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May 13, 2011 02:30 PM

Dim Sum at Shangri-la

skylineR33 had mentioned this place in Markham served dim sum and recently a friend had indicated he liked the "early bird" dim sum there. The place is a banquet hall (weddings, etc) and does not have much outside storefront signage indicating that there is a restaurant inside and dim sum is served. My spouse and I had an enjoyable lunch in a grand comfortable dining space which was about 40-50% full at about 1:45pm. The dim sum is above average with above average prices. The quality and prices are comparable to nearby Casa Imperal, Casa Victoria and the Crown Prince. But based on this one visit today, we prefer this Shangri-la over the other 3. Service was very good and the tea I had (Iron Buddah) was one of the better teas I've ever had in Toronto (and area). Our bill came to $45. (tips incl) for 8 items. The price structure is $2.80/3.80/4.80/5.80/$7.00 for S/M/L/XL/SP items. For value conscious patrons, the early bird special pricing for "order before 10:45am" is $2.80 for S/M/L items . (Nearby Crown Prince has a similar promotion and its a zoo there at early bird time.....)

50 Esna Park Drive, Markham, ON L3R 1E1, CA

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  1. I was there on Mother's day too for dim sum. From my meal there, I remember :

    - Cheung Fun is good, delicate skin and good fillings.
    - The lobster special Har Gow is especially BIG in size, so-so in quality, skin way too thick.
    - The $7 soup dumpling "Goon Tong Gow" is ok, better than a lots of places in Toronto, they use real crab meat and hint of shark fin, but then why also put in the fake crab meat ?! To make it colorful ?

    But other than that, I have not much memory on all other items, mediocre and some of them "too ambitious" with no substance, in line with other higher end dim sum places in Toronto area.

    12 Replies
    1. re: skylineR33

      Following your footsteps, we just came back from a Dim Sum lunch there.

      As eluded to by T Long already, dim Sum is above average with above average price.

      Only really stand out dish was the ' Pineapple b-b-q pork puffs' . Lovely filling! The prawn cheung fun was good but deceiving in appearance since the skin, though looked ultra thin from the top was actually quite thick at the bottom. Taro croquette was one of the best in town with smooth and creamy taro casing. Deep fried squid tentacles was crispy and well seasoned. Once again, Har Gow was a major disappointment. Too big for my liking with disintegrating 'non ductile' skin. Guess no one in Toronto knows how to make a decent Har Gow??!!
      Overall, a so-so experience! Oh! since the place is a banquet Hall, decoration is above average and tasteful and not too noisy like some other places in the area.

      1. re: Charles Yu

        ooooh. char siu boh loh bao!? I heart those... will have to see if I can make it up there sometime...

        1. re: jlunar

          No junar! The 'bao' version you eluded to are similar to the ones made by Hong Kong's Fu Sing or Tim Ho Wan.
          The ones in Shangri-La is more like a 'sausage roll' puff
          Only Toronto outfit that makes a version remotely close to the Hong Kong ones is by Regal Palace on Hwy#7

          1. re: Charles Yu

            Ah, will have to go to Regal Palace then. The only place I knew of was the bakery in the same plaza as Elegantview (Vic Park & McNicoll)...

            3601 Victoria Park Ave, Toronto, ON M1W, CA

        2. re: Charles Yu

          On a side note. The floor manager informed us they have started dinner service recently and claimed that the quality is pretty high. Any fellow chowhounder given it a try??!! Guess should be comparable to Yang's or Emperor?!

          1. re: Charles Yu

            I have tried their dinner too. The head chef is from Hilton Suite according to the manager there. The food in general is good, I particularly like their signature dish, wok-fried fresh Chinese mushroom ($20), it is very good in wok hay and the two kinds of mushroom taste really good. I don't know the translation of the kind of mushrooms as it is not very commonly found. Other dishes are pretty standard in high end Chinese restaurant in Toronto area.

            1. re: skylineR33

              Well! If the food is not bad, may be I'll give it a try. Afterall, as a Chinese restaurant, I quite like its 'open' ambience and high ceiling. Places like Yang's can get so noisy sometimes! I wonder if they allow BYOB?!

              1. re: Charles Yu

                They charged me $10 for BYOB last time.

                1. re: skylineR33

                  Worth it only if they gave you Riedel stem ware!! Ha!

                  1. re: Charles Yu

                    You could always BYOR, Charles!!!

                    1. re: prima

                      Riedel for my Jug wine?! Ha!

                      On the subject of BYOR. I once sat next to a table whilst dining at 'Emperor' where the 'snobbish' occupants and family members asked for Riedel glasses for their BYOB!! When the staff brought along the ' vinum' glasses, he actually declined and asked for the bigger, higher end 'Sommelier' glasses instead. His requests really got my curiosity going!! Glasses for a Ch. Petrus may be??!! When that arrogant guy produced the wine!! I was stunned and flabbergasted! It was a bottle of 2007 Chilean Santa Maria Cab!! Retail cost?! $18!!! Even with our BYOB $125+ bottle of Maculan Reserva Acininobili, 1997, we were satisfied with the 'Vinum' stem ware the restaurant provide us!!

                      1. re: Charles Yu

                        Hee hee.
                        Coke Classic is also improved by fancy stemware, if you ask me. ;-)

      2. Went for dim sum and they have improved from a few months (thereabouts) ago. What we thought was average before is above average now. We especially like the woo kowk and their noodle dishes were good as well. What I like most is the place is very spacious and lots of table and no waiting in line (I hate waiting). Definitely recommended!

        Also went for dinner and it was pretty good as well. We BYO and was not charged corkage and they decanted for us which was nice and unexpected for a Chinese restaurant. The restaurant was big and mostly empty on the day we went. Not sure why because the food was good. Probably the location is not good because it's kind of hidden away off less travelled Esna Park.

        In any case, if you haven't been, this place is worth a try for both lunch and dinner.

        50 Esna Park Drive, Markham, ON L3R 1E1, CA

        2 Replies
          1. re: syoung

            Which dishes did you order when you went for dinner, syoung?

          2. Shangri-la must be operated by the same group as Diamond Banquet Hall in First Markham Place, since I saw at least 2 of the same head waiters who used to work at Diamond now at Shangri-la.

            As for the dim sum, we had the early bird special today and mostly just ok. Agree w/ a few others that the shrimp cheung fun (noodle) was pretty good. We actually had a better dim sum at Diamond a few wks back.

            We usually drink Iron Buddha tea and we swear we got Shou Mei instead (taste & color was off). When I asked the waitress to change it for me, she had a quick look into the teapot and said it was Iron Buddha, and walked away. Then they had a gall to charge my 3 and 5 yr old kids both for tea as well.

            We'll probably end up going to either Diamond or Premiere the next time instead of Shangri-la if we want to have some wide open banquet hall dim sum.

            50 Esna Park Drive, Markham, ON L3R 1E1, CA

            1 Reply
            1. re: Royaljelly

              Tried the early bird version of the dim sum today with a small group. The price has been increased slightly to $2.90 for S/M/L and the cut-off time is now 11:00am. My overall impression is that the quality while still fine (or average) was lower than what we experienced 2 months ago at their regular prices. But considering our bill per person was less than half, no one was complaining.

            2. I will be going on Thursday to meet up with the family. My brother suggested it. We usually go to Mong Kok - also in Markham but we decided to try something new.
              I'll let you know how it goes. I'm sure all good things. Can't wait!