton rushing to get there before they finished at 3:30 after I was misinformed the first time I called saying that they close their Dim Sum at 4.

I feel like I just wasted $70 (includes tip) - 2 people.

Their spring rolls (chicken & mushroom) were too oily & tasteless.

Their egg noodles with been sprouts had maybe 15 been sprouts & once it cooled down, it's like I put lip gloss on my lips. Tasty at first, but the oil is just toooo much.

The beef balls while HUGE were tasteless.

Their steamed chicken was a mistake. It was almost all fat.

Their mango pudding tasted like it wasn't fresh or even authentic.

Nice staff, but the food wasn't even passable IMO.

I'm used to Tai Pan at Avenue/Eglinton. They used to have sit down till they went all take out & I haven't been there since.

Even the Dim Sum place at Y & E is better.

What a waste of money, I should have listed to the one person who said they didn't like Ambassadors.

Merry Christmas everyone : )

Michelle

  1. m
    mshe Dec 26, 2006 06:46 AM

    Wow, 70.00 for 2?! I've never spent that much money on Dim Sum before!!!

    I've been to Abasaddor for dinner once - I can't remember how it tasted - that's how memorable it was to me!

    1. s
      superizzy Dec 26, 2006 11:19 AM

      Wow that sounds like a rotten experience.

      I have been to Ambassador many times for dim sum and have nothing but positive things to say.

      It is not an inexpensive place, but $70 is a bit more than I have ever paid.

      Nice setting and very friendly and helpful staff.

      1. g
        galambo Dec 26, 2006 12:33 PM

        been there two weeks ago, with a large group of people. most were chinaese and very fimuliar with both the concept of dim sum and the various rest. that offer them.

        the majority felt this was the second best place in toronto for dim sum.

        and for at least this day, i could not dis-agree. the food was fresh, hot and tasty

        3 Replies
        1. re: galambo
          f
          FlavoursGal Dec 27, 2006 12:50 AM

          "the majority felt this was the second best place in toronto for dim sum."

          Just curious, galambo - what do "the majority" feel is the BEST place for dim sum?

          1. re: FlavoursGal
            g
            galambo Dec 27, 2006 01:31 AM

            the dim sum place in the metropolitan hotel on chestnut (won't even try to spell because i will get it wrong <S>.)

            1. re: galambo
              f
              FlavoursGal Dec 27, 2006 04:12 AM

              That would be Lai Wah Heen.

        2. c
          chimxchim Dec 26, 2006 07:52 PM

          As someone who's been going for dim sum since they were born, I agree that ambassador is amongst the best dim sum places in the GTA.

          I'm a bit confused as to where you've had non greasy fried egg noodles and bean sprouts because I don't ever recall trying a version where it doesn't leave that film of oil on my lips.

          I'm very sorry to hear that you had an unpleasant visit to ambassador. Perhaps, try out Perfect which is in scarborough.

          Perfect Chinese Restaurant. 4386 Sheppard Ave E - 416-297-6100

          I go frequently and if I get there right before the lunch rush, you get a nice spot in the 'VIP' room where it's $1.60 per dish as opposed to $1.30 per dish in the regular room. Also the food comes out on carts more frequently and it's a nicer vibe in general.

          Another good choice IMO is Ginger & Onion restaurant during the morning dim sum or the afternoon tea dim sum period. Either one is a good choice for decent dim sum that's great value too.

          Just my two cents. Happy hunting.

          2 Replies
          1. re: chimxchim
            sensualspirit Dec 26, 2006 09:16 PM

            Yeh, Scarb. is just too far.

            As for the grease, if that was the only issue, I'd still go back, I don't let one dish ruin it for all the others, but clearly it wasn't & one thing I've learned is that just b/c someone from that ethnicity says the food is good doesn't mean it is.

            I once had 2 Greek guys give me a recommendation that I didn't think was anything great.

            After searching around on my own, I found a much better place right next door.

            Ethnicity doesn't mean good palette, it just means they are familiar with their food.

