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Luckee

Had dim sum at Luckee on Sunday and was really impressed. Very interesting fusion approach, with some unique notes to traditional offerings. Standouts included the chicken cheung fan which had that fried doughnut shell thing inside it as well, honestly if I'm in the area I may drop in just to eat that at the bar with a cocktail. Could not have loved that dish more. I also enjoyed the chicken and shrimp shu mai and the curry chicken spring rolls. The har gow though was oversteamed, and the chicken bao was fairly boring and standard-issue.

Pretty expensive, I didn't see the bill as I wasn't paying but it's certainly in Crown Princess/LWH territory, and yeah twice what you'd pay in Richmond Hill. But I'll be back for sure. Paired everything with a tasty riesling, Kung Fu Girl from Oregon, that was good value (by Toronto standards) at $56. The full bar and cocktail menu gives this place extra appeal for me, but then I am kind of a boozebag.

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  1. We had dim sum there today and loved it. Totally different from the dim sum I've had in the past. Everything was so delicate and bursting with flavors.

    Favorites include the lobster dumplings, har gow, sui mai, and cheung fan rolls. Honestly everything we ordered was a hit.
    Will definitely go back.

    Nice room and atmosphere too!

    2 Replies
    1. re: millygirl

      Is there an early bird special? :D

      1. re: millygirl

        Is the price $$$$ One thing I don't like about going to places like Lee is that it's very fou fou and the servers are pompous.

        I don't like dives, but I also don't want to be treated like a second class person if I'm not a dim sum connoisseur in their eyes.

      2. Looks like a place to send people looking for all day dim sum.

        1 Reply
        1. re: T Long

          And especially people who want to drink and eat. Like if I had a drinks meeting I might do it here and then just keep some dim sum going as snacks.

          Interesting to note that the co-owner used to own Lai Wah Heen and Lai Toh Heen. Explains a few things.

        2. Just a short write-up to give 'the other side' of the story using a simple example.

          As eluded to in the past many a times, I always use the iconic 'Har Gow' dumpling as my measuring yardstick for Dim Sum quality.

          First off, Luckee's $7 for 4, 'fusion' Har Gow, is day light robbery IMO! Almost double Richmond Hill/Markham high end pricing and similar to what a lot of Hong Kong's 'Michelin star' Hotel restaurants are charging. The product's quality and mouth feel simply does not justify the cost! Albeit the location is inside the Soho Metro., Hotel.

          Susur's approach of using mashed up ginger instead of tiny bits of crunchy bamboo shoots, as well as overly cut up tiny prawn pieces render the morsel a less than appealing mushy texture lacking in crunchy feel. Passable wrapping and seasoning cannot compensate for this textural failure.

          Overall Dim Sum choices are limited and quality are fair to good! But with Susur's name backing the product and the above average price they are charging, I expect more, much more!
          For a total package Dim Sum lunch, I would rate Yang's Markham, Casa Imperial or even Skyview over it any day.

          BTW, dishes in the evening pseudo-fusion dinner menu are slant toward the western palette.

          My two cents worth!

          5 Replies
          1. re: Charles Yu

            While all those other options may be better for Dim Sum lunch, some of us live downtown and any option to have dim sum downtown is always welcome...

            1. re: canadianbeaver

              Of course I understand and I'm happy for you hounds down town for this addition.
              However, my point is, for some of us who live 'updown', the quality, choice and price of Luckee's food, even with the Susur name tie to it, does not warrant a special trip down the jammed DVP. .

              1. re: Charles Yu

                But....this post wasn't about where to get good dim sum cheap.

                I'm not a Susur fan myself, but I really enjoyed it.

                Overall, it was great.

            2. re: Charles Yu

              Charles: I look at this differently. Looking at the prices and other write-ups, it appears that Luckee is in the Lai Wah Heen territory price wise or even lower. (Har Gow is listed as $6.) I've never been a big fan of LWH's prices, but have succumbed in the past to the "rip-off" and I'm still intact. Unlikely to make a special trip, but if I'm in the area, might be worth a try. Compared to other fare in the downtown area, prices don't seem terribly out of line and nothing beats trying a place first hand to crystallize an opinion. All in all, Luckee seems like an interesting venture. " Pseudo-fusion dinner menu are slant toward the western palette" - you say that as if that's a negative thing...ha ha. Just smart targeting imo.

