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Dim Sum lunch at Regal 16 - Ordinary presentation but great tasting.

Charles Yu Aug 1, 2011 02:49 PM

In another episode of my continued effort to seek out GTA's best Dim Sum. This time, my quest took me to a long overdue revisit of Regal16 in Richmond Hill.

Before going on to the food, I would just like to start off by saying the service we received from the two waitresses looking after us was unexpectedly friendly and attentive!! A rarity amongst Chinese restaurants under civic holiday traffic and pressure!

Now to the food. The four of us ordered the following:

- Steamed prawn dumplings - Har Gow

- Prawn spring rolls with wasabi mayo

- Taro croquettes

- Steamed Chicken feet

- Steamed pork spareribs with preserved olives

- Steamed ' cheung fun' rice roll with prawns and yellowing chives

- Fried Five spice squid tentacles

- Baked pineapple and b-b-q pork puff

- Steamed traditional b-b-q buns

- Steamed tripe with Satay sauce

- Egg custard tarts

- Honey and cane sugar honey comb sponge cake

- Sam-Pan congee ( seafood and shredded b-b-q duck )

As eluded to in my posting title. Food presentation, unlike the higher end Casa's, Yang's, Empire Court, LTH...etc was fairly mediocre. However, overall seasoning and taste of the dishes were almost all 'spot-on'! Tastewise, one of the best this year, outshining Emperor, Brilliant, Yang's, Empire Court, Sam Woo, Shangri-La...etc. Stand out dishes include, the Taro croquettes ( tasty, generous juicy filling ), Beef tripe ( tender and lovely sauce ), pineapple b-b-q pork puffs, Squid tentacles ( very addictive but a touch greasy ), Egg custard tart ( perfectly baked, piping hot and sooo good! ) and the Honeycomb sponge ( not light and fluffy enough but super aromatic and delicious! ). Lastly, all their prawns used ( be it in the Har Gow, Congee or Cheung Fun ) are huge, nicely seasoned, crunchy and fresh.

The bill comes to $56 before tips. Very reasonable for a civic holiday.

Considering this place with its above average dim sum is less than 5 minutes drive from my house, I'm very contended

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    plug RE: Charles Yu Aug 2, 2011 04:59 AM

    Hi Charles, do you know what the pricing scheme is there?and if there's early bird?

    1 Reply
    1. re: plug
      Charles Yu RE: plug Aug 2, 2011 06:09 AM

      Sorry, did not check. Considering its a holiday, we had 13 dishes and the bill only comes to $56, its more than reasonable!
      I don't think they have an early bird special. However, you can always give them a call!

    2. T Long RE: Charles Yu Aug 13, 2011 10:37 AM

      Just returned from Regal 16 and perhaps our most uncomfortable dim sum experience in recent memory. Had intended to go to Shangri-la in Markham for their early bird special, but at 10:30 AM the place was already packed and with the chaos and lack of organization we observed it did not look like a short wait for any tables. So we decided to take a little drive and try Regal 16 over in Richmond Hill. In contrast to Shangri-la, Regal 16 was almost empty when we arrived, although it did get busier later. As mentioned the food presentation is quite poor but the taste seemed OK...but just OK, and heavy on MSG. Our bill came to about $48. before tips for 11 items. The uncomfortable factor came with the bill and the waitress hovering beside our table waiting for payment and sneezing uncontrollably while I was still trying to finish my tea. Then taking away our teapot before I could pour more tea. All in all a not so subtle hint at us to leave....and all this with still empty tables and no line-up at the door. No reasons to ever return to Regal 16.... even if it was in my neighborhood! 2nd lesson of the day: Avoid early bird at Shangri-la on week-ends.

      6 Replies
      1. re: T Long
        T Long RE: T Long Aug 19, 2011 11:55 AM

        In contrast to our Regal 16 experience of last week-end, we had a very pleasant dim sum lunch at the Royal Teahouse in Markham (off Woodbine, North of Hwy 7). Just about everything was an improvement....food (taste and presentation), service, and price. I think there has been a management change since we were last here (it was also good before), as the Chinese name has changed and there have been some minor renovations inside. The thing that stood out for us was how hot and fresh the dishes were arriving at the table...as if they were just taken out of the steamers, deep fryer, etc. Initially we were disappointed that there were no egg tarts on the menu....but then they were offered off-menu, freshly baked. I think the only item we liked better at Regal 16 might have been the beef ribs. Our bill came to about $38 before tips for 13 items. Being a Friday, and without any early bird pricing, the place was not crowded; however we were in this same mini-mall last week-end when there was a line-up out the door at noon hour. PS: Went by Shangri-la at about 10:30 am and there was already NO parking available in their two lots (with cars circling)....perhaps its not only on week-ends when that place can be zoo-like.

        -----
        Royal Teahouse
        10 Apple Creek Blvd, Markham, ON L3R 5Z1, CA

        1. re: T Long
          T Long RE: T Long Sep 1, 2011 01:05 PM

          Just a quick report on our latest Royal Teahouse experience. In contrast to an impressive dim sum outing less than 2 weeks ago, today was almost a 180 degree difference. Some questionable items and service issues. We will not return very soon.. if ever...so disappointing. Our old stand-by in Sam Woo Seafood keeps looking better!

          -----
          Sam Woo Seafood
          325 Bamburgh Cir, Scarborough, ON M1W 3Y1, CA

          1. re: T Long
            Charles Yu RE: T Long Sep 1, 2011 06:56 PM

            Thanks T Long for the timely update! I was planning to have dim-sum lunch there this coming holiday long weekend!
            BTW, skylineR33 and I had a mini luncheon chow meet at Sam Woo seafood a while back. We were not impressed with the dim sum dishes we ordered!
            Have you tried Dragon Dynasty lately? They used to very good!

            -----
            Dragon Dynasty
            2301 Brimley Rd, Scarborough, ON M1S 5B8, CA

            Sam Woo Restaurant
            660 Eglinton Ave W, Mississauga, ON L5R3V2, CA

        2. re: T Long
          e
          ericdunn RE: T Long Aug 19, 2011 05:35 PM

          Just an observation, it's interesting how two different individuals can have two completely different opinions on the same restaurant - Regal 16.

          1. re: ericdunn
            T Long RE: ericdunn Aug 19, 2011 06:24 PM

            I'm surprised that as a CH veteran you find differences of opinions expressed here on any restaurant to be noteworthy. Honest discussions about food and restaurants is why I read and contribute. I hope you will try Regal 16 and agree or disagree with me.

            1. re: ericdunn
              Charles Yu RE: ericdunn Aug 19, 2011 06:40 PM

              A fine example of the current inconsistency in food and service quality exhibited by Chinese restaurants in the GTA??!!

              Opinion from fellow chowhounders aside. Based on my personal experiences alone, I can, off the cuff, name at least a handfull of establishments with 'fluctuating' food quality in a span of a few weeks:- Bayview Court, Brilliant, Judy's Cuisine, Emperor...etc

              Only consistent place is still O Mei. I visited it on a packed Sunday evening last week and the food was executed perfectly. Especially the Steamed live French Turbot with ginger, scallions and premium top soya. Timing was spot on

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