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Dim Sum at 'Re-Vamped' SPRING VILLA - A Huge Disappointment!!!

Charles Yu Apr 30, 2013 03:39 PM

With a fairly innovative Dim Sum menu and a price point cheaper than Casa Imperial, the 'pre-revamped' Spring Villa used to be one of my favorite higher-end Dim Sum go-to places in the Markham area.

After their recent renovation job and a couple of positive feed back on the food, I decided to pay it a luncheon visit. Talk about a 'roller-coaster' dining experience!! Actually, its more like a 'Bungee-Jump' experience without the recoil!! That is, 'Free fall all the way'!!

With, 'bringing back some snacks for our son' in mind, my wife and I ordered 9 dishes for the two of us. The meal started off with an amazing tasting 'freshly baked', piping hot Special Chicken Pie. The buttery, sweet crumbly crust housed a generous amount of very tasty and juicy filling. So addictively good! Definitely, one of GTA's stand out dim sum creation!!
Unfortunately, the meal fell flat from there on. Poorly created and executed Dim Sums arriving one after another! Coming from Spring Villa??!! Its a scenario totally unexpected!!

Anyways, the rest of the Dim Sum selection included:
- Steamed Prawn Dumpling - Har Gow
- Steamed Chicken Feet in House Special Savory Sauce
- Spring Rolls with Pork Filling
- Steamed Prawns and String Beans Rice Roll - Cheung Fun
- Steamed Turnip Cake Casserole
- Steamed B-B-Q Pork Buns - Char Siu Bao
- Multi-layer Sweet Custard Sponge Cake
- Egg and Milk Custard Tart

Now for the 'real critique'!!

- Har Gow was a failure with badly formed thick, mushy, wrapper that fell apart and prawn filling that's overwhelmed with sesame oil seasoning.
- Prawn Cheung Fun was equally bad! Wrapping looked deceivingly thin!
Surface was latex thin but the base was unbelievably thick and gluey. Just like 'putty'!!. Prawn fillings were bland and the presence of the tasteless beans a total mystery!
- Steamed B-B-Q pork buns had passable filling but less than fluffy bun.
- Spring Rolls with their one dimensional bland pork filling was 'Meh'!
- Chicken feet was tender but the ' special sauce' was mediocre and nothing special!
- Both desserts fell real short with the sponge cake surfaces soggy and wet, due to excessive condensation and the Egg custard tart being spoiled by their thick and chewy base.

All in all, a Dim Sum lunch to forget!!

To give them another chance? That is the question?!!

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
  1. l
    limitedtimeoffer May 3, 2013 07:28 AM

    Appreciate the data point.

    I read you were not a fan of Ambassador, but I found it was better than Casa Imperial. CI is probably the best right now but I do agree, options have gone downhill.

    The crab roe soup they had was always stellar at Ambassador but the Casa Imperial version, not so much. I also found Ambassador to be comparable to the IFC location Lei Garden in HKG. Certainly no Fook Lam Moon or Chairman but very good none the less. I know we disagree on this. I also liked Celestial Court before it closed also.

    4 Replies
    1. re: limitedtimeoffer
      Charles Yu May 3, 2013 07:38 AM

      Wow!! Comparing Ambassador with Hong Kong's Lei Garden? Your meal at Ambassador must be specially arranged or you must have known the chef and management?!
      Next time you go back to Hong Kong for a visit, do give some of the 'rising' stars like Above & Beyond or Guo Fu Lou a try! Some of the dishes are truly amazing!

      1. re: Charles Yu
        l
        limitedtimeoffer May 6, 2013 07:46 AM

        my in laws knew some staff very well at ambassador....

        i will certainly try out those places next time. after a string of getting to HKG 8 times in the last 2 years, looks like my next trip there might not be until july next year...i hate to admit it but my last two dinners in HKG were at this place http://www.libertypw.com/en/ and this place

        (Sichuan Cuisine by the 4th sister) http://www.openrice.com/restaurant/sr...

        it appears that Guo Fu Lou was one of the new star winners.

        1. re: limitedtimeoffer
          Charles Yu May 6, 2013 07:52 AM

          I heard pretty good feed back about Liberty Private work.. Food good?!!
          Another chowhounder 'Nilescable' organized a chowmeet at TST Guo Fu Lou and thought the food was great, in fact. better than the 2* Ming Court!! That goes to show Michelin star in Hong Kong for Chinese Restaurant means 00000!!

          1. re: Charles Yu
            l
            limitedtimeoffer May 6, 2013 09:55 AM

            for the price, liberty was fabulous food...BYO of some comtes lafon whites and some 1st growth along with some interesting stuff from CA makes it even better. the wine sort of stole the show as is typical when i go out...it was amusing to see some of the same wines at the american club for dinner the night after with 5 digits in their price....now i am longing to get back to HKG...guess will have to deal with the lack of selections in YYZ until next July.

    2. justxpete Apr 30, 2013 03:46 PM

      off topic, but have you been to Kirin in Vancouver, Charles? I was there a couple of weeks ago and thoroughly enjoyed it. Curious how you think it compares to Toronto dim sum.

      6 Replies
      1. re: justxpete
        Charles Yu Apr 30, 2013 04:15 PM

        Great choice Chowfriend!!!!!
        Kirin was actually voted Vancouver's best Fine Dining Chinese Restaurant!!
        http://chineserestaurantawards.com/in...
        Did you try their signature 'Smoked Lobster' dish?!
        Unfortunately, never tried their Dim Sum!

        1. re: Charles Yu
          justxpete May 1, 2013 01:47 PM

          I did not - I was very impressived with everything, though - it was really quite good, and reasonably priced - $55/3 people - we probably had 8 or 9 dishes. Amazing value.

        2. re: justxpete
          Charles Yu May 1, 2013 12:49 PM

          BTW, IMO, Toronto's Dim Sum quality has gone down hill quite a bit in the past few years!!
          For the 'play-safe' individuals, I would stick with Yang's in Richmond Hill and Casa Imperial in Markham for better and more refined products as well as greater consistency ( though both belong to the upper price echelon ).
          As for the rest of the pack ( Casa Victoria, Legend, Premiere, Golden Abalone, Sam Woo Seafood, Grand, Dragon Dynasty, Emperor, Crown Princess, Regal Palace, Regal16, Shangri La, Elegance.....etc.) Though still good by Toronto standard, however, quality could be hit and miss!!

          1. re: Charles Yu
            a
            Apprentice May 6, 2013 01:53 PM

            Charles - price no restriction here so which one - Yangs or Casa Imperial...I'm heading there on Thurs with the wife.

            1. re: Apprentice
              Charles Yu May 6, 2013 02:28 PM

              Casa Imperial!! Enjoy!!!

              1. re: Charles Yu
                a
                Apprentice May 6, 2013 02:29 PM

                Thank you sir!

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