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Cha Lau (formerly Cha Liu)

T Long Apr 27, 2012 04:10 PM

New dim sum place between Wellesley and College at 476 Yonge Street. (Renamed and relocated Cha Liu formerly on Yonge just N. of Eglinton). Anyone been yet and how does it compare to nearby Crown Princess and Dynasty in Yorkville...(prices and quality)?

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    b.craftie Apr 27, 2012 06:50 PM

    As soon as we heard that Cha Lau was open, we went to check it out. I can't compare it to Dynasty or Crown Princess, but I can compare it to the old Cha Liu which we'd gone to quite often when we lived near Yonge & Eg, and I must say the new version is as good if not better. The staff, as always, is very welcoming, friendly and appropriately attentive. Our tea pot was replenished seamlessly, our water refilled before we knew it; each dish was presented with a small introduction, and bowls whisked away when we were done. And the food, mmmmm. Vegetarian choices are marked with an asterisk, which I appreciate. We started with pan seared vegetarian dumplings [War Tep] [4 pieces for $3.95], one of my favourites: crispy yet soft dumplings bursting with mushrooms, accompanied by a hot mustard sauce which I like so much I kept it for future dipping. My SO had the Supreme Shrimp Dumplings [$4.75 for 4] which were juicy, sweet, nicely packed with shrimp; followed by Pork Siu Mai [4 pieces for $4.00], steaming hot and hearty. We shared the Vegetarian Spring Roll Cheung Fun [3 rolls, each cut into 3 pieces, for $4.75]. It's another of my favourites. The steamed outer rice roll hugs the crispy spring roll which delivers a brilliant crunch. Each sliver of vegetable in the filling retains its colour and flavour providing a very tasty mouthful. We ended with mushroom and vegetable dumplings [3 for $3.50] which I got to enjoy all by myself because my SO couldn't eat another bite. Lucky me. These muted orange dumplings stuffed with mushrooms are softly chewy and very slightly tangy. All of these dishes were ones we'd enjoyed at Cha Liu, their previous location; and they were all a delicious reminder of why we enjoyed eating there. Next time we will leave room for Chinese birthday buns [4 for $4.65], which along with the baked egg tarts [2 for $2.00] had been my very favourite desserts. I can't wait.

    7 Replies
    1. re: b.craftie
      T Long Apr 28, 2012 11:42 AM

      I am told by my Cantonese speaking friends that "Cha Lau" phonetically translates to "a place that serves dim sum".

      1. re: T Long
        aser May 21, 2012 09:28 PM

        it's like naming a restaurant "steak house".

      2. re: b.craftie
        p
        piccola Apr 28, 2012 04:56 PM

        Ooooh vegetarian options! So rare for dim sum. Definitely on my list now.

        1. re: b.craftie
          b
          b.craftie Apr 29, 2012 01:54 PM

          Just an aside: during their soft opening, Cha Lau is "Cash Only".
          They'll accept credit cards, etc. soon.

          1. re: b.craftie
            b
            b.craftie Apr 30, 2012 03:13 PM

            As of April 30th, credit / debit is in place.

            1. re: b.craftie
              m
              magic Apr 30, 2012 05:48 PM

              Good to know, as I never have cash (and love me some rewards points)!

              Thanks.

          2. re: b.craftie
            b
            butterTO May 21, 2012 06:42 AM

            We tried Cha Lau yesterday, and thought it was very good! To add to the previous recommendation: the mustard dipping sauce accompanying the War Tep was indeed very tasty, and we also loved the pork, Chinese olive leaf, and green bean dumplings, apparently a North Chinese specialty. The flavours overall were fresh and less greasy than a lot of other dim sum we've tried -- and the sesame balls for dessert were fantastic! For seven dishes, tea for two, tax & tip, it came to a little over $40.
            Yes to credit cards now, but no liquor license yet.

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