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Apr 22, 2011 01:40 PM

Short review on 'Brilliant' Dim-Sum lunch - Overall enjoyable with a couple of outstanding dishes

The four of us had a family dim-sum lunch at Markham's Brilliant Chinese Restaurant this Easter Friday.
We had the following:
- Har Gow
- Chui Chow Fun Gor dumplings
- Fried 'harm shui gawk' glutinous dumplings
- Steamed chicken feet
- Deep fried squid tentacles
- Steamed B-B-Q pork buns
- Steamed prawns ' Cheung-Fun' rice roll
- Minced pork and dried cuttlefish patty clay-pot rice
- Giant seafood ' Guoon Tong Gow ' soup dumpling (1)
- Fried taro croquettes
- Steamed beef tripe
- Chrysanthemum and water chestnut pudding.
- Green tea and egg yolk custard mochi
- Silken Tofu dessert.(2)
Unbeleivable value!! $48 for all those food!! ( free tea and 10% discount even on a holiday??!! )

Now, a short description of some outstanding dishes.

First and foremost must be the 'steamed prawns cheung fun rice roll. Ultra thin and smooth skin with whole crunchy giant prawns. This must rank amongst the best cheung fun I ever had - including some Michelin stars establishments in Hong Kong!!

The giant seafood soup dumpling ' guoon tong gau' at $4 was a steal. Though void of sharksfin, however, the filling was pretty generous with prawns, ham and mushrooms. The broth was pretty decent as well.
SkylineR33, guess your 'sharksfin and crab meat' version is pretty hard to find nowadays!

After just coming back from a 5 weeks stay in Hong Kong, my palette for Har-Gow was spoiled! However, the Brilliant version was still passable. Though bamboo shoot were missing in some morsels and the skin was less chewy than the great HK versions, its still pretty tasty and the prawns fresh and crunchy.

Brilliant Chinese Restaurant
7220 Kennedy Rd, Markham, ON L3R0N4, CA

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  1. Charles, I haven't been to Brilliant yet ( I live in Toronto) but based on your recommendation, I do plan to try it. How does it compare to Spring Villa, for example.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Big Kahuna 1

      IMO, comparing dim-sum places like the Casa's, Emperor, Yang's, Regal Palace, Spring Villa, Brilliant...etc is like comparing cars. Be it Toyota, Honda, Nissan or Mazda. They all have their pluses and minuses.
      Put it this way, I live in Richmond Hill. Though Brilliant's dim sum is good. Unless there's some special reason, I won't drive all the way there for their dim sum, settling for the closer Yang's or Hwy#7 Regal Palace instead.
      However, Brilliant's dinner is worth the special drive!!

    2. Thanks, Charles. Great pix, too.

      Any chance of a dimsum roadshow for the GTA CH crew?

      1 Reply
      1. re: Kagemusha

        Many Thanks!!

        Right now, IMHO, not enough 'good dim-sum' places in the GTA to justify a special 'chowmeet'!

      2. The seafood dumpling looks ok. Dim sum restaurant in Toronto like to use 'frozen' prawn inside the dumpling. However, with the way this kind of dumpling is made, it is boiled together with the soup, if shrimp is used, it is always over-cooked with a rough texture. That's why crab is a better ingradient in making this kind of dumpling, or some top restaurant uses shrimp paste (made from fresh shrimp of course) to avoid the 'rough' texture of the over-cooked shrimp.

        I also find better cheung fun elsewhere other than those michelin star restaurant in HK.

        4 Replies
        1. re: skylineR33

          The prawns inside the dumplings were actually OK! Not overcooked at all!
          As for the cheung-fun. You are right! Those outfits in the 'Jordan' area make great CF. However, for Toronto restaurants to make them so close to that standard is a pretty good and surprising feat!!
          BTW, where did you go eat tonight?!

          1. re: Charles Yu

            Interesting, rarely whole shrimp is used in making this kind of dumpling other than Toronto because of the reason I mentioned.

            Just eat at a ordinary restaurant tonight, nothing special.

            1. re: Charles Yu

              Another Dim Sum destination.

              I took my "bottomless pit" son to Brilliant yesterday. We found it quite good and very reasonably priced. We also became instant VIPs - 10% off and no charge tea!

              There are several bargains - deep fried sole and goong tong gau @ $4 each!

              Only the sui mai and steamed pork buns were disappointing.

              Overall a nice change and we look forward to eating our way through another menu!

              We had 11-12 dishes and spent $47 inc. tax and tip.

              Thanks again Charles!

              1. re: sumdumgoy

                Love Brilliant for dinner. Tried it this week for dim sum.
                Unfortunately, only the steamed beef balls and the steamed rice rolls were good. Everything else was average. Har gow was very 'sticky'. Sui mai had no shrimp. And although there were only a few tables, the food took a long time to come out.
                Back to Full House on Midland for weekly dim sum. And Casa Imperial for special occasions.