CLOSED: Dragon Dynasty's Dim sum (Toronto)

Dragon Dynasty dim sum

Scarborough, in my books, is home to some great dim sum restaurants. As Toronto’s China Town expanded North in the 90’s, diners no longer had to travel to Spadina and Broadview to get their brunch fix. One of the earlier restaurants being established was Dragon Dynasty. Indeed, it seems like all my Chinese friends who grew up in Scarborough have visited the place before, if it isn’t already their family’s go-to dim sum place.

Their siu mai ($3.90) is decent following the traditional strictly pork-based recipe. Updated formulas tend to mix in chunks of shrimp and sometimes rehydrated black mushrooms adding to the flavour and the texture. Hence, you may find the siu mai at Dragon Dynasty denser and meatier compared to other restaurants.  

The spare-rib rice noodle roll ($4.90) is two dishes in one. On top, pieces of salty black bean spare-ribs that’s no different from the regular dish. Underneath are pieces of plain steamed rice noodle rolls, which soak up the spare ribs juices as it cooks and tends to be softer but also silkier.

I still prefer the traditional rice noodle rolls filled with BBQ pork ($3.90) or wrapped around a crispy dough fritter ($3.90).  There is a generous amount of chopped BBQ pork in the first and the cilantro (?) mixed into it adds a fresh element to the dish. The dough fritter could be fried longer to help resist getting soggy in the soy sauce, but benefits from the ample amount of dried shrimp on top that adds a nice seafood essence to the roll.

Their braised beef tendon ($3.90) impresses and is stewed so long that it becomes a soft sticky mess I covet. The sauce is garlicky with a light spice to it, which could be from satay?

If you’re dining with a larger group, the seafood dumpling ($5.90) and beef balls ($5.90) are great dishes to try. Both are simply boiled arriving with a sweet green onion infused soy sauce for dipping. The dense beef balls are springy in texture and comes with some refreshing watercress. The shrimp dumplings brimming with shrimp is just cooked through so it retains their crunch and sweetness.

Dragon Dynasty’s dim sum rice dishes is pricier than competitors at $7.95. But, they are the only establishment, that I’ve experienced, that cooks it in a hot clay pot so that it develops a lovely brittle golden crust on the bottom (generally this method is only found at congee places). The dish is smaller than what is found at congee restaurants, but could easily be shared amongst a table of five.

In lieu of paying for tea there is a “sauce charge” of $0.60 per person, an added cost that is common in all dim sum restaurants. Compared to other made-to-order places, prices are relatively inexpensive as most dishes being classified as a “small” (there’s usually a handful of these elsewhere). I would suggest arriving before 11am as Dragon Dynasty is popular and it does take some time to get all the dishes (especially if you’re ordering the rice).

After more than 20-years, the restaurant’s décor is becoming dated. But, really does this matter? For me, it’s the food that matters most and at Dragon Dynasty their dim sum still continues to satisfy.

Overall mark - 8 out of 10

How To Find Them
 Location: Toronto, Canada
 Address: 2301 Brimley Road

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Gastro World's Grading System

  • Anything under 5 - I really disliked and will never go back
  • 6 - 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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