            As for the price, that wasn't the issue, if I had liked the food overall, $70 would have been fine.

            To each his own, I'm not average, I'm very picky about food, quality & flavour.

            Thanks : )

            Michelle

            1. re: sensualspirit
              c
              chimxchim Dec 27, 2006 01:59 AM

              Heh, my family prefers the place next doors because it's better value and it's not like the more expensive food is worth shelling out more dough for when you go on a regular basis, you want the best bang for your buck.

              Ah, I'm guessing you've tried out the lai toh heen/lai wah heen places already?

              PS: Ginger & Onion is in markham at market village which is right across from pacific mall which is IIRC, kennedy/steeles. A decent lunching/brunching/dinner place.

              Sooner or later I'll find a nice chinese restaurant with nice washrooms AND good food that doesn't charge me an arm and a leg.

          2. a
            Atahualpa Dec 27, 2006 06:28 AM

            I go Ambassador quite regularly (more than 6 times a year for the last 5 years or so). Your experience fails to equate with mine on so many levels! I often go with my mother and on those occassions it is usually just the two of us. We are both big people and our order is usually: Bowl of H&S seafood soup, XO noodles, 2 orders of Haw Gow, Red Bean Patties, Egg Custard Buns, and 1 or 2 other dishes which varry. She's a bit of stick in the mud -- I'd try a few more new things each time. But, anyways, it is always 3-4 plates each. We have never, ever, spent more than $50 tax, tip and all. If we brake $40 we usually leave with a take-out container. I can't fathom how you spent $70 and didn't order something extra-special like shark-fin. Did you double check you didn't get the wrong bill? Their dinner menu is over-priced/pricey their dim sum isn't -- at least for us. Maybe we are getting some sort of dicount we have never been told about?

            I will agree their spring rolls are mediocre (kinda plain and flavourless). I didn't think they had egg rolls on the menu at all -- maybe you had the yuba bean-curd roll? Anyways, I can't really see going to a dim sum place with the sort of expansive menu Ambassador has and having spring rolls -- but, that's just me.

            Anyways, I hope you might go again sometime. I have tried Ding Tai Fung, Lai Wah heen, Rol San, Bright Pearl, Pink Pearl, Rol Jui, Dragon Dynasty and a quite a few others. Only Dragon Dynasty was comparable in price/quality and it had carts and it was hard to get them to offer up the good stuff to us. Lai Wah Heen was better with more delicate, nuanced and balanced flavours. But, it cost disproportionately more and was deemed not worth it by all involved.

            3 Replies
            1. re: Atahualpa
              sensualspirit Dec 27, 2006 03:10 PM

              Well reading an Oriental bill isn't all that easy LOL since I didn't know what was what price & I just wanted out of there. If they miscalculated, that just further proves my view of them & no, I will never go back. I normally don't have such a negative experience at restaurants, but when I do, I don't give them a 2nd chance.

              My son wanted to go for the all you can eat Japanese buffet in the same plaza & I said no b/c I wanted Dim Sum. I should have listened to him.

              I ordered the following (trying to remember)

              1. 2 steak balls & the worchestire (sp?) sauce didn't even seem like Lean Perins which is the best worchestsire (sp?) sauce around & like I said, they were bland.
              2. 2 beef chung fung (this was the best dish IMO)
              3. 1 rice noodle vegetable (same as #2, but vegetarian)
              4. 1 steamed shrimp balls (I don't eat the shrimp, only my son does)
              5. 1 shrimp sticks or whatever they are called
              6. The egg noodles with bean sprouts that I thought was the most expensive since it was labeled an XL dish
              7. The steamed chicken w/ mushroom which was all fat & it was too hot to taste & I was full already, but the mushroom was bland from what I could taste & we are talking shitake mushrooms here, so what a waste, as I love shitake.
              8. The spring rolls
              9. 2 mango puddings which were gross. My son loves mango pudding, so I'm used to ordering it & this was just mediocre IMO & so not good, I gave it to him.

