I’m up in the Toronto area for my employer. I walked around Chinatown and tried the dim sum at Bright Pearl on Spadina.
The place struck me as Toronto’s equivalent to New York’s Golden Unicorn.
Good, cheap and easy to find. Being by myself there
was a limit to how many dishes I could sample: pork shumai topped with
fish eggs, steamed bbq pork bun, baked pork bun, fried shrimp wonton,
beef in sticky rice and spring rolls.
I would have liked to try the mussels, beef and rice steamed in a leaf, and
bbq ribs and bbq chicken but by the time those carts came through I was full.
Everything I ate was fresh, hot and tasty. Flavors tended toward the sweet
which surprised me a little.
I walked around the city. I stopped to take in the exhibits at the R.O.M. The Egyptian antiquities that I missed when they showed at Brooklyn were on display
and then walked back toward Chinatown and Kensington market. Along the way I had coffee at one of the Second Cup cafes that dot the city. I prefer the coffee at Second Cup but the local favorite Tim Horton’s has better sweets.
Kensington market was not what I expected. The groceries, second hand shops, dried fish and barrels of dry goods are cheek to jowl with way too much new
stuff and army-navy and the whole over crowded by trendy lonely
planet types. Maybe it’s better at night. I tried a Jamaican beef patty from a busy shop, but I’m spoiled by the patties sold by Christy’s on Flatbush in Brooklyn, and only finished my ginger beer.
This evening, I went looking for a place recommended by a colleague and
not finding it, found a Dim Sum and Seafood restaurant in a strip mall in
Mississauga off Dixie Road near Dundas named Happy Jade. The number of
Asian families crowding the place and enjoying their meals was a good sign.
I had the soup with chicken, mushroom and vegetable which was hot but not
particularly flavorful and the fried seafood with XO sauce which was very good.
Shrimp, scallops and squid were stir fried with pea pods, celery, green onions
and ginger. The thin, mostly clear, spicy sauce is made with oil infused with chilies, pork fat (and maybe rind), garlic and, I think from the taste, ground dried fish. Nothing was over or under done and sauce was delicious.
The waiter was engaging and when I mentioned I was visiting for work noted
that they are open seven days a week and have dim sum in the morning
(I’ve gone back for dinner again and the hot and sour soup and fried noodles
were very good).