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Vegetarian Dim Sum

I used to be able to curb my cravings by buying frozen stuff at King's Cafe in Kensington. Now that they're closed I'm looking for somewhere I could go to that has a decent selection of veggie dim sum items. Doesn't have to be all vegetarian but recommendations of any of those places would be great too. I think I've heard of one out by Pacific Mall.

Downtown best. Any places in Chinatown that have a good selection?

Filled steamed buns, veggie dumplings, sticky rice...mmm...

Thanks!

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  1. Yung Sing on Baldwin, Mother's Dumplings. Whether its really vegetarian like King's, don't know. There's often cross-contamination in Asian vegetarian dishes (fish sauce, etc). But these two seem to understand the concept. Buddah's on Dundas for fake-meat gluten, 668 for salad rolls. There used to be a vegetarian place on Spadina that doubled as a butcher shop. Didn't last long!

    5 Replies
    1. re: Dimbulb

      mother's dumplings is not dim sum.

      The best veg dim sum by far in the city is at Graceful Vegetarian in Market Village (the one you heard about). It's one of my fav restaurants in Toronto, meat included.

      1. re: aser

        Thanks for the name! Now I can search for it and plan a trip out there.

        1. re: aser

          Thanks for the suggestion. Tried Graceful today for the first time. Very accommodating service, and great dim sum. A couple of the steamed items were oversteamed (read: mushy) but the flavours were very fresh and seasoning was spot-on.

          1. re: aser

            Isn't that in Markham not Toronto Aser? Maybe I'm confusing it with another place.

            1. re: JennaBean

              Yes if you want to get technical about it, it is in Markham. It's ttc accessible since it's at Steeles/Kennedy, so.....

        2. lotus pond is an all vegetarian dim sum, it is in scarborough. It wasnt bad, but i am a meat eater... the food reminds me of traditional chinese veggie dishes (the ones my mother would make during those days... dont know what to call it, the tradition goes with her) put into dim sum form.

          4 Replies
          1. re: Pigurd

            I was at Lotus Pond a few months ago and, based on this one experience, would not recommend it. Everything was oily and gooey, both dim sum and noodle dishes. I've had excellent Chinese vegetarian cuisine before and this place does not produce it. I have yet to try Graceful Vegetarian or Gourmet Vegetarian Restaurant for their dim sum.

            -----
            Lotuspond - duplicate
            Midland Ave, Toronto, ON , CA

            1. re: gnuf

              Hmm, maybe I won't go out of my way to make a trip there, but I'll keep it in mind!

              1. re: gnuf

                gnuf,
                Sorry that you had a bad experience at Lotus Pond.
                We always take Vegetarians there, as we also enjoy it.
                Just after Christmas we were a group of eight with three Vegetarians and must say we enjoyed everything, and did not find anything greasy, oily or Gooey.
                We didn't order anything deep Fried, so that is possibly why.
                The Stir Fried Noodle dish was not greasy.
                The Rice and Sticky Rice Dish is outstanding.
                Our Veggies were excellent including the Spinach in a light Broth.
                Everyone enjoyed the Dim Sum as well.
                We have been to Graceful, and while good, we think that Lotus Pond is better.

              2. re: Pigurd

                I would second Pigurd's suggestion in Scarborough (Midland/MicNicoll) I have had a very different experience than gnuf. I love the dim sum at Lotus Pond and would highly recommend it. However, there are dishes there that I enjoy more than others. You just need to ask for guidance before ordering. They have all the items you require.

              3. My family and I go to Gourmet Vegetarian Restaurant at Hwy 7 and West Beaver Creek Rd, in the same plaza as Ambassador and Wasabi are. This place is family run and all veggie food only.

                1 Reply
                1. re: PrincessStress

                  I'm very downtown-centric, so I have no idea where that is, but I'm gonna search it out one day! Thanks.

                2. Just thought I should update this as King's Cafe has now reopened. Definitely a new look but the food is still good, and they more importantly for me they still have frozen foods for sale.

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: fluffysouffle

                    You can buy the vegetarian gluten stuff at t&t on the weekends. I went a few months back and they were at Cherry Street. But they are definitely at the t&t near the pacific mall.

                    You should call King's Cafe if they sell at t&t cherry street downtown if you are downtown.

                    1. re: fluffysouffle

                      I would ONLY eat the dim sum at King's Café. Went there a few weeks ago and was brutally disappointed by the rest of the food -- "Szechuan" sauce tasted like Campbell's soup, a stir-fry had what looked like frozen mixed veggies (the kind with corn and peas), and the congee was like diluted cream of wheat stirred with cornstarch.