              I think that's it.

              It was $70 including a $5-6 tip.

              Yes, we left with extra food, but if it sucked, I'm now leary about even having it.

              1. re: sensualspirit
                q
                qtxniki Dec 27, 2006 06:49 PM

                Just FYI: beef balls arent suppose to served with "lea + perrins". It is actually a chinese version of worchestershire sauce. It is just easier for most places to break out the English version of the sauce, because it is easier to find.

                Also, maybe in he future when you're looking for a dim sum place, you should recite the list of foods you are particularly looking for. It seems most Hong Kong people go to dim sum looking for good tea, steamed dumplings and steamed buns. Almost none order spring rolls and bean sprout chow mein. So, others probably based their recommendations on the all the foods you just did not order.

                1. re: qtxniki
                  Chester Eleganté Dec 28, 2006 02:33 AM

                  It does seem some of the dishes chosen are not reflective of the better dim sum dishes, but regardless the number of poor dishes sounds disproportionately high. I do think you chance getting some of the dregs (or rushed cooking of some sort) when you order a few minutes before a restaurant closes.

                  The beef cheung fun you mentioned is always superb, and I agree their mango pudding is gross (their only terrible item that I've gotten)... dunno if you saw my earlier posting warning to avoid it.

            2. sensualspirit Dec 27, 2006 05:02 PM

              I forgot, we also ordered the tofu with soy sauce.

              I just heated up the food & after seasoning it, it was much better, except for the chicken with mushrooms, it was all bones, forget about fat. I had to be careful not to swallow them, as they were in bits & pieces, so I finally just gave up.

              1. s
                superizzy Dec 27, 2006 06:36 PM

                Hey nothing personal, but it sounds like maybe you ordered the wrong things.

                I find with almost all ethnic food, that certain things generally dont appeal to my taste (and believe my I like just about everything, the weirder the better).

                i have a number of favorite restaurants that serve some amazing things, along with other items that just dont work for me.

                The perfect example is Rol San, my default dim sum restaurant. My friends and i have tried just about everything on the menu, and at least half the items are just plain gross to us and for similar reasons to the ones u mention (too fatty, too bony etc)

                Having said that, the ones we like we love.

                As I said i have eaten at Ambassador many times, and have always had great food. But in fairness we have ordered dished their that were not great to our tastes.

                Hope this helps

                1. sweetie Dec 28, 2006 04:30 PM

                  Perhaps the time of day has something to do with it. Even though it is a pain, I try to have dim sum between 11:00 and 1:30 where ever I go. I find that when it is busier the food is fresher therefore better.

                  1. jonnybee Dec 28, 2006 07:38 PM

                    Well I have always been impressed with their dim sum, I had a rather disappointing experience Christmas Eve.

                    I had the Peking duck, which was actually very good, save for the fact it was sitting at our table for five minutes before they brought out the accompanying pancakes.

                    General Tao's chicken was very underwhelming compared to Spadina at twice the cost, bland and soggy. The rice noodles with beef was probably the worst rendition of the dish I have ever had, I know the dish is supposed to be greasy but this was obscene. Some of the overly tenderized pieces of beef were raw, I have had much better in sketchy Chinese food courts. The snow pea leaves with garlic was alright, but how could you screw up that dish.

                    I want to give them the benefit of the doubt as we decided to dine on a super busy night for a Chinese restaurant, but at the prices they charge it's kind of tough.

                    1. skylineR33 Dec 28, 2006 08:02 PM

                      I used to go dim sum and dinner there and it was pretty good.

                      But around half a year ago my family went there for dinner, the food was really bad that in my opinion is not acceptable for a restaurant like this. It is actually a set dinner for a table of 10. The shark fin and alaska crab leg are the worst that I have ever eaten in Toronto. I never have good shark fin soup there but that time it is like a bowl of glue with seafood and shark fin mixed in it as I remember. I wonder if the chef has been replaced or the chef is sick that the food is cooked by some other people.

