Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Dim Sum at Pearl Harbourfront: A Sunday Treat

Nestled away on the second floor of Toronto's Queen’s Quay Terminal, Pearl Harbourfront Chinese Cuisine has been tantalizing the taste buds of Toronto dumpling enthusiasts for over 30 years, and during that time, Executive Chef Gao Hui Feng has developed quite a dedicated following of Dim Sum devotées who take the escalator up to Pearl each and every weekend. Granted, the Peking Duck, Rainbow Chopped in Crystal Fold and Braised Lobster with Black Bean and Garlic Sauce are phenomenal, but what makes Pearl Harbourfront a culinary beacon for so many, is Chef Gao Hui Feng's exceptional Dim Sum, which literally means: to touch the heart.

Chopsticks are lined up and ready for our eagerly awaited Dim Sum feast

Dim Sum can be ordered from the menu or sampled from the trolleys 
that roll by with alarming frequency

Offering a more sophisticated dining experience than many other Chinese restaurants in the city, Pearl Harbourfront is a sanctuary of casual elegance with its bright modern interior of blonde woods, cream-hued walls, crisp white linens and floor-to-ceiling windows featuring fabulous views of Lake Ontario and the Toronto Islands. Offering Dim Sum seven days a week, the restaurant features a selection of over sixty delectable dishes served in steamer baskets and small plates, from steamed and pan fried dumplings, potstickers and rice noodles to sticky rice in lotus leaf, stir fried vegetables and a variety of innovative eye-catching desserts. 

Originally a Cantonese custom, dim sum is inextricably linked 
to the Chinese tradition of "yum cha" or drinking tea

Cold Tsingtao beer

Prices range from $3.75 for a bamboo basket of Crispy Spring Rolls or Steamed Chicken Feet; $5.50 for medium dishes such as Steamed Spinach Dumpling, Scallop Dumpling or Crispy Spring Rolls; $6.00 for large dishes including Siu Mai, Vegetable Cheung Foon and Sticky Rice in Lotus Leaf; to $7.50 for special plates which include Deep Fried Stuffed Crab Claw or Fried Beef Short Ribs with Honey Black Pepper Sauce. The best way to sample as many dim sum dishes as possible, is to bring a group of friends and order to your heart's content!

Steamed Scallop Dumplings

Hot mustard and spicy chili sauce are set at each table, as condiments for the dim sum

Barbecued Pork Pies

Pan fried 'hockey puck' dumplings with shrimp and chinese vegetables

Crispy Shrimp Rolls

Fried Shrimp Toasts

Pan Fried Chicken Dumplings

Deep Fried Shrimp

Crispy Spring Rolls

Steamed Beef Dumplings

Lychee Jellies dotted with Chinese Wolfberries

Festive poinsettias line the balcony outside the Pearl, a floral reminder 
that Christmas is just around the corner

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