                    2. Noble seafood on dundas north of spadina has really good dimsum. There are some veggie options like the spring onion pankcake and some steamed dumplings. This is my favourite dimsum downtown

                      1. i really hate to be a negative poster, but vegetarian dim sum is an oxymoron. of course there are a very limited set of choices for meatless dim sum like onion pancake, or a couple of various dumplings and beancurd-based things.

                        4 Replies
                        1. re: dimsumyum

                          I second the vote for Graceful Vegetarian Restaurant in Scarborough - top notch food and good service. I've been there for dim sum but also for dinner many times...great food.
                          Must try that Gourmet Vegetarian Restaurant at Hwy 7 and West Beaver Creek...thanks for the tip.
                          The gluten at T&T is sold fresh on Friday evening, Saturday and Sunday by a company that comes in at those times only and you can choose the box size and gluten that you wish to buy. The fresh gluten sold at these times is absolutely better than the crap that T&T sells in the fridge section on regular days. Worth a visit on the weekend for the fresh stuff!

                          1. re: Sandybandy

                            Good to know. Thanks for the tip, Sandybandy. I must try the fresh gluten one weekend. Regarding Graceful Vegetarian Restaurant, does the menu lean more toward fried items or steamed and stir-fried? I find that a lot of Chinese vegetarian food involves tons of oil and deep frying. It's a bit of a turn-off when I'm trying to do the healthy veg thing. I'm sure it would be a pipe dream to have a reasonably healthy dim sum experience, but what about a dinner there?

                            1. re: 1sweetpea

                              Hello 1sweetpea! The menu at Graceful is huge..seriously we have a hard time trying to figure out what to order when we go. There is a large selection of food that is not fried (although the fried stuff is oh so tasty!) We have a few favs and get those but then also try to get something new also. I don't go there nearly enough but I don't think you will be disappointed.

                              1. re: 1sweetpea

                                Hi 1sweetpea!

                                The dim sum at Graceful Veg is amazing. They have veg versions of "har gow" "siu mai" "cheung fun" etc. My favs are steamed mushroom and pea shoot dumpling, steamed stuffed bean curd, sticky rice in lotus leaf, turnip cake, steamed eggplant with ginger, and satay "chicken".

                                Here's their dim sum menu though not up to date.
                                http://www.agveg.ca/dimsum.html

                          2. I have never tasted the frozen veg dim sum at T&T but I have seen it in the frozen section. I have tried the veggie steam buns in the hot foods section, yummy.

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: sweetie

                              Ohhh....I will have to try the veggie steam buns in the hot foods section at T&T! Thanks for the tip! I wish I could more easily find fresh veggie dumplings in the Richmond Hill area (beyond dumplings with egg and chive).

                            2. Hey I just saw this and was wondering, does anyone know any good dim sum places that have good vegetarian selections but also regular dim sum? I see the recommendations are for all-vegetarian - I have a group of friends that want to try dim sum but one of them is vegetarian (as in doesn't eat seafood).

                              Thanks!

                              5 Replies
                              1. re: KatTrum

                                Once again depends on whether your friend subscribes to "what you don't know won't hurt you" belief. While you may find some sauteed vegetables, any vegetable dumpling will have pork fat in the dough. Even dishes like fried turnip will be made with chicken stock even after you ask them to make it without meat or shrimp.

                                XO sauce? yeah that's made from dried seafood so you can skip those too. Mango pudding? Pretty sure they're not using vegetarian gelatin to make that.

                                Cantonese chow mein should be safe, and some places (New Century Palace) serve pea sprouts, which are safe, but for the most part, everything else has something to offend a strict vegetarian in it.

                                Ehh.. could be worse. I sometimes go with a friend who is vegan and gluten free. Now that' s a challenge. She also believed them every time they said "no soy sauce" and "no meat". I just kept my mouth shut because I wanted to eat there and didn't want to blow up her reality.

                                1. re: trane

                                  Really? I thought dumpling dough was flour and water. I've certainly seen tons of recipes like that.

                                  As for the rest, well, it's definitely a gamble. I mean, most restaurants list veggies with oyster sauce in their vegetarian dishes...

                                2. re: KatTrum

                                  Dynasty probably has about 10 options for veggies....plus they have a veg hot and sour soup that is delish.

                                  1. re: MeMeMe

                                    Is that the one in Yorkville?

                                    As far as "true" vegetarian goes, I'm going by the ignorance is bliss policy to make things easier.

                                    1. re: KatTrum

                                      yes - it just moved onto Yorkville Ave from Bloor Street. About 2/3 the seats in 1/2 the space so it's best to make a reservation.