A morning in Kensington Market, Toronto

I went to Toronto! The main purpose of our visit was to attend one of the Best Weddings Ever. It was everything I was hoping for and more in terms of seeing 2 fabulous people get married and then celebrating with a super-fun party with lots of old friends. Congrats J&B!!! You so rock.

We stayed 2 extra days to explore the city a (tiny) bit. On Sunday morning, we went to Kensington Market to get dim sum. It was kind of a sleepy day in the city--sunshine, blue sky, very little traffic.

Doorway on Augusta Avenue.

Sandwich board for a store called Good Egg.

Our main goal was to visit the Bright Pearl at the corner of Spadina and St. Andrew's for dim sum. Below is the glow-eyed phoenix & dragon display at the far end of the room.

We had several yummy shrimp dumplings right off the bat. Then a really fine rice noodle roll with barbecued pork and garlic chives (I think that's what those green flecks were). I've only ever had the shrimp or beef version of this. The small savory flakes of pork plus the herbal pop of the chives was really unexpected and delicious. We also got a steamer of siu mai (above left). Then came The Thing (right). It was on the far side of the cart and looked vaguely like steamed ribs, but when we ordered it and took some helpings we realized too late it was likely some sort of offal. While I like to be daring, I sometimes have texture issues. This stuff looked gelatinous and fleshy and fatty, with various tubes and segments and... I just didn't want to get involved!

At this point, we had to admit our smallest member was getting extremely antsy. We were also kind of full already. So we let The Thing be our last dish. Note that we were there at 10am and I think the service is slow at that time. It's 10% off between 9-11, but one is likely to get a faster rotation of carts if one goes later. We'd probably have eaten a lot more if we'd gone at noon. I also felt like the service was a little confusing for the non-Chinese dim sum novice. Several carts just passed us by completely, probably because they figured we wouldn't like what they had. That may have been true, but I'd still like to know what I was forgoing. Also, they provided a handy pictorial key at the table, but many of the dishes we saw were not on the card.

I like the idea of the card, but would like to know how it's used. If the servers had just assumed I was a total idiot and pointed to the pictures, I might have been happier. So I'm thinking we should branch out and explore other dim sum spots next time we're in town. Where in Toronto do you like to get dim sum?


ValleyWriter said...

Mmmm... more dim sum - I have to try this soon!
Also, I nominated you for a Kreativ Blogger award:

"Prof. Kitty" said...

Thanks VW, I'm honored to get an award!

I do recommend the Great Wall in Florence as an easy dim sum brunch.