              1. re: Charles Yu

                For what it's worth re: Charles' comments, I wasn't a big fan of the har gow either. But there were a lot of delicious things that I ate that day. And I'm not sure that the best things I ate at Skyview were as good as the best things (like the cheung fun) I ate at Luckee.

                I don't much care about price, dim sum is not a costly meal no matter which way you slice it, and I don't eat it all the time. I love going to Richmond Hill, and I agree that Yang's and maybe Casa Imperial is a better overall experience. But also being a gwailo with two small kids, I doubt I get the rock star treatment that Charles does in that 'burb...;-)

              2. Not sure why you expected more Charles. You've never liked a single thing Susur has ever done.

                4 Replies
                1. re: EarlyDrive

                  First off, I think you are being overly harsh with your comment!.
                  Yes, I admit I am not a fan of Susur. Not that I don't enjoy the taste of his food. Its just that, In my eyes and seasoned Chinese palette, I found his using cunning 'camouflage' technique as a tool to hike up prices of his sometimes ordinary 'Chinese' food a bit hard to swallow! Likewise, I found Masa charging US$600 for his Omakase hard to swallow as well! Even though the food tasted pretty good!

                  With Susur's ethnic Chinese background. His time spend living, working and honing his cooking skill in Chinese kitchens in Hong Kong. And now, his opening up a 'Chinese' restaurant with Chinese name and serving Cantonese Dim Sum. It is only natural for me to expect more from him especially with the price he is charging for 'Chinese' food!! After all, how many Chinese restaurant in town actually have the name of the owner/chef linked to the business? By doing so, he is essentially adopting an approach used by celebrity chefs like 'Ducasse' in his Spoon, Robuchon in his L'Atelier, Daniel Boulud in his Cafe Boulud or David Chang in his Momofuku chains. I'm sure patrons attending are attracted by the name and will expect a lot because of the chef's name appearing on the business sign and menu!

                  1. re: Charles Yu

                    Now if we could just convince Tim Ho Wan to open in Toronto...

                    1. re: JonasBrand

                      They already opened up a branch in Singapore.

                      Anyways, I'll be totally satisfied if they would just import their 'Freshly baked BBQ pork buns' and a few of their steamed dumplings like Har Gow and Fun Gor over here.

                    2. re: Charles Yu

                      For once I have to agree with Charles. I was very unimpressed with my 5 course tasting at Susur. Just "fancy" chinese food made pretty for westerners. I found the same thing with Lai Wah Heen. Just because you top har gow with caviar doesn't automatically make it Michelin star quality worthy of that level of pricing. At least LWH had the decor to match. I don't see that from Luckee. It seems the people that are most impressed with LWH and Susur tend not to be Asian. If Susur would show the skill that got him into the finals of Top Chef then I would be more forgiving.

                  2. I went on Sunday. I am far from a Dim Sum expert but I enjoyed my meal and considering the options in the area I thought it was worth going to/trying. I tried the fried turnip/taro , beef steamed bao (not like Banh Mi Boys style steamed bao.. it is actually a fried dumpling thing... again, I am no expect so I was expecting it to be more like Banh Mi boys. Also had the Har Gow and the fried lotus/chinese celery dish.

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: ylsf

                      The split sandwich-style "bao" popularized by Momofuku (and picked up by BMB) is not the default style of bao.

                      1. re: ylsf

                        Bao basically means bun.
                        I'm not a fan of the Momofuku/Banh Mi Boys-type bao. For me, it's all about the char siu bao (bbq pork bun, available steamed or baked, esp at Yang's or Lucullus) and xiao long bao (soup dumplings- not sure where the best are right now, but I like the ones at Northern Dumpling Kitchen).