Showing posts with label cuttlefish. Show all posts
Showing posts with label cuttlefish. Show all posts

Shangri-La for dim sum (Markham)

Shangri-la dim sum in Markham

Toronto has no shortage of dim sum restaurants, but Shangri-La Banquet Hall touts theirs as one of the few where you’ll eat in a ballroom – their Esna Park ballroom to be exact. With no early bird specials on weekends, it’s also the place to go if you refuse to wait or have a large table and want to make reservations. While their regular prices will set you back $3.20 for S, $4.20 for M, $5.20 for L, $6.20 for XL, and $7.20 for SP (along with $2 a person for tea), if you order before 11am on weekdays, any of the S, M, or L dishes are all $3.20.

One of my favourite dishes is the large dumping with soup. At Shangri-La theirs is filled with abalone and conpoy and sits in supreme soup (SP). While the dish is expensive compared to other restaurants, it’s also huge and can easily feed four. The soup has a nice rich essence and the abundant seafood inside wasn’t too overcooked; yet, the broth could use more seasoning.

Their dumpling with shrimp (XL) and sui mai with fish roe (L) were both solid renditions of the staples, much larger than what you’d find elsewhere. While I didn’t try the har gow, their pork dumpling was springy and juicy with a generous dollop of roe on top.

If the shrimp in the har gow was cooked to the same doneness as the chives and shrimp dumpling (L), it would be spot on. Personally, I prefer the addition of the herby chives to the dumpling, which gives the dish more flavour.

While the bovine tendon (L) had that nice soft chewy gelatinous texture you want with beef tendon, the sauce contained a twinge of sourness that threw me off. It seemed like they added red vinegar to the marinade or to sweet potatoes at the bottom of the dish. In fact, a few of the steamed dishes had a filler, whether it’s sweet potatoes or the yam noodle bundles in the cuttlefish. Understandably, lining a dish is common for early bird special periods, but when customers are paying full price these fillers are disappointing. After all, I never pair black bean spare ribs with sweet potatoes.

Nonetheless, despite the yam bundle, the cuttlefish in curry (L) was well steeped with flavour - I rather enjoyed the hint of spiciness permeating the sauce.

The spare ribs in black bean sauce (M) and BBQ pork bun (S) were both average: it would be nice if the black beans on the spare ribs were mixed throughout rather than dolloped over top and the buns needed more filling.

Don’t miss out on their rice rolls, while they’re not as thin as establishments specializing in the dish, at Shangri-la the texture and thickness is still better than many dim sum places. The shrimp and leek (XL) and shitaki mushroom & chicken (L) both had adequate amounts of filling so it doesn’t feel like you’re eating mouthfuls of pastry.

Meanwhile, the rice roll with dough fritter ($5.20) showed interest with the pork floss on top, but the actual fritter needs to be hotter and crispier – taking one that’s been delivered in the morning and wrapping it in a fresh rice roll is not sufficient.

Generally, I don’t order spring rolls at dim sum, but their shredded chicken and crispy taro (M) version was yummy. Especially since they’re made-to-order arriving piping hot and the filling nicely balanced between the meat and earthy taro. Maybe it has something to do with eating in a ball room … somehow it makes everything taste fancier.

Overall mark - 7.5 out of 10

How To Find Them
 Location: Toronto, Canada
 Address: 50 Esna Park Drive

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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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