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'Skyview Fusion Chinese' - Sorry folks! Another relatively new kid on the block. This one could be the best 'early-bird' Dim Sum in the GTA?!

It was only two days ago that I had a surprisingly enjoyable and delicious Dim Sum lunch at 'Penglais Fairyland' in Richmond Hill. Today, I was again invited to have Dim Sum lunch. This time at 'Skyview Fusion' on Woodbine/Hwy #7, next to Costco. This is amongst one of a bunch of 'new or renovated' Chinese restaurants that has recently sprung up all around the Richmond Hill / Markham area. Sky Dragon, Paramount, Richlane, Dragon Boat....to name a few!

Settling down and placing our order before 11.00am, we were pleasantly surprised to find that we are eligible for the $2.90 Earl-Bird Special!! Cool!!! Unlike a lot of their fellow competitors boasting pseudo-modern and fancy offerings, Skyview's Dim Sum menu was small and compact focusing mainly on traditional fare. Sometimes, quality is better than quantity! I hope this was the case.

Our party of three selected the following:

- Freshly baked BBQ pork buns
- Har Gow shrimp dumplings
- Siu Mai pork and shrimp dumpling
- Steamed pork spareribs with chili garlic black bean sauce
- Fried Dace fish balls with salted fermented clam sauce
- Deep fried shrimp rolls with bean curd skin wrappers, Worcestershire
sauce dip.
- Steamed Prawns and Cilantro rice roll.
- Mango, Pomelo and Sago pudding dessert

First impression was that our portions were extremely generous in size. If the taste was good, then at $2.90 each, they could be a steal! We were all keeping our fingers crossed!

First to test our taste buds was the pipping hot BBQ pork bun. Staring down at the big size, I was skeptical as to how much filling they put in there! Wow! not only was the slightly sweet bun fluffy, light and hot, it was 'heavy' and oozing with delicious filling! Taste-wise?! Was I eating a clone of Hong Kong's Michelin 1* Tim Ho Won's product?! It was mighty close!

One by one, our dishes surprised us!

I thought the Har Gow of Penglais, which I just tasted two days ago was good, however, Skyview's version easily trumped that! Not only was the skin wrapper even thinner and equally chewy, the generous, lovely and juicy prawn filling has just the right amount minced bamboo shoot to augment it! What a delight to eat.! Same accolade can be given to the crunchy prawns, aromatic and thin wrapper skin rice roll, the juicy Siu Mai, the super bouncy and light, fried Dace balls with a light bread crumb coating....etc. The only minor miss was the slightly under-seasoned pork spare ribs. One narrow miss out of 8?!! Not bad! Not bad at all!! At $2.90 per dish, I am not complaining!!

After trying over 7 new Dim Sum places plus some other old stalwarts like Yang's and Casa's within the past few months, I have come to the conclusion that for value and taste, 'Skyview's offering easily beats the rest hands down!! For those of you 'early bird' seekers, this is YOUR place!!!

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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  1. I will be going. You can can count on that.

    1. Thanks for the review - were the pork buns from the menu, or a special item they offered?

      1 Reply
      1. Thanks for the review! If only I was in the neighbourhood, this would be great. Even better would be the offering of freshly made ginger soft tofu and molten custard salted egg buns!

        1. The only Chinese food I really like is Mandarin and Asian Legend but I must say how much I love reading Charles' reviews. He is the best!

          1 Reply
          1. re: barneyvernon

            Thank you barneyvernon! You're so kind! Just spreading the words, be it good or bad?!!
            May be one day you should head up to our neck of the wood and try out some really good Cantonese food and Dim Sums!

          2. Do you know what their non-early bird prices are like? Thanks!

            1 Reply
            1. Thanks for the review as always.

              Have you tried Crown Prince on Victoria Park? I recall having some good early bird dim sum there in the past. It might be sub $3 before 11am foe S,M,L.

              With so much competition, it appears that restaurants are really stepping up their game, which is good for us diners.

              I wonder whether Toronto would ever support a nighttime dim sum restaurant? I've had dim sum cravings in the past at 1am after a night of partying lol. I know Richmond Court has an all day dim sum menu, but I for some reason always stayed away thinking it likely won't be anything too good.

              2 Replies
              1. re: ragged25

                I hope so as I seldom seem to be able to be available for lunch dim sum :(

                1. re: ragged25

                  Yes I did try Crown Prince a number of times but find the quality and taste of their products did not commensurate with the price they charge. Might as well spend more and head over to Casa Imperial instead!

