Spring Villa in Markham = fantastic dim sum!
Just got back from dim sum @ Spring Villa on Woodbine just north of Steeles and we were blown away by their quality of dishes they served. To top it off, we didn't even realize that since we ordered everything before 11am (sunday), that ALL dishes were only $2.50 (including the highest priced ones). All the small tables were full by 10:30am.
They had a recent renovation not too long ago, so everything is brand new and looks great if you want to go for the fancy meal. Service was good, although I found the manager to be a bit unrefined (esp. since I can understand the chinese that he's speaking).
Highlights included the following:
1) Puff pastry ball with eel - the most delicate puff pastry I've ever had, and the eel was done beautifully, just slightly sweet but not overwhelming like the kind you eat at japanese rest. served on rice. Much better than the same pastry that I had @ Casa Imperial a few months back
2) Stewed ribs w/ tofu in lotus leaf - the meat was amazingly tender and juicy, just fall off the bone perfection. Absolutely never had it this good. Served with some tofu sheets.
3) Deep fried squid legs - ranged from small to very large legs the width of my fingers. No batter, which is great, but still slightly crunchy on the outside (esp the tentacle ends).
4) Fish congee - again very simply, but fresh fish and veggies, not overly salty.
5) Ha Gow shrimp dumplings - very large sized balls, fresh shrimps too
6) Shrimp rice roll - again very fresh, simply presented
7) Iron Buddha tea - very good quality, just the right amount of leaves.
Overall we were all very impressed with it. Probably one of my newest favorites now, esp. given the pre-11am sunday discount. I defintely rank it better than Casa Imperial, Ambassador, Full House. Probably on par with City Inn Chinese.
I went to Spring Villa for dim sum today, excited after all of the recent positive reviews. I didn't find any of the dishes I ordered to be exceptional, so I was a bit disappointed. I arrived at 11am and had to wait under 10min for a table. Probably extra busy because it's Simcoe Day/Civic Holiday.
Ordered 11 dishes for 4 people (last one never arrived, but we were fairly full by then). $50 for 10 dishes (2 S + 2 M + 5 L + 1 XL) and tea (not sure if there's a charge for that).
(XL) vermicelli with dried scallops and melon - pretty small dish, light in flavour but not bad
Rice noodle with beef (3) - noodle was pretty good, not dry or too thick; but I've had better
"Goon tong gow", shrimp dumpling in soup - came with fish....stomach? which was extra compared to other restos; broth was good, but dumpling was mediocre. (ordered two)
Chicken feet with special sauce - pieces were cut in half, so easier to eat, but again nothing inspiring
Pan-fried turnip cake (3) - typical greasy, I've had better
Ha Gow, shrimp dumpling (4) - nice large pieces of shrimp, thin wrapper
Steamed BBQ pork bun (3) - didn't try, I'm not a fan of steamed buns (unless it contains "leen yong" custard)
Congee with preserved vegetables and dried oyster - pretty good, didn't skimp out on the ingredients, but the actual serving size was quite small
Cake with custard layers (forget the full name/description; 3) - moist and sweet, but I probably wouldn't order it again.
Maybe we should have tried more of the special dishes, instead of ordering our usual ones. While everything was decent, I can't rave about the food. I think my expectations were raised due to the positive reviews, so that might have dampened my resulting impressions. All in all, it was not a bad meal, but pretty standard fare and quality. Service was quick, decor was nice and bright, tea was good, and this might be weird but I liked the dishes that we ate off of.
I think I'd rather go to nearby Congee Queen for a weekend lunch. There the service is suuuper quick, much wider range in menu (although not dim sum), and I've been happy with basically everything I've ordered (and I go quite frequently). For Chinese-run, it's not as greasy as it *could* be! (And you could always ask them to "jow yow" or drain the oil before serving.)
Just tried this dim sum place out. Nice decor and really good service. We ordered quite a lots of stuff from their dim sum menu -
Ha Gow, Shrimp rice roll, clear broth beef brisket, beef tendon in chef sauce, Fish mew and seafood dumpling in clear broth, Steamed Pork Buns, veggie roll, thin sliced beef noodle, e-fu noodles with fish mew and sliced adalone, beef stomach with white carrot .....
Think it is pretty good but definitely a notch below Casa Imperial and Full house in my opinion. Good value as the big sized dim sum is only $4.7 and quality is good. I also got their VIP card as I am looking forward to try their dinner set.
I was there at 1:30pm, it is really busy (prepared for at least 20 mins wait), just like Casa/Full House.
We tried it for dinner last night (only ordered 3 dishes) and it was rather disappointing. Not sure if it was because they had 1/3 of the restaurant booked for a dinner party and neglected the rest of the restaurant's dishes.
The sweet n sour battered fish was way too heavy in sauce and sweetness, although the fish was fresh. Noodle soup with egg and seafood was bland. Also had a shredded vegetarian moo shu wrap which was just was ok (same dough wrapper as in peking duck and sweet sauce).
I did see a lot of other large tables eating fancier dishes, so perhaps their set menus might be a better bet? Just don't go on a night the restaurant is booked for a party.