Very Fair Chinese Restaurant 同德樓 (Toronto)



Sadly, when my go-to dim sum place, Ginger and Onion, underwent renovations and with it dramatically reduced the number of small tables. Wait times have sometimes been unbearable - over 45 minutes when arriving at 10:45 on a Sunday! Hence, I’m on a mission to find a new watering hole: somewhere close to the usual Sunday chores circuit, has reasonable pricing and there’s a 15 minute wait or less.

Enter Very Fair Chinese Restaurant. The name is unimaginative but aptly describes the place – their pricing, service and overall offering is very fair. All dishes are $2.60 with the exception of steamed rice, which for $3.00 still doesn’t break the bank. The clay pot packs in a hefty portion of rice and has plenty of pieces of chicken on top.


Disappointingly, it was their staple dishes that were a miss for me – the steamed pork dumpling’s (siu mai) texture a hard overworked pork paste and the steamed beef balls (san jook now yook) somewhat shrunken and sullen looking.


Some were better: the steamed shrimp dumpling’s (har gow) dough a tad thick but encapsulated plenty of plump shrimp while the steamed rice rolls (chueng fun) soft and silky with an adequate ratio of filling.


Some dishes excelled: the pan fried cakes, turnip (law bak gow) and taro (woo tow go) are both chock full of ingredients and given a nice caramelized crust.


Another pan fried treat (geen yu bang), this one made with fish paste and spring onions, has a nice salty savoury feeling to it.  


For those who are into the nose-to-tail dishes, their braised beef offals with turnip (now gap) is a massive bowl of stomach, liver and other bits and bites.


But it was the supreme soup shrimp and vegetable dumplings ($2.80), which has to be ordered off the menu that ended the meal on a highlight. Plenty of shrimp is packed into a thin wonton wrapper, quickly boiled and topped with tons of vegetables. Floating in a salty plain broth, they’re bites of warmness that ends the meal so well.  


In the end, Very Fair Chinese Restaurant lives up to its name, but likely won’t take the position of “Go-To Dim Sum”. Its parking lot is confusing (pay parking around the plaza but free if you go into the dark above ground parking garage) and the atmosphere (in the basement of a medical plaza) doesn’t exactly exude comfort. And so, the search continues…

Overall mark - 7 out of 10


How To Find Them
 Location: Toronto, Canada
 Address: 4002 Sheppard Avenue East


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Gastro World's Grading System

  • Anything under 5 - I really disliked and will never go back
  • - decent restaurant but I likely won't return
  • 7 - decent restaurant and I will likely return
  • 8 - great restaurant that I'd be happy to recommend
  • 9 - fantastic restaurant that I would love to visit regularly and highly recommend
  • 10 - absolute perfection!

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