Innovative Dim Sum?
The age old question. Where should I go for Dim Sum? I want to go in the Markham/Route 7 area. What place is hot now? I am bored of Ambassador. I've seen that Casa Imperial is suggested. Any other suggestions? I would also prefer a no cart place.
Just tried Full House on Hwy 7 just east of Bayview. Got there on Father's day sunday 10am, place was only about 1/3 full, but was fully packed by 11am. Decor is nicely done since their reno's not too long ago, lots of red and ornate chinese motifs. The main ?guy/owner working at the front seemed a bit arrogant (quite the opposite to O-Mei's service last night), and all the customers were Chinese. Tea we had was quite strong (lots of leaves), had to dilute down with an extra pot of hot water. Ordered 7 dishes (all from menu only), which included the following:
1) fried pancake w/ chives and seafood - quite a large plate, fried nice & crunchy on the sides, plenty of chives and not overly thick.
2) taro and pork spring rolls - a bit too redudant with the skin and taro - ended up feeling like eating too much breading. Could've skipped this one.
3) shrimp dumpling wrap, deep fried w/ sweet n' sauce sauce - big fresh shrimps, good crunchy skin wrapper
4) shrimp in white noodle wrap roll - again very large fresh shrimps (6 shrimps in total, 2 per roll), the one you pour soya sauce over.
5) steamed buddha veggie buns - my kid loved this one, had 2 just by himself. Very soft and flavourful, the filling-to-bun ratio was a bit low.
6) Chicken's feet - standard, nothing special, can skip this one.
7) lotus wrapped sticky rice - 3 small packets, again nothing special. No egg yolks, no fancy ingredients in this one.
8) mild custard w/ "yeen wor" on bird nest - basically a egg tart (3 of them), but higher price. The tart part was very flavourful and milkier than usual egg tarts, but problem was that it came out first (2 mins after we ordered) and wasn't even hot.
Final bill was $37 (incl taxes), VISA accepted. Overall a slightly higher end dim sum with well done food and not overly high prices as I was imagining. My personal favorite is still City Inn Chinese in Market village, but Full House is sure better than Ambassodor nearby and has more unique dishes than Golden Court. I can't comment on how it's compared to Casa Imperial (apparently same chef?) since it was too long ago and I only had 3-4 dishes there). I still have to try Empire Court in Hilton next, which looks really fancy...
Yes, Casa Imperial is one of the top dim sum in GTA at this moment. If you have a chance, try out Grand Chinese Cuisine near airport inside doubletree hotel, I know it is not at Markham, but I think it is at par with Lai Wah Heen for dim sum.
Getting boring at LWH and Grand Chinese Cuisine is a good addition to GTA's high end dim sum place. Their seafood (with shark fin) dumpling in chicken broth is even better than LWH.
re: Chester Eleganté
I ended up going to Casa Imperial. IMHO, far better than Ambassador. A number of unique dim sum dishes that I haven't had before. Things that stood out in my mind were a cold cucumber dish, a taro pastry, and also a bbq pork and pine nut pastry. There are still a number of things I want to try. I definitely will try other suggestions above in the next few months.
I'm not sure what you mean by "innovative dim sum"... but are you referring to something the quality and originality of Lai Wah Heen, but in North Toronto?
Sam Woo @ Warden and Steeles (bamburgh circle) is pretty good as well. A bit higher end, and you order from a menu. Our family favorite is still City Inn @ Market Village.
Besides Casa Imperial :
Full House above the ayce ZOD on 7- same dim sum chef as Casa Imperial, not as high class but still very good.
Empire Court inside Hilton Suite at Warden and 7 - was there dining, food is great, have not tried dim sum there, but heard good review about it from friends. It is also a relatively expensive place. If you go dim sum there, please let me know how it goes !
Empire Court serves excellent, innovative dim sum. If you're going on a weekend, make sure you call to make a reservation. When I went, it was roughly the same price as Ambassador, but I found their creations far more interesting. Empire Court also has a good selection of teas. Try their Iron Goddess;)
One could sample good innovative, nouveau Dim Sum at either Lai Toh Heen or Lai Wah Heen, but at a 'steep' price. Agree with skylineR33 recommendation. Full House in Richmond Hill offers the 'next best' but at a much more reasonable price. Understand they are also the only restaurant up north that offers 'Fresh Lobster steamed dumplings' as well as ' Abalone puffs'. Enjoy!