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Oct 4, 2008 06:04 AM

Maison Kam Fung Report

Had dim sum lunch at Maison Kam Fung in Chinatown before going to the science museum. I'd never had a dim sum lunch before, and it was an experiment for me. I liked nearly everything we tried, but my husband wasn't so fond of it. I kept hoping for a pork dumpling he'd like, but there really weren't many or if there were, we couldn't figure them out. Language was a bit of an issue. The place was loud and it was hard to understand what the women were saying (I know I sound very American when I say that, but I can't help it, I couldn't understand them well, hard as I tried). Nearly everything had shrimp, which I love, but also cilantro (coriander) which I don't (tastes like soap to me). So it was a mixed bag. There were a few things I enjoyed a lot, but my husband didn't have much he liked. Even the spare ribs were too gristly for him (he's not fond of gristle, makes him gag a little).

The quality certainly seemed high to me. Everything tasted freshly made, the fried things weren't greasy or bitter, and the flavours were good. So all in all, I'd say it's very likely a good place but I'm not the best person to judge that. :) I at least liked most of what I had, and really loved a fried shrimp thing that I had, and the won ton soup was nummy.

My husband isn't overly fond of Chinese food to begin with, so we hadn't gone in with high expections for him, this lunch was for me. If I had it to do over, I'd see if it was possible to order off the regular menu for him and get him something I'd know he'd like, while I tried the dim sum for myself, but I didn't know how things worked when we went in there, so I didn't try to find out if we could do that. :)

So for what little my recommendation might be worth, I do recommend this place. :)

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  1. Kam Fung is realy good for dim sum, but the first time you go for dim sum you really have to go with someone who is familiar with it.

    Don't sweat the language thing. I frequently go with a couple of friends who always ask me if I speak Chinese as they cannot understand the ladies who come around with the carts.

    1 Reply
    1. re: souschef

      Kam Fung offers most probably the best PRICE-QUALITY ratio if you wish to eat real dim sum and for that matter is a SURE bet. Even our young ones love to go there!

      But I agree with SousChef that the best way to explore and experience Dim Sum is with an seasoned and frequent patron. My wife and I were lucky enough to be introduced to Dim Sum 8 years ago on a trip in San Francisco with one of my Chinese business colleague.

      And we have been regulars since...

    2. Language an issue
      The place was loud
      Hard to understand the women
      These are all part of the fun of dim sum ;-/) I guess if its your first time, it can be bewildering, but you just gotta go with it.

      There have been threads on Montreal's best dim sum, and the places were different, based on personal preferance as well as week to week.

      Too bad your husband wasn't totally into it. It seems like you're up from Vermont, enjoying various restos in MTL, but I will make a general suggestion; try to go to dim sum with a bit more of a gang. When its just the wife and I, we get pretty full pretty fast. When there are maybe 6 of us, we can sample more plates with nibbles and get a wider experience.

      I also found cilantro 'sopay tasting', but it can be an acquired taste, as I love it now...

      6 Replies
      1. re: porker

        I know that usually it's better getting dim sum with more folks, that just isn't an option for us. As far as I know, there's no dim sum places of note in the Central Vermont or Burlington Vermont areas, and we're not planning on going back to Montreal any time soon, so I guess this is another sort of thing that will just go on the back burner again until I can, maybe, get a group going to Boston for something.

        1. re: Morganna

          There is, in fact, a place to go to for dim sum in Burlington. It's at the Five Spice Café, on Church Street.
          Before I became a slave to Smokejacks, I always made it a point to go to Five Spice. However, it *has* been over 5 years since my last visit (to 5 spice), so call ahead. Also, if you do go, bring a sweater. It's a tad chilly there.

          1. re: rillettes

            Oh, never mind. I just read that it went up in flames. Shame, really.

            1. re: rillettes

              I'm sorry to have to tell you Smokejacks is gone too.

              1. re: rcianci

                Really? We were there only a few weeks ago.

      2. Went there for lunch today; with some people who never went ...

        As fun as always!!

        1. MAISON KAM FUNG (chinatown)

          I want to start off my review by saying this is only for the dinner, i do not know how good the dim sum is but after trying them for dinner i would deffinetly not return for dim sum
          I visited la maison kam fung in china town and i have to say i was gravely dissapointed, especially with such high reviews by everyone. I got the combo meal A figuring i would get my money's worth and taste a bit of things. I found that none of the food tasted like much, im sure there was a ton of msg in the food but it still did not taste good. In addition the food was greasy and the service was extremely bad. The waiters never gave us much attention until we were about to pay

          Combo A

          Won ton soup
          watery without much flavor, was brought to us with broth sitting in the serving plate below it
          spring rolls
          standard appearance but the fillings were cheap and generic, i found noodles inside of mine, thick noodles obviously to substitute for a higher grade ingredients

          general tao chicken
          very greasy, not much flavor, probably the best thing i tasted of the night, but still not very good

          ginger beef
          greasy once again, a melange of strips of beef without much flavor, the only thing that tasted like anythign at all on the plate was a large strip of ginger that i got.

          shrimp with mix vegetables
          Once again flavorless, still greasy but the lesser greasy of the bunch

          pork something...
          flavorless, gross appearance (red strips of assorted pieces of pork)

          OVERALL: tasteless, greasy food worse chinese food i have ever eaten by far

          3 Replies
          1. re: Kacid

            Any particular reason why you elected to go with the combo menus? They're generally "sucker bets"

            1. re: wattacetti

              From experience, KF used to be capable of quality cooking in the evening (maybe not top-notch, but decent), so it's too bad that they either can't do it anymore or don't put the same effort into the "tourist dishes" as into everything else.

              But I have to agree that a combo menu such as that would not inspire confidence, no matter what the restaurant. You're going into a Cantonese restaurant and ordering food-court fare... it's not right that they respond like they don't care, but you've already told them you're not really interested in their best dishes, so it's somewhat understandable.

              1. re: Mr F

                I ate here last night, I heard quite a few recommendations for it on the board. Overall, I wan't impressed, I doubt I will return, mainly because there's so many other places to try in that area.
                I had there wonton soup as someone else mentioned, I found the broth to be one of the nicer ones, I've had. I had stuffed snow crab claws, which were mainly minced shrimp and a bit of crab which was battered in puffed rice and served with a sweet/sour sauce. I had there barbecue duck, which was fine. Skin was nice, but the meat not overly juicy. Also had there cantonese chow mein, which was quite bad, noodles were mushy, and there was way too much cornstarch sauce, and really saturated with oil. I'm not too concerned with my weight, so I like fatty food, but too much veg oil just doesn't add anything. One thing that has annoyed me about "chinese" restaurants in Mtl, is how many serve Pad thai. Why do most of the chinese restaurants have to serve every type of asian food. Pick one cuisine and do it well. And those damn peanut butter sauce dumplings, are disgusting. I think that's a Montreal thing.
                I saw some Hunan restaurant up the alley from KF, can't wait to check it out.