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Oct 4, 2013 05:08 PM

Tak Fu Seafood Restaurant, aka 'King of Dim Sum'!! - Do not believe in what you read!!!

When ever the topic of GTA's best Dim Sum came up, invariably it always lead to the narrowing down to a small circle of big name establishments, be it Yang's, The Casas or The Crowns. Therefore, the discovery of an outfit that possesses the bravado of claiming themselves to be ' King of Dim Sum ( in Chinese characters )', naturally begs for the visit of curious chowhounders to unearth the truth!!

Located in a strip plaza on 633 SilverStar Boulevard. With only 8 tables and four booths, this place is definitely small by Dim Sum restaurant standard. To ensure the kitchen is in top form, I deliberately avoided the lunch time crowd by arriving at around 2.00pm. As predicted, including myself, there were only 3 tables occupied.

Using my usual reference yardstick for judging Dim Sum quality, I proceed to order the skill challenged shrimp dumpling - Har Gao, the Steamed rice noodle with prawns - aka Cheung Fun as well as a number of other dishes.

For once, I am not going to dwell too long on this pathetic meal and waste my time in providing a detailed review. The fact is, the food was way sub-par and bad and not worth my effort. How can the kitchen undercooked and overcooked two simple dishes simultaneously, when my order was the only one submitted?!?!

Anyways, the following couple of examples I believe are enough to convey the whole picture:

First off, the jumbo size Har Gao. All four morsels in the bamboo steamer arrived with broken wrappers!! There goes all the juices!! The prawn filling was decent. Slightly under-seasoned but thankfully crunchy and fresh. However, the wrapper was another story. Thick, mushy with large gaping holes and totally lacking the essential ductility. A disaster!

The Steamed rice noodle, Cheung Fun was even worse! Never have I seen such thick wrappings in my years of Dim Sum chowing. Again, mushy, slimy and thick as sandwich bread, this roll was undercooked inside! I deliberately extracted the prawns filling, leaving all the rice roll wrappings in a huge pile for the staff to see!

BTW, the homogeneous thick gluey Rice Congee of salted pork, peanuts and dried fish, which I over-ordered and brown-bagged, turned into two separate layers of water and rice particles when got home!! Another sign of an incompetent and lazy kitchen trying to cut corner by using starchy binding agent!

Needless to say, I have much better place to spend my hard-earned money and will never return!

However, I am scratching my head and at a complete lost as to how and why, a couple of 'Yelpers' actually managed to give this place a 5* out of 5??

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  1. What was the pricing?...that's usually a clue to the quality you can expect to get. Based on your descriptions, I would be surprised if you had to paid more than say $2.30 per dish given the competition that is around.

    6 Replies
    1. re: T Long

      S= $2.20
      M= $3.20
      L= $4.20
      Not cheap! No early bird!
      Dim Sum places in that area are Casa Imperial, Sam Woo Seafood and Fung Lam Court, none of them cheap!

      1. re: Charles Yu

        You were very brave to go into a place like that, kudos!

        Maybe you wanted to find the Toronto version of "Tim Ho Wan"? Then your experience must have been very disappointing...

        What is your top pick for dim sum in the Silver Star to Pacific Mall region? (between Kennedy/Midland)

        1. re: nogoro

          Fung Lam Court at Kennedy and Denison.

        2. re: Charles Yu

          It's certainly confusing to try to find out more about this place from the net. Alternate names of the place include Defu, Wonderful, and TakFu. No wonder they are "under the radar"...even yelp posts them under "Defu". The photo you posted does show TakFu, so where do the other names come from? Btw, Sam Woo Seafood is belly-up, replaced by newly opened Crown Jewel Fine Dining. Our recent experience with Crown Jewel (which was much more expensive - outside early bird hrs - than TakFu @ $2.80 for S, etc.) was encouraging.

          1. re: T Long

            @ T Long
            Thanks for the info on Crown Jewel. Any idea if they have the same owner as Crown Princess...etc? Did they renovate Sam Woo's old decor before moving in? SkylineR33 and I had lunch there last year and it was kind of run-down!

            1. re: Charles Yu

              Hi Charles: According to the staff, Crown Jewel is independent of any other Toronto area restaurant. I asked specifically about the nearby Crown Prince...I hope nothing was lost in translation! The premises have undergone 2 months of renovations and they are still not complete as wall decorations and some light fixtures are missing. I was impressed how hot (temp) their dim sum dishes were when served. Fancier place than the old SWS, but probably a step below nearby Casa Imperial or even Elegance. Early bird pricing before 11:00 every day ($2.80 for S/M/L items).

      2. Jeesh, they bill themselves as the "emperor" of dim sum--not just some run-of-the-mill "king."

        That sort of splitting looks like frozen or pre-cooked that got over-steamed.

        1. I'm far from home on this board (meaning it's okay by me if I'm told to "butt out,") but do you think there's any chance you ate at Tak Fu when different chefs/cooks were working than on the days the place got five star reviews? I have a couple of places in my area that I call first and ask whose cooking before I decide to go there. I also have a couple of places where I never go simply because their "house recipes" suck! But I'd hate to write off the places that have great food when the right cook is on the job.

          2 Replies
          1. re: Caroline1

            That might be the case here. Charles' dim sum meal does look sub-par and he certainly knows his stuff, but inconsistent dim sum in Toronto is quite common (my experience). I've not been to Tak Fu, but they've been around for a few years and don't have special (ie early bird) pricing which means to me they have steady customers. These places stay in business either because they are good (for some people) or have relatively cheap prices. Btw, $2.20 for a Small size dish of dim sum would be at the lower end in this market.

            1. re: Caroline1

              The two 5* were awarded by Yelpers in March and May of this year. However, latest Yelper review on 22 Sept was only 2*. May be indeed they have a change of Dim Sum chefs?
              In any case, who they have manning the kitchen currently certainly lacked the skill!

            2. Isn't there a Dim Sum King downtown?

              1 Reply
              1. re: MissBingBing

                Yes...Dim Sum King on Dundas, East of Spadina. And the name is spelled out in English. Check out this neat video (not mine):

              2. I don't remember what their other stuff tastes like but their 'lau saa Bao" aka running egg yolk bun is supposed to be their famous item and I remember that being good.