Weekly Lunch Pick: a weekday feast for two at Chinatown’s newest dim sum restaurant
Up on the third floor of an old Chinese mall on the south side of Dundas sits Dim Sum King, a new Chinatown spot that serves excellent renditions of steamed, fried, boiled, baked and braised classics at reasonable prices. The large, open room is filled with the usual cacophony of chopsticks clicking against dishes and waiters circulating around linen-covered tables with old-school trolleys. Although daily midday specials are available for $5.99, the better deal on weekday lunches is to order by the plate, since all sizes—small, medium and large—go for $2. The steamed shrimp and scallop dumplings, always crowd-pleasers, are as big as a baby’s fist, while aromatic chive and shrimp dumplings are more delicate, loosely tucked inside thick crystalline wrappers. Standard lighter offerings include springy tripe and silky rice rolls stuffed with pea shoots and shredded king oyster mushrooms, but the made-to-order baby bok choy ($4.50) and the pan-fried bean curd rolls are really worth the 10-minute wait (they’re cooked in a stall on the dining room floor). Sweet soy-marinated beef short ribs are covered in a thin, addictive fried crust; the meat inside nearly melts in the mouth. For more adventurous diners, the gelatinous and sticky beef tendon marinated in chu hou paste (a lip-smackingly good crimson sauce made of sweet fermented soy beans, garlic, sesame and bean curd), is excellent. Fans of chicken feet should order them later in the afternoon, after they’ve had a chance to get a good braise in ground ginger to get them slippery and tender. A heaping bowl piled with silky tofu pudding provides a light finish to an indulgent winter lunchtime feast that won’t break the bank.
The time: 42 minutes.
The cost: $33, including tax and tip for two hungry diners
Dim Sum King Seafood Restaurant, 421 Dundas St. W. (third floor), 416-551-3366