                  Considering, if one really in need of a Dim Sum fix at late hours, Richmond Court is not a bad place for them. In fact I find some of their offerings quite acceptable! Not a lot of place now serve Taro Croquettes. Surprisingly, RC version is more than decent!!

                2. You had me at "Tim Ho Wan"...I'm not even dropping my luggage at the hotel before I go when I am in Hong Kong in March. Will be making the trip out to Skyview to compare ASAP. Thanks for the great review.

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: k8supergrover

                    THW's version will be a little different in texture, more dainty and juicy as well. However, here in Toronto, I'll settle for Skyview's version any day!

                    1. re: Charles Yu

                      I love THW, more or less lived there when I was in Hong Kong in October. Going back in March, can't wait!

                  2. It's rough having two new quality dim sum places. ;) Thanks Charles!

                    1. First, the bad news: early bird is NOT on the weekends. So for (I think) 9 dishes we dropped $55, which was more than I wanted to spend.

                      Good news is food was great. Agree that the har gow is the best I've had in the city, just so fresh and crunchy with excellent use of bamboo shoot as Charles mentioned. All the shrimp dishes were terrific, actually - zero iodine taste, never overcooked and mushy, nice big pieces used.

                      Thanks for the reco. On a weekday Skyview Fusion has got to be the best dim sum deal in town.

                      1. This place has been our regular go-to uptown since they opened. Love the "standard" dishes like har gow and siu mai. Always great skins, and a wonderful crunch to the shrimp.

                        In addition to the food, though, we very much like the restaurant experience itself. We've never felt crowded (except maybe in line), always had friendly, responsive service, and the accessible doors/waterfall at the entrance are always good for 30 minutes of toddler entertainment. What more can you ask for?

                        edit: There is one down side. When we go (two adults + toddler), it's always on a weekend, and we end up spending ~$40 since early bird doesn't apply. You won't find a lot of worthwhile "S" dishes, though in fairness, that's increasingly true in most dim sum places.

                        7 Replies
                        1. re: Underdog Rally

                          Will likely be going on a Saturday. What are "S" dishes?

                          Does their Saturday dim sum selection differ from the rest of the week?

                          Can I order the usual suspects (the kinds of dishes Charles covers in his original post)?

                          1. re: magic

                            S denotes 'Small' - usually the cheaper dumplings..etc
                            SP denotes 'Special' - usually more expensive but more exotic
                            Saturday will be packed! And yes! they will be walking around with some specials of the day/weekend

                            1. re: Charles Yu

                              Charles, just want to make sure they offer standard dishes like these for a Saturday lunch:

                              - Freshly baked BBQ pork buns
                              - Har Gow shrimp dumplings
                              - Siu Mai pork and shrimp dumpling
                              - Steamed pork spareribs with chili garlic black bean sauce

                              1. re: magic

                                100% sure! However, the BBQ pork bun is such a fan favorite, there's a chance they might sold out. So go EARLY!!!

                                1. re: Charles Yu

                                  Ok:)

                                  What time is a safe time to secure a pork bun, Charles?

                                    1. re: Charles Yu

                                      Thanks for the scoop, I'll make sure I'm there early.

                        2. Went here today. Its been a long time since I've had dim sum...it was certainly a treat having it again! Fresh bbq pork bun had a great bun, however mine wasn't filled very much and the filling was just okay IMO. Mine wasn't comparable at all to what I've had at Tim Ho Wan.

                          Siu mai was my favourite...meat was juicy, generous portions with shrimp on top. I find what makes it really good is that the pork is in rather big chunks. If pork is ground too finely it makes a mealy textured siu mai. In fact this one felt like hand chopped meat.

                          Har Gow...shrimp was great but I didn't like the wrapper. It was fairly thick.

                          Sesame ball with black sesame filling was GREAT. Salty and delicious. I'm always looking for sesame balls with the deep yellow salty runny "egg yolk"...this was just as good.

                          Steamed rice roll with fried donut and XO sauce...I liked the XO sauce and it would have been good if the fried donut wasn't already soft and soggy when it arrived at the table. I would have rather had one with shrimp than what we received.

                          Soup dumpling was fine, but I thought it was xiao long bao, thats what I get for not being able to read chinese!