                      I agree that the dim sum there is one of the best one in Toronto, but not sure anymore since I have not been there since that time.

                      Not sure if things has improved ...

                      1. sensualspirit Dec 30, 2006 02:57 AM

                        Yup, that's all it takes, is one bad experience.

                        If I had been going & the food was great & I had one bad exper., I'd say something, or inquire if the chef had indeed changed, but since this was my first time, I'll just have to find some place else.

                        I want to try the one at the hotel, but everyone keeps saying it's soooo expensive, but after what I paid, how expensive could it be LOL

                        Happy New Year : )

                        Michelle

                        1. c
                          chimxchim Dec 31, 2006 09:19 AM

                          Haha!

                          I was just eating at the OTHER restaurant this afternoon with my family and the waitress was just commenting about how Ambassador was more expensive (well she didn't refer to the Ambassador, moreso indirectly by saying the OTHER restaurant) but the food wasn't necessarily better.

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: chimxchim
                            jonnybee Dec 31, 2006 08:26 PM

                            Is this "other" Restaurant, Golden Court Abalone Restaurant? Been meaning to try it, always seems busy, do you guys recommend it?

                          2. f
                            FlavoursGal Dec 31, 2006 09:00 PM

                            I've had a couple of really good meals at Big Mouth Kee, located just underneath Ambassador. No airs, no attitude, no fine dining experience - just good, serious Hong Kong-style food at very reasonable prices.

                            1. sensualspirit Dec 31, 2006 10:35 PM

                              LOL, actually I was talking about the Japanese Buffet rest. called Wasabi.

                              Does Big Mouth have good dim sum? Selection, as I don't eat pork or seafood, only chicken, beef or veggie & it seems the only stuff that seems tasty enough when I have loved the dim sum is the beef, not the chicken or veggie, although the dim sum place at Y & E has really good variety. There's only 1-2 dishes on't like.

                              I'm off to investigate what's possible for tonight's dinner, any suggestions that don't have expensive NY Eve prices?

                              NO Dim Sum LOL

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: sensualspirit
                                aser Jan 1, 2007 07:35 PM

                                Big Mouth Kee is owned under the same food corp as Dragon Dynasty. Their best dish is this garlic chili crab, so tasty.

                                The restaurant is laid out akin to a HK dai pai dong, so no, I don't think they serve dim sum.

                              2. c
                                chimxchim Jan 1, 2007 08:17 AM

                                ugh Wasabi.

                                If it's the same owners/staff as the location at silver star boulevard/steeles, same plaza as Starwalk, I won't ever step in Wasabi again.

                                Probably the most abysmal AYCE sushi experience I've ever had.

                                1. Royaljelly Jan 4, 2007 06:10 AM

                                  I must agree that Ambassador is quite mediocre, esp for the price and level of service they try to achieve.

                                  I'm surprised no one has mentioned City Inn Chinese inside Market Village (next to pacific mall). On my list, it's second only to Lai Wah Heen downtown. (BTW, I also like Ginger and Onion, esp their prices too).

                                  Since I'm Chinese, I've eaten dim sum all my life, and I get bored of the standard fare quite easily (haw gow, siu mai, ...yawn...). Lai Wah Heen is exceptional but you pay a hefty price for it. Whereas City Inn Chinese (a sister restaurant to Ambassador) offers somewhat similar styled "fancier" dim sum dishes but at a more reasonable price. Just don't go there for dinner, since it's surprisingly bad.

                                  Another place that I've been impressed with for dim sum is Sam Woo located at Bamburgh Circle in Scarborough (near Warden and Steeles).

                                  1. Chester Eleganté Jan 5, 2007 12:08 PM

                                    As I've mentioned before, for the alternative to Lai Wah Heen and Ambassador as the place to go for the best and most innovative dim sum, head to Casa Imperial (old Devonshire Place) at Warden and Steeles. Some interesting samples include surf clam dumpling with egg white & Chinese prosciutto, shark's fin & seafood wrap in soup, grouper rice roll, etc.

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