This is what I love—okay, one of the things I love—about dim sum: it can cover every sort of dining mood (and budget) and still be delicious. Fast and cheap? Dim sum. Big group of picky eaters? Dim sum. Elegant and avant-garde? Again, surprisingly, dim sum. Check out these three restaurants for the best Toronto has to offer.
Though it has the best seasoned ground pork and chopped shrimp dumplings with roe in town, with fifty items on the menu (which is more of a checklist that you submit to the wait staff) and nothing that costs more than $3.50, expect to find your own favourite very quickly. If it’s busy, try the green and orange dining room at the back. 232 Spadina Ave.
Pearl Harbour Front
If you go on a weekend, be sure to make a reservation, because this waterfront destination—and really, we have so few of these in Toronto—is popular with both tourists and locals. Fancier than most dim sum resturants, with actual cloth topping tables instead of white plastic, it’s still a place you’ll see families. The most essential menu item is the “rainbow chopped in crystal fold”, a delightful mix of chopped pork, Chinese sausage, mushroom, water chestnuts, celery, and carrots. The only thing better is the view. Watching the planes take off and land at Billy Bishop is immensely improved with steamed scallop dumplings and delicate shrimp rolls. 207 Queen’s Quay West, Ste. 200
Lai Wah Heen
Located in the Metropolitan Hotel, La Wah Heen is known for classically trained chefs and exquisitely executed food. Though inspired by all Chinese cuisines, they stick to Cantonese tradition and serve dim sum at lunch. Their seasonal menu features jumbo siu mai wrapped with rice and foie gras, crispy deep-fried breaded chicken and mushroom topped with truffle, and braised beef tendon with yam vermicelli bundle in Chu Hau bean sauce. The experience is enhanced by a tea ceremony or wine paired by a New York sommelier. 108 Chestnut St.
Image courtesy of missmeng.