                          Deep fried savoury pork "triangle"...I always love this dish. This one was a bit skimpy on the filling but otherwise it was not too bad, not great.

                          Great deal for early bird. I wasn't blown away but everything was good enough that I wouldn't hesitate to go back again to try. Of course, I'd like to try some other new restaurants first!

                          2 Replies
                          1. re: szw

                            The head chef and the manager, Carl, were both at Dragon Boat for a long time until it was sold last year.

                            1. re: szw

                              Your write-up once again brought up one of the main factor/concern I have with Toronto's Chinese food - Inconsistency!!
                              Pity!!

                            2. Hi! Does anyone know if Fridays are considered "weekend" or "weekday" with regards to early bird dim sum?

                              9 Replies
                              1. re: szw

                                Friday is still 'weekday' for Dim Sum!

                                1. re: Charles Yu

                                  Thanks. Got there at 10:20 but was only seated at 10:52. 2 minutes too late. They were really strict about it....what a shame!

                                  1. re: szw

                                    I had the same experience. I got there at 10:35am, with a lot a couple of tables ahead of me. They called the two tables ahead of me in at 10:45. FInally at 10:55 they called the rest of us in because they had opened the room in the back and told us we were too late for early bird. If the restaurant was totally full, I can understand but to wait until 11am was a bit sneaky in my opinion and I will not be going back.

                                    1. re: punkyhunky

                                      My cousin had the same experience! I told them about this relatively new place for dim sum early bird. They went with great Aunt this weekend and they arrived at the restaurant at 10:15 am. According to my cousin, they kept everyone waiting till AFTER the early bird time and then they released about 10 tables at 11 am.

                                      Though she didn't mind the food and thought it was good, she didn't like how they were underhanded. She won't be going back either... she says her favourite Casa Victoria and Yang's will still get her money since they treat her like a valued customer.

                                      1. re: Nevy

                                        If this is true it sounds like a very unethical practice.

                                        Also a stupid practice, as it's a great way of losing customers.

                                        1. re: Nevy

                                          I cant believe this is the normal practice. I hope people will think twice about going.

                                          1. re: Nevy

                                            I've been for dim sum a couple of times during regular hours, and personally never thought the place was that special, but rather just comparable to about 10 other good places in the RH/Markham/N. Toronto area. Their cha sui is reputed to be really special, but our group didn't experience this. My spouse had a better experience recently with her friends, but that would speak to inconsistencies. Certainly I would recommend early bird for the quality, but would warn about the apparent hassles or the need to go "really" early.

                                            1. re: T Long

                                              I would be upset if I went at 10:15 and still did not get a table.
                                              When it comes to early bird, I find that I can usually get a table at Paradise, Emperor and Crown Prince (can't remember the name but it's the one at Vic Park north of McNicoll).

                                              1. re: caitlink

                                                I went to Yang's Markham last week on a weekday for early bird. No problem getting a table.

                                  2. A quick update:

                                    I had an early Dim Sum brunch at Skyview today. Early-bird price, for order placement before 10.30 am, is still $2.90

                                    Overall experience was one big disappointment. Dishes that I previously ordered and enjoyed immensely were flops. If I were blind folded, I could have sworn I was eating at a totally different establishment!

                                    A few specifics:

                                    - 'Har Gow' shrimp dumplings were over-steamed, resulting in the wrapper disintegrating when picked up. Wrapper skin was thicker than normal and mouth feel was less chewy than before.

                                    - Steamed 'Cheung Fun' Rice Roll has unappealing, overly thick wrapping as well.

                                    - Pan fried Turnip cakes lacked Turnip flavor and has a weird powdery 'mash potato' texture.

                                    - Filling inside the supposedly refined ' Guon Tong Gau ' Soup Dumpling was sparse and few. Cheap ingredients were used. The broth un-inspiring and boring.

                                    Are they serving 'inferior' products during the 'cheaper' price early-bird seating, I wonder?! If so, this is cheating and mis-leading, IMO!

                                    Just to be fair, the 'Baked BBQ pork Bun' was still excellent, though not as juicy as before?!

                                    Service on the whole was bad and unfriendly with grouchy floor managers.

                                    Why the place was packed at 11.00am with line-up at the door really puzzles me. Are people so desperate for cheap Dim Sum that they totally ignore the quality? My enjoyable experience at Yang's Markham the day before was like day and night!!